Karen's breath quickened as she felt a hand on her ass. It cupped her cheek and gently squeezed it. She gasped and closed her eyes, arching upwards. His grip tightened as he slid his hand into her pants touching her moist sex from behind while she pushed back against his finger.
"What happened to the new chef, Maurice?" said Adrian, breaking her illusion.
She opened her eyes. He sat several feet away, with half a mouthful of turkey bacon and bread, looking at her curiously.
"I gave him the day off. I wanted to make you some of your favourite food myself before you leave," she said, biting her lip, desperately stifling her arousal.
"That's nice. Thanks," he said.
She composed herself and went back to her activities. Adrian silently hoped she did not catch him lustily gazing at her rear. She would think he was a freak with incest fantasies.
And so they went about their morning routines blissfully unaware of the other's suppressed desires.
Karen, however, was already sure she would tell him, but time was running out. His departure to Harvard loomed closer and closer.
The pang of guilt inside Karen had gradually grown and morphed into a wallowing feeling of regret. The love of her life writhed in agony, screamed with excruciating pain and she sat helplessly watching him.
"Please, Karen, tell them to stop. I can't take it any more," he gasped.
"Baby, you can do it. Fight through the pain. Fight it," she cried at him. "You will make it. Just keep fighting."
He looked at her face, seeing a pleading look writ large over it.
"Karen, please don't make me. I can't fight any more. It.. it..."
No more words came out. Karen leaned in to see what was wrong. He opened his lips to say something, but blood gushed out of his mouth. Some of it splashed onto her horrified face.
She was forced away from his bedside as nurses and doctors frantically tried stemming the blood flow. Her eyes were transfixed on his face, which was now covered in blood. The more the doctors tried stopping it, the more he coughed it up.
The EKG graph went haywire as even more nurses and orderlies rushed in. Adrian weakly turned his face towards Karen and just looked her with his lifeless eyes. Their gaze only held for a moment before the nurse turned his face away to insert a tube and push in Heparin.
It was enough. That blood-stained face had convinced her that her brother had suffered enough. He clearly was not consenting to any more pain and she was going to make sure he wouldn't get any more.
She prayed silently for courage. Courage to sit by Adrian's bedside while he died slowly.
"I'm sorry I couldn't spend my last evening in New York with you. Dad roped me into attending this high society thing hosted by the board of directors. How about we go out for dinner? The Nobu Tribeca, my treat."
Karen sighed into the receiver.
"It's okay Adrian. You attend your gala. I'll be waiting for you when you get back. There is a special dinner with your name on it."
"I look forward to it."
She dropped the call and surveyed the task ahead of her. This was her last shot at revealing her feelings to Adrian. At that point, she was past caring whether it would alienate him or not. She just had to say it. Fuck the consequences!
Her mother was no problem. She was out on a joyride on her husband's private jet.
Sometimes Karen privately wondered how she was born to a mother like that.
Back to her present quandary, she gave all the chefs and servants the night off. She painstakingly navigated the vast kitchen and got the best food.
Hours later, Karen was a sweaty mess, but the dinner was ready. She took a step back to admire her work.
The roast turkey adorned the centre of the small table, flanked on either side by a tall, burning candle. There were pommes Anna, and königspargel on either side. An open bottle of Chave Hermitage Blanc sat on the side table. The dishes chosen for this meal were on imported porcelain. The lights were dimmed and a trail of rose petals led from the dining room door to the table.
The main attraction of the night was currently draped behind a curtain on the main wall. She smiled as she tried to imagine his face when she unveiled the portrait of them. There was no better way of telling him how she felt other than showing him. A picture says a thousand words, a portrait of them together by the sea-shore would say a thousand more.
For her part, she was wearing a violet Missoni original from her last trip to Milan. It was in a particularly svelte shade. The shoulder sleeves were short and the neckline plunged down to the middle of her ample cleavage. The frilled skirt went halfway down her thigh, revealing her white lace thong if she so desired.
Karen admired herself in the mirror. Never much of a narcissist, she could not help but admire her sartorial elegance.
Everything was set. All that was missing was the dreamy figure of Adrian.
Her phone rang, interrupting her trance. She picked it up.
"Karen. Sorry. Huge change of plans. My uncle in Boston wants me to go one day early to sort out some formalities regarding my admission. I know I was supposed to go tomorrow and I promised to have dinner with you tonight, but I am on my way to the jet as we speak. Please tell Henry to send my luggage to LaGuardia. It's already packed."
Karen saw her world disintegrate to dust around her. Her carefully constructed plan had taken one day too long. Adrian sensed the uneasy silence on the other end of the phone and spoke.
"Look. I am really, really sorry that I could not get to say goodbye to you before leaving. You mean a lot to me. You're the first person in my life who ever cared about me without an ulterior motive. We will keep in touch."
She wasn't even listening any more. Robotically, she made the call to Henry the chauffeur. There was nothing more for her. This was it. It was all over.
The world looked indistinct and blurry through her tears as she walked up to the velvet curtain beside the table. The moment was supposed to be magical, when she unveiled it. Now, it was just for her to see.
The portrait was revealed by the pull of a cord, almost ashamed that it had not served its purpose. It was a beautiful portrait of them with their fingers intertwined lying on a beach, looking at the calm sea. She was very specific about the colours and the backdrop when she commissioned it. It was all a waste now.
She sat with her chair facing the portrait. It was worth the exorbitant sum she had paid for it. Every detail was captured perfectly. His head was nestled in her chest as she wrapped her arms around it and tenderly kissed his hair. The reddish shade of the setting sun colouring her hair.
Karen lost track of time and just sat there admiring the portrait. It seemed like a possibility space, showing what could have been, had she admitted her feelings to him sooner. The portrait looked at her, accusingly, admonishing her for her failure.
The tears just would not stop. They flowed for what seemed like hours before she felt an unexpected palm on her chin. It gently raised her face to see those green eyes that she dreamt about night after night and that smile that made her wet.
"Fog over Boston. Had to turn back."
She stood up, her body moving on its own accord. Placing her hands on his cheek, she looked into his eyes. All she saw was a profound love. Tentatively, she placed her lips on his and kissed him. Her ardent kiss had her heart racing and her skin tingling. He returned the kiss and took her hands in his, interlocking their fingers. Her eyes closed as she sank into the passionate kiss, her body responding in ways she had not known. A fire started in the pit of her stomach, willing her to devour him whole.
There was no more restraint as she engulfed his mouth with her ravenous tongue, grabbing his head with both hands. Their tongues danced in a carnal symphony as his hands gently clasped themselves around the back of her dress. Her hands moved to his face as her tongue continued its relentless assault.
After several minutes of intense kissing, she drew back. Her face was smeared with tears of joy. He looked at her, not daring to believe what had just happened.
"What now?" he whispered softly.
"Now," said Karen, wiping away some of her tears. "Now we stop pretending."
"What do you mean he can't refuse treatment?" said Karen, livid. "It's his body and he is an adult. He can goddamn refuse to consent if he wants to."
She banged the table hard to emphasize her point. The doctor brandished a legal document from his drawer. She snatched it from his hand and examined it closely. Her brow furrowed as she finished and threw the paper back.
"What the hell is this?" she demanded.
"It's a court order deeming Adrian Carmichael unable to give medical consent. Hence, medical custody has been given to his legal guardian."
"And who is that?"
The doctor examined the crumpled form and read the names at the bottom.
"Medical custody has been given to Bryce Reynolds."
"The chairman of the board! He did this."
Before the doctor could say another word, she stormed out of the office, slamming the door loudly on the way out.
"Bryce. What are you thinking taking medical custody?"
The voice on the other end of the phone spoke evenly, trying to justify this.
"Karen, you don't understand. There is more riding on Adrian than you can imagine. The stock price of our company would plummet if the news came out he is sure to die. This treatment will keep it stable while we can liquidate some assets."
The words resonated inside her head. Her brother was being kept in pain for the sake of the board making some money. She was speechless as the emotionless voice droned on.
"I will rescind the order as soon as I can, I promise. Cheer up, Karen, it might just save his life."
Karen did not cheer up. She spoke back over the phone, her tone quivering with anger.
"Listen, Bryce. If you hurt my brother any more, I will make you pay dearly. In ways you can't even guess."
Dropping the call in anger, she took a deep breath and composed her thoughts. Now was not the time for making a rash decision; she would need to think clearly.
Flipping open her phone, she made another call.
Dinner was a distant memory as Karen and Adrian lay on top of the covers. For a while neither one moved. They just admired each other's naked body. Karen silently admired his lithe, lean body while Adrian drank in her flawless skin and toned body.
Karen was on her back while Adrian lay on his side, propped up on one elbow while his other arm curled around her head. His fingers gently stroked her hair, which lay strewn over the pillows. He had longed to touch her beautiful tresses of hair for so long, yet he restrained himself now.
He was going to take it slow. This was going to be perfect for her, like she wanted it to be perfect for him.
His eyes roamed back and forth over her face. It was her beautiful face that he had grown to love. His gaze did not once drift to her body as he gazed into her eyes. His thumb and forefinger gently caressed her forehead. She smiled and kept her eyes locked on his.
He wanted to learn about her body. Learn about what she craved, and then do it for her. It was all about her. Lying on his side, looking at her, the rest of the world seemed immaterial for the time. All that ever mattered was right by his side.
"Have I told you how beautiful you are?"
"No," she giggled and snuggled up in his embrace.
"You are as beautiful as the new spring in a meadow full of flowers. Your eyes shimmer like the morning dew on a sun-kissed leaf. I could lose myself in those beautiful blue eyes."
"Very poetic. Now aren't you going to serenade me?"
Adrian thought it over, then started.
"She walks in beauty like the night,
of cloudless climes and starry skies;"
Karen blushed, a cherry red creeping up to her fair cheeks making her as beautiful as Byron's starry, cloudless night.
"And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. "
"Stop it," she said, blushing furiously, those eyes shining full of pure love straight at Adrian.
"One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;"
Even as he spoke, a stray gust of wind from the open window brought one of her beautiful tresses over her face. She laughed and gently tucked it back behind her ear. Adrian stopped his poem to admire her for the umpteenth time.
"Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. "
Her face expressed only one emotion at that moment, an unwavering love. A love too primal to be denied, too elemental to be concealed any longer. There was not a trace a lust in her expression, just an affectionate love.
"And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent! "
As he finished the poem, he realized how much like Byron's lady love Karen was. A calm, eloquent smile, one that won his heart and brought a gorgeous glow to her cheek. A mind at peace with the world and herself, and most of all, a big heart full of love for him.
"Flatterer," she snorted, rubbing her nakedness against his chest. Her finger traced a long line from his neck down to his abdomen. She repeated this with both hands. The index fingers gently tapped near his neck and caressed their way down past his nipples to his stomach. He squirmed at the ticklish sensation it created.
His hands gently explored her body as well. He was in no hurry, he just wanted to feel the cynosure of his dreams. He had yearned to touch her for so long, to feel her supple skin and her perfect breasts. He gently felt the sides, the cleavage and then brushed the top of them. Adrian felt her nipples swell. Soon they were erect from his touch.
Karen let out a small gasp as he gently rolled a nipple between her fingers. Taking that as encouragement, he did the same on the other nipple eliciting another low gasp of pleasure. Her breasts were large enough to cover his palm and soft and supple.
"You're a fast learner," she said after he treated both her nipples. "Now let me return the favour."
Saying this, she let her roving fingers pause at each nipple. Pushing him on his back to gain better access, she let her fingers circle his nipples. He closed his eyes, ready to give in to the sensations of pleasure radiating from his chest. Gently she grasped each nub in her hands and gently manipulated them, causing him to jerk with pleasure. He had an erection, but that was not on his mind at the moment.
Adrian listened to her breathing change as he further explored her body. Her breath was a guide as to what she liked and wanted him to repeat. Soon, he had mapped out all her erogenous zones and was ready to please her as she had never been pleased before.
His hand eventually reached her stomach, which trembled slightly under his touch. He smiled and leaned across to kiss her hairline. The scent of her hair was intoxicating as he kissed in a line across her forehead.
Karen was aching for him to touch her between her legs but she did not ask for it. He took his time, gently caressing all over her smooth torso.
"How long will you be with us?"
She blinked at his unusual question.
"How long until God summons his prettiest angel back to heaven? Surely you have been sent down to teach us mere mortals the meaning of beauty."
Her face broke into a grin at his compliment.
"He has summoned me back and is lying right beside me as we speak."
He held her arm and gently brought it to his mouth, kissing the wrist. She withdrew her arm and rolled over on top of him.
"Do you regret anything about this?" she asked softly. "Tell me now. We can still go back to being step-siblings, but once we cross this Rubicon, there is no turning back."
He opened his mouth to answer immediately but she stopped him.
"I know what you are going to say and believe me, there is nothing I want to hear more. But I want you to think it over. I want you to mean what you say. If you want to break things off now, I swear I will not be hurt."
He lifted his hand to gently rub her cheek.
"My answer will not change now or ever. I would trade everything I have for a moment with you."
She leaned in and pressed her soft lips against his chest. Leaving a wet trail, she moved upward, planting tender kisses across his torso and neck as she rolled back beside him.
Looking down he saw her shapely legs ever so slightly parted. He placed his hand on her inner thighs and pulled them apart just enough to cup her luscious lower lips. She moaned as his palm covered her burning sex. She closed her eyes and whimpered into his ear as he let a fingertip penetrate her.
His finger felt the smooth, wet inside of her labia. He inserted one more, using the two to part her lips. She squirmed against his fingers, pushing them deeper into her. Her engorged clit had swollen up with a primal desire emanating from the deepest recesses of her being.
"Yes Adrian, I have waited so long for this."
The liquids from her sopping wet sex coated his fingers. Every small movement he made with his fingers triggered a sudden jerk in her. Karen spasmed against his invading digits. Her fingers were pressing against his chest, digging into it. He felt her heavy breathing against his neck. Her other hand gently caressed the busy arm he was pleasuring her with.
He pulled his fingers out and gently traced her inflamed lips with them. Karen moaned into his ear as he gently circled her orifice. Her body tensed up, taut like a stretched string, in anticipation of him re-entering his finger. He gently pushed his index finger into her and she relaxed.
Almost involuntarily, her hand slipped down to his crotch and started feeling his manhood the same way. He gasped as her dainty fingers encircled his shaft. Gently moving down the length of his hardness, she reached his scrotum. Her hand detached from his shaft to gently cup his balls. Adrian continued the motion with his fingers as she fondled each ball individually.
Karen leaned over to kiss him again. The kiss started at the mouth, where she slowly explored his mouth, pausing to savour the intimacy of the moment. She then moved onto kissing all over his face.
Her index finger gently traced a vein on his shaft. Adrian slowly moved his finger back and forth inside her as she grazed another cluster of veins on his shaft with her finger, causing him to moan heavily against her.
He returned the kisses with an ardency he had not believed himself to be capable of. He kissed on her lips, on her cheek and did not stop until he reached her ear and licked all over her earlobe.
He moaned into her ear as she wrapped her hand around his erection for the first time. Slowly she began jerking him off, in time with his fingers embedded deep inside her. He curled them inside her as she increased the frequency of her jacking motion. Each stroke went all the way from the tip to the base of his tool. Her other hand continued to press against his testes, massaging them against each other.