Authors: Kathryn Kelly
If Mom wants a fucking cloud from the sky, Dad will find a way to lasso that motherfucker and give it to her. It’s serious shit. Like
As in –
if you hurt my wife, I’ll take your life
Of course, as Mom’s one and only child, I’m special, too. But Dad’s still Dad. The concessions he makes for Mom, he’ll do for no one else. Not even me. Which means I’m either going to have to claw my way to the top of the music world or give in to Dad’s demands with Kiln and Jaeger.
Working my ass off it is.
I fucking hate those jealous, overbearing, sadistic motherfuckers. Kiln’s an overgrown ape. If I hadn’t started to bulk up, he probably would’ve killed me by now.
My lone consolation is Mom would’ve been heartbroken, so Dad would’ve made Kiln pay.
Irritation shoots through me at Dad’s peeved tone. Steffie is rigid, her eyes pleading for my rescue. “Okay, Dad. I’m going. C’mon, Stef.” I throw the words out casually, almost how I’d ask about the weather. I’m honor bound to protect my mother and my sister from anything and everyone. “Walk there with me. While I’m talking to Mom, run up to my room and grab my phone.”
I really did forget it. Now, I’m happy for the excuse to bring my sister with me.
Her brow smoothens and she beams a smile my way. Steffie knows how to make me feel as if I’m a hero. It’s a good feeling. There’s a sense of satisfaction as if I’ve earned something, instead of having everything handed to me.
That’s one reason I don’t give a fuck that Dad won’t help the guys and me with our band. When my band rises to the top, it’ll be thanks to the music I love to create. We won’t become superstars because we’re entitled, rich boys, with connections out the ass.
become world-famous. We’re fucking awesome and we have a pact to succeed.
I’m shoved to the ground without warning. Landing on my ass, I stare at my father, stunned. He’s never once put his hands on me. He can be a complete dick, but he’s never physically abusive.
Steffie flinches and steps back, her face paling.
I’m trying to process her reaction, my father’s
, when he grabs me by my hair and drags me to my knees.
“Your mother wants to talk to you,” he repeats on a snarl. “Get the fuck to her. It’s still early and I have to get this finished. Steffie stays with me.”
The only reason my father is manhandling me is because he’s stunned the fuck out of me. I’m already over six feet, taller than he is. I can stomp him into the fucking ground if I choose.
But I don’t choose. Because I don’t know what the fuck is happening. Has Dad hit the blunts we have stashed in my room? And what the fuck does he have to finish?
I clamber to my feet. “Fine, Dad.” Anger hardens my voice. I’m not the most level-headed person. I’m so fucking furious, I want to pound on my chest like a gorilla and charge. “I won’t be long, Stefanie.”
Enraged, I ignore Steffie’s plea. Black and red paints my vision. Red for my father’s fucking blood, and black for the Carrion that will pick apart his fucking carcass. He hit me? He fucking
As distance separates me from Dad, the sun grows higher in the sky, and the salty sea air calms my temper. I think of Steffie’s attitude. Her mom’s bitterness that comes through despite the layer of fear she can’t quite hide. Kiln’s viciousness.
What could cause such behaviors?
Yes, I had a singular focus on music, until the recent pussy addiction I’ve acquired. And, yes, I drink like fuck and smoke pot. Still, I
possessed with culture and civility. Mom's requirement. To be fucking well-rounded, I joined the debate team at school. We can get into some deep shit, eye-opening topics I would never consider.
We’ve recently deliberated on domestic violence and the behavioral effects on those who’ve suffered it. Based on Stefanie’s reaction, what I know of Kiln and their mother, they didn’t have a very pleasant home life.
No way. Fucking impossible. Rand Mason isn’t a child abuser or wife beater.
No, not Dad. Respected and connected, my father has always revered my mother and me. Unless he suffers a split personality, he couldn’t hide a violent side from us for so many years.
A chill sweeps through me as I reach our deck. The house sits on stilts, a protection against storm surges. The furniture outside is a pain in the fucking ass to bring in whenever the area faces a hurricane. Mom only brings Zelda, our cook, with us whenever we come to the beach house. We’re all responsible for everything else.
If I’m ever stranded somewhere, I’ll bask in organizational skills and cleanliness. On the other hand, I’ll fucking starve. I can’t cook worth a shit.
An odd foreboding snakes through me. Goosebumps rise on me and snatches away my random thoughts.
Scowling, I step into the quiet house. No one awaits me. The guys are upstairs, dead to the world since Dad’s changed plans. Kiln’s probably just rising from the toilet he sleeps in. Motherfucker just cavorts in shit. Abby, my eighteen-year-old aunt, is still out, on the other side of the island, fucking some waiter.
My granddad was a dirty old fuck, but Abby’s mother was a money-grubbing cunt. We take care of our own, however. Abby is a spoiled, mischievous brat. Just like it should be for a rich girl her age.
“Mom!” Darkness surrounds me and silence deafens me. My brain receives the message to shut the fuck down and continue sleeping off the alcohol.
The smoky aroma of bacon invades my nostrils, deterring my original plans.
I make my way through the house, to the kitchen, where Zelda’s busy at the sink. I creep behind her and put my chin on her shoulder. She jumps.
“Mr. Sloane!” she screeches.
“Hey, Zee.” All innocence after scaring the fuck out of her, I kiss her brown cheek. “Did I frighten you?”
“Get,” she orders, shrugging me off in exasperation. She turns the faucet off and I see she’s filled the glass coffee carafe with water.
Taking her place at the sink, I quickly turn the water on and splash my face. I need to wake up and hurry back to my sister.
Zelda concentrates on her preparations at the coffee maker. “Long night?”
“Umm hmm.” I grab a clean dish towel from a drawer and run it over my face. “I need more sleep.”
“You need more clothes,” she counters on an ornery harrumph.
I pose like Rodin’s ‘Adam’ sculpture. Head turned sideways, shoulder raised to support my cheek, one leg lifted, and thigh flexing. “Do I really?”
“Bye, Mr. Sloane.” She dismisses me without giving me an ego boost. I laugh. My Speedos, which has caused such an uproar with Stef and Zee, are pushed to the furthest corner of my mind.
I head toward the front door but hesitate. If I go to Mom, I can look Dad in the eye and tell him I checked in with her. If I don’t go, I’ll have to lie, risking discovery.
Dad might go off again, and then, we’ll get into a full-on brawl. No fucking way will I allow another man to put his hands on me, father included.
The thought riles me up again. Maybe, I should stay home. I’m not in the mood to bother with my father’s shitty attitude.
Damn. Stef doesn’t want to be alone with Dad and I won’t leave her hanging.
Bypassing a visit with Mom increasingly appeals to me. All I need do is backtrack and ask for Zelda’s help.
She’ll cover for me and swear to Dad I tried talking to Mom, but she was indisposed. Zelda would even bring Mom in on the lie. Fuck. No. Dad’s acting like a goddamn jackass. I can’t pull Mom or Zelda in the middle of his male menopause moodiness or whatever led to his actions toward me.
Get over it
. It was one push, followed by a hair grab. My pride is fucking hurt, so I’m overreacting and being too hard on Dad. He’s on edge about something. If only he’d share, I’d understand more.
Confusion over his behavior muddles my brain and pisses me off. Stalking to my parents’ bedroom, I knock on the door. The wood is dark and thick on all the doors in the house. To me, a pallor is cast over the pastel colors on the walls. The fucking doors should be white. Beach house brings to mind light and airy.
Grumbling, I knock again.
“Come in,” Mom calls.
My stomach turns at the scents of magnolias and gardenias as I walk into the room. Flowers are everywhere. His doing. My father is completely obsessed with my mother.
Mom sets aside her cell phone and rises from the chaise lounge. She frowns at me. Prepared for the day, bright and early, she’s wearing a sundress, her light brown hair in a ponytail.
“Something wrong?” she asks, her perfectly arched brows drawn together.
The old man handed me a crock of shit, just as I suspected. “Dad said you needed to talk to me.”
Sweeping her gaze over me, Mom shakes her head.
Fuck, I’m wearing Speedos. My displayed body hasn’t been too much of a big deal to me this morning. Now it’s fucking epic. I usually keep my cock less prevalent around Mom.
Heat sweeps through me, flaming my face.
“Cindy called looking for you.” Mom walks to her desk and sits in the chair, her back to me. “I did want to talk to you about that, but it wasn’t so urgent Rand had to interrupt your day on the water. It’s bad enough Hel—”
“Cindy?” I echo, not interested in the rest of whatever else she has to say. All I fucking need is the first girl I fucked to insert herself into my life with Mom around. “What did she want?”
“An invitation to dinner with us later tonight.”
“Of course,” I mumble under my breath.
“I thanked her for her desire to catch up but told her you had other plans.”
I fold my arms, without commenting, so fucking thankful for my mother’s insight.
Clearing her throat, she halfway turns, but only looks at my face. I can’t remember the last time Mom saw me in less than shorts. The woman gave birth to me, so she saw my cock way back when. Granted, what she saw was a little boy dick, not the teenage one.
Okay, so thinking of Mom seeing my cock at any age is worthy of a few wicked cringes.
“I hope putting Cindy off was okay, son.”
“What?” I say, still distracted. Her words penetrate my brain. “Mom, you’re a lifesaver! I appreciate your blow off.”
“With the boys here, I thought you’d be a little pressed. She’s a very sweet girl. Maybe, next time we’re here we can get together?”
Cindy is the chatty daughter of a family friend. Mom wouldn’t be too happy to hear I stuck my dick in her.
Fuck. Mom would be as unhappy to discover I’m having sex as I am imagining her finding out.
“Anything else, ma’am?” I say with little-boy charm.
Winks don’t work on Moms, do they?
One day, when I’m less fucking stressed, I’ll try it out.
Her eyes twinkle at me. She’s so on to my bullshit. “Go have fun on the water.”
Fun in the fucking sun is just what I need. Diving into the Gulf. Sunning on the boat’s deck. Serenading Stef. Casually dropping the name of a guy I want to introduce her to. A twenty-four-year-old virgin is a goddamn travesty, a fact I’ve faced even if she refuses to.
be innocent when her best friend is, hands down, the biggest fucking whore on earth? At the very least, Steffie could fall somewhere between Abby and Brenda.
“Good day, son. Remember to take lots of pictures,” Mom adds.
With a mock salute, I turn on my heel and get the fuck away. Note to self:
ditch the Speedos after today
. I don’t want to so blatantly offend Mom’s sensibilities. The moment I found out it would only be Dad, Steffie, and me on the boat, I pulled them out. If Dad decides to sail to another port for the day, running into a hot girl is inevitable.
The Speedos come out when Mom isn’t with us.
Thoroughly frustrated with both my parents, I make my way down the beach. Rope railings line a sandy pathway leading from the houses in this exclusive area, to the private beach we all share. Including us, only three other families habitat this section. Two aren’t in residence. Dad invited the new neighbors to go sailing with us, until he got this fist up his ass to take me and Steffie out alone.
Tall grass brushes my thighs. Eventually, the height tapers off as I reach the shoreline. The dock isn’t far away and the curve in the beach takes me to a little cove, where just around the bend the yacht is moored. Something reflects behind me and a shadow looms on the sand.
Instead of searching for whoever’s out there, I freeze, indignation grating on my temper. Dad has pulled out of port already. Asshole! Well, fuck him and his antagonistic deeds. Kicking the sand, I hunt for a rock or three to hurl toward the yacht idling in the water, not too far from shore. It would serve him right if I found a way to get to them.
Mindless rage seethes through me. The more I consider Dad’s shock at thwarting his plans to leave me, the more the idea appeals to me. I’m a strong fucking swimmer.