tagIncest/TabooHe's Mine Ch. 01

He's Mine Ch. 01


I watched out my bedroom window as my brother worked on his car. I felt like I was spying on him, and to some extent that was exactly what I was doing. I could watch him from where I was without being seen. It made me feel kind of guilty. I'd been feeling guilty a lot lately.

I'd always loved Riley in the way only a little sister could. He was a couple years older than me, and when we were younger that had made him seem disproportionately smart and cool in my mind. An older sibling could either be the bane of a kid's existence, or their hero. I'd been lucky to end up with the latter. He'd always been nice to me growing up.

Things had changed somewhat as we got older. I accumulated more experience with the world, and grew infinitesimally wiser. As an eighteen-year-old girl, it took more for me to put up with my family than them simply being nice to me. If I got in one of my moods, them being nice was practically the same as oppressing me, for reasons that didn't make sense when I thought about them later. My parents didn't get it. Riley didn't either, but he handled it better.

Unlike Mom and Dad, Riley generally didn't try to reason with me when I was being petulant. Maybe that was part of what changed the way I saw him. I was used to frustration, or concern, or attempted understanding. He just let me be when I didn't want to talk to anyone. I wasn't sure if that was because he got me better than anyone, or if he just didn't feel the need to deal with me when I was like that.

I sighed and shook my head as I turned away from the window. I spent far too much time analyzing my brother's motivations. It was a far simpler explanation just to accept that I probably didn't matter to him as much as he did to me. I needed to stop obsessing.

I glanced back out the window before stepping away from it. I should have turned my attention to something else, but I already knew that wasn't going to happen. Riley looked like he'd be busy for a while, not that I knew much about cars and the maintenance thereof. Without consciously deciding to, I'd started planning excuses for going outside and keeping him company.

It was a warm and sunny day in one of the last days of spring. I was wearing a tight, sleeveless top and one of my shorter pairs of shorts. Nothing indecent, but the sort of thing I imagined might conceivably attract my brother's attention, even though it never seemed to. I walked outside and toward the garage in my bare feet.

"Hey," I called softly as I approached Riley.

He had the hood of his car up and was leaning over the engine playing with something inside. His shirt was stretched tight across his back. I stared for a second before he looked over his shoulder at me.

"Hey, Anna. What's up?"

"Nothin'. What ya doing?"

Riley straightened, letting his shirt hang normally, much to my disappointment. He had just enough definition in his body to make it interesting. It was one of the reasons I'd been feeling so guilty lately. I didn't want to admit it, but I was pretty sure I was crushing on him slightly; on my own brother. It was just about the most pathetic feeling.

"I'm just about to change the oil in my car," he said. "Nothing you're interested in, I'm sure."

He was right, I couldn't have been less interested if he'd told me he was planning on counting the blades of grass in the lawn. However, I wanted to stay, so I had to pretend like that wasn't the case.

"Can I watch anyway?"

He shrugged. "If you want to. It's not like I'll be the one bored to tears."

Riley set about draining the oil from his car, pausing occasionally to explain what he was doing. Apparently there wasn't much to it. I still wasn't sure what the process was, because I'd been watching him more than the car.

"So this is fun for you?" I asked.

He grinned. "Not fun exactly. It's more like... well, if I asked you if brushing your hair every morning was fun. Or putting on makeup. It's more about the results than the process. It keeps the car running, and that's what I care about."

I nodded. I actually kind of understood his point. I wasn't sure why oil needed changed if there was still plenty in the car, but he probably didn't understand the finer points of picking out the right outfit every day either. My current choice of clothing meant nothing to him, just like vehicle maintenance meant nothing to me. They were things other people worried about.

It bugged me a little that I never so much as caught Riley's eyes flick toward my chest. My top was tight enough around my breasts that they should have attracted at least a little attention, but then I was just his baby sis. I wasn't really a girl to him. That could have been part of the attraction he held for me; the fact that I didn't have a chance. People want what they can't have.

"So is that it?" I asked as he finished pouring new oil into his car.

"Pretty much. There's not much to it." He looked up at the sky, and the slow, fluffy clouds rolling past. It really was a nice day. "I'm kind of thinking of cleaning out some of the junk too. It's a good day for it."

"Uh huh."

I tried not to appear completely disinterested. It would mean more time watching him work, after all.

"Anna, can I ask you something?"


"What are you actually doing out here? I know you don't give a shit about what I'm doing, but you haven't left yet."

I looked away, hoping that my face wasn't flushing too badly. I was sure he knew the real reason, even though he couldn't possibly have guessed it.

"M'just bored," I mumbled.

"Really? You're bored so you came out here to be, what, slightly less bored?"

"I like hanging out with you sometimes, that's all."

I met his gaze again, hoping that my minor admission would distract him from further questioning. He could usually tell when I was lying, but all I was doing was failing to tell him the whole truth.

"Well, I can almost believe that. There must be something else though. You and Mom fighting again maybe?"

I shrugged rather than giving him an answer. He'd assume he guessed right, and that would take the pressure off of me to provide a better explanation. It wasn't uncommon for me to hang around my brother while I was avoiding Mom. He never seemed to get mad at me the way she sometimes did, but then I rarely gave him a reason to. There was no point in rebelling against my brother the way I sometimes did with my parents.

Riley let the subject drop and went back to work. He grabbed a garbage bag and opened up one of the doors to the back seat. I hopped up to sit on the trunk of his car while I watched him toss old wrappers and bottles into it. I wasn't really sure what to do with myself, though I couldn't seem to make myself stop staring.


I jumped a little when I heard my name called. I turned back toward the house and saw Mom looking at me. Her hands were on her hips, but she didn't look to upset other than that. I rapidly tried to think of what I could have done this time.

"What?" I called back.

"You have vacuuming to do. Don't think your brother's going to protect you from it."

I'd actually forgotten about being told to vacuum earlier. If I'd remembered I probably would have sat behind the car instead of on it so that I couldn't be seen from the house. I gave Riley a regretful glance before hopping to my feet and trudging toward the house. He seemed mildly amused.

"I forgot," I mumbled as I passed Mom.

"Sure you did, honey. Funny how much worse your memory is about certain things."

I bit back a reply that would just get me in more trouble. I was in a good enough mood that I got the vacuum out and started working on the floors without further complaint or excuses. At least I was able to daydream about my brother while I did my chore.

An upside to the noise was that Mom couldn't lecture on the value of a strong work ethic me while I was busy. Granted, that was more Dad's thing anyway. Mom tended to be of the opinion that I liked to deliberately push them to see how much they'd give. I wasn't sure if I preferred being considered lazy, or a brat.

I was still able to see Riley out some of the windows as I vacuumed around them. The floor in those areas got a lot more attention than the rest did. Mom walked by once while I was going back and forth over the same piece of floor, but she didn't say anything. She just shook her head and kept moving. She probably didn't care if I wanted to be inefficient, just as long as I got it all done.

The whole process took longer than it should have, but I got it finished. I spent most of the time either thinking about Riley, or trying not to think about him. I wished I could have developed a crush on some other boy, one I didn't live with. That would have made it slightly easier to get him out of my mind, at least.

Against my better judgement, I immediately headed back outside when I was done with the vacuuming. Riley was still working on his car. There were small piles of things on the ground, and the garbage bag had become much fuller than when I'd left. It looked like he'd also gotten a bucket of water to wash down his windows.

"What'd you do, Anna, vacuum the ceilings too?"

He spared me a glance and a brief flash of a teasing grin.

"I wasn't that slow," I protested, even though it was a lie.

"I had time to almost finish before you got back. Seems pretty slow to me."

"What makes you think I came straight back? I have other stuff to do, you know."

"If that was true, then how come you're back at all?"

"Because... shut up. Because I didn't have that much to do. Just... some stuff."

Riley smirked and dropped his cloth into the soapy water in the bucket.

"If you want something to do, you could always go grab us some beers."

I frowned. "What do you mean us?"

He shrugged. "Or just get me one. Or do nothing. It's up to you."

I opened my mouth, then closed it. I looked back toward the house. Riley might drink occasionally around our parents, but I didn't. Even though it hadn't be specifically forbidden, I was under the impression that I wasn't yet allowed. Just because my brother didn't seem to care about the potential consequences didn't mean there wouldn't be any. I didn't want to pick a fight with Mom right now.

On the other hand...

Part of me was excited about the idea of sneaking around a little. Generally I didn't defy my parents just for fun, but I had to admit that sometimes the mere act of rebelling was enough to sway my choices. More importantly, it was an excuse to spend more time with Riley. I liked that I was old enough in his mind that he didn't hesitate about the idea of drinking with me.

"Fine," I said before I realized I'd come to my decision. "You better not tell Mom though."

"Why? 'Cause she might report her daughter for underage drinking? She won't care."

"If she doesn't know, she definitely won't."

Riley gave me a little smile and pulled his fingers across his lips to indicate he'd stay silent on the subject. That was good enough for me.

I headed back inside, walking quietly on my bare feet, listening intently to try and determine where Mom was in the house. I made it to the kitchen without seeing or hearing her. I took a deep breath and let it out before reaching into the fridge and grabbing two cans of beer. There was a chance that Riley was right about me being old enough that Mom wouldn't care, but it was more exciting to believe that I was taking a risk. Some part of me enjoyed skirting the lines of acceptable behaviour too much for my own good.

I snuck back outside, walking quickly while trying not to look like I was in a hurry. Riley was right where I'd left him. I handed him one of the beers before opening my own. I felt kind of clumsy next to his practiced motion.

"Cheers," he said, tapping his can against mine.

He took a long swallow and seemed to enjoy it. I tried to match the drink he'd taken and instantly regretted it. He laughed at the face I made. I glared at him, but that only made his laughter worse.

"I thought this was supposed to taste good."

"It does." He wiped away a tear. "But it can take some getting used to. I can take comfort in knowing you're not secretly an alcoholic, at least. There's no way you could have faked that expression."

"Shut up."

I tried again, this time sipping at the liquid instead of trying to swallow half the can all at once. I still wasn't convinced I liked it, but at least I managed to drink it without sending my brother into another fit of giggles.

We moved around behind Riley's car and sat with our backs to the garage. I made sure the car was between me and the house, just in case. I gradually got the hang of taking larger swallows without letting my distaste for it show. I decided that even if I never grew to like it, I could at least pretend I did.

"So, Anna, what's really going on with you?"

I took another drink to save myself from answering for a few seconds. I wasn't sure if the alcohol was beginning to affect me, or if it was just the mess of confused emotions inside me. Either way, I didn't feel up to a serious conversation.

"Nothin'," I lied.

"Are you sure? Because it definitely doesn't seem like nothing."

"Well maybe I just don't want to talk about it then."

"No, you probably don't. How 'bout you tell me anyway?"

I shook my head and stared down at my beer can. I was holding it in both hands like a child, and I kind of felt like one. I wished someone would come along and tell me what to do and make everything okay. It wasn't like I could just come out and tell my brother exactly what my problem was. That would only make things worse.

"None of your business."

"You're right, it isn't. Thing is, it seems like you want to tell me, but you're scared to."

I jerked my head up toward him, only to find that he was staring right back at me. His gaze was steady and confident. Mine wasn't.

"How would you even know that?"

"How do you think? I've lived with you for, what, eighteen years, give or take? You keep giving me funny looks, and you're quieter than usual, and we've pretty much established that something's bugging you. What other conclusion am I supposed to draw?"

I winced a little when I heard that he'd noticed me looking at him. Thankfully he hadn't guessed my actual motivations, but it still left me in an awkward spot.

"You wouldn't understand."

I regretted the words as soon as they were out of my mouth. I had basically admitted that I was hiding something and that he was right about me wanting to share it with him. Both of those things were true, but I had good reasons for keeping quiet. Now he was just going to pry more.

"Why would you assume that? I can be a very understanding person."

"I still can't tell you."

Riley was silent for a moment. I risked a glance at him and found that he was staring off into the distance, clearly thinking about something.

"You killed someone?" he guessed.

"What? No! Why would-"

"You discovered you're a lesbian?"

"No, I-"

"You're depressed and thinking about killing yourself?"

"No. Are you seriously going to keep doing this?"

"Unless you tell me, yes. It's up to you." He paused. "You're a drug dealer?"

I shook my head and looked down. I had about half my can of beer left, and it was starting to get warm. In a fit of desperate idiocy, I raised it to my lips and downed the remainder of the can in one go. It was gross and made me feel kind of sick, but I managed to finish it. I burped loudly, making Riley smile and stop his irritating guesses briefly.

"I have a crush on you," I blurted.

I didn't dare look at him after speaking. I didn't know what his reaction would be, but the odds of it being anything good were so low as to be negligible. I wouldn't even be able to blame it on the beer since I wasn't actually drunk and he knew that as well as I did.


"Would I make something like that up?"

"No," he said slowly. "No, I don't think you would."

I felt his eyes on me without looking. I flushed under his imagined gaze and wished I had another beer handy. It seemed like a perfect time to find out what getting drunk felt like.

"You can go ahead and tell me how stupid it is," I mumbled. "I'm ready for it."

"I would, except you're clearly already aware of that. Plus, I'm not convinced there's any such thing as a not-stupid crush."

A small smile crossed my lips, but it quickly faded. We both knew that me having a crush on him was worse than the usual array of poorly chosen objects of one's affection. It wasn't like it was just a teacher I was attracted to, or a hot older guy, or a movie star. Those wouldn't have been nearly as bad.

"I don't know what I'm s'posed to do."

"Neither do I. It's a tough one."

"Maybe I should just, like, go."

I started to push myself to my feet, only to be stopped by Riley's hand on my arm. He looked at me with obvious concern on his face. I was sure he would have been angry, or amused, or... something else. I hadn't expected him to worry about me. My hopes rose a little.

"Anna, you're not going to start avoiding me now, are you?"

"Wouldn't that be better?"

"Easier maybe, probably not better." Riley shook his head and sighed. "I'm glad you told me. You may not believe that, but I do. It's something that we should work out somehow."

"But if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't need to worry about it."

I sat back down since he insistently refused to let go of my arm. I was glad he didn't want me to avoid him, but I knew he'd eventually draw the same sort of conclusion I had; there was nothing to be done about my unfortunate attraction except to hope it went away on its own.

"And you would have made yourself miserable over it," he said. "I may not feel the same things you do, but I still love you."

My heart beat a little faster at my brother's words. I knew what he meant, but hearing him say that he loved me still affected me. It wasn't something we said to each other very often. I hoped I wasn't blushing.

"So what do we do now?" I asked.

Riley shook his head. "I have no idea."

His arm went around my shoulders and pulled me closer. I stiffened at his touch, but allowed myself to be drawn toward him. I leaned my head against his body and felt myself slowly relax. It was nice being held by him.

For several minutes we sat there without speaking or moving. I glanced up at Riley's face a couple of times, and he seemed lost in thought. He had a lot to think about, thanks to me. I tried to stop feeling guilty about my confession, but there really wasn't any way of forcing it.

I jolted upright at the sound of a car pulling into the driveway. It could have been anyone, in theory, but I was sure it would be Dad. I looked down at the beer can I was still clutching and experienced a moment of panic. All I could do was pray that Riley was right and that our parents wouldn't care if I was drinking.

Riley's car sheltered us from sight for a few more seconds. Without saying anything, he reached over and took the can from me, placing it beside him on the ground just as Dad pulled up in his usual spot.

"Hey, Dad," Riley said as our father opened his car door.

Dad looked at us suspiciously. "You kids aren't hiding from your mother out here, are you?"

I knew he meant it as a joke, but it sounded too much like and accusation to my already-nervous mind.

"Nah, we're just talking," Riley said, continuing to save me from my vocal paralysis. "I was doing some work on my car."

"And celebrating a job well done, I see," Dad said, nodding to the beer in my brother's hand. "Just as long as you're not corrupting your sister," he added with a wink.

I had to fight to keep silent this time. I was torn between telling Riley "I told you so," and telling Dad that I didn't need protected. Neither option was in my best interest.

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byXarth© 29 comments/ 159718 views/ 309 favorites

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