“Sit here, Mom,” Tim said, pointing at his desk chair. His mother trudged towards it and dropped into the chair, with a zombie-like lack of coordination.
Tim needed to know what the contents of the conversation his mom and sister had had, in case he had to make adjustments to Mom’s programming. The last thing he wanted was for his mom to offer his sister some of the same “lessons” she’d been giving him. He knew that as soon as those words escaped his mother’s mouth, Heather would be horrified, and would go straight to Dad—and who knows what would happen then.
Tim suddenly pictured himself in handcuffs, being led away into a police car. He shuddered.
He’d only been using the mind control gun for a few days and he already might have a major problem on his hands. Tim looked down at the gun in his hands, only to notice he was shaking slightly.
He had to be careful. He had to stop being led around by his hormones and think.
Okay, Tim thought. First things first. Before dealing with Mom, I have to make sure Heather doesn’t walk in on this little tableau I’ve created.
Heather sat cross-legged on her bed, and tapped away at her phone, messaging the group chat about the upcoming regional.
When we book the hotel, we should get a big room for all of us’
For sure :D’
BTW some of the guys from the Central High team will be there, and I wanna hang out with them (º ﹃ º ) ’
That would be FIRE’
lol u guys can have fun, but I am taken ;) ;)’
What do u think, Heathhherrrr? I bet we could find you a guuuuyyyy’
lol, I think Heather is taken too’
WHAT. When did this happen. Deets, please (人´∩｀)’
Just as Heather was about to type a reply, she heard her door open and her brother come in. She rolled her eyes at him in frustration.
“Uh, have you heard of knockin—,” were the only words she was able to get out before Tim drew the gun and pressed the button. As her arms went limp, the phone fell onto the bed.
Tim walked into his sister’s room. It was the first time he’d been in there in a while, but it looked much the same as it always had—pink walls, posters of BTS and One Direction on the wall, a desk with the iMac Heather had gotten for her last birthday along with a bunch of books—Harry Potter, the Maze Runner trilogy, plus a lot of magazines about fitness, Track & Field News, issues of Seventeen, and some notebooks and school printouts. On the opposite side of the bed was a dresser on which Heather had taped photos of her with all of her track and field buddies. He recognized some of them—Jenny, Tricia, Samantha. They were all really attractive, school athletes—he hadn’t realized, but they were all in track. Duh. That explained why they were always hanging out together. Next to it was the full-length mirror from the picture she’d inadvertently shown him and Mom.
He had initially just planned to keep Heather controlled while he dealt with Mom, but seeing the mirror made him curious about something. He went to where Heather was sitting. Tim grabbed the phone that lay on top of the duvet and saw that Heather had been typing a message to her friends when he’d hit her with the mind control ray. He scrolled back through the messages and saw that it was a conversation about plans for the upcoming regionals.
He backed out of the messages and went to the photos. This is what he was curious about. Why was she taking these sorts of selfies of herself? Was the photo he’d seen the only one? He could only think of a couple of possibilities. One, that she was trying to keep track of how in shape she was. He knew some athletes took photos of their physique for just such a purpose.
The other possibility, however, concerned him, though he wasn’t quite able to verbalize why. Was she sending these photos to somebody? A guy?
Tim scrolled past dozens of photos from the regional. Most of them featured Heather and her teammates participating in events. Their track and field uniforms, tight around their bodies, were more revealing than he’d expected. Tim decided to surreptitiously email some of those to himself, for later perusal. He kept scrolling.
After a few more images, he came across it. His sister wearing only a pair of blue panties, one arm covering her breasts, the other holding the phone as she took the selfie. She had a slight smile on her face—she’d never smiled at Tim that way, that was for sure.
Tim knew his sister was in shape, but he’d never had the opportunity (or the interest) in taking a close look at it. But now that he was looking at it…he pinched the screen to zoom in on the picture.
While his mother may have joked about having a runner’s physique, Heather actually did. Her body was feminine, but slim and athletic. Her belly was flat, with a cute innie bellybutton, and it was nice and toned. Tim wondered how firm her tummy actually was, and what type of exercise regimen she followed to get so in shape.
His sister had tan lines from where she wore her track and field uniform, with paler skin around the top of her shapely thighs and shoulders. The blue panties she was wearing were sports underwear—hipster brief panties, or something? They hugged her waist tightly, but were not particularly revealing.
Tim zoomed up to her chest, but her arm covered everything. He could see the barest hint of cleavage, that was all.
Still, Heather definitely took care of herself—she had a stunning figure, and he suspected a lot of the boys in her grade had taken notice of it.
What intrigued Tim the most about the photo, though, was his sister’s smile. If you were an athlete and you were tracking your progress, would you be posing and smiling when taking a selfie? Tim had his suspicions.
He couldn’t get the idea out of his mind that the smile was directed at someone.
Was he jealous? …No, of course not. This was his little sister, after all. If anything, he was concerned.
A concerned older brother.
Tim zoomed out and kept scrolling through the photos. A search through the images in Heather’s phone didn’t reveal any more compromising images. No photos taken with any boys, either.
Tim breathed a sigh of relief.
He began selecting images to forward to himself, and as he did so, his fingers hovered over the image of his sister’s selfie—a moment later, he emailed that one to himself as well.
Then, just as he was about to back out of the photos, the message notification popped up on the phone. The message itself was innocuous enough. “Congratulations on the win! ♥” But what made Tim’s stomach drop was the name of the sender.
Who the hell was ‘Sweetie,’ and what was he doing messaging his sister? Did his mother know about this?
It didn’t occur to Tim until later that he could have simply asked his sister about all this—but he was so flustered by his discovery that the thought didn’t even enter his head.
Tim went to check the message, but if his sister had read receipts turned on, he knew whoever it was would immediately know he’d seen it. He went to ‘settings’ and turned the phone to airplane mode. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it would serve for the moment.
When Tim opened up the conversation, he received another nasty surprise—whoever ‘Sweetie’ was, he’d been messaging his sister for a while, with the conversation spanning about two and a half months.
Tim scrolled up to the beginning of the messages, from March.
The conversations had begun innocently enough—‘Sweetie’ used to be in track and field and had gotten Heather’s number from a former teammate, and just wanted to see how things were like in the competitions these days. Whoever he was, he asked a lot of questions about things like rankings and the sprinting techniques of athletes from other schools.
He was apparently attending the competitions as a spectator sometimes, too, or at least watching videos, because he kept giving his sister constructive critiques on things like her running form in the 500-meter dash.
His sister replied to ‘Sweetie’s’ messages (Tim suspected that hadn’t been how she’d originally nicknamed him on her phone), infrequently at first, and then more regularly. As the days and weeks progressed, the messages turned from track competitions to more personal, informal chats—movies that they’d seen recently, school gossip, so Tim knew ‘Sweetie’ was someone in school…eventually, the conversations became more intimate. Heather wrote long messages in which she wrote about how she hoped to use her track experience when she applied to colleges, and heartfelt ones where she talked about her fears of not being good enough to run track at the collegiate level. ‘Sweetie’ would reply by validating her feelings and offering a shoulder to lean on.
When they spoke about their diets, ‘Sweetie’ reinforced his track expertise by giving her suggestions for her diet, workout regiments, even told her a foolproof method of getting rock-hard abs in just two months.
Eventually, the conversations went from casual, to friendly, to flirtatious. Apparently there had been some phone and video calls too, though of course there was no log of what had been said in those.
Apparently, they were only able to meet once in a while in school because of their respective schedules, and Tim began to suspect those days that Heather came home late weren’t always because of club practice.
As the conversations progressed, ‘Sweetie’ talked about going out on a date with her, rather than just hanging out at school. Heather seemed very receptive—for some reason, however, he told her it wasn’t a good idea when she invited him over to the house to hang out, saying it would be awkward.
Heather said she’d be getting her driver’s license soon and maybe they could go catch a movie then. ‘Sweetie’ said that was fine, as long as it wasn’t a movie with Timothée Chalamet—Tim looked at the publicity pictures of Chalamet from Little Women and The French Dispatch that Heather had hung up on her wall. Who is this guy? Tim thought. He seems to know a lot about my sister from the way he talks to her. Is this someone she’s known for a while?
Tim scrolled down a bit further.
Heather was talking about how the guy’s suggestions had really worked.
I was looking in the mirror the other day and was blown away by the change from a couple of months ago. I think its because of the training regimen u gave me!! :D”
Yeah right ;)’
I’m not kidding. Show me—I wanna see how your developing. ♥’
The jackass couldn’t even use contractions correctly.
Tim noted there had been a ten-minute pause in the message log, and then…
The selfie Heather had taken of herself.
That’s why she’d taken it, at the behest of this ‘Sweetie’ creep. That’s who she’d sent it to.
As Tim looked at the photo, his blood boiled.
This guy seemed to know exactly what buttons to push to get his sister to react. And no matter what he did or said, Heather kept falling for it.
Damn, looking TIGHT, though your abs defenitly still need a little work’
Yeah, I still have some areas I need to work on, lol’
I’ll be the judge of that. ;)’
Tim was too angry to keep reading the flirtatious back and forth. He raised his head and looked at his sister, still sitting in a daze, her eyes unfocused.
“Why do you like this ‘Sweetie’ guy, Heather?” He asked, his voice cracking.
“…because he’s funny…we have similar interests, he’s kind of cute…he makes me feel good about myself…”
Was his sister really that desperate for positive attention?
“Why did you send him that selfie, Heather?”
“…because…because I wanted him to praise me…I wanted someone to recognize my hard work…”
Tim stifled a harsh laugh.
“If you were having so many worries, why not just talk to me, Heather?” He already knew the answer, and wasn’t even sure why he’d bothered to ask.
“…you’re…just my brother…”
“That doesn’t make me useless, does it? Can’t I help you out, like I used to, Heather?”
“…yes…you’re…useless…spend all the time in your room…playing video games…card games…”
Tim’s back stiffened. He knew he had fallen in his sister’s estimation, but he hadn’t realized to what extent. He remembered when they were in junior high, how his sister had depended on him. And he thought about how they’d slowly drifted away from each other over the past few years.
He’d tried to pretend that the distance between them didn’t hurt, but he’d been lying to himself.
An image flashed through his head of some random lowlife kissing Heather, holding hands. Probably, eventually doing more than that.
He looked at his sister sitting cross-legged on the bed. Beautiful brown hair. Big eyes. Shapely, tanned legs.
As Tim opened his mouth to give Heather a suggestion, he heard his mother’s phone ring from his bedroom. He recognized the ringtone—it was Dad.
Tim dropped Heather’s phone on top of her bed and ran to his room.
Tim glanced at the clock on his nightstand as he returned to his room. He’d initially only planned to spend a few minutes in Heather’s bedroom, but was shocked to realize that, between looking at the photos and reading through the conversations, he’d been there for over half an hour.
The phone, in his mother’s jean pocket, was still ringing. Tim went to grab it. As he neared his mother, he smelled the scent of fresh soap still on her skin, reminding him of what they’d done that morning.
No time for that.
He grabbed the phone, answered it just before it went to voice mail.
“Darling?” he heard his dad’s voice on the other end of the phone.
“Uh, no, Dad, it’s me—uhm, Mom’s on…she’s doing one of her Peloton routines,” Tim said, hoping he sounded convincing.
“Ah, Tim! Good to hear your voice, champ,” Dad said. “Don’t interrupt her—I know how your mother is when she gets in the zone. But could you give her a message from me?”
“Sure, Dad, sure,” Tim replied. As he did, he couldn’t help but gently stroke his mother’s cheek.
“Great—just let her know that I’ve landed, but she doesn’t need to come pick me up—Bill will drive me…ah, give me a second, hold on…” he could hear the muffled sounds of his father talking to someone.
“Yes, just a second…yes…Tim, could you tell your mother to make dinner for five tonight? Bill will be joining us. You remember Bill, right?”
Bill was a colleague of Dad’s from work who was often partnered with him on business trips. Tim remembered him as being quiet, reserved, hard to read. In a lot of ways, he was the complete opposite of Dad.
“Sure, Dad. What time will you be here?”
“I’m waiting at the baggage claim now—maybe forty minutes or at most, depending on when I get my luggage?”
Shit! That barely gave him any time to do anything.
“A-anyway, I’ll let Mom know. See you soon, Dad!”
“See you soon, Tim! Give your mother my love!”
As Tim hung up, he couldn’t help but see the irony in that particular statement.
He looked at the alarm clock on his nightstand again.
If he had forty minutes at most, he’d have to make sure he was done in less than thirty.
He turned his attention towards his mother.
She was exactly as he’d left her, except for the puddle of drool that had gathered on the desk she was sitting in front of. He’d clean that later. For now, he rolled the chair so that she was facing him.
His cock stirred slightly when he looked at her chest, but he shook his head. No time for that. Time was ticking.
“Mom can you hear me?”
“…yes…I can hear you…” her head twitched slightly and her eyes, still unfocused, moved to face him.
“I need you to answer some questions for me, Mom.”
“The following questions and commands will all be addressed to you, Mom.” He was getting sick and tired of having to say ‘Mom’ after every order.
“First, what were you talking about with Heather when I walked in to her bedroom? Please be as detailed as possible in your answer.”
“…we were talking about…the photo on her phone…she was…embarrassed…that we had seen it…I told her…it was alright…we didn’t think any less of her…but…”
“…told her to be…careful…that she needed to learn…from those celebrity scandals…”
“Huh? How so?”
“…her phone could be hacked…or pictures taken from the cloud…or an angry ex-boyfriend could leak photos…”
So that’s what it was.
“Was that all you told her?”
“…yes…then you came in…”
He might have dodged a bullet, but he needed to make sure.
“Were you planning to tell her anything else?”
“What was it?”
“…that she was still young…and needed to be careful of boys…trying to take advantage of her…naivete…”
“Do you know of any boys who might be interested in her?”
“…no…it was just a precaution…teenage boys are full of hormones…”
So, Heather hadn’t told Mom about ‘Sweetie.’ That was a good sign, it meant things might not have progressed as far as he’d feared.
“So, uhm,” he thought of how best phrase the question, “have you thought of giving her lessons, like the ones you’ve given me?”
“And why is that?”
“…Heather is…popular…she doesn’t need…help…in that area…”
Tim’s face fell.
So even his mom thought of him that way.
I knew, he thought. But it still sucks to hear.
At any rate, it seemed he didn’t have to worry about Mom offering inappropriate lessons to Heather, at least for the moment.
A series of images came unbidden to his mind.
Heather and Mom in bed, kissing.
Tim walking into Mom’s bedroom to find Mom and Heather embracing.
Mom gesturing towards Tim for him to join them in a new lesson.
Tim forced the images from his mind.
This wasn’t what he’d come here to do.
For now, he’d just reinforce the earlier commands and make sure that Mom wouldn’t blurt out anything about how they’d spent their weekend.
As he did so, he denied the thoughts and desires roiling around in his mind.
But for how long?
Tim dashed back and forth from one room to another, making sure to set things up. First, he suggested to mom that she had been doing a Peloton session and that Tim had told her about Dad and Bill coming for dinner. Then, he ordered her downstairs to the kitchen. She went down the stairs in a stiff, zombielike gait.
“Put on your apron, Mom,” he said. “You need to cook dinner for five people—when I release you, that’s what you’ll be working on. Okay, Mom?”
“…yes,” she said, as she clumsily tied the apron around her back.
“When I release you, you’ll tell me to go upstairs and tell my sister that Dad is on his way. Do you understand, Mom?”
Tim moved so she had his back to him, pressed ‘release’ on the gun and quickly stuck it back in his waistband under his shirt.
In an instant, Mom’s posture changed and she was puttering around in the kitchen as though nothing had happened.
She turned to him, and (on cue) asked, “Tim, could you go upstairs and tell your sister that your father’s on his way home? I’m going to make chicken cacciatore for dinner…I think I’ve got mozzarella sticks in the freezer, too.”
“No problem, Mom,” Tim said, and rushed back upstairs.
He entered his sister’s room. Heather was still sitting cross-legged, staring off into the distance. He put her phone back in her hand, and suggested to her that she was so exhausted from the competition that, after Mom had left the room, she’d just fallen asleep. He told her to lie down on the bed and close her eyes.
Tim stepped back towards the doorway, and gave the room a last check. Everything seemed to be in order.
He pressed ‘release’ on the gun and felt the now-familiar warmth and vibration.
He gently closed the door, and then knocked.
“Heather? Mom said to tell you that Dad will be home any minute, and that she’s making chicken cacciatore and mozzarella sticks for dinner.”
“…Huh? What time is it?” Heather said from across the closed door.
“It’s almost seven.”
“Must have been more tired than I thought…,” Heather muttered. As she spoke, Tim heard a car come up the driveway, heard car doors opening and closing.
Dad was home.