Excerpt from A Laughing Matter of Pain – Chapter 8

The living room is filled to the brim, so it’s with relief that I take Kat upstairs.

I hadn’t realized what I was doing until we find ourselves standing at the top of the stairs.  The short hallway with its five doors — the three bedrooms, the bathroom, and the stairway to the attic — invites us, and Kat accepts the invitation.

“Which one’s your room?”

“Second door on the left.  ‘Course, I shared it was my brother for most of my life.”

Kat doesn’t seem interested in talking, as she’s already down the hall and entering my room.  I follow her, a bit uneasy because of the crowd just down the stairs.  “Kat, what’re you doin’?”

She flops down onto my bed and laughs.  “Aw, come on, big boy.  Don’t tell me you’re choosing now to play coy?”

I close the door carefully.  “Of course not.”

She eyes up the room.  I wonder if she’s expecting to find some sort of big secret, like I keep a collection of fresh eyeballs in a glass jar or something.  There’s nothing remarkable about this room, however.  A few of my brother’s old baseball trophies linger on our dresser, and there are my basketball ones as well.  Kat sits up and approaches the trophies.  Maybe she saw the way I was scrutinizing them.

She picks up the largest — a behemoth from Erik’s senior year, recognizing his years of excellence on the field.  “Jeez, you could use this thing for weightlifting,” Kat jokes, placing it back.  She studies the trophies for a few moments and then asks, her eyes still on them, “Does it bother you?”  Her voice has turned soft, gentle, like she’s talking to a kid.

“What?” I ask, the sunlight coming through the window gleaming off the trophies, uncomfortable on my eyes.

“That all these, I mean the ones that belong to your brother, are still here.  It’s like, I dunno, it’s like he’s still hanging around here, not giving you your space.  Look, his trophies are all bigger than yours.”

I can feel my eyebrows arching inward.  “Do we hafta talk about this?  Ain’t it enough that Erik had you under his spell downstairs?  Yeah, maybe I oughta just throw the damn things out.”

I pick up the biggest trophy and open the window, making to toss it.  Kat stops me by placing her smaller hand on top of mine.  “Sorry.  I didn’t mean to upset you.  I might be older than Will, but I’ve still felt like he’s the older brother.”

I return the trophy to its place, rightful or not.  Its shadow hovers over the smaller trophies, making sure they all know who’s the boss around here.  “I’m gonna ask Erik to take them with him before he leaves today.  This hasn’t been his room in years.”

Kat doesn’t reply, but instead she’s guiding me toward my bed.  I’m like a rag doll as she pins me down and claims my mouth with hers.  I don’t think as I return the kiss hungrily.  Our hands are all over each other.  We can’t seem to stop.  Breathing doesn’t seem important anymore.  All I want is her, the girl who gets me.

And she can get me all she wants.  Kat undoes her blouse, and I see them — her boobs just asking to be touched.  I push the bra away, but she’s already unfastening it.  I may have just gone to Heaven, because damn, this right here is better than any gift under the tree.  She’s unwrapping herself just for me.

As Kat runs her hands under my shirt, I begin to fumble with the buttons.  She yanks the shirt off, losing a couple of buttons in the process, and smiles deviously at me.  As she runs her hands through my hair and kisses me again, my eyes are closed.  Sure, we’ve necked before, but this…this is a whole new level.

I feel like a firecracker ready to go off, and as I tug at my fly, our little party on the bed is rudely interrupted by a knock from the door.

“Oh, crap,” I hiss as I bolt up from the bed, making to fasten my shirt.  I feel like someone simultaneously punched me in the gut and hit me over the head with a frying pan.  “Just a sec.”  I quickly glance at Kat and find her tugging on her blouse, her bra already on and closed.  She looks frazzled and equally annoyed.

“Harry, Ma’s about to serve dessert.  We wondered where you’d gone off to,” Erik’s muffled voice says behind the door.

I can’t help but smile at Kat.  Trying to contain my laughter, I say, “We’ll be down in a minute.”

There’s a pause.  If I’d heard footsteps retreating down the hall, I’d’ve thought Erik left.  Finally, he says, “What are you doing in there?”

“Can’t a guy show a girl his room?  Jeez, brother.”

“I’ll see you downstairs, Harry.”

Finally, the footsteps.  I let out a sigh of relief, and Kat begins giggling.  “Oh, you should’ve seen the look on your face,” she says.

“My face?  What about yours?”

Kat chucks my belt at me.  “You might need that.  Think they’ll notice your shirt?”

Author: Cynthia "Cyndi" Hilston

Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay at home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.  

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