I guess it started with the bedtime stories-Frightful ones, filled with monsters and evil captors. To my young mind, they seemed almost real.
I'd stay in his bed, too scared to be in my own, alone. He'd whisper to me that he would always protect me, they wouldn't hurt me. He would hold me close, kiss my forehead, and I never felt more safe then I did then.
As I got older, the fear faded, but I craved the comfort he provided. I stayed in his arms, even when he didn't tell stories. He was warm, he smelled like cigarettes and cologne.
Our parents-who at first paid no mind when I was younger, began to disapprove of it and when I turned 12, they said I was no longer a child and it wasn't normal to sleep in his bed with him.
But every night, I snuck into his bed, every morning sneaking back to my own.
I had no idea what kind of path we would travel down. What was going to happen.
But I didn't care.
I loved my step brother.