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“I felt like an animal, and animals don’t know sin, do they?”
– Jess C. Scott, Wicked Lovely
Dust swirled in the air as my feet pounded the pavement, the sun beating down on my shoulders, making me burn like wildfire as I ran. I wiped the sweat off my face on my sleeve without stopping, pushing and pushing myself to break my own record: a six-and-a-half-minute mile. You’d think with such long legs it wouldn’t be an issue for me, but I was still human, and humans are always limited by things like gravity—and gravity didn’t like me very much. I swayed, losing my balance for a moment, but then I was straightening up, rolling my shoulders, and off I went, kicking the dust up again behind me.
My parents’ house was in view now. Out front was the reason why I ran so much. Dark hair, wet, slicked back from a handsome face. He wore a pair of swimming trunks, dripping water down the driveway as he made his way to the mailbox, his gait almost graceful, all movements confident. His arms rippled with muscle, flexing as he got the mail—such a simple task, such a normal thing, and yet it was enough to make me want to run past him and jump into the pool in the backyard to cool myself off.
I needed to get a grip.
“Hey, Lolo,” he said, shielding his eyes from the sun when I came to a halting stop in front of him. I tried catching my breath, but looking into his light green eyes was making it extremely hard. My heart beat fast, running erratically in my chest like a pinball, dinging in every corner of my heart.
“Break that record?” he asked casually, sifting through the mail. His hands were big, fingers slender, perfectly made for the guitar he strummed on hot summer nights from his bedroom, the window thrown wide open. I’d sit in the backyard on a lawn chair beneath his bedroom window, nursing a glass of stolen scotch from my dad’s alcohol cabinet. It made me sad, so profoundly sad; everything I wanted was up in that room, creating music with those beautiful hands, writing music for a girl that wasn’t me.
Her name was Jessica, and she’s exactly how all Jessicas are. She’s got one of those smiles that can light up a whole room, the kind that’s sincere, genuine. She’s the kind of beautiful that you can’t help but admire, the kind of beautiful that you can’t help but stare, the kind of beautiful that you can’t help but envy because it meant that there was no way that the man you loved was going to be leaving her.
“No,” I said bitterly. “I almost lost my balance a couple of times. My body sabotaged me.”
He glanced up, looking worried. “How long has this persisted?”
“It’s nothing,” I assured him, even though it was not. Running under the hot sun made me dizzy. I knew I was at risk of a heat stroke almost every time I ran. I should stop, but I couldn’t—and it scared me. It reminded me of how it had been for Mom. One moment she’d been fine, laughing and making lemonade and baking chocolate chip cookies, and the next she was stepping out of a doctor’s office looking grave. Six months later we buried her in one.
“You should get that checked…”
“I’m fine,” I said, cutting him off.
“Doesn’t sound like it.”
“Don’t fucking baby me.”
“Don’t be a bitch, Willow.”
“Don’t be a nosy asshole.”
We glared at each other. His beautiful eyes clouded my judgment, and for one second I almost reached for him, almost took his face in my hands and pulled him close to me—close enough to feel his breath on my lips, close enough to taste him, close enough to kiss him, my own brother.
Sick. I was sick.
“I don’t understand you,” he said, shaking his head. He looked disappointed, like he couldn’t believe what I’d turned into while he was away at college. I wasn’t the same sweet kid sister he’d left behind. My mother’s death had hardened me, and my best friend growing up, my brother, hadn’t been there to protect me. He’d shown up right before she’d died, holding me at the funeral while I cried, and then he was gone, flying out of state, back to his fancy private college. He’d checked out, grieving on his own, and forgetting completely that I’d been too young to face the world on my own. Dad spent more hours at work, Nick spent all his time at school, and that left me, Willow Serene Weaver, alone.
“Don’t pretend to care, that’s all I’m saying,” I said, and then I stormed off, headed towards the backyard from the side gate. I didn’t expect Nick to come after me. It wasn’t like I was Jessica. He would’ve gone after her, but me? I was just his bitchy younger sister. Jessica could dump him, but I would always be his sister. monsters of cock porno There was no fear of losing me.
“What’s up with you?” A hand closed around my arm and jerked me to a stop. I looked over my shoulder.
It was Nick. He looked wild, like I’d told him I was dying or something. It made me feel bad. My symptoms probably scared him the way Mom’s symptoms had once scared me. He’d actually come after me. I hadn’t expected that.
“Just—not now, okay?” I said, my eyes pricking with tears. Back when we were kids, Nick had told me he loved me almost every day, taking my hand and leading me through all the new things I was experiencing, all the new sights and tastes and sounds. I’d grown up under the shade of my brother’s protection, but it had been years since we’d talked properly now. After he left for college a few years ago, things had just… changed.
“Come here,” he said, tugging me to him. I let him pull me into a warm embrace under the hot sun. It should have suffocated me, all that heat, but my body lived for it. He smelled like pool water and aftershave and summer. He had a body like mine, long and athletic, lean with powerful muscles in all the right places. His bare chest touched my cheek, sending an electric shock through my body. I placed my hands on his abs, acting like I was only touching him for balance, but really I just wanted to feel what Jessica felt when she was beneath him, moaning from his bedroom when she came over, their bodies slapping, making me listen even though I didn’t want to—and I guess that’s why I ran so much.
“I do care, Lolo,” he said, rubbing my back. “Don’t ever think otherwise.”
I pulled away, and it felt like I was stripping my very soul from my body. I couldn’t stand there and just let him hold me like that anymore. I couldn’t do that to my heart—my sad, pathetic, broken fucking heart. I couldn’t let myself pretend that he was mine, not when he held me like he was, like he belonged to me.
But he didn’t belong to me. He belonged to Jessica.
“Where’s Jessica?” I asked, rubbing my neck awkwardly just for something to do.
“She’s cooling off in the house. You should watch a movie with us. We’re about to put on The Notebook.”
“Gross, no,” I said making a face. “I’m gonna go for a swim.”
I turned to leave, but Nick stopped me again, his hand closing around my wrist.
“You know I love you, right?”
I didn’t turn around.
“I know,” I said, and then I broke free from his grasp.
I love you, too.
I just couldn’t say it out loud anymore. Not since everything had changed.
I didn’t run to beat a record like Willow. I ran to escape the flatline. The sound of it was in my head, the smell of a sterile hospital filling my nostrils even though I was miles and miles away from that terrible place. I could still hear it, that exact moment when she died. No matter how much I ran, no matter how much I pushed myself, I still couldn’t escape it.
I remember running out of the hospital, knowing that I’d only barely made it, only to see her die, to see her eyes open wide, the Do Not Resuscitate form burned in my brain, making me think how fucking selfish she was for leaving Willow behind motherless.
But in running from my mother’s death, I’d run from Willow, too. Away from her sad green eyes, like a storm that raged from the void, from the entire world that was swallowing me whole. She’d been only thirteen years old, barely old enough to accept the finality of death, and yet it had come into her life like a dark angel, stealing something from all of our lives.
“Where did you go, Nick?” Willow had asked through her sobs. She didn’t run into my arms, and I didn’t walk over and hold her. I had an irrational fear that if I showed my love for her, Death would come take her, too. It was fucked up, subjecting a kid to that, but grief had gripped me and I didn’t know how else to deal with it.
I went to hell, I almost told her. I went to hell and it was better than where I am right now.
I ran every day until the funeral, pushing myself beyond my limitations, falling onto stranger’s lawns, gasping to catch my breath and then getting up again, facing the world, taking it by the horns and pushing it away from me, running and running but never being able to get away from it.
Willow watched me come and go.
“Take me with you,” she said.
I’d leave at five in the morning before the desert sun made its appearance, my running shoes kicking up dust. I heard rocks shifting behind me, like the earth was going to fall in, like it’d take me to the core to trap me there forever.
I didn’t have to turn around to know that Willow had come after me. I wanted to ignore her, but I couldn’t. Her voice was so small, pleadingly calling my name, begging me to stop, to wait for her.
“You shouldn’t have come,” naught america porno I said, wiping the sweat off my brow.
She bent over, chest heaving, trying to catch her breath.
“Why the hell not?” she asked, breathing hard.
“Watch your mouth. And no means no, Willow. You won’t be able to keep up.”
“Watch me,” she said, and then she took off.
She was fast, outrunning me for a good half a minute before I caught up. We ran together, running away from the world together, trying to outrun the reality of a life without Mom.
At the funeral I finally held Willow, let her cry into my arms, but it terrified me. I didn’t want to be around her, didn’t want to love her more than I already did, didn’t want to feel the pain.
So I ran, and this time, I ran away from Willow.
It’s been five years, and she still hasn’t forgiven me. I haven’t forgiven myself, either.
The chlorine pool water was in my nostrils, in my mouth, in my very bloodstream, stripping all the real water out of me. I could’ve bled blue, could’ve bled a color that wasn’t mine—because these days, I wasn’t myself.
These days, I wanted something I couldn’t have.
These days, I wanted something I shouldn’t.
Because Nick wasn’t Nick anymore either. He’d come back from college a man, tall and muscular, like somebody I didn’t know. With his green eyes and his gray personality, it was difficult to connect him to the brother I’d grown up with, to the boy who’d braided my hair for Girl Scouts, the boy who’d put Band-Aids over my skinned knees, the boy who’d set me on his shoulders when I was five so I could watch the fireworks at Disneyland. He’d laughed a lot back then, an infectious laugh that used to make me giggle even when I didn’t understand the jokes.
Since coming back, I haven’t seen my brother laugh once.
“I made spaghetti and meatballs,” Jessica said, standing by the pool in an adorable little apron, looking like exactly the kind of woman that a man would want to marry. She was wifey material, and at eighteen, I was little more than a kid. I would’ve hated her if it wasn’t for the fact that she was so nice.
“I’ll be right there.”
“I’ll get the breadsticks out of the oven,” she said, smiling brightly. She knew I loved her breadsticks.
I grabbed the rail and pulled myself out of the water, dripping water everywhere, and slicked my hair back from my face, feeling chilly in the cold desert night. The moon was already visible, a bright beacon in the darkness.
I saw Jessica through the kitchen window, reaching for the oven mitts, but my brother appeared and took them from her hands, kissing her shoulder as he passed her. I looked away, feeling like I’d been spying on an intimate moment.
At dinner, we talked about Dad and how he was working late again.
“As soon as I land this job, he can cut back on his hours,” Nick said, taking a sip of red wine. They’d snuck me half a glass, but we had to be on the lookout in case Dad walked in early.
Nick had gone to school for software engineering. The starting pay in his field was high enough that even a quarter of his paycheck towards our living expenses was going to be a game-changer. Dad said he wasn’t going to be accepting a penny unless Nick was living in the house, so now my brother lived here instead of the apartment he’d had with two other roommates. I sometimes wondered which he preferred. It seemed obvious. Out there in the world he was all grown up, but in this house he slept in his old bedroom, surrounded by the memories of his childhood. Still, it had somehow been worth it to him to live here if it meant that Dad wouldn’t have to work so hard.
I ate my dinner even though I wasn’t very hungry. I didn’t want to hurt Jessica’s feelings.
“Are sure you’ll get it?” I asked, not callously. Just out of curiosity.
Nick sat up straighter in his chair. “I’m not sure, but I hope so. The interview went well.”
“Of course you’ll get it,” Jessica said quickly, putting her hand over his. Always supportive, this one.
“I’ll hear from them by Friday.”
“If you get it, we should go up to the lake and celebrate. Want to come, Willow?” Jessica asked. “My parents still have that lake house.”
Nick smiled, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. None of his smiles ever did.
“No, you two go,” I said. I wasn’t sure if I could survive a weekend of the two of them being cute together. My poor heart was already suffering.
Nick glanced at me, that same concern in his eyes, his eyes so intense that I had to look away. The storm, the clouds, the lightning that struck when he looked at me still had the power to take my breath away.
It hadn’t always been this way, I hadn’t always been sick. There had been a time when he was just Nick, just my brother who I idolized, the guy I looked up to, the guy I followed around everywhere like a puppy, but now I was nubiles porn lovesick and heartbroken, wanting him in that sick way, needing him to come take all my bitterness and dissolve it—because in my heart, I knew only Nick could make me better. Only Nick could save me.
“I’m not leaving you here by yourself,” he said with an air of finality. Sometimes he was like this, authoritative, but all it served to do was make him hotter than he already was.
“I won’t be alone. Dad will be here.”
“Dad’s never here,” Nick said, his eyes burning, daring me to challenge him.
“I’m not interested in joining you in your love shack—no offense, Jessica.”
“None taken,” she said quietly, but I could tell that she was already regretting inviting me and starting this whole weird little fight that wasn’t quite a fight. Yet.
“We’re not going without you,” Nick said, challenging me yet again. He was going to guilt me into this, using Jessica’s feelings as a pawn, daring me to hurt her. He knew it was impossible to let down such a sweet person.
“I’ll think about it,” I said reluctantly. Jessica smiled, and it almost made it worth it. She really did have such a bright, genuine smile.
Nick brooded for the rest of the evening, putting an invisible barrier between us, hardly speaking to me. I didn’t know why he was always doing that, putting up walls. He didn’t do it with anyone else.
And so the yearning became a physical thing, a desperate and pathetic want and need.
But he could never be mine.
Jess stripped bare in the bathroom, her body flawless, shaking her cute little ass as I slowly undid my zipper, watching her with hungry eyes. She let down her long, blonde hair, running her fingers through it, her perky tits swaying as she bent down to slip her panties down from the curve of her hips.
Jess was, in every sense of the word, a bombshell. Big blue eyes, natural beach waves, and a perfect body to match. As fucking incredible as her looks were, they didn’t come close to touching her personality. She was a good person, an absolute angel.
“Come help me with my bra strap, babe,” she said, turning around. Our eyes met in the mirror, and I could see that her eyes were hungry, too, that she wanted to be taken in the shower against the tile wall.
“Make love to me,” she gasped as I entered her from behind, bending her over with the hot water raining down on us. Her hands slapped on the tile wall, bracing herself. She had no need to; I was going to give it to her just the way she liked it: slow, sensual, and sweet. Sometimes I wished she’d let me take her rough, fast and hard, but Jess always cried afterwards, asking why I fucked her like I hated her, like I was punishing her.
It wasn’t worth it to see her cry.
I made love to her, building up her climax slowly, and then reaching between us to rub her clit when I grew impatient. She whimpered, her thighs shaking, panting, her knuckles turning white, pushing her ass back, letting me fuck her a little faster, a little harder—but still nowhere near enough.
“Careful, baby,” she said when I began pounding into her, our bodies slapping, fucking her the way I wanted to. I wasn’t relinquishing all control, and it bothered the hell out of me. I felt suffocated, like my desire was being contained in a tiny box, locked up with the key thrown away. I was still being careful, both gentle and rough, but it was already too much for her.
I rubbed her clit, faster this time, going in quick circles, and she came instantly, her pussy contracting around the thickness of my cock, gasping my name over and over again, almost slipping onto the floor. I caught her around the middle and straightened her, slipping out of her body.
“Babe,” she said, turning around. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m just tired,” I lied. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to come, not with that restriction hanging like a noose around my neck. I gave her a smile and kissed her, tasting her cherry ChapStick, drawing her body to mine and treating her like the queen she was. I shampooed her hair, and worshiped her body with soap and a loofah, cleaning off every last remnant of our love-making.
“I love you, Nick,” she said as we were drying off. She’d never said it before, and I wasn’t sure how to react. We’d only been dating seven months; long enough to grow fond of each other—but love? I wasn’t sure if I loved her back. I wasn’t sure if I was even capable of loving anyone anymore.
“It’s okay,” she said, giving me a soft smile. “You don’t have to say it back. I just wanted you to know.”
I wrapped my arms around her, pulling her close and placing a kiss on her temple. I didn’t say anything else, but she didn’t look like she minded.
Jess brought up the lake house again, cautiously, talking about paddle boarding and lounging out on the deck to tan and read the next romance novel on her list. She sounded excited, like she’d been planning this in her head for a while. I really hoped Willow was going to come through.
My cock grew hard instantly, painfully hard, and visions of her long, lithe body filled my mind; her delicate features, that pouty little mouth and how it’d look swallowing my—fuck.