Act 01

byWFEATHER©

I was home for the summer between my Junior and Senior years of college when my older brother Bryce was working out west. Because of his annual summer job, he was unable to acquire the things he needed for an apartment once he went to grad school, so throughout the summer, I often spent Saturday and Sunday mornings with our mother scouring the flea markets and garage sales for things he would need. Toward the end of the summer, I remember our father coming along with us one Saturday morning, and the parents were both pleasantly surprised when at the first garage sale of the day, they spotted a wooden bed frame. It had seen better days, but with our father's know-how, it would be a good project for him to repaint the bed frame and make it look nice once again. Even though it would take some time despite the horrendous hours he was working at the time, it would still be cheaper than buying a new bed frame from a decent store.

I could not make the trip to grad school with him with Bryce officially left the nest, but as we hugged, he said softly and honestly into my ear, "Come for a visit whenever you want, sis."

"I will," I assured him, and a few minutes later, he and our father were gone, towing the U-Haul trailer behind the SUV.

A few months, as I was seriously considering where I wanted to go for grad school, I arranged to spend a long weekend with Bryce. His grad school was the third of my official visits, but because I had briefly visited once previously during the summer, I already "knew" the campus and the surrounding area; the main goal of the long weekend would be to meet several professors and students in the Romance Languages Department and hopefully sit in on one or two classes.

One of the reasons I was primarily interested in the same grad school Bryce attended was because he was there; in fact, if I was accepted to the same university, he and I planned to move in together to help keep our costs down, an idea our mother supported because she did not really want her only daughter living alone in a major city. The other reason was public transportation: between the busses and the light rail system, there was no reason to own a car unless I planned to make a lot of excursions outside the city – in fact, that was one of the main reasons Bryce had selected that particular university for grad school, and since being a university student allowed him a steep discount on annual passes for the entire public transportation system, the cost differential compared to owning a car was beyond compare.

Bryce met me at the airport on a Thursday night, and for the first time, I took the light rail line from the airport to the city center. He had mentioned previously that he did much of his shopping using the light rail, and I could see why: A number of shopping centers, malls, restaurants, and entertainment venues had been built directly long the light rail line, and since the trains (and the busses) ran twenty-one hours per day, customers and employees could easily stay late and still get home. On both sides of the rail line, beyond the businesses, I could see numerous houses and apartment complexes, making the light rail system an integral part of the city's commuting options.

Once downtown, we needed to change to the bus system. We only needed to wait two minutes for one of the two bus lines which flanked the university area. Again, I was quite impressed.

We ended up walking across main campus, and although it looked familiar, it also looked a bit different, probably because I had visited two other major universities in the previous weeks and one of them had a similar "feel" to it. Still, just being there in Bryce's presence gave this third university an edge in my mental ranking of the three possibilities, especially as he related a few stories about his experiences thus far in the buildings we passed.

Once we arrived at his apartment, Bryce ordered pizza while I set my bags at the foot of his bed. For a moment, I cringed as I thought of how much homework I would need to do Sunday night after my return to college, but I quickly set that aside and returned to him just as my brother finished ordering the pizza online.

A few hours later, it was time for bed. "I'll sleep on the futon tonight," Bryce assured me.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "The bed's large enough for two."

He looked at me curiously. "Are you sure you don't mind?"

"I don't mind," I replied honestly. "We shared a bed a few times when relatives would visit, remember?"

"True, but we were... what, less than ten years old then."

"And as I recall, I didn't kick you out of the bed then, and I don't plan to now."

He shrugged. "Fair enough."

Bryce had long tended to shower at night – "It's so there's one less thing to do in the morning if I'm running late," he had once explained to me – so while he was showering, I went into the bedroom to get ready for bed. That was when I noticed something different:

There was a scuff mark on one of the bedposts, just below the level of the mattress, and it was angled upward with the highest point very close to the top of the mattress. The mark itself was not very deep or very wide, but when looking closely, it was definitely prominent. I was uncertain exactly what had caused me to notice it at all, but somehow, it had attracted my attention.

...and that had caused me to wonder... Moving around the bed, I saw a nearly identical scuff mark on the opposite post of the headboard. That really set my mind to working...

I purposely waited until Bryce and I were both in bed. It was mostly dark, with just a little light from the nearly streetlamp coming through the curtains.

"This is a little strange," I admitted quietly.

"What's strange?" my brother asked. "Just being here?"

"That," I acknowledged, "but also just sharing a bed with someone."

"Ah. Yeah, I suppose it's a bit awkward to share a tiny dorm room bed with your roommate just a few feet away."

"Very true. Too true. I know that she's making use of having the dorm room to herself while I'm here."

"I'm sure you'd be doing the same if the situation was reversed."

"It won't be. She's not going to grad school. She's going straight into the family business, so there's no place she needs to visit in the meantime."

"I see."

"Yeah. She's there every night. She might come in rather late, but she's there every night."

"Yeah. That's one of the benefits of living in an apartment. I can come and go whenever I please and not need to worry about disturbing someone."

"Well, if I do come here for grad school..."

"True. I know we've talked about living together."

"Yeah. I guess we'd need to get a larger apartment, a two-bedroom place."

"I've got a friend on the third floor with a two-bedroom. While you're here, I can see if we can drop by so you can see what a two-bedroom looks like in this building."

"That'd be great."

A short silence passed. "Just curious..." I began, then hesitated.

"Curious about...?"

I took a deep but quiet breath as I faced my brother in the darkness. "Do you tie down or do you prefer to be tied down?"

"Huh?"

"The scuff marks on either end of the headboard."

Bryce was silent for a moment. "Wow, you're really perceptive."

I was right. Part of me was elated to know that I was right.

"I like to have a woman tied down," my brother admitted. "I like the feeling of power it gives me. I also like having her helpless, putting her trust in me that I won't truly hurt her or take complete advantage of her."

"I see..." In my mind's eye, I could see my brother perched over a naked woman bound to the headboard looking up at him with pleading eyes as he gently rubbed her between her thighs to make her squirm.

We were both silent, and it felt somewhat uncomfortable. For a brother and sister to be talking about sex at all was odd. For a brother and sister to be talking about bondage in particular...

"This is an odd conversation," he finally said.

"Yeah..."

"But I do wonder..."

"What's that?" I asked.

"How did you know?"

I smiled, although I don't know that Bryce could see it in the darkness as I faced him, since the little light was coming from behind me. "Things I've heard, things I've read about."

"I see. Curious?"

That was a very bold question, but since I had opened the door by asking about whether he preferred to tie or be tied, I knew that I had to answer him. "Yeah," I replied, feeling a warmth in my belly just from admitting to the curiosity.

Then Bryce surprised me by reaching up to caress my cheek. "If you want," he offered, "I can show you while you're here. You don't need to get naked or anything. I can simply tie you to the bedposts so you can get a sense of what it's like."

I thought about that for a moment. My last boyfriend during my Junior year of college had confessed to wanting to tie me down while having sex with me, but I had not allowed him to do it. Somehow, I had not trusted him in that way. But Bryce...

I knew that I could trust my older brother. He had never hurt me and had always had my best interests in mind. He was a natural teacher, able to explain the most difficult concepts in terms I could easily understand, and he seemed to take a genuine pleasure and even pride in showing me new things. If anyone was worthy of teaching me about bondage, it was Bryce.

...but Bryce was my brother. That would be a little odd, especially if I was to be topless or naked. While he had said that I would not need to undress, it almost did not seem "right" to be tied down and not at least topless, not for an activity like bondage which is typically considered to be sexual.

"I'll think about it," I assured him. "I'd love to try it with someone I trust, but, well..."

"I know," he said, silencing me. "The shared blood thing, right?"

I sighed softly. "Yeah." His hand was still stroking my cheek, and it felt really good – better than I would have expected.

"Well, the offer stands," Bryce reiterated. "Just say it and I'll make it happen for you, sis."

"Thanks, Bryce." I genuinely meant it. Only then did he finally retract his hand, and we slowly drifted into slumber.

*****

The morning was a little awkward, but we somehow got through it without either of us blushing or looking away sheepishly. My brother accompanied me to the Romance Languages Department, then went to go teach his undergrad class of the day with a promise to meet me for lunch.

The morning was spent meeting with a professor and then sitting in on her 20th Century French Literature class. Afterward, I spoke with several of the grad students, and I had a very good feeling about the program, although they did advise me that one of the professors who was close to retirement was a lecher which was also often tipsy, if not completely drunk, but that ideally he would be retired by the time I came there for grad school.

Bryce and I met for lunch, then I returned to the department and met several other professors and some of the staff. After that, I enjoyed some time on my own exploring the campus and the surrounding area, including spending about thirty minutes in a small but cozy coffee shop just outside the main gate to the university.

The late afternoon was spent together in my brother's favorite area of the city. There was a large independent bookstore which had somehow defied the threats of the national chains, and we spent quite some time there, roaming separately for a while before meeting again and perusing the shelves together. Then we finally returned to the apartment.

It was an interesting time to return. The building was owned by the university, and all the tenants were grad students. Being a Friday evening in a building with students as tenants, it probably should not have been a surprise to hear a couple having rather loud sex, but it was still a bit awkward. Bryce and I glanced at each other a few times and smiled shyly, but that was our only acknowledgement of the screams and shouts coming from the second floor. Fortunately, by the time we arrived at my brother's apartment, we were out of earshot of the sounds leaking through someone's walls, although the awkwardness was still present.

Dinner was leftover pizza, and then we watched a Scooby-Doo cartoon on Boomerang. In a way, it was just like when we were growing up: watching cartoons together, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

As soon as the cartoon had ended, I turned to him. "Tie me up?" I requested.

As a Boomerang promo ran in the background, Bryce simply looked at me. "Are you sure, sis?"

"Yeah," I replied, adding a nod. It was somewhat of an impulse to make such a request, but throughout the day, the desire to be tied to the bedposts – specifically, the desire for Bryce to tie me to his bedposts – had been slowly gnawing at the back of my mind.

"Okay," he said, standing and stretching before reaching for the remote control and turning off the television. "I'll go get ready. Wait here a few minutes, okay?"

"Okay." While he went to the bedroom, I went into the kitchen to drink some water, in part to calm the butterflies which were coming to life in my stomach. I was about to be tied down for the first time, and while Bryce was the person I would certainly be most comfortable with in such a situation, there was still a significant nervousness trying to consume me.

I looked out the narrow window of the kitchen, watching a happy couple emerging from the house on the other side of the fence. He locked the door, then turned to her and kissed her. They were both dressed like they were headed to a night at the opera, and in a way, I was a little jealous.

Then again, I had not come to go to the opera. I had come to visit the university and get a feel for the area, and also to spend some quality time with my older brother.

"Quality time" was definitely about to gain a new meaning. I tried to envision myself on my back on his bed, my arms spread wide, my wrists wrapped with rope and secured to the bedposts. I was still wearing the nice outfit I had worn to campus, the one with the slightly-snug blouse which would cause my breasts to naturally strain against it from within, which would almost definitely attract plenty of attention from Bryce as he bound me for the first time.

I was about to go to the bedroom when I simply thought, Fuck it. I drained the last of the water in the glass and then went back into the living room. Whatever happens happens, I decided, although I stopped one more time to close my eyes and take a deep breath before continuing on to the bedroom.

I was a little surprised to find the bedroom was mostly dark. The only internal light came from the emergency light he kept on top of the dresser, providing enough light to see adequately but still being dim enough that in another context, it would be almost romantic. There was still some light coming in from the living room, but once I had entered the bedroom, Bryce closed the door.

We stood and looked at each other for a moment before he spread his arms, and I stepped forward into my brother's hug. It felt good: warm, comforting, protective. My nervousness slowly faded, and despite myself, I was almost melting into him. When he lifted a hand and began to stroke the back of my head, I had to wonder if he was thinking of me as the little sister he was about to introduce to bondage or as just a regular young woman who was about to be tied down for the first time.

"Ready?" he asked quietly, and in response, I lifted my head from his chest and looked up at him with a nod and a slightly-nervous smile.

As if in a slow-motion dream or memory sequence from a soap opera, it seemed to take a long time to cross the short distance to my brother's bed. Although I had slept in the very same bed alongside him the previous night, it felt strange to mount the bed and turn over onto my back. I had doffed the low heels upon our return to the apartment, but otherwise I was still dressed as I had been on campus during the day, and suddenly the narrow skirt and the slightly-snug blouse both seemed rather restrictive as I tried to position myself.

"That's it," I heard Bryce praise me. "Just like that. Now give me your wrist..."

I never could figure out from where my brother had suddenly produced it: a black leather cuff. It was nice and certainly had received a bit of use... more than what might have been expected from someone in grad school for only a few months. While it was very basic, with no adornments other than its buckle system and a small silver ring to which could be attached a snap-hook or rope or something similar, simply seeing it made the impending helplessness all the more real, and I believe it was that sudden sense of reality, of recognizing that things I had thought about and informally researched online for several years, which caused me to consciously move my right wrist toward him...

Unfortunately, I do not remember the actual securing of the leather cuff, nor the securing of its twin around my left wrist. I only remember feeling a deep sense of calm as a length of rope was strung through the ring on the left cuff. My brother pulled on the rope, which caused my wrist to be drawn closer and closer to that end of the headboard, stretching my arm, causing my chest to strain a bit against the inside of my red blouse...

Bryce dropped to one knee for a moment, and when he stood again, my left wrist was effectively immobilized. I still had full use of my wrist arm, but I was essentially bound. I looked in pleasant disbelief at my own wrist, encircled with the strip of leather, trapped within that narrow enclosure until my brother decided to free me.

"What's your safeword?" he asked, seemingly out of the blue. From my unofficial research online, I knew exactly what he meant, what he wanted and truly needed to know, and even though my head was really beginning to swim with so many thoughts and emotions at having just a single wrist secured to one end of his bed, I responded quickly, perhaps even too eagerly:

"Paris."

Bryce smiled. "Fitting," he commented. "Incredibly fitting."

With that, he made his way around the bed once again, moving more slowly – or perhaps my mind was having trouble processing his movement as I tracked him with my eyes. And then, seemingly suddenly, another rope was being strung through the ring on the cuff surrounding my right wrist, and moments later, I was truly helpless, with no way to flee on my own if the building suddenly caught fire. My nervousness returned, causing my chest to heave, the blouse being stretched across my breasts, and even though I closed my eyes to try to calm myself, I could feel his eyes stroking me, focusing on my chest, and somehow, that calmed me.

...or perhaps I was simply wishing that my brother's eyes were roaming over my chest, but even if that was the case, I still felt a bit calmer, less nervous, more at ease, which was really quite perplexing given that I had never considered Bryce as anything more than a brother and a mentor.

I felt the right side of the bed dip slightly as he sat beside me. "Take a moment to just drink it all in," he advised me.

I did, and the first thing that I realized was just how wide a queen-size bed really is. The previous night, I had had a sense of its width simply from the two of us sharing the bed and not being irrevocably squished against each other. With my arms stretched wide like an eagle soaring on the wind, part of me reveled at the position, at the slight strain I felt in my arms, and at how being forced to hold that position made me more aware of the natural snugness of my blouse.

Before my mind could focus on anything else related to my desired predicament, I felt Bryce moving on the bed, and then felt his hand again caressing my cheek. Instinctively, I turned my face into his open palm, finding a tenderness, a sweet gentleness there which I had never suspected might exist – not from him. Perhaps it was the "advantage" of having my own brother being the one to teach me about bondage: He had a vested interest in making it a good first experience for me, and perhaps that caused him to be so gentle, so caring with me.

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