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I had been worried about regaining my own masculinity by doing some physical labor. I hadn’t worked out much lately, and I was sure my testosterone levels were dropping too. I expected a day at a construction site would give me exactly what I needed. Of course, nothing in life seemed to ever work out quite how I expected. Not only was the volunteer director kind of sexist and only wanted to give me easy jobs, but it turned out my adorable and slightly perverted little sister had wanted to show off, and my tendency to keep seeing her as my cute little sister caused her some upset.
My mind was working furiously trying to switch situations. What kind of situation would I want to be in with my sisters where I could show off for them? My mind naturally went to the damsel in distress trope. It was an oldy, but it worked for a reason. I had already attempted to pull it off once with Mackenzie, although the point then wasn’t to appear manly but to get my sister to choose me. That had ended up being both a failure and a success. I had learned Mackenzie actually was turned on by the idea of me sleeping with others, and who knew how our future relationship would change because of it.
That said, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use such a method again. Besides, there weren’t any girls I could trust at the moment. I could call Dawn and ask her if her theater friends were still available, although they flaked on me once already and this was very short notice. I had a feeling if I followed this route, I wouldn’t have any success.
I jumped as I felt a hand slap my ass. Turning around, I saw the tattooed girl who I had learned was named Rory walking by. She shot me a look. Then, she brought her fist up to her mouth and rocked it up and down in front of her mouth while pushing her tongue against her cheeks. She winked at me, and then kept walking by. That was as clear of an offer as I had ever seen. Thankfully, after having experienced such things so many times now, I recovered rather quickly.
A few weeks ago, I would have fretted over it for hours. I had come to realize it was just a thing girls did in this world. I supposed it was casual sexual assault but was it worth throwing up a stink? At best, it’d embarrass my sister and make things harder on me. I decided to stop thinking about such things and return to the job I had been doing. The reason she had managed to slap me like that was that I was standing aimlessly while thinking about my sister rather than working.
It wasn’t like the work I had been given was that illuminating. The volunteer coordinator, a woman by the name of Janice, merely asked me to sort out the screws and nails. Seriously, she had me sorting stuff. I had wanted to protest, but I realized that such a low concentration task would give me time to dwell on my sister’s problem. Plus, I didn’t want to accidentally show her up by showing I was stronger than her.
I still wasn’t quite sure how this world rectified the situation where men were stronger and faster than women. Sports were dominated by women, and even though men scored higher and performed better, it was seemingly ignored. After all, while our behaviors were different, some parts of biology, like testosterone, couldn’t be removed. I supposed it was a worldwide equivalent of letting women win to make them happy or something. With a sigh, I returned to my work of putting the different sized screws and nails into their respective bins.
“Noah!” I heard my sister shout.
I turned to her and nearly dropped the bucket of screws in my hand. She had tied up her shirt, exposing her midriff. She had also apparently brought some shorts and had replaced her jeans for a pair of rather provocative, tight shorts. Her body was slightly sweaty, and while her hair was tied in a ponytail, a bit of it had fallen loose and was sticking to her cheek. Her skin had a sun-kissed look to it. Too much more sun and she might get burned.
I shook off the effect of my cute little sister in such a naughty appearance. When did construction girls look so sexy? I didn’t want any other men to see her that way. I had to remind myself that this was another world, and men acted more like women. Then I remembered how romance books seemed to ogle men in such blue-collar roles, and I felt less excited about it.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Can you help me with this?” She asked, a flash of eagerness in her eyes.
Was she trying to use the opportunity to show off? Either way, didn’t it allow me to admire her? I realized I had been thinking about this much too hard. I didn’t need some grand gesture to make my sister feel appreciated. I just needed to let her win. By that, I mean I needed to help her out, but act like I didn’t know what I was doing. Struggle to carry things and ask her to help. Call the hammer a thingamabob. This was a case where the more useless I acted, the more my sister could show off!
I stood up with a smile on my face. I had finally come to an acceptable solution. That smile fell open a second later as an arm wrapped around her shoulder.
“Don’t bother the little man, I’ll help you, kid!” Rory had shown up with a grin on her face.
The part that had caused me to freeze was that she had seemingly taken off her shirt. She was now standing there with just pants on. Her breasts were on full display. This wasn’t the first time I had caught women shirtless, but I still hadn’t grown to a point where I could brush it off. Her chest was completely flat, but she did have a nipple ring. In fact, when she grabbed Bethany, she had grabbed her in such a way that Bethany’s cheek was pushed against her chest. Bethany’s expression looked completely defeated.
I could only look on with regret as Rory turned Bethany around and helped her lift some drywall. Naturally, Rory did the majority of the work, as if she knew Bethany’s intentions and was deliberately stepping on them for her own enjoyment. Bethany gave me one longing look, but then she became too busy as Rory started bossing her around. I sat back down and continued my work, hoping there might be a chance later in the day to act again
Another hour passed when a voice came from behind me. “Hey, Noah, right?”
I looked back to see Janice standing there. Unlike the other two girls, she was wearing an acceptable amount of clothing. She had a big button-up plaid shirt on, thick construction gloves, and a hard hat.
“Why don’t you go on and take your lunch?” She offered.
“O-oh… is that okay?” I asked, checking my watch.
It was a bit early. I had plans with mom, but I was about thirty minutes earlier than we had planned to meet.
“Yeah, it’s fine. It’s not like we’re paying you, so take as much time as you want. Don’t work yourself too hard.”
I hadn’t done any work at all. I watched as she turned away, a slightly irritated look on my face.
“Oh,” She spoke up again, turning back as I hastily removed the expression on my face. “I just wanted to say that it is great seeing a boy take an interest in this kind of thing. Keep at it, tiger.”
She turned away as if she had said something truly encouraging. Thankfully, she didn’t see my expression fall. I didn’t know if I should cry or roll my eyes. I swore that the world wasn’t this bad. There were women construction workers. It stood to reason that there would be male workers too. In fact, given biology, there should be more male workers! I wasn’t some endangered species and I was breaking any glass ceilings! I was just here to indulge my little sister. Is that so hard to accept?
Speaking of which, I went to find my sister immediately. She was nailing the drywall to a frame when she noticed me approaching. She lifted her hear noise-cancellation headphones. Actually, with the headphones and glasses on, all of the manly sex appeal she had been trying to muster was completely gone. I narrowly managed to keep from laughing at her adorable appearance.
“Ready for lunch?” I asked.
“Oh, right, um… su-”
“Hey, we’re still busy, kid. You have two more walls to put up before lunch!” Rory appeared and instantly cockblocked us.
“I-I can do that after…” Bethany tried to muster up the courage to refuse.
“What? Are you going to be lazy?” Rory snorted. “You can play lunch with your boyfriend later!”
Bethany had a look of humiliation, her face red. “He-he’s not my boyfriend.”
“It’s fine.” I cut in before they could break into a fight. “I’ll just help you finish up, and then we can go together.”
If I left now, I’d probably just end up inconveniencing mom anyway. Plus, it had still been my plan to look impressed for my sister and boost her ego. This would be my chance. That’s what I was hoping, but after a few moments, Bethany made a face and shook her head.
“I really should get this done. You go on ahead. I’ll meet you later.”
“Really?” I frowned.
“Yeah…” Her eyes flickered to Rory uncertainly. “It’s no big deal… ah! How about this?”
She bent down into a tool bag and after rustling for a bit, she pulled something out and handed it to me. I grabbed it and looked at it curiously. It was a small walkie-talkie. I looked back at her with a questioning look.
“It’s so you can tell me where you end up going to eat so I can meet you there.”
“Oh, um… I mean, mom can come pick you up…” When I saw the look on her face, I realized she probably didn’t want Rory to her mom or call her kid. “That’s fine. I’ll signal you when we go.”
Bethany relaxed and nodded. “They have super long range. I’ll keep one on me at all times, so just call me if you need me.”
Before I left, I made sure that they were both set to the same channel and that I was able to successfully call Bethany. I had tried to make it like I was technologically inept so that my little sister would have a chance to show off. It turned out that my sister didn’t understand technology at all! I tried to get her to talk about the channels several times before I gave up and just asked her. Then, she had given me a blank look like she had no clue what I was talking about.
My sister had believed walkie-talkies just worked like magic and didn’t know anything about them. I had a feeling Rory was shooting smug smirks in our direction as I set up the walkie-talkies properly so we could contact each other. Bethany didn’t get too embarrassed there. Thankfully, she didn’t seem to see such a thing as a girl thing. Maybe, it was because it was a communication device, like a smartphone, and women, or rather men in this world, were notorious for being glued to such devices.
Either way, I left the construction site without my sister and a bit early. In some ways, it might be good that I’d have a chance to talk to mom without Bethany present. Maybe I could talk to her about Bethany’s problem. She might have some advice, being a woman in this world and all, she should understand things best. She’d probably just laugh it off or something though. I’d make her keep her mouth shut about that conversation.
I headed down the street, and it wasn’t long before I was standing in front of my mother’s office.