"Go screw Nicolai again!" I shout at Lyonel before slamming the door.  Those sick, sick images are still in my mind.  God.  Lyon's my brother.  He shouldn't be allowed to do things like that; just like parents shouldn't.  I mean, the whole idea that any of my family are sexually active is… disgusting.  And to see them at it…!

Anyway, Lyonel's always in a foul mood after being with Nicolai; which is one of the reasons I hate him so much.  He's hot – long black hair, dark eyes to lose yourself in – but such a prick!  He changes Lyonel's behavior and everything; they disturb me at night when I'm trying to sleep (which is why I sometimes creep down to sleep in the gym, though I've never told anyone); and… in a way it makes me jealous.  I'm not jealous of Lyonel having sex with anyone!  Just that… well, they're close.  I don't want to be close to Lyonel in that way; but I do think as his twin I deserve at least his respect – and I'd like to be close to him like we were.

And instead Nicolai takes up all of his time.

After a while there's a polite knocking on my door.  "Lijah?  Please let me in."

"No!" I shout back, kicking the door as if it's him.  I'm not interested.  I'm so embarrassed anyway; God it was terrible…

"I'd like to come in and talk to you, Lij," he says so quietly I can barely hear it.  It's a tone of voice I'm not used to – apologetic?!  From Lyonel?!

"What's there to say?" I whine back at the door.   Accuse me of being childish if you will, but it's bloody well how I'm feeling at the moment.  And I can act how I want, can't I?

"I'm sorry for sending you out of my room earlier today.  I'm sorry for whatever happened with father."

Was only partly his fault; and – father?  Sometimes Lyonel sounds like he lives in the 1800's.

"I'm sorry for giving you a shock when I was in your room before; but honestly, Lijah, I was only looking for a pen."

"Point taken," I reply, trying to still sound angry, but really – I have to relish moments like these.  They come all too little.

"And…  I'm sorry for not letting you know that Nicolai was going to be here.  But – he is my friend –"

I laugh grimly. Friend.

"– and you should have knocked."

"You should get a lock on your door if you're going to make a habit of bringing sluts home!"  I have one on mine, and I'm toying with it now, considering whether to lock it or not.  It's not wholly safe – mum said I could only get one if it could be opened from the outside.  We settled on this particular one, because though it /can/ be opened, it would take ages and make a lot of noise.  So I'd be warned and could stop whatever I was doing.

"He's not a slut!"  Lyonel replies fiercely, before there's silence for a while.  I think he's trying to calm himself.  "Look, if you'll open your door…"

"Why?"  I ask suspiciously.  It isn't an all-out 'no' anymore, but I still want to know why he wants to see me.  Part of me is so worried he's just going to taunt me…

"Because I want to say 'sorry' in person.  And… because you're my twin.  All that kind of stuff."

"Fine," I say.  I know I sound petulant; and my tone is mirrored with the way I jerk the door open.  I'm almost – but not quite – disappointed to see that Lyonel has stepped back, so he doesn't fall over because he's leaning on the door.

He's looking genuinely sorry.  And I find myself smiling just a little, flattered.  This is more positive attention than he's given me of his own free will in years.

"I'm sorry," he says, looking as if he means the words, though he has to struggle with his pride to say them.

"Maybe I'll learn how to knock," I reply in a bare whisper, meeting his eyes with mine for a second and flashing a cheeky grin.

"It would be a change," he agrees with a nod, apparently unaware that my words were a joke.  I mean hell, I'll try it, but they were still meant to be funny; and Lyonel's face is as stern as a judge.

We stand there for a while in a little awkward silence, not quite looking at each other, and every now and again our eyes meet and I blush.  I don't know why.  I must just not be used to talking to him like this.

"Can I come in?" he says finally, eyes looking over my shoulder and into my room.

"Oh – yeah – sure thing – but don't you have any studying?"  I regret saying it as soon as the words are passed my lips.  What a way to screw up.

Lyonel's face falls from a nervous, anticipatory smile into a scowl.  "Oh.  Well.  If you don't want to speak right now, I'm sure I can re-read –"

I don't give him a chance to finish whatever he's saying.  I grab his hand in mine and drag him into my bedroom, closing the door behind us.  I take my time turning around, because I can feel his eyes boring into my back.

When I meet his stare, the look's no less intense than I had expected – feared?  Hoped?  - it would be.