My name is Andrew Johnson but everyone calls me AJ. Growing up I was a fairly normal guy. I lived in a nice house with a loving family and I didn’t really have a care in the world. But when I was a 18 year old senior in high school all that changed forever. Up until that fateful July evening life was good, then it suddenly became bad … very bad!

I was at the hospital visiting my cousin Becky when I heard the news. We were watching a sitcom on TV when the program was interrupted by a breaking news bulletin. A massive explosion had ripped apart a downtown building and they showed pictures that looked like a warzone. The reporter live at the scene could hardly be heard over the sound of sirens and fire crews. Becky and I watched shocked at what we saw. I grabbed the TV remote and upped the volume … I’ll never forget the next words we heard. Suddenly my legs gave way and I started falling to the floor. Then everything went blank.

I woke up lying on a hospital bed. Evidently I’d hit my head on the corner of a chair on the way to the floor and had blacked out. It took me a minute to realize where I was … then the horror of what I’d heard on the TV came back to me. I leant over the side of the bed and vomited.

The explosion had been at the Pier 51 Warehouse building … I had been there earlier that night. It was my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary and the family had celebrated the occasion at the restaurant on the ground floor. I’d left early to bring a piece of cake to Becky who was laid up in hospital after her appendix was taken out. Our whole family was still at the restaurant when the explosion happened. I lost my parents, two younger sisters, my two uncles and aunts and five cousins along with my grandparents. My uncle Jackson and Aunt Rose were Becky’s parents and two of the cousins were her sister and brother. Sixteen other people died including all the restaurant staff. The official report said it was a gas leak.

The first few days after it happened were a bit of a blur, I stayed at the hospital with Becky and they put us in a private two bedroom. We were initially sedated by the doctor to help us sleep and when we were awake we hugged one another and cried. Becky and I had always been close, growing up we always did things together, she was a bit of a tom-boy and wasn’t into girly things. Shorts, baggy t- shirts and a baseball cap was where her fashion sense stopped. I liked just hanging out with her, she was probably my best friend. We could talk about anything and everything and were always there for one another. Right now we needed each other more than ever.

No family came to visit us in hospital because there was no one left, our entire extended family were now dead. A few friends came to see us but they didn’t really know what to say. We were devastated and weren’t up to talking much anyway. My father’s accounting practice partner Michelle did come every day, she just sat with us and when we lost it she was there to give us a shoulder to cry on. Michelle was a close family friend and I knew she was hurting too but she tried to be strong for us. She had been out of town on the night of the explosion, if she had been home she would almost certainly have been at the restaurant that night.

Michelle was 34 and had been with Dad’s accounting practice for twelve years. He’d made her a full partner in the firm two years ago. Besides being articulate and intelligent she was a natural beauty with long blonde hair, blue eyes and a great figure. Her fashion sense was impeccable and she looked great in whatever she wore. Surprisingly she had never married and she never talked about her family. I think mom and dad knew something had happened in her dark past but it was a subject that the rest of us learnt to leave alone.

I can’t remember a time when Michele wasn’t around for birthdays, thanksgiving, and Christmas with my family. She and my parents would often go away to business conferences together, and at least twice a year Mom and Michelle would have a girl’s weekend at a spa.

While in hospital Michelle became our rock, I don’t know how we would have coped without her, and she did all the talking to doctors and police and made a statement to the media on our behalf.

We were discharged on the day of the funeral. Michelle had coordinated the service with the help of family friends. It was held at the town hall, the biggest venue in the city and it was standing room only as over two thousand people attended. There were no coffins by the stage as there were no bodies to bury, the fire had been so intense that nothing remained. Instead fifteen photos where set up on stands and they were surrounded by flowers. Lots of people got up to say nice things about the family and there was laughter and tears as stories were told. We stood by the door as everyone left an accepted their condolences then afterwards we sat together with Michele in the auditorium and cried looking at the pictures of the family.

It was quite late when we went to leave the hall. Suddenly it dawned on me that I didn’t know where we were going to go. Becky and I hadn’t even thought about what would happen now, especially where would we live. Thankfully Michelle had been thinking about it. She said that we would be staying with her for the time being, that was of course if Becky and I were OK with it. I nodded my head ‘yes’ and Becky got up and flung herself into Michelle’s arms and burst into tears.


The next few weeks were a bit of a blur, but we settled into a basic routine, as best we could. It was arranged for some schoolwork to be sent to the apartment and we spent most mornings trying to do some study. Mostly we just sat blankly looking at unopened textbooks. In the afternoon Michele made us go outside for some fresh air. Becky and I would go for a run. We both had slim figures and were good at sport … I was on the track team and Becky played field hockey at school. We found exercise a good way to release some of the tension we felt. Most nights Becky would cook dinner and I’d help as much as I could. We found if we kept as busy as possible during the day we were reasonably OK. The hardest times were at night when we had plenty of time to think and dwell on what had happened. I was sleeping on the couch as Michelle’s apartment only had one spare room. But every night about an hour after going to bed Becky would come into the lounge and get in beside me. She would quietly cry herself to sleep with her head on my chest and my arm around her. It was heart breaking to hear her sobbing but I was glad I could be there for her. Each morning I would wake her up before Michelle came out and she would slip down the hall and into her room.

After a few more weeks Michelle said we needed to talk. She explained to us that over the next few months we would have to make a lot of decisions on the future. She had talked to the family’s lawyer and he was ready to discuss what was in our parent’s last will and testaments. She said there was also some decisions that had to be made on the running of the businesses our parents owned. We talked about things for a while and agreed that we would meet the lawyer sometime in the next week.

Just as I thought we were done Michelle asked me how comfortable the couch was to sleep on.

“Ahh … yeah it’s fine.” I replied and took a quick sideways glance at Becky who started biting her bottom lip … something she only did when she got nervous.

“Can’t be that comfortable with two people.” Michelle raised her eyebrows and eye balled us.

Becky and I looked at each other guiltily.

I quickly explained that nothing was going on between us and it was just hard to get to sleep alone. Michelle said she understood, and she’d heard Becky crying. She told us that she’d stand in the hallway for a while at night to check that we were OK. To my surprise she then suggested that I sleep in the bedroom with Becky for the time being … but we were only to sleep and nothing more. If hormones started to kick in then we had to promise to talk to her about it. We were both a bit surprised by Michelle’s comment and reiterated that it was just a comfort thing at night and we hadn’t even thought about doing anything else. But none the less she made us promise to talk about it if anything changed.

That night as I hopped into bed with Becky the light was still on and I caught a glimpse of her panties as her t shirt had pulled up at the back. I turned off the bedside light and she snuggled up against me. We were spooning and I put my arms around her as she drifted off to sleep. I’d never really thought of Becky in a sexual way before, don’t get me wrong she’s beautiful, but I’ve only ever thought of her as a friend. Michelle’s earlier comment had caught me off guard and I found myself thinking about what she’d said. I loved Becky dearly and would do anything for her but did I want more?

As I lay there I thought about seeing her panties and I realised I had a semi erection that was pressing into Becky’s back. I had woken up on previous mornings on the couch with an erection and was quite embarrassed but when Becky saw the tent in my shorts she had laughed it off as ‘morning wood’ and seemed to accept it as a normal guy thing. But this time it was different, and when she gently moved in her sleep and pushed back into me I felt my cock grow into a full boner. In reality I hadn’t actually seen that much of her body before, she was very self-conscious, especially about her breast size and when we went swimming she would always wear a T Shirt over her bikini. She’d been a late developer in the breast department and it didn’t help that most of her friends were quite well endowed. Shit, I hadn’t really seen anything that night as she got into bed, but the little glimpse of her panties had set something off inside me. The last thing I wanted now was her suddenly waking up and feeling me hard up against her. The problem was the more I tried to calm down and make it shrink the harder I got. Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and I unwrapped my arms from around her and as gently as possible I slipped out of bed and headed quietly to the bathroom. It took me less than a minute to jerk off and my orgasm was intense. I waited for my breathing to come back to normal, then crept back to bed keeping a little distance between us I drifted off to sleep.

Over the next month I started going to the bathroom and masturbating before getting into bed. It helped with the erections at night but didn’t stop me thinking about Becky’s body pressing against me. I found myself noticing and enjoying new things about her, the smell of apple shampoo in her hair, her warm breathe on my arm, and the cute little snorts she made in her sleep. I also started looking at Becky differently during the day. When we went jogging I started to notice how her breasts gently bounced with each stride. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but they seemed to be getting bigger. When she stopped to stretch out I found myself sneaking glances at her perfect little butt as she bent over. She’d always been a touchy feely kind of person with me and in the past she would often grasp my hand when we talked. But it seemed that the physical contact between us was happening more often. She started holding my hand when we walked and gave me hugs for no real reason. I kept trying to tell myself it was just her way of coping with the loss of her family but it became more difficult for me not to think there was more to it.

The last thing I wanted was to jeopardize our friendship, I knew I needed to put a little bit more space between us before I did something I’d regret. I had a think and hatched a plan on how to do this without Becky realizing. I needed to talk to Michelle.

Because Becky and I were almost constantly together it wasn’t easy to get time alone with Michelle. So I planned to wait until Becky was asleep and go and talk to Michelle in her bedroom. I managed to slip out of bed at about 11pm, I quickly put on a T shirt and snuck along the hallway to Michelle’s room. The door was slightly open and the light was on. I knocked softly on the door and heard a sound from inside that sounded like ‘yes’. I open the door and walked in … and got the shock of my life. Michelle was lying on the bed naked with her legs up and she was holding a big red vibrator on her clit with one hand and was massaging her breasts with the other. Her eyes were shut and she was quietly moaning the words ‘yes, yes’. I froze staring at her for a couple of seconds then just as I was about to turn and leave she opened her eyes and looked straight at me. Her mouth opened wide with shock as she grabbed the blanket to pull over her.

I turned and almost sprinted through the door and down the hallway.

I went into the lounge and sat on the couch my heart was going a million miles an hour and I was gasping for breath. I just sat there in the dark staring at the wall, my mind racing with questions … What was I going to do now? How could I face Michelle again? Why the fuck didn’t I leave the room straight away? Suddenly I felt a presence behind me. I turned to see Michelle standing in the doorway, she was wearing a thick toweling robe. I didn’t really know what to say so I just turned around again. She came over and sat beside me. After an awkward silence that seemed to last an eternity, I finally I got up the courage to speak.

“I’m really sorry. I just wanted to talk. I knocked on the door and thought I heard you say ‘yes’.”

“I guess it was my fault for not shutting the door.” She replied. “But you gave me one hell of a fright standing there young man.”

“I wasn’t there long … honestly.”

“I suppose you’re now going to say you didn’t really see anything.” She looked at me sideways.

“No such luck I’m afraid. But if it’s any consolation I feel like shit.” I replied weakly.

“I’m not that bad to look at am I?” She grinned and nudged my shoulder.

“No … I didn’t … I didn’t mean that.” I stuttered. I glanced over and added “You’ve got the most beautiful body I’ve ever seen.”

“Under any other circumstances I’d take that as a compliment. But right now let’s not go there AJ.”

“Sorry I’ll just shut up now.”

“Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen OK and not mention it again.”

Yeah right, I thought. Fat chance I’ll forget.

She took my hand in hers. “What did you want to talk about?”

I took a deep breath and started talking. I don’t think I’ve ever been that open to anyone before, not even to Becky or my parents. I told her about my growing feelings for Becky and how I didn’t want to put pressure on her and mess up our friendship. I even mentioned my nightly session in the bathroom to help curb my desires. She smiled at that and told me to remember to shut the door. I ended up explaining my idea on how we could all get a little more space and privacy. She thought it was a good solution and said we should talk to Becky about it in the morning. I finally got to bed at about 1am.

The next day was Saturday and Becky and I moped around most of the morning while Michelle was organizing some paperwork with Ron Jacobs, our lawyer. They were old friends and he was happy to meet her informally on the weekend.

At noon we meet Michelle for lunch at the beach and ate Subway sitting in the shade of a big tree overlooking the water. After we’d finished Michelle drove us to her office and we sat in the conference room. It had now been over three months since the accident and we had to make some decisions. We had already read the wills and everything that belonged to my parents went to me and the same for Becky from her parents. We also inherited a half share in Granddad and Nan’s estate and the same from Uncle Doug and Aunt Wendy. Then there were our Dad’s businesses. All up when you added life insurances, savings and shares we were both now teenage millionaires.

Michelle told us we needed to decide what we wanted to do with the family houses. We didn’t have to decide right away but we had to start thinking about it. As we talked neither of us couldn’t imagine living in our houses again, not without the family around. We decided we’d go and pick up the things we wanted to keep and then the houses could be sold.

Granddad and Nan’s place was in a community for older folk and again we just wanted to get a few things and then it could be sold too. Michelle mentioned that the manager had called and said they had a waiting list of people wanting to move into the community. They were confident they could get a buyer real soon. So a trip was planned to their apartment to collect a few mementos’. We’d then ask the manager if he would pack up the rest of their personal stuff and we’d collect it later.

The last place was Uncle Doug’s and Aunt Wendy’s. It was a three bedroom penthouse apartment in a modern development on the beachfront. This was my solution to our current rather cramped living arrangement. I made my sales pitch to Becky saying it was neutral ground for us and still close to work for Michelle. Also the apartment had an office we could use for study and three good size bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Plus there was a private roof terrace with a hot tub and a communal gym and pool on the ground floor.

Becky looked a little disappointed when I mentioned three bedrooms but she could see the logic in moving there, especially when Michelle said it would be a good idea as the lease on her apartment was up in two months anyway. So it was decided we were moving.

The rest of the afternoon was spent looking over various documents and talking about the trusts that would be set up to manage our money and assets until we were twenty years old. In the meantime we would get monthly allowances.

The next week we spent time sorting out what we wanted to keep from our own houses. Emotionally it was really hard for Becky and me to go through the houses. I didn’t take much from my room, as it was mostly junk I’d collected over the years. Becky felt the same so we both ended up just taking photos and little things that were special to our families.

Michelle took time off work to help. She was packing things up in my parent’s room one morning, when I found her sitting on the floor crying. She was holding a picture of Mom and Dad and the tears were running down her face. I sat down next to her and she wrapped her arms around me and cried on my shoulder. I knew she was close to Mom and Dad but this was the first time I’d seen her really let out her emotions since the accident. Sure, she’d cried with us at the hospital and the funeral but this was different her whole body was shaking as she wept. My shirt became soaked with tears. When she finally raised her head I could see she was emotionally drained. I helped her up, took her hand in mine and led her outside to the car. Quickly I went back inside locked up the house and drove us home. Michelle was clutching the photo of my parents all the way.

When we got home I helped her into bed and pulled up the covers. I think she was asleep before I even left the room.

Speaking of sleeping, I was back on the couch at night. I hadn’t really given Becky a reason why and thank goodness she didn’t ask. We’d been working long hours packing up the houses and we hadn’t spent a lot of private time together. It didn’t change how I felt about her but the space made it easier to cope with.

Finally the day arrived for us to shift into the new apartment. Michelle’s place had come furnished so there was no big stuff to move. We’d decided to sell the furniture in the other houses as the new apartment was already decked out with everything we needed.