Chapter 3: Devant
Kelsey’s studying was arduous and entirely too long, but went without incident. Time to time she was caught on a particularly complicated question, or forced to reread the same paragraph to understand what it meant, but there were no external interruptions and she managed to stay on task until her schoolwork for the night was all done and filed away.
Her mind more than once wandered to the stress ball, but never in a way so distracting that she was even vaguely tempted to open up the box. The orb remained sealed away, and the room was subtly brighter for it.
The biggest impediment was what happened every time she looked at her list of things to do. Somehow it seemed to grow, constantly expanding to always mean there were one or two more things than she expected that needed doing soon. In spite of the inability to properly keep track of her tasks, Kelsey was still able to complete it all before she even expected Vivian to return home.
With her schoolwork out of the way, Kelsey made her way into the kitchen and started boiling a pot of water. Preparing dinner for her sister’s inevitable return felt like a nice thing to do, and a good excuse for the two of them to spend a little time together.
Kelsey was just pouring the noodles into the strainer when she heard the door open, followed by the sound of her sister’s voice. “I’m home! Mm! Something smells good!”
“I made pasta!”
“That sounds great! I’m exhausted, so I’m just going to collapse on the couch! You can bring me some when it’s ready!” Vivian’s laugh was audible as the older sister made her way to their couch, and collapsed with a relieved sigh. “I really appreciate it, by the way! Thanks for being so thoughtful!”
Smiling ear to ear, Kelsey returned the pasta to the pot, mixing it with ra ed sauce as she called out back to her sister. “It’s no problem! I know you’re going to be busy for a while, and I didn’t want us to not have a good chance to talk before I only see you when I’m still half awake! You’re way more of a morning person than I am, sis. No matter how hard I try, I always wake up groggy for at least a couple hours. I know that doesn’t make me very fun to talk to before we’re both already off doing whatever…!”
It wasn’t long before Kelsey filled a pair of bowls, covered them with a healthy spritzing of parmesan cheese, and carried them out to the couch. Vivian reached out to grab one from her sister’s hands, raising it up to her face to take a deep whiff. “Mmm. Smells delicious!” Grabbing up the fork, she began twisting it around to gather up a bite. “You really aren’t so bad in the morning, you know. You don’t remember half of what we talk about sometimes, but you’re still good company.”
Vivian shoved the fork into her mouth, eyes widening as she made happy sounds at the taste. Kelsey sat beside her, wearing a proud grin. Neither sister liked spending much time in the kitchen when they were already so busy, but she’d made enough to mean leftovers for half the week at least.
It’s always so satisfying when Viv likes my food. Makes it feel a lot better than if I were just cooking for me. Kelsey shoved a forkful of pasta into her mouth, too. Doesn’t hurt that I make such good pasta…!
Once her mouth was finally empty again, Kelsey spoke. “I’m glad you like it…! And like, that might not be bad for you, but it’s sort of annoying for me. I don’t really enjoy forgetting a good conversation, or having you tease me about it later…!” The younger sister sighed, shaking her head as she began to twist her fork in her bowl once again. “But… I hope your day wasn’t too bad. Mine went pretty well. Got all of my homework done, before you ask!”
“Good on you…!” Vivian beamed at her younger sister as she finished another bite. “Very proud of you. You were never irresponsible, but you’re really doing a good job with college.” The older sister frowned, scrunching up her face. “My feet are really killing me from walking around all day. Could I be really pitiful and ask you to get me a glass of water?”
“Sure! You just wait here… I’ll be right back!” Kelsey set her bowl down on the coffee table that sat in front of their couch as she moved into the kitchen. “Thank you, by the way! I really appreciate you being so supportive. I know you’re like, my sister and all… but I still appreciate it.”
Vivian leaned forward, setting her bowl down on the table beside Kelsey’s. “It’s how sisters are supposed to be…! Hmm…” Vivian blinked, her eyes drawn to a black, shiny, lacquered box. It wasn’t something she could recall seeing before, and her exhaustion from a long day made the tug of her curiosity that much stronger. She lifted it up into her hands, and set the box down on her lap before pulling it open.
Inside was the same green Kelsey had seen before. Everything about it made Vivian curious, but when she went to reach for it the orb tumbled out of the box, and landed on the carpet just beside the heel of her shoe. It wasn’t an especially high heel, or especially sharp. She’d worn them to look more professional and serious.
As the green pressed against her heel, the lighting in the room almost seemed to dim. Kelsey blinked, pushing the orb with her heel to make it easier to bend over and lift from the carpet. Its surface felt so firm, so unyielding. It was cool and soft, feeling somehow familiar.
I wonder what this could be… Vivian stared at the orb, forgetting her sister pouring a glass of water in the next room and the pasta that sat on the coffee table. Instead, the strange, mysterious presence in her hand drew her focus more intently. It feels… unusual. Different. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this around the apartment before. It must be Kelsey’s. Something about it… feels like it belongs to Kelsey. I wonder why. I guess she always liked the color green…
Delicately, careful to not harm the green orb if it were especially fragile, Vivian turned it in her hand. Its surface seemed wholly smooth and identical, feeling not unlike a large marble that wasn’t especially heavy.
Touching it felt fascinating, fascinating enough that Vivian didn’t even notice she’d leaned back into the couch. She didn’t notice that she’d spread her legs apart enough for her skirt to faintly rise higher up her thighs. Her eyes stared down at the green orb. While nothing about it felt like it should have held such fascination, some quiet impulse insisted she just needed to look a little longer. She simply needed to find what was already there.
Once she did, then it would make sense.
Then she would know why she couldn’t bear to stop staring at its smooth, viridescent shape. She didn’t feel trapped at all. If she wanted, she was sure she could put it back into its case. She’d been able to drop it easily enough before. Now, she wanted to watch it, to learn its mysteries.
Vivian wanted to understand it, and her curiosity pulsed somewhere deep between her legs. Someplace dark, and damp, and determined. It throbbed and ached, desperate enough to draw in a sharp, hissing whimper.
So lost in her own little world, Vivian completely missed Kelsey sitting down beside her even as she set the two glasses down on the coffee table. “And here you go, some nice, cold water! Hard to really enjoy a meal without a drink, huh?” Kelsey’s voice was what finally tore Vivian back into reality. The sudden sound was enough to startle her, making her drop the green orb down onto the couch where it fell against her thigh, and then rolled down along her leg until it rested gently against her panties.
“Nnn…!” Vivian shook her head, trying to clear away the feeling of a light mist that permeated between all of her thoughts. “Sorry! Thank you, I really just need to be off my feet tonight… and when did you get this…?”
Shyly reaching between her legs, Vivian retrieved the fallen sphere and held it up towards her sister. Like a reverse lightbulb, as the orb was lifted into the light the room again seemed to dim. Rather than either woman realizing anything was wrong, both of them hooded their eyes for just a moment, subtle shivers rolling across their bodies. The orb was still warm with the heat of Vivian’s body, still throbbing with the curiosity that tingled deep inside of Vivian as Kelsey reached out to grasp it in her hand.
Once the orb was squeezed in Kelsey’s hand, both women’s eyes opened wider. Their expressions shifted into calm, casual smiles. The room brightened.
“Huh, I didn’t remember bringing this out of my room…! A package showed up in front of the apartment!” Kelsey quietly giggled, squeezing the orb tighter. The room seemed almost brighter, but something in Kelsey’s eyes seemed to absorb more of the room’s light, seeming darker than they were the moment before. Her toes curled against the carpet as she savored the warmth in the orb without knowing where it was from. “It was addressed to me. So you didn’t buy it for me? It’s a pretty great stress ball!”
Vivian laughed, shaking her head before filling her mouth with a small sip of water. “Mm. Nope…! I thought it was some kind of… well, I didn’t know! It felt more solid than a stress ball, to me. More like a rock…”
“Huh…! I can squeeze it just fine, see…?” Kelsey opened her hand, revealing the orb struggling to regain its squished shape before she again crushed it in her tight grasp. Vivian’s inner thighs twitched, her toes curling inside of her heels as Kelsey’s hand squeezed. Kelsey’s eyes dimmed anew, her smile growing. “Maybe there’s some trick to it… but I wouldn’t want it to get messy with pasta sauce. That’s way too easy. Do you have the box…?”
“Yeah, it’s right here…! I wonder why it was sent to you. Maybe some prize for some contest? It seems fairly harmless…” Vivian held out the lacquered black box, and soon the orb was hidden away inside and replaced on the coffee table. “I’ll remember you like mysterious green stress balls in the future!”
Kelsey laughed, slowly shaking her head. “I think I have my needs for one of those fulfilled for the moment… but I’ll let you know how that changes in the future!”
The two sisters resumed their meal, chatting about their days and their plans—largely consisting of work and school. Neither could feel the green orb pulsing with Vivian’s warmth, or the strength of Kelsey’s grasp. Soon the orb was forgotten, as was the mystery of its arrival.
Neither noticed the way they felt faintly warmer, or had scooted faintly closer to each other on the couch.
Locked away in its lacquered box, the orb waited.