Butterflies

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This story is a real departure for me — it’s a commission.

I was contacted via private feedback by Literotica user AzureAsh who had admired my writing (yay!) and who had a request.

He’d published one story before and had an idea for another but thought his characters would come across better through my voice. He had imagined two flawed siblings with specific problems in their lives and an end goal for them — the journey he left up to me.

Ash, I hope you like it my friend. I’ve tried to stay true to your creations and I hope the Tim and Dawn you find here are the ones that lived in your mind for so long.

This is a gentler story than my usual ones, there is less overt sex, but I think it’s a worthy read regardless.

Apologies in advance to any cricket fans who may read this, let’s just say I did my best as a novice!

Writing another person’s creations was a stretch, but ultimately a worthwhile one, I think. As always full credit goes to my editor no1Uno for making my scribblings intelligible.

Enjoy, feedback appreciated as always.

All characters over 18.

+++++

“Tim, did you drink all the milk?” Dawn Fraser shouted from in front of the fridge.

“Sorry Dawn. I was up late chatting on the Star Wars forum last night. I made hot chocolate. It was about the Mandalorian’s armour”.

Tim was suddenly embarrassed, realising his sister did not need an explanation. She needed milk.

He gave up drying his hair and pulled on a white shirt.

All his shirts were white.

“Are you having cereal?” he asked.

“No, I’m having egg fu yung for breakfast dummy. I just wanted to appreciate the exquisite design of the new three litre milk carton! Oh, you’re impossible!”

She was getting mad now.

“If we leave early, I will buy you breakfast on the way to work,” he offered, not sure how to calm her down.

This always happened. He never wanted to hurt or anger her, but he kept doing it by mistake.

Then he was lost and often made things worse while trying to help.

Today though, it worked.

Sort of.

“Ok but I want a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, avocado and a drizzle of lemon coulis. To drink I want a Triple Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato.

“Come on Dawn, you’re not even trying now. The food truck opposite Starbucks does that sandwich and that’s my third favourite coffee!”

Tim knew if she was really mad her breakfast order would have been impossible.

She didn’t laugh much … his day was complete if she ever did … but he had learned that other things were like laughter for her.

A simple breakfast order for one.

They were ok today.

He jumped on the food app on his phone and heard the ping that confirmed it would be ready in ten minutes.

Fully dressed now, he was waiting at the front door for his older sister.

Dawn always dressed in a very classy manner, long pencil skirts and stylish jackets. It suited her tall, willowy frame.

Tim thought she was too thin but as with most things in life, she was committed to her exercise regime 100%.

He knew that the endless workouts were a good therapy for her depression, so he supported her in doing it. Maybe he could get her to eat more, put some flesh back on her bones again.

He remembered when they were younger — her 16 or so, him 12 — she had been a little overweight. Only a few kilos and he thought she was beautiful. But there was teasing and bullying at school about it. She didn’t have any friends, so it was hard to fight back. He knew her depression was genetic, not her fault.

But he always thought of that time as being a trigger for so much of what had happened since.

Then she came into the kitchen … a vision in azure blue, her grey eyes like smoky ash.

“Ok, let’s go. Are we having lunch together today?” she asked.

“I have my review meeting this afternoon, I want to use my lunch break to get ready if that’s ok,” Tim replied.

“You are wise beyond your years, Padawan,” she responded.

Wow, she never used Star Wars references. Had he forgotten something? Was it her birthday?

No, his phone would remind him of things like that. She was just in a good mood, and now so was he.

She set the alarm and locked the apartment door behind them. It was her place.

She’d bought it four years before when she was 22. When she first got a job with the investment banking arm of Friedkin & Kline.

She had tried commuting from home, but Mum and Dad very soon got fed up with her waking them at 5:30 every morning.

The drive was slow and painful anyway, so Dawn had just decided to buy an apartment near her office and move out.

The announcement to her parents to the arrival of the moving truck took six days.

Typical Dawn.

In four years, she’d received two promotions and was now a Junior casino oyna Vice President in the Far Eastern Division. She had analysed the world’s capital markets at university and realised that while the US struggled, countries like China, India and Malaysia were where the mid-term future lay. With her plans to retire young, mid-term was all she needed. So in her inimitable style she had focused on those areas and was already the bank’s rising star. She was sure she would have her boss’s job inside a year.

Tim followed her towards the elevator. He had always walked behind her since childhood. She had been older and bigger then and he was happy to let her be his battering ram through life, blasting people out of her path with ‘The Force’ so he could be left alone, in peace.

Now that he was a man, he knew she didn’t wield ‘The Force’, but she did wield … something. Nothing as overt as a lightsabre but there was a certain aura around her that just moved people gently out of their path. She wasn’t physically imposing or verbally intimidating, but people just needed one look to know she meant business — woe to anyone who got caught in her bow wave.

Tim had also realised a few weeks before that there was another reason he liked walking behind her. A secret reason. A scary reason. He thought her bottom looked amazing! He couldn’t take his eyes off it. Her skirts were so tight that he could see her buttocks slide and sway as she moved, the rhythm hypnotic. Her long, athletic strides kept her moving quickly, her high heels landing unerringly, like a runway model.

He tried not to make it obvious, but he was sure she could feel the heat of his gaze burning into her perfect posterior. He needed to get his own place, but he didn’t think he could give up the walk to work just yet.

Dawn had offered him her spare room without question when he’d landed an entry level position with the US accounting firm Rawlings, Schenk & Perkins. Amazingly their offices were only two streets apart. He hadn’t planned it this way. R.S.P. weren’t in his top five favoured firms but in a competitive market he had ultimately decided to take what he could get.

The transition from university study to workforce drone had been extremely demanding for Tim. At school he was organised and motivated. He made good decisions about his workload and course scheduling. In the world of work however, other people made those decisions. Dumb people. And he was so junior that there was no way to exert any control. So, at work he felt like the ball in a pinball machine. Only when he was back at home with Dawn did he feel back in control again.

But at least he had a guaranteed three-year training contract. The firm would pay for all his courses and provide eight weeks off per year for external classes and personal study. His colleagues fretted about their exams as they cruised through their days in the office. Tim was the exact opposite. Three years and then he would be qualified. Free to pursue the career he wanted. Whatever he wanted.

The small elevator was crowded but they squeezed on anyway, Dawn somehow making room as people shuffled aside for her. Tim ended up behind her in the melee, his head pressed into her long straight hair. Black as night but shiny like moonbeams, it smelled so fresh and citrusy. Like a Tuscan lemon grove, hot under the Italian sun. He wished they lived on the 1,000th floor so the elevator ride would take all day. But she only lived on the fifth floor, and they were getting out already.

The food truck had Dawn’s sandwich waiting and Tim headed to Starbucks for her coffee. When he got back, she was waiting for him. She didn’t like to eat alone outside their home.

So many things were different here. It was like a pocket universe where they could be the people they wanted to be.

As soon as she got her food, she started to eat dainty, precise bites. Tim knew if he ordered something like that for himself, another white shirt would be in the bin!

As she ate, he thought about after work, so he asked “Would you like to meet for dinner after work, maybe Chinese? I hear the egg fu yung is good at the Mandarin Palace.”

She laughed! The sun came out, the birds were singing, and Dawn was laughing. The day was perfect.

“I’m sorry brother, I was annoyed with you this morning, but this lovely breakfast has made up for it. I will not be finished until 7pm so can you make a reservation for 7:30?”

Dawn was still smiling! This day would be marked on his calendar. And then he totally messed it up, as usual.

“It’s a date then,” he smiled.

“No, it is not. It is a platonic meal between siblings. Why must you use such a tawdry term?”

Dawn seemed suddenly furious. Was it because he had called it a date? He knew she had not been lucky in love but surely this was a big overreaction to a simple word.

“Of course, apologies for my slip of the tongue. Shall we meet at the restaurant?” he asked.

“Yes, do not be late.” And she was gone, walking quickly, never looking back.

His eyes followed her, canlı casino unconsciously appreciating her toned rear and smooth gait once again.

‘I wonder if she is taking her medication. I must check tonight.’

He thought he knew the signs of her manic periods. He didn’t think it was time yet, maybe just a bad day.

She had smiled, it was already a perfect day for him. Nothing could go wrong.

He’d lost her in the crowd, so he stood up and headed to work, whistling the Throne Room theme from A New Hope.

+++++

As Dawn strode purposefully towards her company’s building, she wondered for the millionth time why she did it. Tim tried so hard, he always had. He tried to make her life better with every breath he took and yet she still took any opportunity she could find to belittle him or berate him.

WHY?

She stopped, turning to look back at him. He sat at the table gathering up his briefcase and laptop bag. He was slight, but solid. They were the same height now, 5’8″ but he had always been smaller when they were at home together as children. She had taken on the role of protector, big sister, and sometime mother too. All she wanted was to be his big sister, but her life decisions had not given her that chance. Her career took precedence and now, and at 26 she hadn’t yet learned how to make the room in her life that she knew that she needed to, to give him the attention that she felt he needed.

He took one last lingering look in her direction. She was beside a pillar. He couldn’t see her, but her glance gave her enough for her to examine him closely. His hair was the same colour as hers but was curly like Dad’s. His chest and shoulders were thick with muscle. She knew that at the gym he lifted weights while she cycled and did yoga. He wore distinctive glasses, rectangular, with a solid black frame. They made him look younger, almost childlike. But she had to admit they did bring out the angular lines of his strong face.

He was such a good little boy.

Aargh!

Except he was not a little boy. He was a grown man. He’d grown up in the same distracted, isolated household that she had. Neither of them had ever broken out of their childhood social anxiety. She was fairly sure that their parents felt the same about each other, deep down. Sometimes she wondered how they’d ever gotten together. Maybe some sort of blind date perhaps, or blind luck or something.

As Tim walked away her gaze lingered on him. Like her, he had learned to project an air of confidence in the real world. But that bubble took energy to maintain. Energy that other people used to communicate unconsciously, to understand each other empathically. The Frasers had never found a way to do that and were forever stuck on the periphery of life. Like children watching a wonderful merry go round, too afraid to jump on.

But there was one place where that didn’t matter, where the Fraser’s had an advantage.

Business.

Their bosses couldn’t care less about personality, they only cared about efficiency and their bottom line. Both her bank and Tim’s accountants employed plenty of airhead popinjays to schmooze new clients and win business. But it was the experts like her and Tim who turned those clients into cold hard cash. And that’s all that business cares about.

As she headed towards the elevators a security guard said, “morning Miss Fraser,” but it barely even registered.

She had a kind of tunnel vision at work.

No distractions.

No personal nonsense to get in the way.

Cold.

Hard.

Cash.

She was in her office thirty minutes before her boss and 45 before her staff. They called her the ‘Ice Queen’ but she didn’t care. She didn’t care about them and didn’t care what they thought.

They were her tools, like a plumber’s wrenches. She called them to the central area between the cubicles and gave them a quick rundown of what she needed. A new client in Singapore was looking to outsource his manufacturing operation to China. Their job was to investigate the target company and work out how to obtain it on the cheap.

She knew her decisions could affect the lives of thousands of workers in both countries but that wasn’t her job. Her job was to earn cold hard cash for Friedkin & Kline, and that’s exactly what she was going to do.

+++++

Tim was waiting at a table in the Mandarin Palace. It was 7:31 and Dawn appeared in the doorway. She smiled shyly and made her way towards him. She seemed to glide around the tables, as if they weren’t even there.

“Dear sister can we please treat this meal as a fresh start to our day ignoring the harsh words and foolish mistakes of earlier?” Tim had practised this speech this afternoon at his desk. He had been distressed by her outburst that morning and wanted to make up for his faux pas.

Dawn had had a great day at work. The Singapore/China deal had taken a hard-left turn when she had introduced a third party from Vietnam whose operation could provide synergistic benefits to both sides. It looked like this tri-partite kaçak casino arrangement would save the clients over $500m and earn her firm 10%. It might not even take a year to get her boss’s corner office. It simply didn’t register with her that it meant over four thousand impoverished families would lose their only breadwinner.

Perhaps because she was on a work high she was instantly very taken with Tim’s suggestion and vowed to herself to try very hard to make it work.

“Of course, Tim. Good morning. How are you today?” she was giggling as she sat down.

“I’d be better if some dumbass hadn’t drunk all the milk last night. Now I have to have Chinese for breakfast!” Tim surprised himself with his own gentle humour. He began laughing hard.

Dawn’s giggle became a full-on belly laugh. She held her hand up towards his face to make him stop. But he was creased up to. Perhaps for the first time in their entire lives they let their public bubbles crumble and their real selves emerged like butterflies from a chrysalis.

Over a delicious six course feast the two siblings relaxed in a way that was rare for them, even in the privacy of their own home. They both recognised the specialness of the moment, and both wanted to try to leverage this breakthrough into real progress in their lives. They both knew that they were lonely, frustrated people. This often led to prickly little fights between them. Both desperately wanted that to change but neither knew how.

Then Tim said something that would open that door.

“Tell me a secret Dawn. Something real and deep and important. I promise not to judge, what’s said at this table stays at this table.”

She stared at him. Her rational mind knew that this was a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Her life could go in two completely different directions. The cold, safe path she had always followed or this dark new tunnel, full of angst and pain. She didn’t even think, didn’t stop to consider. She jumped through Tim’s door into a whole new world.

“I’ve never had an orgasm with another person,” she said, her face turning crimson, fingers clasped white knuckle tight on the table.

Her brother seized her hands and held them, trying with all his heart to send love, sympathy and affection towards his sister.

“That’s terrible Dawn. You’ve never had an orgasm, ever?” He wasn’t some Don Juan by any means but a life without orgasms sounded horrific.

“Not with another person, no, but…”

“Oooooooh,” Tim looked like a goldfish as the penny dropped. “You’ve got a flexible friend?”

“I’ve got a whole family of them!” This conversation should have been a train wreck, a nuclear meltdown but… it wasn’t. Every instinct she had was screaming at her to wrap this up and start firing out NDAs. But as she looked at her younger brother all she saw was a person who loved her, who felt her pain and wanted nothing more than to try to bear it for her. She’d read of this but had always thought it a figment of the authors’ imaginations like lightsabres and hyperdrives.

But it was real. And it was happening to her. Tim was speaking.

“Is there a Mummy and a Daddy and a baby one?” he asked her, clearly fascinated. This was her chance to stop this crazy ride before it really got out of control.

“There’s nine of them. They live in a box in my bedroom. It’s a messed-up family. They start out small and get bigger and bigger until the Mamba. He’s 12 inches long and black. I think he’s based on a real porn star.” How could she say these things? Why was she saying them?

“Is that why you don’t date? Because the Mamba is at home waiting. Always ready?” Tim was trying to get her to talk, to think about the truth of it, to understand it for herself.

“It wasn’t always but it’s just easier now. He’s always there, always ready. He doesn’t care if I’m in a good mood or bad, if I’m stressed from work or tired from the gym. He’s just easier.” Dawn should have been mortified and perhaps with any other person or at any other time she would have been. But right here, right now, with Tim, she wasn’t. She felt free.

And then he ruined it.

“He doesn’t love you though. He doesn’t know your name or how your hair sometimes smells like a summer meadow. He doesn’t care how you look or what you say. Those are the things that matter, that make us human. These are the things a partner must hold dear and cherish. These little things.”

Tim was being so earnest, so understanding. Dawn felt an outpouring of affection for her brother. Like a dam had burst and twenty years of feelings and emotions rolled over her at once.

She was overwhelmed.

She was…

…SICK! Sick in the head like the worst serial killer, like Hitler and Stalin rolled into one.

No, no, no, she had to get away!

She pulled her hands away from his, grabbed her jacket and bag and stumbled out of the restaurant, tears flooding her face, leaving Tim dumbfounded at the table.

She eventually stopped running in a shop doorway to think. What had happened? She had weathered the storm of Tim’s unexpected question. She had been honest to a degree she’d never even imagined possible. Then she’d looked into the supportive, loving eyes of her brother as he strived to help her and…

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