My Brother’s Keeper Ch. 02

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“You got ‘er, man?”

I nodded, frowning as he reached up to mess my hair, moving to stand beside me with a smirk. With his head, he gestured back to Jean Marie, his smirk growing into a grin. “What?” I half spat. I didn’t mean to sound so bitter, not to a guy I knew could kick my ass, easy. It just came out that way.

“She’s down for the count, ya know,” he said, his eyes going back to Jean Marie again. “Be out for hours, for sure.”

I forced a frown, wanting to look disgusted with what he’d said. But deep inside—inside, my head swam, my chest pound and my lungs felt like they were on fire every time I breathed. Under my palms I could feel the liquor warmed skin of Jean Marie’s thighs, so warm against my own cold skin that it made my already clammy palms sweat. Ah, God, it was sweet!

A suck of my teeth was all that I could manage, even though I could barely manage that! Looking to my sister, I heard her drunken barks from across the way, this time directed towards the one who’d helped me.

“Back the fuck off, Dee!” she yelled, chucking her empty bottle towards his head.

Dee laughed, ducking. “What?!” he yelled back to her, still laughing.

“You’re just as sick a fuck as the rest of ’em!” Candie cursed, calming only the slightest when she was taken in Caine’s arm. He was the only other one ‘sides Jean Marie that could keep my sister on the level.

But it was Caine who winked to me as I looked up to meet his eyes. I didn’t know him—not really—much less, what he expected of me. The others all made it clear—painfully clear. But with Caine… It wasn’t easy to read a guy like him. It was the same from all the times that I had seen him. He was always all over my sister, groping at her, sucking at her lip. But if someone told me to read his expression and tell ’em how he really felt about my sister, I’d be damned if I could tell the truth. He was just that unreadable. One of those dark, blank slates, ya know? Yeah, just like that.

“Go, already!” Candie yelled, kicking the toe of her shoe into the ground for whatever good that did.

“Yeah, I’m goin’!”

It was kind of easy going through the woods on that high path, with my sister and the others to my back. My back. I could feel Jean Marie’s dead weight, but not so heavy. Her chin was resting, half wobbling on my shoulder, but I could feel her breath from time to time along my neck, though for the most part, on the back of my ear. It made me cold. Didn’t matter the temperature of the air or the body heat between us. Still my spine was cold. And no matter how hard I might have tried, I just couldn’t seem to shake it.

Making my way down the slight hill, I stumbled some and she groaned, burying her face in my neck, causing me to catch my breath and stumble again. “Sorry!” I gasped, hoisting her up some on my back and adjusting my hold on her…only to feel as my hands took a hold of flesh I hadn’t meant to touch. “Sorry,” I breathed again, though I didn’t move my hands—For fear of dropping her is how I convinced myself.

“S’okay.”

Hearing her voice in my ear, my eyes got wide and I stopped where I stood to take a moment. I could feel it in my chest, though my heart had skipped in my chest just the same. She was awake, I couldn’t believe it. And her breath, I could feel it clear as anything across my neck, and her lips against my skin as she had spoke. It made me shiver. Putting one foot in front of the other, I forced myself to start forward again. But it was as I walked that I felt the trembling of my skin under my clothes. And I wondered—I couldn’t help but to—if she could feel my trembling, too.

Though the hike back up the hill was a pain, it didn’t take long for me to get her back to the house. Getting her comfortable once in—that was another story completely.

By the time we’d gotten back, my mom was already in the bed, her door closed. So was my little brother—well, somewhat. I guess I’d closed the door a little too hard because by the time I was crouching down to sit her in the livingroom armchair, he was coming from his room, the backs of his hands rubbing at his eyes.

“Go back to bed,” I told him, turning just slightly to make sure she was sitting up okay. Slumping a bit, but she was okay. That’s when I looked back to my little brother, his own eyes looking past me and around the room.

“Where’s Candie?” he asked, his eyes still heavy and tired.

“She’s still out with her friends,” I told him as I made my way to the couch, clearing off all the stuff. “Go to bed. You’ll see her in the morning, okay?”

Out of the corner of my eye I watched him, watched him as he looked over to Jean Marie who still sat in resting. Fascinated by the bunny ears that were still crooked on her head, he reached out and touched at them, causing them to fall off her head and into her lap. Then he looked back to me. I didn’t say anything to him, didn’t know what to say. I guess he felt the same way. I didn’t watch him as he turned and walked away, too wrapped up in folding casino oyna out the couch. But I heard him go back to his room, closing the door behind him.

Once he was gone, I wasn’t sure why, but I felt as if it was suddenly easier to breathe. I stopped beside the armchair, looking down at Jean Marie and her hair that was in a tangle of multi-colored curls, a few of them covering her eyes. Hesitantly, I reached to push them back and even pulled from the tangle a caught leaf.

Moving on, it was easy enough for me to take out a couple of pillows and a blanket for her, setting them up for her to go to bed. That was all the easy part.

It was the getting her into the bed that was more difficult than I would have thought.

Taking her by the arms, I pulled her to stand upright, though she easily fell forward against me. I groaned somewhat and stepped back, pulling her along with me. It was another struggle for me to kneel, and to reach for her legs to pick her up. Sometimes I wonder just how a person—a single person—can be so clumsy, and then this happened to me. It was just like in some movie, the way I fell back and she fell on top of me. Candie would have called me a liar, and would have sworn I’d done it on purpose. And I guess, somehow, I had, though I wouldn’t have admitted to it then.

But she was on top of me, lying there, as if nothing was wrong, as if it was the natural thing to do. She was comfortable, breathing light, shifting only slightly, and I could feel it. Feel her as she rubbed against me, her bare thighs over my jeans. I hadn’t noticed it before, just how short the skirt of her costume really was, not until that moment.

My hands were shaking as I moved them, I couldn’t feel anything else—not really. I swallowed hard as I moved both my hands below my waist, below hers, reaching for her hips, that were bare, that didn’t come as any surprise to me. I mean, we’d fallen back pretty hard, there wasn’t any way that she could have fallen as hard as she had and her skirt not fly up.

“God…!”

I swallowed hard, tilting back my head as I took in breath after breath, my hands reaching for her skirt, the bottom of it, feeling for it quickly, nervously. It was a search that seemed to last forever, something as simple as the bottom of a skirt. And with as small an amount of fabric as there was, you wouldn’t think it would be something that would make the ‘hard to find’ list. Finally, thankfully, I found it, and pulled it down with a yank. I moved one arm under hers, then the other and pulled her up higher, gnashing my teeth as I felt her slide against me. With her head resting under my chin, breathed a sigh of relief as she purred and moved against me. She was, thankfully, still asleep.

Moving only one hand I wrapped the arm around both her legs, curling just slightly under her, turning to hold her closer, as if I was gonna lift and carry her across the room. But I didn’t, there wasn’t a need. Instead I moved myself back, taking her along with me across the mattress of the fold out, further and further back until I dropped her head to rest on top of a pillow, dropping my own head onto my outstretched arm as I gave an exhausted sigh.

Closing my eyes I lay there, just lay there. Not really thinking of anything, just—laying. I could feel her breath across my face as she breathed, soft and slow, though at times she would snore a bit, and I’d laugh. Finally I opened my eyes, looking over her face. I imagined her eyes opened, looking back at me, her lips smiling. I imagined her talking to me, in a voice that no one else could hear. Just me and her, there together for as long as we liked. It made my face red to think that I even thought about things like that, and for a minute I thought that I was sick in the head, ya know, wanting my sister’s friend.

Wanting her. I guess that’s what it was, what made my jeans uncomfortable then.

Damn, I had to get up.

I was careful as I crawled over her, being careful not to move her, disturb her, wake her up in any way. It wasn’t until my feet were on the floor that I exhaled the breath I’d been holding, glancing briefly back and over my shoulder to Jean Marie, making sure she was still asleep. She was. Facing forward again I yawned, stretching both my arms above me. I was tired, for so many reasons I was tired.

As I made my way down the short distance of the hall to my room, I thought about Jean Marie, lying there, sleeping. I thought about me, and how she made me feel—more so tonight than any other time she had come over. I mean, before it was just a smile, a simple joke made, the way she bonded with my sister and my mom so easy. She bonded with them, so why not me? And feeling her against me as I had…

“Aaaah!” Stepping over the toys and cloths that were in the floor, I got to my room and closed the door behind me. I was through. She wasn’t my friend, she was my sister’s. She wasn’t my problem, she was Candie’s. And anyway, she’d be gone in the morning, and I wouldn’t have to put canlı casino up with her and her drunken ways until the next time she was over, which was a long time coming, I was sure.

It was that thought alone that made me rest easy.

I’d heard it in my sleep, the sound of someone moving around in the bathroom. I couldn’t help but to hear it, my bedroom sharing a wall with the bathroom. I don’t know why it woke me up then, why it kind of shook my nerves, but it did. ‘Course, it didn’t really wake me up, not fully, just enough so that I was awake enough to know what that sound, that familiar sound, was, even the water as it was run in the sink. Then silence. Once the silence came back I was shifting in my bed, deep as I was getting back into a comfortable enough position to sleep again.

But then…Something wasn’t right, something just seemed off. And I opened up my eyes then as I listened to the silence, the unsteady silence—that eerie kind of silence that you hear or don’t hear—that you notice in a movie just before someone’s gutted, or before somethin jumps out of the dark. It was that creepy silence that kept you up, knowing that something was about to happen.

Quick as I could without making a sound, I sat up in bed, my eyes hard fixed on the closed door of my room. There was someone out there, whoever it had been in the bathroom. I knew the footsteps hadn’t sounded right, like there wasn’t enough to carry anyone any right distance back to wherever they had been sleeping, except for me. And I was already in bed.

My doorknob was tapped, then jiggled, and for a minute, it even sounded as if someone had run into the door. Not hard or anything, just enough to let them know that they hadn’t opened up the door all the way. Usually, I’d find something like that funny, and I’d be laughin’ my ass off for hours. But I didn’t know who it was, not even when the door was opened. All I could do was watch—or rather listen, listen to whoever it was as they came into my room, closing the door behind them. Then I heard them giggle, and it was the sweetest sound, sweeter than anything—Well, I was at ease in no time. I knew the tone of the giggle, who it belonged to. But still my chest pound, throbbed and ached in its odd way. I mean, I knew who it was by now, I knew even without seeing their face, but I was still a nervous wreck.

“I’m such a klutz,” I heard her say, leaning her back against the door. Even as dark as it was, I could just make out her form—just slightly. But it was enough.

“Jean Marie?” The name was out of my mouth before I could even think it, and I heard her giggle again.

“Bingo.”

My room was a wreck, and I liked it the way that it was, except for then. Then, I cursed myself for having it as messy as it was, total chaos, the wake of the storm. I listened as she stepped carefully across the room, taking her time, stumbling back again and again, but she kept coming forward, persistent. Finally she was there, standing at the foot of my bed. She was in what little light was coming into my room from the window. Not much, as many trees and whatever that was outside. But I could see her better now, and she could see me.

“I just wanted to thank you, ya know?” She started to crawl onto my bed then, on her hands and knees as she made her way beside me to lie down. I couldn’t say anything, couldn’t protest, and couldn’t object. I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I watched her lay down beside me, her back to me and her face to the wall, curled up there as if that’s where she belonged. “You didn’t have to carry me all the way back here, but ‘cha did.”

She was drunk, still drunk. It was the only excuse, the only thing that could explain the here and now. I was shaking, like a leaf, I was shaking beside her. Even though she wasn’t touching me I could feel her, the heat that came from her body. And suddenly, all the rest of the room seemed cold. It made me shake and catch my breath.

She laughed.

“You really held your own out there, against the ass-holes Candie and me call friends.” She didn’t look back to me while she talked, she only lay there, comfortable as I had been before she’d come in. “I think they were even jealous, a few of them. The guys. Not Caine, though; he’s all Candie’s.” She giggled. “Candie and Caine, ya know? Candy-cane.”

Unable to do anything else, I lay back against the headboard of the bed, my eyes still fixed on her unblinking.

“He’s all hers; not to be touched.”

“And—and you?” Finally I had found my voice, and I was grateful for it. I would have been lost if I hadn’t been able to say anything back, I would have been uncomfortable in the silence of the situation, ready to scream if nothing else. And then where would I have been?

She laughed a bit at that, though it wasn’t as much a laugh as it was a kind of careless breath. “Me? I’m still up for grabs, I guess.”

“What about the other two guys? The one that called you his girl?”

This made her really laugh, and I could see kaçak casino her body shake as she laughed at that. “Don’t like him, don’t want anything to do with him. There’s a few things I like about him, but not enough, ya know?” I watched her shoulders as they rose and fell in a shrug. “There’s some things I could do with him, some things I might even really want again and again. But it isn’t worth it, not for the way he acts–,”

She stopped then, and I looked at her like a radio station suddenly gone dead. She was asleep, I thought at first. Had fallen asleep in mid-talk. But then she began to laugh, more than she had before then, but quiet enough so that only the two of use would hear.

“I’m talking too much. I’m sorry.” Slowly she rolled over to face me, I could see the smile on her face, her eyes half closed and heavy. She was tired—either that, or she was still drunk. “You don’t wanna know about all this. Doesn’t mean anything to you, does it?”

I shrugged. I didn’t know what to say, what she expected me to say. I just watched her, then, as she moved to sit up beside me. She wavered back and forth where she sat, too; though just a little bit. All I could do was watch her as she reached out for me, as she took my face in her hands and pulled me closer to her. I could feel her breath against my lips; warm, and it smelled of liquored lemons. But I liked it, don’t know why, but I liked it.

“My keeper,” she whispered, her words slightly slurred. I blushed beneath the touch of her hands. It was strange being so close to her. “You’re so sweet, bringing me home the way you did.” She leaned in more, then, until she touched her lips to mine. Light at first, then harder.

I could feel my eyes go wide as she put her tongue in my mouth, and I could taste whatever it was she’d been drinking. I liked that, too. I hadn’t noticed until then that she had changed some time in between when I had put her down and now. Now she was wearing a T-shirt, really big on her, falling to just over her knees. I only noticed because of the way she moved then, to straddle over my legs as she kept her hands on my face. She tasted good—her kisses, I mean. I mean, I wasn’t really into that kind of thing, drinking and boozing. That was her bag, hers and my sisters. But it was kind of sweet, tasting it through her; kind of a buzz to my senses.

It wasn’t until she started to pull back, breaking her kiss, that I realized just how much I’d been enjoying that taste, scrutinizing it, trying to place and identify it. My back kinda’ hit hard against the wall behind me as she let go of my face. I hadn’t realized just how much she’d been supporting me, holding me close and all as she had been. I’d gone weak in her hands, ya know? Like I was sleep walking, or sleep sitting. And it wasn’t until she’d let me go that I was suddenly awake enough to realize that I hadn’t been awake at all. At least, not mentally. It woke me up, the feeling of my head hitting against the thick of the wall, but it didn’t hurt. And all I could see was Jean Marie as she smiled to me through the dark. She never took her eyes from mine as her hands dropped down to rest in her lap, and she laughed some as she watched me watch her.

“You look scared,” I heard her whisper. And I shook my head, trying my hardest not to look like the damned virgin that I was. But she could see through it, I knew she could. Hell, even I could have seen through something so stupid. “Don’t be,” she assured me, laughing again as I swallowed hard enough for her to hear. “I won’t bite you.” She shrugged. “I mean, not unless you want me to or anything…”

I wanted to laugh, but I wasn’t sure. I mean, my sister and Jean Marie—they were into that sort of thing, with the vampires and blood and the—occult—or something. At least, it’s what I’d heard people talk about behind their backs whenever they looked the part. So here and now, it was only normal that I kind of had to think about things like that, wondering if she would bite me if given the chance, just to hear me scream—or something.

“Don’t worry so much,” she whispered, her hand raising from her lap, her fingers smoothing over my cheek. Bit it was the tip of her finger across my lip that made me shudder. “And you’re thinking, I can tell.” Smiling, she shook her head. “Don’t.”

Leaning back again, just enough for her to sit upright, I watched her hand reach for the bottom of the T-shirt, inching it up slightly at first, just enough to show off her bare legs. But she’d been sitting on part of the shirt I guess, as she started to wiggle over my legs, moving forward and back as she was pulling it from under her, then gradually up and over her head, smiling as she put it to the side. In my chest I could hear my heart, hear it as it swelled and shrank as fast as it could, pushing the blood through my body at a speed I’d never felt before. Feel, I could feel it, every bit of it as it ran through me, hot and thick, like a fire that moved under my skin. She wasn’t wearing much of anything under the shirt, I came to find out, just something that barely held on her hips, riding low. With the shirt off and to the side, it was all that she wore, if you could really call it something to wear; after all, it wasn’t much.

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