Brother-in-Awe Ch. 05

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Chapter 5 – “O Sister, How Art Thou?”

She could hear people passing the bathroom door and stopping to assess the weeping sounds coming from inside. Vanessa sat on the toilet stool, sobbing uncontrollably. She was wearing a black dress, and her blonde, silky hair flawlessly tied in a round bun. While crying, Vanessa would unroll large amounts of toilet paper in her hand and wipe the tears from her face, lifting her ass from time to time to drop the soaked tissues and pull the water, taking the opportunity to let some of her grief out, through a sharp yet restrained wailing. As she tried desperately to control her sobbing, she heard a soft knock on the door.

“Tess?” A male voice questioned.

“I’ll be right out, Brian.” She responded, getting up and fixing her makeup by the mirror next to the sink.

“Everyone is leaving.” Brian stated, his voice begging for her presence.

“Just a sec.” She rushed. “Jesus…” She uttered, vexed. She opened the door to find Brian.

There he stood, his towering body hovering over her, hands on his back, his raven hair in a bun, and his gentle smile waiting for her. She immediately melted and jumped into his arms. He held her small frame inside his embrace as he softly caressed her back. She sobbed.

“It’s going to be ok. I’m here.” He promised.

“Where’s James?” She inquired.

“In his room. I think he got tired of being asked if he’s ok.” Brian reported.

Vanessa nodded as she pulled away from Brian. She turned towards the stairs and went up to the second floor. Crossed a small corridor and stood by the first door to the right. She took a deep breath and turned the doorknob. Inside, James lay on the bed, his body shrunken into a fetal position. As she got close, she could see his back convulse from the crying. She stood on the edge of the bed, staring at her young brother suffering.

“Hey kid…can I join you?” She asked. Having no response from James, she climbed onto the bed and lay next to him, slowly pushing herself closer to him, spooning his tense body. They lay there together in stillness for a few minutes. “So…guess it’s just you and me now, hum?” She questioned, trying to force James out of his silence. “You were never the talker…” She razzed. Another long silence took hold of them. “You know I love you, right?” She expressed, making her grip on him stronger.

“I know.” James uttered from under her, his voice feeble.

“We’ll get through this. I have your back, ok?” She vowed. James nodded, and after a couple of minutes, he fell asleep under the motherly embrace of his sister.

A couple of weeks later, Vanessa received a call to go to the small law firm where she was working, also in charge of managing her parents’ assets. As she entered the small conference room, she looked around to find three men, poorly dressed and twitching their pens on their fingers as they glanced at her sternly. A relatively older man entered the room and came to greet Vanessa.

“Tess, honey!” He said amicably. “How have you and James been holding up?” He questioned, placing his fat, greasy hand on her shoulder.

“We’re…ok. Can I ask what this is about?” She questioned, scanning the room.

“Well, as you know, your parents weren’t the most organized people. In the wake of their tragic and sudden passing, they did leave a rather unfortunate situation to resolve…” The man seemed uneasy and uncomfortable. “We called you here today to inform you about said situation.” He expressed reluctantly.

“Shouldn’t James be here?” She stated as she sat down, staring at those men with their ill-fitted suits.

“Technically, James is still a minor and under your guard.” The greasy man countered.

“He’ll be 18 next month…what the hell is going on here?” She asked, now visibly peeved.

All the men stood there darting at Vanessa. One of them took his briefcase, smacked it loudly on the table, opened it, and took a piece of paper out. The greasy older man sat behind her.

“According to your parents’ finances, the mortgage on the house is roughly 900k at the moment.” One of the suits declared.

“What are you saying…?” Vanessa muttered, trying to disguise the cracks in her voice. “Are we losing the house?” She questioned.

“I don’t think you and your brother have the necessary income to maintain the house, so yes…I think selling might be the most rational solution at this point.” The lawyer replied. “They left you 300.000 thousand dollars and the SUV. But they haven’t fully paid the loan on the car yet.” One of the lawyers added.

“This is fucking unbelievable.” She fired back, her head collapsing on the table, barely held by her hands.

“And how much in legal fees will this little conversation be?” Vanessa stated as she shot from her chair. “I won’t do that. I can’t…James loves that house…” She stated, her hands on the table as she tried to keep her balance. “Fuck.” She uttered.

She left the office, defeated, and wandered the neighborhood for a couple of hours before Ankara bayan escort she decided to return to the house. As she stood there, looking at that big white house with the picket fence, Vanessa sobbed in desperation. But she knew she had to be strong for James, so she dried her tears and went inside. As soon as she stepped inside, she heard giggles upstairs. She went up the stairs, and midway through, she could sense that the noise was coming from James’ room, and as she got closer, she could hear Brian’s voice too. Vanessa put her hand over the half-opened door and pushed. There they were, James and Brian wrestling playfully on his bed. Brian was wearing only his shorts, his expansive, muscular back overpowering scrawny James, who wore his usual winter socks, some baggy shorts, and an oversized t-shirt. She stood there for a second, looking at them interacting together. Vanessa could not help but notice, as she had for some time now, how they seemed closer and more at ease when she was not around. She began scanning them almost in slow motion. How their skins grazed together, James’ lighter tones and smoothness against Brian’s fuzzy, darker complexion. How Brian’s hands tickled James’ body, and how they always seemed to find his most hidden recesses. How James’ hands scoured for Brian’s muscles, following them as they protruded from under his hard skin. How, at times, they would deliberately halt their movements and grind each other slowly, remaining undetectable to the naked eye. How their faces would always try to meet, as close as they could, and hovered mindlessly, coating each other with their breaths. And how, almost always, James would inhale and close his eyes as Brian breathed on him.

“Am I interrupting?” She questioned, breaking the boy’s playfulness.

“Hey, babe!” Brian voiced enthusiastically, turning around and hopping off the bed. As he did, Vanessa noticed his semi-hard dick bouncing inside his shorts. “How’d it go?” He questioned.

“Can we talk…in the other room? She said, staring at James’ who seemed aloof to her perception and absorbed as he gazed at Brian.

“Sure.” Brian replied. “Later, Bud!” He stated, smiling at James and sticking his tongue out cheekily. James beamed and fell back on his bed as he held the pillow between his thighs, likely hiding his boner.

Vanessa dragged Brian out of James’ room and explained the situation as she paced around her old room.

“Heavy shit.” Brian commented. “But you should talk with him about this.” He recommended.

“Jesus Brian, he’s a fucking kid.” Vanessa expressed in a condescending tone.

“I know you’re upset, but it’s his house too. And you should give James more credit. He’s a smart boy. And sensitive.” Brian refuted.

“Is he now…?” Vanessa noted with a sarcastic tone. “You seem to know a lot about my brother.” She reinforced.

“What the hell, Tess? I just listen to him. Geez.” Brian said, trying to stir her negativity away from the conversation.

“I’m so tired…” Vanessa admitted. “Let’s just get some sleep.” She declared.

That night, Brian didn’t engage sexually with her as he would normally. And Vanessa noticed it would happen whenever he spent time with James. She loved her brother. But something was stirring inside her. An uneasiness she was trying to mask and overcome.

A couple of weeks later, Vanessa sat down with James to discuss the house sale. James acknowledged the dire circumstances but showed worry about his situation.

“Ok. But…where will I be living then?” He inquired.

“You can stay at uncle Joseph and aunt Emma’s house.” She proposed, quickly realizing the panicked look on James’s face. “Or, you can come to live with Brian and me…? I mean, it’s not ideal. Our flat is the size of this living room. But we’ll manage for a while. Just until you get used to school and find a job. What do you say?” She asked, taking her slim fingers and lifting James’ chin to face her. His somber look gradually changed into a reluctant smile.

“It’s close to school… I can get a job and help out, too.” He said promptly.

“It’s a deal, kid.” She said, extending her hand for a shake. James reciprocated the gesture.

They spent the remaining week packing everything. Most furniture and their parents’ belongings were sold or allotted to charity. Despite the circumstances, the mood for the duration of their time in their childhood home was well spent. Brian would stop by in the morning and help them around. They would turn the music on and spend their time in silence or speak to each other about random and futile issues. From time to time, Vanessa would lose sight of Brian and James. She would scour the house and find them outside chatting. Every time that happened, she would feel a cold wave inside her, like an odd sense of foreboding. She would never admit it to herself, but it always bothered Vanessa how James looked at Brian. It wasn’t a fraternal look. Nor was it paternal. James looked at her boyfriend in Escort bayan Ankara awe. There was this forbidden layer that veiled their interactions. She stood there, looking at Brian’s hand on James’ shoulder, scrutinizing how his hand squeezed softly on it and how the boy’s body thawed as it did. How Brian’s smile, one of her favorite things about him, became even more charismatic and alluring around the boy and how Jame’s smile seemed to feed Brian’s. And how James’ awkwardness augmented around him. The boy’s discomfort wasn’t organic. It had underlying energy. Almost sexual. As much as Vanessa loved her brother, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was amiss. But a part of her wouldn’t accept that James was no longer a child and that inside that once innocent boy, there was a sexual being awakening.

A couple of months later, James moved into their flat. They gave James their spare room, and things seemed to work for a while. Vanessa started working as a partner in a law firm closer to their home. James began art school and had taken a job as a barista in a small coffee shop near it. Brian resumed his job as a bartender at a grandiloquent bar in the business district and usually did nights, which, as time went by, made her relationship with him more strained. She would arrive around the time Brian left for work, and on his nights off, they would spend some time together, albeit both extremely tired. Their sex life, however, was steady as Brian’s libido was positively unflinching. Throughout their relationship, Vanessa always managed to keep up with him, and she would do it willingly. Brian was a sex god and provided her with endless mindblowing orgasms. She knew she was envied by most women whenever she went out in public with him. Brian just had that manly quality and a particular radiance about him. The only thing Vanessa wished, was that he was more ambitious, like her.

About six months had passed since they sold the house, and Vanessa kept noticing James’ behavior around Brian becoming increasingly weirder. She would catch him gazing at Brian, often without him noticing it. He would also spend more time isolated in his room. One time, she was gathering dirty laundry from his room and passing through his small desk, she noticed a couple of drawings covered by a large black sketch case. Curiosity took the better of her, so she shoved the case sideways with her hand and found a nude male form drawn underneath. She was immediately taken aback by the resemblance between Brian and the man in the sketches. Her legs faltered, and she sat on the chair next to the desk. Was she overthinking this? Was James’ awkwardness around Brian hiding something deeper? Those drawings seeped sexual lust.

“Fuck.” She muttered to herself as she skimmed her hair with her hands, holding a basket of dirty laundry in her lap.

Later that week, on one of those rare occasions when James was doing a late shift and Brian, was on his day off, she approached him as they sat at the dinner table munching on some reheated pasta.

“I think James might be gay.” She stated, putting down her fork and looking straight at Brian.

“He is.” Brian replied nonchalantly. Vanessa couldn’t believe his response.

“You knew?” She questioned.

“He told me.” Brian responded as he took a big bite leaving a string of cheese dangling from his mouth.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She blurted, visibly upset.

“It’s not my place to tell, Tess.” Brian calmly said. “Question is, why didn’t he tell you?” He claimed.

“He could have told me.” She argued as she pushed her back against her chair crossing her arms.

“Tess, you haven’t exactly been there for him.” Brian stated, cleaning his mouth with the napkin and placing his elbows on the table, giving the conversation his full attention.

“Well, it’s good he has you then!” She squealed, regretting it immediately. Brian looked at her, disappointed.

“This isn’t about me, Tess. Navigating his sexuality and mourning at the same time. He needed someone. I was just there…” Brian explained.

“It’s good to know you’re there for him. Wish you would pay me the same courtesy.” She provoked.

“Really,Tess? I´ve been there. Every single fucking day. And I know you’re juggling a lot of shit yourself. But we’ve all been dealing with it.” Brian rebutted, his voice getting denser.

“You know what? Fine! Let’s just drop this. I have a headache. Let’s just clean this up and go to bed.” She said, standing up, grabbing her plate, and tossing it on the sink.

“Are you sure? There’s nothing else you wanna tell me?” Brian asked. But Vanessa remained silent.

As much as Vanessa regretted her outburst, the truth of the matter was her relationship with Brian was changing. She began hiding in her work, laboring extra hours at the office, the pressure of making partners building up around her. In turn, Brian started spending less time at home during his days off, hitting the gym and hanging out with some friends Bayan escort Ankara from work. They would still have sex every once in a while, but the spark was dwindling. Her relationship with her brother was also faltering. Despite her efforts to conceal her suspicions towards James, the fact was she began resenting him for the deterioration of her relationship with Brian. Even though James rarely interacted with him and on some occasions, even avoided his presence. But her mind was set and had planted a seed of doubt inside her.

Six months went by in a flash, and things weren’t getting any better as far as the mood inside the flat was concerned. And the proximity the small apartment provided seemed to dissolve the emotional bond between the three even more. Vanessa had just returned from a two-week business trip and texted her friend, Emily, inviting her for a coffee.

“Jesus Tess, you look like shit.” Emily bluntly stated.

“I feel like shit, so your statement is accurate…” Vanessa replied with a defeated tone. Emily looked at her for a brief moment. As their eyes met, Vanessa collapsed on the table, hands on her face, sobbing.

“I fucked up.” She uttered, her voice cracking. “I cheated on Brian.” She admitted.

“Jesus Tess…” Emily reacted, clearly disappointed. Even so, she reached over to her friend and held her hand across the table. “You have to tell him. Things between you guys are tense enough.” She reasoned.

“I’ll never forgive myself.” Her damped voice uttered. “The worst thing is…the day I got back, we had sex…” She paused as if searching for the words to express her unease. “But he wasn’t there, you know? He was inside me, but it felt like he was fucking somebody else.” She described.

“You think…?” Emily said but was quickly interrupted.

“No. Brian is not like that.” She denied, vehemently. “And you know me. I would know!” She guaranteed.

“Are we still up for Friday’s girls’ night?” Emily said enthusiastically, trying to cheer Vanessa up.

“Yeah, sure. I’m going to have a hard time convincing Brian though.” She declared. “He’s been so edgy lately. The only time he seems relaxed is around my brother James…” She said, feeling the words cut through her like a knife. She slanted back on the chair, her eyes locked on her coffee cup, and her lips pursed. “You know when that little voice in your head is telling you something, but you don’t want to hear it?” She asked.

“Yeah bitch, it’s called female intuition. Why? Do you suspect something?” Emily asked with a nosy grin.

“Nothing.” She noted vaguely. “Yet.”

Friday came, and as she had predicted, Vanessa and Brian got into an argument following his refusal to go out. Vanessa’s guilt was growing regarding her cheating, and she found herself lashing out as a coping mechanism. The truth was she couldn’t bring herself to tell him. James’ presence in the house made things tense, and she inadvertently began ostracizing him. She would try to recall a time when they were close, but that notion seemed distant and fleeting. She barely recognized James, and he seemed cold around her.

She eventually left alone, joining Emily and a few of her other friends. They had dinner, got pretty drunk, and hit the club after, where Vanessa danced, trying to shake off all her problems. She felt liberated and slightly less anxious. Some men hit on her as the night went on, but she paid them no mind. Her mental state was fragile enough with her business trip debacle. She eventually got weary and said goodbye to the girls, left the club, and grabbed a taxi home. She entered the building, went up the stairs, and opened the door to the flat. She instantly kicked off her high heels, trying not to wake the house, which was strangely serene. She tiptoed into her room to find the door open, which she found peculiar. As she reached the doorway, she saw Brian sleeping naked, stretched on the bed, facing up with one hand on his chest and the other on his crotch. She immediately froze. That was Brian’s after-sex position. He would always fall asleep like that after they had sex. She paused and took a few steps back. As she stood there, all the suspicions and fears started boiling. She turned her head to face James’ room. She walked there and stood outside the door. She sniffed the air, and suddenly her eyes broadened. She knew that smell. Cinnamon. Her hand sheathed her mouth as the involuntary gasp attempted to flee from inside. She went to the kitchen, next to the sink, and opened the dirty laundry basket to find that the shorts Brian was wearing when she left were there. She hesitated, knowing full well that what she was about to discover would make her suffer, and yet, Vanessa knew she had to press on. She took the shorts to her nose. The smell of Brian’s cum layered all over them. But mixed with something else. She didn’t have to think much about it to know. It was almond milk. And there was only one person that exuded that smell. James. Her body plunged to the kitchen floor, her arm hitting one of the chairs, making it drop to the ground. A primal scream boiled in her throat. But it seemed caged and unable to break free. As she tried to catch her breath, the lights in the kitchen popped. She looked behind her to find Brian standing there, stripped, his thick cock swinging, looking at her.

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