top of page

The Second Place Sister, Part Twenty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Two: Sisters

“I can carry you.”

The words rang in Stephanie’s ears as she lay cradled in Tori’s arms. It struck her because of the dream, the same dream that plagued her over and over. Stephanie was smart. She knew that the memory of that day was her subconscious latching onto a fond memory of a time her sister had been there, had helped her. It was a way for the guilt to reach the front of her mind, after being pushed so far back for so long.

She’d tried so hard to convince herself that Tori deserved everything that Stephanie had done to her, but once she got it out, admitted it all to her family, it felt small and stupid. Maybe it wouldn’t have if Tori had admitted that she felt the same way, that she had lived her life looking down on Stephanie. But it hadn’t happened that way. Tori had reacted differently, and it was so hard to hold onto the hate in the face of such powerful love.

She also had to admit to herself that the last week had made it much more difficult to justify her hate. When they’d entered their teen years, the twins had begun to drift apart. They developed new friendships, grew into their own personalities, and Tori had become more distant, more aloof. That was when the hate really began to grow. Stephanie felt snubbed as Tori became more popular, more successful.

Since coming home, though, Tori had been completely different. The intimacy they’d shared over the last seven days had brought them so close. Maybe, closer than they had ever been. She could feel, every time Tori looked at her, each time she told her she loved her, with each lick and suck between her legs, she could feel the truth of that love. And, it had begun to chip away at the rocky core of disdain that she had been holding for so long.

“I can’t do this without you, Stephie. Please come back to me!”

Those simple words, feeling the truth of them in Tori’s embrace, had shattered the thick walls Stephanie had built around her heart. She didn’t just feel bad, or guilty for what she’d done. She was destroyed. What she had done, wasn’t forgivable, and yet she’d been forgiven, totally and completely, and that was what hurt the most. Even in the face of life-altering change, having everything stripped away from her, Tori could say such a thing and mean it. It wasn’t Tori that deserved the pain, the humiliation. It was herself.

Stephanie could feel herself losing her mind as the foundation of resentment, rage, and scorn fell out beneath her. How could she turn around and look into the face that she shared with this person, look into the same eyes as her own, and not wilt with the shame of her actions? But, she had to try, didn’t she? If ever she was going to crawl back to some level of sanity, she had to look at Tori.

She rolled over and saw the deep worry in her sister’s beautiful face. There wasn’t a trace of anger in her eyes. There was only concern, caring, love. How had she been so wrong? Tori’s hand stroked her cheek, pushed her hair out of the way. She didn’t say anything, but it was enough that she was here.

“What... what have I done, Tori?” Stephanie choked.

“Hush, Stephie. You just let me talk, and you hush, alright?”

Stephanie nodded.

“You know, there may be times when the things we do, well, they don’t make sense. They have consequences that we never intended. I can see, now, that I hurt you. I hurt you so badly, Stephie, and the worst part of it is that I never even thought about it. The things you said, well, they were partly true. I drifted away from you, from my best friend. But I never hated you, Stephie. I never looked down on you, and I never stopped loving you. I just didn’t, well, I didn’t think that I wanted to be like you.

“You’re so impulsive, so risky, and the truth is that I was afraid of what I would be like if I followed you. But now, everything is different. What you did was wrong, yes, I can’t lie to you and say it wasn’t. But I can understand why, and that makes me accept it. Not only that. I can see what it’s done to me, to us, and I’ve learned something from all of this. I’ve learned that what I had, the medals, the structure, none of it was important. Not really. It’s this that’s important, Stephie,” she said and held her hand.

“It’s you, and it’s me. It’s mom and dad. It’s Mike, and it’s Cindy. It’s the love, Stephie. And I wouldn’t have ever found it again if you hadn’t acted the way you did. Cindy never would have found it, if you hadn’t acted. You might not see it this way, but by changing my life, you changed Cindy’s for the better. Really, for the better. And if I had to give up some stupid medals, so that she could be happy, then that’s a small sacrifice. Over the weekend, when tied me in that chair, which was really hot by the way, well, afterward I thought really hard about what was happening between us. I decided, then, that I know I can’t control myself anymore.

“Just like Cindy, I’ll become consumed and spread my legs for anyone that wants me. Do you know how frightening it is, knowing that you have no control whatsoever? Well, I made a decision that night, and I decided that you would be my control. I trusted you, and I still do, to keep me reigned in, to keep me safe. I still need you to be that, Stephie. You might think that you took that control by sheer force and took advantage of me, and that might be part of the truth. However, I gave it up to you willingly, too. I know that you’ll protect me, even now, after the things you said, I know it. Now, tell me you love me.”

Stephanie felt a pain in her heart and a lump in her throat. Every word from Tori’s mouth was like daggers, piercing her armor, tearing it away. If they’d had this talk a month ago, would it be the same? She thought not, and Tori made good points. Her hate wasn’t the liberating, driving force that she’d fooled herself into thinking it was. It was a ball and chain, weighing her down, sinking her. It might have even drowned her, eventually.

“I... I love you,” Stephanie said, and this time she found that she really meant it.

“I love you, too, sissy. I love you, and I trust you, and no matter what happens from here forward, I want us to be what we really are. Sisters?”

Tori put her head against Stephanie’s, the heat of her skin a comfort, her twin’s eyes wet and red saying everything she could have hoped for.

“Sisters,” Stephanie declared and kissed her.