Double The Ache(7)

By: Alexa Riley

I hear the whispers. There’s always been talk when it comes to the two of us. From the moment we met we’ve been inseparable. After my parents died I was put in a group home. The people who ran the home were nice enough, but it was just a job for them. Dean’s parents raised me as their son, so when I tell people he’s my brother I mean it. I even call his parents Mom and Dad. I had a bed in his room that I slept in more than I did the home. We went to the same college, shared the same dorm room, and even lived off-campus together. People thought we were freaks because we always shared a room, but we never liked being alone. I’ve never touched Dean in a way that wasn’t brotherly, and I’m not sexually attracted to him. But he is my soulmate in every sense of the word, and I don’t like being apart from him. It’s the reason we entered the draft together and were a package deal. I don’t give a fuck what people think about us.

When we were in high school we went camping alone for a weekend. We were out on the lake fishing when Dean asked me if I thought about having sex.

“That’s all I think about.”

“No. I know that. But that’s not what I mean. I’m not saying it right,” he says.

“What do you mean then? Explain it to me.” I cast my reel and Dean is quiet for so long I’m about to get worried. I feel a stirring in my gut and I know what’s coming.

“Do you ever think about having sex. With the same girl, at the same time.”

I look over at him and he looks at me. For a beat there’s an understanding between us, and I nod.

“Does that make us freaks?” he asks, and I can hear the fear in his voice.

“Does it matter?” I grunt and toss my line again.

Silence passes again and I hear him let out a breath. “I guess not. It’s just…I think about fucking a girl and then I think about you. I don’t want to fuck you, but I love you.” He shrugs and I can tell this was a big confession for him.

“I love you, too,” is all I say. We’re a family.

We had a couple of conversations like that throughout our lives, and in college we tried it out. We were star football players and had girls beating down our doors, but there was never the right one. They were always more hung up on one of us more than the other, or they didn’t want to do it full time. It was a fantasy for them, a one-off. We were a circus act and they just wanted their turn at the freak show. After a couple of times we hated the way we felt and decided not to do it anymore. Not until we found someone who wanted us both and was in this for the long haul. Trying to divide us hurt our relationship, and we learned that we weren’t willing to settle.

I get out of the shower and towel off as I go to the sink and grab my razor. I look down to see the blade is dull so I go to the other side of the sink and grab Dean’s. We share a bathroom and bedroom just like we did in college. Our mom says we must have been conjoined twins in a past life and we don’t disagree. If we’re not in the same room, we usually go find the other one so we can hang out. Some people might find this weird, but we usually just keep our private life private.

There’s a knock at the door and I walk through the bedroom into the living room to see Dean answer the door. Cassie and Emma come in and I nod in greeting before going back into the bathroom. Cassie is Dean’s older sister and Emma is his younger sister. They’re my sisters, too, to all intents, and they’re in town for the weekend.

They know about our living situation, having grown up with the two of us always together. I guess looking back on it, it could have seemed weird to outsiders, but in our family it’s just the way it was. I got real lucky Dean’s family welcomed me and never made me feel different.

Cassie comes in the bathroom and opens the cabinets under the sink. “Do you guys have any tampons?”

“No,” I say, as I rinse off my face and go to the bedroom closet. Emma comes into the bedroom with Dean behind her.

“You guys still haven’t had a chick in this place. Whatever, I’ll just get some on the way out tonight,” I hear Cassie say from the bathroom.

“No chicks. But I think we’ve found the one,” Dean says, falling onto the bed and lying across. It.