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Copyright © by blackmatter.
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
except for the use of brief quotations in a review.
Taking a little break from Save Me. As with all my stories, it builds slowly.
Special thanks to Anomic for his contribution.
“Don’t forget you’re picking your sister up from the airport tomorrow.”
“Oh, yeah, forgot about that.”
“Matthew,” Catherine chided.
“Mom, how can I forget with you hammering it into my head every single day for the past month?”
“Just making sure; nothing wrong with that.”
“Are we sure that she even wants to come?”
Catherine gave an exasperated sigh on the other end of the line. “We’ve already been through that. And I would expect you as her only brother to—”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry.”
“Good. You’ll pick her up, and you’ll show her a good time, or else…”
His mother’s menacing note put a smile on his face. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Seriously though, sweetie, your sister… she needs you, and you need her.”
Matthew pulled his hair back, sighing as he did. “Yeah, you keep saying that…”
“Now, she may be staying with your aunt and uncle, but she’s really coming over for you, so you will need to put in the work. Don’t be slackin’ off just because Amber’s there.”
“I’ll text you her flight number; be there on time.”
“Okay. Love you, sweetie.”
“Talk to you tomorrow.”
“Smartass,” his mother giggled and hung up.
Matthew removed his Bluetooth earpiece. Lounging on the sofa in his apartment, he glanced about, making sure his place was ready for his sister, who he was to lodge the next night. Contrary to the unenthused act he’d put on for his mother, he was actually looking forward to having Kimberly around. He hadn’t seen his kid sister in over a year.
As soon as he completed his studies in marketing, he relocated from Boise, Idaho to San Francisco, where work was bountiful. Ambitious and gifted, it hadn’t taken him long to clinch a job. His talent had shone through from day one, and in less than a year, his salary had already been bumped up. With his career seemingly on the right track and his student loans all paid for, he could afford himself to rent a nice place with no roommates.
He hadn’t been living there long, but the move had proven to be a major lifestyle upgrade, particularly in the pussy department. A neighbor of his had even once jested whether he was running a brothel. Matthew was running no brothel, of course; however, in today’s tinder-ruled world, almost any guy could get laid on occasion, and if the said guy looked anything like Matthew, then “on occasion” could very well turn into “often”.
Matthew rose to his feet and stretched, ready to hit the hay. In less than 24 hours, his kid sister, fresh from graduation, would be sharing the space with him, if only for one night. Although they had never been particularly close, he cared deeply for her and hoped she wouldn’t be disappointed with her vacation. His mother would have his head if she did.
Kimberly landed at SFO at 6:15 p.m. and after collecting her suitcase, she headed out, knowing her brother was waiting for her outside the gate. She loved Matthew, the way all sisters loved their brothers, but she was trepidatious about staying the night at his place. She couldn’t even recall the last time they resided in the same state, let alone in the same house.
They’d spoken a few times on the phone the last year, and while he’d always been cordial in his brotherly way, she could feel the distance between them, and in more ways than one. Their phone calls had been brief, riddled with awkward silences, of the I-can’t-wait-to-get-off-the-line kind. She didn’t blame him though. She was at home in Boise soldering through her senior year, and he was in San Francisco living his life.
It was their mother’s idea that she went to stay with her Aunt Trish and Uncle Jake as they lived not far from Matthew. She thought it would bring them closer together, perhaps resuscitate their dying rapport. While Kimberly wasn’t especially eager, to her credit, she didn’t hate the idea, either. Matthew was a cool guy when he wanted to be, and she was older now. They could certainly benefit from some sibling quality time together; there hadn’t been very much of that in recent years.
Kimberly looked around, peering for her brother. She couldn’t make him out among the thronging crowd, but she knew he was close. That stupid endearment was her telltale; only he called her that.
Bev was not short for Beverly as some might mistakenly think. Growing up, Kimberly had had the bad case of prominent front teeth. Matthew, being the annoying big brother he’d always been, for years had called her Beaver before he shortened it to Bev not long after her tenth birthday. Kimberly hated that name with a passion. She had always been insecure about her looks; in bostancı escort no small part, because of that name.
Kimberly twirled around, torn between excitement and ire. She sighted her brother trotting up to her, and the former overcame the latter. Grinning, she released her suitcase just as Matthew embraced her.
He pulled away and palmed her cheeks with a broad smile. “How’s it going, you brat?”
“I’m great. Excited to have y—holy shit…”
Kimberly frowned at the sudden surprise on Matthew’s face as he studied hers. “What?”
She gave him a sheepish smile, barely opening her mouth. “Don’t tell me you forgot I wore braces for two years.”
“No, I didn’t forget, but now they’re… like… gone.”
“They sure are. Do I still look like a beaver, jerk?”
Matthew examined his baby sister’s face, the rodent the last thing on his mind. “Honestly? I have to say that… yeah, a little.”
She smacked him on the chest. “Oh my god, you’re such an ass!”
They laughed, but Kimberly could tell that something was on her brother’s mind. It was the way his eyes roved over her features, and then up and down her body. He wasn’t creepy about it, but he was definitely… distracted.
“You dyed your hair,” he mused, curling his fingers in her chestnut mane.
“Yeah, I felt like it was time for a change.” She raked her hair back with her fingers, trying to radiate confidence she never possessed. “You like?”
His face scrunched up into a tentative frown. “Well…”
She shook her head, smiling. Classic Matthew, she thought. He just couldn’t bring himself to compliment her. “You’ll get used to it, I’m sure.”
He nodded and fetched her suitcase. “Either way, welcome to San Francisco, Sis.”
After they entered Matthew’s place, Kimberly took a quick walk-around before she plopped down onto the sofa next to him. She watched him briefly surfing the net on his laptop before she called her cousin Amber and informed her of her arrival. Amber was Kimberly’s age, outgoing and wild, a stark contrast to introverted Kimberly.
Kimberley had always been somewhat jealous of Amber, of her looks, of her popularity, of her cheerleader status. Whenever Amber came to visit, she’d take her out, and her friends would spend all night fawning over her. Kimberly wished she’d had that power, the power to make guys drool over her as they had over her hot, fun cousin; even so, she had great love for Amber. Yes, she felt intimated by her sexuality and carefree attitude towards life, but they had gotten along well, and their time together, if nothing else, had always been entertaining.
She laughed, listening to her cousin detailing their plans for the duration of her time in San Francisco. The things Amber was saying, things that involved guys, made Kimberly blush profusely.
“God, you’re such a slut,” she giggled quietly while glancing at her brother. “I can’t really talk right now if you know what I mean.” She tucked her feet to her bum and laughed some more. “Okay… yeah, he’s here…” Kimberley snuck a second peek at Matthew just as her cousin made an inappropriate comment that involved him. “Amber!” She giggled again and ended the call.
Her brother was still preoccupied with his computer by the time she was off the phone, and although she wished for them to talk, she didn’t want to disturb him. She poured herself a glass of water and settled back next to him. She texted a few of her friends, caught up on the latest social media developments, and watched several YouTube videos. It was almost two hours later when she dropped her phone on the sofa and shot Matthew a look.
He didn’t seem to notice, so she huffed audibly, as if bored, hoping he would get the hint. He didn’t, and if he was, he wasn’t giving it away. She stood up and wandered aimlessly at his flat. The place was very neat; nothing was out of order. She then returned to the living room and just admired his flat-screen TV. It was massive.
She cut her eyes at him again, but he didn’t even seem to care that he hadn’t seen her in forever, that the whole point of her coming to San Francisco for the next month was so they could bond. Over the years, she had questioned herself more than once if he actually gave a damn about her. She had always managed to convince herself that he did, but she was finding it hard to do so now.
“So… I’ve noticed there’s only one bedroom,” she remarked, “and only one bed.”
“Good eye,” he retorted, his eyes never leaving the computer screen.
“Okay, so… where am I supposed to sleep?”
“You’ll take the bed; I’ll take the sofa.”
She nodded, definitely at herself as he couldn’t be bothered to look up. “Problem solved.”
“Problem solved,” he reiterated absentmindedly, his fingers scorching through the keys.
Although she thought it was admirable that he was willing to give her the bed, she was finding it hard to have any positive feelings about him at the moment.
“Okay. Um… I think I might retire to bed. You seem really büyükçekmece escort bus—”
“Yeah, okay; good night.”
Kimberly stared down at her brother, more like glared at him. He couldn’t care less about her, and he didn’t even have the courtesy to put on a semblance of any kind that he did. She started for the bedroom, but then she retraced her steps. “FYI, I’m taking a cab to Aunt Trish.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, back it up,” he called, setting his laptop aside.
Kimberly made it back only to the end of the hallway, her face a flushed medley of anger and pain.
Her brother cocked a brow, puzzled. “You just got here.”
“Yeah, and clearly it was a huge mistake, so I’m gonna make it very simple for you—”
“Kimberly, stop. What are you talking about?”
“You don’t want me here, Matthew; it’s clear as day. For over two hours I waited for you to talk to me, acknowledge me, take interest in me, and you—”
“Then why didn’t you say something? I’m not a psychic.”
“I shouldn’t have to say anything. I shouldn’t have to beg you to speak to me. We haven’t seen each other in ages, and god knows we barely talked. When I agreed to come here, I was under the impression that you wanted to change that, but obviously, it was only Mom who put you up to it. So, I’ll make it easier for the both of us, ’cause if I have to stay in your place even for another minute, I will shoot myself in the head.”
Matthew let out a sigh. He was frustrated, but not with his sister. He patted on the sofa next to him, and when Kimberly refused to move, he patted again, harder this time. Kimberly shook her head but nevertheless came to sit beside him.
“You’re right, I’m… I’m an idiot.”
“You could’ve just told her no. That would’ve hurt me a lot less than the way you just behaved.”
“Bev, I’m sorry. I’m—”
“Oh my god, I have to leave.”
But her brother clasped her arm before she could storm away. “What did I do now?!”
“I hate it when you call me that! I can’t stand that fucking name! I know you think it’s hilarious that I looked like Bugs Bunny, but I don’t find it funny! You know that because of you I have had major insecurities about the way I look? To this day, I hate my face, I hate my body, and it’s all because of you!”
Matthew frowned, mystified. “Hate your… hold on. Let’s take a breath here for a sec and calm down.”
“I don’t want to calm down! I hate that fucking name; I hate the insecurities you put in me; I hate the fact that you pretended to want to spend time with me. I just hate…” She palmed her face and burst into tears.
Matthew rose and pulled his sister to his embrace, and Kimberly allowed him to hold her as she wept on his chest.
“You okay?” he asked softly when her sobs dwindled.
She nodded, face downcast.
“Do you want to sit down and… try to talk this over?”
She nodded again, sniffling.
Once she sat back down, Matthew left to fetch her a box of tissues. On his way back, he stopped at the kitchen and collected a bottle of scotch and a shot glass. He set the alcohol on the table and sat beside her. He poured himself a shot, but before he could even object, his sister downed it.
He poured another one and belted it down. “First thing first: yes, you coming here was Mom’s idea, but I was totally on board. You’re my sister, and I’ve missed you. I know I haven’t given you that impression, but I’m super happy that you’re here. Please, believe me.”
Confused, his sister shrugged her shoulders. “Then what was the last two hours about?”
“I don’t know why, but I’ve always found it hard to talk to you, like… it turns awkward real fast. So I guess maybe I was waiting for you to break the ice.”
“Well, knowing how awkward our conversations tend to get, I sorta expected you to…” She gave a sigh. “I dunno what I expected.” She did another shot and winced, though like her brother, in a good way. “Why is it like this between us, Matthew? Why is it so hard for us to talk?”
He consumed his second shot and drew a deep breath as his eyes met hers. “The truth is while we may be siblings, we are not… friends.”
Kimberly might have given no reaction, but she felt her belly tightening at his words.
Matthew sighed at the glisten in her eyes. It was painful, but it had to be said. “It’s not your fault, nor mine, but I am five years older than you. We never had anything we could bond over. You had your life, I had mine… it’s just how it is.” He scooched closer and gave her knee a warm squeeze. “Having said that, I want it to change. I want to be your friend, Kimberly. Mom always says that she’s not going to be here forever, and she’s right. You’re all I’ve got.”
A tear traced a sad path down his sister’s cheek. “And you are all I’ve got.”
He gave her a smile while squeezing her knee again. “Then let’s do something about this. Let’s be friends.”
Kimberly gulped back a sob, unprepared for such surge of emotions. “Do you really mean that, Matt? Do you really çapa escort want to be my friend?”
“No,” he murmured while shaking his head. He cupped her cheek, wiping away that tear with his thumb. “I want to be your best friend.”
A deep breath stammered out of her mouth. “I’d like that, too.”
Matthew grinned. “If we’re serious about being best friends, though, then we have to clear the air first ’cause honesty is the foundation of any relationship. Fuck the awkwardness.”
Kimberly bobbed her head in agreement. “Fuck the awkwardness.”
“Good. Now, I’m going to order pizza and get us a few beers because this stuff is going to wipe us out in no time, and after that, I want to know what you meant before, about your insecurities and all that. Don’t leave anything out. Deal?”
They spent the next three hours talking. Kimberly confessed to Matthew about her low self-esteem and her difficulties of opening up to guys, problems which in large part stemmed from his taunting her throughout her formative years. Seeing the guilt on his face, she decided to lighten up the mood with a quip about her contemplating switching teams.
“Kim, you… you really need to slow down,” Matthew chuckled, a slur in his voice.
Kimberly smiled with lips sealed, something her brother couldn’t help noticing she was doing quite religiously. “Alcohol is good for us, Bro. This is the best talk we’ve ever had. I think that from now on if I see you call, I’ll chug a beer or two before I answer the phone.”
He chuckled again and glanced at his wristwatch. For a second there, two blurry copies of his watch bled in and out of each other. They only merged once he scrunched up his eyes. It was after 2 in the morning.
Kimberly did her shot and had one promptly ready for Matthew. Feeling the bile already swelling up his gullet, he waved his finger at the offer but caved when his sister persisted. His body gave a nasty shiver when the alcohol pooled in his belly, his head spinning round and round. Another one — and he was gone, he knew. Slumped back against the plush backrest, they fell quiet, staring drunkenly at one another.
“I’m really sorry about the teasing, Kim. I had no idea it would fuck you up.”
“You didn’t do it out of malice, so don’t be too hard on yourself.”
“Even so, I feel so fucking guilty. I want to make this right. How do I make this right?”
“You can’t. I’m just really insecure, and I need to somehow work on it.”
Matthew tried to think of ways to boost her confidence, but he was drawing a blank, surveying her face in this drunken haze, losing himself in her steel-blue eyes… “You’re so pretty.”
Oddly enough, he muttered what was on his mind, not even giving a second thought to it. Only now that it was out there, he realized that letting her know what he truly thought of her was perhaps the way to go.
“You don’t mean that.”
“I so mean it, Sis,” he confessed in a tired undertone, his eyelids like dumbbells. “I was totally caught off guard today at the airport. I couldn’t believe your body, your face…”
Recalling his reaction earlier and considering how intoxicated he looked at the moment, Kimberly knew he was most likely truthful about it. As much as she wanted to believe him, however, her insecurities reined her excitement in. “You just wanna make me feel better.”
“Guilty,” he sighed. “But it doesn’t make you any less gorgeous.”
“Yeah, whatever,” she dismissed with a faux laugh.
“No, don’t do that. Don’t cover your mouth when you laugh.”
Kimberly was taken aback by the assertive note in her brother’s voice, by his straight face. He was clearly finding nothing amusing about it. Her giggle died down, and her hand dropped onto her thigh as strange tension thickened the air to the point that every breath Kimberly drew felt like a morsel going down her throat.
“I love your laugh. I love your smile.”
“No you don’t.”
“I do. You have an amazing smile, and your teeth are perfect.”
“Saying stuff you don’t mean.”
“But I do mean it. You’re such a babe…”
“I said stop.”
“I couldn’t take my eyes off your butt, honest to god.”
“Your smile is the sexiest smile I’ve ever seen.”
“Cut it out, Matthew!”
“Your body is to-die-for. You—”
“I told you to fucking stop!”
She attempted to smack him on the chest, but he gripped her wrist and pulled her to him with enough force that made her slim, tight bod lurch onto his lap, and suddenly… it was weird. Both of them could tell, with Kimberly’s crotch snuggled up to her brother’s, her back arched, her bosom mashed into his chest.
Both Matthew’s pulse and manhood grew in an instant. He wondered if his sister was aware of how kissable her lips looked at the moment, how immense her breasts felt against him… he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, can’t bring himself to look away from her big blue eyes.
Spellbound, he reached for her lips with his free hand, his thumb tracing the pink heart-shaped outlines. As he passed his thumb across her high cheekbone, Kimberly moistened her lips, praying to god she did so because she was parched, but in reality, she couldn’t be certain what made her tongue curl out and draw a crescent on her upper lip, what made her nibble her bottom lip, what made her pulse quicken, made her heart drum in her chest…
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