Chapter 4

Jane had a bottle of champagne in one hand and her shoes in the other as they walked through the back yard away from the remnants of the party and they were amused to see that the hammock was still there. Jane dropped her shoes and snuggled herself into the hammock.

"Come on," she grinned. "There's plenty of room. Just like last time."

Geno kicked off his shoes and took off his jacket which he hung from a tree branch before joining Jane in the hammock. They found their comfortable balance and they passed the champagne bottle back and forth.

"It's been a nice reunion," Geno remarked as they looked up at the starry night sky.

"Definitely," Jane agreed. "All this sentimental nostalgia about our pasts and the good times we had."

"It wasn't always good times," Geno reminded her.

"I know," she sighed. "Sometimes I feel like I cheated myself out of the normal teenage experience."

"What did you mean when you told me that night we were down here that someone could go to jail?" Geno wanted to know.

"You remember that?" She asked with surprise.

"I remember everything about that night," he replied.

"I don't want to tell you," Jane said nervously. "You'll think so much less of me."

"It sounds like you've been carrying something around for a very long time," Geno observed.

"I have," Jane confessed.

Geno wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "You can tell me," he whispered softly.

"I've never told anybody," she let him know.

"Never told anybody what?" He asked softly.

"Didn't you ever wonder why I was always missing in action from the gang?" Jane asked. "Never around to hang out and do the pizza thing and all that?"

"I figured you were busy," Geno said as they gently swayed in the hammock.

"Didn't you ever wonder why I never dated anybody?" She asked.

"No," Geno admitted, although he secretly wished she had dated him.

"Do you remember my step-brother, Ronnie?" She asked.

"The football jock," Geno said. "The Big Deal at college?"

"That's him," Jane said. "He was six years older than me. Moved in when his mom married my Dad when I was twelve."

"I knew your mom died when you were young," Geno recalled. "But I didn't know too much about your family other than your Dad owning that huge trucking company."

"Ronnie was a player," Jane revealed. "And I don't mean just a football player."

Geno looked at her with uncertainty. "You mean he was popular with the girls."

"Yes, admired, good looking, sought after."

"And your brother."

"Step-brother," Jane clarified.

Please don't tell me you had a crush on him."

"He liked me," Jane said.

"As a sister," Geno said hopefully.

"As a step-sister," she said.

"What does that mean?" Geno worried.

"I wasn't anything special or different," she said. "I wasn't even that pretty."

"Of course you were," Geno said.

"Ronnie paid attention to me and that made me feel special."

"He paid attention to you, how?" Geno frowned.

"I think you know," Jane said nervously.

"What are you not telling me?" Geno asked.

"It started with harmless flirting and innuendo when he first moved in," Jane explained. "By eventually it grew into sexual tension," she continued. "He'd come into the bathroom when I was in the shower. He'd burst into my room without knocking. He even flashed me a couple of times."

"You didn't say anything?"

"I liked the attention," she sighed. "Plus what was I going to say? Who was I going to tell? My father? His mother? They were newlyweds trying to be happy."

"What was he, like eighteen?" Geno tried to remember. "And you were like thirteen?"

"I knew it was unhealthy, dangerous and inappropriate but I didn't care," Jane confessed. "I liked the excitement and thrill. I was being selfish, of course, because he had so much to lose but all I cared about was his attention and attraction to me."

"No wonder I never had a chance," Geno muttered, mostly to himself.

"I'm sorry, Geno," Jane sighed. "Our parents went away one weekend, he came home from college and we had sex all weekend. I was a willing and contented participant. I lost my virginity, of course. We continued to fool around and have sex for the rest of high school. We'd do it anytime he was home, taking risks knowing we could get caught."

They were quiet for a long time as they continued to sway in the hammock and sip on the champagne bottle, Geno processing what she had just told him, Jane waiting for him to flip her out of the hammock in disgust and disgrace.

"So, what happened?" Geno finally asked.

"He got tried and bored with it," she sighed. "Got serious about the girl he eventually married. Lost interest in me. That's why I was so sad at Nancy's pool party that night. I realized how much of my time I had wasted being with him instead of with you guys."

"He took advantage of you," Geno complained.

"Yes," Jane agreed. "It was wrong and he used me but I used him too."

"He was a perverted bastard."

"I pursued him just as much as he pursued me," Jane offered.

"He messed with your head," Geno protested.

"I knew it was wrong but I was selfish and full of impulses and desires," she explained. "I consented."

"He was still wrong," Geno insisted. "He had all the power and authority."

"Maybe I wasn't as mature and smart as I thought I was," Jane sighed. "I was duped for sex and my whole coming of age love story was a lie I couldn't tell anybody about. Looking back on it now, I was in total denial about everything. My father would have killed him had he found out."

"You were victimized," Geno said.

"You must think I'm a twit," Jane said sadly.

"You're absolved of your mistakes," Geno decided. "Don't be so hard on yourself."

"It's weird how I never got depressed or broken hearted when it ended," Jane noted. "I mostly just felt guilty and stupid, like I wasted my entire high school experience waiting around for him to come home and screw me. It's hard being around my sister-in-law sometimes knowing what I did with her husband. It would ruin our family if anybody found out."

"That's some burden."

"I know it was a dumb fantasy of a foolish high school girl to have an affair with her step-brother," Jane sighed. "If I could do it again I wouldn't, of course, but it's too late now."

"Is it too late now?" Geno wondered.

"What do you mean?" Jane asked, confused.

"For us," Geno dared to say. "If you came back. Would a worldly writer be interested in having an affair with a fast food restaurant manager?"

"An affair?" She giggled. "I'd prefer to think of it as a romance."

"I would have been better for you back then," he said.

"I know," she sighed, snuggling close to him.

"I should have told you how I really felt about you that night we were here," he sighed.

Geno placed the now empty champagne bottle on the ground and leaned in to kiss her.

"Can I be your retrosexual?" He asked.

"Hopefully in more ways than one," she purred, kissing him in return.

Their movements caused the hammock to sway more and Geno pulled her to him to anchor them in the device. They continued to kiss and Geno managed to hike her dress up her legs and her panties down them. Jane responded by unfastening his buckle and lowering his zipper and before long they were true retrosexuals.

"I'm amazed we didn't flip out of this thing," Jane laughed when they were finished retrosexing and were nestled against one another half-naked in the cocoon of the hammock.

"I wanted to be like this with you that night of the pool party," Geno confessed.

"I was too ashamed of what I did to be with you like that," she revealed sadly.

"Until now?"

"Until now," she confirmed, kissing him gently. "Now we are retrosexuals for all the right reasons."