My Black Sheep Ch. 01
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// Author’s Note: This story is a collaboration with Maria_McGeorge. This story contains dark themes. You have been warned.//
“Hey superstar,” Dad said, even before I’d turned off the engine. “I’ve set up a small gym for you down in the basement so you can keep up your training while you’re here.” Not even a hello. He’d simply strode over to the car and told me what he thought was the most important thing. I could already feel my shoulders tensing.
“What?” I said. I hadn’t realized quite how relaxing being away from him had been. “I… Did I… Isn’t Amelia’s studio down there?”
“Not anymore,” he said brightly. “I’ve put in a bunch of cardio stuff. No room for any of the big gymnastics apparatus, but there’s also some weights down there so we can certainly work on your conditioning!”
“Dad,” I said, throwing up my hands, “I’m only home for two freaking days! Why would you do that?”
His smile never faltered. “It’ll be great! We’ve got room now so that I’ll be able to do a lot of this stuff right beside you. I won’t be able to keep up, but I’ll sure give you a run for your money!”
“I literally can’t do any of that. Coach said I need to rest for the weekend. We’ve been going pretty hard for the last month.”
“What a pussy,” Dad said. “Not you, that damn coach. No wonder the squad only came in third this year. You should have gone to Penn State, like I said from the start. Then you could’ve stayed local.”
“What did you do with all of her supplies?”
“It’s mostly all up in her room and, one way or the other, the rest of it’ll be gone by the end of the day. We’ll have plenty of space.”
“Did Amelia move into my room?”
“Of course not,” he laughed. “We weren’t gonna have you come home from college and sleep in the little room like a child.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose and sighed. “I don’t need all that space. Honestly, I’d be fine sleeping on the couch. Can we at least move her into the big room?”
“Yeah,” he said, snorting, “maybe if she starts paying rent.”
“Dad,” I hissed, but he glared right back in a way that I was all too familiar with. His house, his rules. No buts.
“I thought I heard your car,” came Mom’s voice from the front porch. “It’s such a quiet car!” She scurried over and gave me a big hug, and that dampened the Dad stress by half.
I had no idea how she did that, but she did it instinctively.
“How was the drive?” she asked, giving me an extra, final squeeze.
“Pretty easy! 80 was backed up on the eastbound side with some construction, but westbound was a breeze.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful! Did you eat yet? I made beef stew this afternoon, and I could warm up a bowl for you!”
“No thanks,” I said, shaking my head. “I ate on the road.”
“Well, there’s plenty for leftovers for the weekend,” she added, as she turned me toward the house. Dad had the trunk of my car open, and was already grabbing my bags.
“I’ve actually been craving chicken soup,” I said hopefully.
“Oh,” Dad sighed, “you’re not off red meat like your sister, are you?”
“Not specifically,” I said, squirming, “no. I just thought it would be something we could all eat then. Plus our team nutritionist, Tina, has been—”
“See, this is how they get you,” Dad said. “This is why you’re going to be in debt for the rest of your life. Your tuition is paying for a team nutritionist like you don’t know how to feed yourself.”
It was always a little jarring to walk into the house. It hadn’t changed much in the last fifteen years, and the nostalgia was so strong that I felt like I was eight again just like that. It didn’t help that Dad was in rare form.
“I’ll be right back,” I said. “I’m gonna—”
“Before you get settled in,” Dad said, “lemme just show you the basement real quick. You’re gonna love it.”
“I still don’t think it’s cool that you just displaced her studio.”
“Studio?” he chortled. “That’s overstating it. It was a pile of junk.”
“It’s not junk, it’s her… paintings and stuff!”
“She hasn’t sold anything in a while,” Mom added meekly, with her head tilted slightly to watch behind us.
“You know, a friend of mine just got hired doing Flash animation and assets for a website, and she’s making thirty thousand right away without finishing her degree.”
“That’s about twenty-nine thousand more than Amelia is making right now,” Dad scoffed. “Now come on. I want to show you this.”
I shook my head and moved toward the basement, with Dad right behind me, if only to appease him and get him to stop hovering.
“You’re gonna love it,” he gushed, as we thumped down the steps into our musty basement. I’d always secretly loved the smell down there. Amelia and I used to build forts in the boxes we’d inherited from our packrat of a grandfather, but that was all gone now.
Dad wasn’t kidding. He had crammed the basement with neat rows of cardio and weights machines. All the basics were there. Most of it wasn’t particularly well suited to the muscle groups I needed to target, but it was still a home gym I would have been proud of under just kağıthane escort about any other circumstance.
“Where did you get all of this?” I said, looking at it all dumbfounded.
“You remember that hotel up by the highway that went under last year?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said, nodding slowly but not following.
“Well, all of this was in their gym. Mike got the contract to clear the place out and he let me buy all of this for you at a massive discount. He even helped me get it down here.” He looked around proudly, rubbing a piece of dust from one of them. “I’ve started working out every day. Notice the difference?”
“Of course,” I said, as blankly as I could. I really didn’t want to encourage him. The setup was insane. The only corner of the room that wasn’t in complete accordance with Dad’s very specific, austere aesthetic was behind the stairs, where the last of Amelia’s supplies and canvases were stacked. It hurt to see her pushed aside again.
“I’ve got time to spot you on a quick set,” he said eagerly.
“Dad, I really can’t. It’s a part of my regimen to take days off.”
“Okay,” he said, reluctantly. “Well, this stuff is all down here now, so you’ll have it during the summer for sure! You sure I can’t convince you to do just a quick set on the biceps curling machine? I’ve got it set for my strength, but it would be good to see how easy you find it. Give me something to aim for, you know?”
I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. Dad had to know he was stronger than me so this was about his ego, but he was also expecting me back for the summer. My father’s expectations and my coach’s expectations never overlapped very much, which made serving two masters a much harder line to walk than any beam.
“I’ll probably have to train with the team for the summer,” I said. In the space between breaths his eyes started to bulge, so I quickly continued, saying, “but go on. Lets see what you’ve got, old man.”
That got the reaction I wanted. He seemed to forget about the summer as soon as he heard my challenge. His smile stretched from ear to ear and he was on the machine in seconds.
“I’ll go first,” he said.
There was a creak on the bottom step behind me. Amelia could move like a ghost when she wanted to. She didn’t say anything, but she glared with an intensity that she used when she wasn’t happy.
“How do you always get down the stairs so quietly?” I asked her, but she didn’t answer. She just went into the corner, stuffed a couple brushes in her pockets, and picked up an armload of blank canvases.
“Look at this! Not so much of an old man, huh?” Dad said with a huge smile, as he lifted up the weights. He’d even pushed back his short sleeves to show off his biceps.
Amelia rolled her eyes at us before turning and walking back up the stairs.
“Hey,” I said, turning back to Dad. “I’m going to go head upstairs.”
Dad didn’t look up, focused as he was on his technique. “Sure Shel, you go. I’ll probably do a few sets down here now that you’ve got me started.”
I started to walk away.
“Oh, there was something else,” Dad called.
I turned to look at him but he didn’t look up from his curls.
“Have you given any more thought about getting a reduction?”
He asked that as if it was the most normal thing in the world, and all the hairs on my body stood on end. How could he talk so casually about butchering my body? My jaw dropped, my arms reflexively crossed in front of me, and my outrage was such that I could not make my tongue form words.
“Your mother and I have discussed it and we’re sure we can find the money. It would do no end of good for your career. I’ve been reading online and it will improve your scores by at least twenty-five percent. Better balance, and for sure better rotational control.”
“Dad,” I began, but he cut me off.
“I’m sure we’ll have to cover some of it, but I bet we can find a doctor who’ll find it ‘medically necessary’, or whatever the phrase is, and then our insurance will cover the rest.”
“Dad!” I snapped. “Having a breast reduction is not on my to-do list at the moment.” I turned and walked away angrily.
“Okay, well, give it some more thought,” he said. “It makes sense.”
I stared at him in horror over my shoulder, as I stood on the lowest step, but he hadn’t looked up once and was completely oblivious to my indignation. I stormed up the stairs and slammed the door. Slamming the door felt good, but Mom looked askance at me and I felt guilty.
“Give him a chance Shelby,” Mom said, as I passed through the kitchen. “He only wants what’s best for you.”
“I’m going up to see Amelia,” I said.
At the bottom of the stairs, I was furious at Dad for wanting to cut off my tits. Sure, maybe they were on the large side for a gymnast, but I could strap them down. Besides, I was proud of them, and who can put a price on liking their body? If I lost them, I would have to live with that forever and for what? A couple of years of Division I gymnastics? It didn’t seem worth it.
Gymnastics kartal escort had already taken over my life. I had wanted to be a normal teenager so bad, but Dad had wanted me to be an elite gymnast and pushed me hard. It was easier for Amelia. She didn’t have that pressure. It was hard to stop picturing of all of Amelia’s hard worked dumped into the corner of the basement, and I felt terrible for her.
By the time I’d reached the top of the stairs all my frustrations had gone, and in their place was concern for my little sister. She hadn’t looked good down in the cellar. She looked paler than when I’d left and there was something I hadn’t seen before in her eyes.
I knocked on her door. “Hey, can I come in?” I said, stepping in even as I asked.
“Sup,” said Amelia, flatly. She was sitting in the middle of her bed with a white box just in front of her. Her bed was just about the only clear space. The rest was a mountain of easels, paints, and art supplies. She was wearing black jeans and a heavy-looking black top with a hood bunched around her neck. She was certainly committed to her look. In contrast, I was in small denim shorts and a light white floaty top.
“How can you wear all of that in this heat?” I asked with a laugh in my voice.
“You wouldn’t understand,” Amelia replied, her eyes holding mine. There was no humor in her face. Her blonde hair was dyed black with blue tips, which were new, with wavy bangs and short, wavy hair like curtains against the sides of her pale cheeks. It framed in her face, and gave her expression a severe underlining.
“Hey, are you pissed at me about your studio?” I asked. I’d always been the direct one.
“Wouldn’t you be? Just imagine what that would be like for, like, one second,” Amelia said. Then she added, “If you can,” under her breath, almost too low for me to hear.
“I’m sorry, but you know what Dad can be like.” I shook my head and dug my thumb into my forehead. “I didn’t ask him to do any of that, I promise. He went and did it all on his own. The shitty part is that I won’t even be using it. I’m on a training break.”
“Are you fucking serious? I spent months getting that place set up just the way I like it only for it to get destroyed so my perfect sister can have a place to train, and you aren’t even going to use it?”
I could almost see the heat rising off of her head.
“How can you always be so ungrateful, all the time? Everyone does everything for you! It’s always all about you and you never notice. You’re just so… used to it.”
“I’m sorry! I know you are mad at me, but please don’t be. I’ve really been looking forward to seeing you. It’s been so long, and you didn’t reply to any of my emails.”
Her eyes narrowed coldly. “You want me to stop being mad at you so that you can stop feeling guilty, but sometimes the world just sucks.”
“No! No, don’t be like this. I want you to be happy for yourself.” I said, “This isn’t about me. I didn’t ask Dad to destroy your studio. Hell, I told him to put it back but he just rolled right over me like he always does. I was looking forward to seeing what you’ve been working on. I even picked up a catalog of some of the art courses they’ve got down at UPenn. How good would it be to get away from here?”
“Wow,” Amelia said. “Just… wow.”
“What?” I asked, beginning to feel frustrated.
“And how do you think I’ll pay for a fucking Ivy League school to study art?” Amelia said. “I’m not going to get a scholarship, and you know damn well that Dad isn’t going to pay anything.”
I leaned back against her door and sighed. “I know, I just… Well… maybe you’ll get a sale, and… and maybe I can help you out! There was a rep from Nike at practice a couple weeks ago! If I make the national team then I might be able to get a sponsorship, and maybe that would be enough?”
Amelia stared at me for a long moment. “That is a lot of maybes,” she said finally. There was another long silence as she stared down in thought. “But there is something you can help me with. A little art project.”
“Anything,” I said. “What do you need?”
She stared at me for a few seconds, with her fingers on the flaps, before opening up the box in front of her on the bed. “Put this on,” she said, lifting up some red, blue, and gold fabric and tossing it at me.
“What is this, a… a Wonder Woman costume?” I said, holding it up. There wasn’t very much to it.
“I think I found one that’ll fit you,” she said, almost hiding her disgust.
An old, familiar pit formed in my stomach at the mention of fit. “And you want me?”
“Am I going crazy,” Amelia said, blinking and looking around in confusion, “or did I not just ask you? Yes. I need a model so I can take some pictures for an art series.”
“No, I mean… Are you sure I’m not too… big?”
“God, your tits are perfect,” she said acidly, with a practiced tilt to her head, “okay?”
“No,” I groaned. “I mean, I’m not too… big? Like…” I moved my hands absently over my thighs, arms and shoulders, since I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud, küçükçekmece escort but Amelia just peered at me.
“Have you ever actually seen Wonder Woman?”
“I mean, I feel like yes?”
“You haven’t or you’d know you’re perfect for it, now shut up and put it on.”
I drifted out of her room, a little unsettled, and back to my room. The nostalgia feeling from earlier was still strong, but this was different. This was me looking out for her, just like I’d always tried to. This costume, whatever it was, was an opportunity.
I quickly stripped out of my top, kicked off my unlaced tennis shoes, and slid down the denim shorts. For a moment, I considered leaving the bra on, but the white straps would have stood out. I shrugged out of that too and stepped into the costume, and the large L on the tag caught my eye. The fact that it was a Large, and a tight fit at that, was almost enough to draw tears to my eyes, but I could swallow all the ‘too big’ and ‘too muscular’ jeering in the world for her.
“What do you think?” I asked, a few seconds later, as I stepped back into her room.
She narrowed her eyes and leaned to the side. “Turn around.”
I did, taking a deep breath as I did.
“You’re still wearing your panties,” she said flatly. “Take those off.”
“They’ll leave a line.”
“Can’t you, I don’t know, airbrush that or something? Am I saying that right?”
She gave me a withering stare. “It’s always better to get a good raw image, now hurry up and take them off. We don’t have a lot of time.”
I grabbed the door to go back to my room, and she sighed exaggeratedly.
“Just fucking take it off!” She looked down at her laptop and shook her head. “God,” she mumbled, “get over yourself.”
I bit my lip as I pushed the door shut, and stared nervously over my shoulder as I pushed the costume down. I didn’t really want to be naked in front of her. Little by little, though, as I went through the motions and Amelia paid no attention to me, I stopped feeling so uncomfortable about it, to the extent that I was facing her when I went to finally pull the costume back up.
“Oh,” she said, interrupting me, “uh… You aren’t shaved.”
Instinctively, my knees both buckled inward, and I curled in on myself.
“No, no! You can’t…” She threw her head back and growled. “Look, Shelby, I’m not trying to throw shade at your hygiene, but I need you smooth.”
“Has to be smooth,” she said.
“Will that show up in the photo too?”
She looked at me and blinked once. “Yes.” Then she leaned to the side and peeled back her heavy curtains, flooding the room in more sunlight than it had probably seen in the entire last year. “Fuck. I’m gonna lose the daylight before we get started.”
In the bright light, I felt even more exposed. “I didn’t bring anything home to shave with,” I said, my voice very small.
She stared at me for a long moment while her tongue ran along the inside of her cheek. “In the interest of time, do you mind if I just do it?”
“I… um,” I stammered. “I guess? Okay?”
She was up and out of the room in a snap while I couldn’t even figure out what to do with my hands. I moved them across my nipples, then tried to have them rest calmly at my sides before covering myself again, and by the time Amelia returned from the bathroom with a towel, a washcloth, cream, and her razor, I’d tried about twenty different ‘natural’ postures. My sister gave me an unimpressed harrumph and pointed to the edge of her bed.
“Foot up,” she said.
I made a squeaking sound as I moved and raised my leg, but as soon as Amelia knelt down on the floor in front of me she immediately reached between my legs, grabbed one butt cheek, and pulled it forward to spread me even more.
“Like I haven’t worked with nude models before,” she grumbled.
She took the washcloth, which was wet with warm water, and ran it quickly over the top and down both sides of my vagina. While I was still trying to find a good place to put my hands, eventually settling on my hips, she quickly and methodically applied a thick layer of shaving cream.
“Be careful,” I said, worried what she would think about my freakish labia. “I have, er…”
“I know,” Amelia said, as if it were nothing. “Now stand still.”
It took effort not to quiver, and to keep my knees locked, while she pressed and massaged sensitive skin, but I’d had much worse. One of my first coaches had been far less tactful about the size of my labia when she had decided to do something about the pubic hair peeking out of the side of a leotard back when puberty was just starting to hit me, and she’d been far less delicate than Amelia about shaving me too.
The more I thought about that comparison, the more I relaxed. Amelia was being very professional about it, and I could do professional. I made it my mission, right then and there, to match her as best I could. If she could shave me, her older sister, without batting an eye, then I could stand there like a woman and take it. After that first time, I’d never let my hair get long along the tops of my thighs out of sheer mortification, but there was some work to do above the labia. The razor passed smoothly over my skin, and she cleaned the blade meticulously after each stroke. By the time she was done I’d finally eased into the pose, with my chin held high.
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