Empress of the World – Part 4


Hanging out with Jake was a lot of fun. After breakfast, the two of us went up to Deck fifteen, which also went by the name of the sun deck. There were dozens, maybe even hundreds of the deck chairs arrange around the area that looked down onto the Lido deck on one side and down into the ocean on the other side.

We soaked in the sun after spraying each other’s backs with sun screen. Jake loved to chat. He pried into my life. Fortunately, very little touched on my supposed college experience. No, he would ask me questions about the clothes I liked to wear, the music I enjoyed, even the food l liked.

I learned a lot about him, too. After the pandemic of 2020, he turned to Amazon for all of his clothes. He liked sushi and listened to old school Mac Miller.

After sunning for a while, we headed back down to the buffet where we grabbed some sandwiches. After that, we climbed into one of the hot tubs. After settling into the hot water, I spied Orion lounging on the other side of the pool next to one of the kids from yesterday. I instantly recognized him. It was the boy in the tight red speedos. We hadn’t been in the hot tub long before the boys disappeared back into the ship. There was a moment, after they left, where I wondered what the boy in the red speedos looked like under that skin-tight swim suit.

Jake followed my eyes, “Your brother will be fine. There’s not too much mischief they can get into on this ship. Too many closed-circuit cameras. Big Brother is watching.”

The last thing I wanted was Jake knowing I was perving my kid brother. I shrugged, “Yeah. But Mom told me to keep an eye on him.”

Jake nodded sagely. “I was an only child. Mom spent most of my life bribing me for her love. It was easier to do that than to attempt to attend my soccer and little league games when I was a kid. Still, it could have been worse.”

I laughed, “Yeah, you could have had a younger sibling.”

From his spot on the other side of the hot tub, Jake slid his way across the tub until he came to rest next to me. My stomach fluttered as he turned around and sat beside me.

Jake shrugged, “Maybe. But if I’d had a kid sister like you, it might not have been too bad.”

I glanced up at him, “Why do you say that?”

“Well, she’d be smoking hot.” Then his eyes fell, staring into the bubbling water, “But, yeah. It would suck. If I had a smoking hot sister, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. She’d be my sister.”

I couldn’t help thinking about this morning. Even though I enjoyed every minute with Jake, I couldn’t shake the image of Orion standing next to the bed with his penis pointing at me. Of course, that was followed a second later by the image of my brother’s face while staring at my chest.

Maybe thinking about my brother messed with my mind. I heard myself say, “Well, even if you’d had a smoking hot sister, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have some fun.”

Jake’s eyes bugged huge as he burst into laughter, “Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t have a sister, after all.”

He moved closer until his shoulder rested against mine. “One thing’s for sure, Jackie. I’m glad you’re not my sister.”

Then, I got the shock of my life as his finger brushed against my bikini bottom. I couldn’t help but to turn and look at him.

He just smiled and pretended he wasn’t doing what he was doing. But all the while, he slid his finger inside my bikini, until I felt him touch my slit. For the time being, we were alone in the hot tub, so I thought nothing of spreading my legs as his finger poked and prodded. It didn’t take him long to slip a finger inside my pussy.

My body practically sang at the pleasure washing over me. Jake was hardly the first boy I’d let touch me, but we were out in public, in the middle of the Lido deck. I felt so incredibly naughty and horny.

I don’t know how long we sat there while he finger-fucked me, but I was so close to cumming when Jake’s finger slipped out, he left me hungry for more. He was sitting up straight when I saw what had caught his attention. Coming this way were his friends, Allen and Liz, the college chick.

Allen came into the hot tub first, waving at a passing bartender to bring him a drink. Liz followed right behind. I didn’t care for the way her eyes slid between me and Jake. I had assumed when I was told she and Allen were fuck-buddies, that was all there was to it. But that look made me wonder if I wasn’t the only one lying.

A bit later, I decided to spend some of that room credit and treat myself to an afternoon in the spa.



We found Nathan playing some racing game on a TV/console set up. When he saw me come in, he gave me a guarded dip of his head, “Sup?”

I waved, “Hi Nathan. They have any cool games?”

He shrugged, “A few. The console games are lame. They look like they were picked out by a priest.”

Gavin laughed as he gave a faux punch on his friend’s arm, “I saw a couple of Skee-ball lanes, let’s go check them out.”

I’d seen the same game at Chuck-E-Cheese. I played it when I was younger, but hadn’t been very good at it. But Gavin’s enthusiasm was hard to ignore as he grabbed one of the balls and rolled it toward the ramp. The ball hit, bounced around some before going into the twenty-point hole.

By the time Gavin played all nine balls, he hadn’t broken two hundred points. I couldn’t have imagined my heart could warm even more for him. But it did. He wasn’t any better than me at the game, and there was something gratifying in that.

Nathan took his turn. He was slightly better, breaking two hundred when he got one of his balls in the forty-point slot.

When I got up there and rolled my nine balls, I tied Gavin, despite trying my best to aim my balls for the forty and fifty-point slots.

We played a few more rounds before Nathan glanced at his watch, “You eating dinner with our grandmas in the Grande Dining Room?”

Gavin winced at the prospect. “I begged off until Mom gave in.”

Nathan glowered back, “That sucks. I’d try to get out from eating with them, except Gran caught me in the hallway this morning and told me how much she looked forward to seeing me at dinner.”

Gavin chuckled, “Sucks to be you.”

Nathan shot a look between me and Gavin, before shaking his head and trooping off. Once he left, Gavin said, “What’re you doing for dinner?”

I shot a look toward the door Nathan had just passed through. “Um, Gavin, are you sure Nathan’s okay with us being friends?”

Gavin shrugged, “I guess. It’s not like he only likes just me. The two of us are best friends and sure, we fool around. But he had a boyfriend too at school.”

Even though I was happy to have Gavin as my friend, I hadn’t thought through his friendship with Nathan or how the thirteen-year-old might feel about Gavin and me spending time together.

Gavin nudged me, “What about dinner?”

I hadn’t thought about it. Jackie and I didn’t have to meet Mom and Max for dinner until Thursday. I had planned on going back to the cabin and waiting for Jackie to get back. “I don’t know. Me and my sister were probably going to go back up to the Buffet Court. You can come with if you want.”

When we got back to the cabin, it was still a few minutes before five. When I showed Gavin the suite he whistled in appreciation, “Damn, dude. This is nice. A lot bigger than ours.”

“We got upgraded. We were supposed to have adjoining cabins with my mom and her fiancé. But the cruise line fucked up, so both cabins got upgraded to mini-suites. Just not on the same floor.”

Gavin went into the bathroom before going over to the balcony. “Nice. I wish we had a cabin like this. You and your sister are lucky.”

Then his eyes rested on the bed, “What the hell? You and your sister are sharing the bed? You know your room steward can convert it into a couple of twins, right?”

I hadn’t known this. And even though I really liked Gavin, waking up next to Jackie in the morning had been awesome, even if I wasn’t about to admit that to him. Or Jackie, come to think of it. I mumbled something about letting my sister know.

Gavin smirked, “Or not. Your sister is hot and I wouldn’t blame you for leaving the bed the way it is.”

My face turned scarlet as I mumbled, “Whatever,” as I sat down on my side of the bed.

Gavin sat next to me and threw an arm around my shoulder, “Dude, it’s cool. I’m a bit jealous. I wish me and Nathan could get away with a setup like this.”

I smiled, “Well, Mom hasn’t been down to check on us. Not sure how she would react to it. But even though she and Max are getting married when we get to New Zealand, this cruise really is their honeymoon. Max is actually paying us a bit to stay clear of them so that Mom can enjoy the cruise.”

Gavin shook his head, “Damn, you’re so lucky.”

With one arm still wrapped around my shoulder, Gavin took my chin with his other and turned my face until our lips were just inches apart. He smiled as he breathed, “Did you know your sister has a sexy brother?”

His lips lingered on mine as he wrapped both arms around me. When we came up for air, he said, “You ever French anyone before?”

A giggle escaped my lips and my body grew warm as I shook my head, “I haven’t even kissed anyone before today.”

He leaned in again, his warm, moist lips parted as they pressed against mine. His tongue separated my lips as that strong current of electricity-like feelings surged through my body. His tongue ran along my teeth before I opened my mouth more and I felt him touch my own tongue. The current coursing through me had turned my soft tube into a painful erection, pushing against my shorts. But I liked what was going on in my mouth, a lot.

When Gavin’s tongue retreated, mine followed, and now it was my turn to explore his mouth. Our tongues twisted together as he played with mine in the close confines of his mouth. When I broke the kiss to suck in a deep breath, he gave me a fierce hug. “Wow, Orion, for someone who has never kissed, you frenched me like pro.”

My heart was still racing as I smiled, enjoying the look he gave me. I said, “What do you want to do? We can kiss some more.”

Gavin returned my smile, “I enjoy kissing you. But I want to do something else, too.”

“What’s that?”

He released the hug and took my shirt by the hem and pulled upward. I felt a thrill as I lifted my arms. He tossed the shirt across the room where it landed on the sofa. Then he pushed me back until I lay on the bed.

“I want to see you again,” the fourteen-year-old said as his fingers took hold of the top of my swimsuit.

I raised my hips as he tugged on the material, feeling naughty as my erection sprang free. A few second later, my swimsuit sailed across the cabin, landing next to my shirt on the sofa.

Gavin traced his fingers along my chest, “Shit, Orion. You’re so fucking sexy.”

Hearing an older boy tell me I was sexy made me feel ten feet tall. His fingers traced down past my stomach until I felt their warmth on my smooth pubic area. Then he lightly touched my stiffy, tracing along my shaft until he grazed my ball sack. I groaned under his touch.

Gavin spread my legs as I lay down, feet hanging off the end of the bed, so that his face was level with my crotch and then, for the second time that day, I felt the warmth of his tongue on my little head. I nearly squealed in delight when the tip of his tongue pushed into my piss slit. Clint had never made me feel this good. Then, his mouth took me inch by inch, until his upper lip touched my bald pubic bone.

“Holy fuck,” I moaned as he slowly pulled up, until his lips trapped my little mushroom. Then he sank down again, sending shivers along my spine. My dick had never felt this good. It wasn’t that Gavin simply bobbed up and down. His tongue lavished attention on my pole with every plunge of his mouth.

I felt that familiar tingling. It started in my balls and traveled along my dick before radiating out. A moment later it was followed by the most powerful spasm my twelve-year-old dick had ever had. My balls constricted as my dick jolted in Gavin’s mouth. I felt my cum travel up my piss tube before coating the inside of my friend’s mouth.

My dick jolted a half dozen times, even though by the third spasm, I was dry. Gavin’s throat contracted as he swallowed my little gift. And he didn’t stop sucking until I had no choice but to push him away as the pleasure gave way to pain.

From his perch just above my crotch, he grinned, “So, what did you think of that?”

I licked my upper lip, tasting the salt from my sweat before saying, “That was amazing.”

As I sat up, there was a part of me that wondered what it would feel like to do something like this with Jackie. But mostly, I just wanted Gavin to know how much I valued his friendship. Or perhaps it was simply the realization I wanted to experience everything Gavin wanted to give me and I wanted to give it back to him, too.

I grabbed his shoulders, and we twisted around until he lay where I had been. He helped me take off his shirt and then my fingers pushed his away as I grabbed at the button above his fly. I unfastened it and pulled at the zipper until his black briefs came into view.

Wanting to be as much like Gavin as I could, I sent his shirt and shorts soaring across the cabin to land on top of my clothes. Then I turned my attention back to his underwear. Gavin’s stiffy stretched the material enough that it was a wonder it didn’t rip. My fingers went to his hips where they gripped the thin material and pulled.

Even though I had already seen Gavin before, it was sexier and more arousing this time. Maybe because I knew what to do next. Once my friend’s underwear joined the pile of clothes on the sofa, I turned my attention to his erection. Tiny blue veins ran under the velvety smooth skin. You wouldn’t think one inch would make much of a difference, but to my inexperienced eyes, Gavin’s five inches looked big. Sure, I had already put it in my mouth once, but because he had taken all of me, I wanted to return the favor, if I could.

My fingers played with his blond pubic hair. I especially liked how silky smooth the short, strait strands felt. Gavin moaned as my fingers danced around, touching him everywhere but on his dick. Finally, he said, “Come on, Orion. You’re driving me crazy.”

I gripped his shaft and saw a bit of clear fluid beading at his slit. I’d seen the same stuff on my dick before. Gavin hadn’t had any on his dick the first time I sucked on him. I wondered if it would taste like mine, slightly sweet. My curiosity got the better of me and I lapped at it with my tongue. It tasted almost the same, although there was a slight hint of saltiness too.

I took more time on Gavin’s flared head, as I discovered my tongue had a mind of its own as it darted and licked all over. Maybe he makes more pre-cum than me, because that sweet and salty taste stayed in my mouth even as I bobbed lower on his dick. I had about four inches in my mouth when I felt him tickle my tonsils. I could feel my gag reflex coming, so I pulled back just a bit and settled into a slow bobbing motion.

Gavin groaned as I sucked on him. I ignored the bit of pain in my jaws. I loved the older boy’s sounds of pleasure. I’m not sure how much time passed, as my tongue swirled around his dick while my face went up and down on him, before his voice cut through my reverie, “Oh fuck, I’m about to cum!”

I hadn’t been sure when I started if I wanted to taste Gavin’s semen, even though he had taken all my little nuts could make. But by the time he warned me, I was too deep in my lust and I moved faster, trying to improve his orgasm.

I felt Gavin grow harder and slightly bigger just before his dick pulsed in my mouth. Then something hot and salty filled my mouth. His penis twitched a half dozen times, and every time before the last, I felt my mouth get fuller. Finally, as I felt some seep out between my lips, I swallowed.

As my friend lay on my side of the bed, basking in his own afterglow, I ran my tongue over my teeth, which still had a film of cum on them. In that moment, I recalled overhearing Jackie’s half of a conversation with one of her friends on the phone. I had stood outside her door listening:

“I don’t know. We’ve only gone out on a few days, Penelope.”

“None of your business!”

“Fine, yeah. I let him put his finger in me.”

“No, he was a bit clumsy. But it still felt good.”

“Sex? I’m not letting him near my pussy with that monster. He’s nine fucking inches.”

“Yeah. I went down on him. Well, his head. The rest was too big.”

“Taste? It was gross. It was all bitter.”

“Mandy’s fucking crazy. I’m not going out with Demarcus again. She can have him.”

“That’s bullshit. Whoever said once you’ve had black you ain’t going back hasn’t met Demarcus. I’ll take a pass.”

That was a year ago. Sure, I had already discovered my dick by then, but I didn’t have any swimmers yet. Now, tasting Gavin, I wondered if we all tasted a bit different. Gavin’s pre-cum had tasted good, kind of like mine. And his cum had been salty, not bitter.

I climbed up Gavin’s body until our lips could touch and we made out.



I felt pretty chill after a few hours in the spa. The lady who had given me a massage opened my eyes to ways my body could feel that had nothing to do with sex but still felt amazing. Still, after signing the receipt, I knew I couldn’t afford to do this every day, not on the money Max was putting on our account each day. Maybe treat myself a couple of times a week.

I hadn’t seen Orion since leaving Jake and his friends at the spa. I wondered what he’d been up to all afternoon long. On my way down from the spa, I even swung by the Teen Center, but he wasn’t there.

The lock on our cabin door clicked open as I put my hand on the handle. I heard hushed voices and as I opened the door, I saw my brother standing over the sofa, wearing just his swimsuit. When he looked my way, he had that look I’ve seen on his face where I knew he’d been up to no good.

Before I could ask about it, he said, “Uh, hi Jackie. Me and Gavin came over here to get ready for dinner. His parents were going down to the Grande, and I thought maybe he could go with us to the buffet.”

When I came into the cabin, I saw the boy with long blond hair Orion had been hanging out with at the pool. Just like my brother, he was shirtless. His hair was mused, almost like the two of them had been wrestling. His upper lip had a bit of sweat on it. The last time I had seen him, the boy had been wearing some red speedos. Now though, he wore khaki board-shorts that boys Orion’s age like to wear.

I nodded, “Hi Gavin.”

That’s when I noticed the button on Gavin’s shorts was unbuttoned. Between that and the guilty look on Orion’s face, I couldn’t help wondering what I had interrupted. Still, as I looked over at my brother in just his swimsuit, that moment from the morning came back to me. Despite how much I enjoyed getting to know Jake, deep inside me, I wanted to see Orion naked again. I know that’s wrong. After all, he’s my freaking brother. Still, that didn’t change how I felt.

“Yeah. He can come.”

I went into the bathroom and gave my appearance a once-over. The Buffet Court’s dress code was casual. While you couldn’t wear a swimsuit inside, well, not like Gavin’s little red speedos, they didn’t require nice shirts and slacks like the Grande Dining Room required. My shirt and shorts were certainly acceptable.

Back in the cabin, I said, “As soon as you guys are ready, we can go.”

Gavin donned a white knit shirt and Orion dug out a similar one that was gray. As he pulled it over his skinny chest I said, “What about your swimsuit, Doofus. You need to change that.”

My brother glanced back and forth between me and Gavin before grabbing a pair of white briefs. Then he stunned me. He turned around, facing the balcony, and pulled his swimsuit down. In front of me and his friend. He finished getting dressed before turning back around.

Gavin had a wide grin on his face and I must have looked shocked. Orion said, “What? You said I needed to change. I did.”

The truth is, I thought his little ass was hot. But I wasn’t about to admit that to anyone. Especially not my brother. Instead, I shook my head and said, “Fine. Let’s go.”

We were nearly done with dinner when Gavin came back from the desserts bar. He had found some cheesecake, and like lots of teenage boys, had piled his plate with a huge portion.

Orion, seeing the teenage enjoying the cheesecake, said, “That looks good, I’m going to get some too.”

Before my brother could get up, Gavin said, “I got enough for both of us.”

He cut off a gigantic piece of cake and said, “Here, open up,”

And he fed my kid brother some dessert. The look the older boy gave my brother was one of adoration. I had a pretty good idea maybe they’d been doing more than just wrestling when I interrupted them earlier.

As Gavin slid another bite into Orion’s mouth, I puzzled over how I felt about that. My brother is almost thirteen. By the time I was his age, I’d already lost my virginity. Even if he and Gavin were fooling around, I didn’t have any room to criticize him. Except I wanted to.

I had every reason to let it go. If Orion wanted to dip his pen into some other boy’s inkwell, then who was I to stop him? That’s when I realized I felt possessive of my kid brother. And not just like a sister is supposed to. I felt dirty when I realized I wanted Orion for myself. And hypocritical, especially given that I had plans for Jake to do a lot more than just finger me.

As we headed toward the elevators, I was miffed with myself. I know my hormones are messed up. Hell, I’m sixteen. That’s normal. But the way my hormones were messing with me, what I felt was seriously fucked up. And I didn’t know what to about it.

We rode the elevator back to deck nine. Before turning to leave, Gavin reached out and hugged Orion. Boys their age don’t hug. It’s just not done. But not Gavin. Then he was gone, heading back toward his cabin. Orion’s face was beet red, but he was also smiling as he watched the older boy walk away.

I nudged him, “Something you want to tell me about, bro?”

I don’t know how he managed it, but Orion’s face turned even redder as he stammered, “Um, n-no.”

I chuckled at his reaction as we headed back to our cabin.

By the time we got back to our cabin, it was only a little after eight. I thought about changing and going out to find Jake. I suspected I’d find them in the piano bar later. Thinking about his finger inside me made me tingle and grow warm. I was tempted. But seeing Orion folding his clothes over by the sofa, I wanted to know what he’d been up to.

I grabbed one of my suitcases and hauled it onto the bed. As I pulled stuff out, I asked, “So, Gavin seems pretty cool.”

Orion glanced over at me, “Yeah, he is. I was worried I might not find any friends, but I think him and me hit it off.”

As I carried some clothes over to a storage cabinet next to the bathroom, I said, “The way Gavin gave you a hug, I’d say you more than just hit it off. He really likes you.”

When I came back into the room, Orion had pulled one of his suitcases onto the bed and he was unpacking, “I like him too. So what?”

After hanging up a couple of blouses and dresses in the closet next to the bathroom, I came back over to the bed, “When I came in earlier, what were you guys doing?”

Orion went around me and put some of his underwear and socks in the storage area next to the bathroom before he mumbled, “Nothing. Just hanging around.”

I couldn’t explain why I needed to know, but I wanted to hear him tell me about what happened. Would he get hard, like that morning?

After emptying my first suitcase, I slid it under the bed and said, “Uh-huh. Right. Try again, bro.”

I loved how his cheeks changed colors, turning such a brilliant shade of scarlet. He hung some of his pants on the hangers before saying, “We were just hanging out and wrestling.”

I started in on my second suitcase, “Shirtless?”

“Yeah. It’s not against the rules, is it?”

I felt myself flush at his defense. As far as I was concerned, as long as Max kept Mom occupied, why did there have to be a bunch of stupid rules? After all, I wanted my brother for myself. How’s that for fucked up?

I chuckled as I carted my own panties and bras over to the place Orion had stored his underwear. He had left room for my stuff. When I came back over to the bed, he had finished unpacking. I went over to him and said, “We don’t have any rules here, bro. We can do whatever we want.”

He sat on the bed as I emptied the rest of my luggage. It only took a few minutes to finish and I could see he was mulling over what I’d said.

When I joined him on the bed, Orion said, “What do you mean there are no rules?”

What I meant was I wanted to see him again. All of him. I wanted to show him things that no sister should show her brother. But I couldn’t bring myself to say that. Instead, I chose the safer comment, “I can see Gavin’s got a serious crush on you, bro. I don’t know if you’re gay or not, but if you guys want to hang out here and fool around, I don’t plan on hanging out here during the afternoon. You can do what you want.”

How’s that for magnanimous? Sure, I wanted Orion, but maybe sharing him was the way to get what I wanted.

Orion’s lips tugged upward. I could see his mind working. Oh, how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of his imagination. Finally, he said, “I really do like Gavin. But I don’t think I’m gay.”

I rolled onto my side, resting my head on my pillow, “I thought the two of you were fooling around…”

He flushed red again as he rolled over and faced me. He was so easily embarrassed. He mumbled, “Fooling around with Gavin doesn’t mean I don’t like girls.”

Orion and I had never talked about stuff like this before. Oh, he knew a little bit about my boyfriends, but I hadn’t realized until now how incredibly interesting he could be. I wanted to press him more. Find out who it was he had a crush on. But the red still on his cheeks convinced me I should lay off teasing him. Instead, I turned on the TV and we watched some videos of the shore excursions available in Hawaii. There were several we both liked.

Even though the videos were interesting, every once in a while, I glanced at my brother, imagining another glimpse at his erection. Maybe it was the seventh or eighth time I stole a glance, but when I looked over at him, he was glancing at me. Then his eyes looked up and locked onto mine. He blinked first and gave a slight smile before turning back to the TV.

A few minutes later, Orion sat up and pulled his shirt off. Then he resumed his spot, watching the videos. When I glanced over at him, he said, “Was getting hot.”

I knew bullshit when I heard it. The room was comfortable, almost cool. Still, I chanced another look. There was a slight hint of red on the top of his shoulders. The rest of his exposed chest and belly were white, with just the slightest hint of a tan starting to appear. Most of the guys I have dated have been into sports. They had wide shoulders and muscles across their body.

Orion’s shoulders were still narrow. His chest was flat with barely a suggestion of definition. Even his boyfriend, Gavin had more muscle tone. And yet I found my brother to be terribly sexy.

After a bit, I said, “Some college guys I met are going to be in the piano bar soon. They asked me if I wanted to go hang out with them.”

A look of unhappiness passed over my brother’s face before he gave an indifferent shrug. “Whatever.”

I added, “But I’ve had a long day and am getting a bit tired.”

Orion’s eyebrows arched as he turned his head in my direction.

I concluded, “If you want, we can hang out tonight.”

Orion perked up, although I think he tried to hide it. “What do you to do? Watch a movie?”

I shrugged, “We can see what’s on. But maybe we can talk.”

Orion cocked his head, “Talk? About what?”

I know I was wrong to think it, but I wanted to lean over and kiss him. He looked adorable with his questioning expression. I said, “Well, for the next seventy days, we’re going to living in the same room and sharing the same bed. I realized earlier today that I haven’t been a very good sister.”

Orion sat up, “You’ve been pretty cool since the cruise started. I mean, you ask me what I want to do. You haven’t just told me to shut up and that we’re just going to do things you want to do.”

I hadn’t realized it, but he was right. I didn’t feel quite as bad about how I had treated him from before. “I hadn’t realized it. You know my friend, Mandy?”

He nodded, “Yeah, with the red braces?”

“That’s the one. She’s four years younger than her older sister. They barely talk to each other and can hardly stand to be in the same room. Well, I don’t want us to ever be like that.”

Orion had pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around his legs, and leaned his chin on his knees. “Jeez, that’s messed up. I don’t think we’d ever do that to each other. I mean, even though you’re my sister and all, I feel like you’re my friend too.”

His admission warmed me from the inside out. I felt a big grin split my face, “I’m glad you feel that way. Even though we’ll have other friends on the cruise, I don’t want to just be brother and sister, but friends, too.”

Orion surprised me. He unfolded himself and moved across the bed. Then he threw his arms around my neck and hugged me. “Thanks, sis. Hanging out, doing excursions and stuff together is going to be fun.”

I was happy to return my brother’s hug. I felt so good about him I kissed his cheek before letting go.

That crimson hue returned to his cheeks as he fought unsuccessfully to keep a grin from his face. After settling back against his pillow, he said, “Wow, that was nice. What was that for?”

I couldn’t tell him I kissed him because I was falling for him. But I didn’t really have a good cover either. I blurted out the only thing that came to mind, “Because I love you and you’re pretty cute.”

Oh shit! The words were scarcely out of my mouth when I saw Orion’s jaw sag. What the hell had I done?

He stammered, “Y-you think I’m cute?”

My own cheeks had to be as crimson as his as I said “Cool. I said cool.”

Still flushed, Orion said, “Uh-uh. You said I was cute. Do you really think so?”

I couldn’t see a way to clean up my fuck-up. I nodded, “Yeah. But I also think you’re pretty cool too.”

Orion sat against his pillow and glowed. I was sure I had messed things up. Said too much. But the look on my brother’s face left me feeling better. Maybe I hadn’t screwed up too badly.

We settled for a movie neither of us had seen. Before it was half over, I could tell Orion had lost interest in it. I thought it sucked too. About that time, I yawned. Even though it was still early, I was ready for bed. I turned the TV off and said, “What do you say to getting ready for bed?”

Orion nodded, “God, that was the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen.”

I rose from the bed and tugged off my T-shirt. When I let it fall to the floor, I felt Orion’s eyes on me. This was way better than this morning. I smiled at him, “What? Don’t you want to get ready for bed.”

He found his voice, “Um, okay.” But he didn’t move as I unfastened my shorts and pulled them down, revealing a small pair of peach-colored panties.

I reveled in standing in front of my twelve-year-old brother in nothing more than my underwear, watching him try to decide what he was going to do. Eventually, his hands went to his waist, and he lifted his butt enough to slide his shorts down, leaving him in nothing but his form fitting white cotton briefs.

I pulled the covers back and crawled back onto my side of the bed just as Orion pulled the covers over him. He giggled as we pulled the covers over our near nakedness. “I guess we’re ready for bed, Jackie. What now?”

What now, indeed? Now that I was down to my underwear right next to Orion, my tiredness was gone. My stomach thrummed with anticipation. But anticipation of what? No matter what I felt for my brother, the idea of going further scared the shit out of me. I had no idea what to do next.

“I, I don’t know.”

Orion said, “We could talk or play a game.”

A game! I lit up at the idea. “What about truth or dare?”

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