We're Screwed Ch. 03byfrozenhero1©
Melanie glanced at her best friend as the two girls studied within the quiet confines of the university library. She noted the deflated set of her friend's shoulders and expression; Madison had seemed sullen all week but hadn't mentioned why. Usually when Madison was depressed she needed a day or two to wade through the funk before wanting to talk about it. Melanie hated to pry, but this had been going on for five days.
"Are you okay?" Melanie suddenly asked, setting her mechanical pencil down on the table they shared.
Madison looked up from a textbook, "Yeah, why?"
"Come on, Maddy. You've been acting like someone ran over your cat all week."
"I'm fine," Madison assured.
"We've been best friends since high school," Melanie reminded, "I know you better than that. What's up, hon? Is it Grant?"
Madison frowned at the mention of her ex-boyfriend, "Not at all. I'm happy about ridding myself of that asshole, to be honest with you."
"Then what is it?" Melanie pressed.
Madison sighed and looked across the table at her friend. Melanie was a shorter girl with kinky auburn hair and a spattering of freckles around the nose, though no less attractive than Madison. She contemplated telling Melanie about what was really troubling her, but Madison was reluctant to do so out of fear of the way her friend might react. How do you tell someone you've fallen for your step-brother?
"It's a different guy," Madison finally replied, keeping things vague.
Melanie blinked, surprised there was another guy since Madison and Grant had only broken up a week prior. She assumed she would know if someone else had been in Madison's sights, since the two girls were best friends.
"Who is it?" Melanie asked.
"Just a guy from our old high school," Madison didn't lie. "He's a senior. I really like him, and I think he's into me too, but... it's complicated."
"He's not a democrat," Melanie frowned, "is he?"
"No," Madison snorted with a tiny smirk. Melanie was a Politics major, and a card-carrying Republican. "Actually, I don't know. He's not really into politics."
"So what's the problem?" Melanie asked.
"He's got an ex," Madison answered. "And I don't think it's over."
"God," Melanie moaned. "That's the worst. I hate watching a couple cling to a broken relationship like that; it's so pathetic. It never works."
Madison smirked and replied dryly, "You're such an optimist."
"Hey," Millie smiled as she trotted towards Nathan's locker, her short bob of black hair bouncing.
"Hey Millie," Nathan greeted as he grabbed a book and shut his locker door.
"Walk me to my English class?" Millie asked.
"Sure," Nathan agreed, headed that direction anyway.
"Our first volleyball match is after school today," Millie said as the pair began navigating their school's hallways. "Are you going to come watch me play?"
"I have football practice after school, but I might be able to catch the last set?"
Millie beamed, "That would be great. By the way, I aced my Bio quiz earlier this week. Thanks for helping me study, you totally helped me out."
"It was no problem," Nathan replied.
Millie curled a light grip around Nathan's wrist as they walked, "Do you want to get together this weekend and study again?"
Nathan glanced down at Millie's hand, uncertain of the signals he'd been receiving from her. Millie had been flirty with Nathan ever since they met at his house the previous Sunday to study. Did she want to get back together with him? Did he want to get back together with her? If they did reunite, that would certainly mean the end of whatever had been going on with Madison; Nathan wasn't sure he liked that notion. Then again, Millie had been his first true love and he'd always lamented the fact that she had broken up with him.
"Maybe," Nathan finally replied. "I'm not sure how busy I'll be this weekend."
"Okay," Millie lifted a pecking smooch to Nathan's cheek as they arrived to her English classroom. "Call me later?"
Nathan nodded absently, feeling very confused.
After football practice, Nathan watched Millie's volleyball team win their match against a neighboring high school and didn't get home until after dinner time. He discovered Joyce, his step-mother, and Mike, his father, seated in the living room watching TV.
"Hey guys," Nathan greeted, lifting a hand.
"Hey buddy," his father greeted from the couch. "How was school today?"
"It was all right. Practice was murder, coach had us running 'suicides' until I thought I'd puke."
"There's some leftovers in the fridge if you're hungry?" Joyce offered.
"Thanks," Nathan replied. "Is Maddy home?"
"She's upstairs in her room," Joyce noted.
Nathan took a moment to investigate the leftovers, discovering Joyce had made meatloaf. Nathan hated meatloaf and decided he'd simply make a sandwich later. Instead of eating, he headed upstairs to knock on Madison's bedroom door.
"It's open," Madison called.
"Hey," Nathan greeted, opening the door to find Madison perched atop her bed painting her toenails. She was wearing a pair of skimpy shorts and an old loose tee.
"You're home kind of late," Madison noticed. "Practice go long?"
Nathan shook his head, moving to sit in Madison's desk chair, "Nah. I stopped by the gym afterwards to watch the girl's volleyball team play."
An ache of jealousy filled Madison's stomach; she knew Millie was on the volleyball team. "How'd they do?" she asked, trying to sound casual.
"They won," Nathan answered.
"Awesome," Madison commented, her tone chilly. She focused on brushing some polish on her toe and tried to not appear envious of Nathan's attentions towards Millie.
"Are you okay?" Nathan suddenly wondered, sensing his sister's cool demeanor.
"Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Madison snapped, sounding more irritated than she intended.
"I don't know. You just seem... off. Are you mad at me?"
"Why would I be mad at you?" Madison asked, still concentrating on her toes instead of looking at Nathan.
Nathan shrugged, "Is it Millie? You've been kind of distant ever since she came over last weekend."
"That's not it," Madison lied. "But I think she's all wrong for you, if that's what you're asking."
"What do you mean?" Nathan's face scrunched up, "She and I were great together for almost two years."
"Whatever," Madison scoffed. "She treated you like shit, Nathan. I mean, look at the reason she dumped you: because you pressured her into sex? Please. Like you forced her into anything; I'm sure she spread her legs eagerly. Just because she felt guilty about it after doesn't mean she had any right to blame you."
"That's not really any of your business," Nathan frowned.
Madison finally looked up at Nathan with a glare, "Isn't it? Was it my business after you two broke up and you were so depressed about it that you'd come in here and talk to me about it for hours on end? What about those pictures of me you had on your computer? Did you jerk off to fantasies of me while you were dating her, because she wouldn't put out? Or isn't that my business either?"
"You're going to start teasing me about that again?" Nathan growled. "I thought we had moved past that?"
"Why?" Madison hissed, trying to keep her voice down so their parents wouldn't overhear, "Because I let you jerk off onto my tits? Was I just a placeholder until poor Millie got over her guilt?"
"Maddy... it wasn't like that."
"Whatever, Nathan. Just leave me alone, okay?"
"Maddy -" Nathan tried pleading.
"I said leave me alone," Madison interrupted firmly, doing her best not to start crying.
With a sigh Nathan rose and left the room, closing the door behind him. He didn't want to upset Madison any more than she already seemed to be.
As soon as he was gone, the tears burst out of his sister.
The following day, Madison was truly miserable. She realized she wanted the impossible in a relationship with Nathan, that such a thing could never work out, but her heart wouldn't seem to let go of the idea. She moved through her school day like an apathetic zombie paying little attention to her surroundings. She was barely able to concentrate during her classes. Why couldn't she stop thinking about Nathan? There were millions of other guys out there she could fall for, why was her step-brother the one boy out of millions her heart decided to fixate on?
During her last class Madison began scribbling in her notebook, creating two columns on a page. In one column she began writing down all the things that made Nathan so desirable.
*Plus Column* Fun; Smart; Handsome; Sexy; Honest; Attentive; Athletic...
She came up with so many words that she ran out of paper at the bottom of the page, so Madison glanced over at the other side of the sheet and began writing down the things that made Nathan all wrong for her.
*Minus Column* Step-brother
The fact that Nathan was her step-brother was the only thing she could think of. It tore her up inside to realize that was the one and only thing that made the whole situation so impossible. Who knows what might have happened if their parents hadn't gotten married? Her and Nathan might have ended up at the same high school together even if their parents hadn't gotten married. They may have even hooked up!
Madison closed her eyes, ignoring her professor's lecture and imagined herself as Nathan's girlfriend. She pictured them together on a date and holding hands with no worries of what anyone else would think.
It almost made her cry.
Madison burst into the house after returning from school, needing to see Nathan. She wanted to talk to him, to tell him how she felt. Damn the social consequences! She wanted her brother's romantic attentions, and Millie could go to hell as far as Madison was concerned. If she told Nathan how she felt, maybe Madison would discover he felt the same way. She simply had to find him, find the right words, and summon enough courage to put herself out there.
"Hi honey," Joyce said from the kitchen where she was preparing dinner.
"Mom?" Madison sounded surprised. "What are you doing home so early?"
"I took the afternoon off to run some errands," Joyce replied. "Since I'm home early I thought I'd prepare a lasagna, it's Mike's favorite."
"Is Nathan home yet?" Madison wondered, trying not to sound too desperate.
"Honey, you know your brother won't be home until late."
"Huh?" Madison sounded confused.
"It's Friday night," Joyce explained.
Madison growled, silently chastising herself for not remembering. Friday night was game night; Nathan would be playing football.
"I forgot," Madison sighed. "Are you and Mike going to the game?"
"Not tonight," Joyce replied. "We're going to a cocktail party over at the Benson's."
Madison nodded, "Do you mind if I skip lasagna? I think I want to go."
"Of course," Joyce smiled. "I'm sure Nathan would like it if you go watch. I think they're playing at Lincoln High tonight. Do you need some gas money?"
"No thanks," Madison called as she hiked up the stairs. "I'm fine."
Once in her bedroom Madison shut the door and quickly began rifling through her closet. Lincoln High was a rival school about forty-five minutes away, so Madison calculated she had about an hour to get ready before she'd have to be on the road. If all went well, she could take in the game and find Nathan afterwards to talk. But what to wear?
Nathan played brilliantly. As the team's quarterback he threw for four touchdowns, including a game-winner in the final two minutes after marching his team the entire length of the field. Madison nearly cheered herself hoarse from the bleachers, wearing tight jeans and a mid-riff baring top - something she remembered Nathan ogling her in. A light sweater-jacket worn open in the front help keep the early-fall air from being too chilly.
Madison had recognized a few old classmates who also made the trip, deciding to sit with them among the other 'away' fans, She was having a wonderful time, especially since her brother had such a fantastic game. Afterwards, as the team gathered on the sidelines, Madison excused herself from her friends. She wanted to find Nathan before he headed to the locker room and let him know she was there, hoping to give him a ride home so they could talk.
She spotted Nathan celebrating with his teammates when she reached the bottom of the bleachers, but then another voice called out her step-brother's name. Turning to the side, Madison spotted Millie.
"You were so great, Nathan!" Millie squealed, running into Nathan's arms.
Madison stopped dead in her tracks. She felt like someone had punched her in the stomach when Nathan hugged Millie back.
Madison quickly turned away, hoping Nathan wouldn't see her. She felt stupid for ever thinking that Nathan would choose her over Millie. With Millie, Nathan had a future. Madison could only offer him the stigma of social incest. With embarrassment cluttering her emotions, Madison fled towards the parking lot.
"I can't believe how awesome you were," Millie exclaimed. "You totally won the game!"
"Thanks," Nathan replied modestly. "But I got pretty good protection from the guys, tonight."
"Do you want to hang out later?" Millie asked, "A bunch of us are going to an arcade later for pizza. You should come."
"Yeah, okay." Nathan thought a night out with his friends sounded fun, especially since Madison had been so cold with him.
"Do you want to go together?" Millie asked tentatively. "I mean, you could ride with me. I'd like to talk to you about getting back -"
As Millie was making her pitch towards reconciliation, Nathan recognized a familiar head of blonde curly hair hurrying away towards the parking lot. "Uh, can we talk about this later? I think I see my sister."
Millie turned as Nathan dashed past her and jumped a wooden bench, frowning at the sudden dismissal.
Madison was wiping her cheek of tears as she hurried towards her car. She hated the fact that she was crying again, something she seemed to be doing a lot of, and was not looking forward to the long drive home alone.
When she heard her brother's voice, Madison winced.
"Maddy!" Nathan called. "Maddy!"
Madison turned to see Nathan jogging towards her, still wearing his grass-stained football uniform. His short black hair looked matted and damp with sweat and the eye-black under his eyes had faded to drip down his cheeks.
"Maddy..." Nathan breathed, finally catching up to his sister where she stood between two parked cars. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you," Madison said, wiping at her cheek one more time in the hopes that Nathan wouldn't notice the tears. "To see you play."
"I thought you were mad at me?"
Madison shook her head and forced a smile, "I was mad at myself. You were great tonight, Nathan. I'm so proud of you."
"Thanks," Nathan grinned. The words meant so much more to him coming from Madison than they did Millie, "You're not leaving, are you?"
Madison nodded, "You should go be with your friends, Nathan. With Millie."
"It's okay," Madison said, turning and hoping she could hold it together long enough to reach her car before crying again.
"That's not what I want," Nathan quickly replied, grabbing Madison's wrist as she turned away.
Madison looked back to her brother. She swallowed and froze, looking into Nathan's gorgeous blue eyes. She saw hope there; her heart skipped a beat when Nathan moved closer.
Suddenly, his lips were on hers. Madison was too stunned to react at first, but after a moment all of her desires from the last two weeks poured out of her. She began kissing him back, passionately. Her lips tingled and burned against her brother's mouth as she lifted a hand to the back of his head. Her fingers brushed against the short damp hair above the back of his neck, pulling him to her. Nathan's strong arms wrapped around her as their mouths explored one another hungrily, their tongues bumping into each other. He kissed her for what seemed like forever before finally ending it with several lingering nibbles on her lower lip.
"Nathan..." Madison whispered, breathless.
"I have to go," Nathan murmured, "hit the showers."
Madison nodded absently, dumbstruck by the power of Nathan's kiss.
"I'll see you at home? I don't want to be with Millie, I want to be with you tonight."
"You do?" Madison was in shock a the sudden turn of events, "Um, o-okay. Do you need a ride home?"
"I should ride back with the team," Nathan answered. "But I'll be home right after. Will you wait for me?"
"Yeah, okay," Madison agreed, still in a daze. She watched as Nathan jogged towards the locker room area, unable to move. It was only after several long moments that Madison remembered she needed to find her car...
During her drive home Madison replayed the scene with Nathan over and over again in her mind. He had kissed her! It was the most passionate moment in Madison's nineteen years of life, more potent than anything she had ever experienced. Halfway home, she noticed her lips were still tingling. She and Nathan had done some naughty and kinky things together in the last weeks, but that kiss trumped it all.
Prior to the kiss, Madison had worried that Nathan didn't feel the same way she did. She feared their flirtatious romance had been trivial to him, that he was simply taking advantage of the situation to get some easy sex. But the emotion behind his lips changed everything for Madison. She was sure Nathan was falling for her, just as she was falling for him. The only question left to be answered was... what would they do about it?
The biggest obstacle to a potential relationship between her and Nathan was their parents. It was simply too awkward with her and her brother still living at home. Madison knew the right thing to do would be nipping the growing romance in the bud and ending it immediately. That was the rational course, but Madison's heart screamed in protest at the notion. She knew the heartache that would cause her, but she also knew her parents wouldn't stand for a relationship between her and Nathan.
Madison's mind wandered the rest of her drive home, her imagination traveling along several possible scenarios. They all ended in heartbreak and disaster. The only path that seemed feasible, if she wanted to be with Nathan, was if they kept their relationship a secret. Madison didn't know if she could live like that. She didn't know if she could hide her emotions and lie to her friends and family.
A taxi cab was leaving the driveway as Madison returned home and she found her mother and step-father laughing and giggling near the front door while fumbling for their house keys.
"Hi, honey," Joyce beamed as Madison got out of her car. "How was the game?"
Madison smirked, "Mom, are you drunk?"
Joyce pinched two fingers close together, "Just a little."
"The drinks were flowing at the Benson's," Mike added, finally getting the door unlocked.
"Well, you two missed a great game," Madison noted. "Nathan was awesome."
"Oh that's wonderful," Joyce leaned against her husband.
Mike curled an arm around Joyce, "Come on dear, time for bed." He grinned at Madison, "You and Nathan can tell us all about it in the morning."
Madison shook her head, amused by her parent's antics. They rarely drank to excess in front of her or Nathan, but perhaps they were letting their hair down now that she and Nathan were both over eighteen. "Good night, guys."
Madison wasn't sure what to do with herself. Nathan wasn't going to arrive home for at least another hour but he was the only thing on her mind; the only thing she could focus on. She wanted to see her brother and talk to him. Her world was on hold until that happened.
Climbing the stairs to her room, Madison took her sweater jacket off and regarded her reflection in a mirror. She tossed a hand through her curly hair and considered changing but had no idea if she should dress up or dress down. Would Nathan even care what she was wearing? Was he as eager to see her as she was to see him? Would he care if she were home at all? Of course he would, Madison told herself. Nathan kissed her, after all. He'd asked her to wait for him.