But not all of it, by far.
That hadn’t been all of it, but he couldn’t tell her that.
He’d been too bloody interested in girls! He worked hard, but he’d also played hard… when he could. Which was never often enough. He had been too obvious for his own good, and the girls knew about him, and always managed to keep him at arm’s length.
His mother had been protecting her.
“I saw you when I got up early to go to school with your mother. I had the same curiosity about you, after I’d left the bathroom each morning. I looked into your room as I passed it, to see you sprawled out on your bed (she’d been curious about him, too). I paused a few times too. I never had a brother, so… I knew nothing about boys, other than that they were dangerous.”
They were dangerous alright; to girls and to themselves. He would soon have shown her how that was. He often dreamed of it.
He smiled at her. “I wondered. I did hear you pause once or twice. I put it down to natural curiosity about the opposite sex.” That was diplomatically stating it.
It had been more than that. He knew that now. Even though they’d been kept apart, there was still a bond forming, with them both living under the same roof, and their lives, constantly bypassing each other, striving to meet, or to learn more of each other, though not too obviously, while his mother stood guard, like a eunuch outside of her harem of one.
Of course, it sparked interest. And not always a healthy one.
“I wonder if your mother kept us apart deliberately.”
He nodded. It had been deliberate. How had Cassie not known that. She, Cassie, had been too attractive even then, and had been exceedingly well-developed for her age. She’d been too dangerous for him, and he’d been too dangerous for her… match… gunpowder... kaboom! Those pheromones floating around would do that, even if they hadn’t met.
He encountered traces of her everywhere, lying around the house, and they drove him mad. Those signs. Those scents. He knew all about those.
She said nothing about seeing him masturbating once under his bedclothes, and hearing how that had gone when he'd stiffened up as he'd ejaculated. She'd even seen him in the raw... erect... that way... one hot summer evening with him lying out on his bed, and that part of him sticking up. She'd paused. She'd had to, to see what she could in the dim light. She'd been very impressed. Some of her writing afterward had been shaped by seeing that, and the sudden feeling of weakness that had swept over her, but he hadn't noticed.
She would pee and get back to her bed, not flushing the toilet.
It was his turn again with the confessions. “I often stood in your bedroom door too, after you’d gone to school, and wondered why my mother was so protective of you, but I knew. I understood. She knew all about me. As you said… boys are dangerous. I was dangerous for you. It’s the nature of the beast.”
He’d stood there, never quite able to go farther into that sanctuary, that shrine where this young goddess slept, and where he dreamed of violating her every night.
“In what way were you dangerous for me?” Did she need to ask so innocently? She knew what he was saying, but she was playing coy, wanting to hear more.
He couldn’t easily answer that question without being more expressive than he should be, and it might be too early for that. Hell, he’d only just learned who she was, and he was still in shock. However, he tried.
“I just was. I was too interested in you, even at that distance. Most boys and girls seem wary of each other, as they should be. “Sometimes, it’s a simple as… boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Fireworks! That was the way I felt about you. Don’t ask me to explain it, because I can’t.”
More likely, he shouldn’t. It was still way too early for her to know too much about that seamier, horny side of him.
Though he could speak about those things now.
And it seemed that she was ready to hear them.
Those feelings hadn’t changed.
She understood, easily able to interpret, and even add to what he was saying, while letting him ramble on. It was nice to see how he’d suddenly relaxed, learning who she really was, bringing back what seemed like such pleasant memories.
“I think you scared me.” He settled for that. He'd told her that, several times now in different ways.
She’d scared him? She needed to hear that.
“I didn’t want to scare you, in turn. I would have done. I was a very intense individual.” He still was. “You needed my mother, and I think she needed you too, while I was away, so I had to take a step back, and consider you both, instead of charging in like a bull, as I would have done, given even the slightest encouragement by you.”
A bull, would have been the right analogy. There were times when he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to control himself, being so close to her… and yet… being so far away.
He dreamed of sitting opposite her at the breakfast table. He had the biggest hard-on, imaginable. It was steadily growing across that space between them, reaching out to touch at her, as she put her legs apart for him, to welcome him into her, moving forward on her seat as it moved steadily up her skirt, into the leg of her panties, until they both slid under the table to continue it out of sight of his mother.
He tore his mind away from that. “My mother laid the rules down to me though, so I couldn’t.
“I never went into your room while you lived with us.” At least never very far. “It was your space… but I so much wanted to. I had the feeling that I would be able to connect with you on another plane if I did, in my mind, seeing where you slept, wondering what you dreamed about, seeing you lying there... vulnerable.”
Climbing onto her again.
He’d better not say too much about those feelings. “I often wondered if you ever dreamed about me?” (and what he would like to be doing to her).
She wouldn’t dare answer that. She’d dreamed about him all of the time in some strangely intimate ways, and she needed to hear this.
He continued. “Boys, some boys, do have those... difficult fantasies and thoughts. However, it would have seemed as if I was somehow violating your privacy, and my mother’s trust, had I done so. My conscience wouldn’t let me. It’s strange what we feel at times like that, isn’t it?”
He had been a principled rogue. In a pig’s eye! His conscience would have been kicked out of the door in the blink of an eye.
She agreed. “I had lots of strange memories, and feelings like that.” She took a few deep breaths as she looked around her former home.
“This is the first time I’ve been back here since I left it to swim across the lake that night, ten years ago.” She’d never looked back and regretted that time. Never.
“I came back, because my uncle died, and I realised that if I didn’t see my parents one more time, I might lose them too. I came back for them, but I soon regretted it. They hadn’t changed. Nor had my sister. I’ve only been here two days and I want to leave already. I’m not welcome. I didn’t know them, and they didn’t know me.”
She looked up at him and became shy again at what she saw in his eyes.
“I regretted coming back here… at first.” She threw out that little after-thought of a teaser, to pull back from the first part of that comment. “But not now.”
Not having met him at last.
Her heart was surely, beating too fast. He may be able to hear it, and see it lying on her chest just for him, except he would be blind to everything but her breasts.
He touched her hand. “I’m very glad you came back, too, Cassie.” It was safe for him to say that.
He’d better keep his exploding thoughts to himself.
And this was, Cassie. He’d been half in love with her forever. More than half in love, he knew that now.
“Thank you for coming over to help me as you did, Malcolm. I was scared until you came.”
Good. First names, even though they’d never spoken to each other before.
“He’d been wary about coming, but he’d known he had no choice.
All of that trepidation and concern about what would greet him, had changed, now. Gone, evaporated… Pffftt!
In this feeling of sudden euphoria, he held her hand, reassuringly, in both of his. He even raised it to his lips and kissed it without thinking about it.
That simple gesture told her everything about him, even if his eyes hadn’t.
This, was their first, actual meeting in all of that time, but it would have happened sooner-or-later, now that she had come back. Her next order of business, except for this, happening as it had, had been to reconnect with his mother… and then to connect... properly connect... with him.
And now she had. Almost.
He could do that now… become more expressive… without risking a black eye, even if he didn’t know her as well as he would have liked. Ships that passed in the night. It still gnawed at him that they’d shared the same house together over such a long time without doing something about it, but he’d rarely been there.
His mother had adopted her, unofficially, even as she’d lost her son... pushed him away.
Now he was back. And so was Cassie.
His mother had often spoken of her while he was at medical school, and even after he’d come home again to take over from his father. She’d kept him informed of what Cassie was doing, and her progress, while keeping them physically apart. She’d known how he’d felt about her.
Cassie and his mother exchanged their letters each month. She’d scorned using e-mail for such a long time, and then she’d begun to use that too. But those formal, and well-written… hand written letters, common in an earlier time, still passed between them. She preferred them.
That, what he had learned and was now learning, explained everything about so many things.
He’d never known that Megan had a twin sister, nor Cassie either. He hadn’t dug deeply enough into his father’s medical files to know everything, about every family in their tight little community.
Going into patient records was a picky job, and was time consuming, but it couldn’t be rushed.
“You, being Cassie and not Megan, explains why you didn’t swear at me, as I constantly expected, since I got here.”
It also explained the puzzling absence of signs of abuse on her wonderful body.
“You may have noticed that I was walking on eggs for a short while with you, at first. I didn’t know who you really were. All I saw was that name, Megan, when you phoned.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. “Wow.” He must still look shocked to her.
He could ask a question now.
“In some ways I know all about you, from what my mother said, but in other ways, I don’t know anything. Please tell me, did you really swim across the lake in the dark to get to our house, that night, when you were just thirteen?” He was in awe of that. “I was sixteen before I did that, then I did it all of that summer.” She would have been about eleven.
She nodded. “I watched you swimming each morning. You never noticed me sitting out on our dock. How I envied you. Yes, I did that. I swam over, knowing that, if ‘you’, could do it, then so could I, even in the dark, though I was scared. But I was more scared of what I was leaving behind.
“I was escaping my sister and her… much older male friends. Our parents were away for the night, so my sister called some of her... ‘friends’ over for a party, telling them to bring the drink… and the drugs. The word got around.”
It sure had. Every dysfunctional male in the area had descended upon their house.
“I saw what was happening almost immediately, and knew that if I wasn’t careful, it would also involve me in a very personal way. In fact it would have been inevitable, and unavoidable, so I knew that I had to leave while I still could.”
“I told them I needed to go to the bathroom. I climbed out of the window as fast as I could, and I ran. I never went back, thanks to your mother’s kindness.”
He could fill in most of the rest for himself. She could have wound up like her sister, had she not escaped.
What a dreadful loss to him that would have been.