Coming Together Ch. 01

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It was no secret to anyone in my family that my brother Chris and I weren’t close. Despite being only thirteen months apart in age, we were polar opposites. Chris was the typical popular kid. Striking, handsome looks, athletic and charming. He was funny and smart too, and had no trouble being friends with everybody. Unfortunately this didn’t extend to me.

I had always been shy and reserved. Being the younger sibling of such an enigma had forced me to blend into the background, while Chris thrived in the spotlight. I didn’t do sports or any other kind of extra curricular activity, and preferred spending time alone in my room than going out and socialising with my peers.

That wouldn’t have been too bad, if it weren’t for the fact that Chris and his friends liked to make my life a living hell at every opportunity. I was constantly teased and mocked at school, only good for a quick laugh as a source of ridicule. At home, Chris barely spoke to me. Hardly even looked in my direction. He simply didn’t like me, and no stern words from our parents ever changed that. So I was picked on at school and completely ignored at home. As such, our relationship never really bloomed.

When Chris left school the year before me, he decided to go to Sixth Form in the town over, rather than the one attached to our school. That, at least, offered me some reprieve from his spitefulness, but I still had to deal with him most evenings and weekends in some capacity. It was only after he moved away for uni that I finally got some peace.

The summer before I was due to go to university myself, my parents wanted to take Chris and I on one last family trip, seeing as we were getting too old to want to hang around with our parents. We all agreed that we’d go to a camping site we used to visit a lot when Chris and I were young kids. I guess our parents wanted to reminisce on the past or something.

The drive wasn’t too bad, aside from Chris shooting me daggers any time I got remotely near him. For the most part, we ignored each other and had our headphones on.

It was nearing dusk when we arrived at our spot, and straight away Mum and Dad got to unloading the car and setting up the tents.

Very soon, it was clear that they had forgotten something kind of important.

“Shit,” Dad muttered. “I’ve left the other tent in the garage.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, dreading his answer already.

“You and your brother will have to share the second one.”

“No way,” Chris complained. “I’m not sharing a tent with her.”

I tried to ignore the way my cheeks heated.

Dad sighed. “Come on, Chris. It’s only for a few nights.”

“I don’t care,” he huffed.

“Well I don’t want to share with you either,” I said, mostly to save face.

“Oh, Christ, will the two of you grow up!” Mum shouted. “You act like you’re both toddlers!”

“Well, we’re not. I’m a grown man and I need my own space.”

“Chris, if you’re a man you can suck it up for the week. End of argument.”

Chris cursed loudly and stormed off to the lake. I had to resist the urge to throw a big rock at his head.

The rest of the night passed by awkwardly. Chris hardly spoke to anyone, I was my usual quiet self and Mum and Dad were getting far too comfortable with one an other by the fire.

Not able to take any more of the tension, I announced I was heading to sleep early. Everyone – except Chris, of course – wished me goodnight as I headed to the shared tent.

Slipping inside, I undressed quickly, throwing on a vest top and some fresh underwear. I wasn’t that tired, but boredom alone had me drifting to sleep within minutes. I was awoken sometime later by Chris shoving my shoulder harshly.

“What?” I grumbled, rubbing my eyes.

“You’re on my side, you idiot. Move.”

Lifting up, I quickly scooted over to the far side of the tent.

“Keep to your fucking side and don’t come close to me. And if you snore I’ll be slapping you awake.”

I wanted to believe he was joking, but knowing him he was very serious.

“Alright, I get it,” I muttered back.

“Whatever,” he said, pulling his shirt off. I watched him as he slipped his jeans off. Chris caught me looking. “Problem?” He snapped.

I frowned. “Give it a rest, okay? You’re constantly on my case and it’s starting to piss me off.”

“You’re the one eyeing me up.”

I rolled my eyes. “You just woke me up for no goddamn reason, complaining like a little bitch! You’re so fucking petulant when you don’t get your own way.”

“Says you, the fucking little princess.”

I gaped at him. “You can’t be serious? Do you honestly have no idea how entitled you are *all* the time?”

“KIDS!” Dad’s voice came, presumably from his own tent. “Shut your mouths, now!”

Chris glared at me and flopped down into bed, facing away from me. Minutes ticked by, but I could tell he was still awake, and I was too wired up to fill back to sleep. Unable to bear the tension, I spoke up.

“I know you hate me. You make it very tempobet giriş clear everyday. But if just… Once, you could not make me feel like shit simply for existing, I’d appreciate it.” I paused. “I don’t know what I’ve done to you, don’t know what I can do to fix whatever it is that’s broken between us. You don’t understand how much you beat me down all the time and I… I just want it to stop.”

Chris was silent, and I wondered if maybe he was asleep after all. Sighing, I settled myself back down and fell into a fitful sleep.

The next day we all decided to go for a hike after breakfast. Chris and I hadn’t spoken to each other all morning, and frankly I was okay with that. I watched his toned back and legs as we made our way through the trail, wishing my brother didn’t despise me so much. I wasn’t sure when it all started. Maybe we’d always been this way, but I longed for a brother who looked out for and cared for me, rather than one who would likely push me off the edge of a cliff.

It was a hot day, the sun beating down on us all as we walked. I was sweaty and out of breath, but the rest of my family didn’t seem to be getting into any difficulty. The trail was bumpy and full of rocks and stones, so much so that at one point I lost my footing on one, twisting my ankle painfully. I fell to the ground with a yelp, clutching my foot.

“Em? You okay?”

Wiping the dirt from my hands, I shook my head. “I-I’ve hurt my ankle.”

I tried to lift myself up, but my limbs were wobbly. I was about to fall back down to the ground when a fist curled around my bicep. Looking up, I was astonished to see Chris holding me upright. His face was moody and hard.

“T-Thanks,” I said, pulling away from him. As I did, I stumbled once more, and Chris had to once again yank me upright.

“Fucking hell! Just stay still!” He admonished.

Nodding, I allowed him to keep me somewhat upright as my Dad came over and had a look at my ankle.

“Does this hurt, kiddo?” He asked, pressing against my foot.

“It’s a little tender.”

“I don’t think you’ve done any real damage, but I don’t think you should continue the hike. We should get you back to camp.”

“Why don’t you guys just carry on? You’re almost at the top.” Chris stated unexpectedly. “I’ll get her back down.”

My eyes nearly fell out of my head they went to wide. “That’s alright. I can just go by myself-“

“Don’t be an idiot,” Chris snapped. “You’ll only end up falling again and this time breaking something.”

“Are you sure?” Mum asked. “We don’t mind heading back early and making lunch.”

“It’s fine,” Chris said. “You guys wanted to do this so you might as well finish.”

“Emily?” Mum asked.

I looked at Chris out of the corner of my eye, unsure why on earth he’d offer to help me in any sort of way. Maybe he really was planning to throw me down a hill somewhere. But he was right that I needed to get back to camp, and I would only hurt myself more if I did it alone. Not wanting to cause more drama, I nodded.

We bid our goodbyes and Chris began to lead me down the hill, his hand still firm around my arm. We had to take it slowly as I was limping, and I could feel the frustration rolling off him. When I tried to go a little faster and put more weight on my ankle, I tripped some more, almost bringing us both crashing to the floor.

“Jesus, can you just fucking be careful?” Chris shouted. “I swear you don’t fucking listen.”

“Alright, sorry,” I mumbled.

“If you want to fall down and break your fucking ankle, be my guest. Helping you walk in the fucking sun really isn’t the highlight of my day.”

“Chris, I fucking said sorry, okay?! Jesus, just stop! Get off my fucking back, alright?” I yelled. With a combination of sadness and outright frustration, my voice cracked and tears started to form in my eyes. They spilled over my cheeks before I cold stop them. Yanking my arm away from Chris, I swiped at my face furiously, wiping them away.

Chris seemed to pause as he watched me. His face no longer had its moody, brooding expression, in fact, I would describe it as looking close to remorseful, but I knew Chris could never feel that emotion toward me.

After a few moments, Chris gently took my arm and pulled it over his shoulder, taking most of my weight. “Let’s… Let’s just do this slowly, alright? Let me know if you want a break or something.”

I sniffed and nodded, allowing Chris to start walking us down once more. It was another ten minutes of silence before we reached our spot, and Chris carefully deposited me on a wooden picnic table by the tents. Ducking into our parents tent, he came out with some ice from the cooler wrapped in a towel.


“Thanks,” I said in a small voice, taking it from him. I tried to reach down and ice my foot, but I wasn’t that flexible and the angle was shit. Sighing in exasperation, Chris snatched the ice from me and pulled up a chair, taking my injured leg and placing it in his lap. He covered tempobet yeni giriş my ankle with the ice, keeping me in place with one of his hands.

I was in a bit of shock. Chris had made efforts not to touch me for eighteen years of my life. It was confusing to see him handling me with this kind of carefulness. I felt a little awkward, sitting there as he cared for me. I wasn’t used to Chris being so nurturing. He looked down at my ankle, lifting the ice every now and then to check on it. I watched the top of his head, staring at his wavy dark hair. His hands were gentle as he held me, tanned fingers gripping my leg softly.

“I don’t think it will swell too much.”

“Okay,” I said softly.

Chris looked up and met my eyes. We were kind of different in looks. He had the rich dark hair from both of my parents, while I was a dirty blonde kind of colour. What we did share was our dad’s grey eyes.

“I’m sorry for shouting at you.”

I wanted to bark out a laugh, but I was frozen in place. I’d never heard the word ‘sorry’ come from his lips. Not to me, anyway.

“Which time?” It was an appropriate question.

“When we were walking down,” he said. “You were hurt and I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”

That’s never stopped you before, I thought. “Don’t be feeling all compassionate just because I cried. I know you don’t mean it.”

He frowned. “I do mean it, Em. I really just wanted to help you.”

“Why?” I whispered. “Every day you make it clear you wish I weren’t around.”

“That’s not true.”

“Isn’t it?” I laughed humourlessly. “Everything I do is wrong in your eyes. I’m listening to my music too loud in my room, you yell at me. I finish the last of the juice, you yell at me. I get in the shower first, you yell at me. And not to mention how you and your friends used to torment me in school. Dumping everything in my bad all over the field? Remember that? Pushing me into the boy’s bathroom and locking me in? You treat me like the dirt on your shoe every single day, and now because you finally see how your words and actions can affect me, you’re suddenly sorry?” I wiped away more tears that formed. “Save it. I don’t need false apologies.”

Chris looked at me, breathing deeply. I think he might start to yell at me again, but instead he rises to his feet, careful to place my foot gently on the chair. “Keep that elevated and iced. Should start to feel better in a bit.”

Saying nothing else, he turned and walked into our tent. I shook my head, confused. I had no idea what kind of game he was playing, but I was in no mood for mind fucks. Closing my eyes, I drifted off to sleep.

Mum and Dad came back some time later, waking me and calling Chris out to have lunch.

By that evening, my ankle was a lot better. I managed to get myself bathed without any help, and after dinner I hobbled back to the tent just fine. Chris was already inside, lying on his back. He was awake, but said nothing to me when I entered.

I went to my side, looking over my shoulder at him. “I’m going to get changed,” I informed him. I saw him nod.

I felt a little awkward, but it would have taken too much energy to go and find a more private spot to change. I pulled off my shirt and bra, looking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t being watched. Getting out of my shorts was a little harder, but by that point I was tired and simply wanted to be comfortable. I shimmied my shorts and underwear down my legs and fished a new pair of panties out to sleep in.

Settling into bed, my eyes were starting to drift closed when Chris spoke.

“It’s not a false apology,” he said, his voice cutting through the darkness. “I really am sorry I’ve made you feel shitty for so long.”

I said nothing, my heart pounding.

“That stuff in school… I was being a dumb kid I guess. There’s no excuse. I should have been looking out for you. My friends would do stupid shit and I would join in. I should have stopped in, and I’m sorry.”

I swallowed thickly. “It’s not just that. You’re like it at home, too. You act like I’ve wronged you in some way. For years I tried to work out what it was that I was doing to piss you off, until I realised I was simply existing, and that was enough for you to hate me.”

“I don’t hate you.”

“Please don’t lie.”

“I mean it,” I felt him shift closer in the dark. “I haven’t always been the best brother. Haven’t treated you the way everyone deserves to be treated. I don’t know why it happened, but I’m sorry it did.”

I bit my lip. “I… I know we’re different. Worlds apart, even. We probably don’t have anything in common. I know I was always the dorky one, the socially awkward one. I even get frustrated with myself for being so shy. And you…”

“What about me.”

I sighed. “You’re everything I’m not. Outgoing, confident. Everyone in school wanted to be your friend. Every girl wanted to be with you. Even my friends, knowing how awful you were to me, used to tell me how much they would love to kiss tempobet güvenilirmi you. They worshipped you and… The worst part is *I* worshipped you too.”

I felt Chris lift up on his elbow. “What?”

“I idolised you, Chris. You were so cool. When you used to skateboard outside the house, I wanted to ask you to teach me. When you started to drive first, I wanted you to show me how it all worked. So many times I wanted to ask you for advice on something, because in my eyes you were older and cooler and knew everything, but I was too afraid to.”

“I’m sorry, Em,” he said after a beat.

I sighed. What else was there to say? We would probably never be close. I didn’t trust that he would stay this apologetic. Whatever had gotten in him today was sure to pass, and we would be back to normal soon enough. With nothing else to add, I turned on my side, away from him, and went to sleep.

When I woke the next morning, I felt a warm body pressed against my back. I left my eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of being in someone’s arms. I forgot where I was, didn’t remember how I’d gone to sleep, but this was a pleasant way to start the day.

A hand was on my breast, cupping it slightly. Something large and hard poked my butt. On instinct, I backed up against it. A deep, masculine groan sounded out.

My eyes flew open.

I was in the tent. Wrapped in the arms of my brother.

Looking down, I confirmed with my own eyes that Chris’s hand was on my boob. I could feel his breathing against my neck, warm and soft. I didn’t need to peek over my shoulder to know that the hardness I was feeling was my brother’s penis.

I froze still, unsure of what to do. If I woke him up, he could blame me for this. If I said nothing, he might think I liked it.

And it wasn’t totally unpleasant, if I forced my mind away from the fact that he was my brother. My nipple started to harden under his palm, much to my embarrassment.

Chris groaned some more, rousing from sleep. His palm tightened around my breast, and his hips pushed more firmly against mine. A small whimper left me. Chris moaned again too, palming my breast more.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to pretend this wasn’t happening. A few seconds later, Chris’s hand flew away from my tit.

“Fuck,” he whispered, edging away from me.

I continued to pretend to be asleep and Chris pulled himself together and exited the tent. When he left, I let out a shuddering breath. Pushing away my confusion, I decided to ignore the event even happened. A simple accident, that was all.

I dressed in the tent, throwing on a bikini and oversized top, and walked out of the tent, seeing my Mum and Dad eating breakfast. My brother wasn’t there.

“Morning, kiddo,” Mum smiled. “Come have some food.”

“Thanks,” I said, settling down on the table. “Where’s Chris?”

“On the phone,” Dad answered. “How’s the foot today? You up for a swim?”

“It’s fine,” I nodded. Swimming sounds good.”

Chris still hadn’t returned when I finished breakfast, and I saw him standing by the car as I walked past, his phone to his ear. Not really thinking on it, I made my way over to him.

“…Yeah, I know.” He said. “We can meet up as soon as I’m back if you like? When are you back from France?”

I knew at once he was talking to Megan, his girlfriend. Megan was a girl in my year at school, and the two had been dating for a few years now. She was the typical popular bitchy girl who had very little to do with me. I didn’t totally dislike her, but she always made a point to shoot me dirty looks in school for whatever reason.

“Sure. Yeah, Megs, I know. I’ll see you then? Cool.” Hanging up the phone, Chris turned around and looked at me.

“How’s Megan?” I asked, a little awkwardly.

“Fine. Enjoying her trip.”

“Good,” I said. We both stood in silence for a minute. I wondered if he was thinking about what happened in the tent this morning.

“How’s your ankle now?”

“Good. You really helped me.”

Chris smiled, making my stomach flip. I’d never seen that smile directed at me. “I didn’t really do much. But if you do happen to fall into a pit today, I’ll be there.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not going to fall into a pit.”

“I wouldn’t put it past you.”

Laughing, I walked over to stand beside him. “We’re going swimming today. I think Mum and Dad want to get going soon.”

“Sure,” he nodded, looking down at me. His eyes dropped to my lips before quickly meeting my eyes again. “Let me just go get my things.”

We spent most of that day frolicking in the large lake available for those on the campsite to use. The water was cool, which was nice, considering the heat of the sun. Mum and I would get out every now and then to lounge on towels, and more than once Chris and Dad decided to splash us both with water. By the late afternoon it was an all out splashing war, boys vs girls. I don’t remember laughing so much before. Chris was his usual vibrant self too, which was nice to witness.

When we were back at the tents, Mum and Dad announced that we’d be having dinner at a small pub that night.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m so tired after all that swimming. I think I might just go to bed early.”

“We can’t just leave you here alone.”

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