That’s just my little sister.

“That’s just my little sister.”

Jeremy barely looked up when he said it. That’s probably why didn’t notice Scott’s eyes follow Jen across the living room until she disappeared down the hall.

A moment later, she was back. Her gaze locked on Scott’s for a moment before she looked at her brother. “Jere, Mom said she’ll be home late so you should just order a pizza for dinner.”

“Order it, then,” he replied, still not turning away from his video game.

“She said you should order it.”

“Well, if you want to eat tonight, you’ll just do it yourself, Jen.” Rolling her eyes, she turned and left again. “She’s has to be the most immature sixteen year old I ever met in my life,” Jeremy complained.

Scott raised an eyebrow. “Sixteen? Jen’s sixteen already? No kidding.”

“I know, it’s hard to tell.”

Scott almost said not really, but decided against it. The fact was, Jen looked even older than sixteen. Her features had matured since Scott had moved out of town two year ago, her figure had blossomed. No longer was she his just his friend’s kid sister. Now she was a beautiful young woman that made Scott shift in his seat.

As Jeremy remained focused on the television screen, Scott’s attention kept shifting back to the hallway toward Jen’s room. He was waiting for her to emerge again, even if it was just to nag her brother. All he wanted was one more look at her. A quick one.

As casually as he knew how, Jeremy said, “I can’t imagine having a little sister. It just seems like more of a headache than it’s worth. I mean, with their mood swings, their pettiness… Boyfriends.”

Then, for the first time— practically since Scott had arrived over an hour ago— Jeremy paused his game. “Jenny doesn’t have boyfriend. Didn’t you hear what I said? She’s a fucking kid.”

“Sixteen isn’t exactly a kid,” Scott said lightly. Certainly not too young for an eighteen year old. After all, sixteen was practically seventeen. And he was just eighteen.

“Trust me. You don’t know her. They don’t come too much more immature than my sister. As you can see, she can’t even order her own fucking dinner. She’d get taken advantage of. I’m not going to let that happen.”

Jeremy was looking Scott right in the eye as he said it. Swallowing hard, Scott nodded and got to his feet. “I have to use the bathroom,” he lied.

The truth was, he had a feeling that Jeremy could see straight through to his thinly veiled intentions. He made his way down the hall toward the bathroom, but stopped in front of Jen’s door when he heard her voice.

Sh-h,” she whispered. “My brother is right in the living room.”

Scott took a step closer to the door, stopping just where it stood slightly ajar. He heard another voice. A guy’s voice. He almost laughed. After Jeremy stated so adamantly that he didn’t let his sister date, here she was sneaking boys into her room.

He wondered who Jen’s mystery boyfriend was. A boy her age, he was sure, and felt a pang of shame at the jealousy he rising in his throat. He’d risked getting his ass kicked by Jeremy as he’d waited for her to walk past just to steal a glance in her direction, meanwhile some little boy was getting illicit invitations to her bedroom.

“You can’t, he’ll see you.”

“Just climb out of the window,” replied the boy. “C’mon, we’ll come right back.”

There was a short pause. Was she considering it? Scott wondered. Without waiting to find out, he dropped two short knocks on the door before pushing it open. Jen was at her window, practically hanging out of it, a tall figure on the other side.

Excuse me!” she cried, spinning toward Scott.

“Oh, sorry, I thought this was the bath—”

His voice got caught in his throat when he realized who it was on the other side of Jen’s window. “What the hell…?”

“Scott?” said Greg. 

Jen frowned. “You two know each other?”

With a nod, Greg replied, “Yeah. Scott’s my little brother.”

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