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Saturday, May 29 (cont.)

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     The family was finishing up dinner when Tracy’s sister Sarah called. They chatted on the phone for a minute at the dinner table, before Olivia asked if they could talk upstairs. “It’s kinda annoying to only be able to hear one end of a conversation” she reasoned, and her mom understood what she meant. Sarah also wanted to hear about Stuart’s new project he was developing at work, so their dad joined Tracy as the two of them headed up to Stuart and Tracy’s room to talk with Sarah for a little while. Reese had already retreated back to the couch, having finished with cleaning all the ladies’ feet for the evening.

     “Hey, is it cool if me and Elle jack your spot so we can watch Bridgerton?” Olivia called over to her brother.

     “Yeah, sure,” he answered, figuring he mind as well finish the YouTube video in his room anyways. 

     The two girls went to pour themselves some wine, and then came over to steal the boy’s spot, his eyes glued to his phone. Without even averting his eyes from what he was watching, he stood up and turned to head upstairs, and in doing so bumped into Olivia, who was carrying her wine over to the living room. The glass lurched out of her hand as Olivia’s body was subtly jerked by her brother’s sudden action. It thumped on its side on the floor, spilling her drink onto the carpet. “Reese!” Olivia exclaimed, quickly picking the glass back up. She hadn’t poured a lot, but most of it had been spilled regardless. It was a bit ironic that Olivia had made Reese go out of his way to clean her feet and keep the carpet from getting dirty, but in the end, they had still made a mess that would make their mother livid if she saw it. As if on cue, Tracy came walking downstairs just at that moment to fetch something.

     “Are you two fighting again?” their mom asked as she came into the kitchen. 

     Olivia stood up quickly, remote in hand, and stood over the spot on the carpet. She cringed at the feeling of the cold, purple drink against her feet, knowing that she was probably pushing it even deeper into the carpet. But she had to make sure her mom didn’t see, or else she’d be dead. “No,” Olivia said, turning to address their mom, “he just made a dirty joke and I was surprised. It’s fine.” Tracy sighed at her son’s immaturity but accepted Olivia’s excuse, and unplugged her charger from the outlet, heading back upstairs to rejoin her husband now that she could charge her phone. 

     Wide-eyed, Olivia turned to Reese, who was still standing next to her, mouth agape. “You’re welcome, lil bro!” Olivia said, irritation in her voice. She was acting like she had just saved Reese’s ass, which she did, but she also was saving her own. Her parents didn’t have a problem with her drinking in the living room, but even if Reese bumped her, it was still her drink that had been spilled and she didn’t want to risk finding out exactly how livid her mom or dad would get. “You need to watch where you’re going Reese, you better fucking clean it up before it stains the carpet,” she ordered, taking a step back and collapsing onto the couch. Reese swallowed nervously, embarrassed at having caused the accident due to his obsession with his phone. After all the progress he felt like he had been making with his family, it felt like his parents hadn’t gotten mad at him in at least a week, and he didn’t want to reset that timer. He stood in front of the spot, staring at it for several seconds as he tried to think of the best way to clean it up. “Don’t just stand there, get some rags!” Olivia berated him; clearly he didn’t know what he was doing. “And then get mom’s stain remover from under the sink.” Elle just sat silently, watching her friend order Reese around, since his sudden spike in stress clearly wasn’t motivating him enough to fix the problem. Reese didn’t even bother saying anything, and just rushed off to the kitchen to grab what was asked of him. Olivia turned, expecting Reese to slip up. “Not her kitchen towels,” she whispered harshly, “you’re gonna stain those too. I said to get some rags, like from the garage.” Reese’s cheeks turned red as he shut the towel drawer and changed his course of action. He was trying to keep his mom from finding out, but as a result was getting chewed out by his sister for his ineptitude instead.

     He came back from the garage with several old rags in hand, glancing at Olivia on the couch as he went back to the kitchen to get the cleaning spray. Her ankle was resting on her thigh so she could look at the underside of her foot. “I wonder if this is gonna stain my feet now,” she mused, and Reese became worried for a second that she might have him clean her feet again. He seemed to have been interacting with them quite a bit today. Well I know what her clean socks smell like and what her sweaty socks smell like, and her clean feet and her sweaty feet. I wonder if she’s gonna come up with a new ‘game’ where she wants to know how her alcoholic feet smell like now. Fruity and soapy at the same time, great. “Do you want me to get you a pair of socks from your bedroom?” he asked as he returned to the living room.

     “No, it’s fine. Do my feet smell like Cabernet though?” she asked with a giggle, extending her leg out. Of course, I called it. At least her joking around will cool off her temper, he thought, lowering his head to sniff at her feet. 

     He gave a quick whiff at her left sole. “Yeah, kinda. That and the soap I just washed them with,” he answered, a hint of sass in his tone. He knew what Cabernet was, but wasn’t sure if it actually smelled different from other wines. There was definitely some kind of fermented, sweet aroma present on her skin, mixed with the lingering scent of lemongrass suds underneath. Olivia giggled again at having gotten her brother to smell at her feet, and got up to refill her drink. Elle looked surprised at how easily she was able to get her little brother to smell her like that, something she would’ve thought would normally be gross. Reese ignored her though, and laid the rags out flat across the spot on the carpet, and pressed his palms firmly against the floor. He could feel the liquid slowly start to get absorbed by the cloths, and folded them over to repeat until he was satisfied that most of the immediately available residue had been soaked up. 

     Tossing the dirtied rags aside, he sprayed the spot several times with his mom’s solution and got onto all fours. Olivia returned with her second glass of wine and sat back down as Reese started scrubbing away at the mess. Olivia saw him on his hands and knees and got an idea, biting her lip at the devious behavior that was emerging because of her tipsiness. Out of the corner of his eye, Reese saw Olivia lift her long, tanned legs up, before feeling a sudden, heavy weight on his back. And as she lifted her other leg up, the weight was suddenly doubled. His sister was using him as a footstool. He didn’t know what to say. “Uhhh…” was all he managed to get out, unsure of how to even ask Olivia what she was doing.

     “Yeah?” she replied innocently, taking another sip of her wine as she gazed at her small brother hunched over beneath her feet. Seeing she was playing dumb, he crawled out from under her and let her feet fall the the floor, then sat back up on his knees and looked at her with a confused and slightly annoyed expression on his face. She’s probably just playing around, he thought. What else could it be? It’s still annoying though. “Did you finish cleaning the carpet?” Olivia asked him. She looked towards the floor, “Doesn’t look like it.”

     “Well, yeah, cuz I didn’t like having your feet on my back. They’re heavy. You’re literally like twice as big as me.” He felt ridiculous explaining it to Olivia as if it wasn’t obvious to the two of them already.

     “Are you calling me fat?” Olivia teased, and Reese rolled his eyes.

     “No, but you don’t have to be fat to weigh more than a lot of people at six and a half feet tall. They’d be a nuisance even if I wasn’t only 3 fucking feet tall,” he said timidly.

     “Well you don’t have to clean the carpet,” Olivia explained simply. “If you aren’t down there, then I won’t be able to use you as a footrest,” she shrugged. But then Mom will get mad that I made you spill your drink. Or maybe she’ll get mad at you for drinking wine in here in the first place. But I don’t know if I want to make that risk. “C’mon Reese, they’re just my feet, how much could they really weigh? You’re not that small.” He still hesitated, so she continued with his persuasion. “But really, after everything you did for me this morning, this is where you draw the line?” Reese didn’t want to keep wasting time arguing with her, since he knew that sooner or later he’d have to keep cleaning up the stain on the carpet before his parents came back down. So he just sucked it up and got back down onto his hands and knees, crawling back over to the stain as Olivia swung her legs up onto his back once more. And it wasn’t long before Olivia convinced Elle to rest her feet Reese’s back too, essentially doubling the already heavy load. Just trying to scrub at the carpet fibers, with only one hand to support him, made him feel like he was about to collapse under all their weight on his shrunken back. But Olivia’s just messing around, he told himself. I can suck it up. It’s fine.

 

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