THIS is a Cleaner Version of my chapter. If you are comfortable and over the age of 18 and want to read some steamy stuff, Please Click here.
Kaliq’s Point of View
Three long grueling months pass. Riddle’s and my relationship had started to repair. We were friends, good friends. Neither of us dared to bring up the past. We were living for the present and I really didn’t want to dwell on the heartache that came with the past. Someday we would have to.
Riddle went to Hidden Springs only two days after I saw her. After filming the movie she made her way back to Hollywood. Though we hadn’t seen each other in three months, we were on the phone most nights, and if we were lucky, lunchtime. Her schedule was intense on set so I often stayed up till she called.
Tonight was the season premiere of Web of Lies, and I anxiously waited for it. I caught up on the story after Riddle sent my the DVD collection, making me promise to at least try watching the new season. I sat on the couch in my apartment (ma finally switched shifts and I got to move back in with Casey) and waited for the show to start. Casey had the popcorn already made.
“I promised Riddle I would at least try, and pay attention to the story. So, yeah no whacking off – at least not right now.” I winked and he made an “eww, gross” sound before tossing a piece of popcorn at my head.
The episode was absolutely mind blowing that left Casey and I speechless. They killed off Avery – which was a huge shocker. The phone rang even before my mind could process the show I just watched. “Yellow?” I answered.
“Well?” Riddle asked.
“I’m still trying to process it.” I laughed.
“You whacked off, didn’t you?”
“No.” I quickly said, “I just don’t know if I should be happy or upset Avery was killed. I mean I love the character, but I’ve always been kinda jealous of Avery Honor.”
Riddle laughed, “Avery’s sweet, but we’re just friends – believe me.”
“Well, on that note then, I’m kinda pissed that he’s gone. Avery was the jokester. But then again this new guy Jimmy might be an interesting addition.” I started to walk in my room and relax on my bed with the phone. “So, how was work?”
“Crappy. This guest star came in and tried to take over. You ever heard of Mickey Fields?”
“The rock star?”
“Yeah, he’s such a prick. I get that he’s like a superstar, but he doesn’t have to be a fucking prick.” She took a few breaths, “Sorry, so how was yours?”
“Good. I got a chapter written for Delta. I wrote an article for the paper, had it thrown at my face, then I yelled back that it was exactly what he asked for. So, he gave it to this newer reporter and I left, flipping Mr. Anderson off.”
“And if he fires you?”
“He won’t cause I am Kain Raliq, and he knows he won’t get someone with such a high profile as me to work for his paper.”
“I still don’t know where you get that pen name from. The only reason I knew the book was from you, was Delta Nine.”
I smiled even though she couldn’t see it, Kalin Raliq’s an anagram of my real name. I wanted to use Kaliq Rain, but ma told me I couldn’t. She loved the pen name though.
“So, what are you doing?”
“Sitting on my bed, getting comfy, talking to friend.”
“Who wants to know?” I asked suspiciously. Where was Riddle taking this? Would she really go there? I mean, I’d love it if we did, but at the same time, don’t we need to discuss some issues?
“No, I’m not naked.” Yet. I unzipped my jeans and pushed down my legs. The shirt came off faster than you could spell “shirt.”
“I am.” She laughed, and I moaned audibly, which caused Riddle to laugh more. Riddle started to go into more detail about what she wanted to do to me. It didn’t take long to go from talking to everyday life to having my very first session of phone sex.
By the time we got off the phone we were out of breath and panting over the line. I was extremely exhausted. Sex with Riddle was going to be amazing if we ever got to that point.
I was woken early, and I mean superearly. The sun wasn’t even up yet and the sky was just turning that purple hue color meaning the sunrise was upon the town of Neverglade. “Hello,” I answered with a slur.
“Isaac?” Ma asked.
“I need your help. There’s a huge fire over at the senior center and the hospital called asking me to come in and help with the injured. Could you come by and watch Charlie until he leaves for school?”
“Yeah, just give me a minute to get dress.” I hung up without another word and stuffed my naked, sticky form into a pair of sweats and a shirt.
“Leave me alone.” I groaned. Did I mention I was really exhausted?
“Isa I need breakfast before school.”
I rolled out of bed and went to the kitchen. I made him and myself a bowl of cereal. I might as well get up.
At 8 on the dot I watched from the window as Charlie ran to the school bus. Charlie stopped though, dead in his tracks. I looked at where he was looking and saw this scary-ass looking guy walking towards Charlie.
“But I have school.”
“I know, I’ll drive you. Now go back inside.” He ran and I confronted the guy, “Can I help you?”
“Uh, um, yea. I was, uh, looking for the, er, Britt residence.” He asked. I went into protective mode. This guy looked extremely nervous, like he had been caught doing something wrong – like gearing up to snatch a kid. Pervert. There was no way I was gonna to allow him near anyone.
“I suggest you leave, sir. My best friend is a cop.” He nodded and turned, but didn’t walk away. Instead he looked at a piece of paper and I noticed my mom’s picture on it. I tackled him from behind.
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!” I screamed with him pinned down. His robotic arm was easily lost in the fight. “Why the fuck do you have a picture of my mother!?!”
Just as I said the words a car pulled right next to us in the drive. Ma quickly got out and screamed, “Isaac! Get off that -” Then she gasped. She lowered her voice, “Isaac, get off of him.”
“NO!” I screamed, “Not till he tells me why he has a picture of you and what he wants!”
“Isaac, he’s your father.” She whispered.
WHAT! I flew off of him faster than the wind. Stunned wasn’t even remotely how I would describe what I felt. Ma helped him up, and the two hugged. I could hear ma crying, “You came back. You came back.”
“I promised you I would.” I heard him say. He held on ma with his one arm tight, and I could see the tears running down ma’s face. “I promise you I would.”
I was trying to swallow the lump in my throat. This was my father? My father? My head was spinning and I ended up turning over and puking.
“Kaliq?” Ma asked.
I held up a finger and tried to calm down. “Just give me a minute.” Once I caught my breath I turned around. My eyes stung with tears.
“Kaliq, would you like to meet your father?” I gulped and nodded.
The man before me held out the wrong arm – since his other one was on the ground, forgotten. “It’s nice to meet you,” He said with tears still coming down his cheek.
I shook his hand, still speechless. After a moment of awkward silence I gained my voice. “I’m sorry I hit you.”
“It’s okay. I tend to scare a lot of people.”
“I’m also sorry about your arm.” I pointed to the spot where his arm was gone.
He looked around and picked up the prosthetic. “Don’t be, happens a lot during fights. I’m sorry I scared your kid.”
Ma turned scarlet. “Charlie?” She asked me.
I nodded, “I sent him inside. Don’t yell at him for missing school, please.”
She turned to my father, “Y-you met Ch-Charlie?”
My first thought, awkward. I’d hate to be ma right now having to explain to her husband of twenty-five years that she went off and remarried and had a kid. I couldn’t wait to see this. Of course the moment never came, because my idiot brother had to run out of the house, “Mama?”
Busted.I almost laughed as my father’s eyes – well, eye – widen. Ma looked from my father to my brother and back again. “You were gone a very, very, very long time.” She stuttered.
He looked at the kid, and lowered himself, “What’s your name?” Charlie looked nervous, but with a nod of approval from ma he answered. “Hi, Charlie, I’m Parker.”
“Are you a pirate?” he asked.
Parker looked up towards ma, “He must be yours if he’s already calling me a pirate.” He turned back to my brother, “Aye, I am a pirate. And I just ‘turned from plunderin’ the seas.”
Charlie, ma, and I all laughed. “You’re funny, Parker. Do you wanna play wit me?”
“You know, I’d love to kid, but I think your mama, brother, and I need to talk.”
“What about daddy?”
Ma’s color left her, as did mine. Scott is going to freak. Parker turned from Charlie to ma. “Him too,” he answered, not looking away from ma. This was going to be one long day.
The four of us walked inside. I took Charlie to his room where we debated on the movie he was going to watch. He begged for Pirates of the Caribbean. I couldn’t blame the kid, I’d want to watch a movie like that after meeting a “real” pirate. I also made him promise me he wouldn’t come out of his room while the movie was on. That should be plenty of time for all of us to hash things out.
I walked in and ma was on the phone. “Just get home,” she said. I didn’t need to hear more.
I sat on the other sofa away from Parker. “So,” I said. It was the most awkward moment in my life. My father was back.
“So.” Parker repeated. “You look good.”
Ma walked in and sat down next to me. “Is he coming?” Parker asked. She nodded. “Hana, it’s okay. Twenty years is a pretty long time. I didn’t expect you to wait forever.”
“It’s not that. I just never told him about you. I didn’t tell anyone. Kaliq barely knows you.”
“He knows enough, from what I’ve read.”
Ma’s color crimsoned, “That’s fiction. He, um, I didn’t tell him. That was his own doing.”
Wait, what? I looked form ma to Parker, trying to figure out what the hell they were talking about. What the hell did ma mean by fiction? I’ve only ever written about. . . NO. NO. NO. No, it can’t – it couldn’t. NO! Registration must of hit my face cause Parker pulled out my book. “Where’d you come up with this name?”
“Off the internet.” I mumbled, still shaking my head. Oh God! Tell me it’s not him.
“Russian newspaper. We tried getting the name removed, but it was printed before we found out about it. Kaliq, did your mom ever mention what I did?” I shook my head violently. He placed the book on my lap, “This, this is really well written. The most amazing books I have ever read.”
“Please don’t say it.” I begged, tears ran down my face. I really didn’t want to hear him tell me he was the man I’ve idolized for so long.
“Kaliq, I have to.” Parker said quietly. “I’ve read these books. I know the research that went into them. I lived some of these stories. This is my code name.”
“Kaliq, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you when you told me about your character.” Ma added.
At this point I was rocking and holding my knees. This couldn’t be happening. I didn’t stumble upon my father by accident on the web. This had to be a joke, a very sick and twisted joke. I knew a lot about the real Delta Nine. I dreamed of being him on most nights.
Finally I jumped up, “I gotta get out of here.”
“Kaliq.” Ma grabbed me.
I turned and faced them both, “Look, this is a ton of information to process. I can’t do it all. I just need some time to figure this all out. Please.”
“Where are you going?”
“Coke’s. I need to talk to him. He’s the only one that’d understand.” Ma nodded and I walked out of the door.
Parker’s Point Of View
Neverglade. Finally. I gave the taxi driver the address Oni gave me. It took me so long to convince him that I was who I was. Then he swore he wouldn’t tell Hana if I promised to leave the dig and go to her.
“You better see her. I don’t care where you go after that, but if you don’t go see mom, I will personally come after you.” He threatened.
“Oni.” I sighed. I wasn’t ready for this argument again.
“IT’S JON! Because of your stupid-ass, I had to become fucking Jonathan Britt! Did I like changing my name? Was I ever asked if it was okay to? Was I even asked if I wanted to leave Bridgeport away from everyone I knew? NO! I had to leave in the dead of night with men in black suits, armed. I thought they were going to kill all of us! We get to Neverglade and I find out that I wouldn’t ever be allowed to see my grandparents, or any other family as long as I lived! THAT MEANT YOU! I lost the only man I knew as my father!”
He cried, and I swallowed. “I swear to you, it was to protect you. I lost people too, Oni. I lost you, Hana, Jahi, Kaliq. You don’t think I didn’t think of you four everyday for the past twenty years. I lost my dad and mom for good, my sister.” I trembled. “I’ve been alone for twenty years, Oni, fighting just to survive this world.”
“So, why after all this time? Why now?”
I laughed, “Believe me I didn’t plan on it. I was searching you guys out about four years ago, but finally gave up when Ellis died taking your whereabouts with her. I didn’t expect this though. I was hired for this by a few men I’ve been working with the last few years. I left SIA soon after I killed the man that did this to me.” I pointed to my eye and then my arm. The fucker got me in Al Simhara thirteen years ago, but I showed him – I got his wife during the fucking explosion.
“So, this was all coincidence?”
“Yup, and before you ask, it took you calling me a pirate and seeing that.” I pointed to his arm, “Does your mom know you have a tattoo?” He squirmed and shook his head no. “That’s what I thought.”
That was three months ago. During that time Oni -er, Jon- and I made an effort to bond. I was proud of him, and who he had become. I never figured Jon would turn into an adventurer. He blames me for his need to get out and see the world. Thank god he didn’t want to be James Bond.
After months of getting to know him, he finally pushed me far enough. I had to go and see Hana. That and he actually threatened me with his phone. He even had Hana on the phone! So with that, I packed my things and left Egypt while he stayed, but only after I made sure his safety was taken care of. Don better not fuck up.
Now, here I was standing outside the home Oni told me so much about. I stopped as a kid came running out the house. He stopped in his tracks looking at me.
I wanted to wave, but the fear in his eyes made me stop. His dad came screaming after him. Crap, this wasn’t the place. The man looked so strong willed and big. “Can I help you?” he asked.
“I suggest you leave, sir. My best friend is a cop.”
Well that was that. I turned and took out my wedding picture that I had scribbled the address on to check it. I didn’t even get a chance to look at the address before I felt the ground hitting my face. Shit, I pissed off this guy. I naturally defended myself; well, somewhat, damn fucking arm!!!
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU! Why the fuck do you have a picture of my mother!?!”Mother? Shit. No way, no how is this guy my Kaliq. The kid has fucking muscles – okay he could be my son.
Before I had time to answer a car pulled up. SHIT! “Isaac! Get off that -” My head snapped towards the voice I only ever heard in my dreams. Thank you! “Isaac, get off of him.”
“NO!” Not till he tells me why he has a picture of you and what he wants!”
“Isaac, he’s your father.” She whispered. I wanted to cry. After Kaliq jumped off me I took hold of my Hana and held her like she was everything. I finally found my Hana. Years of searching, and I found the one woman that could take all the pain away, and all the sleepless nights. All the booze in the world couldn’t compare to the woman wrapped around me.
“You came back. You came back,” she cried in my arms.
“I promised you I would.” I replied, thinking of the last moments I had cherished for twenty years. “I promise you I would.”
“Kaliq?” We both turned to catch my son, my son, puking. Yea, I think I would have done that too if I was just meeting my dad for the first – well, I kinda did do that. Just I didn’t puke, but I was clearly distraught the first time I saw my dad that Christmas. It seems like a million years ago. What I would do to see him and mom one last time.
“Kaliq, would you like to meet your father?”
I stuck out my good hand, knowing very well that the damn prosthetic is a useless piece of crap. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“I’m sorry I hit you.”
“It’s okay. I tend to scare a lot of people.” Ain’t that the fucking truth. I’ve had kids run from me, women scream at the sight of me, and fuck I’ve been beaten by so many men for the same fucking reasons.
“I’m also sorry about your arm.”
I grabbed the damn piece of shit and fitted back on. “Don’t be, happens a lot during fights. I’m sorry I scared your kid.” Was it his kid? I saw some family resemblance to him. The boy had some of me in him.
“Charlie?” Hana asked.
“I sent him inside. Don’t yell at him for missing school, please.”
Hana faced me, “Y-you met Ch-Charlie?”
Okay she is either scared that I met our grandson, or. . . Oh please no. Don’t say it Hana, please don’t say it. Before either of us spoke the child in question came running out the house asking for, “Mama?”
FUCK!!! Twenty years, Parker, TWENTY FUCKING YEARS! I kept calm, I had to keep calm before I did something stupid. This was my only shot. I looked into Hana’s eyes and saw the truth even before she answered my question, “You were gone a very, very, very long time.”
I KNOW! I wanted to cry. I wanted to shout that it wasn’t fair. I was gone for twenty years, but it still fucking hurt that she moved on. She was what kept me going all those time I was locked up, tortured, beaten. Even when I was in the hospitals I thought about her and wished my nurse was the same one when I lost my eye, cause only then I could have my Hana back.
I decided it was best to play nice rather than freak out. My mind was freaking out that Hana had another man’s child. That man was dead. “What’s your name?” I asked the kid.
“Hi, Charlie, I’m Parker.”
“Are you a pirate?” he asked.
I rolled my eye and looked at Hana, “He must be yours if he’s already calling me a pirate.” That’s one thing I missed when I was gone. I always missed my kids playing pirates. “Aye, I am a pirate. And I just ‘turned from plunderin’ the seas.”
“You’re funny, Parker. Do you wanna play wit me?”
“You know, I’d love to kid, but I think your mama, brother, and I need to talk.”
“What about daddy?”
Don’t be stupid, Parker, I calmly thought to myself. He was dead, sorry Charlie, your dad is dead. I looked up at Hana and saw the fear in her eyes, she knew she was more than a bit busted. “Him too,” I answered, not looking away from her.
Walking inside the house was interesting. I saw photos everywhere. I wanted to look around, but I started to feel like an intruder. “So, uh, Charlie’s dad, you uh. . . “ How do you ask if your wife’s married? Seriously, this wasn’t how I planned it. My dreams were like when we were in Bridgeport when she came looking for me. It didn’t take us long to connect back then. I fucking need a drink.
“Yes, Parker. We’re married.” She answered my unasked question, before I could ask more her phone went off. “Hold on,” She said and answered. I knew right away it was her husband just by her greeting along – “Hi Honey.” Shit, I wanted to tear that phone out of her hand and reach in to strangle the son of a bitch.
I looked around a bit. Looked at the photos. I saw my son’s life through pictures. I recognized Jahi’s and Oni’s as well. Jahi looked happy in her wedding photo that I had to wipe my eyes of tears. I noticed a prom picture with Kaliq, and wondered if he still loved the girl in the photo. She was gorgeous. I noticed another person’s photos but didn’t get to really look cause I heard Kaliq talking to Charlie about him staying in his room while Pirates of the Caribbean was on. I walked away and sat on the sofa and fought the will to run to the closest bar I could find. I was intruding their lives by coming back, but I had to see them if only for one last time.
Kaliq sat across for me. We both were nervous, copying that nervous “so.” I still didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to say to my son after twenty years. The last time I saw him I was holding him in my arms, singing to him. “You look good.” I added to the awkward silence.
Hana came back, Thank God. “Is he coming?” I asked. She nodded. Think quick. I needed to make sure she knew it was okay, before we all get consumed by this silence. I’m normally quick to talk to get out of situations. Now, nothing is coming to me! Hana took in the awkward silence and I could see the guilt and pain in her eyes. I didn’t want her to feel guilty. It was my own fucking fault for leaving her when I promised I’d be back. “Hana, it’s okay. Twenty years is a pretty long time. I didn’t expect you to wait forever.”
“It’s not that. I just never told him about you. I didn’t tell anyone. Kaliq barely knows you.”
Yea right. Who does think she’s talking to? Seriously the boy wrote three fucking books about me. “He knows enough, from what I’ve read.”
“That’s fiction. He, um, I didn’t tell him. That was his own doing.”
Suuure. I looked at Kaliq about to tell him it’s okay – might as well to keep that lie up. The look on his face though, he had no idea what Hana and I were talking about. Did he seriously not know the true identity of his character? No! My mouth dropped. I grabbed my favorite book, Delta Nine and the Mistress – BEST BOOK EVER! – out of my pack. Seriously, if I was this fictional character I would have been fucking around forever on Amber. Who the fuck gives Delta Nine a girl with the name Amber – that’s just. . . that’s just wrong!
“Where’d you come up with this name?” I asked with shaking hands. I couldn’t believe he didn’t know.
“Off the internet.”
I wanted to laugh, I knew now where he got it. My name and the Russian incident was written about just once before Delta Nine and the Escape. “Russian newspaper. We tried getting the name removed, but it was printed before we found out about it. Kaliq, did your mom ever mention what I did?” He shook his head. I could see those wheels spinning inside his head putting the pieces together and my heart wanted to break. “This, this is really well written. The most amazing books I have ever read.”
“Please don’t say it.” He mumbled. I knew he was fighting off the truth that he knew was coming up.
This was really heartbreaking. I didn’t want to crush whatever fantasy he had of Delta Nine, but he needed to know. “Kaliq, I have to. I’ve read these books. I know the research that went into them. I lived some of these stories.” Thank god not all of the stories,I thought to myself before confessing the last bit of truth. “This is my code name.”
“Kaliq, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you when you told me about your character.” Hana added.
Kaliq jumped from the couch, “I gotta get out of here.”
“Kaliq.” Hana grabbed him.
“Look, this is a ton of information to process. I can’t do it all. I just need some time to figure this all out. Please.”
“Where are you going?”
“Coke’s. I need to talk to him. He’s the only one that’d understand.”
Who the fuck is Coke? I watched as he walked out the door. “Coke?”
“The closest thing he has to a real father. He’s a good man, helped him with his writing since he started. You’d like him and his wife, Anya. Good people.”
I nodded. That’s a relief that Kaliq had someone to look up to. I looked at the book and smiled, okay two people. “You know why I’m back right?” Hana shook her head. “A few years ago I was in France. Had a solid lead on the bastard. I held him in my scope about a mile away from where he was in the shopping district. He came out of the book store pissed off and yelling at his goons. Then, he lifted this book.” I showed her the book, “I saw the name on the cover and smiled. He wasn’t giving a rats ass about his safety when he started to yell about the book. I took the shot with a damn fucking smile on my face.”
“I put the bullet right through his fucking left eye.” Hana jumped and hugged me, straddling me. God, it felt so good, and I knew it was probably the last time I’d get to hold my Hana like this.
She brushed her hand over my entire face, studying the new scars and looking at me. I was still me. “I thought you were dead. I thought after all these years you were dead. These books,” She picked up the book, “they brought back my faith in you and restored my hope. But. . . It was right at the time I found out about. . . “
“Charlie. I get it Hana, I do. I had an affair long ago, when I almost gave up hope for us.” I still missed that knucklehead, Nick too.”We were together for years before. . .” Don’t cry! Don’t cry! You’ve spent years drinking that pain away, don’t you fucking cry, Parker! Plus no one could ever know about Nick and I, no one! That was something I will always keep locked away. Who was I to lust for another man? Fuck, I still hate that he somehow got under my straight skin and made me lust for him, and after getting him, pulling him into my heart. God, I just hope grandpa or dad aren’t rolling in their graves
Hana wiped my tears, “I’m sorry, Park. I really am.” She kissed my forehead and crawled off my lap. I readjusted and she laughed. “Sorry.”
“I’m not. Glad to know that even at fifty I can still get it up.”
She bent down and gave me a sweet kiss. “God, I’ve missed you,” she whispered on my lips.
“I’ve missed you too.” I wanted more, but there would be no time. Her husband decided to choose that moment to walk through the door.
Hana stiffened – Sarah, huh. Seriously the people that created these identities suck!
I stood and turned. I looked at my replacement and he looked right back at me. He had the same deadly eyes I had in my one. “
“Scott, help me out here!” I heard a woman scream, interrupting him.
“Rose is here?”
“I was at the doctors when you called. It sounded urgent.” Scott left and came back. He walked in with his – NO FUCKING WAY
Her eyes met mine and mine met hers. I jumped over the sofa and collapsed into her arms. She started to cry immediately as we held onto each other. “I thought I didn’t –”
“They’re dead, I didn’t think I’d ever . . .”
“I know, Parker. I know.”
“Can, uh, someone explain what the hell is going on?” The guy said. “Mom, explain please.”
I looked at him. The son-of-a-bitch. I looked from Hana to – I can’t even say it. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I groaned.
Rose laughed. “I think we all need to have a talk.”
Kaliq’s Point of View
I drove home that evening and walked up to the door. Coke gave me the advice needed to confront my father. He also gave me the courage to discuss the one issue I’ve been fighting with since I could remember, my identity. Coke took the news better than I expected. He reminded me of how I felt when I learned the truth about him. He told me that if I could embrace him as being Cocaine Moss, that I should embrace knowing Delta Nine – even if he is my father.
I walked in and found Scott, ma, Aunt Rose, and Parker sitting at the sofas. A pizza box littered the kitchen. Everyone at the sofa’s stood up when I walked in. “Hey.”
“You hungry?” Ma asked.
“Nah, Anya fed me a cheesesteak sandwich earlier.” We all stood in silence for a bit. “So, what’s going on? I take it you told Scott and AuntRose about Parker.”
“We’ve been discussing it. Come, sit and join us.” I did. “Rose, Isaac is –”
“Oh I figured it out, Sarah. I may have been blonde at one point, but I figured it out pretty fast.” A scowl was on her face as she sat back. She crossed her arms. What the fuck?
“No, she’s just now figuring out that she’s been a grandmother a lot longer than she ever wanted.” Parker laughed. “That’s what you get when you have a kid at sixteen, Rose.”
“Travis should have told me!”
“Not my problem. Don’t worry he had the same face once the realization hit him.”
This day keeps getting even more confusing. “What are we talking about now?”
“Isaac, you remember how you said you’d never call Rose your grandmother?” Scotty asked with a chuckle.
I nodded very slowly, hating where this was going. If they say Rose is Parker’s – FUCK! “Parker’s your son that you thought was dead, right?” I asked and Rose nodded. “That makes me your grandson. Fuck! Can’t this family be fucking normal and without any fucking secrets! God, no wonder my life’s been hell. I can’t get away from this shit. Is there any other secrets that you guys are forgetting? Have you told Parker he’s a fucking grandfather? Or how bout that his sister lives down the street? Lets not forget about Jon! Does he even know?”
“Wait, slow down, grandfather?” Parker asked.
Mom clasped her hand over her mouth, “Shit I completely forgot to mention Dani. You’re gonna love her.”
Parker’s color left his face and Rose nudged him, “Now, how does it feel, grandpa?”
After a long, long awkward silence, I finally stepped up and asked the most obvious question that needed to be asked. “So what’s the deal here? Are you staying, going, what?”
“That’s what we’ve been discussing.” Parker said with a sigh. “I didn’t have much of a plan. I thought – well, hoped – that I’d come home, and we become the family we were. It was just my small fantasy that kept me alive for the last twenty years. Reality sucks. So, really I’m trying to figure it out. Are there any hotels around?”
“No.” And why was I going to do what I was about to do? “Look, Casey and I have a couch you could crash on. It’s not much, but since ma probably would be uncomfortable with you here, you can crash with me. It’s up to you though, Parker.”
“I’d take a couch over a concrete bench any day.”
“Great, lets get going. I’ll go buy you a drink at Merlotte’s and we can get to know each other a bit. Hell, I’ll even call my DD to meet us there.”
“YOU WILL NOT!” ma yelled and jumped from the couch.
“Sounds like a plan. Lets go,” Parker said, ignoring my ma. “And I’ll be buying my son a drink, not the other way around.”
“Parker!” Ma gasped.
“Hana, darling, twenty years of living through hell. I’ve done sober, I’ve done the whole drunk and passed out and prayed that I would just die, and I’ve done rehab on more than one occasion. I haven’t been sober since I found Oni and we celebrated. Tonight I am gonna celebrate with my boy and have a drink.”
“Yeah, I think I will.”
“Rose, do something!”
Rose laughed, “Like I can control him. I haven’t been able to control him since he was three months old and I walked out of his life.”
“Come on Kaliq.” Parker walked around the sofa and I followed. Ma started to yell at Parker more, but we both ignored her. In the car I started to laugh, “So, that’s the plan to get ma back? Drink and do whatever else to piss her off?”
“Shut up. It’s taken every ounce not to grab my flask today.” He took out his flask and drank. “So, Scott, he a good guy?”
“Fuck, no. I hate that fucking tool. He knocked up ma and married her! He’s been such an ass around me. Jahi only likes him ‘cause he works with her husband, Joe. Oni left for a reason. He hates Scott more than me, I think.”
“So, if I killed him, no one, but your ma would miss him?”
“Your ma might?”
“Rose is not my ma.She may have given me life, but that’s all she has ever done for me. Nope, Claire Rain was, and will only be my mother. Rose is just Rose.”
We headed into the bar and I ordered a beer and Parker ordered a martini. He downed his and asked for another before the waiter left. “Sorry, I’ve been needing that since finding out Hana had another man’s baby.”
I nodded. “So, could I ask you something?”
“If you don’t think of Rose as a mother, how offended would you get if I don’t think the same for you?”
“None. Look, I’ve been where you are with my own father. Travis left me when I was barely one. I grew up with no parents until after my grandfather died. Around my sixteenth birthday my mom Claire adopted me. That’s the only thing Rose ever did for me, give me up so Claire could do that. I don’t ever expect you to call me dad or pa. Just as long as you give me a chance to prove myself, and allow me to at least be your friend.”
“Alright, just friends. No fatherly advice. I already get that from Coke.”
“Fair enough, however I do want to meet this Coke.”
“Deal.” I held out my hand and he shook it with his prosthetic one. The rest of the night the two of us tried to outdrink the other as we bonded. I wasn’t sure how many beers we drank, but by the time Casey showed up to take us home, Parker and I were singing loud and stumbling out the door. One thing for sure, we were definitely going to have bad hangovers in the morning.