“Ties That Bind”
In a parallel universe, anything is possible. A world might exist where you’re the president, a prize-winning journalist, a loud-mouthed radio host, or maybe just a homeless bum. An ideal you might even exist, a you that never had any regrets, made all the right choices, and walked through life with a song upon their lips. It’s an appealing fantasy for those who are sure there are worlds other than these, and that a better place can be found in amongst their number.
Jahn had bookshelves full of the stuff in the old apartment, and had an odd certainty that he must have stumbled into one of them. Sweet dreams are made of these, he thought, the rhythmic beat sliding through his head like liquid mercury, as he breathed in the lingering perfumes of the women beside him.
It seemed only natural that one of them might join him that first night, in the bedroom they’d given him. Fiona had gotten there first, slipping through the half-open door with a light knock to announce her presence, a slight smile on her face as she silently moved across the room and leaned down to embrace him. Raising her lips to his cheek for a lingering goodnight kiss, she whispered, “Would you mind if I stayed with you tonight?” making the request shyly, as if the act of sleeping together in one bed were somehow more intimate than the sex they’d already enjoyed.
Of course he didn’t mind, and as he lay down, she settled her small slender frame next to his on the spacious bed, nestling her head into his shoulder, and tracing a finger across his chest in a possessive gesture.
With all the subtlety of an elephant in a china shop, Jen spilled into the room less than ten minutes later, halting at the sight of her sister and her boyfriend already lying together on the bed. There was nothing to interrupt, as they’d only meant to sleep, but the sisters stared at each other like unfamiliar stray cats trying to work out the ownership of new territory. Finally, and without a word, Fiona lifted a hand, gesturing with a finger to the other side of the bed. His other shoulder, he realized. A sigh of relief escaped him, prompting the brunette to give him a fist to the ribs. Her sister seemed to have decided that the unspoken suggestion had merit and circled the bed, and taking a seat, drew her long legs up beside him, before finally lying down.
Total chastity, safe within each sister’s boundaries, because nothing more than a loving embrace was needed. Darkness was slow to draw in through the blinds, but it was a long while before he slept.***
With Mrs. Reed in town, he was reminded of what little family he had left. Both his mother and father had passed nearly a decade back, and Jahn hadn’t spoken to Roger in nearly a year. Natural, of course: his brother had a wife and a kid, a life of their own. He should contact his brother about his plans, but needed a good excuse… no, he really didn’t. Roger was family. Pulling out his cell, he keyed in the number, still familiar to him even after so long.
His brother picked up on the second ring. “Holy shit, Jahn, that you? Been awhile, bro.”
“Yeah,” Jahn responded uncomfortably. “Time flies…”
“It’s cool, buddy. ‘Shell and Joey keep me busy here. Need anything, or you just call to shoot the breeze?” The cheerful goodwill of his brother seemed to exude from the device in Jahn’s hand.
“Actually, yeah. You have everything you want from Mom & Dad’s stuff in the storage unit?”
“Everything except the mahogany dresser, yeah. ‘Shell wants it for the extra room when we finish. Sayyyyyy, you finally got Andrea to soften up and move in with you?”
“Ah, no. Ended that a few months back, found someone new.”
A low whistle sounded from the other end. “Sorry to hear that, I know you were really into her.”
Jahn replied, more curtly than intended. “The relationship ran its course.”
“Yeah, got it…” He’d had a few conversations with Roger about his ex early in that relationship, but it always left a strain on any chat, so he’d dropped it. “So, just a few months back, huh? Quick worker. Who’s the lucky girl?”
“Ummm, Jen and Fiona Reed. You wouldn’t know them.”
“Geninfiona? That some sort of Germ- Wait, did you say ‘them’?” The surprise in Roger’s voice was clear.
“Well, it’s like this...” Filling in his brother on the details, he waited nervously, hoping Roger wouldn’t think he was some kind of idiot, or gone cultist, or worse, pull the same drooling routine some of his friends from work had given when they found out he had not one girlfriend, but two. Jahn shouldn’t have worried. Roger was a rock to lean on, always had been.
“It sounds like you really dig them. I’m glad for you, bro.”
“You don’t think it’s weird, then? Or like I’m taking advantage of them or something?”
“I’ve met men and women and seen all kinds of relationships all over the world. An extra girlfriend is like… nothing here in the USA. You could shout random shit and show them off like arm candy, and nobody would bat an eyelash. Far as the personal judgments go, you’ve never been the kind of guy to treat a girl like that. If you believed you might, I trust you’d do the right thing.”
“I guess I would.”
“Damn straight. I’ll come down this weekend and give you a hand with moving anything they want out of the unit.” The offer came at him so fast, he didn’t think to turn it down then wondered why he would have. Roger had given his seal of approval. That was what mattered. ***
“Oh ho ho ho ho,” chortled Jen, as they made their way into the bedroom of his old apartment. “Finally, I gets to excavate ze hidden secrets of ze master’s lair!”
Rolling his eyes, he dropped a stack of packing boxes onto the floor. “Like you haven’t been here at least a half dozen times already?”
The blonde gave him a wicked grin, tugging at the neckline of her t-shirt. “Sure, but when the only view I get is your ceiling or the mattress…”
Laughing, he returned, “Yeah, yeah, point made. Dig to your heart’s content. I’ve already seen your dirty laundry.” A whole closet full of it, in fact; she hadn’t been joking about her porn collection. Probably why she was heading straight for his closet, he figured, as he began the tedious process of unplugging his work center.
“Hmmm, lotta magazines in here…” she piped up impishly. The shuffling of paper was audible, but he ignored it.
“Pretty tame compared to _your_ collection,” he shot back with good humor. “Just some Playboys and some other assorted crap. You can toss ‘em in the trash.” Jen might not appreciate the girl-on-girl stuff hidden at the bottom of those stacks, he reflected, and turned to give her a hand, maybe dump them on the sly before she got that far. “Here, I can do that for you…”
“Dream on, sucker, you’re not slipping anything past me.” Damn, she was quick. A small stack of magazines thudded onto the bag by the closet, sliding askew on the floor. “Hah! That explains it. Trying to slip your pervy girl-on-girl stuff past me…”
“Uh yeah, I think you mentioned something about that sort of thing bothering you.” Jahn couldn’t think of a thing to change the subject to.
“What?” She was silent for a moment, but a snort of laughter followed it. “I was talking about my sister. Not girls in general. Big difference.” Jen had a thing for girls? That was news to him, if useless. No way in hell he was going to risk losing Fiona over a threesome with some random chick. The last of the magazines was pitched onto the bag. A comfortable silence fell as they worked on packing his belongings..
Absorbed in his work, Jahn was abruptly and painfully brought back to reality by an overjoyed squeal from the closet. Muttering as he rubbed his head from a bump against the desk, he turned his attention to the closet where Jen appeared to have regressed to juvenile spasms of delight.
“If dirty magazines turn you on that much…”
“Fuck you, jerk! You’ve been holding out on me!” A look of rapture had come over her face as she held up his bomber jacket. It took him a second, and he couldn’t help but laugh as he made the connection.
“Oh please, it’s not a replica jacket, and hell, it doesn’t even look much like the one in the movie. No need to drool on it.”
“Totally _not_ the point,” she said emphatically. “You’re not the only one with an imagination, you know! And after I set up that harem girl outfit for you!” Her mouth widened in a Cheshire grin. “I think it’s only fair that you make it up to me.”
“Sure, sure,” he said agreeably, though he’d never been in a drama club like she and Fiona had, and wasn’t sure how he was going to pull off pretending to be a pilot. Vroom vroom, he thought distractedly.
“Right. Now.” The blonde pressed, still grinning wolfishly down at him. “Take me to bed or lose me forever, is how it goes.”
“There’s something I’m supposed to say to that, right? It’s been a long time since I saw the movie…” Jahn said, as he rose from the floor.
“Just put on the jacket and lose your jeans. We can do the really fun stuff later.” Fun was relative in Jenny’s World, painted in a rainbow of degrees.
Fortunately it still fit, or he might have had a rebellion on his hands. What was that song? Ah… “As you turn to me and say… take my breath away” he began to sing quietly, though his recall of the lyrics was spotty at best.
Jen eagerly pushed him to the bed as he unzipped and lowered both jeans and underwear.. As contagious as ever, her enthusiasm infected him, and he reveled in the sensation of her lips making contact with the flesh of his cock, practically setting it aflame with transient, plush sensation. His girlfriend had possessed even less experience with this than he did, but in the few months they’d been together, she’d acquired her own little sphere of expertise, switching from tongue to lips and back again in a teasing flurry that stoked the fire in him to raging hardness, amplified again by the lowering lids of her shining blue eyes that sparkled with pleasure, as she had her way with him. Her tongue slid from the head of his dick to the base of his shaft, and he groaned with pleasure. “Oh fuck,” he muttered, trying to support himself on the bed as she took him deeper into her mouth. “Fuck!”
The last expletive was not directed at the intense pleasure she was giving him, but at the sound of knocking at the apartment door. “Cock-blocking fucker!” he swore, feeling himself shift from 60 to 0 so fast that the rush of blood dizzied him.
Jen looked disappointed as well, but he knew she’d take it out of him later. Too bad he’d forgotten about this jacket. Maybe he could get something more like the real thing for her. ***
Funny how fast goodwill could drain out of you, and flood right back in again. Like a rollercoaster, Jahn thought, as he gave Roger a heartfelt hug. The sight of his brother, his only surviving family, was a tonic. “Good to see you again, man.” “You too, Jahnie boy. I’m guessing this one is the lovely Jennifer Reed?”
Jen beamed up at him, no small feat. Jahn had been blessed with his father and mother’s height, but Roger stood a good few inches above even him. “Jen, or Jenny, if you like.”
“My wife would rather I not be too familiar,” his brother said, winking. “But it’s a pleasure to meet you, Jen.” He took her hand in a casual handshake that he deftly turned into a kiss on the back of the hand. Jahn had always envied his brother for his adult mystique, and seemingly endless talent for making a good impression on women. If he’d been closer to Jahn’s age, he’d have had to worry about being in his brother’s shadow, but Roger was more like a cool and much older uncle, always coming home first from college, and later from the military, with a story to tell, and just the right insights and advice for his clueless younger brother. The blonde’s eyes widened briefly at the unexpected gesture, unsure how to react. Old school has its downsides, no matter how cool it looks in the movies, he realized.
Roger turned his attention to Jahn. “I’ve got the truck. Should be just enough space for all of us if you want to pick up your… other lady, first.”
“No, we’re going to need a second vehicle. Their mother is staying for a few weeks. Got a game plan, though. I figure we’ll stop at the house, let you have a look around and meet Mrs. Reed, then introduce the womenfolk to the storage unit.” Jen gave him a sharp poke with her elbow at his use of the word ‘womenfolk’, but her smile never wavered. “I’ll cover dinner at Flannagans, let Jen and Fiona figure out what they want to take home, while we do the lifting. None of it’s particularly heavy.“
The introductions had gone easily enough, though Mary Reed had shown a wolfish grin uncomfortably reminiscent of Jen’s when Roger pulled that smooth little hand kissing trick on her. His brother might be pushing forty, but still possessed the fitness of youth, and he had looks that were starting to trend toward what was referred to as ‘distinguished’ as age finally caught up. She’s just flirting, she’s just flirting, Jahn assured himself, in response to Mrs. Reed’s attention to his brother over dinner. He was remembering the jealous streak Roger’s wife Mishelle reputedly possessed.
And because the sexual tension just wasn’t enough to put a damper on his evening, Margrave also had to be out and about, working on something in his driveway and paying plenty of attention to the proceedings with what Jahn like to think of as beady little rat-like eyes. He shot the man a friendly wave that was ignored. Fuck you too, he thought, sighing audibly.
Bringing Mrs. Reed along had been a stroke of outstanding luck. Finances had always been tight around the Reed household, a single mother raising two girls without a breadwinner’s help. While her own small income had ensured they kept well away from welfare, there were any number of things she’d wanted for her home and to pass on to her girls when they grew up. A keen eye and appreciation of some of the furniture his folks had left behind had their mother pointing out items for her daughters that they probably wouldn’t have thought to ask for on their own, and would never have occurred to Jahn to recommend. A hutch with a glass display case certainly looked nice, he’d admit, but he never really understood what his mother did with the thing. Glorified dish rack? Damn, he realized. My sense of household aesthetics really does suck.
It occurred to him that if things ever broke down with Jen and Fiona, he’d either have to haul all this stuff out again or leave it behind. Somehow, the latter didn’t seem to matter. Everything was gathering dust here. What was the point of leaving it in a storage unit somewhere or pawning it for a few extra dollars?
The women made their choices, a process that was like a weird shopping spree, albeit one that involved intense debate over the merits of placing end tables by a couch and adding a coffee table to the living room. In the end, when all the lifting and moving was done, there was a strange new companion in the Reed household. A sense of nostalgia was present, the past and present merging and creating something entirely new. Something better. Was that it, he wondered? Was it because he was bringing something with him, rather than just moving in?
These are the memories that last. This is the reason for scrapbooking, he thought suddenly, the odd flash of insight striking him as the chatter of family circulated through the living room. Mark the moment. Excusing himself, he retreated to his room to find his camera.
It was going to be a long, hot summer, and he didn’t want to miss a thing.***
His camera turned out to be the aphrodisiac for Fiona that the “dress-up” sessions were for Jen. Pale enough that she burned easily, the blonde preferred the air-conditioned environment of a gym for her exercise, and usually begged off of biking trips, leaving him and Fiona to enjoy long rides together. They’d been doing that off and on for the last month, and the camera was a constant companion on their outings. Jahn’s photographs were strictly amateur, but he had a skill for recognizing good landscapes or other scenes to shoot, and was starting to acquire a sizable collection.
Incorporation of his girlfriend into the pictures had been a happy accident. Both of them were usually focused on enjoying the trips as much as the other’s company, and it hadn’t really occurred to him to take any photos of her other than those he kept for the family scrapbook.
A hot day of biking on a back trail through one of the state parks had them stopping for a break. As Fiona leaned over to unpack their lunches, he admired the firm curve of her butt through the material of her shorts, and raised the camera almost unconsciously to snap off a picture. It was an old model, not one of the new digital jobs with all the fancy features, and the camera made an audible click as he did so.
She whirled with a blush on her face to confront him, but there was no heat in her words. “That’s a dangerous weapon you’ve got there. I hope that’s not going to find its way on the internet…”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” he said flippantly. “Can’t promise it won’t find its way into my private offline collection, though…”
His girlfriend’s teeth gleamed brightly in the sun as she smiled. “I’ll trust you to that, Jahn. Just remember that reasons for castration vary from woman to woman in our house.” She winked, to allay any concerns, but it wasn’t like he had any intention of doing that to her. While Fiona could be a charming woman, comfortable in the company of others, she was intensely private about personal matters, preferring to keep them among family or close friends. He’d begun to develop some regret over the way he’d confronted Andrea in their breakup, and knew he couldn’t ever do that to Jen or Fiona without hating himself for the rest of his life. There had to be boundaries.
He raised the camera again. “So, a few more?”
Again, a dazzling smile lit her face. Fiona turned out to have a knack for playing to the camera, as if it were some sort of sub-set to her skill of dressing to kill. Nature forgotten, they spent the rest of the day having her pose for him at various locations, egging each other on to ever more risqué shots. Shenan Oaks Park was isolated, and there was little chance of being caught. Just a hint of danger, but no real risk. That seemed to be Fiona’s kink. She played to it with gusto, showing off her sun-darkened nut-brown skin at his prompts, figuring out poses of her own that were far more erotic than anything he might have considered, tantalizing with the hidden rather than the explicit.
Fiona knelt before him on the boulder, eyes half-lidded beneath the afternoon sun, arms behind her head, fingers in her hair as if she were bathing in light. Back arched, small breasts thrust outward on her nymph-like frame, dark nipples glistening with sweat.
The smile on her face wasn’t dazzling but sultry, evoking pure sensuality. “Dear lord, that’s hot,” he croaked, throat drying from one heat as much as the other. She made a beckoning motion with her hands outstretched that he mistook for a pose until she crooked her finger at him again, eyebrow raised. Oh. Right.
No further prompting was necessary. He approached her quickly, ready for whatever she had in mind. Fiona liked for him to initiate, usually throwing off cues of varying subtlety, but this time she was the first to act, leaning forward to slide her thumbs into the elastic waistband of his shorts. An exotic scent that was a mix of the surrounding pine trees and the light perfume his girlfriend wore combined to waft into his nostrils, momentarily dazing him with strangeness.
When his head had cleared, he found she’d already removed his underwear, and was beginning to stroke a finger along the base of his shaft. The delicate motion, as light and teasing as any tongue, caused his body to react with a violent shudder, blood surging through his body, making him erect within what seemed like a heartbeat.
Her breath on him, the light vapor of her mouth on his cock made him want to strain toward her, to take her head in his hands, but she held him at bay with splayed fingers upon his midriff, taking her time with the light ministrations. A finger slid along his length or about his girth at one moment, a flicker of her tongue did the same at the next. She was not sucking on him, not even nibbling, but heaven help him, what she was doing was every bit as good as a real blowjob.
She continued until her own arousal was evident in her uneasy breathing, and he moved forward to lay a hand on her smooth brown flesh, to share the offer she was whispering up to him. The moment was a spell, and it broke like glass as laughter sounded in the far distance. Cheeks tinged with a red that was definitely not arousal, she grabbed her shirt and dressed. It was some consolation that she would eagerly pick up where they left off when they got home, but really. Was someone upstairs laughing at him?***
It seemed like they must be, because not only was Jen back, but within ten minutes after getting home, a knock sounded on the door. Fiona went down to answer it, and he could hear a number of voices through the open window of his room. Both Mrs. Reed and his brother had long since left, his girlfriends’ mother to visit a gentleman she’d met in her travelling, his brother back to his family the same weekend he’d come down. Some of Jen’s friends, maybe? No, too masculine. Curious, he descended the stairs to see who’d come to visit.
He froze when he saw the people standing at the door talking with Fiona, and the man who was standing there did the same as soon as he caught sight of Jahn. Silence like a blanket encompassed the room as Jahn Halvers faced the last person he had expected, much less wanted, to see.
Yes, definitely mocking laughter, laughter that sounded like words, words that sound suspiciously like “Asshole.”
To be continued
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/sweet-dreams-are-made-of-this-ch06-1.aspx">Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This, Ch.06</a>