Making it WorkbyXarth©
I'm not sure exactly when it was I realized my step-father didn't think of me as his kid. I had always considered him to be my dad since he had been around since I was a baby and I never knew my real father. At some point though it started becoming more and more obvious to me that the feeling was not completely mutual. Not that he ever treated me badly growing up or anything, but there were little things that bothered me at times.
It was particularly clear to me when I watched him interact with my younger sister Julie, who recently turned eighteen. She was my half-sister really, but again she had always been a sister to me and that was the way I saw her. When he talked to her there was an obvious affection in his voice and in his eyes that I had never received.
If Julie and me hadn't gotten along the way we did I think it may have become a serious problem. As it was though I couldn't find it in me to resent her. Much like me she considered me to be her brother regardless of what our actual genes were and never made so much as an offhand remark about our parentage.
Which is not to say we didn't ever fight. I don't think anyone who grew up with one or more siblings can honestly say they have never fought about anything. The difference to me was that there was never any serious problem between us that lasted for any great length of time.
Possibly our closeness actually bothered dad because as we grew older he became more and more 'concerned' about us spending too much time together. We were absolutely not allowed to sleep in the same room and even if we did something like stay up late watching a movie he would stay up too until we went to bed despite it making him cranky the next day.
I didn't understand what that was all about until I was probably about sixteen or seventeen. To me of course Julie was not just another girl, but I don't think dad realized that. He didn't consider us true siblings and so he assumed that was the way we thought as well.
In my last year of high school dad mentioned me moving out quite frequently. When I decided to go to the local university however mom overruled him as she usually did when things got too out of hand between us. He grudgingly relented but started keeping an even closer eye on me. Things were only getting worse between us and I knew it was just a matter of time before something happened to really piss him off.
Surprisingly it all came down to an unfortunate choice of outfit from my sister. Julie had gone out shopping earlier that day, apparently to buy more clothing for herself despite already having what I considered a more than sufficient wardrobe. I was sitting in my room messing around on my computer when she walked in to show off her favourite purchase.
"You like my new skirt?" she asked.
I had to turn around to see her and as I did she did a twirl to show it off to me.
"It's okay I guess. I don't know where you think you're going to wear something that short though," I answered.
The edge of the skirt only came down about an inch or two past her butt and I knew dad would have a fit about her wearing it around the house, let alone anywhere else. I wasn't particularly happy about the idea of her wearing it around random guys either when it came right down to it.
"It's for just in case," Julie shrugged. "Never know when I might need something sexy. Besides, I'm old enough I can wear what I want."
"That's what you think."
"Oh right, what are you going to do about it?" she challenged me with a raised eyebrow.
Thinking she made her point Julie turned to leave and as she did I grabbed her wrist and pulled her back toward my bed. As she recovered her balance I quickly moved between her and the doorway, blocking her exit.
"What you think I can't stop you?" I asked.
She smirked and tried to walk past me but I gave her a gentle shove back.
"Hey, let me out," she demanded, with a hint of a giggle creeping into her voice.
"Tell me you won't wear that skirt," I countered.
Julie shook her head defiantly and tried to lunge past me but I grabbed her and started mercilessly tickling her sides where I knew she was most vulnerable.
"Lemme go you jerk," she shrieked, pounding ineffectually at my shoulder.
"Okay okay, argh, stop it," she said breathlessly as I finally relented.
As soon as I let go Julie made another dash for the hallway. I just barely managed to catch her around the waist and spun around to toss her on the bed. She propped herself up on her elbows and grinned at me as I smiled cautiously back, waiting for her next move.
Her skirt had pulled up when she landed on the bed and the bottom of her panties was clearly visible. That fact barely registered to me until I heard the strangled sound of someone clearing their throat behind me. Then I knew I was in trouble.
"What the hell is going on?" demanded our father, slowly enunciating every word.
"Just messing around," I said, stepping back from the bed.
"I was just showing him my new-" Julie started.
"Julie, out," he said, cutting her off.
"Daddy," she protested.
She stood up and made her way past me, tossing me a worried glance as she went. She knew as well as I did that I would be catching some flak for this one, never mind how innocent it actually had been.
"I want you out of this house," he told me as soon as Julie was out of earshot.
"Oh for fuck's sake," I said, not bothering to watch my language. "You know we weren't doing anything right?"
"You have a week," he said, ignoring me completely.
"Fine whatever. Might even be nice not to have you looking over my shoulder all the time. You never trusted me at all, did you?"
"One week," he repeated and stalked away.
"Makes me wonder how you'd treat Julie if she weren't yours either," I called after him, baiting him purposefully.
He looked like he was going to stop for a second, but shrugged it off and continued downstairs.
I sighed and flopped down on my bed, staring up at the ceiling. It had been coming for a long time but I still hadn't expected to have to leave so suddenly. I didn't even have clue about trying to find somewhere else to live. I almost didn't even notice Julie quietly reenter the room after a few minutes.
"Sorry," she apologized as she sat down beside me. "I didn't mean for that to happen. I thought he was still outside."
She had changed out of her skirt and into a pair of jeans, probably for the best.
"It's not your fault, it would have happened eventually anyway," I said. "You heard the whole exchange I take it."
"Yeah," she nodded. "But I think me and mom can still get him to change his mind after he cools off."
"Thanks Julie, but it's only going to get worse if I stay around," I said. "Might not be such a bad thing for me to get out of here anyway."
"Oh," she said, sounding disappointed. "Well, if you think it would be better that way...."
She slid toward the edge of the bed as if to leave.
"Hey, that's not what I mean. I'm not going to be that far away, we'll still be able to see each other. And when we do we won't have to worry about him watching us."
"I guess," she agreed reluctantly. "But it won't be the same, I'll still want you to be here."
"I know, but I think we just have to deal with it. It'll be okay," I promised.
In the end I stayed just over another two weeks. Mom refused to let dad kick me out until I had somewhere to go and in fact almost certainly would have made him change his stance completely if I hadn't convinced her not to bother. If I didn't leave then something else would no doubt come up to get him pissed off all over again. I really was tired of his constantly monitoring me.
I managed to find a decent apartment, lucked out really considering I had no idea what I was doing. It was small but relatively cheap and I wouldn't have to put up with a roommate. It was even within decent walking distance of home which meant that it wouldn't much of a problem for Julie to come over.
A few days after I had settled in she did just that.
"Why is mom talking about you dropping out of university," were the first words out of her mouth as I opened the door.
"Fine thanks, how are you?" I responded sarcastically.
Julie shot me a look like she wasn't in the mood as she brushed past me into the apartment.
"Alright, alright," I sighed. "Look, I need to pay for this place and I'm just not up to working and going to classes at the same time. Plus paying for said classes at the same time."
"That's no excuse, our parents were still going to pay for school and the apartment."
"Oh yeah, like I'm going to take his money now," I snorted.
"It's not just him, it's mom too and she doesn't want to see you working some crap minimum wage job. Hurts her enough that you and dad can't get along."
I knew mom would be upset about my decision but I hadn't expected Julie to care so much. I could tell by the way she stood that she was prepared to argue this with me as long as it took.
"Look, it's not-" I started.
"At least do it for me," she interrupted.
We stared at each other for several long moments in silent defiance. As I knew would happen right from the beginning I blinked first, so to speak, and turned my head away.
"Please," she pleaded softly.
She walked into my opened arms and hugged me tightly as I returned the embrace more out of reflex than anything.
"Dammit Julie," I whispered. "You know it's hard for me to say no to you."
"I know. It's better this way though, you'll see."
She looked up at me from her two inch disadvantage in height and gave me a tentative smile. I shook my head in exasperation, more at myself than at her, and shoved her lightly away. Her grin grew more confident as she realized that I wasn't really mad at her and she turned away to study the apartment.
"It's not a bad place is it?" she remarked.
"No, it's pretty good."
Julie flopped down on the couch and I moved to sit on the opposite end.
"He didn't want me coming to see you," she said, in reference to our father no doubt. "I'm getting really tired of his problems with you, I'd like to be able to see my brother without having to get written permission first."
She propped her feet up across my lap and I idly lay my hand on her lower leg, letting my finger trace patterns on her skin.
"Sometimes I think he just gets jealous really easy, like he doesn't want you showing affection to any other guys," I mused. "Remember that time you tried bringing your boyfriend home?"
"Yeah," she nodded thoughtfully. "He didn't like that much either."
"Anyway, how're things going other than that?" I asked, deciding it was time to change the subject.
"Pretty good I guess, nothing big happening recently."
We talked a while longer about nothing in particular before Julie eventually had to leave. It seemed unwise to both of us for her to stay too long without a cover story. She promised she would come visit me more when she got the opportunity.
It was actually almost three weeks before Julie came over again. As before she didn't bother to call ahead of time, she just showed up at my door again. After greeting me she immediately lay down across the length of my couch with a groan. I smiled in amusement and perched myself on the arm.
"Problems?" I inquired simply.
"Ugh, yeah. Frigging school," she muttered. "Actually, frigging everything as long as I'm at it. You ever have times when everything goes shitty all at once?"
"I believe the process is known as 'being a teenager' in some circles."
"Not helping," Julie said, rolling her eyes at me. "And I thought I was over that, eighteen hardly even counts as being a teenager."
"Eight-teen, teen-ager," I said, exaggerating the syllables. "That's kinda how it goes."
Julie flipped onto her stomach, perhaps to demonstrate her distaste of my advice thus far.
"It's bad then is it?" I asked a little more sympathetically.
I moved around the couch and sat down on the edge of the middle cushion.
"Not really, not when I think about it," she said eventually. "That's the problem with thinking about things too much; makes me feel like the stuff I care about isn't that important."
"Mmm, it's tricky that way," I agreed.
I started rubbing her back as we talked. Even just applying gentle pressure I could feel how tense her muscles were.
"Anything I can help with?" I asked.
"No, not really," she sighed. "Just felt like talking to someone, don't know why. It's not like there's much you could do."
"Especially when you don't tell me anything specific," I hinted, wondering if there actually was something I could do that she was hesitant to tell me about.
Julie was silent for a few minutes and I continued to simply rub her back for a while since it seemed to be helping somewhat.
"I probably gotta go home soon," she mumbled eventually, clearly not wanting to move.
She stretched out beneath my hands as though preparing to get up, but then settled back in.
"You could stay if you want you know," I offered.
"Oh?" She turned her head and gave me a funny look.
"You'd have to sleep on the couch though," I continued.
"Mmm, I could be okay with that. It's kinda nice right here." I didn't think she was referring to the couch so much but I let it slide. "I don't know if I could get away with it though."
"So what, you have to start living your own life at some point. As rebellions go, it's not that big a deal."
"That's just how it starts. First I stay at some boy's place for the night, tomorrow I'll have a tattoo. By next week I'll passing out drunk every night."
"You might look good with a tattoo though," I mused.
"Okay, okay," she giggled. "But we're gonna have to order pizza or something; I'm hungry and I don't trust your cooking. Or mine for that matter."
"Just as well, I've been living off cereal and sandwiches the past few weeks."
As I got up to find my phone I wondered why exactly I had offered to let Julie spend the night. Not that I wouldn't like having her over, but I knew it could easily cause more problems for us.
I got Julie set up on the couch for the night, giving her a blanket and the spare pillow off my bed. I honestly didn't know how comfortable it would be for her but I assumed she would let me know in the morning. If it was too uncomfortable I would probably hear her complaining long before that actually, given the small size of the apartment.
Sometime in the middle of the night I woke up needing to use the bathroom. With my sleep fogged brain I actually managed to forget that Julie was even there until I heard a small noise from the couch on my way back to my room. Realizing I shouldn't have flushed the toilet with my sister sleeping so nearby I walked over to check on her.
Fortunately she was still sleeping, or at least I was reasonably certain she was. Her eyes remained closed as I watched her from over the back of the couch and her breathing was about as regular as could be expected. It had been a long time since I had seen Julie sleeping, outside of a few seconds every now and then when I had to go wake her up. She looked so beautiful, so peaceful, lying there with only her chest moving as she breathed.
I jerked my head away as I realized what I was thinking. I did my best to keep thoughts like that out of my head but I wasn't perfect. Deep down I suspected that what really bugged me about dad's accusations was that I worried he might be right.
It had nothing to do with Julie not being my full biological sister though, that remained irrelevant to me. She would always be my sister and I would always love her as a sister; if I had anything to do with it that would never change. Sometimes though, like that night, I got a feeling like there was something more between us, even if I wasn't sure what.
I sighed heavily and sat down in front of the couch, leaning my back up against it. At least having the apartment meant Julie and I could get some time alone without having to worry about not getting too close. I hated having to constantly be aware of what was going on around us when we spent time together.
"What ya doing?" Julie mumbled sleepily from behind me.
She must have just awakened, but I didn't know if it was because of me or simple coincidence.
"Nothing, just thinking. Go back to sleep," I said.
She didn't say anything else but I did feel her fingers run clumsily through my hair and then down to my shoulder. The next thing I knew she was slipping head-first off the couch and across my legs before sitting up and clutching me possessively like a big teddy bear. Wearing only my boxers I felt a worrying amount of bare flesh slide against my own as she settled in. I did feel the material of her bra against my chest though, so I guessed she must at least still have her underwear on.
"I meant go back to sleep where you were," I said as I wrapped my arms around her waist almost automatically.
"What were you thinking about?" Julie asked, ignoring me completely.
"I don't know, just stuff," I said evasively.
"Thinking about me?"
Sitting out by the couch like I was it was pretty obvious that I must have been thinking about her at least a little bit, why else would I be out there? Besides which, the feeling of her hair moving against my shoulder was getting quite distracting and I doubted I would be able to lie convincingly anyway.
"Yeah," I grunted.
"I think about you sometimes too," she whispered. "'Specially tonight, sleeping on your couch. It's different than at home you know, even though our rooms were right next to each other."
"It is a little different," I added absently.
My hands had minds of their own, wanting desperately to feel more of that smooth, perfect skin that lay beneath them. Julie continued speaking, oblivious, or perhaps not so oblivious, to my growing discomfort.
"It's hard not to think about it isn't it? Almost impossible when dad keeps acting so suspicious of us, can't keep my mind from going there."
She pushed herself back from me slightly to look at me seriously for a moment.
"It wouldn't be so bad would it? I mean not that we... not us necessarily. But just being with someone you know loves you, someone you trust. Why's it have to be such a bad thing?"
"I don't know," I answered truthfully. "But that's how some relationships are seen. They're so often labelled as wrong that even if the two people involved really love each other, no one cares."
"Do you think it's wrong?"
She asked the question so quietly with her head once again buried in my upper chest that I barely heard it.
Had any other person asked me I would most likely have said of course it was wrong without a second thought. I was so used to denying any inappropriate feelings between my sister and I that wouldn't have taken the chance of doing otherwise. With Julie though, with her I felt safe talking about it. And there was no doubt in my mind that she was looking for an honest answer from me.
"It's not wrong Julie, not always," I said.
She turned on my lap until she was straddling my legs instead of sitting across them. I jumped slightly as I felt her hand on my semi-hard cock over top of my boxers.
"What are you doing?" I demanded, grabbing her wrist almost instantly.
"It's been poking me in the butt for a few minutes now," she said. "You told me it was okay."
"That's not what I said. It's more complicated than that."
"So how come it's okay for you to feel me up but I can't touch you?"
I wouldn't have called it feeling her up, but I couldn't help enjoying the sensation of her mostly naked body against me. I thought I had been doing a pretty good job keeping my hands mostly in the same place on her back.
Julie jerked her arm free from my grasp as I hesitated. Almost instantly I felt her delicate fingers return to my increasingly full erection. She pulled my cock free from my boxers before I could manage to grab her wrist once again.