a/n: i'm in need of a beta reader, so if any kind soul would be willing, please feel free to pm me (here or on my tumblr). i know i can't be too specific, but anyone who thinks they'd be able to beta read something in 3 days and have some college writing courses under their belt would be awesome.
for now, i will ask all you precious friends to point out any spelling/grammatical errors in the reviews, if you spot any. thank you to those that have done this for the past chapters, and thank you in advance as well. and thank you for your reviews, i read and consider every single one of them.
that's enough from me. hope you enjoy chapter 7!
Elsa sat cross-legged on a laid out directory brochure to prevent her pants from getting dirty from the grass beneath her. She leaned backwards slightly, propping herself up with her two arms stretched out behind her. Anna was practically rolling in the grassy turf beside her, sprawled out and sighing contently and mentioning something about what a nice day it was, and how she loved to shop, and how she never shopped because none of her guy friends would go with her. Surrounded by a good number of shopping bags from a variety of stores, the pair of sisters were taking a break, resting on the large grassy area in the middle of the outdoor shopping mall.
Elsa wished she could feel as relaxed as her younger sibling. Although she was eyeing it from a safe distance, Elsa watched in unease as an unleashed, large black dog chased a ball its owner was throwing, and maybe it was just her imagination but it seemed like the guy was chucking it closer and closer towards them with each throw, prompting the large, dirty beast to dash closer to them every time. Elsa hated dogs.
"Hey I'm gunna go get a churro. Be right back," Anna said, getting up and clapping her hands together to get rid of some bits of grass.
"Wait-" before she realized it Elsa was brushing off Anna's pants, her impulses getting the best of her. "Turn around," she ordered, wanting to make sure there was no more grass. Anna obeyed, and Elsa vigorously swatted away a few more pieces that were hanging off Anna's lower thigh. When she was completely sure that Anna's pants were clean, she gave an "okay," giving her permission to go.
Anna muttered "thanks," and curled some loose hairs behind her ear before she left for the nearby churro stand. As she watched her younger sister approach the cart and start to order, Elsa found herself observing her physique. Anna didn't exercise, but she was always moving, bouncing around here and there, never staying still. So maybe that was why her thighs were a good mix of soft and firm. And the weight of those combat boots, you'd need some strength in those legs to lug those things around.
And suddenly, out of the blue, the image of her lips grazing Anna's thighs as her hands slowly ran over them flashed before her eyes.
Elsa shot her head around and covered her mouth, as if she'd said her thoughts out loud. She stared at the grassy ground in front of her, shocked by the lewd thought. She tried to push it away by turning her attention back to the dog and its owner. But that wasn't working, so she shut her eyes; hopefully she could clear her head out that way.
Fingers still clasped over her mouth, Elsa had a huge urge to start nibbling at her nails, a nasty habit she had when she was younger. But she fought it, forcing her hands down into her lap. She took a deep breath and focused on the spouting fountain, calming her mind.
Just then, she heard a man yell "watch out!" and she spun her head around to see the ball flying straight towards her. She gasped and held up a hand to her face to brace herself when an arm jutted out from nowhere, catching the ball midair right in front of her head. Startled, Elsa looked up to see Anna, churro in one hand, ball in the other, giving the dog's owner a stern look. After making her sentiment obvious to the owner, holding the ball and glaring at him for a few moments, she threw it back and then glanced down at Elsa, who was just gawking at her. "You okay?" she asked simply as she sat down next to her, taking a bite out of her churro.
"Y...yea, thanks," Elsa said slowly, still staring at her. "You really have good hand-eye coordination, don't you."
Anna brushed off some sugar that had fallen onto her jeans. "I guess. I'm pretty good with my hands. Here, try some," Anna said, bringing over the sugar-laden stick of fried dough in front of Elsa's face. "Have you had one before?"
"No," Elsa said firmly, staring at all the sugar. The thing had so much sugar. But it smelled delicious.
"Well, remember what I said to you about moderation? One bite won't kill you." She brought the treat closer to Elsa's mouth.
Knowing by now of Anna's persistent ways, Elsa knew resisting wouldn't get her very far. She sighed, already defeated. "Okay one bite, that's it." Anna grinned and as Elsa opened her mouth, she stuck a bit of the churro into it, but not too much, which Elsa was grateful for. She sunk her teeth into the crunchy outside and pulled off a small chunk, and chewed.
"Good right?" Anna said, pulling it away from her mouth and taking another bite for herself.
Elsa smiled. "Yea, it's good," she admitted. It was good. Really good.
"Want some more?"
Anna nodded, but her eyes remained on Elsa, who looked back at her, puzzled. She saw Anna's eyes trail down to her lips and her gaze lingered there. And then, there was that familiar ripple across her face; the same one that had been happening lately.
"Hey, uh, you have some sugar on your bottom lip," Anna said quietly, looking away.
"Oh, shoot," Elsa quickly brought up her hand and brushed a few granules away. "Thanks."
Looking their different ways, the two girls sat in silence, Anna munching away and Elsa leaning back again, observing a nearby couple lying down on theirs backs, embraced in each other's arms. After a few moments of soaking up the sun and enjoying the cool, fall breeze, Elsa turned her head to see what Anna was up to. She was just finishing up her snack, popping the last bit of churro in her mouth. A strong breeze blew into them, and Anna reached up to grip her snapback securely to her head. Just then, a piece of paper fluttered towards them, and Anna adeptly reached out and snatched it, midair.
Impressed, Elsa asked what it was as Anna brought it to her face to look at it. "It's a receipt for Urban Outfitters. This person bought a shit ton of stuff too," Anna replied, scanning her eyes down the receipt. "Whatever," Anna said indifferently, letting the receipt go.
"Wait!" Elsa yelled, shooting out her hand to stop Anna, but she stopped, startled at herself. She watched another gust of wind blow the small piece of paper away across the grass.
Anna turned to look at her, surprised. "What?"
Eyes wide and mouth slightly gaped open, Elsa looked back at her sister, a little shocked. "Oh, uh...wow never mind," she said slowly.
Elsa ran her fingers through her hair, looking out at the fountain beyond the verdant lawn. "Wow, that was kind of an automatic response," she said, chuckling. She looked back at Anna, who was still watching her, confused.
"Well...when I was younger," Elsa began, "maybe around your age, I'd actually go around looking for receipts like that." She looked back out at the fountain, smiling to herself. "So when I'd find a receipt around a clothing store, I'd go into that store, find an item or two that was on the receipt and I'd take the tags off. Then I'd take the receipt and the clothes to the cashier, and they'd usually give me a refund for those items, right there on the spot."
Anna had stopped chewing and was just looking at her. "Smart..." she said as she began chewing again.
Elsa gave a small chuckle. "That's just the kind of stuff I used to do to get by when I was younger. It wasn't much, but it was just enough to get me by."
After eyeing Elsa a bit longer, Anna followed her gaze to the water fountain. "You know, you're really smart Elsa."
"No, you are. You're one of the smartest and cleverest people I know."
The older girl looked back at her and gave her a sheepish smile, bringing up her thumb and brushing off some sugar that had been on the younger one's lip. "Thanks Anna."
Another moment of silence as another breeze sailed through the shopping center, blowing Elsa's hair back. She closed her eyes, taking in the cool sensation. As the breeze dissipated, Elsa opened her eyes and she caught Anna looking at her, with that same look, and as always, Anna quickly looked away. Anna hurriedly asked a question, maintaining her gaze in the other direction. "Um, so, did you have a favorite con when you were younger?"
Her bottom was growing numb, so Elsa shifted herself to reposition her body, gathering her legs up against her chest and wrapping her arms around them. She looked up at the sky to reminisce about her younger days. "Umm, let's see." She clicked her tongue a couple times, mentally digging through her past. "Well, there was one where I had a partner. Cons with a partner were always more fun."
Anna turned her body towards her, intrigued. Elsa smiled and introduced her to one of her favorite tricks. "Okay, so there's the basic snatch and run that was always really fun. We'd spot a mark walking alone on the street. I'd go and snatch and steal her purse. My partner would pretend to be a nearby stranger, and she'd yell "hey!" or something and run after me, pretending to chase me."
Anna, eyes glistening with wonder, nodded eagerly after every sentence, wishing for her to continue.
"So then," Elsa went on, "we'd turn the corner where the mark couldn't see us, and I'd give the purse back to my partner, and she'd turn around and return the purse to the mark. The mark would be grateful and give my partner some money to thank her, and then we'd split it. Sometimes the mark wouldn't offer money, so that would suck, obviously. But most of the time, they'd give at least something. Usually, the older the person, the more they'd give."
Anna was leaning in more now. Elsa could feel her squirming, like she was antsy all of a sudden or something. "Let's do it," she said, voice low but thick with anticipation.
"Let's do that one! It sounds fun!"
Elsa threw her head back and gave one loud laugh of disbelief. "Ha! I'm not going to go run and grab someone's purse. That was when I was younger."
Anna pouted and took Elsa's hand into her own, giving it a squeeze. "Please? You run every morning, and you're even wearing oxfords today. They should be easy to run in. Just this once, please?" And Anna's eyes turned all puppy dog-like, all shiny and large, sparkling in the sun. "Please?"
"Baby we didn't even get that much most of the time. This one would only bring up like, twenty bucks tops."
God she's so cute...
Elsa sighed and rolled her eyes, unable to hold back her smile. "Fine. But only this once." When did I get so whipped?
Anna squeaked, now overflowing with excitement, and she suddenly leaned in, as if she were about to give Elsa a kiss on the cheek, but she stopped, and they both looked at each other. Anna shot her head back and abruptly stood up, a little too fast. Looking down at her pants and brushing them off, she mumbled, "Sweet, let's go."
Elsa looked down at her phone pretending to look busy, trying her best not to look too twitchy. Inside, she was churning with anticipation, the familiar racing pulse and tightness in her chest she used to feel right before executing this same play years ago. The adrenaline was already pumping through her body, her flight and fight responses at the ready. There was always something so exhilarating about snatching and running; in terms of thrill, this con was definitely unmatched to the others.
Keeping her breaths steady and even, Elsa reached up and pulled down the brim of Anna's hat over her eyes; this would be the best way of covering up her face today. She smiled to herself. So this is what it feels like, wearing this thing, she thought. It felt nice wearing her hat. It was as if she had a part of Anna with her.
A couple blocks down from the Grove shopping mall, Anna and Elsa had found a good, secluded alleyway. Like how her partner and she did before, Elsa took Anna through the alleyway first. She pointed out two dumpsters that were sitting along one of the brick walls and an abandoned shopping cart laid on its side, directing to her to pay attention to them while she ran so that she wouldn't run into them. They kicked aside a pile of gravel to make sure neither of them would slip on it, and cleared a few plastic bags out of the way. They established that Elsa would wait around the corner for a good mark to turn into the alleyway, while Anna would wait by the shopping cart in the alleyway.
And so, with everything else being ready, the two waited in their positions. It had been around ten minutes, and only two people had walked through the alleyway: a younger teenager and a young woman, but Elsa did not pursue them, for neither of them seemed like the type to give much.
Hearing another pair of footsteps, Elsa peered out from under the cap to see a small woman with greying hair curled up into a limp bob. She was wearing some old stirrup pants and a baseball jacket, maybe one of her son's, with one of those recyclable, eco-friendly reusable bags slung over her shoulder. Elsa nodded her head down to cover her face as the woman walked past her into the alleyway, and at that moment Elsa made the decision that this would be their mark today.
Reaching up to pull Anna's cap down further over her eyes, Elsa took a deep breath and braced herself for the run. Her pulse leaped as she turned around and followed the woman into the alleyway. Keeping a few paces behind her, Elsa looked up and saw Anna leaning back against the brick wall pretending to talk with someone on the phone. They glanced at each other, and Elsa gave her a quick nod, prompting Anna to shoot her head down to hide a small smile.
Today Elsa felt light on her feet. Preparing herself, she rolled her head around, eliciting a few soft cracks. She readied herself for the sprint; the mark was approaching Anna. Once she passed her, that would be Elsa's cue.
As soon as the woman passed her younger sister, Elsa bolted from her place behind the woman. She shot forward and lunged for her bag that was slung loosely over her shoulder. She snatched it and it easily flung out from around her arm and it was now clasped safely in Elsa's grip as she sprinted down the alleyway. Behind her, she heard Anna exclaim, "Hey! Stop!" and the stomping of Anna's running footsteps following not too far behind her.
Elsa grinned as she sharply turned the corner out of the alleyway. She was exhilarated by the wind blowing into her face, her quick and agile steps on the pavement, and her sister running behind her.
Slowing down a bit so Anna could catch up, Elsa prepared to make the quick exchange. Deciding they were a good distance away from the mark, she stopped and swung around to see where Anna was, but to her surprise, as soon as she turned around, Anna rammed hard into Elsa, throwing Elsa back. She landed on her back and Anna fell onto her, both of them grunting as they landed, hard.
"Ow..." Elsa groaned and reached up to rub the back of her head, but her attention was drawn away from the pain when she realized that Anna was lying on top of her, her arms propped up around Elsa's head.
Elsa froze, stunned by how close Anna's face was to hers. She'd never seen Anna up this close. Her cheeks were flushed, her pink lips parted and she was panting heavily; Elsa could feel her breaths against her own lips. She smelled the sweet scent of churro. Anna was staring back at her with a strange look, her eyes wide with a mixture of astonishment, and something Elsa could not quite discern. She felt Anna's eyes trail down to her lips, and Elsa reflexively flicked her tongue over them to moisten them. And Anna's eyes lingered there, for far more than Elsa was comfortable with.
Anna shifted her leg and to her surprise, Elsa inhaled sharply at the sensation. It was then Elsa realized just how pressed together their bodies were, Anna's stomach and chest pressing deeper into her own with every breath she took. She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks, her face growing hot, her heart pounding against her chest.
A car honked in the distance, jarring Elsa from out of her trance.
"Shit...Anna...hurry take the bag," Elsa finally breathed out.
Anna's eyes grew wide as realization washed over her. "Shit...sorry," Anna muttered, quickly getting up and brushing a few loose hairs behind her ear. She held out a hand for Elsa and gently pulled her up.
"Meet me at the car," Elsa said hurriedly as she handed Anna the bag.
"K," she said, taking it. She was avoiding eye contact.
"Quick, go," Elsa commanded, and Anna turned around and broke into a jog to return the bag to the woman.
Elsa watched her turn the corner. When she disappeared, Elsa suddenly felt weak and wobbly. Mustering up what energy she had left, she turned around and slowly jogged to her car.
They zoomed along the pacific coast highway, the sun now setting on the horizon, giving the atmosphere around them that famous Southern California orange glow. Anna had gotten twenty dollars from the con, and she'd used it to buy herself an ice cream cone before they left the area, and was now licking away at it in the passenger seat in silence.
A few licks later, Anna reached over and turned on the radio, turning through the channels. It landed on a catchy song, and content with the choice, Anna leaned back into her seat and continued to lick her ice cream, looking out through the window.
Elsa looked over her shoulder to change lanes, switching on the turn signal. As she smoothly transferred over, she gasped when she heard a thunderous ripple of sound, and a huge gust of air blew into her face and into the car. She whipped her head around to see Anna's finger on the sunroof button and a grin strewn across her face as she watched the window above them slide back and reveal the perfectly orange and red sky above them. After the sunroof slid all the way back, Anna reached over and turned the music up much louder, causing Elsa to grimace as she wrapped her hands tighter around the steering wheel.
"Anna!" Elsa shouted, but her voice was drowned out by the rumbling of the air soaring into the car and the pounding of the bass from the music. Elsa's eyes grew wide when she glanced over and saw her younger sister unbuckle her seatbelt, popping the last bit of her cone into her mouth as she did. The younger girl put up her feet onto the passenger seat and crouched on it. She slowly rose a bit, sticking her head out from the roof.
"Anna, get down!" But she couldn't hear her. Elsa pulled down at her shoulder, but to her dismay Anna slowly stood up, and eventually she was standing straight up on her seat, with most of her upper body sticking out of the car.
Now feeling a little panicked, Elsa tugged on Anna's pant leg harder, urging for her sister to come down and put her seatbelt back on. "Baby, please!" she yelled again, keeping her eyes on the road. Beach houses were whizzing by, storefronts, restaurants and people blurring past. The smell of the ocean filled the car, and it was so strong she could almost taste the sea salt in the air.
As they zoomed past the last stretch of beach houses, revealing a vast spread of sand and ocean, Elsa looked up at Anna and saw her slowly spreading her arms to her sides, as if she had wings or something. This was the straightest stretch of road on the highway, so looking back once more at the road ahead of her to ensure of their safety, Elsa looked up again and this time kept her gaze on the girl. Anna's hands were stretched out at her sides like she was flying, her eyes closed, her mouth stretched out in the widest grin she'd ever seen. Her hair was blowing back in the wind, her shirt rippling and lifting up around her waist, revealing some of her stomach. She looked absolutely stunning. She was taking Elsa's breath away. She had driven down this highway so many times, but today, with Anna beside her, everything felt different. Anna had a way of making even the most ordinary things...enthralling and fascinating.
Elsa snapped out of her reverie when Anna opened her eyes and glanced down at her. "Elsa! Join me!" Anna shouted down at her, the wind drowning out most of her voice.
"Are you nuts?! I'm driving!" Elsa yelled back, brushing away some flailing strands of hair from around her face. She looked out to the road again.
"Spread your arms like me! The road's straight!"
"Baby get down!"
Anna got back down into the car and Elsa was relieved, but the feeling didn't last long because Anna leaned over Elsa, blocking her view of the road. "Anna I can't see!" But Anna didn't reply. Elsa glanced down to see Anna pushing a button over on her door, and suddenly a strong gust of air burst through her side window into her face. Squinting her eyes from the wind and her hair blowing into her face, Elsa craned her neck over Anna's head to maintain her view of the road. After the window had been lowered all the way down, Anna pulled back and slid her own window down. The air was now blasting in all directions through the car, hair flying everywhere, music pounding throughout. Anna brought her mouth to Elsa's ear. "Elsa! Spread your arms out with me!" And with that, Anna planted her feet onto the passenger seat and stuck her body through the sunroof again. She spread her arms out and closed her eyes.
With the cool wind flying around her in all directions, Elsa had this sudden, crazy urge. She could almost feel the crisp, refreshing wind whipping against her hand and arm. The music was reverberating through her body and it was sweeping her up and away, away from the confines of this cold world. She looked up at Anna, who looked down at her at the same time. "Trust me!"
Elsa loosened her grip on the steering wheel, just slightly. It was as if the wind was washing away all her worries, leaving only visions of Anna in her head, and she felt light and free; she felt like she was soaring.
Still having a good stretch of straight road ahead of them, Elsa finally let go of the steering wheel, both of her hands steadying around it at first. She slowly and cautiously started to spread her arms to the sides, her right hand reaching out behind Anna's legs. The wind violently hit her left arm as she extended it outside the window, but she stabilized it, and soon both her arms were stretched out wide, like her sister above her. A small, shaky grin slowly started to spread across her face as the exhilaration and thrill of it all started to overwhelm her.
"Wooooo!" Anna bellowed, and Elsa couldn't hold back a laugh. "Elsa we're flying!" Anna yelled down to her, and they both laughed.
And they flew along, the wind and music drowning out all other sounds, everything just soaring through and renewing Elsa's soul.
After clicking off the lamp, Elsa slid under the covers, but sleep was the last thing on her mind. Adjusting herself on her side, she heard Anna silencing her phone behind her. She peeked over her shoulder to see Anna turned the other way, playing her usual game on her phone. Settling her head into the pillow, Elsa almost wished Anna would take her showers in the morning; she couldn't handle the intoxicating smell of her fresh out of the shower. She took a deep breath, secretly inhaling the fragrant, dizzying scent. Anna sure was different; she used body wash made for men, insisting that body wash for women smelled too flowery and fruity. Elsa dared not reveal that sometimes, during her morning showers, she would snap open the lid of Anna's body wash and take a big whiff as she closed her eyes, smiling at the savory, spicy scent that was Anna.
Elsa had settled in, now very still underneath the sheets. A variety of emotions were stirring within, and none of them were making sense to her. But none of it mattered, for the she only wanted one thing right now, and the desire for it was almost unbearable.
She gripped the edge of her pillow with the tips of her fingers, wanting to feel Anna up against her again, more than anything. She wished Anna would put her phone down. Was it just a one time thing, last night?
Elsa gripped the edge of her pillow tighter when she heard the sound of rustling sheets behind her. The bed creaked, indicating Anna was leaning over to reach for the phone charger. Elsa stiffened when she heard the 'beep' of the phone connecting to its charger, and as usual Anna dropped her phone onto the carpeted floor where it landed with a small thud. Elsa swallowed and gripped the seams of her pillow tighter as she heard Anna wriggle under the sheets to get comfortable.
Cuddle me. Cuddle me. She repeated the words over and over in her head, as if she were trying to cast a spell to try to pull Anna over to her. The room grew silent, but Elsa's mind was whirring loud with the same thought, over and over. Cuddle me, cuddle me, as she stared hard into the bathroom, needing to focus on something, like she was concentrating hard to cast the spell. But Anna wasn't moving behind her, and she gnawed on her lower lip, wanting it so bad. Cuddle me she kept thinking hopelessly, closing her eyes to imagine Anna's warm body up against her back, her arm wrapped possessively around her waist, those thighs up against her legs. Hug me, cuddle me. She bit her lip as she thought of Anna's breath slowly cascading down her cheek and neck. Cuddle me.
And then finally, on the last cuddle me, Elsa stopped and froze as she heard Anna shift her body and turn over. She held her breath, waiting, but Anna didn't move. She waited a bit longer, her heart sinking with every passing second, and eventually, minute.
After a few solid minutes, when Elsa was just about to conclude that it had been a one-time thing, she heard more rustling behind her and she tensed. Her heart stopped when she felt the mattress sink in slightly behind her, and finally Elsa felt the warmth of her sister's body against her back; the feeling she'd been longing for all day.
Elsa's heart pounded as Anna's arm slid around her waist again; this time Anna gave her stomach two, light rubs with her thumb. Elsa almost grew lightheaded at the smell, Anna's smell, her intoxicating smell; Anna's essence was just swirling around her, and she couldn't move or breathe. Elsa let go of the edge of the pillow as she felt Anna's head settle in behind hers. And just like that she felt that rush, and everything felt right-there were no worries or doubts-at least for the night, when Elsa had Anna all to herself.
Just as Elsa was falling asleep, she felt Anna stirring behind her. Anna was fidgeting. Elsa finally shifted a bit, turning her head towards Anna. "Anna, are you ok-" but she didn't finish, because Anna leaned in and whispered in a hungry tone, "Elsa, I can't take it anymore," and she took her finger and turned Elsa's chin towards her face, and firmly planted her lips onto Elsa's. The older girl squirmed for a moment, eyes wide, staring at Anna's closed ones, her eyebrows furrowed in, concentrating. Elsa's body was rigid, frozen in place, and she could do nothing as Anna worked her lips deeper into her own. Anna pulled back and she exhaled out a shaky breath, but before Elsa could say anything Anna leaned in and kissed her again.
Elsa jolted upright in her bed, startling out of the semiconscious dream. Breathing heavily, she stared straight ahead, trying to gather herself up. She felt a light sweat on her brow. She looked down to see a heavily knocked out Anna beside her, arm still draped around Elsa's waist. She brought up her hands and buried her face in them; her hands were damp with sweat. Running her clammy fingers through her hair, Elsa tried to collect herself, taking deep breaths. As silently as she could, she slipped out from under Anna's arm and the sheets. Her knees buckled slightly as she stepped up onto the carpet.
As soon as the bathroom door closed with a light 'click' behind her, Elsa hurriedly turned on the faucet. She splashed the icy water onto her face a few times, trying to force herself awake, trying to bring herself as far away from the dream as possible. The cold felt good against her hot, flushed cheeks.
Water still running, she examined herself in the bathroom mirror, steadying herself with her hands against the sides of the sink. She studied the geometry of her facial structure, the angles of her chin, jaw, and nose. Usually this was reassuring to her, this exercise. But something didn't feel right. Her face dripping with water, eyes panicked, her hairs astray, and slight bags under her eyes.
For the first time, it all seemed off.
"...and then she, I mean, god you should've seen her. I think she's even better than Kristoff. She's just so good. So good Ryan. It's just so natural. And at such a young age too. She's so young. You know, it's like, maybe it's in the blood or something, I don't know. Oh, and did I tell you? She puts this sauce on everything she eats...what's it called...s...sir...sriracha. Yea, sriracha sauce, and it's her favorite thing. She puts it on pizza, she puts it on spaghetti, like, you'd think she'd get tired of it. But no, it's her favorite." Elsa stopped to chuckle. "Oh, and you know what else is funny? She insists on using this body wash that's for men, and she comes out of the shower smelling like..." Elsa ran a hand through her hair, pausing. "God, she smells like..."
Suddenly, Elsa felt it, the growing heat in her cheeks, the swelling emotions, and it made her stop in her tracks. It was then she realized she had been pacing back and forth in the psychiatrist's office, full of excited energy. She was standing now in the middle of his office, feeling oddly uncomfortable all of a sudden. She'd never been so animated in front of Ryan before. She looked down at him, and he was looking at her with a curious look, his lips curled into a knowing smile. Elsa cleared her throat and quickly sat herself down in the leather chair. "Sorry..." she muttered.
"No, this is good. You're finally talking to me," he said, uncrossing his legs and re-adjusting the pad of paper on his lap. He continued to look at her, studying her face, trying to read her eyes, to see beyond the words. She hated when he did this, but she supposed it wasn't as bad now, since she felt more comfortable around him. She just stared back at him when he did this.
"So..." he began, still watching her closely. "I'm curious Elsa. How do you feel about your sister doing these cons with you?"
She blinked at him, letting the words sink in around her. "Umm..." Elsa looked down to the ground, pondering the question. "Well.." she hesitated, bringing a finger to her chin, "...at first I didn't want to involve her with any of it," she said slowly, carefully. "I wanted her...er...I still want her to go to college, and have a career, and have a normal life."
She looked back at him, unsure. He nodded his head, encouraging for her to continue. "But..."
She sighed and looked down at the ground again. "But honestly, I don't want this life for her. I didn't want to expose her to all that." She stopped, suddenly overwhelmed with guilt and regret. "I...I didn't want to involve her," she looked up at him, remembering why she'd hesitated bringing her into all this in the first place. "But she wanted to. She really wanted to learn, and somehow it happened, and...and honestly..." she bit her lip, knowing what she was about to say was the guilty truth. "Honestly I'm having the time of my life right now, doing all this with her."
Ryan nodded, as if he was waiting for her to say this, and he scribbled something on his pad. "Guilt..." he said quietly. He finished writing and looked up at her. "You feel guilty."
She looked at him for a moment, letting the word sink in. And he was right. She felt it, right in the gut. She nodded, slowly, admittingly. He nodded back and looked down at his pad to think for a moment. "Elsa..." he began, bringing his hands into that v shape, "I need you to understand something very important." He looked at her, making sure she was paying attention. "It sounds like this was her decision. She wanted to do all this with you." He leaned forward, prompting the leather chair to squeak from the shifting. "This was her decision. Okay? Guilt is an extremely powerful emotion, and we don't need you carrying that around with all this other stuff you have."
Tight-lipped, Elsa nodded at him, but his words were meaningless to her, knowing all about this textbook tactic of displacing guilt from oneself in order to feel better about something. Because she knew, deep down, that ultimately she'd made the wrong choice, regardless of how much fun she and Anna were having together. And now the regret was seeping in, the realization of it all weighing down on her. She'd been distracted by the all the good times they've had to even realize it. Stupid. So stupid. She was supposed to be responsible. The older one. What if she stopped going to her classes to do these silly cons? What if she dropped her classes all together? What if something bad happened to Anna? What if she got caught?
Elsa suddenly wanted to change the subject, not wanting to give the topic any more thought. She sat for a while, rummaging through her mind. She had something she'd been meaning to ask...what was it...I just had it...what was it...
Ah, right, that question.
"Ryan, you said you had a younger sister right?"
He leaned back in his chair and nodded. "Yes, why?"
Elsa shifted in the leather chair, trying to get comfortable. "Have you ever...umm..." she brought up her fingers and fiddled with the tip of her braid. Looking away from him, she asked, "Have you ever cuddled with, your sister? She forced herself to at him now, "In bed? I-is that something siblings do?" She put on the most stoic, blank face she could, but inside, she felt her pulse quicken.
He looked at her, much longer than usual, and an uncomfortable chill ran through her body as he quietly answered. "No. That is not something siblings usually do."
The words crashed down over her, and Elsa closed her eyes and leaned forward and buried her face into her hands. It felt different, the reality of it being presented in front of her from another person. It was real. She stayed like that for a while, trying to fight the awful feeling that was churning in her gut. Her breaths were getting heavy, her mind whirring, and she was getting dizzy. She didn't know she'd react like this.
After a few more moments of silence, Ryan spoke. "Elsa, I'm going to be honest with you. I'm not very well versed in inc-...relationships between siblings," Elsa winced as he said the string of words, "and we're out of time today too. So, allow me to do some research before our next session, and we'll talk about it then. Does that sound okay with you?"
Still leaned forward with her eyes closed, Elsa nodded her head.
"I already gave you your tablets for the week, right?" She nodded her head again.
"Okay. I'll see you next week then." He paused. "Elsa, are you going to be alright?"
She didn't reply.
The car ride back from the metro station was quiet today. Sometimes Elsa picked Anna up from the station on Fridays, and Anna would usually turn up the radio, excited for the weekend to come. But the air felt different between them, thick and heavy with some kind of tension. The low drone of the vehicle seemed louder than usual.
"How's school?" Elsa asked, breaking the silence. She kept her gaze on the road.
"Oh, it's good," Anna replied. "How's the office?" she asked automatically, a bit rushed.
"Nothing too exciting right now, so...yea." Elsa glanced over at Anna, and their eyes locked for a brief moment before Anna looked away into the window.
Elsa racked her brain for something to talk about. She approached a red stoplight and came to a stop. "Oh! Umm..." Elsa remembered the Halloween party, and now more energized because they had something to talk about, she drew a breath. "Kristoff is having a Halloween party next weekend. Wanna go? You'll finally get to meet him."
Anna turned to look at her, and Elsa was relieved when a small smile formed, melting some of the tension away. "I'll go if you go."
They smiled at each other, and Anna reached up to tuck a wisp of hair behind her ear. The way the afternoon sun was hitting her face, it seemed like her face was glowing. The red of her hair, her adorable little smile, and the small sprinkling of freckles acr-
They both jumped in their seats when the car behind them gave them a quick honk. Elsa whipped her head forward and saw that the light was green. She cursed under her breath and quickly shifted gears, and zoomed out into the intersection.
They'd finally reached Elsa's apartment building and parked in her designated parking spot in the underground parking lot. With Anna's backpack full of clothes hung loosely over her shoulder, both girls walked towards the elevator, the bright clicking of Elsa's heels and the low scuffling of Anna's boots echoing through the concrete space.
As they waited for the elevator, in the distance they heard a collection of voices ringing and reverberating through the parking structure. The voices grew louder and louder, hooting and hollering, and it was apparent that they were all young men's voices. Finally, the group turned the corner and Elsa's stomach dropped when she saw a large group of what looked like college guys slowly surrounding behind them to wait for the elevator. A bunch of them were half naked, some with red cups in their hands, a few wearing large banana costumes, and some with their faces and chests painted. They were laughing and bellowing loudly, and as the guys surrounded them around the elevator doors, the strong smell of alcohol filled Elsa's nose.
Elsa turned around and stood taller, concentrating on the elevator door in front of her. There was probably some kind of football game happening, but that was the least of Elsa's concerns right now. Soon she would be getting into the small space with all these men. She felt Anna looking over at her. "You said you didn't like being touched by strangers, right?" Anna asked in a concerned voice.
Elsa nodded her head, nervously eyeing the half-naked guy right next to Anna. The elevator dinged and the doors opened before them, prompting a sudden wave of anxiety. As they walked into the small space, Elsa felt Anna's hand on her back, leading her into the corner. The rest of the guys piled in, and Elsa felt the elevator shake underneath her feet. She watched in dread as the bodies kept inching nearer to her, and the smell of sweat and alcohol filled the confined elevator. They kept inching closer and closer, the stupid banana suits taking up much of the space until Elsa was pressed up against the back corner. Anna turned around so that her front was facing toward Elsa. She gripped the hand railing that was on both sides of Elsa and held onto them, creating a small space in-between them. She planted her feet onto the ground in front of her older sister. "Don't worry sis, I got you. You'll have room, I'll make sure of it," she said in a determined voice.
They kept piling in though, and soon enough Anna was struggling to keep her balance, both trying to maintain a space between her and her older sister and also trying to do her best to fight against being pushed back by the banana suit behind her. The last person finally loaded, and the elevator started making a loud, frantic beeping sound, indicating it was too full. "Woah woah wooooah," a guy drunkenly slurred. "Charles, it's 'kay, get back on, it's fine, just get on. It'll *hick* still go up. Come on get in here."
The elevator kept on beeping as Elsa felt the space around her getting tighter. The people in the small space were shifting and squeezing around her to let the last person on. The banana suit pressed harder into Anna's back and she lost her grip and she grunted as she fell forward into Elsa.
"He's on! Close it," somebody said, and the elevator doors closed slowly, and the beeping stopped. They finally started heading up. "See I told you," and he burped loudly.
"Shit...sorry" Anna muttered into Elsa's ear, her breathing labored. She gripped the metal bars on both sides of Elsa and regained her balance, planting her feet to the floor again. Her younger sister tried to push her back up against the banana suit to create a space for Elsa, but it was no use; the suit seemed to squeeze up against her back even more, and Anna was shoved forward into Elsa once again. Elsa bit her lip and gripped the railings beside her, trying to ignore the rising and surging feelings from Anna being pressed up against her body.
"Shit," Anna muttered again, but this time, she remained there, the struggling ceasing for a moment. She could feel Anna's hot cheek brushing up against hers, Anna's breath on her neck, her chest rising and falling up against her body, pressing into her own.
Then, Elsa heard Anna starting to grunt as she tried to fight the banana suit behind her once more. Anna's head still very close to her neck and ear, she heard every heavy breath, every grunt, and it was too much. Anna's leg kept pushing into there, making her mind go blank. It was too much. She was being turned on.
"I know I'm sorry I'm trying. There's just too many people."
"N-no...s-stop...grunting." Right as the words were murmured out of her mouth, the banana suit pushed back hard and Anna lost her footing, making her fall again into Elsa's body. The two sisters were now squished together with no room for struggling. Anna was breathing heavily into her ear, and suddenly her leg slipped further in-between Elsa's legs, and before she could stifle it, a low moan escaped from Elsa's throat right into Anna's ear.
Anna drew her head back from Elsa's neck, startled at the sound she had just heard. Biting her lip and mentally cursing at herself, Elsa turned her head to the side, looking down and away from Anna; she couldn't look at her. She knew her face was bright red, her cheeks flushed. She felt Anna's gaze on her, and Elsa could do nothing but continue to look away to the side, embarrassed and ashamed.
After a moment, Anna slowly brought her head back to Elsa's neck, her cheek softly brushing her skin as she did. And then, so lightly that Elsa almost didn't feel it, Anna's lips brushed up against her neck, sending a shudder down the older girl's body. She felt the tension in Anna's body being released as she gave up the fight against the banana suit, her body slumping into Elsa's. She let go of the handlebars besides her and slowly reached around, where she slid her hands against the small of Elsa's back.
Just then, the elevator dinged, and somebody yelled out "We're here," and the guys started spilling out, making more and more room around the two girls. The guy in the banana suit finally stepped forward, and Anna staggered backwards, but Elsa caught her arms as they slipped out from behind her.
"Thanks," Anna murmured as the elevator door shut behind her. They stood for a moment, looking at each other, Elsa still holding onto her.
The elevator wasn't moving. "Oh, shoot," Anna said, turning around, and Elsa let go of her. "We didn't press our level yet," Anna said pushing a button for their level, and the elevator jolted upward and started to ascend.
Anna maintained her spot by the button panel while Elsa stayed in the corner as the elevator approached their floor. They waited in silence, both watching the rising number above the elevator door increase at a painfully slow and glacial pace.
Elsa took her usual place at the back of April's line, her basket full of tonight's ingredients. Anna had said she wasn't feeling well, and said she wanted to stay home and nap, so Elsa went out by herself to shop for groceries tonight.
When April saw that Elsa was next, her face lit up and she shot her that special grin. "That'll be $45.63," April said, returning her attention to the customer. While the customer was pulling out her credit card, April looked back at Elsa, and feeling timid, Elsa looked down at her wallet, checking to see that she had enough cash, which she knew she did.
It was finally her turn, and April started to glide Elsa's ingredients across the scanner. "So where's your friend?" April asked after she'd scanned a few items.
"She's my sister," Elsa replied, almost a little too firmly.
"Ah, I see," and maybe it was just her imagination, but Elsa thought she saw April's smile grow a just a tad wider. She was wearing her usual tie and button-up white collared shirt, her keys jangling brightly against her black jeans.
April continued scanning while Elsa looked around at nothing in particular. She scanned the last item and turned her head towards the monitor. "That'll be $26.48."
Elsa give her a couple bills, but this time she boldly handed them directly to her instead of placing them on the small counter like she usually did. Surprised by the change of behavior, April looked up at her, her eyebrows lifting a bit. "Thank you," she said softly, carefully taking the bills from her hand.
She turned around to get Elsa's change as the bagger bagged her groceries. "Here you are," April said turning around with her change. But she didn't place the change on the counter like she usually did. With a cautious but hopeful look on her face, April held up the change midair in her hands, waiting. Hesitating only for a moment, Elsa slowly brought her hand up under hers, and April beamed, carefully placing the bills on Elsa's palm and the coins over them. Elsa quickly dropped the change into her front pouch and slipped the bills into her wallet. "Thanks," she said quietly as she gathered up her groceries.
"You're welcome. Have a good weekend, Elsa."
Elsa gave her a small, grateful smile, and turned around. She took a few steps, but she stopped in her tracks. Something was pulling at her. Something was telling her to turn around. Something was telling her to turn around, and that this was the absolute right thing to do.
So, Elsa turned around. April was already scanning the next customer's groceries, but her eyes drew up to Elsa as she marched up to her and asked, "Your name is April, right?"
April stopped scanning and looked at her, surprised. "Y-yea," she replied. Elsa slipped the grocery bags around her wrist and raised up her arm, which was weighed down heavily by the bags of groceries. "Nice to meet you," she said, holding out her hand for a handshake.
April just looked at her for a moment, but then quickly wiped her hand against her waist apron and placed her hand into Elsa's, shaking it gently.
"Nice to meet you," she repeated, grinning.