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Friday, May 28


     The last week or so of Reese making Olivia’s breakfast and morning coffee had gone relatively the same, but on Thursday night Olivia asked Reese if he could make double her typical serving in the morning. After her sporadic jogs over the last few weeks, she had decided to commit to doing them daily, and wanted to get some extra carbs in her in the mornings to balance her diet with her increasing fitness. As a result, Reese would have to wake up an extra 5 minutes early so he’d have time to cook the extra food, which by now was routinely consisting of eggs mixed with sausage, toast, and occasionally hashbrowns. But he didn’t mind the change much. It’s only an extra 5 minutes, hardly noticeable, he reasoned to himself.

     The physical result of Olivia’s longer runs came around 4pm on Friday afternoon. Reese had been home for around half an hour, and was eating a snack in the kitchen when he heard the closing of the front door announce Olivia’s return. She was breathing heavier than usual, although not quite panting, as she came in and collapsed in the kitchen table chair closest to Reese. “Whew,” she sighed, leaning back as she faintly smiled at her brother, “that felt good!” 

     Reese returned a small smile back out of politeness. “Big run?”

     “Wasn’t really a run,” she explained, stretching her arms to either side, “or that big. Just a couple miles. Can you get me some water actually?” Reese nodded and got up to fetch his sister a glass. When he returned, she had her shoes up on the table, just a few inches from his plate of quesadilla. He knew that if he mentioned anything, she’d just insist that she wasn’t actually touching the plate, so there wasn’t a problem, and that her legs needed to stretch. So he ignored it and handed her the water. “I went along that forest path near Clearview Park, since it was in the shade. It’s not really hot out, I don’t even think it’s 70, but I figured it would still help cool me off,” she explained, then scooted her chair a few inches closer to Reese and moved her shoes from the table to his lap. Pressing the tip of her left shoe against the heel of her right, she pried it off, then did the same for her other foot. She sighed at the feeling of the cool air, as Reese noticed that through his jeans he could feel the heat from her heels resting on his legs. Olivia wrinkled her toes, erupting several cracks from her joints, and Reese sighed himself. He knew what was coming. He knew what she wanted, and she obviously didn’t even need to say it. He licked his lips nervously, wondering just how bad they would be, as he reached out to touch her feet. Her socks weren’t exactly damp, but he could tell they weren’t completely dry either. He guessed that a little bit of sweat had soaked into the fabric, but judging by how fit his sister was, in addition to how relatively sweat-less she seemed to be now sitting across from him, there likely wasn’t much perspiration on her part. Well that’s a positive at least, he thought to himself. Maybe she even jogged on the shadier trails because she knew I was gonna rub her feet later, and didn’t want them to be too bad for me. He felt a little better at this idea, until his cynical side reminded him that she didn’t have to put him in this predicament in the first place, rubbing her sweaty feet while she just sat back in her chair relaxing. She didn’t have to go for a jog right around when I come home from school, she also didn’t have to come to me first before heading to the shower, and neither of those would’ve been much of a problem if she hadn’t guilt tripped me into massaging her feet every day in the first place. But he had turned in the homework she fixed up for him last night, and so far, no problems. So even though it might be a little gross, he wasn’t about to speak up just yet. Maybe after school ended in a few weeks. For now, he could handle a little bit of his sister’s sweat and boring, if not demeaning chores. Even still, he thought, as he kneading his fingers into her big, warm feet, inwardly cringing at just how dirty her socks seemed to get from a single run.

     “You think I’ll need a shower before Jordan comes over later?” she asked after around ten minutes had passed. 

     “Yes, definitely,” he replied almost immediately. Olivia chuckled at his reaction.

     “So they’re that bad, huh? I figured they wouldn’t be too hot since I wasn’t out in the sun.”

     He rolled his eyes, unable to believe he even had to explain it to her. “I don’t care about if your feet feel hot. It’s the sweat that makes it gross. Or the smell.” He instinctively sniffed his nose. There was a slightly musty aroma, but it wasn’t bad enough that it took up his attention. But none would’ve been better than some. Olivia shifted in her seat, and Reese was quick to rectify his statements. “I mean, they’re not like super smelly or anything. And I guess you didn’t sweat that much. I’m just saying, like, in general. Those are worse than just the temperature of your soles, or whatever…” There was a pause for a few seconds. “I’m really thankful that you’ve been helping me pass, Olivia. I just turned in that stuff today and so far so good. So like, even if your feet were a little worse to put up with, I’d still do it, because it’s still better than stressing for the next couple weeks and spending hours every day trying to finish up homework.” He added a faint but reassuring smile at the end, and Olivia smiled back at him.

     “It’s fine, I got what you meant. But it’s good to know that I still have some wiggle room in terms of stuff I can make you do.” Pause. Wait, is she becoming aware of the power she has over me? Because I just admitted to not really being in a position to say no… “I’m kidding! It’s like I said yesterday, I’d help you out with all your homework just out of the goodness of my heart, because I’m a better sister than anyone you know. All this other stuff,” she said, motioning to her feet as she finally removed them from his lap, “it’s all just a nice way of saying thank you. But it’s not necessary.” She stood up, hands on her hips, and looked down at her little brother. “Sooooooo, if you think I need to clean up, and you wanna continue thanking me,” she said, placing sarcastic emphasis on those last two words, “then you can start another bath for me.” 

     “Uh, OK, sure,” Reese answered. He slowly got up, but Olivia grabbed his shoulder before he could head up to do her bidding. She pulled him into a hug, the side of his face smushed up against her breasts. She was definitely wearing a sports bra, but that only did so much to lessen the size of her boobs. “OK, now I definitely smell something,” he said, wrinkling his face in annoyance at the smell of her sweat, pushing his way out of her grip while she just laughed.

     A few minutes later, she entered the bathroom while the sound of the faucet was still roaring. Reese was perched on the edge of the tub, his hand dipped in the water, as he saw his sister come in. “It’s like halfway ready,” he told her, and she nodded with wide eyes, feigning surprise.

     “Yeah, I can see that,” Olivia replied, crossing her arms and sighing as she waited for the water to finish.

     “I can’t make it go faster,” he said, trying to be funny but just coming off sounding as foolish as his first statement. 

     “Yeah, I know.” She couldn’t tell he was trying to be funny. He sat there awkwardly as Olivia slowly walked forward, taking her time as she waited with her brother, and peeled her socks off, discarding them to the side of the bathroom. Just a few minutes had passed since they last spoke, but already Olivia sounded like her mood had totally shifted. It wasn’t uncommon behavior for her to do that though. Another few awkward seconds passed, and Olivia sighed again. “I don’t know when Jordan’s gonna get here but she’s supposed to come before dinner, and I wanna still have enough time to myself before she’s here, so you can just…” she trailed off, then motioned with her hands to the door, in a kind of shooing motion, “get out… of here. It’s fine, that’s enough water.”

     “Why didn’t you just take a shower if a bath was gonna take too long and you knew she was coming?” Reese’s old, rebellious attitude came bubbling to the surface, and Olivia sighed again, shaking her head.

     “I don’t know Reese, I like baths more than most people, OK? They’re relaxing. I still probably have an hour anyways. Now out,” she repeated, motioning to the door again, “and close the door.” Just one final command for Reese, something absolutely tiny that she obviously could have effortlessly done herself, but now had passed off to Reese for no reason other than he could do it too. He accepted her response and scooted by her, out the door. He turned around and reached to close the door just in time to see her from the back taking her shirt off through the door’s closing crack, quickly shutting it all the way before he saw anything more of his sister.

*    *    *    *    *    *

     Jordan had been Olivia’s friend since the 6th grade, after her family had moved to Portland from Arizona. Even after living up north for almost a decade at this point, her complexion was still fairly dark, and she had long, straight black hair that reached all the way to her lower back. Several large tattoos covered her arms, and she had a nose piercing that she got when she was 17. The most surprising thing to Reese after he grew up and looked back on his childhood was that Jordan had never really had a goth phase like the internet had led him to believe every girl had, especially ones with piercings and tatoos. Even his sister had had a goth phase at one point. Even now, he wondered if she ever had an “alt-girl” phase in college, but she still dressed normally enough that he couldn’t be sure. Reese remembered that he’d always secretly get excited when Jordan came over when he and his sister were kids, although he hadn’t realized it at the time. As the girls entered high school and Reese eventually entered puberty, he began to develop a bit of a crush on her. She wouldn’t really give him any more attention than any of Olivia’s other friends, but she didn’t ignore him just because he was a boy. Tracy and Stuart loved having Jordan over, or at least were more subconsciously interested in the girl since she was the most different of Olivia’s other friends, who typically were similar to Olivia’s sporty self. Maybe that was why she was one of Olivia’s best friends growing up - opposites tend to attract. But besides that, Jordan couldn’t be easily typecasted. She was never a modest, quiet girl who was into drawing and reading, although her tattoos were indicative of her artistic appreciation. She wasn’t a nerd who had a vested interested in video games, even though she had a PS4, or someone into premiere fashion even if she liked posting her outfits on Instagram. And like mentioned, she was never the charismatic, sporty girl that Olivia had been, other than matching Olivia’s talkability. Perhaps, above all, it was her resistance to being an easy stereotype that was her most attractive quality to Reese growing up. He wondered if years later, with the better understanding of himself that he now had at the ripe old age of 18, he might have lost his attraction to Jordan. Or if there was still that something unique that would spark interest in his eyes and keep him coming back for more.

     “Yes! I’m so glad you came,” Olivia yelled out, giving her friend a big hug that was matched with a warm smile. 

     “Jordan!” Stuart called out enthusiastically, setting down his iPad to greet his daughter’s old friend.

     “Hey, Jordan! Olivia didn’t tell us you were coming over,” their mom said, entering the foyer with a surprised grin on her face at the familiar face that she hadn’t seen in person in almost 4 years. 

     “Oh, I hope that’s OK,” Jordan said, not really worried given Tracy’s joyful demeanor. “Olivia invited me over for dinner, and I hadn’t seen her in a while.” Jordan looked around the room. “Or any of you guys!” she added, half jokingly.

     “I thought you said you helped her move out the other day,” Reese said, confronting his sister in confusion.

     “Well hello to you too, Reese,” Jordan said, and he blushed. “It’s been a while.”

     “She meant besides that, dingus,” Olivia retorted, thwapping her brother on the top of his head. “We haven’t seen each other since summer break last year.

     “You don’t need to keep in touch with us, Jordan,” Tracy replied kindly, moving the conversation along. “It’s just nice to see you again.”

     “Hey, I have a ham that’s been in the smoker out back for a bit, should be ready in about ten minutes,” their dad chimed in.

     “Sounds good to me,” Jordan said, clasping her hands together eagerly. 

     “And I’m making a salad,” Tracy said. “Come into the kitchen, we have to hear all about your time at college.” She turned to head back to her work, ushering her husband along with her.

     “OK!” Jordan called back, rolling her eyes as she glanced back at Olivia, who chuckled with her at her mom’s usual motherly antics. Jordan turned her attention to Reese, who was still standing off to the side. “I don’t think I’ve seen you since you were in middle school.” She tossed her purse onto the stairs and walked up to Reese. She didn’t share his sister’s uncommonly tall height, but at 5’9, she was still a few inches taller than average. Not that it made much of a difference to Reese, of course. He was still going to be a bit shorter than almost everyone he met, save for the occasional girl who was 4’10 or 4’11. As Jordan approached him, he realized that his eye line was about level with her collar bone. Seeing her shirt expose the tops of her breasts in his peripheral vision almost made him wish he was just a few inches shorter. He hated when Olivia hugged him at this size, but he definitely wouldn’t mind if Jordan gave him one. As if she’d hug me anyways, why would she? We’re not like, actual friends or anything. Heels would probably do the trick though. Tall ones, but they’d work. 

     “And it looks like you haven’t grown since middle school, either,” she joked. “Maybe even lost an inch,” she added with a smirk.

     Olivia rushed to his defense. “He got diagnosed with DSD last year. I thought I told you.”

     Jordan grimaced, “Oh, maybe you did. Well, sorry Reese, that sucks.” Even with her apology, her joke still stung a bit. As much as he might’ve enjoyed motor-boating her, he obviously would rather be back to his normal height. Jordan sighed, then drummed her hands against her stomach, trying to move along from the awkward energy, “OK, I’m gonna head into the kitchen I guess before your mom starts worrying about me.” 

     “Yeaahhh, good idea,” Olivia said slowly, aware of how tense the situation had been. Then the two of them turned on their heels, and headed into the kitchen. Reese sighed; despite Jordan’s jab at him, he seemingly still couldn’t shake her allure, and followed in after the two girls so the whole family could catch up with Olivia’s old friend.

*    *    *    *    *    *

     After dinner was over, the family had all gathered outside to finish telling stories and reminiscing over the past 4 years. Stuart, Tracy, and Reese were sitting at the patio table, the parents each with a Margarita, while the two girls relaxed on the lounge chairs a few feet over, by the pool. But around 7:30, Tracy announced that she had “had her fun,” and was heading in to watch her nightly news program. Stuart, upon deciding whether to continue hanging out with the kids or join his wife, quickly made the decision to head in with his spouse.

     “You know, Reese has been giving me back massages,” Olivia told her friend, being kind enough to wait until their parents had gone inside, lest news of Reese’s favors for Olivia lead way to leaking his predicament at school. He noticed this, but was still upset that she had told anything, even though he knew it was unrealistic to expect good friends like them not to share stuff like that.

     “Not back massages, plural. Just one,” he corrected her. “And it was because she tore her shoulder or something helping you.”

     Jordan looked from Reese to Olivia. “Oh yeah, sorry about that.” Olivia shrugged; it really wasn’t a big deal. Reese hoped she wouldn’t mention the foot massages too though.

     “Yeah, just one back massage so far,” Olivia admitted. “But you really thought I wouldn’t want another one? Especially after I taught you all those tricks and techniques?” Great, there’s literally only one place this conversation could be going nowadays…

     “Fine, fine,” he sighed, getting up to walk over to the two girls. 

     Jordan looked confused. “Wait, is that... you’re giving her another one? Without her even asking you?”

     Reese nodded, "Well she was going to anyways."

     Olivia shrugged. "He's right, I was."

     Jordan turned to Olivia. “Are they good?”

     “I mean, yeah, they’re not bad,” Olivia laughed. “It’s a free massage.” 

     “Fuck, I wish I had a brother to give me free massages.” She whipped her head between the two. “You guys have a good relationship compared to some of the other brothers and sisters I know.” As if servitude means a good sibling relationship, Reese thought dryly. But Jordan was right, even with that element removed, he and Olivia still got along pretty great.

     “Well you might not have a brother to rub your back, but I have a brother to rub my back.” Olivia turned around so she was laying on her stomach, getting comfortable, and paused for a moment in thought. “And you have me who has my brother to rub your back.” She winked at her friend regarding that last part, and it took Jordan a moment to get past Olivia’s alliteration to realize what she had proposed. 

     “Oh fuck, really?” Jordan joined Olivia in turning onto her back, not even bothering to ask Reese if he was fine with it. “How do you get him to do it? Do you pay him? Did you blackmail him?” she asked with a smirk.

     “No,” Reese interjected, not wanting to risk Olivia telling Jordan. “I just owe her a few favors from when she was in college.” I mean, the first half’s true, he thought, kneeling beside Olivia’s chair. He was glad their chairs were still on the wood of the patio, so the concrete around the pool area wouldn’t scrape against his knees.

     “Aw, and we can watch the sunset while he rubs our back,” Olivia said, smiling as Jordan turned her head to check out the view too. Even from the family’s backyard, the view was pretty decent, at least to see the sun go down at night. It was a bit trickier for Reese to work from the side compared to just having Olivia’s back standing right in front of him like the other night. But I guess this is the same angle that all masseuses work from. And I don’t really wanna ask her if I can... mount her back. So his fingers went to work, sculpting and molding, pressing and folding against the muscles and tissues and fat on Olivia’s back. After spending a little while on his sister's back, he switched over to Jordan’s, and give his childhood crush an equally memorable rub as the three of them watched the orange sky fade away into the oncoming night.


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