Always Home Ch. 03
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3. French toast. A shopping expedition. Crunchy lamb surprise.
“Ger? Ger, wake up, sleepy head.”
I opened my eyes, blinked at Elsa’s face hovering near mine. “Elsie?” I grumbled, squinting and trying to focus. “What you want?”
“I’m just taking Marnie off to school,” she said. “There’s extra French toast in the kitchen if you want some, but you’d better hurry or it’ll get cold.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled. She smiled and bent forward to quickly kiss my cheek.
“See you soon,” she said, and spun around, heading out the door. She was wearing shorts and a light blouse, and she filled both of them out rather nicely. A few moments later, I heard Marnie yell, “See ya, Ger!” before the front door slammed shut. Elsa’s car sputtered to life, and it pulled away.
Reluctantly, I pulled myself out of bed. Why’d Elsa decided to wake me up? Sure, I liked French toast as much as anyone else in the family, but it wasn’t as if it were some sort of delicacy I couldn’t miss out on. I was surprised Marnie hadn’t scoffed the lot, to be—
Marnie. Our second morning here, and she couldn’t have missed the fact that I hadn’t slept on the couch on either night. And where else could I have been but here, in Elsa’s bed?
Feeling chilled at the thought, I pulled on some clothes and went to investigate breakfast.
* * *
French toast was something of a tradition in the Flinders household — and one of the few things Elsa actually knew how to make. I could still remember early Sunday mornings, and waking up to the beguiling aroma of melted butter wafting into my room, somehow carrying with it the promise of silken beaten eggs and the sweet taste of crystallised sugar.
Our housekeeper Nancy would still be in bed, since Mum and Dad were late risers on Sunday, but there Elsa would be, in the kitchen. She’d have the bread set out just so, a stainless steel bowl holding the egg and milk wash, the sugar bowl standing ready nearby. A balloon whisk, a spatula. Eggshells lying strewn on the countertop. The early morning sunlight streaming in through the window as she stood there in her dressing gown, watching the butter frothing in the frypan.
She’d see me, and smile. Morning, Ger.
I’d pull up a stool at the breakfast bar, still half-asleep, and watch her as she dipped the bread slices in the egg wash then carefully laid them in the frypan. The smell would intensify, making my mouth water. The air would haze over gently (or was it just my memory creating that effect, in retrospect?), and Elsa would tend the pan attentively before dishing two slices of French toast, one each, onto the plates already laid out for that purpose.
She’d pass one of the plates over to me, smiling, then turn and start cooking two more. I’d almost always burn my fingers by getting overeager and trying to pick the toast up too soon.
When she was done with the second batch, she’d dish another slice onto my plate, and another one onto hers, to join the one already cooling there. She’d sprinkle them both with sugar. Sometimes she’d spread a bit of jam on them instead, if she were in the mood.
And we’d sit there, on either side of the counter. She sipping her coffee, and me content with just the toast. We’d talk about nothing in particular. She might mention her plans for the day: whether she was going down to the library that afternoon; when her next meeting with her supervisor was; what she was going to get when she went shopping. And I’d pretend interest, thinking more about yesterday’s soccer game, or if I had homework to get finished.
A morning ritual, and not even that common a one. As I thought back, it wasn’t as if we’d done the Sunday morning breakfast religiously every week, or even more often than not. And it wasn’t that big a deal, really — just ten or fifteen minutes spent together in the quietest moment of the week, when we both had time to sit together before studies and other commitments called us away.
Just me and Elsa. Marn would complain about missing out on the French toast, but nothing could have convinced her to wake up early for it.
Elsa, sitting there across from me in her dressing gown. Me in just my pyjamas, more often than not. Siblings sharing a guileless moment. No concern about appearances. None of the makeup that Elsa normally wore when she went out in public. My hair sticking up like a bird’s nest. And Elsa in her warm, close-fitting dressing gown.
Who was I? Where was I?
I wasn’t that Gerald Flinders anymore. I was caught up in something surreal, something so overpoweringly attractive and needful that I’d seemingly never even had the chance to blink, let alone arrest its progress. The previous day flashed through my mind, distorted by the fisheye lens of surrealism.
Because it was surreal. Who was I? I’d come home yesterday afternoon and I’d taken her. We’d taken off our clothes and somehow lost casino siteleri ourselves in each other. Touching her face, kissing her hair. Caressing her bare skin. And she holding me, crying out, trembling with longing and need. Wanting each other. Having each other. Making love in a kind of moonlit dream last night, so much love and intimacy that I didn’t even remember when we’d fallen asleep; didn’t remember when we stopped being one entity.
Until I woke up again, and I was Gerald. Cold morning light forcing focus into my surreal existence. I had loved my sister. Elsa and I had made love, had fucked each other with passion and wordless desire. My sister’s naked skin against mine. Her arms clutching me, her low gasps of ecstasy compelling me further. And we had come together, shuddering, struggling for breath as our lips met and our bodies locked against each other in climax.
Who the fuck was I? That wasn’t real, was it? What I was remembering; the dreamlike images from last night: none of it had actually happened, had it? Elsa and I… Me and Elsa. She was my sister, for fuck’s sake. And I loved her, sure — loved her madly; wanting her, needing her — but what could— How could I have…?
I put down the last bit of toast, unable to think anymore. Even the simple mechanics of chewing seemed to be beyond me. The sheer enormity of what had happened was short-circuiting my head. There was no Elsa. She wasn’t there. There was only me, and my increasing distance from reality.
As if in a dream, I got up and went to the bathroom. Mechanically, I shed my clothes. Not thinking. Not allowing myself to think. I stepped into the shower and turned the water on, hot and hard. This was routine, even if it wasn’t our old home or the bathroom I was used to. The simple daily necessity of personal hygiene. I reached for the shampoo bottle and started lathering my hair.
Outside, the front door slammed, and a voice sang out. “Ger, I’m home!”
Home? Elsa was home? Elsa didn’t exist. The Elsa in my head was a figment of my imagination — a beautiful, desirable, lonely figment. My sister Elsa was out taking Marnie to school. And when she came back, life would go back to nor—
“Ger?” There was a knock at the bathroom door.
“Yeah, in here,” I said, inanely, wondering where the words had come from. They didn’t sound like me. But then, I was so divorced from who I thought I was, at that moment, that just about anything would have sounded strange.
“I’m coming in,” she said, and the door handle squeaked as it turned. Elsa stepped inside, vaguely visible through the misted-up shower screen. She caught my eye through the glass and smiled, tilting her head slightly.
“Did you want something?” I asked.
“Just…” She hesitated for a second, lowering her gaze. Then, almost reluctantly, her hands came up to the front of her blouse and started unbuttoning it. “Just this,” she whispered, her voice husky.
I watched, entranced, as she unbuttoned her thin summer blouse and slowly slipped it off her shoulders. She leaned sideways to tug at the laces of her left sneaker, then shunted it off with one simple motion. Her right sneaker followed, then her cotton ankle socks.
Even now, as detached from reality as my mind felt, my body was beginning to respond to the sight of her in motion. The lines of her body, obscured as they were by the slight distortion of the glass, seemed to burn themselves into my retinas, leaving haloed afterimages in their wake.
She reached behind to unsnap her bra, allowing the straps to fall slack before lowering the cups from her breasts. Her nipples were pale pink blurs against the fairness of her skin. Her hands moved to the waistband of her shorts, undoing the button and easing the zipper down. Then, hooking her thumbs in her shorts, she pushed them and her panties down.
Straightening up, she looked through the misty glass at me with a glance that was neither salacious nor alluring, but almost wistful. Almost frightened. “Is there room for me?” she asked.
I slid the shower door open. Cool air wafted in — she hadn’t closed the bathroom door — as steam gently flowed out, washing over her. Goosebumps broke out over her skin as her eyes caught mine and held them. I reached out, taking her hand, and drew her in. To me, and to my kiss.
Turning her around and pressing her up against the tiled wall, I kissed her frantically, hungrily. She was real. She was here. This was reality: this, me and her together, kissing under the stream of hot water. Our fingers tangled together, hands clasped together over her head, her breasts pressing up against my chest, the nipples hard and resilient against my skin. My cock, which had started to harden when she removed her blouse, was resting against her thigh.
“Oh Ger, Ger,” she babbled, as our lips crushed against each other’s. “Oh, you wouldn’t believe… believe… how hard it was… Sitting there with Marn… canlı casino driving her to school… when all I could think of… all I wanted…” She gasped for air, but neither of us could stop kissing, or touching. Or loving. I was running my hands through her hair, water streaming over us both, holding her head tight and kissing her as if I never wanted to stop. She reached down, hands trembling, and stroked my cock gently before guiding it between her legs, to nestle against the lips of her pussy. “…all I wanted…” she whispered, her face crumpling, “…was y— Ahhhh!”
She caught her breath with something between a gasp and a sob as my cock sank into her. “Y–yes,” she whimpered, as I penetrated her more deeply. “Oh God, yes.”
“I love you, Elsie,” I choked out, feeling tears spring to my eyes even as I thrust more forcefully into her, driving her harder against the wall, almost lifting her to the tips of her toes.
“And you…” she groaned, her arms coming to lace themselves around my neck, clutching me tight as she brought her ankles up and linked them behind my back. Wrapping herself around me while I was buried deep inside her, our naked bodies twined together. “And you… ohh, fuck me! Ohh fuck me harder!”
I pressed her even harder against the wall, my hands under her buttocks supporting her as I moved against her, inside her, little gasps and cries escaping from her mouth as each thrust drove home. She closed her eyes tight, leaning forward to brace her head on my shoulder.
“…I love you, oh fuck I love you, oh fuck I love you…” she whispered, almost deliriously, in my ear, as her body tensed and her arms tightened to almost a stranglehold. “Ahh— aaahhhhhhhhhhh!”
“Elsie!” And with that, feeling her body convulsing in orgasm, feeling the hot tightness of her pussy around my cock, I let go inside her. My climax seemed to ripple on and on in successive waves, each one draining more and more strength from my arms and legs until I found myself sprawled against her, spent, on the shower stall floor.
Her hands gently stroked my hair as I dragged myself a bit higher, resting my cheek against her breast. Lazily, I teased her nipple with my lips, and she smiled, eyes warm and liquid.
“You’re here,” she whispered, after a minute or two. “You’re real. I was… I was so scared…”
“Me too,” I admitted, huskily. My arms stole around her, all thoughts of arousal chased away by the memory of that disconnected feeling, that sense of alienation. “But you’re here. We’re together.”
The worry lines at the corners of her eyes crinkled up again. “Oh, Ger,” she said, quietly. “Oh, Ger, please… Please don’t—” Then she cut herself off, and bit her lip.
“Please don’t what?” I asked, looking at her more closely. Her face was flushed, her hair bedraggled and her eyes faintly rimmed with red, but she looked… fulfilled. Happy, almost.
She just shook her head, then shuddered as the water started to go lukewarm. “No, n–never mind,” she said, summoning a smile. “Let’s get out now, okay?”
“All right,” I said, reaching up to turn the water off. But I stayed still as she made to get up, holding her in place with my eyes and my body. “But one thing first,” I said, reaching out to hold her wrists down.
She eyed me tremulously. “Wh–what?”
I moved closer and kissed her softly, tenderly. She seemed taken aback at first, but melted into the kiss a moment later, returning it with a sweetness that etched itself into my heart.
“I love you. I do,” I murmured, as our lips broke and we paused, brow to brow.
Her smile was radiant.
* * *
We curled up in her bed afterwards — her bed, our bed: I didn’t know what to call it. Things were different in the light of day, different yet again from the surreal disconnected feeling of that morning. Warm light streamed in, though the sun was overhead and didn’t shine directly onto the bedroom window. Elsa’s window looked out over the backyard; well, it really looked over the narrow concrete path between the back wall and the fence. There was a small rectangle of grass off to the side of the house, with a fold-up clothesline and a couple of small flower beds, but that was about it. It was hardly home.
And yet, lying there next to Elsa, our arms folded around each other and her head resting against my shoulder, it felt like nothing but home. Pure belonging.
She was wearing a simple cotton slip with narrow straps that left her arms and shoulders bare. I’d slipped on an old t-shirt and a pair of boxers. Our legs were entwined beneath the quilt, her skin soft and warm against mine. I could feel the soft down on her arms brushing my skin when she shifted position; I could feel the gentle rhythm of her breathing as her back rose and fell within my embrace.
It was warm and quiet, a genuine idyll. Things made sense again; for the moment at least, if nothing else. Her hair, still slightly kaçak casino damp, against my cheek. Her arms, wrapped around me, holding me to her. And her soft sigh of contentment.
Smoothing back her hair, I kissed her brow. She stirred, opening her eyes, and lifted her head to look at me semi-questioningly, a blissful smile on her face.
“You’re beautiful,” I said, in response to her unspoken query.
“I love you.” She sighed, lowering her head again and snuggling up against me. I sighed too, expelling all the apprehensions I’d harboured since waking, and let my head fall back to the pillow. Me and Elsie, holding each other. Loving each other. Nothing could be more right, could it?
I hadn’t felt this happy in a long time. Certainly not in any of the other relationships I’d had. Always that underlying tension: the need to prove something, the anxiety about being interesting enough or caring enough, or too caring, too needy. How to walk the line.
There was none of that here. It was just me and Elsie. I loved her with such overwhelming passion that it made my heart strain just thinking about it. But not just passion. Tenderness, too. Sharing quiet moments like this. Wordless intimate lovemaking. Her kisses that blotted out everything in the world but her, and her love. Our love.
I’d never had it this good. There were no hurdles to jump, no obstacles to overcome. Just Elsie, right here, breathing quietly, warm and soft and fragrant in my arms. No controversies, no issues. It was literally perfection.
But I still couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
“Elsie,” I murmured, somewhat muffled because my cheek was resting against her hair.
“Hmm?” she responded, lazily.
“What are we going to do?”
Her arms tightened around me, momentarily. Her hair shifted under my cheek. “What do you mean?”
“I love you. I really do. But… how can we keep doing this? Marnie…”
“Marn.” She sighed, moving restlessly against me. “I know. If it was just the two of us, then it wouldn’t be such a problem. It would just be our concern.”
“I…” I freed one hand and slipped it under her chin, raising her head. The expression in her eyes was somewhat lost, desperate. I couldn’t help myself; I moved forward and kissed her. Her legs rubbed up and down against mine as she lost herself in the kiss. Her body, her warmth. I wanted her. I wanted her forever.
Reluctantly, we broke. The world started moving again. Reality was still there, waiting to be dealt with.
I tried again. “How can… how can I…” I paused, choking on the thought.
“How can we pretend?” she whispered, finishing my question for me. “How can we love each other like this, and not want it to be always? How can we hide it in front of Marn?”
“I just… I just want to hold you,” I mumbled, fighting the sobs. “I just always want to hold you. To see you and kiss you when you’re there, whenever you’re there, whenever we’re together. Because I love you. And how can… To just turn that off…?”
She moved against me, her hands coming up to stroke my hair. Gently, she cradled my head against her shoulder. I trembled next to her, overcome.
“She’d never understand,” Elsa said, quietly. “It would freak her out. And while she wouldn’t tell anyone, she wouldn’t be able to deal with it either. It would tear us all apart.”
I looked at her through eyes blurred with tears. “Then… what? What’re you saying?”
There was a strength in her expression that I’d never seen there before. The serenity, yes; that was nothing new. But there was a new determination there that made me catch my breath. What…? How…?
“I’m saying I love you,” she said, gently. “Marn can’t stop that or get in the way of it. But we have to hide it. Somehow, no matter how hard it is, we have to hide it. Don’t cry…” She paused, tears welling in her eyes now as well. “Because there’ll always be times like this, for us, for just the two of us. Times for me to love you. Times for us to need each other, and to have each other. Nothing can take those away. It… it’ll be hard, I know.” Again she broke off, looking at me with such tenderness and compassion. And wisdom. Gentle, determined wisdom. “But I don’t want to stop loving you. I don—” And now the tears did break free, streaming down her cheeks as she sobbed unwillingly.
I kissed her. I kissed her hard and enduringly. And the tears mingled on our faces as we found each other again on that warm, bright morning.
* * *
After a rudimentary lunch of leftover chicken, toast, coffee (for her) and Coke (for me), Elsa announced that we were going shopping. I had no objections, even though I could have thought of any number of more pleasant ways to spend the afternoon.
It was strange, this relationship, this ‘love’ between us. There hadn’t been any ‘getting to know you’ phase — or rather, there’d been twenty-one years of getting to know each other, though hardly with this end goal in mind. We were already familiar with each other. We knew each other; well enough, at least, if not as closely as two complete strangers might have after weeks or months of flirting and dating.
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