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Just the Little Sister

Stella Alexander has been in love with her brother Hendrix’s best friend since she was six years old. Unfortunately, a strict older brother and Stella’s shy nature have made it near impossible for her to get closer to Jeremy. When Stella finds out that Jeremy may actually return her feelings, she’s totally shocked. Now there’s only one small problem: Hendrix can never find out!

Age Rating: 18+

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.


Just the Little Sister by Natalie Ashee is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.



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Stella Alexander has been in love with her brother Hendrix’s best friend since she was six years old. Unfortunately, a strict older brother and Stella’s shy nature have made it near impossible for her to get closer to Jeremy. When Stella finds out that Jeremy may actually return her feelings, she’s totally shocked. Now there’s only one small problem: Hendrix can never find out!

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Natalie Ashee

Note: This story is the author's original version and does not have sound.




I return from my roundtrip to La La Land when I hear my Father’s disapproving tone.

We’re currently sitting in Cassell Coliseum waiting for my older brother Hendrix, to receive his diploma and my dad has his camera phone out, and in position.

Hendrix and the other public policy majors are standing in line waiting to be called, but I only have eyes for one of them…and it is not my brother.

“Stella, he’s almost up! Pay attention,” Dad scolds me.

I sigh, taking my attention off of the tall, handsome man, standing just two people away from my brother, and sink into my seat next to him. We wait for my brother’s name to be called.

Our last name is Alexander, so he’s up first. When the announcer finally calls out the names of the graduates, Dad and I holler and cheer for Hendrix.

I’m so proud of him. This is his second bachelor’s degree that he’s received today, and earlier this year, we found out that he’d been accepted to law school at Harvard.

Hendrix is definitely the smart one in our family and I can’t help but think that he’d have made mom proud.

I feel a pang in my heart, like I always do when I think about her, and I clutch my necklace.

I refocus my attention to Hendrix, who is all smiles and dimples as he makes his way across the stage.

We look so much alike that when we were younger, many people mistook us for twins rather than just siblings. We both have long legs and are tall.

Hendrix is well over six feet and I’m five seven and a quarter.

We also both share our copper red curls and dimples, our tan, caramel complexion, as well as the freckles that cover our faces, arms, and bodies— genes we’d inherited from both our mother and father.

These traits have never done me any favors, but there is never a shortage of girls around Hendrix. They swarm around my brother like a hive of bees and just fawn over his dimples and red hair.

Mom used to call him her little heartbreaker.

Our mother passed away six years ago from breast cancer, and with the holidays looming, today we were all glad that we had something to celebrate. A welcome distraction.

I shift my thoughts away from my mother before the emotion swelling in my chest can overwhelm me.

I return my attention to the object of my affection, the love of my life— going on just a little over twelve years now—Jeremy Laghari. I stare at him dreamily.

He’s on stage accepting his diploma and his broad, panty-dropping smile nearly sends me into cardiac arrest. My gaze follows him off of the stage and back to his seat. I sigh.

Life is so unfair

Jeremy and Hendrix have been best friends since they were ten years old and by default, I’ve known Jeremy my entire life.

I can’t help but laugh at the irony of that situation; Someone I’d grown up with, seen nearly every single day, who spent countless hours in my home, barely knew that I existed.

The very first time that I laid eyes on Jeremy, I was smitten. I was six years old and I’d been walking home from school with Hendrix. We’d just moved to Blacksburg and it was our first day.

a wrong turn, we’d gotten lost and although Hendrix promised me that he’d get us home, I couldn’t stop crying. Then, we’d seen a boy and girl tossing a baseball on their front yard.

They’d noticed us and Jeremy had run over to invite us to play. I’d wiped my tears and ceased my crying immediately.

He was the most handsome boy I’d ever seen, and his kind smile gave me butterflies, even then.

He and his sister had been so nice and had even offered to help walk us home since they were familiar with the streets.

Ever since that day, he and Hendrix had been inseparable…and I’d been hopelessly in love.

When the ceremony finally ends, I feel claustrophobic in the auditorium and I need space.

I ignore my father’s protests for me to wait and I weave through the crowd of people, all trying to make their way through the exits. When I finally stumble into the main lobby, I exhale in relief.

It’s stuffy in the building and the amount of people here, seem to raise the temperature by a few degrees. I shrug my cardigan from my arms and toss my hair over to one side.

I straightened it today, and I suddenly wish I’d just left it natural, so I could’ve put it up into a bun.

“Hey! Why didn’t you wait for me?” My dad closes the distance between us, and I giggle at his flustered expression.

“I was trying to beat the crowd. Too many people.” I shrug.

“They’re coming from that door over there, so let’s just wait here for Hendrix.” I agree and stand with Dad. I watch the door like a hawk, in hopes that I can get just a glimpse of Jeremy.

In front, I see his mother, father, his sister Herra, and her fiancé.

When graduates in caps and gowns surge through the double doors, my heart soars into overdrive.

I don’t see them at first, but after a few minutes, Hendrix and Jeremy finally emerge, deep in conversation. They’re the last ones out of the door.

I clutch onto my cardigan and I realize I’ve been holding my breath. I let out a deep exhale and watch as Jeremy’s family hugs he and my brother.

I half expect Hendrix to greet us alone and Jeremy to stay with his family, but when I see both of them walking toward us I’m a bundle of nerves.

Shit. Why is he coming over here?


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I twist my necklace out of habit and I hope my father can’t hear my heart pounding out of my chest.

When they approach us, my father reaches out to give them both hugs and his congratulations, but I stay stock-still. I look at my feet and I suddenly feel dizzy in my heels.

I try to regain my equilibrium, but adrenaline is coursing through my veins and I’ve forgotten how to speak.

“Hey Kiddo. This will be you in three years,” Hendrix says, pulling me in for a hug. I snap out of my anxious behavior and offer him a small smile.

“Feels like a lifetime away,” I respond. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks, and don’t worry, it goes by faster than you think.” I nod and begrudgingly turn to Jeremy.

It’s not that I don’t want to see him, it’s just that every time I have an opportunity to say anything to him, it comes out in a blubbering, incoherent, mess.

“Congratulations, Jeremy.” He flashes me a smile and I suppress a whimper.

“Thanks Stella.” I avert my gaze back to my feet and hope that my blushing cheeks don’t give me away. I silently curse my parents for these damn ginger genes.

“So, what are you guys doing tonight to celebrate?” My father asked them. I kept my eyes on my heels and I inched closer to my Dad so that I could hide behind him.

“Uh…Probably just a bar and to eat, you guys can come if you want? It’ll just be us though, Jeremy’s family is going somewhere with Herra. Something to do with her wedding,” Hendrix explains.

A whole meal! With Jeremy? Shit!

“We’d love to! Stella doesn’t have plans today, right?” My father turns to me. I want to step on his foot for including me.

Sure, I like to admire Jeremy from afar, but there is no way I’d be able to make it through a whole meal with him.

“Nope. Free as a bird.”

Free as a bird? God, I need to stop talking.

“Great, I’ll ride with Jeremy. See you guys there in an hour!” I watch as Hendrix and Jeremy make their way through the lobby. They stop to talk to some other students who are also graduating today.

I turn back to Dad who’s scrolling through the photos on his cellphone and hooks my arm in his.

As we exit the auditorium lobby, into the cool, December air, I release my father so that I can put my cardigan back on.

I have no idea what I was thinking wearing such a revealing outfit on such a cold day. I hate cramped, indoor spaces though and I knew I was going to be burning up in that auditorium.

I’m glad I at least had the foresight to leave my coat in the car.

On the way to the restaurant, I idly wonder how Hendrix and Jeremy are going to survive law school without each other.

Hendrix will be moving to Cambridge in the spring and Jeremy will be staying here to attend law school at Virginia Tech.

I laugh when a mental image of them facetiming each other pops into my head. They’re the epitome of a bromance and if I didn’t know Jeremy— or my brother for that matter— I’d think they were a couple.

When we arrive at the restaurant, it’s too warm for my liking. I’m already nervous enough, and the last thing I need is to be sweating my ass off.

We find Hendrix and Jeremy sitting across from each other at a booth, at the back of the bar and grill, and they’re laughing about something. I remove my cardigan and try to cool down.

I trail behind my father to buy time to calm my nerves before I sit down, but I immediately regret the decision when he takes the seat next to my brother.

Shit! I have to sit next to Jeremy.

I take my seat beside him, and can feel the warmth radiating from his body. I suddenly feel a thousand degrees too hot.

As an attempt to stave off the rise in temperature, I push my hair to one side, off of my neck and focus on the menu.

I can hardly pay attention and decide what I want to eat, with him less than a few inches away from me.

His scent of cologne and soap, mixed with something that smelled vaguely of coconuts, makes me dizzy and I silently pray that I make it through this dinner.

A pretty waitress with faux locs and large, brown eyes approaches us and takes our drink orders. Her eyes widen when she takes in Hendrix and she’s all smiles for him.

I can’t even contain my eye roll as she bats her lashes at him, while taking his drink order. I silently wish I was old enough to order a shot of something.

I’ve never had a drop of alcohol before, but I hear it makes dealing with awkward situations easier, and at this point I’m game for anything.

When Miss dreamy eyes walks away, I turn to my brother. “Twenty says she slips her phone number in the check.” I snort.

“Fifty says I send her home in an uber tomorrow.” Hendrix grins mischievously and winks at me. I grimace in disgust at his smug smile and he laughs at my expression. He literally has no shame.

“I can’t wait for the day some girl comes along and breaks your heart. Now that will be a sight to see.” Jeremy laughs at my comment and my father just shakes his head at us.

After eighteen years, he’s used to our antics by now.

“See Dad, this is a prime example of why dating is dead in my generation.” I grumble.

Just then, our waitress returns with our drinks. She sets them in front of us, then hands Hendrix his last.

She takes our dinner orders promptly and before she departs back to the kitchen to place them, she flashes my idiot brother another kilowatt smile, then turns on her heels to leave us be.

I turn to Hendrix and he holds up a small, drink napkin that has ten digits written on it. I shake my head and a hint of a smile pulls at the corner of my lips. He’s mom’s little heartbreaker alright.

I return to my drink and took a long sip. “Hey when did you get a tattoo?” Jeremy asks me and I nearly choke on my lemonade.

Shit. This is not going to go over well.

“You got a tattoo?” Hendrix and my father ask in unison. They both shoot an accusatory glance my way and I feel the warmth of my blush, creep up over my cheeks.

“I turn nineteen next month! I can get a tattoo!” I squeak at them. My father looks disappointed and my brother appears to be disgusted.

I wonder when the both of them are going to stop treating me like I’m five years old. I miss mom now more than ever.

In the last few years, Dad and Hendrix have been way too overprotective. Telling me what I can and cannot do, who I can and cannot hang out with.

They were lucky I had zero interest in dating, because if I had, that would’ve been a problem too, no doubt.

“It’s small, okay.” I try to placate them and diffuse the situation, but my father just raises an eyebrow at me. I know we’re going to have a talk about this later.


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Note: this story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

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