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Hello again readers! Hopefully you’re enjoying the story so far! I promise this will be the last chapter that does not have sex of some sort in it. This is however, probably the most important chapter, so make sure you’re reading everything in order! Enjoy.
Chapter Six — Shifting Tides
For the first time in a long time as I wake up, I feel at complete peace. The dawn also brings a realization, I love Destinee. She’s the first thought I have when I wake up, and I’m quick to replace it as I roll over to hug the gorgeous girl sleeping next to me… and my hand passes through the empty air. My eyes snap open, wide awake, and I find a carefully written note on the pillow.
Sorry for bailing, Brandon. I had an amazing time last night, don’t worry. I just forgot in all the fun that I have a test this afternoon. I put my number in your phone though. You better call me soon, I know where you live, after all.
Her threat brings a deep chuckle and I roll over to grab my phone off of the bedside table. I decide not to be an idiot and try to play it cool, shooting her a quick text.
Me: Good morning, beautiful. Shame about your test, I was looking forward to taking your sexy little ass to breakfast. Good luck!
It’s only a little past nine, so I lazily got up and went through my morning rituals; shave, a shower, brush my teeth, take a piss. Destinee is awake as I head out to the kitchen to make breakfast. She flashes me a knowing grin. “I heard you had a good time last night. Who was the cutie who slipped out earlier?”
I grin, relieved she wasn’t annoyed with me or something. We hadn’t really discussed me having anyone over, but clearly, she didn’t care. I was almost disappointed though, I half expected her to be jealous. I realize instantly how stupid that is.
“Lexeigh, a girl I met last night at the bar. We hit it off pretty good. I think there may actually be some potential.”
Wishful thinking most likely, but I could swear Destinee’s smile faltered just the slightest bit. I shake it off, giving her a small hug before slipping past to make some oatmeal. I can feel her gaze on me for a few moments as she pours a bowl of cereal and takes it to the couch. “That’s awesome. Thanks for giving Zach and I some space last night, he really missed me apparently.”
My laugh is genuine, and I quickly join her on the couch as she turns the news on the plasma. “I’m sure. He didn’t want to stick around? I’d like a chance to get to know him if you two are really getting serious.”
She nodded, quiet for only a moment. “He’s not really the spooning type. Besides he had to work the morning shift today.”
“Oh yeah, you guys work together. I remember you saying that. I don’t think I actually know where you work though.”
She shrugged nonchalantly, finally seeming to relax as she settled against my shoulder. “Nothing fancy, customer service at a department store.”
My nod is interrupted as I notice the segment of the news report. Destinee is only confused by my sudden lack of attention for a second before she gasps in similar realization. They were talking about El Chapo’s trail. Names of other cartel members were starting to come out, and the Mexican and American governments were coming together in what was becoming the largest drug crackdown in recent history.
“Damn.” She glances my way nervously, probably wrestling with the same question going through my mind. I know her well enough. “I doubt the names of any runners are gonna surface. They’re after the big dogs.”
Destinee nods soberly, finishing the rest of her cereal in an uncomfortable silence. It gets noticeable enough that I finally have to sit down my bowl and turn to her. I take her hand in mine, ignoring the warm tingle that pulses up my arm. “Hey, it’s done and over with, alright? I’m off the grid and safe now.”
She tries to smile, but her concern is still blatant. I drop her hand after a moment, polishing off the rest of my own bowl. “So, any plans for today?”
I shrug. “Not really. I was thinking about going to see my mom and John to let them know I’m okay and stuff. I might also try to take Lexeigh out for dinner if she’s free.”
She smiled, relieved for the change of topics. “That’s a promising idea, BJ talks all the time about missing you. I know she’s worried, and I haven’t talked to her since you showed up. Maybe I’ll join you. I’m off today.”
Spending the day with my sis is appealing, even if I’m trying to fight my feelings. Plus, not having to get taxis or an Uber sounds downright fantastic. “I’d be glad for the back up actually. Oh, I also want to go to the dealership. I really need to get a new car soon.”
That perks her right up, grinning at me like a kid in a candy store. “I’m coming with. I know you loved dad’s Firebird, but that car needed to be put to rest a while ago. What are you thinking about?”
“Oh, you know, a nice soccer-mom minivan or something like that.” She punched my shoulder with a slight pout, antalya escort bringing a deep laugh from me. “Alright, no violence needed. I’m not sure, maybe a Lexus or Corvette or something. Probably a newer model. Although I’m supposed to keep a low profile, so maybe less flashy.”
We chatter amicably for a while, before she headed to her room to get dressed for the day. She practically shoved me out the door and into her car, somehow more eager than me to buy a new car. Four dealerships, a lot of salesman later, I settled on a 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Classica in a deep red. It only had half the little horses my Firebird had, but its handling was epic on the test drive and as an Italian convertible it was plenty gorgeous. New it was priced at 25k, and Destinee watched in pure awe as I talked the dealer into dropping it to 20 for paying in cash.
She squealed in childlike delight as we dropped her car back at the apartment and I let her drive to Altoona to go surprise my mom at work. We managed to get her right before her lunch break, and she practically burst out of the office doors to pull me into a tearful hug.
“Brandon! I had no idea you were back!”
I chuckled, startled as I noticed her dyed hair was starting to get a bit of gray in it. “Good to see you mom. I’ve been staying with Destinee for about a week, thought we’d surprise you for lunch.” They hugged as well, and we went down the street to this little ma-and-pa diner called Joe’s.
She called dad halfway through as we caught up, and I had to admit that it felt good to be back with family. We talked for a while playing catch-up, and I found myself wondering just why I had been avoiding it. Even Mikayla was all but a distant memory, not even mentioned once. When we dropped mom back off at work everyone was all smiles.
With a groan, Destinee surrendered the keys back to me and hoped in the passenger seat. It was too tempting to resist hopping over the door into the convertible. I looked over as she got a call, “it’s Zach’s lunch break. You mind chilling for a bit so I can take this?”
I nodded, my good spirits high enough that it didn’t even bother me. As she talked softly next to me, I played with a few apps on my phone. Fifteen minutes into their conversation, a soft argument began about something I wasn’t part of, so I excused myself for a brief walk around the block. Coincidental timing kicking in, I finally noticed I had missed a text notification at some point and grinned as I opened my messages. She had named herself Lex <3 in my phone, in my rush this morning I hadn't even noticed it.
Lex <3: Just got out of class. I couldn't stop thinking about you during the test, but I think I did well, nonetheless. Last night was incredible and thank you for being a gentleman. Told ya I'm a lightweight. If you're free tonight we should do something.
Excitement washing over me, I circle the block twice as I think over a response, glancing occasionally at Destinee to check if she’s done or not yet.
Me: Sounds good. How about a laid-back dinner at Outback at 7? I finally got off my ass and bought a new car, so I can pick you up.
On my third circle, Destinee motioned that she was done, and I hopped back in. “You alright? Sounded like you guys were about to get into it?”
Destinee had a strange look on her face that I couldn’t instantly read, which was fairly surprising for her. She shrugged, not really meeting my gaze in a dejected kind of way. Their quarrel must’ve been bigger than I initially thought. “I’m fine. Zach’s just being a douche for no reason. Let’s just go home.”
For a moment I’m tempted to push her a little to find out what about, but she’s obviously distressed. I shrug with a nod and start the car. “You can drive if it’ll make you feel better.”
Much to her chagrin she breaks into a smile at the offer. Her gaze is adoring as she nods, “you always say the sweetest things.”
With a laugh I get out and swap seats. She peals out onto the street and heads to the highway, blatantly ignoring the speed limit. I’m a little proud that my do-gooder little sis actually turned out somewhat like me even despite the time gap.
We’re quiet the drive home, just listening to the radio companionably. My mind isn’t quiet though, to my disappointment. Once again, I find myself glancing over at her occasionally in moments where I’m sure she’s busy watching the road. The sunlight streaming on her red hair as it billows in the wind gives it an almost ethereal glowing quality. The well-tanned skin of her neck is soft and smooth and perfect. I’m not even sure where the though comes from that I find myself thinking her neck is sexy.
Not just her neck though. My baby sister grew up drop-dead gorgeous. An Amazonian goddess or something, especially as her hair whips about dramatically in the wind, the bright sunlight bathing her. “You are so freaking beautiful.”
I don’t even realize the words actually slipped out of my lips as my face flushed alanya escort a deep scarlet. Luckily the words were drowned out between the wind and music, but I screamed at myself inwardly. I needed to get over this shit, we weren’t kids anymore. My baby sister was just that, always and forever. Even if somehow, she had managed to hold onto the same feelings for me through the years, it still wouldn’t matter.
One cannot simply be in love with their sibling. It just can’t happen. Shit, I realize the brutal truth of what my mind just let slip. Was that really what I was feeling? Was it not just a confusion of feelings leftover unresolved from what happened between us years ago? Could I really be in love with Destinee? I had never been in love with anyone, except when I came close with Mikayla. There was just always some nagging suspicion in the back of my head with her that never allowed me to quite fully dive all the way in. Now though… I’m not even sure.
Shit, in my self-reflection, I’m not aware that I’ve been staring at her this entire time. She glances over at me with a self-conscious smile. It’s a bit strange to see actually, she always seems so sure of herself. Confident. This smile was anything but though. “What’s up, Brandon?”
I turn my head for a moment to hide the fact that I’m flushing, watching the road for a minute or two before answering. “Nothing, sorry, Des. It just keeps hitting me how much I’ve missed you.”
She briefly squeezed my hand before returning it to the wheel. “I’ve missed you too, big bro. Sorry for letting my relationship dysfunction spoil our day. I promise I’m all yours again for a few hours.”
Her choice of words do nothing to assuage my guilt over the thoughts I’m having, but I force a soft chuckle. “It’s all good. Zach seems like an alright dude. You want to talk about it?”
I doubt she’ll actually give me an answer based on her silence for a long few moments. I’m caught off-guard as she clicks the radio off and sighs. “I don’t want to, but maybe I should.” I glance over at her, but she makes a point of keeping her eyes straight ahead. “He’s known bits and pieces, but last night I finally told Zach everything… That when we were kids, you were my first kiss, and that there was a period of time when we explored each other a bit. I also told him that I had a massive crush on you up until I was fourteen and the fight over Mikayla.”
Barely able to draw a deep breath, I kept dead silent as she continued. “I mean, it was nine fucking years ago after all. Obviously, we both grew up and out of it as the real world hit. He was understanding for the most part, just a little weirded out. Which was expected. We had sex and I thought that meant it was dropped. Today he’s being all weird and jealous though, asking me shit like what all firsts we had and stuff.”
She still hadn’t looked over at me, the venom in her voice making me regret I had even asked. I was proud of her for being able to be honest with someone but had mixed feelings about Zach. As a guy, I could understand being a bit freaked out since I was living with her now. Inwardly though, no matter how hard I tried to force the thought away, I was a bit vainly glad that they fought. It was as pointless as it was frustrating.
The good brother in me finally managed to win out, albeit barely. “I’m sorry, Destinee. I never meant to cause strife on the home front. Do you need me to find somewhere else to stay so you guys can patch things up? I mean, I don’t want to lose you after just finally getting you back in my life, but your happiness is more important to me, ya know?”
She was silent as she took the exit off the highway and turned onto the main street. It wasn’t until we pulled onto the street and parked that she finally gazed my way, her expression serious. “No. I think I may love Zach, but I agree. I only just got you back. It’s only been, what, a few days and it feels like the last nine years barely happened. I’ll figure things out with him. I think he just needs a chance to warm up to you a bit first.”
I flashed my best reassuring smile and we headed up to the apartment. It was only just now past four, and Lexeigh hadn’t texted back. Destinee settled for watching a movie, which I agreed to in earnest, torn between wanting to see Lex again and wanting to hang out with my sister. She popped in Rocky Horror Picture Show, which had been our favorite movie since forever, and we settled onto the futon with her leaning against my side. If I’m being honest with myself, the warmth that flooded me feeling her toned body against mine was all I almost the only thing I could focus on.
After a little bit of time passes, I can feel she’s starting to get uncomfortable. My ensuing off comes out strangely nervous, “is it okay if we cuddle like we used to? Or is that weird?”
I swear she lets out the tiniest sigh of relief as she smiles eagerly at me. “No way its weird.” I grin back and wrap my arm around her belek escort slender waist as she settles more comfortably against me. God, I feel guilty about how nice it feels to have my arm around her.
I’m brought out of my distracted thoughts as we watch the movie, coming to my favorite scene right after Dr. Frank N. Furter creates Rocky Horror and before Meat Loaf’s song. Destinee jumps a little in surprise as I break out with the song near her ear.
“The sword of Damocles is hanging over my head.” I take the same deep, dramatic inhale as Rocky and Destinee turns to watch me with rapt attention as she grins. She always used to love me singing. “And I’ve got the feeling someone’s gonna be cutting the thread.”
My grin is victorious as she joins in with fake resignation. “Oh, woe is me. My life is a misery.”
Grinning like idiots, the chorus of both our voices joins the TV, “Oh, can’t you see that I’m at the start of a pretty big downer.”
Reflexively she’s already scooting out of the way before I can jump to my feet and start dramatically mimicking running around the apartment. Destinee sits up to cross her legs dramatically. Nine years had no effect on us clearly.
“I woke up this morning with a start when I fell out of bed—”
“That ain’t no crime—” She’s assumed the roles of Magenta and Columbia now.
“And left from my dreaming was a feeling of unnamable dread—”
“That ain’t no crime—”
“My,” a dramatic pause as I turn back to her “high is low. I’m dressed up with no place to go, and all I know, is I’m at the start of a pretty big downer.”
I collapse back next to her with a fit of giggles, the movie temporarily forgotten as she cracks up even harder than me. Every time I look at or we can almost stop giggling, one of us cracks up again for the next few minutes. Finally, I managed to heave my way to a cough and stop laughing as she throws her arms around me.
“God, I’ve missed you Brandon. You have no idea.” I muss her hair, wrapping my arms around her protectively.
“Oh, trust me, I do. Life’s just not the same without my Columbia.” This earns me a playful punch to the arm as she slowly pulls away to settle back against my side.
We finish the rest of the movie cuddling slightly, singing along and reminiscing on old times. I’m almost disappointed when my phone dings almost at the same time hers does and we finally sit back up.
Lex <3: Can't do tonight, sadly. Jessica, one of my roomies you met, had a bad breakup. I gotta run girl support. How about I come over tomorrow?
I glance over at Destinee, but she’s busy answering her own text with a frustrated look.
Me: I fully understand, it’s alright, beautiful. Tomorrow works, go be a good roommate lol.
Destinee tossing her phone onto the couch next to her with an annoyed groan pulls my attention away. “What’s wrong, sis?”
She shrugs, turning back to me. “Nothing. Zach’s just still being a butt-head. He’s on his way home now to change and then is coming over.”
I try to study her face but can’t really get a read on what she’s thinking. I settle for a sympathetic nod. “Well I don’t have plans tonight, so it’ll give us a chance to talk a bit. Maybe I can assuage whatever issues he’s having.”
She glances briefly to my phone screen before nodding. “Lex bail on you?”
I should be surprised she deduced that so quickly, but she is a girl after all. I swear they have some kind of sixth sense for that kind of thing. “Yeah, her roommate had a bad breakup or whatever. So, you’re stuck with me as referee tonight.”
“Good. If he keeps this up, you may end up hiding a body for me.” My near grin is cut off by the rather serious tone of her voice. She made it sound like a genuine threat.
She got up and headed back to her room to get a quick shower and change as I flipped the TV back to cable and channel surfed for a while. It seemed like I only just settled on a western-style Hallmark movie when there was a knock at the door. I could still hear the sounds of the shower drifting down the hall, so I got up and answered it.
I was caught off-guard when it wasn’t Zach like I expected. My heart dropped and jumped in the same second as I came face-to-face with a tall, middle-aged man in a gray Armani suit. His black hair was slicked back with grease, weathered skin painted with a no-nonsense expression. “Brandon Sky?” his deep voice boomed out at me.
A had to swallow past the lump in my throat to draw a breath, suddenly painfully aware that I no longer had a gun. I glanced back over my shoulder to make sure the shower hadn’t stopped before stepping outside with the man. “Who’s asking?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.” He handed me a thick, USPS style-package with a pained tolerance, although it was devoid of any markings. Clearly, he was someone who didn’t like the fact that someone else was making him play errand-boy. “Joey sends his regards and that he’s glad you’re feeling better. Big D was shot during a raid, and our ‘friends’ were forced off the grid. The accident in Pittsburgh was taken care of, and nothing should tie back to you. Romanov was impressed with you, so his gift and the rest of your severance are in the package. Your services are no longer needed.”
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