The next day at school, as soon as he found the girls from the volleyball team, he walked right up to them and gave Erica a hug.
"Thank you so much for finding my little sister," he told her.
"Hey, the rest of us helped too," Jenny complained. Jeff released Erica and hugged Jenny, then he hugged Tracy, then went around the rest of the group, hugging them all. He paused at Gwen, who might not appreciate a hug from a boy after all, but she merely shrugged and threw her arms around him.
All through school, he couldn't get his mind off his little sister. At least he paid more attention in class; now that his melancholy had passed, he started to care more about everything, including his education. After school, Jeff headed home with Brit, happy to be able to spend time with her again.
He realized that afternoon that their relationship had changed once again, this time for the better hopefully. At first they had been enemies, always bickering and fighting. Then they had become lovers. Now, both of those were in the past, and they were free to be friends.
By Monday, Brit was back to her old cheerful self. The danger seemed to have passed, and all the sadness and melancholy of the past couple of months had just about vanished as well. That was a good sign, but secretly Jeff still felt a little bitter because it looked like she no longer needed him. Still, as long as it kept her from running away again, he was willing to limit his contact with her. It still pained him to see her acting affectionate with Greg, but he could live with it.
That afternoon, as soon as the last bell rang he dashed out to his car and took a drive over to the junior high to pick her up for the "detention." He couldn't find her out front, and he had a moment of panic as he thought she might have run away again. But he made his way inside to look for her there. He knew she had Mr. Nelson for homeroom teacher, and unless they had rearranged rooms since he had been in junior high himself, he knew exactly where that was.
To his relief, he found her there, sitting alone with Mr. Nelson in his class. He opened the door and stepped into the room.
"Hello, Jeff," Mr. Nelson smiled. He had been Jeff's teacher three years ago, and they had always gotten along well together.
"Hi, Mr. Nelson," he smiled back. "I'm just here to pick up Brit."
"I know, and I'm sorry to keep you waiting. She and I were just having a little talk."
Again Jeff had a momentary suspicion; Mr. Nelson's daughter Kimmy had confessed to having a sexual relationship with him, which meant he liked young girls. But he couldn't imagine the man ever taking anyone against their will. He had always been one of the kindest and gentlest teachers in the school. No doubt Brit was perfectly safe with him.
"All right," said Jeff. "If you need a few more minutes, I can wait outside..."
"Oh no, we're done here," replied Mr. Nelson.
"Come on, Brit," said Jeff, reaching out his hand to her.
"Jeff," said Mr. Nelson. "Do you mind if I have a word with you in private?"
"Sure," he shrugged. "Brit, you go ahead and go out to the car. I'll be right with you."
"Okay, but don't wait too long," she smiled.
As soon as she left the room, Mr. Nelson sat down on the corner of his desk. "I'm going to be perfectly frank," he said. "Britney told me about your relationship."
"What?" asked Jeff, astonished.
"Don't be mad at her. I kind of pried it out of her. And just to be perfectly clear, she also mentioned that both of you know about me and my daughter Kimmy. So don't worry about me disclosing your secret. If I ever did that, you have enough on me to send me to prison for a very long time."
"I wouldn't ever do that. I've met Kimmy, and I know she loves you a lot."
"Yes she does, and I love her. Just like you and Britney love each other. You see, I'm in a unique position here. I can give you the kind of advice that you can get nowhere else."
Jeff nodded. Actually, he felt kind of relieved. Here was someone who had gone through many of the things Jeff had, someone who actually understood him.
"Before Kimmy came to live with me," Mr. Nelson continued, "she wasn't very happy. I won't go into details, but let's just say it wasn't the kind of life she deserved. When I was pretty much forced to take care of her, I was reluctant at first, but after a couple of days of seeing just how sweet of a girl she is, I decided that I would do anything to make her happy. And it seems to have worked.
"Now, you did something that hurt your little sister. Fortunately, there was no permanent harm done. We'll just call it a bad decision and move on. It's what happens in the future that concerns me. And that's where my advice comes in. If you want to make things right between you two, then do what I did. Make it your goal in life to see that she's happy. If you do that, then I promise you that what happened last week will never happen again."
"I wish it were that simple," Jeff said. "But my dad found out about us, and he was furious. He's set up some rules, so I'm limited in what I can do to make her happy."
Mr. Nelson nodded. "Well, that does complicate things, but it just makes it more of a challenge. You're a bright young man, so I'm sure you'll find a way to do what needs to be done. Just like Kimmy, Britney deserves it."
"Yes she does," nodded Jeff.
"All right. I've said my piece. If you ever need to talk, understand that I'm here for you. Tell Britney that too."
"I will. And thanks."
"And one more thing. Kimmy also told me about that slumber party at the Williams House on Crystal's fourteenth birthday. She admitted fooling around with some of the girls, but that she drew the line at doing the same with you. Is this true?"
"Good," said Mr. Nelson, sounding relieved. "I don't mind her having fun with her girlfriends like that; I think a little experimentation between girls at that age is healthy, and besides," he laughed, "it kind of turns me on to think of it. On the other hand, I want you to promise me that if you ever find yourself in another situation like that with her, you won't touch her. I ask you that both as a protective parent and as a jealous lover."
"Absolutely. I would never do anything that a girl doesn't like, and I would never ask her to cheat on the person they love." He actually felt a little guilty about that; he had made love to Allison behind his father's back after all. But in the end it had turned out all right.
"All right. I know I can trust you."
It sounded like that was the end of the discussion, so Jeff headed for the door. On the way out, he met Kimmy, who was just going in to see her father.
"Hi Jeff," she smiled.
"Hi Kimmy," he replied. "You know, you've got one hell of a dad."
"I know," she giggled, ducking into the room.
Jeff headed outside to the car, where he met Brit. He was about to climb into the car when he spotted his friend Rick across the parking long, standing there with his little sister Amy mounted on his back with her arms wrapped around his neck and her legs wrapped around his torso. At thirteen, she was way too old for piggyback rides, but from the grin on Rick's face, it was obvious that he didn't mind.
"Could you hold on a minute?" he told Brit. She nodded.
He waved to Rick, then headed over to them.
"Hi Jeff," said Rick.
"Hi Rick," he smiled. "I take it you came by to pick up your little sister too?"
"He comes by every day," Amy grinned. "He just can't stay away from me."
Rick laughed. "You're the one to talk," he said. "Hanging on me all the time. Literally sometimes, like right now."
"Yep, I guess we're just stuck with each other."
"So how's Brit doing?" asked Rick. "I heard about what happened last week. Amy's in some of her classes at school."
"She's much better than she was," Jeff replied.
"That's good. So if you don't mind my asking, why did she run away?"
"Well, that gets complicated. Let's just say she and I got into a fight."
"Not unusual for you two," Rick grinned. "At least, not until this year. You seem to be getting along a lot better than you used to though. At least, until just recently."
"Yeah, we had our differences. Speaking of which, you used to hate your sister too, didn't you?"
"I never hated her," replied Rick. "I just didn't realize how much I loved her."
Amy grinned, then leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.
"Except when she gets all affectionate in public," Rick laughed. Amy stuck out her tongue at him. "But seriously, I used to be embarrassed by her hanging all over me all the time, but now I just don't let it bother me."
"So what happened between you two?" asked Jeff.
Rick and Amy both turned red, though they tried to hide it. Jeff suddenly had a sneaking suspicion. Could it be possible?
"So do you two ever..." he said, then wondered how he could possibly ask them that.
"Ever what?" asked Amy.
"Do you two ever... fight still?" It wasn't what he had intended to ask, but at least it came out as a harmless and reasonable question.
"Sometimes," said Amy. "But as long as I know Rick loves me, I don't mind. Besides, it just means we get to make up later."
Rick turned his head and gave her a stern look, and Jeff's suspicions were confirmed.
"Anyway," said Jeff, "I've got to go. I'll see you tomorrow for our study group, Rick?"
"I'll be there," he smiled.
"As long as Vanessa is there," Amy teased.
"Hey!" Rick exclaimed. It was all in fun, of course. Rick and Vanessa had been friends for a long time and it was likely that if they hadn't gotten together by now, they never would. Besides, it appeared that Rick already had a special someone in his life. But Jeff knew from experience that little sisters loved to tease their older siblings about any potential love interest.
Jeff turned around and headed back to Brit and his car, pretty confident now that Mr. Nelson wasn't the only one who understood what he was going through. Maybe it wasn't so unusual after all.
As they drove back to the high school, Jeff glanced over at Brit, who had a nervous look on her face. He thought he knew the reason for that nervousness.
"If you're worried that I'll be mad at you for telling Mr. Nelson about us, don't be," he said, and she seemed relieved.
"I'm sorry," she told him.
"It's okay. He told me he pried it out of you. You never could keep a secret," he chuckled. "But never mind that. I don't think there's a problem telling him because he's got his own secret that we know about. He was just concerned for your welfare, so he gave me some advice."
"Basically to make it my goal in life to make you happy. It's good advice."
"Really?" Brit grinned delightedly.
"Of course, I expect you to do the same," he teased.
"Okay," she replied. "I'll make it my goal in life to make me happy."
"No, I meant..."
"Just kidding. I'm going to do everything I can to make you happy. Fair enough?"
"I think things are going to be a lot better from now on," he smiled.
The "detention" turned out to be all fun and games. All the girls gave Brit a hug as soon as she arrived, though she had to endure several lectures about running away, by Principal Foster and some of the girls on the volleyball team. Jenny even mentioned that she had run away once, when she was seven. Her resolve had lasted only two blocks. When she returned home, her parents hadn't even known she was missing, and never did find out that she had run away.
Jeff came to Brit's rescue and claimed that he was entirely to blame, though he gave no details, only saying it was because he had gotten into a fight with her. It seemed a satisfactory answer, especially to anyone who knew about his past history of fighting with her all the time, and no one pushed for any more details than that. He figured that several of the girls suspected that there was something more going on between them, especially after that day in September when they had practiced at the Primdale house. They had seen firsthand how affectionate Brit was with Jeff. None of them mentioned it though, especially not in front of Principal Foster.
The pizza was good, and they all had a lot of fun sitting around eating and talking. It was the most un-detention-like detention he had ever attended, not that he had much experience. He was a good kid, and rarely found himself in trouble.
Principal Foster did give them a lecture at the end, about how important their attendance was and that they shouldn't make it a habit to skip school, even with the noblest of intentions. He said that just because it had turned out all right this time didn't mean it was always the right thing to do. He stopped short of making them promise not to leave school grounds again, only asking that they think about what they were doing if they ever felt the urge again. Brit voluntarily promised, however, that she at least would never give them a reason in the future, which seemed to put his mind at ease.
After another round of hugs, they all left to return to their various homes. Jeff held Brit's hand as they drove back, only releasing it once they arrived at the mansion, where Allison and Greg awaited them.
After the emotional ordeal of Brit running away, things seemed to improve. Jeff and Brit got along much better, to Greg's immense relief. Somehow after all that had happened, they had managed to find the happy medium, where they neither bickered nor showed too much affection. They acted like normal, loving and caring brothers and sisters.
The only problem was that they always seemed to have guilty expressions on their faces whenever he walked in on them. Even if they had just been sitting together on the couch, they tended to scoot apart as soon as he entered the room. They cut off their conversations or abruptly changed subjects. He felt like an intruder every time he joined them.
He wondered whether it was because they were doing things they shouldn't, but he tested that theory by eavesdropping on their conversations a couple of times for a minute or two before entering the room. He didn't like the idea of spying on his children, so he limited it to only a couple of instances. The things they talked about were just normal, everyday subjects, but for some reason his children felt it was necessary to end their discussions as soon as he arrived.
Granted, several times he caught Jeff with his arm around his little sister was they sat together on the couch, but Greg didn't mind that at all. Still, Jeff immediately withdrew his arm upon spying his father.
For some reason, those guilty expressions and hasty actions bothered Greg. He had always tried to be caring and understanding, but now his kids seemed intimidated by him. They might be getting along well with each other, but they certainly weren't getting along with their father. There was no open animosity, just a certain barrier between father and children, a kind of cold war.
After a couple of weeks of that, he could stand it no longer, so that night he decided to ask Allison about it. She always seemed to be very perceptive when it came to the kids, especially since they didn't have the same problems around her as around him.
"Allison," said Greg as they were getting ready for bed, "am I a bad father?"
"You're an extraordinarily good father," she replied.
"Then why do I feel like a villain in my own house?"
She hesitated before responding. "Do you want the honest truth?"
"Actually, I was hoping for emotional support," he laughed.
"Well, I can give you that too, but not at the same time."
Greg sighed. "All right. The truth. Just be gentle; I don't think I can handle a brutal assault on my parenting skills." He sat down on the bed; he didn't think he would be able to take this standing up.
"All right. You want your children to turn out the best they can. You want them to be happy. That much just makes you an average parent. But you've done more than that. You've sacrificed for them. You could be living in a house fifty times this size, with maids and butlers and a full-time gardening staff, and servants ready to wait on you hand and foot. Or you could be living a glamorous and hedonistic life, like Kristen and Roberta. I saw the look of envy in your eyes when we visited them last Spring. But you wanted your children to grow up in a normal home with a loving family, learning to do things for themselves instead of expecting others to do them for them. You even sent them to public school, when you could have afforded the best private schools in the country, because you wanted them to be normal teenagers, learning to socialize with a variety of kids from various backgrounds, having all the experiences teenagers should, dealing with typical problems and learning to stand on their own feet. In short, you don't want your kids to grow up to be brats. Am I right?"
"In that sense, you're more than an average parent. You're downright heroic. The problem is, somewhere along the way, you got boring."
"Hey, that's a little--"
"Just hear me out, Greg. Since I'm being honest here, I might as well tell you that I've often suspected that that was the reason your first wife left you. Because frankly, I can't think of any other reason. You're charming, devoted, gallant, chivalrous, and a great lover. It's just that, until I came along, you really didn't know how to have fun."
"Okay, I suppose I can see that. I kind of disagree, but for the sake of argument, I'll humor you."
"But then I did come along, and that's when the problem started. You still want your children to turn out healthy, emotionally strong, and well-adjusted. That's fine. You want your daughters to one day fall in love with good and honest men, and you want your son to fall in love with a good and honest woman. You consider any deviation from that to be, well, deviant. I disagree with how narrow-minded that view is, but I really can't fault it.
"But you're no longer leading by example. You don't want Lissa to become a lesbian, but you've slept with two women, and let them have sex with each other right before your eyes. You even let your own daughter get frisky with me last year on that sailing trip. You don't want Jeff and Brit to fall in love with each other, but you condone my relationship with my sister. I'll admit, on that score I'm far more to blame than you are, but then, at least I'm consistent. I'm not trying to keep Lissa away from Alya, or Jeff away from Brit. But you are, and that makes you a hypocrite. That's why your kids see you as kind of a villain. They're still too young to understand your reasons for wanting to limit who they fall in love with; all they see is a double standard. You're allowed to have fun, but they're not. To them, it's that simple."
Greg nodded. It was a long time before he spoke. As he stared at the floor, Allison sat down next to him and put an arm around his shoulder.
"You're right," he said. "I'm a hypocrite. I just want to do the right thing, but I don't know what that is any more."
"For the record, I still think you're an extraordinary father," she told him.
"But what should I do? I love them and I would do anything to make them happy."
"One option is to simply let them fall in love with whomever they want. Let Lissa have Alya, and let Brit have Jeff."
"That won't make them happy. That will just give them some moments of pleasure now, but it will ruin their lives later."
"How do you know that? Have you seen the future? Maybe Brit could never be happy with anyone less noble, gentle, and charming than Jeff. You have to admit, that's a pretty high standard. And maybe the worst thing Lissa can do is try to repress her sexuality, to limit herself to loving just men. You still have that ideal of normal heterosexual relationships for your children in your mind, but maybe that's impossible to reach, and attempting it is worse than just admitting that they're going to be a little unconventional."
"I don't know. It seems so... I don't know. So what are my other options?"
"Well, you could leave things how they are. Refuse to negotiate on the rules you've set up, and hope that eventually they come around. And maybe some day they will. Or maybe you'll just end up alienating yourself, they'll do what they want anyway, and they'll resent you for interfering."
"I suspect that's what's already happening," he mumbled.
"Or you can just let them experiment with these relationships, hoping they'll run their course and then end. Maybe Jeff and Brit will fall out of love with each other on their own. Maybe Lissa and Alya will break up. But there are no guarantees of either of those happening."
"I just wish I could put things back how they were."
"If it will make you feel any better, that much at least is a normal part of parenting. Things change. Children grow up. Kids become teenagers, then adults. Sometimes you just have to accept that one part of your life is over, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the next."
Greg suddenly chuckled. "Here I am, fifteen years older than you, and you're giving me all kinds of motherly advice. I still don't know what to do, but I feel a little better at least."
"Do you want my opinion on where to go from here?" she asked.
"You have conflicting goals, and you have to decide which you want more, because you may need to choose between them. You want your kids to be happy, and you want your kids to have normal relationships. Maybe you can't have both. So focus on their happiness, and trust their judgment enough to let them decide who can make them happy."
Greg shook his head. "I wish it were that simple. I really do. I wish I could just tell them to do whatever they want, and they would be happy. But I still think what they're doing is wrong, and it can only end in misery."
Allison shrugged. "It worked for Rachael and me."
"You're not my children."
"Neither are you."
He sighed. "Okay, I don't want to argue with you. Maybe I've been a little harsh on the kids. Lissa especially, because she's an adult now, and can make her own decisions about things like that. I may not like it, but I'm going to have to learn to live with it. I'll try to be supportive of Lissa in her decision, even if I'm dreading Alya's visit this summer. But Jeff and Brit... I don't want them to hate me, but I don't know what to do."
"Just love them. No matter what they do or how much they disappoint you, hold onto that, and somehow we'll get through this."
"I hope you're right."
His trepidation might have been unfounded. Jeff and Brit still loved their father, and whatever guilty reactions they showed whenever he walked into the room were more or less subconscious. After their heart-to-heart talk the day they had found Brit and brought her back home, Jeff certainly didn't harbor any animosity toward his dad, and eventually the nervousness he felt when Greg walked in on his children faded.
As winter passed and spring returned with its rejuvenation of life, Jeff felt its effect. He was happier and more energetic than he had been the past couple of months, and not just because of the change in the season. Brit and he were back on good terms. They had come through their ordeal a little more sober, and perhaps a bit wiser as well, but happy nonetheless. A few hugs a day from Jeff seemed to be all Brit needed to keep her from slipping into a depression. There was always a bit of sadness and longing in those hugs, a longing for what could never be. Nevertheless, they seemed to cheer her right up. Even the sparkle returned to her eyes.
With the spring also came thoughts of romance and love. Jeff spent plenty of time with Kari, realizing now just how good she was for him. She had remained loyal to him even when he hadn't treated her so well; sometimes he thought he didn't deserve such a kind and caring girlfriend. But every time he even hinted to her that he had those thoughts, she immediately insisted that he had just gone through some temporary troubled times, and she knew that the real Jeff was sweet and kind, the type of man worth holding onto. In the end, the only thing that mattered was that they were in love.
He spent time with Crystal as well, whenever he could get away with it. She sometimes joined in their lovemaking, but more often, she wanted to be alone with Brit. Jeff was grateful to her for that; what Brit needed more than anything right now was to feel loved, and since Jeff couldn't give her as much love as he wanted to, he left that job to Crystal. It seemed to help; Brit always returned from the Williams' house with a smile on her face.
He had to admit that he felt a little jealous. It was the strangest thing to be jealous of his girlfriend's little sister, but he couldn't deny that he wished he could do the same thing for Brit that Crystal did. But his gratitude overwhelmed his jealousy, so overall he was happy for them.
One thing remained constantly on his mind throughout the next couple of months. Even during the time that he had been together with Brit, he had thought that such a relationship was unusual, rare even. He had thought he was the exception. Granted, he had seen those pictures of Greg and Lissa on the boat, but Allison had explained that as just a joke that got out of hand. Now he had evidence that such relationships between family members were much more common than he thought. Kimmy Nelson, for instance, was sleeping with her father. That didn't really mean much to him; he had only met her once, so he didn't know her much at all. And although Mr. Nelson had been his teacher a couple of years ago, he was a lot like Allison described herself to be: less an authority figure and more just someone who was fun to be around. At least when Jeff was in his class, half the girls were in love with Mr. Nelson, and his good looks were only part of the reason. He had always been a friendly, kind man, easy to talk to and easy to get along with. It wouldn't take much for even his own daughter to fall in love with him. And Kimmy was a really beautiful girl, a bit shy perhaps, but that just made her all the sexier.
What really surprised him though, was that his friend Rick was having an affair with his little sister Amy. While they hadn't come right out and admitted it the way Kimmy and Mr. Nelson had, Jeff was almost certain that that was the case. Rick had been his friend since childhood, and so he had also known Amy. Sure, she had always been somewhat infatuated with her big brother, and Jeff had always thought it was cute. But Rick had always seemed annoyed and sometimes even a bit exasperated with her. Rick was the last person Jeff would expect to fall in love with his little sister.
Except, perhaps, Jeff himself. Now that he thought about it, it really wasn't all that unusual after all. He knew what it was like to love his sister in an entirely inappropriate, yet beautiful and powerful way. It didn't bother Jeff at all that his friend was carrying on such a relationship.
What did bother him, however, was that Jeff wasn't. There seemed to be an inherent unfairness about the situation. All around him, people were having these incestuous affairs, while he was forbidden. Why shouldn't he be allowed to love Brit like that? Mr. Nelson and Kimmy seemed genuinely happy. And it had done nothing but good for Rick. The boy no longer cared about impressing anyone because he had his little sister, and that was enough. That made Rick more confident and cheerful, qualities that everyone agreed were good.
But because Jeff loved his father and wanted to do the right thing, he was denied such a relationship with his own little sister. It was unfair.
At least he didn't slip back into that melancholy that had dominated his mood for almost two months. Kari was to be given credit for that, not to mention Allison, who still sometimes slipped into his bed at night and made love to him. Brit no longer seemed to mind; as long as she got to hug him and cuddle with him and sit on his lap occasionally, that seemed to be enough to satisfy her. When that happened, Greg always wore a disapproving look on his face, although it was probably unconscious and he never said anything.
Crystal also confessed to Jeff one day that she had been working hard to keep Brit happy. Whenever the two girls had some time alone together, Crystal made passionate love to her, keeping her sexually satisfied. Jeff was grateful to her for helping his sister like that; no doubt it helped to get her through this tough period in their lives.
At the same time, he still felt a little jealous. If their father found out about Crystal's and Brit's relationship, there would be hell to pay. He would disapprove of it just like he disapproved of Jeff being together with Brit. The only difference was that Crystal and Brit hadn't been caught.
Through the spring months he often pondered on the unfairness of it all. Worst of all was his guilt at his own selfishness. He was regularly having sex with the two women he had always fantasized about, but he still wanted more.
As time wore on, he realized that he was spending more and more of his time thinking about Brit. Their dad had thought that they would eventually stop loving each other, but it seemed to be going in the opposite direction. He missed being with her more in April than he had in March, and he missed being with her even more in May than in April.
As the end of the school year approached, they began making plans for Lissa to return. Since she already knew about Jeff and Brit, there wouldn't be awkwardness of having to explain the situation to her, but her presence would still change things. She had been quite a different girl at Christmas than she had been when she left for college, and Jeff wasn't sure what that would mean when she arrived. He was forbidden from having sex with Brit, but did that apply to Lissa as well? And would she even want to do it now that she had a girlfriend?
He needed to talk to Brit about it, he realized. If there was even a chance that Jeff and Lissa would get together, he had to find out if it would bother Brit at all. If so, he would have a frank discussion with his big sister as soon as she arrived home, and tell her clearly that they couldn't do it.
Just over a week before Lissa came home, Jeff found himself alone in the house with Brit after school. Greg was still at work, and Allison had gone out shopping. Both kids had some homework to do, so they disappeared into their respective rooms to work on it. After working through the problems in the book, Jeff decided now was a good time for that talk. He got up from his desk, left his room, crossed the hall, and knocked on his sister's door.
"Come in," said Brit. Jeff opened the door, then froze and stared at her. She wore the tiniest little swimsuit, a bright red bikini that looked about two sizes too small. She giggled when she saw his reaction.
"What do you think?" she asked, spreading her arms to the side and turning around to give him a good view from all sides.
"Wow!" he exclaimed with a grin. "Are you actually planning to go out in public like that?"
"Only to the pool in the back yard," she replied. "Allison took me shopping last week, and I bought it then. I've decided it's time I stopped wearing little-girl swimsuits and started going for something a little more sexy."
"It's certainly that!" he said. He closed the door, then strode over to her. He couldn't help himself, but reached around her back, pulled her to him, and kissed her on the lips.
She immediately drew back. "Jeff!" she said, though she didn't sound at all annoyed. "We can't do that anymore."
"I just had to do that one more time, for old time's sake," he smiled.
Brit giggled. "In that case, I guess it's okay," she said. Then she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
It had been a long time since he had felt the sweet softness of her lips, the sexy stimulation of her half-naked embrace. He remembered holding her like this, kissing her tenderly yet passionately, basking in the warmth and softness of her young body. He had meant to come in here to talk with her, satisfied just to be in her presence. But seeing and feeling her like this, he realized now that that would never be enough.
Almost without thinking, he lifted her into his arms. Her eyes went wide with surprise as he held her and kissed her.
"Oh my god Jeff," she breathed. "Really?"
"Brit," he said, "I can't go on pretending anymore. No matter how hard I've tried to hide it, the truth is that I'm still in love with you."
"Jeff, I'm in love with you too. I don't want to be just brother and sister, or just friends. I'm just scared. I mean, what if Dad finds out?"
"Then we're no worse off than we are right now, being so close but not allowed to touch each other the way we want. Brit, I've been trying my hardest, but I don't think I can be strong if I know we'll never be able to do it again. But if I know that just once in a while we can forget ourselves and be free, then I think I can find the strength."
"Then let's do it," she smiled. "I want this as much as you do. And I guess as long as we're just doing it once in a while, it's okay to go behind Daddy's back like that."
Jeff laid her on her bed, gazing down at her beautiful face as she stared up at him, so beautiful and loving and vulnerable. He kissed her lips, savoring the sweet taste of her that he had been denied so long. As he did so, he placed his hand one her breast, fondling her through the fabric of her swimsuit.
They lay like that for a few minutes, then Jeff reached under her back and unfastened the strap, loosening the bikini top so that he could pull it off of her and discard it on the floor. He took a good, long look at her gorgeous bare chest, loving the sight of it, especially after not being able to see it for four months. His hand roamed all over her body as he reveled in the softness of her skin, a softness he remembered with fondness and yearning. He couldn't help himself, but lowered his head and began to kiss her all over the chest.
"Oh Jeff!" Brit gasped as he teased her nipple with his tongue. "I love you!"
"I love you too, Brit," he replied, continuing to kiss and lick her.
One of his hands wandered down to her thigh, where he slipped it under her bikini bottom and let his fingers trace the outline of her slit. He sought out the little nub at the top that he knew gave her so much pleasure, rubbing it gently and feeling the dampness between her legs. As her body began to squirm in response to his ministrations, he knew that she would soon be ready for him.
He took a moment to remove the last bit of her clothing, then stared down at the treasure between her legs as she spread her knees to give him a wonderful and enticing view. It had been too long since he had been permitted to gaze upon it, and now he realized that he wanted to do much more than look. He climbed off the bed and moved around to position himself between her legs, lowering his head and opening his mouth.
She squealed in delight as he let his tongue explore her there, running all over the area with eagerness and excitement. He loved the flavor of her body, the feeling of her soft skin on his tongue, and the way she writhed and wriggled from the stimulation. He listened to her moans as he ate her out, especially the squeals and cries as he flicked his tongue against her now engorged clit. He didn't stop until he brought her to a shrieking orgasm. Only then did he lift his head, smiling at her as she lay panting in exhaustion.
But he wasn't finished yet. He let her rest for a few minutes, but kept his fingers lightly playing with her to keep her warmed up for the main event. After a few minutes she gave him a nod to continue, and he did so.
He climbed on top of her, positioning himself at her opening. She spread her legs wide to give him room, and he slowly descended onto her, pressing inside. They both groaned at the penetration, a feeling they hadn't felt in far too long.
He began to thrust gently, keeping it slow to make it pleasurable for both of them. He took it at a leisurely, relaxed pace, wanting to savor every moment of it.
Brit wrapped her arms and legs around him, holding him tightly to her as he penetrated deep inside her body. He loved the feel of her sweaty skin against his own as they made passionate love. He kissed her deeply, letting their tongues entwine inside their mouths. God, how he loved his sister!
He felt the pleasure building, and let it come, flowing through him and filling him with love and passion. When he exploded inside of her, he could hear her crying out at the same time in her second orgasm. It was the most wonderful feeling to finally do this again with her. No matter what their father claimed, this was right. It was special. It was beautiful. Without each other, they could never be whole, but for the moment, they were both complete.
After it ended, Jeff rolled over and lay down beside her. Brit lay her head against his chest like she used to do when they lay together in the same bed, and he hugged her to him tenderly and affectionately.
They slept for a while then, clinging to each other tightly as if it would be the last time. That wasn't too far from the truth; they didn't know when they would get this opportunity again. Jeff promised himself that he wouldn't make it too often; he felt a little guilty about going behind his father's back, but figured this was an acceptable compromise.
After they got up, they headed into the bathroom to shower. They washed each other's bodies, spending plenty of time fondling each other affectionately. Jeff loved to run his hands all over her skin, especially with it wet and glistening like this.
They couldn't stay in the shower forever, and eventually they grudgingly turned off the water and stepped out, spending a few minutes to dry each other. Then they returned to Brit's room to get dressed again.
They were just finishing putting their clothes on when they heard a knock at the bedroom door. They stared at each other for a moment, surprised. Then Jeff glanced at the clock, and realized that it was after the time that Greg was due home. He hadn't realized how much time had passed.
He hurriedly threw the blanket over the sheets on the bed to hide the evidence, then sat down at the foot. Brit sat in the chair next to her desk.
"Come in," said Jeff, trying to sound casual.
The door opened, and Allison stepped in, to their relief. "Brit, I was wondering..." she began, then cut off. Her eyes went wide. "What the hell?" she exclaimed.
"What... what do you mean?" asked Brit.
"I told you two I was working on your father, and now you go and do something dangerous like this!" she snapped.
"I don't--" Jeff began.
"You two have wet hair, which means you've both recently come out of the shower. Then there's the guilty faces, the deliberately casual poses as if trying to seem nonchalant, not to mention the smell. Why would you go and do a thing like that when we're so close? You might have ruined everything!"
"I'm sorry," said Brit, a scared look on her face. "It just happened."
"You'd better hope your father doesn't find out," she said. "You two hurry and get the sheets off the bed. I'll get you some clean ones."
She hurried out of the room and closed the door behind her. Jeff sighed. She was right; it was a stupid thing to do. Fortunately Allison had been the one to catch them, not Greg. Anything she noticed, he would have noticed too.
They set to work stripping the bed. Allison reappeared in the doorway a minute later with a can of air freshener and a set of clean sheets. "I hope this does the trick," she said, shaking the can and then spraying it into the air. "Sex has a very distinct smell; there's no mistaking it. I only hope your father doesn't think we're trying to hide anything."
"Too late," said a voice at the door. They turned to see Greg standing there, a stern look on his face.
"Greg..." said Allison, but he cut her off.
"No excuses," he told her.
Seeing the nervous look on Allison's face, Jeff realized that by trying to cover things up, she was in just as much trouble as them. He might not be able to save himself and Brit, but at least he could spare his stepmother.
"Dad," he said, "don't be mad at Allison. She didn't know about this. She was just trying to--"
"She was just trying to protect you," Greg interrupted. "I can't fault her for that, especially since she didn't have any time to think through her actions. You two are the ones who put her in that position. I want to see all three of you in my office right now."
They headed for the door, expecting the worst. At least Greg took Allison's hand as she passed him; that was at least partially encouraging. Whatever happened to Jeff and Brit, Allison wouldn't be a part of it.
As soon as they entered the office, Greg had his children sit down on one of the couches, looking nervous and even a little frightened. Allison and he took the opposite couch.
"Before we begin," he said, "there's something very important for you to understand. I'm setting up some rules, but they are not for punishment. I know how hard this is for you, and I'm not interested in making it any harder. Just the opposite in fact. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to fall out of love with each other. So that's what these rules are for. I'm willing to clarify any questions you have on them, but they are not negotiable. Do you understand?"
Jeff and Brit both nodded uncertainly.
"Good. Are there any questions before I get to the rules?"
They glanced at each other, but neither of them spoke up.
"All right then. So here are the rules.
"First, and this is pretty self-explanatory, you two are to be fully-clothed any time you're around each other. That means no swimsuits, not even pajamas.
"You are not to touch each other at all, except incidental contact, and you will keep that to a minimum. You are not even to hug each other."
Brit opened her mouth as if to protest, but a stern look from her father shut her up.
"I'll make one exception. You can hug once to say goodbye if you're not going to see each other for a while. We'll say twenty-four hours minimum. And you can greet each other with a hug once you get back. Both of these have to be in the presence of an adult.
"Speaking of which, you are not to be left alone together. In fact, if you're in the same house, only one of you may be left alone at a time. I don't want there to be any chance of you two getting together alone."
"What about when we sleep?" asked Jeff.
"I was just about to come to that. Your sister Lissa will be coming home next week. Until that time, Jeff, you will sleep downstairs on the couch. Once Lissa arrives home, I'm going to put her in charge of chaperoning Brit at night. She will sleep in Jeff's old room like we planned, but both bathroom doors are to remain open so that there's no chance of you two slipping into bed together without her knowing about it."
Jeff nodded. That didn't sound too bad. Actually, Lissa would probably have no problem with letting Brit slip quietly away during the night, but Jeff decided he wouldn't take advantage of the fact. He loved Brit, but he loved his father too, and didn't want to betray his trust.
"Finally, and this is less of a hard, fast rule, I want you two to stay away from each other as much as possible."
"But--" Brit began.
Greg cut her off. "I'm going to talk to Allen Williams and see if he'd be willing to let you stay with Crystal several times this summer for a week at a time. In the mean time, Jeff, you're welcome to invite Kari over whenever Brit is with Crystal. And when she's at home, you can spend as much time as you want at Kari's house, as long as Allen agrees."
Both Brit and Jeff looked horrified. To have to be chaperoned or required not to touch each other was one thing, but to be separated like this was worse than they could possibly imagine!
"Are there any questions?" asked Greg.
The children both shook their heads.
With that final word, it appeared that the Primdale family was doomed. The separation of the children like that could only end in heartbreak. Jeff wanted to tell his father that it was too late; that they could never return to the way they had been before. Given the choice between his incestuous relationship with his sister and the collapse of the entire family, the choice should be clear.
But Greg would have none of it. He had made his decision, and wrong though it was, he simply would not change his mind no matter how logical Jeff's arguments. In the end, Jeff gave up trying.
It would take a miracle to save the family now. Jeff and Brit were powerless to do anything to ward off the impending disaster, and Greg was unwilling. So Allison realized it was up to her to come up with a plan.