Brit woke up early in the morning to a pleasant sensation. She lay with her eyes closed for a while, just enjoying it. Finally, as sleepiness fled from her, she opened her eyes to discover just what felt so good. She lay on her back, and Crystal had rolled over on top of her, the girl's head on Brit's chest. Crystal's body felt warm and soft against her own.
It was a little embarrassing though, since they were both nude. She tried to gently push Crystal off of her without waking her, but unfortunately, it didn't work. Crystal's eyes opened. She stared around groggily, they glanced up at Brit and smiled at her.
"Morning already?" she asked.
"Yep," Brit replied. "I'm going to get dressed."
"Do you have to?" Crystal whined. "Can't we just lie here for a few more minutes? It feels so nice."
"Crystal, we're both naked!"
"That's okay, because we're both girls, remember?"
Brit sighed. Crystal did have a point. It would be different if one of them was a boy, but this was all right. Still, she felt a little uncomfortable about the whole thing.
"I think it's time we got up," she insisted.
Crystal gave a little groan of disappointment, but she rolled off of Brit. The girls hurriedly threw on their clothes for the day, then Brit unzipped the tent opening and stepped outside into the cool mountain air. She yawned and stretched.
Crystal followed her, then headed over to the tent where Jeff, Lissa, and Kari slept.
"Knock knock," she said.
"Don't come in. We're not decent," Kari's voice replied.
"Well, you'd better hurry and get decent," Crystal said. "The grownups aren't awake yet, but they have a perfect view of this campsite once they get up. Imagine Dad's reaction if he sees you coming out of Jeff's tent."
There was the sudden sound of scrambling inside the tent, and both Brit and Crystal began to giggle.
Kari did make it out of the tent before the adults, and so did Jeff and Lissa. They headed over to the picnic table and huddled together for warmth, talking and joking until Allen, Greg, and Allison emerged from their tents. Ten minutes later they had a nice campfire going, and they all stood around it eating oatmeal and drinking hot chocolate.
After breakfast, Jeff and Kari decided to go explore one of the nearby trails. Greg told them to be back by lunch time, so they agreed and headed away from the camp before Brit and Crystal could ask to come with them. Jeff and Kari wanted some time alone.
They hiked about a mile and found a nice open meadow to rest in. By that time, the chill of the morning had burned off, so they lay down in the sunlight and just held each other for a while, hugging and kissing until it was time to head back.
They arrived back at camp just as their parents finished fixing lunch. Everyone ate, then most of them headed back to their tents for a quick nap.
Later, they all went back to the swimming hole to cool off. This time, unfortunately, Greg and Allen joined them, which kept the horseplay to a minimum. On the other hand, Allison decided to swim too, which certainly brightened up Jeff's day. He loved to see her in a swimsuit.
Crystal and Brit still pounced on everyone and tried to dunk them, which was fun of course, and innocent enough with their suits on that neither Greg nor Allen tried to discourage it. In fact, Brit even included Greg in the fun, and Crystal included Allen. Both of them were caught off their guard by their daughters and ended up being pushed under, to everyone's amusement.
They spent some time drying off in the sun after that, then headed back to break camp. This time Greg had to get back to work on Monday so they couldn't stay an extra night.
Brit and Kari traded places once more for the drive home, which suited Jeff just fine. He kept his arm around Kari for the whole trip. It was a shame when they pulled into the Williams' driveway to drop her off and retrieve Brit, but Kari said she would ask her dad if Crystal and she could visit Jeff and Brit the next day.
When Allen went off to basketball camp a couple of weeks later, that gave Jeff a perfect opportunity to spend time alone with Kari and Crystal. At first Greg was reluctant to let him go visit them without a chaperone, but Jeff convinced him that there wasn't much chance for him to get into any trouble with Kari while her little sister was there. It was a complete lie of course; he planned to get in a lot of trouble with Kari, and Crystal too, for that matter.
Despite the fact that she loved having sex with him, Crystal insisted that he bring Brit over every other time. She still felt a little guilty about spending so much time with Jeff and not as much time with her best friend. Jeff was happy to oblige her. Brit was surprisingly accommodating; when Kari asked if the younger girls would leave Jeff and her alone for a while, Brit and Crystal headed outside to play. Sometimes Jeff and Kari would have sex during these times, sometimes they would just hug and kiss and maybe grope each other a little, and sometimes they would just sit and talk. Their relationship had matured to the point that there was no longer any rush to go to bed together; while they enjoyed it of course, it was more important just to be near each other.
Sometimes Kari and Crystal visited the Primdale house as well. They often spent their time out back in the pool just like the previous summer. Jeff loved to swim with the girls, especially with Brit and Crystal acting so flirtatious. He liked it when Crystal jumped on his back, because he could feel the soft curves of her body through her suit.
Strangely enough, he felt similarly when Brit did it to him. Ever since the campout, he had been noticing her body more and more, especially when she wore a swimsuit. She had become a beautiful girl, despite still being a brat. He didn't let those feelings bother him; there was nothing wrong with thinking his little sister was pretty, and even sexy. It didn't mean he was going to act on it.
Sometimes Kari and Brit would trade places for a day; Kari would visit Jeff while Brit visited Crystal. Greg insisted they never do it the other way around while Allen wasn't home; he didn't like the idea of Jeff and Kari alone in the same house together without a chaperone.
That didn't stop them from having fun, though. After Lissa left for work in the afternoons, there were over two hours before Greg returned home, with only Allison, Jeff, and Kari in the house, and Allison turned out to be just as open to joining them when they made love as she had been the previous summer. She stayed true to her promise of never letting Jeff see her naked, and she limited her sexual contact with him to putting her hand on his cock, and she never gave him an orgasm alone; it was always with Kari's help. In that way, she could at least claim that it wasn't her that had done it.
Jeff's sixteenth birthday meant a new kind of freedom; the first thing he did was go down to the DMV and get his driver's license. Having the license meant he didn't have to depend upon other people to go where he wanted. It also meant that he could take Kari out without having to be chauffeured by Allison, Greg, or worse, Allen.
Of course, he still had to borrow one of the family vehicles. Greg told him that he was willing to buy Jeff a car just as soon as he found himself an after-school job, but Jeff wasn't in any hurry. Allison was more than happy to let Jeff borrow her car any time he wanted, and getting a job would mean spending less time with Kari and Crystal.
Greg did tell Jeff that he was not to drive at any time when there was no adult at home. He wanted to make sure if there were any problem with the car, for instance an accident, a breakdown, or having it towed, that Jeff would be able to call home and get hold of them right away. Jeff thought that was reasonable.
With only a couple of months left before she had to leave, Lissa spent as much time with her family as possible. She would often play games with Jeff and Brit when they were both around. When Brit visited Crystal however, Jeff and Lissa would just sit and talk. For some reason, he found that to be one of the most enjoyable things to do with her.
She often visited him in his room at night. They lay on the bed together talking, sometimes into the early morning hours. Once, she even fell asleep like that, and spent the night in his bed with him.
That didn't mean there was anything sexual between them. After the camping trip, their relationship was strictly a brother-sister love, albeit a strong one. They talked about what had happened in the tent, and both of them had come to the same conclusion: that even though they were nude, what they had done was merely intimate, not sexual. Jeff and Kari had had sex. Jeff and Lissa had not.
Jeff had a dilemma that summer. While he wanted to spend as much time with Lissa before she left, he also wanted to be with Kari. It seemed like every day he had to choose between them. Usually he visited Kari on the days when Lissa wasn't going to be around much, such as when their dad and stepmom took her shopping for luggage.
Sometimes, though, he just felt like going over to the Williams house, especially when he knew Allen wouldn't be around. Often when Lissa found herself alone with Brit and Allison, the two sisters would go out to the studio, where Brit would draw another fantastical picture of her. By now Lissa had been turned into fairies, sorceresses, angels, princesses, and even a witch or two.
One day after Brit had finished drawing her, Allison stopped by. She took a look at the picture on the easel and smiled. This time, Lissa had been turned into a mermaid, sitting on a rock with a sunset over the ocean behind her and her golden tresses strategically covering her breasts in the traditional fashion with mermaid pictures.
"Absolutely beautiful," she commented. "I love to come out here where I can be surrounded by your fantasies, Brit. You're such a great artist."
"It helps that I have a good model," Brit grinned, and Lissa smiled at her.
"I don't mind posing for someone with the talent to make me look great," Lissa replied. "I think what's happening is that Brit's imagination is too big to be contained by her mind, so it's overflowing and spilling out into her hand, and out through the pencil onto the paper."
"That's exactly it," Brit grinned.
"Well, it's too bad I can't stay longer, because I'd love to see what else you can come up with, but I have to get ready to go to work. Why don't you draw Allison this time? I'll bet she'd make a great mermaid."
"Maybe some other time," Brit responded. "My hand's getting sore from drawing all day."
"Okay. I'll see you two tonight," said Lissa, then slipped out the door.
"You know, that's the first time I've seen you draw a mermaid," Allison commented.
"It's because they're usually topless or have a shell bikini," Brit explained with a laugh. "I guess I'm not comfortable drawing naked or nearly naked girls."
"Well that won't do," said Allison.
"What do you mean?"
"If you're ever going to be a serious artist, you're going to have to learn to do nudes."
"Nudes?" asked Brit, starting to turn red.
"There's nothing to be embarrassed about," Allison told her. "It's a very legitimate subject in art. The human body is fascinating. The subtleties of shape, the beauty, and even sometimes the ugliness."
"But... isn't that... dirty?"
"Not a bit. If you'd like, I could buy you a few books on the subject."
"You mean like dirty magazines?"
Allison laughed. "Brit, there's a difference between art and pornography. Not that pornography doesn't have its place. Look, next time I'm out shopping I'll stop by the book store and get you some books so you can start reading through them."
"But what if Dad finds out I have them?"
"We can solve that problem easily. I'll ask his permission first. All right?"
Brit nodded. "I suppose that would be okay."
"Good. While we're on the subject of nudes, I have a great idea. Probably the best way to start is with photography. First so you can get used to having a nude model in front of you, and second so that you can ignore the form and concentrate first on the pose. It will help you develop an eye for the lighting especially."
Brit laughed. "Where am I going to get a nude model?" she asked.
"Oh, didn't I tell you? When I was in college I helped pay my way by working as a nude model for a professional photographer."
"Really?" Brit gasped. It wasn't that it surprised her; it was more that Allison wasn't joking about doing nude photography in the first place.
"I think he worked for an offshoot of Lecher Magazine. Anyway, that was a while ago, but I still don't mind taking my clothes off if you'd like to take some pictures."
"I don't know..." mumbled Brit. The idea was strangely compelling, but also a little embarrassing.
"Come on, it will be fun," Allison grinned.
Brit nodded. She quietly headed back to her office, where her camera sat on one of the desks. Allison grabbed the tripod from the corner and set it up. After mounting the camera on it, the two girls moved the screen and the couch into place.
By this time, Brit had learned enough about lighting that she was able to position the lamps herself. As she did so, Allison began to undress. Brit tried to avoid looking at her as she did so, but Allison noticed her averting her eyes, and laughed.
"There's no need to be embarrassed about seeing me without my clothes on," she said. "You're going to have to look at me in order to take the pictures anyway."
"I know. It's just that... well, for one thing, I've never seen you nude before. And I'm just not used to it."
"Don't you shower with other girls after P.E. in school?" asked Allison.
"Well, yes, but that's different."
"For one thing, they're all my own age. They're not fully developed, grown women. And for another, I don't take pictures of them."
Allison laughed again. "Yes, that's usually frowned upon in junior high locker rooms."
Brit giggled. Allison always knew just how to lighten up any situation.
"Well, let's just get it over with," said Allison, as she removed the last of her clothing. "Go ahead and take a nice, long look at me. Then there will be no need to be embarrassed any more."
Brit gazed at her stepmother, who spread her arms wide and smiled. She really did have a beautiful body, Brit realized, not that she had much basis for comparison. As Brit had mentioned, she had only seen the bodies of younger girls before. In fact, Lissa was the oldest girl she had seen naked.
She noticed something else strange. Allison had no hair between her legs. Brit wondered about that. Was it some kind of medical condition? Did she shave it off for some reason? Brit knew from personal experience that when girls reached her age they began to grow hair down there; she herself had a little. So probably Allison had deliberately shaved it off.
Brit decided not to ask about it. It was Allison's choice, so why should Brit second-guess it?
"So do you want to direct the poses, or should I just have fun with it?" asked Allison.
"I'm no expert," said Brit. "Why don't you go ahead and do what you want?"
"Okay," Allison grinned. She sat down on the couch, then half-reclined on her side, facing the camera. She bent her top leg slightly, bringing it forward and down over the other one so that the knee just barely touched the cushion. She supported her upper body with an arm on the armrest of the couch, and placed her other arm at her side, her hand resting on her hip. She wore a slight smile on her face as she stared directly at the camera. The pose was simple and natural, perhaps a little sexy but at the same time very innocent.
Brit adjusted the lighting just a little and had Allison lift her chin slightly, then snapped a picture. She nearly giggled at the thought that she had just done something she had never done before. She had taken a photograph of a naked woman.
Allison raised one of her arms and put her hand behind her head. The slight contortion of her body made her chest stick out just a little, causing it to look a bit fuller than it really was. This pose was somehow sexier than the last one while still maintaining a degree of innocence. "Artistic" was the word that seemed to come to Brit's mind, and now she could see what Allison meant by the difference between art and pornography. These poses were designed to show off the natural beauty of the human body without intending to be arousing. Perhaps it was slightly erotic, or more precisely, it would be slightly erotic if Brit weren't a girl. She could definitely understand how Jeff might be turned on by it though.
After she took the picture, Allison sat up and glanced around. "Let's see..." she said. She glanced over at the desk.
"Would you mind bringing me that book?" she asked Brit, pointing to a paperback that Brit had been reading earlier that day.
Wondering what Allison had in mind, Brit went over and retrieved it, then came back and handed it to her stepmother. Allison lay down on her back, her head propped up on the armrest of the couch and her hair spilling down over the side. She opened the book and gazed down at the pages as if reading it, then lifted one of her knees. It was a nice, relaxed position, and one that wouldn't have been arousing in the least were she wearing clothes. But without them, there was a certain erotic quality to it. Now Brit was beginning to understand a little bit about the irony of nude art. Innocent poses could sometimes be every bit as sexy, if not more so, than lewd or vulgar displays. There was something definitely appealing about the subtle sexuality of a beautiful woman in a relaxed, serene atmosphere like this.
After Brit took this next picture, Allison sat back up and handed the book back to her. Brit set it down on the desk and came back. Allison had taken her next pose. This time she sat up straight with her arms spread out along the back of the couch, with one leg crossed over the other. She had pulled her hair to the side and over her shoulder, a look that Brit thought was very pretty. The demure pose of her legs contrasted the open and almost inviting posture of her upper body. Brit took the next picture, starting to enjoy herself.
"So when you posed before, you know, in college," she said, "was it like this? I mean, was it just innocent poses like these ones?"
Allison smiled. "No," she said.
"Oh," said Brit, unsure how to take that response.
"Brit," said Allison, "I know you don't like to be told that you're too young, but the truth is, I don't feel comfortable discussing the details with you. At least, not until you're a little older. Don't get me wrong, I never did any hardcore pornography. Most of the pictures were like these ones, with a slight difference that I don't want to go into right now. Do you mind?"
"I guess not," Brit replied, a little disappointed.
Allison tried out several other poses for Brit, keeping them all very clean. Brit no longer had any hesitation about photographing her stepmother nude. It was actually rather fun. She wondered whether she could get Crystal to do it for her some time. That thought actually did make her giggle. Knowing Crystal, she would probably love to do it.
After finishing the photo shoot, Brit came and sat down next to Allison on the couch, running through the pictures on the viewfinder on her camera. Allison critiqued each one, telling what she liked about it and what she didn't. Not surprisingly, Brit had done an excellent job with the framing and composition. Allison had taught her quite a lot about photography as a supplement to her drawing.
"Maybe next time, you'd like to be the one to pose," Allison suggested.
"Oh, I couldn't!" Brit said, blushing.
"Why not? You could see it's no big deal. And I'll bet you would make an excellent subject."
"But... what if someone saw those pictures?" she asked.
"We'll use your camera, so you'll have complete control over them. If you want to erase them afterward, that's fine. I just think it would be fun, that's all."
"Well, we'll have to see," said Brit. Now that Allison had brought it up, Brit wondered what it would feel like to pose nude in front of a camera like that. She shuddered at the thought of it, partly out of nervousness, but partly because the thought excited her. With someone like Allison, it might not be so bad. Allison was warm and friendly, and would keep the atmosphere professional. On the other hand, it would also be fun to do it with Crystal. She had already taken her clothes off in front of her best friend after all. Crystal would make all kinds of crude or naughty jokes, but on the other hand, it would all be in fun.
"Thanks, Brit," said Allison, as she rose to her feet, still naked.
"It feels good to do that again. I haven't done it in at least five years."
"You mean you actually like taking your clothes off for the camera?"
"Sure," Allison smiled. "It feels liberating to go naked like that. If not for Jeff being here, I'd probably run around naked all day."
Brit laughed. That would be a sight to see.
"You know, your father is good with a camera," commented Allison. "I wonder if I can get him to come out here and borrow your studio some time when you're not around."
"You naughty girl!" Brit teased.
"It's fun to be naughty with Greg," Allison winked, reaching for her clothes.
Later that day, Brit transferred the pictures to her computer. She decided to use them for reference, possibly turning Allison into a mermaid. That first pose would be perfect for that. She figured she might as well go all out; this time she wouldn't leave the boobs covered.
Of course, that picture wouldn't go up on the wall. She would keep it in a drawer in her desk, where she kept all of her embarrassing mistakes. She couldn't quite bring herself to throw them away, because she sometimes liked to go back and look at them again to compare with her recent drawings to see just how far she had come since then.
With preparations for the Hawaii trip coming up, there were no more opportunities for Allison to pose for Brit, nude or otherwise. About a week before the trip, Greg gave Jeff and Brit some good news; he had already made arrangements for Allen Williams to watch them for the duration of the trip. The kids would stay at the Williams house the whole time. That meant Jeff would have to sleep on the couch of course; there were no spare bedrooms, and since Brit would be sleeping with Crystal, there would be no way to have Kari move in with her little sister temporarily to free up a room.
Jeff didn't mind at all. He remembered that the couch in the front room was very comfortable. Of course, he usually had Kari on top of him when he lay on it, which could make any couch comfortable.
They all packed their bags the day before the trip, since they had to get up early in the morning in order to make their flight. They got to bed early to get a good night's sleep.
The next morning, they threw their bags in the van, then drove to the Williams house. Kari and Crystal met them at the door with grins on their faces. Greg helped unload Brit's and Jeff's bags, then after a quick word with Allen, he returned to the van, waved goodbye, and drove off with Allison and Lissa to the airport.
Despite having no opportunity for sex, Jeff enjoyed himself that week. He never got tired of spending time with Kari, and now that he was with her from early morning until the time they went to bed at night, he was in a great mood. Not even Brit's teasing bothered him. Of course, whenever Crystal was around the teasing was more flirtatious than malicious, or he might not have been so pleased. Plus, when Kari suggested that Jeff and she give the girls plenty of things to tease them about, he was more than happy to take her up on the offer. Between the kissing, the hugging, the holding hands, the wrestling, and the back rubs, there was no shortage of fodder for the girls' jokes.
The nice thing was that Allen didn't seem to mind Jeff getting friendly with his daughter. He had already told Jeff that he approved of their relationship, and had even implied that it would be okay for Jeff to have sex with her. Still, Jeff tried not to get too physical whenever her father was in the room.
A week later, the three older Primdales arrived in the van to pick up Jeff and Brit and take them home. It was a shame to leave, but it didn't mean he wouldn't see Kari and Crystal again, just that he wouldn't be sleeping in the same house.
Because Lissa had turned eighteen in Hawaii, she hadn't had a birthday party, so the family threw her a late one the day after they got back. One thing that everyone was happy about was that since her birthday was during the summer, she would probably have at least a couple more at home where her family could celebrate it with her.
That left about a month before Lissa had to leave, and for some reason, that month went by far too quickly. As the day approached, Jeff found himself wishing she didn't have to go. He had known it would have to happen eventually, but that didn't mean he had to like it. He had known her all his life, so it was like losing a part of himself.
His gloom was tempered by an announcement from Allison. She had just gotten off the phone with her sister Rachael, who would be riding back with Greg and Allison after dropping off Lissa. Rachael would spend two weeks at the Primdales' home. That got Jeff excited as he considered the possibilities.
Brit brought up the point that they had been planning to go camping the weekend after Lissa left, but Allison said that although Rachael wasn't a big fan of camping, she had agreed to go along with them so as not to ruin their vacation. With everything settled then, Jeff actually began to look forward to those two weeks.
Lissa quit her job a couple of weeks before her departure date, both to give her more time to get ready, and to spend more time with her family. During those weeks, it was not uncommon to see her belongings strewn about the living room floor as she went through them dividing them into three piles: things to take with her, things to leave behind, and things to throw away. Brit helped her with the task, partly because she was free to take anything from the "throw away" pile that she wanted.
School began for Jeff and Brit on the Tuesday before Lissa was to leave, much to their disappointment. It felt much like the beginning of their other school years, with the sadness of the end of summer and excitement of seeing their friends again, but this time the sadness was disproportionate. Not only did it mean less time to spend with their big sister, it was also the last major event before her departure.
The only good thing, in Jeff's opinion, was that he got to see Kari every day now. In fact, by a stroke of luck it turned out that she shared all of his classes with him but one. Granted, two of those had assigned seating which meant he didn't sit anywhere near her, but in the others they sat together every day.
Now that he was old enough to drive, Allison said he could drive her car to school every day as long as she didn't need it, assuming he took Brit to the junior high first. Allison preferred to use the van when going shopping or running errands because it was roomier. That suited Jeff just fine. Any car was better than none, and he no longer had to ride the bus. He could even tolerate Brit's presence for the duration of the drive, especially since he often stopped by the Williams house and picked up Kari and Crystal too.
The day before Lissa had to leave, Greg sat the family down in the living room to talk to them. "Jeff," he said, "you've probably noticed that we haven't made arrangements for a babysitter. That's because I think you're old enough and responsible enough to take care of things on your own. There's plenty of food in the house, so you shouldn't have to go shopping while we're gone. You have the phone numbers for the Beauforts and Allen Williams in case you need anything. And you have the keys to Allison's car. If you can promise me that you'll take care of your little sister, you two can stay by yourself."
"I promise," said Jeff with a grin. The only babysitter in the last couple of years that he actually liked was Rachael.
"Brit, do you promise you'll listen to Jeff and do what he says?"
"Do I have to?"
"Yes you do. Jeff, you're not to take advantage of it, all right? You have to promise to only tell her to do things if it's for her own good."
"Sure," Jeff shrugged.
"Okay, I promise then," said Brit.
"Then it's all settled," Greg smiled. "Now I don't have to worry about either of you two."
Jeff woke up the next day in a gloomy mood. He knew he had run out of time with his big sister; that afternoon she would be leaving, not to return until December. It didn't help that it was raining. Greg mentioned at the breakfast table that according to the weather man, the storm would last all day. Jeff almost wished it would turn into a hurricane, closing the school and forcing him to stay home where he could visit with Lissa all day. Unfortunately, it was not to be. He grudgingly drove Brit to school, then headed to the high school.
All that day he stared out the window at the rain. Kari sensed his mood, and tried to cheer him up. It partially worked; with her beautiful face smiling at him, it was impossible to stay depressed for long. Still, any time she wasn't deliberately trying to keep him happy, his melancholy returned.
After school, the two of them climbed into his car and headed to the junior high to pick up their little sisters. They dropped off Kari and Crystal at the Williams house then headed home in a gloomy silence.
The van was mostly packed by that time, with only a small overnight bag of Lissa's sitting in the hall by the front door. They found the rest of the family sitting at the dining room table talking.
"Oh good," said Greg. "You're home. We need to get going pretty soon, but I wanted to give you two one last chance to see your sister before she leaves."
"Thanks, Dad," Jeff replied. "I'm glad you waited for us."
"Look, I'm not sure if we really should leave you two alone," said Greg. "The weather report says that this storm is going to be pretty big."
"Oh, we'll be all right," Brit said. "Jeff has the car keys, and we have your cell phone number."
"Well, maybe we could hire a babysitter."
Jeff wouldn't have opposed that idea if the babysitter was Rachael, but she wouldn't be arriving until Greg and Allison got back.
"Dad, there's no need for a babysitter," said Jeff. "Really. If you want to call and check on us later just to put your mind at ease, go ahead."
"Jeff's big enough to take care of himself," Allison encouraged. "And I know he won't let anything happen to Brit. Right, Jeff?"
"Right," he agreed.
"Good. Then it's all settled."
"Fine," said Greg. "Jeff, you just make sure she gets to bed by nine. Oh, and while I think of it, even though Allison's leaving the keys to her car, you're not to drive it except in an emergency."
"Fine," he agreed, reluctantly.
"And you are not to invite any friends over. I don't want to come back and find out you've trashed the place in a wild party."
"Don't worry, Jeff doesn't have any friends," Brit teased.
"Shut up," he told her, to which she merely stuck out her tongue.
"And don't fight," Allison said. "You're also not to murder each other while we're away."
"Oh, sure, take all the fun out of it," Jeff complained in mock disappointment.
"Okay, I'll wait until after you get back before I shove a knife through his head," Brit grinned.
Allison rolled her eyes, and Greg sighed in exasperation.
"About that not inviting friends over, can't I even invite Kari over?" asked Jeff.
Greg considered. "I'm going to have to say no," he said. "It's not that I don't trust you, but there's a certain appearance of propriety that we have to maintain. It's not a good idea for a boyfriend and girlfriend to be alone in a house for too long without a chaperone."
"What about Crystal?" asked Brit.
"I think Crystal's fine. If she wants to come over and play with you that's all right."
Jeff thought that was a little unfair, but on the other hand, Crystal was the next best thing to having Kari over, so he didn't push the point.
"So we'll see you two Sunday night then," said Allison, hugging them both.
"I won't," said Lissa, looking a little sad. She immediately threw her arms around Jeff. "I'm going to miss you so much," she told him. "You take care of yourself, okay?"
"You too," he replied. When she pulled away, Jeff was surprised to see tears in her eyes. He felt a lump forming in his throat, but he refused to cry, especially in front of Allison.
Then Lissa hugged Brit. "I'm going to miss my baby sister most of all," she said.
"I'm not a baby," Brit protested.
"To me you'll always be a baby," replied Lissa. Then she drew back. "I love you both, and I already miss you."
"It's not like it's forever," said Greg. "You'll see them at Christmas time."
"I know, but that's three months away."
"I wish you didn't have to go," said Brit.
"I'll tell you what," Lissa smiled. "I have an idea that will help us all."
"What is it?"
"I want you both to try harder to be nice to each other."
"Do we have to?" asked Brit.
"No you don't, but I promise that if you do, you won't miss me so much, because you'll have each other. I know you love each other, so all you have to do is put forth an effort to show it. Even just a little effort will make a big difference. And if you do, then I don't have to worry about you two because I know you'll look out for each other. Will you do that for me?"
Jeff and Brit glanced at each other, as if the idea were abhorrent to them.
"Okay," said Jeff, and Brit's eyes momentarily turned to surprise, and possibly even a little delight.
"I guess if Jeff does, then I will," said Brit.
"Good," smiled Lissa. "Now I can leave without worrying." She picked up her bag and headed out the door. Greg and Allison followed.
Jeff and Brit stood at the door as their parents climbed into the van and Lissa into her car. The two vehicles pulled out of the driveway and headed down the hill, leaving Jeff and Brit in a house that suddenly felt very empty.