Immaculate Inception Pt. 02 – Closer

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tagIncest/TabooImmaculate Inception Pt. 02 – Closer

An exploration of what could happen when the line between fantasy and reality is blurred, faded then erased.
This is a tale of a brother and sister's journey toward incest. If the subject matter is not to your taste, please move on.
This Chapter is a slower burn, so if you are looking for a ramble fap, in all honesty, you'll find it elsewhere or Chapter 1, which covers the fertile imaginings of a taboo mind, may be more to your liking.
As ever, all protagonists are over 18 and well able to discern between consent, coercion and control.
Enjoy & Engage!
The midday sun streamed down casting patches of light on the forest floor that seemed to move and dance in time with the gentle rustling of the trees.
My sister was leading the way, to who knows where, following a faint path that wound its way ever onward only to disappear behind thickets and trees and then reappear a little later as the forest opened out into areas more sparsely populated by vegetation.
She was wearing a white lace-pleated summer dress that seemed to glow whenever she passed through the sunlight. Like some Heavenly apparition, the light created a translucent effect momentarily revealing the darker form of her legs, within her skirts, then hid them again with a sudden opacity created by the shade.
I admired her.
The shifting light and dark browns of her thick, wavy hair. The golden skin of her slender neck and shoulders. Her form as it tapered from her shoulders to her lower back blossoming at her hips. The way the folds of the dress gathered above her bottom, then flowed down toward her calves in a maze of lacy creases that formed and reformed as she made her way along the path.
Presently, she turned and smiled at me, her visage an expression of radiant happiness. Not a word passed her lips. In this moment, words were utterly irrelevant.
She had just disappeared from view, behind a large, old oak, when I heard her cry out in pain.
I ran to catch up, rounding the tree, finding her crumpled in a heap on the forest floor.
"What happened?"
"I've turned my ankle. Caught my foot in a damned hole." She nodded vaguely to a point somewhere near me.
I looked for the offending article but couldn't see where she meant.
"Oh, you poor, thing, Em. Here, let me take a look," I offered, sitting down beside her. Gingerly, she removed her left shoe to look at her foot, brow furrowed in concern, lips terse.
She hissed with an intake of breath as I took her foot gently in my hands, placing it on my right thigh, and, delicately, began to probe with my fingers.
"Where does it hurt?", I asked, searching her eyes.
She answered with a wince when my thumb applied pressure to her ankle.
"Ow. Owwch!"
I inspected her ankle further. "I can't see anything. It doesn't look too swollen. Best to be on the safe side, though. Let's rest up here for a while. I have some ointment in my carry bag that should help with the pain. Want me to put some on?"
She nodded, "please."
I leaned over and retrieved the ointment from my bag and a bottle of water which I handed to her. "Here, might as well take a swig too."
I went to work massaging the ointment as she unscrewed the cap and took a sip of the water. Despite being as gentle as I could, she involuntarily jerked her foot, teeth gritted.
"Ow. Agh!"
I gave her a wan smile. "Sorry. Want me to rub some on higher up? Above your ankle, I mean. Just in case?"
My mobile rang, slicing through the hazy illusion with its jaunty tune, drawing my eyes to the phone's screen.
I took a breath then cleared my throat using the pause to compartmentalize both Worlds.
"Hello?" The question was pointless. I already knew it was her.
"Hey. How are you? I got your text about Andrea and thought you might need a shoulder to lean on."
"Hi, Em. I'm fine. Andrea, yeah. Well, one of us was going to step up sooner or later. I'd actually been weighing things up for a while. Just never seemed to find the right time, you know?"
"So, what happened?"
"Well, it was all rather strange really. She'd gone for a doctor's appointment and when she got back, she called me downstairs and just told me she wanted out. Seemed weird that she would choose that particular moment to end it. For a sec, I was worried that the GP had found something wrong with her and that was the….," I searched for a word, "trigger. For ending it, I mean."
"Hmmm. She's alright, though, isn't she?"
"Yeah. She's fine."
"And you? Are you ok, Ben?" She asked, concerned.
"Yeah. I knew it was coming to an end, but it still came as a bit of a shock, you know? Been together, so long."
"What are your plans?"
"Well, there's a ton of stuff to do with the house in order to move out. Have no idea how long it's all going to take."
"It shouldn't take that long I wouldn't have thought. Maybe a few weeks? A month or so, tops," she decided.
"Well, Andrea's already looking for places to live. She wants to move closer to her work. She was never happy with the travel time. As for me, I'd like to move closer to Colchester, you know, for work too, so I'll start looking for places to rent around there, I guess."
"Colchester? You know we're not a million miles away from there. Why don't you come stay with us for a bit?"
Alarm bells rang in my mind. "Ah, no. I couldn't Em, that would massively put you out. I'm sure Alex wouldn't be too hot on the idea either."
"Alex would be fine, you two get along. It makes PERFECT sense! It's not like it will be forever, just until you can sort yourself out. We have space and there's even two bathrooms, so we won't be in each other's way getting ready for work in the morning. Come on, what's not to like about the idea?"
As kids, Em could always get round me using a coercive mix of cajoling, comical, cunning and persuasive. She would nearly always get her way even if I had been dead set against. On one occasion she had even persuaded me to jump off the seaside promenade at Great Yarmouth which I had dutifully done unaware that there was broken glass lying in wait. She had been mortified when she heard my screams and saw the blood.
Now we were adults she was no less persuasive but staying with her was not something I could countenance.
"I don't know, Em. These things always seem like a good idea until they happen. Give it a few weeks of the hot water running out and you'll be cursing the fact you ever made the offer. Tell you what, let me think about it."
"Oh. OK. Well, the offer's there, anyway," she said, a note of disappointment in her voice.
"I know. And thanks for looking out for me. You've always been wonderful like that." And just to placate her I said, "let me get things on a clearer footing, see the lay of the land and get back to you?"
I changed the subject. "How's things with Alex, anyway? Haven't spoken to him since the Spring shindig."
"Good. He's working harder than ever doing his IT stuff. They've got him working shifts at the moment to support the Indian development team in Kolkata. He did mention the possibility of his going to India for a month which he's not keen on at all, nor me, for that matter. Something to do with a key Delivery Tower falling behind?" She chuckled at my silence, "yup, doesn't mean much to me either. Anyway, so far, he's managing to cope using Zoom conference calls, but I guess we'll have to see. The shifts are a pain though. It feels like we're ships passing in the night, sometimes."
Alex had joined a multi-national IT consultancy company on their fast-track, graduate program and had risen quickly to Senior Project Manager.
They had met at Warwick University. He, studying Computer Science; she, Applied Mathematics, their paths crossing in a mutual, weekly Mathematics lecture. They had fallen for each other almost immediately. Marriage seemed inevitable and came soon after they had graduated and were settled.
"I can imagine. Especially if he's on Indian time. They work long hours out there, too. Must be tough for you both."
"Hmmm. His birthday is coming up. I don't even know if we'll be able to organize a party. I do wish the work-life balance was a bit better," she paused lost momentarily in thought, "he works too hard."
"Don't worry, Em, he's doing well for himself — for you both — it won't last forever. Tell you what, if you don't get a chance to organize something, I can always go out for a few drinks with him — maybe even get some 10-pin bowling in? Just an idea."
Her tone brightened as though a weight had been taken off her mind. "Oh, that's a great idea! I'll let him know."
"How about you? The last we spoke you were regaling me with stories of little upstarts and unruly kids making your life a misery. They still making you suffer?"
"Oh," she laughed, "that sounds like I was making it out to be far worse than it was, I was just having a bad day, that's all. The kids aren't so bad, there's just a few difficult apples in some of the barrels. The amount of extracurricular is draining though. I never seem to stop marking and ticking boxes to satisfy the Governors. People always moan about the long holidays teachers get. If only they knew just how much of that time was taken up with marking and preparing for the new term. Oh, and as if there wasn't enough on my plate, I even stupidly agreed to organize and look after the chess team."
"I don't know why you ever went into teaching, Em. You could have done anything. You sure you're not better suited to something else?"
"Oh, God, yes. I love kids! Even the unruly ones."
There was a short silence as though in prelude to a whole new conversation.
"We're…we're still trying. In case you were going to ask."
"Hmmm?" I feigned ignorance.
"For a baby."
"Oh, Em, you sure you want to be telling me this?" I shifted on my bed.
"Sorry. I just don't know where to turn to sometimes." Her voice cracked as though she were about to cry.
Silence. Composing herself.
When she spoke, her words tumbled out, laced with frustration. "It's just soul destroying sometimes. The amount of detail you must go into; the amount you must plan; the endless disappointment. We're going to get it looked into, privately. The NHS is useless, at least in our area, anyway. The waiting time just to get a consultation is ridiculous."
Her mood seemed to lighten as she continued to unburden herself with some of the detail. She was careful to spare my blushes by not going too much into their issues but by the end she had left me with the impression the problem was more Alex than her.
"Hey, I'm sure it'll all come good, Em. It's amazing what they can do to improve the chances of conceiving these days, not that I know much about these things, but you're still both young. Surely that counts for a lot? Bet there'll be enough little Sinclair's for a whole cricket team before you're through."
She laughed. "Yeah. You're right, of course. I guess I've just bottled it up. It's not something I've felt able to share with anyone. You know what Mum's like with her fawning ways and advice, and Janice has been mostly incommunicado." Janice, who had taken a 6-month sabbatical travelling to far-flung destinations, was Em's best friend and confidante.
She laughed. "There was I offering you a shoulder to cry on and it's turned a perfect 180 degrees." There was a pause, "Thank you," her voice expressed gratitude, "I feel so much better just talking about it. Hope it wasn't too awkward?"
"It's fine. Glad you could get a weight off."
"Whatever did I do to deserve such a nice brother?"
"Nice? That all you got?" I goaded, "Nice?"
"OK. Really nice," she teased.
"There you go. See? Wasn't so hard."
Over the next two weeks I began my search for accommodation in earnest.
Whenever I found something that looked in the right ballpark, I made an appointment to view it. Thankfully, work had been supportive even allowing me to leave early a couple of times.
After viewing several candidates that weren't to my taste, or were just unsuitable, I found the perfect little flat within walking distance of the town-centre and a 10-minute drive to work. Knowing how quickly decent flats in the area were being snapped up I immediately informed the agent, Simon – 'Si to his friends', I was interested. He promised to get the ball rolling by sorting out the paperwork then he'd be in touch.
'Your own little bachelor's pad, Ben.' I told myself returning to the car. The word bachelor seemed strange. It still hadn't fully sunk in I was about to be properly single again.
Andrea and I worked tirelessly to sift through all the objects and possessions that bore testimony to our 10-year relationship. Whether it was the fact we were working toward a common goal, again, or that the pressure was completely off the relationship, for the first time, in a long time, we got on easily, comfortable in each other's company. Our civility, and at times, laughter, as we uncovered mementos and knick-knacks that held some special memory or significance for us, reminding us of what we once had.
The house soon filled up with boxes marked in thick, black permanent ink declaring the hidden contents within. 'Andrea, CD.s.', 'Ben, Books.'
During the second week I began to have a nagging doubt that all was not well with the letting's agency. By the end of the week, I was convinced. Having still heard nothing, I chased them up.
A middle-aged sounding lady introduced herself with a peculiar, lilting voice that seemed to turn everything she said into a question.
I spoke after she had introduced herself.
"Hi there, I viewed a flat a couple of weeks ago. It was Simon, I think, who showed me around? I told him I would take it and he said he would send the tenancy agreement and contract over, but I've not heard back from him. Can you let me know where we are with things?"
The lady took my details and asked me to hold while she went to find out. "I'm sorry, I do apologise, but Simon left us last week? I can't seem to find a record of the viewing? He left, um, suddenly, and I can only assume things were lost in communication?"
"Right. Is the flat still available, though?"
"Oh, no dear, sorry, it went almost immediately?"
If there was one thing positively designed to get my dander up it was the word 'sorry' when someone was crapping all over my plans. I bit my tongue deciding an angry broadside would achieve nothing. Besides, it wasn't this lady's fault.
"That leaves me in a spot. I'm supposed to be moving out the week after next."
"Tell you what," said the lady, trying to make amends, "Let me see what I can do?"
I ended the call with a sinking feeling knowing that the chances of finding a new flat and signing contracts in under two weeks would be a big ask.
As the implications of 'no flat' began to sink in I began to feel like a cornered animal scratching for a way out but finding nowhere to go. The prospect of staying at my sister's house had not even registered up until that point.
I berated myself, lamenting at how I always seemed to choose the most apposite moments to self-sabotage. 'How could you leave something so important to that idiot at the letting's agency?' And, under my breath, just to drive the stake home, 'you complete and utter prick, Ben.'
I contemplated the situation and weighed up the options only to find myself back at the beginning. Short of a miracle, there were no options.
I called my sister.
"Hi, Ben."
"Hey. Is that offer for temporary digs still open?"
"Oh Ben! Of course!" She sounded so delighted that I felt any anxiety evaporating. I couldn't help but smile down the phone as she continued. "That's marvelous news. It'll be just like old times back at Mum and Dad's."
I chuckled; her happiness was infectious. "And you're sure Alex will be OK? It's just until I can get myself sorted. Not a minute longer. I promise."
"I sounded him out when we first spoke about it. He's fine. I think he'd quite appreciate being able to have a few beers to unwind every now and then. Makes a change from the same old, same old."
"You're really helping me out, Em. Can't thank you enough. Like I say, I'll be out of your hair as soon as I can."
"When do you plan on getting here?"
"I've managed to rent some storage space near Colchester and need a week of to'ing and fro'ing to dump all my stuff. Shall we say, not this Saturday, the following Saturday?"
"Great. That'll give me some time to prepare. You can stay for as long as you need. I'll let Alex know tonight. Love you."
"You, too."
I hung up, thought things through, and dismissed any lingering doubt with a shrug. I'd just have to manage, and anyway, it was only for a few weeks.
That final goodbye with Andrea ended up being far more poignant and emotional than I had expected. By the time we had locked the front door there was a noticeable tear in her eye and, as we held each other, I worked hard in choking down feelings, mostly of regret. The sudden finality to what had been dreams of long-term happiness and the possibility of a long life together bit deeply. It took me by surprise.
Not quite wanting to acknowledge we were letting go, for good, we had agreed to keep in touch and meet up from time-to-time, but it was clear we were both moving on with our lives.
I took one final look at the house, then her, and waved as I drove off.
Over the previous week, I had made so many trips between the old house and the Colchester storage facility that I felt I knew the road like the back of my hand. I had haphazardly piled up the boxes at the facility only keeping back the essentials I would need in the short-term. Now, as I drove to my sister's and Alex's place, those items accompanied me, chattering and clinking, as if to register their displeasure at every turn and bump in the road.
They lived in a semi-detached in the suburbs of a medium-sized town about 15 miles from Colchester. They had already moved once, since getting married, from a small starter home to the 3-bedroomed affair that now loomed into view. I pulled up in the driveway and surveyed the outside.
It was a modern build on an estate of similar houses that left one with the impression the developers had been unconcerned with making the houses distinguishable from each other. Identical designs with the same driveways, coloured bricks and white UPVC-framed windows. The adjoining semi was a mirror-image of their house.
Of course, that hadn't deterred my sister from putting her stamp on it; making it theirs. A tan-coloured mat with 'WELCOME' written in burnt brown lettering nestled in the porch and located to the right of the dark-green front door, near a doorbell finished in brass, hung a shabby-chic plaque advising visitors that 'good friends were hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget.'
I pressed the bell, placed my holdall on the floor, and tidied myself up as a shadow through the glass made its way to the door. There was a rattle followed by a click and then the door opened to reveal, Alex.
His appearance was accompanied by chill out music, sounding a lot like Café Del Mar, playing unobtrusively in the background. The unmistakably appetizing smell of onions wafted from somewhere deeper within the house accompanied by the sound of cutlery jinking and being set.
"Hi, Ben," he said, peering through gold rimmed glasses, holding out a hand which I shook.
"Hi Alex, how are you?" I nodded at my car — "am I ok there?"
He scratched at his goatee beard, "no problem at all. Here, come on in. I can't remember, have you been here before?"

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