Authors note: Please read the Authors note at the beginning of Chapter One if you haven't already.
Ellie had taken to sleeping later and later each day so it was no surprise that it was Cassie who approached Eric first about working on their "miracle". Eric was down in the den playing a video game early the next morning after Thanksgiving when Cassie slid in beside him sipping a hot cup of tea.
The day had turned out clear and sunny, but a good couple of feet of snow must have fallen the night before. They had all agreed to keep the thermostat down to help their parents, but the den always felt like the chilliest room in the house because it was on the ground floor on the North side of the house.
"It's freezing in here," Cassie sipped from her steaming mug. "How do you stand it?"
"It's not that bad," Eric shrugged without looking away from the game. "It got cold last night. Snowed pretty good too."
"So what did you think of Ellie's list?" Cassie nudged him in the arm to get his attention.
"Well getting her some weed is a pretty easy fix," Eric started tapping a button repeatedly as the tempo of the game shifted.
"I'm sure it is with your friends, but I wanted to do something more memorable for her if we could."
"Hey, I'd like to go on Spring Break too, but even if we had the money, there aren't any resorts open and no flights to get there," he shrugged.
"I was thinking the skiing thing might be the best bet, what do you think?"
"I think the hill out back is the closest thing to a slope in the area but I'm not sure trudging up the hill in deep snow a million times for a 30 second ride is what Ellie had in mind."
"Well you're the engineer. Isn't there some way to rig up a ski lift?"
Eric paused the game to look over at her in sarcastic disbelief. He tried not to look down as he could see a little bit of skin between each button on her flannel pajama top in his peripheral vision and Cassie was looking him in the eye. "Seriously, you'd need a construction crew, heavy equipment and tons of material to build a ski lift. It would probably be ready sometime in August."
"No not a ski lift. What do you call the things on the bunny slopes? With the rope?"
"You mean a rope pull?" He sounded less skeptical.
"Yeah, that's it." She nodded. "It wouldn't have to be much. Just enough to pull the three of us up the hill for a couple of hours one afternoon."
"That's not even a crazy idea," Eric mused. "Let's get dressed and go out to the storage sheds."
Their father was an accountant and worked for a company that provided consulting and tax advice to other companies, but he had always done work on the side, particularly during tax season. He was local and most of the farmers and ranchers knew him so he ended up doing most of their taxes every year and helped keeps the books for a couple of the larger operations in the area. Early on in his side work, he had ended up settling with some of his clients by taking excess equipment or supplies in lieu of payment to help them through hard times. If they weren't able to pay him back within a few months he usually ended up selling off the goods wherever he could turn a profit over what he was owed. Their father valued the goods more than they could be quick-sold for at auction, but he had the luxury of time to find a buyer that the farmer or small business usually didn't. After a while, he had started to get calls from other small businesses who needed to generate cash quickly and he had earned a reputation as someone who dealt fairly.
Their mother had objected when their father started erecting a metal outbuilding on their property, but when he sat her down to show her how much he had made from setting up a second business to handle liquidating the distressed goods and equipment, she reluctantly agreed. Even though theirs was one of the smaller properties in the area, they still had well over 60 acres that they didn't use for farming or livestock. Their property was too hilly for farming but their parents had liked the tree covered slopes and had no interest in developing it as farmland. So when the first building grew to two and then three buildings, the only thing their mother had asked was if the operation could be moved back onto the property and out of sight of the front of the house and the road.
Their father had continued to make money every year, but had also acquired a substantial mix of items that he said 'were just waiting for the right buyer at the right time' but his mother referred to as 'dad's indoor junkyard".
By ten o'clock they had walked each of the storage buildings and Eric had a plan taking shape. He'd located a small tractor, not much larger than a riding lawnmower and a large collection of cables that were about 12 feet long, but had a fitting on each end that allowed them to be quickly joined to create any length the user needed. Eric wasn't sure what they were for, but they were plenty heavy for the use that he had in mind. The hardest part was finding a pulley that could be anchored to a heavy object at the top of the slope.
Cassie was getting cold and tired after helping him dig through the storage buildings for two hours, but Eric didn't really object when she asked if she could take a break to go inside. He was caught up in solving the problem and barely noticed when she left. He added fuel to the tractor, cleaned the plugs and checked the fuel lines and filters. Thankfully it had been prepped for storage at some point and after charging the small battery was able to get it started a few hours later, even in the cold weather.
Eric went by the house to grab a couple of sandwiches, but was the right back out in the storage building as soon as he had fixed them, eating as he walked.
"What's up with Eric?" Ellie asked from the living room. She had slept until almost noon and was washing down a couple of ibuprofen with a cup of coffee. She had the most to drink of any of them the night before and was now regretting the mixture of wine and cognac that had given her such a fun buzz but now made her feel like she'd been poisoned.
"Can't tell you," Cassie smiled mischievously. "It's a secret."
"Really?" Ellie perked up. "Is it one of my wishes?"
"I'm not saying." She shrugged but continued to smile. "Which brings me to what we're going to do for his wish."
"That's easy," Ellie laughed. "Order him an inflatable doll!"
"What?" Cassie frowned. "Be serious. We have to try and make at least one of his wishes come true." She laid the list out on the counter.
"Exactly," Ellie explained. "Look at the list: party, date, topless bar." She raised her eyebrows looking for comprehension on Cassie's part. "Um, it's pretty much girls, girls, girls. Our brother is 18 years old and he's horny." She took a drink of coffee and watched her older sister processing what she had just told her. "I'm not sure what it was like at your campus, but we've been in lockdown since we got to campus. So unless you have a girlfriend that's willing to break the stay at home order to come over and do him, the inflatable love doll is as close as we're gonna get to making that boy's Christmas wish come true." She shrugged and drank some more coffee.
"You don't think maybe he's just feeling like he missed out on what he expected from going off to college? That he's lonely stuck up here with us?"
"Cassie, girls get lonely, boys get horny." She rolled her eyes. "He wanted to go away to college to go to parties, to meet girls who don't know his parents and haven't been in his class every year since he was six, so he can ask them out on a date and try to get them to have sex with him. Period. That's what he's missing. I just think he was so drunk that he told us truth when you asked him to write out what he really, really wanted this year for Christmas."
"Poor kid," Cassie looked at the list in a whole new way.
"Uhhh, poor kid?" Ellie lifted up her hands expectantly. "He's not the only one stuck up here not having a sex life."
"Well, maybe not all of us have a sex life to miss, Ellie." Cassie shrugged. "Maybe he's just feeling kind of socially awkward and he's worried that doesn't know how to interact with girls."
"You really think he wants to go to a titty bar to learn to talk to girls, Cassie?"
"Well, maybe not that part," Cassie conceded. "But he had been drinking and your boobs were practically falling out onto your plate all night."
"Oh yeah," Ellie laughed. "That may have been a contributing factor." She didn't seem too bothered by the idea. "So what do you want to do for him, then?"
"Well, I think the party is obviously the best of the three," Cassie suggested.
"But we've got like half a bottle of cognac to last until the end of the world. How are we going to find more alcohol?"
"Well, we did learn a few things in four years of chemistry, El. I can figure out the alcohol part, but I'm going to need your help with the rest of the party."
"Like whatever it is people do at these parties," Cassie explained. "You're the only one who knows what we're supposed to do so you have to be in charge of all that. Like the entertainment committee."
"Really?" Ellie looked for confirmation in Cassie's eyes. "I'm in charge of party activities and you're gonna do what I say for once?"
Cassie rolled her eyes. "If that's what it takes to make Eric's wish come true, then I guess I am. Now let's figure out everything we're gonna need."
By the end of the day. Eric felt like he had all of the pieces he needed and a plan for how to engineer the rope pull. He had also found a spool of fishing line to help him plan his line and measure the distance he'd need to cover with the cable lengths.
As the afternoon faded toward dusk another layer of heavy weather blew in and he could tell more snow was on its way. Cold and physically exhausted, Eric walked down the hill, past the storage buildings and on toward the house. After a long, hot shower he dressed in some sweats and came downstairs to find that Cassie had fixed him a plate of leftovers. He took the plate into the den and settled into the couch to watch some TV as the girls were watching a movie in the living room.
He hadn't realized that he had fallen asleep on the couch, but he must have as he woke up to Ellie shaking his shoulder gently. The room was dark except for the TV flickering and his empty plate was still on the coffee table where he must have left it. He had lain down on his side facing the TV at some point and must have drifted off.
"Wake up sleepy head," Ellie whispered in a sing song voice, leaning over to bring her face close to his ear.
"What time is it?" Eric squinted over at her and quickly realized that he could see down her top where her full tits were hanging beautifully and naturally in the shadows formed by her body in the dim light. Even half awake, he felt a stirring of his cock in his loose sweats and cursed his failure to have turned on the lamp beside him before he had drifted off. If it had been on he might have gotten a clear view and maybe even seen her nipples.
"It's a little after ten," she whispered. "I didn't think you should sleep on the couch all night." She lifted back up and sat on the edge of the sofa cushions as he rubbed his eyes and yawned.
"I must have been pretty tired," Eric admitted. "I'll get up in a second." He laid his head back down and closed his eyes for a moment.
"Okay," Ellie rubbed his shoulder like he was a little kid. "If you're too tired tonight, do you think we can talk about our present for Cassie tomorrow sometime."
"Sure, just let me know what time," Eric mumbled.
"Well, if I'm not up by the time you have lunch will you come wake me up?" Ellie asked.
"Sure, sure...," Eric mumbled.
"You're the best," Ellie leaned back over to hug the side of his body. "Talk to you tomorrow." She stood up and left.
Eric had been in danger of drifting off to sleep just a few moments earlier, but as Ellie left the room, both his mind and his dick had come fully awake as he processed the memory of how her big, firm tits had been pressed into his arm and shoulder and the feeling of her warm, curvy body as it had been laid out over his own during the long moments of the hug she had given him. Sitting up, he let out a breath to release the tension of the moment and rose to climb the stairs up to his room and hope that he didn't run into either of the girls before he got to his room as the tent in the front of his sweats would be impossible to hide.
By the time Eric took a break for lunch the next day he felt like he'd climbed the slope of the hill above their house at least a hundred times. The lengths of cable weren't that heavy by themselves, but trying to lessen the number of trips up the slope he had started taking three or four at a time and trudging through the snow uphill with the extra weight had begun to take its toll after the first hour. Cassie had come out to help him, but she could only manage to carry one length at a time and she stopped often to take a break.
"Sorry, I've been spending most of my time in a lab over the last few months, Eric." She explained between heavy breaths. "I go for a short run a couple times a week, but doing this kind of thing in the cold is just kicking my butt."
Still, each trip she made was one less length he had to carry up the hill and he was grateful for any help she gave. Plus they had managed to tamp down a narrow path with their repeated trips and it was getting easier to walk without having to trudge through a foot or so of snow with each step. Even so, around 11:30 Cassie asked if he was hungry for lunch and offered to make some sandwiches for the both of them. She said she'd have them ready if he was ready to head down to the house in the next twenty minutes. She was clearly exhausted and much preferred the task of fixing lunch than carrying cable up the snowy slope.
By the time Eric had gotten the last cable laid out on the hill and walked down to the house, Cassie had finished eating and Ellie, drinking coffee at the kitchen table, told Eric that she'd gone upstairs for a shower and a nap.
"What exactly are you guys doing out there?" Ellie asked as she watched Eric tear into the turkey sandwich and chips that Cassie had left on a plate for him.
"Just making miracles happen," Eric winked at her before taking another huge bite.
"Well, speaking of miracles," Ellie segued neatly. "Have you thought about what we might do for Cassie's gift?"
"Well, the movie would be pretty easy. We could use dad's computer projector and put up a screen outside. I don't know about the putting someone else in charge thing. It seems like she's getting pretty comfortable letting other people take the lead lately," he grimaced. "I'd love to go somewhere tropical too, but nobody is going anywhere this Christmas if you look at the news lately."
"Yeah, I thought the movie thing might be easier, but you two make it sound like you're building the space shuttle out there. It feels like a movie would be kind of..."
"A letdown?" Eric offered.
"Yeah, like she deserves better or something." Ellie shrugged.
"Well, but if we're doing something 'better', I'm gonna need some help." Eric looked at her pointedly. "I've already got my hands full and I'll help, but I can do this stuff all by myself."
"Oh no, I'll totally help." Ellie said hurriedly. "Just tell me what you want me to do." She put her hand on his forearm and smiled broadly at him. Eric had the uncomfortable feeling she was manipulating him, but he had to fight back the tingle that shot through him as some very wrong images flashed through his mind based on her offer and the twinkle in her eye as she squeezed his arm.
"Okay," Eric sighed. "Put on something warm. We can go out to the sheds after lunch and see what we can figure out." The truth was Eric didn't much feel like climbing the hill again that afternoon once he'd gotten a chance to sit down for lunch and Cassie had obviously bailed on him. He also felt himself warm up watching Ellie scurry up the stairs in her flannel PJ bottoms, her cute butt moving seductively under the soft fabric. He sighed to himself again as he turned his attention back to the rest of his sandwich. He really was losing it.
The solution to the creating somewhere 'tropical' ended up being much easier than creating a ski lift. Eric had spotted a couple of huge rolls of clear plastic wrap that looked like they were used to wrap pallets of goods for shipping. He knew he had seen a large supply of irrigation PVC in one of the other sheds and went looking through some boxes around them to confirm the different types of fittings that he could use to connect them together. It was Ellie who had spotted the heat lamps and fixtures that were intended for an incubator or some kind of livestock nursery. When Eric also found a large blue roll of new plastic sheeting designed as a holding pond liner and a pallet of bags of sand, he knew he had a good solution.
"How are your painting skills?" He turned to Ellie.
"Like houses...or flowers?" Ellie asked. "I haven't painted anything since grade school."
Eric explained his plan. First they'd build a large frame out of PVC and then wrap it in the plastic sheeting to insulate it. "Basically like making a big greenhouse." Then he'd figure out a way to add the incubator heat lamps to help increase the temperature with the warm orange yellow light they emitted. He would have to find a way to allow the fixtures to vent the heat from the back side of the fixture so it wouldn't melt the plastic sheeting, but he had some ideas and plenty of materials. Lastly they'd dig a shallow hole to create a pond with the blue liner and dump bags of the sand around the edges to make the 'beach'.
"So what's the paint for?" Ellie asked.
"Decorating the walls to look like a tropical paradise," he smiled. "We just need light blue, green and sand colored craft paint."
"Wait!" Ellie's eyes lit up. "The float we made for cheerleading my senior year for the homecoming parade." She trotted off to the garage and Eric followed. Sure enough, there were a bunch of large craft paint containers stored on a storage shelf against one wall, along with brushes and rollers, all leftover from the paper mache float they'd created on a flatbed trailer a few years back. Eric helped her move the containers into a closet in the hallway to warm them up as he was afraid the paint might have frozen in the cold garage.
"So if you'll help me build and wrap the frame, I can take care of the heat and pond parts if you can paint the inside to look tropical." Eric ticked the elements off on his finger tips. "Is it a deal?"
"Is it okay if I use some other stuff besides paint?" Ellie asked.
"What did you have in mind?"
Ellie led him to the back of one of the sheds where a bunch of old office furniture was stacked up, filling up the back space for at least 10-12 feet. "Look what I found in the back," she crawled up onto one of the desks. Eric jumped up to join her and smiled to see the collection of fake plants grouped together behind the stacks of desks, chairs and filing cabinets. "Will you help me get them out?" she asked.
They agreed to start work the following afternoon and called it a day. Eric was tired from all of the work he'd put in over the last couple of days, but excited in a way that he hadn't been since the school year started. He was solving problems, getting creative and working out in the fresh air instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Better yet, when he was focused on the two projects, Eric wasn't thinking about looking down one of his sister's tops or whether they were wearing underwear at that moment. He had been jacking off more than usual over the last couple of days hoping it would diminish his sex drive and help him control the images that kept popping into his head, but he found that as much as he tried to focus on something else, he kept conjuring up fantasies about his sisters each time, at the exact moment he came.