NOTICE: Please be advice there is homophobic material in this chapter. I am in no way condoning this sort of behavior, and it’s not my views that are being expressed. As I know some of my readers are LGBT, I want to warn them that this may be offensive, and I am sorry. This part of the story has to be told though to understand the full effect in Jamie’s prologue and first few chapters – and possibly later chapters.
The door slammed hard, and I turned from my desk to see Jamie. He looked more than a little upset as he huffed past me and ran up the stairs. What the hell? I thought. I saved my latest manuscript and ran up the stairs after Jamie. As I got to the top, I heard his bedroom door slam.
I was use to doors being slammed in my house. It’s hard not to when you have a seventeen year old daughter, a fifteen year old son, and two twelve year olds. If a door doesn’t slam, I’d be more surprise.
I knocked on Jamie’s door, “Jamie, you okay?”
“I’m fine,” I heard over a sob.
“Jamie, come on, talk to me. I’m your dad, I’ll listen.”
The door opened and Jamie’s red-eyed, tear streak face faced me. “I don’t want to talk about it. I’m fine okay.”
I wiped a tear away, “Son, you’re not fine. Tell me what happened.” Ever since high school my son’s been bullied and teased. He won’t tell anyone about what’s said or done to him. His spirit is always so low, it breaks my heart. Both Riddle and I have talked to the school, and his teachers. “Please, kid, tell me what they’re saying to you.”
“I’m handling it.” With that he walked out his room and headed to our little den area. He held up a stack of paper he had in his hand, “Can you help me with some lines, please.”
“Yeah my audition for Aladdin at school went well, so I have a call back. I just need to get this scene down.”
I sat down and took the script from him. I was so use to reading lines with Riddle, that it was like second nature. “So, who am I reading?”
“Jasmine, she just ran into Aladdin on the street.” So, then we begun. Cait came upstairs when she got home and saw us working. She didn’t say a thing, completely ignored us and continued texting her friends as she headed for her room.
That was Cait, if you didn’t text her, she didn’t talk to you. Her social life was all over the phone and I hated it. I ended up getting a SimFace account just to talk to my own daughter, however she ignored my friend request. The only good thing that came out of that was I got in touch with my brother Jon in Egypt.
As the afternoon wore on Riddle came home and came upstairs. She saw us reading lines. “You can’t act worth shit, you know that Kai?” She mocked. I was just reading, not acting.
“So, I’m helping. If you think you can do this better, than I want to see you try.” Jamie laughed at my little rebuttal.
“You’re forgetting who you’re talking to, babe,” she put her hand out waiting for the script. I gave it to her. “Okay, Jamie, where are you?”
“Where Aladdin is on the balcony, where Aladdin says, ‘Beautiful.’”
Riddle took one look at the page, and she went right into character. I have always loved watching Riddle act, I hardly got to just watch. Every once in a while I’d go visit on set, but seeing her reading lines with Jamie, is amazing. “Hmm. I’m rich too, you know.” Riddle started, and the two started to act the entire scene out in my house.
Jamie started to look himself again, even if it was temporary. I watched as he took his mom by the shoulder and sing, “I can show you the world / Shining, shimmering, splendid. / Tell me princess, now when did you last / let your heart decide?”
Riddle sang, but, and I say this with all my love, she can’t sing worth shit. I think I actually cringed a bit. She looked at me and gave me the finger, but never left character as she and Jamie sang. When they finished I gave a little clap, “Bravo.”
“So, do you think I got a shot?” Jamie asked, always the worry-wart.
“I think if you don’t then we’re not paying enough for your singing classes.” I answered. “You’ll do fine.”
A few days later, Jamie came home all smiles and singing. “One jump ahead of the slowpokes / One skip ahead of my doom / Next time gonna use a nom de plume. / One jump ahead of the hitmen / One hit ahead of the flock / I think I’ll take a stroll around the block.”
I swiveled around in my chair, “I take it you are now a street rat?”
“You guessed correctly. I can’t believe it! I got the lead in the school play!”
“Well, congrats.” I stood and gave my boy a hug, “I knew you could get it.”
“Thanks! I’m gonna go call Sara.” He ran off and up the stairs. Sara was Jamie’s best friend from dance class. I’ve asked Jamie a few times if she was his girlfriend, and he always replied that they were “just friends.” Yeah, I’ve heard that before. One of these days they’ll figure it out.
“All right, I’m off.” Casey said as he walked out of the security office. “Tell Park that he has that meeting with the school on Monday at seven, please.”
“Sure thing. Tell Carter good luck tonight at the game.”
“That boy doesn’t need luck, he’s a Fighting Irish!” Casey boasted. My friend doted on that boy. Carter made Varsity on the football team this year and he’s a killer running back. With a wave Casey left, and I went back to doing nothing, because I was suffering through the worst writer’s block ever. Which didn’t at all help the stress I was under with my publishing company.
It was okay though, I figured if anything I’d call Coke to see what he thinks of my work. I was writing a new adventure series that included time travel, the supernatural, and a demon. I was stuck though, and I needed help.
Saturday came and went, and still I hadn’t written anything. I ended up calling and emailing Coke, when he didn’t reply, I went crazy. “Where’s your dad?” I asked Riddle on Sunday. I was going crazy at this point, my stress level was at the top. “I’ve called him, emailed him, and nothing. Where is he?”
“He and mom went on vacation, why?”
“I have fucking writer’s block, and I need his opinion.”
“What do you mean writer’s block? You’ve been writing the last few days nonstop.”
“No, I’ve been staring at my computer screen nonstop for two days. I don’t know what to do.”
“Take a break. I invited Casey, Rose, and the kids over for dinner. Maybe taking your mind off of it will help.”
Jamie came into the kitchen, “Carter’s coming over?”
“Yup. I figured since we haven’t all seen each other in a long while, and just hung out, that it was time. Plus, Rose and I are trying to plan a girls weekend without all of you,” she poked my nose and then kissed me. Riddle had been begging for a small vacation from work, and the family for months. She just wanted a weekend at the spa. I told her I didn’t do spas. Now, I guess she found someone else to go with.
Jamie didn’t say anything, he just disappeared. I didn’t care, I just went into kissing Riddle. The kissing escalated as I pushed her up against the counter. She tugged on my belt as I felt down between her pants. “What if the kids come in?” she whispered in my ear just before she bit it and licked it.
I just moaned as I continued to suck on her neck. I honestly didn’t care if anyone walked in at the moment. Riddle’s and my sex life seemed to be nonexistent these days with her work schedule and the kids. The only sex I had been getting for the last four months consist of my fist. It sucked, and right now, if I could figure out how to get her pants off without stopping what I was doing with my mouth, I would.
“Ew, gross.” Cait ruined the moment. “You guys know you have a room to do that, right?”
This was the first time I think Cait’s said more than two words to me all week. Riddle slid off the counter, and I fixed my jeans that were now tighter than ever as I zipped them up. “We’ll finish this later tonight,” Riddle whispered in my ear.
“Promise?” I asked with pleading eyes. Damn, I really needed sex.
“You guys are so gross,” Cait said again as she sat at the table. “At any rate, aren’t you two too old to do that? Seriously, don’t you need a pill after forty, dad?”
Riddle laughed, I glared at my daughter. I just celebrated my forty-first birthday and I had hated every minute of that day. Something was wrong with the universe, for me to get so damn old. Luckily I wasn’t the only one, we were all jumping that hurdle of forty – just my luck I was older than Riddle, Casey, and Rose by a year.
“Ha ha, Cait. What are you doing down here anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be glued to the social media network?”
“I have a headache.”
“That’s a surprise,” I rolled my eyes and went to sit by her. She had brought down a biology book. The girl loved science. She longed dropped her dancing classes, and was into anything science. She was even doing an internship at the science lab downtown. “What are you studying?”
Boy, when you ask the right question, does Cait’s mouth ever move so fast. “D.N.A. My class is doing a project on DNA and blood. And Dr. Rys said he could help me with DNA testing. Right now we are talking about how DNA is made up between father and mother. Did you know that everyone’s DNA is unique except for identical twins! That we each take something from both parents, and not always the same genes. Its so cool! I can’t wait to study my individual DNA and what came from both you and mom.”
I seriously was sweating. Riddle looked at me across the room and I think we both wore the same expression. “W-what do you mean?”
“I mean, that’s what I’m gonna do at the lab this week. Dr. Rys is a DNA specialist at the lab and I told him what my class was studying and he said if I wanted we could study my DNA. I’m supposed to bring DNA from my parents,” Riddle pulled out two swabs from her book. “I just need your spit.”
“Uh why?” I asked. There was no way in hell I was giving her my DNA so she could compare it to hers. No way! Riddle looked just as stressed as I was. My chest even felt kind of constricted just thinking about her finding out I wasn’t her father.
“Because, it’s kinda important for the study, duh.” And before I knew it she pushed the swab in my mouth just as I was about to respond. It took me by surprise. “Mom?”
Riddle looked at me but gave Cait a nod. Cait took a swab of Riddle’s spit and put both of them in separate baggies that were named XX and XY. Cait continued to study and I looked at the material, sure enough it was on DNA.
Riddle motioned me to the stairs and I followed until we got to our room. As soon as I closed the door, Riddle turned and asked, “What the hell are we going to do?”
“Fuck if I know!” My chest was really hurting at this point. Why! Why did she have to spring this on us!!!
“We need to grab that swab, Kal.”
“Yeah, because she won’t be suspicious that the XY swab is missing. What about Hart, you think if we could somehow call him tonight for dinner, and then like somehow trade the swabs?”
“Like I know how to get into contact with Hart. Come on, Kal.”
“Right,” I said, not even thinking. My mind was going at a billion miles per minute. I ended up sitting and putting my head between my legs. I could barely breath, this was a fucking nightmare. What the hell we’re we gonna do?
“Maybe I should just tell her,” I blurted out my thought.
“What? No! You can’t, Kal.”
“Riddle, we can’t steal those swabs. We can’t get Pan here to do some psycho covert job to switch them. We can’t stop her from studying what she loves. We have to tell her. It’s our only option.”
“She’s going to kill you, you know that, right?”
I stood up and headed for the door, looking out the little windows. “I know, but if we don’t and she finds out the hard way, she’s going to flip out, Riddler.”
The doorbell rang, and I cursed. We didn’t have time for guests! “We’ll talk about this later tonight,” she whispered.
“We better, because Cait’s going to the lab tomorrow.” I told her through gritted teeth, I just needed to get through dinner acting normal.
The dinner was great. First, Riddle, ma and Rose cooked while Casey and I watched the game with dad. Anna ran off with the twins upon arrival, and Jamie and Carter were up in his room listening to music or something. Hell Jamie was blaring music. Overall it was a good evening – even if I lost a hundred bucks to Casey. Stupid Aztecs!
Dinner was an interesting affair. The kids ate outside while us old folk, as Cait called us, ate inside. I ended up asking for everyone’s advice about Cait.
Dad was the first one to speak, “You guys need to tell her together. That’s my opinion.”
“But what if she like hates me?” I mumbled.
Dad laughed, “Son, look at you. Your the only father she’s known. She’ll still love you. Just tell her the truth.” Everyone else murmured in agreement.
The door opened and Carter walked in, “Can we go, mom?”
“No, we’re still eating and enjoying ourselves. Why don’t you and the others get your swimsuits on and jump in the pool?”
“Because that’s lame. Can’t I just go home?” Carter looked at Casey, “Dad?”
“No. If you and Jamie are that bored, go watch a horror movie or something.”
“Fine,” Carter whined and walked out. This was all surreal. I hadn’t seen Carter much in the last year or so – not since our latest camping trip, but part of that was because him and Jamie had such a rigorous schedule at school that they just didn’t have time to hang out after school like they use to.
We continued to eat after Carter went back outside. Mostly we chatted until little Anna complained that she was tired and wanted to go to bed. It was late, we all knew it, and reluctantly all said goodbye.
As we all said goodbye, I noticed something odd. Maybe it was my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw fear in my son’s eye after he and Carter hugged. Like whatever Carter had said made him afraid. I don’t know, maybe its just my paranoia or the fact that I am so fucking nervous about Cait, that I’m just breathing too much into my kid’s looks.
After the Styx’s left, Riddle and I called Cait down when the others headed for bed. We sat her at the table and I grabbed the XY stick out of her backpack. “What’s up?” She said looking at the swab.
“We need to talk,” I said. “Just sit and listen.”
She sat, Riddle sat next to her and held her hand while I sat across from her. I took a deep breath. Riddle and I agreed I’d tell her first, but now I didn’t want to. “Cait, I really, really, don’t want to tell you what I have to. However, your mother and I both agree that we need to. I never thought I would have to tell you this, ever. I never wanted to, but I have to. Caitlin, my beautiful sweet little angel cake,” I cried.
“Dad?” Cait looked at me with worrisome eyes, “You’re scaring me.”
“I know, sweetie. Cait, eighteen years ago, your mother came to me for help. She was pregnant. . . With you.”
“So. . . You weren’t married when I was born, I knew that.”
Riddle squeezed Cait’s hand, “That’s not what he means. Cait, I was raped eighteen years ago.”
“What?” Cait yelled. She looked at Riddle and then back to me, and then to Riddle again. “What do you mean? How. . .How. . .” So Riddle told her the story of how Pan Hart raped her and how she came to me for help, and I went crazy. I then explained how I went back after a few months and begged Riddle to let me help her. How I gave Riddle a way for her to keep her reputation intact, and how we could be a happy family.
“But, Cait, I am your father in here.” I touched my heart and cried a little. “I was there for your mother. I held her hand when she pushed you out. I was there for those middle of the night feedings. I watched you take your first steps.”
“Stop,” Cait held her hand up. “You two lied to me my entire life? Were you ever going to tell me this?” She grabbed the swab and snapped it with her tight grip, “Were you ever, if I hadn’t asked for some DNA for a school project?”
“No, we didn’t-” I started but Cait stood up.
“Save it. I can’t believe you guys.”
“We were just trying-”
“To protect me? That’s just bullshit. All you two ever cared was about your careers! Fuck you both. And Kaliq, your not my father and you’ll never be my father.”
My heart broke into a million pieces. “You don’t mean that, Cait.”
“Yeah, I do.” She walked back to the stairs and I just broke down. Riddle came next to me to console me, but I pushed her away.
I ended up going outside and grabbed a drink from the bar before going to sit out by the pool. I sulked and cried as I tried to numb the pain. Seventeen years of love, and now my daughter hated me to the point she didn’t want me as a father. All because she wanted to do some fucking science experiment.
Riddle came out and brought the bottle of scotch I was drinking and refilled my glass. She sat between my legs and leaned back. “She’s just mad you know, give her some time to digest it.”
“I know, but it still hurts.”
Riddle and I sat outside and ended up falling asleep there on the lounge chair. We woke as the sun came up, my eyes burned from the dried tears, my legs were asleep, and my chest was hurting. I looked down and Riddle was cuddled into me. I woke her softly, whispering her name. When she opened her eyes she just gave me the sexiest smile, “Hey gorgeous, I think we slept outside.”
“Is that why I’m cold?” Riddle asked as she cuddle closer to me.
“Yeah it’s a little chilly. Lets get into our own bed and warm up,” I winked, hoping Riddle would understand. She did.
She got up and grabbed my hand and helped pull me up. We walked quietly in the house and up the stairs. I was kissing Riddle’s neck and stroking her arms as we walked, giving her as much affection as I could in the early morning.
Of course we both stopped when Cait walked out of her room, “God, you two are worse than a couple of teenagers.”
“Better not be, young lady,” I said with a little gruff. What the hell was she insinuating?
“Relax Kaliq, I haven’t done anything, but seriously get a room.” And with that my lust for my wife disappeared. Just hearing my name on my daughter’s tongue made me remember the past night and why I had gone outside. Cait went to the restroom and I turned to go back downstairs and work on my writing – if I could even write.
Riddle grabbed my arm, “Kaliq, you okay?”
“No,” I sighed, “Don’t know what I did to deserve this pain, but I owe a huge apology to my own father.”
“No, you don’t,” dad said from his bedroom door.
I turned, “You heard?”
“Yup, I walked out about the same time Cait did. Kaliq,” dad walked up and took me by the arms, “I was never there for you. You were, what twenty when I came back. It took time for you to build up to the level of trust that we have now. When you do call me dad, I don’t take that for granted. However, you were there for her every moment. She’ll understand that soon enough, you just have to wait it out.”
“He’s right, Kal.” Riddle said from behind, “Just give her time to adjust.”
“I really hope you two are right.” I whispered and left. As I got downstairs I rubbed my really broken heart. I hated that my little girl didn’t want me to be her father anymore.
The entire day I worked on my computer, coming up with research I needed. My heart wasn’t into the writing, but I at least figured out something I could do. It was just after three when the door open and slammed shut. I turned to look and my stomach turned. Jamie walked in with a bloody face, and a split lip. On top of it all, the letters F-A-G were written on his forehead. “What the hell happened to you?”
“I got into a fight,” he said as he headed for the bathroom.
I followed. “With who?”
“Just some of the jocks.” Jamie started to scrub his forehead. I was desperately trying to ignore what it said. I kept telling myself, one problem at a time, it wasn’t working. I wanted to know why they had written that on his forehead.
“And what, the school didn’t stop you?”
“Wasn’t at school. Sara and I met at the bistro. Got jumped heading home. Fucking bastards, they used permanent ink. This shit will never get off.”
“Here, let me see.” I turned his head and took the cloth out of his hand. I was going to ignore his language, he had the right to be that piss off. I would have been just as pissed, hell, I was! “I have some paint cleaner that might work in the garage.”
“You’re not going to ask?”
“Nope, just going to deal with one problem at a time.”
“Thanks,” Jamie looked away, and I knew that he wasn’t ready to talk about it. It took a bottle of soap and some oil cleaner stuff I had in the garage, but the two of us managed to get the word off of his forehead. I then made him put an icepack on his swollen eye, telling him he didn’t want to look anything like his grandpa. “Yeah, cause that would be just awful for my growing career as a performer.”
Jamie watched TV the rest of the afternoon. Riddle went crazy at his black eye and demanded to know who did it to him. He wouldn’t tell either of us, and I hated that he thought he could handle it. When dad saw his face he flipped out even more, saying he was going to give him a bodyguard at school. “Grandpa, no. I can’t go around school with a babysitter.”
“He’s not a babysitter, he’ll be there to protect you from that,” dad pointed to Jamie’s face.
“Yeah and I’ll get teased even more. Just drop it, all of you. I can handle it.”
“Son,” I started, “We’re only trying to help you. This has to stop.”
“They’re hurting you,” dad added.
“I don’t want to be teased even more, dad.”
“Then let us talk to the school.”
“NO!” Jamie’s eyes went wide, “Please, don’t come to the school. That’ll only cause more problems.”
I shook my head, “Jamie -”
“NO!” Jamie stormed off. “AND I MEAN IT! NO!”
Within the next week I knew things were getting worse when Jamie came home every day with either a tear stained face, or some kind of bruise forming. Mostly he came home with a black eye. I had enough and so I headed for the school and met Principal Scapula and demand to know why my son doesn’t feel safe in the school.
“I am well aware of the issues Mr. Rain -”
“Then why the hell hasn’t this been stopped. It’s almost been over a year since this started. Do you know how hard it is to see your son coming home every day in tears? Knowing that there’s someone out there not only teasing your boy, but beating him as well?”
“I can feel your pain, Mr. Rain. I can, but my hands are tied. Unless Jamie complains or there’s a witness to an altercation, I can’t do anything about it. I would love to help him, I would, Mr. Rain, but Jamie doesn’t say a word. I’ve tried talking to him, his teachers have tried. He won’t tell us.”
“Well can you at least tell me who you think is the one that keeps punching my son and writing derogatory names on his face and his personal effects? I had to buy him a new backpack yesterday when he came home with his bag ripped up and spray painted with the words ‘queer’ and ‘fag’ on it. Now, I don’t know if my kid is gay, and I don’t give a shit. All I want is this to stop.”
“From what I gathered, it’s the young running back, Mr. . .” Scapula grabbed the folder, but he didn’t even need to look I offered a name.
“Carter? Carter Styx?”
“That’s the one. From what one of the teachers said was he’s been picking on Jamie since Freshman year.”
“But that can’t be. Carter and Jamie are best friends. Hell, they’ve grown up together since diapers. His dad’s my best friend and my dad’s security firm’s CEO.”
And before he could say another word, we both heard the familiar fight chant from the halls. I had a bad feeling about this. Both Scapula and I ran down the hall to see Carter pushing Jamie against the locker and holding him there. “You fucking faggot. Why do you even bother coming back to school?”
“Let me go, Carter!”
“Why, so you can parade around like some beauty queen. Your nothing but a cocksucking fag. Get out of this school.” And with that, and before I could get to Carter, he punched my son in the gut.
Something came over me in that second. I charged Carter before he could get another blow to my son. I grabbed him and tossed him off and onto the ground. The others ran off, before I could say or do something to them. Carter tried to get up and I yelled at him, “Stay down! I’ll deal with you in a second, Carter Matthew Styx.” I turn to help Jamie, “You okay?”
“I’m sorry,” he said over a painful sob. “I’m sorry, dad.”
“I didn’t want you to know. Uncle Casey’s your best friend.”
“Hey now, it’s okay.” And now I knew why my son didn’t want to tell me. He didn’t want this to affect my relationship with my own best and closest friend. That pained me even more. This was not helping my stress level.
I turned and towered over Carter, he had turned pale. “You’re in so much trouble, Carter. How dare you touch Jamie, or speak to him in that way! You are so very lucky your dad and I are friends. . .”
“Mr. Rain this isn’t helping. Lets just get these boys to the office.” Mr. Scapula interrupted. He asked if Jamie was okay, Jamie nodded. I helped Jamie to the office, and sat him outside. Carter sat in the chair on the other side of the room, and I gave him a warning look that he understood. When I walked into Scapula’s office, the man was on the phone with Rose, telling her he needed to see both her and Mr. Styx. Scapula put the phone down and looked at me, “She says Mr. Styx is on a job, can’t get a hold of him.”
I grabbed my phone and called dad, “Nine Security Systems, where we personalize your safety, this is Parker.”
“Dad, Casey around?” I asked.
“Sure, hold on. CASE! Kaliq needs to talk to you.”
I heard the phone being shuffled, “Dude do you ever pick up your phone?”
“It’s in the car, why?”
“Well, it seems I found out who’s been fucking with Jamie.”
“Carter.” I let that digest, “Look, Rose is on her way, and Scapula needs you here as well.”
“Are you sure it was Carter?”
“Well, unless it was my imagination and I was hallucinating your kid knocking my kid on the ground, I’m pretty sure man.”
“Fuck! I’m sorry, man.”
“Not your fault, just get here.”
It took twenty minutes but both Rose and Casey finally made it to the school. We had the boys come into the office upon their arrival. Rose gave me an apologetic look and Casey just looked pissed off, and he’s never been one to get angry. Scapula went right into catching up on Carter and Rose about what we encountered, and the bullying that Jamie had been enduring over the last year.
Carter stopped him, “I’m well aware of the bullying. What I want to know is,” Casey looked at Jamie, “what has my son done and said to you, Jamie. I know a lot thanks to Park, but I want to hear it from you.”
“He’s calls me fag and queer mostly. He’s been beating me up the last year. Doesn’t matter where I am either, he does it when you all visit and here at school. A few days ago he jumped me outside this little bistro I was at and wrote the word fag on my forehead.”
Carter snickered and I’ve never seen Casey get so mad, he was right into Carter’s face. “You think that’s funny? I’ve had to listen to Parker talk about what happened, and it sickens me to death to know you’re the reason behind it! He’s your friend! You’ve known him since you were both in diapers! What the fuck is wrong with you, Carter! I raised you better than that! Your grandparents are gay for God’s sake!”
“So? You know that you will be telling your granddad and grandpa what you’ve been saying and doing to Jamie,” Rose said. “And we’ll let them decide how you’ll be punished. And mark my words, dad and pops aren’t going to go easy on you.”
Carter’s face went white at the mention of both Reaver and Bowen. Scapula cleared the air. “That’s all good and fine, but it’s getting late and I do need to make sure that Carter also understands that the school take this very serious. Carter, you’re very lucky that Mr. Rain here has asked me not to expel you. That’s typically our policy. So, you will be suspended for two weeks, and suspended for three games.” This was true, just before Casey and Rose came I asked Scapula not to expel Carter. Carter is still family, even if right now I wanted to kill him.
“Don’t bother,” Casey said. “He’s off the football team.”
“What!” Carter stood, “That’s utter crap, dad! It was a fucking joke.”
“A joke?” I said. I grabbed Jamie’s shirt up and showed everyone the few bruises – some old, some new. Which made me want to rethink the expulsion. I thought I’d only see just the fresh one on his gut. Boy, was I wrong. It sickened me to death. “You think that’s a joke! I should have Grandpa Parker down on your ass!”
“You wouldn’t,” Carter’s voice got really quiet.
“You touch my boy again, and I will. And believe me, Carter, my father is very protective when it comes to his grandkids.” I turned to Jamie, “Come on, Jamie, lets get you home.”
Casey came over later that evening. I expected to see him, I knew Casey wouldn’t wait. “Want a drink?” I asked as I opened the door. He nodded and we headed out to the back and I poured two drinks from my stock of the strongest liquor we had. “You okay?” I asked.
“Fuck no, you?”
“Dude, I am so sorry. I don’t even know that kid. Right now, Bowen is driving down from Neverglade. Shit, was he mad. He’s picking up Carter and the next two weeks, Carter has to stay and help out him and Reaver.”
“Wow, I hate to see what Reaver says to him.”
Casey laughed, “You know, I’m not sure who I’d be afraid of more if I was Carter.” For a bit we just stayed in an uncomfortable silence as we sipped our beers. “So, you talk to Jamie?”
“No, I figured everything can wait. He’s worried, though, about us. He loves you and Rose, and doesn’t want to hurt our relationship. It’s why he’s kept this a secret.” And it’s why my chest ached for him. Fuck, I didn’t care. I would have rather known about Carter! I would never have had him over for dinner a few weeks ago!
“You tell him, that you and me don’t have anything to do with him and Carter. We’re bro’s man, always have been. Right now, I’m on Jamie’s side, and will do anything to make sure my boy doesn’t harm him again. I’m even talking to Rose about sending him to military school when he gets back.”
“Can you afford it?”
“It’ll be tight, but we should.”
“Tell me if you can’t. I’m married to a fucking Hollywood starlet, I think I can help out.”
Casey laughed, “Dude, she hasn’t been a starlet in years. Right now it’s all about Wendy Carmel, and that sweet ass of hers.”
I moaned a bit at the mention of Wendy Carmel. Riddle hated that I crushed on a younger actress, especially since those two worked on the same show. “Did you see her on Lipstick Traces last night? Dude she was fi-ine, I think I need a bib when I watch that show.”
“You would!” Casey laughed, “Two hot twenty-somethings and an older one who can’t help but be a bitch. Best fucking show on Earth.”
“Yeah, and the bitch ain’t all that bad looking herself,” I winked.
“Oh god, you two talking about Lipstick Traces, again?” Riddle walked out and made her way around the bar. “You’d think you guys would tire of watching me on TV.”
I exaggerated a gasp, which made Casey choke on his drink. “Why in the world would you say such a thing?” I gave her my sexy smile, and she just laughed. “We’re just comparing how beautiful the two girls are next to the more gorgeous older woman.”
“And how do they compare?” Riddle leaned in.
“They have nothing on you,” I kissed her.
Riddle laughed, “You, Mr. Rain, are a charmer and a flatterer.” She turned to Casey, “Hey Case.”
“Riddle, looking sexy as always.”
“Wow, two flatterers. Only wish the charm was real.”
I whispered low into her ear, “I’ll show you what’s real.”
“That’s it, I am out of here.” Casey drained the last of his beer. “You two have a lovely night.”
I walked up to Jamie’s room after Casey left, there was still something I needed to do before I went to bed. “Hey, can I come in?” I asked when I opened his door.
Inside I found Jamie stretching and instinctively I grabbed myself. Holy hell that had to hurt. His leg was up to his head. “Oh my god,” I groaned. “Why would you do that? Why would anyone want to do that, for that matter?”
“Relax dad, It doesn’t hurt,” Jamie laughed and put his leg down. “It’s called stretching.”
“Yeah the stretching of your balls into two.” I said and rearranged myself, which got a laugh from Jamie. “That is so fucking unnatural, Jamie. My nuts hurt just thinking about it.”
Jamie laughed again and gave me a silly grin, “You just aren’t man enough to take the pain.”
That’s for damn sure. “Look, am I, uh, interrupting? I just came to talk to you before bed.”
“About the bullying. I know, you don’t want to, but we should. I want to make sure you’re okay. Carter was one of your best friends.”
Jamie shrugged and started to wipe down his sweat. “I’m fine. Really, I am. He’s a douche, and I’ll be okay. I just need to get through two more years.”
I shook my head, “Jamie, I don’t want you to just get through it. I don’t want anyone teasing you because your. . . uh. . .”
“Gay?” Jamie inquired. I gulped and nodded, keeping my head down. I felt myself go red. I told myself that if he was I’d be okay with it, I wanted to be. I knew Bowen and Reaver, and never had a problem hanging out with either of them when I dated Rose. Now, though, I just. . . I don’t know. “Dad, relax. Honestly I don’t know if I am or not. I might be bi, I might be gay.”
“Really?” I looked up, a little stunned to say the least.
“Well, I know I’m into guys, but I also like girls. I’m just kinda confused right now. I’m fifteen, though, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that’s confused.”
“You know, if you ever need to talk. . .”
“Dad, I’m not gonna talk about my sex life with you, I’ll figure it out on my own.” I didn’t like the sound of that. I didn’t want him to be confused, and just handle it on his own. He needed to talk, or at least that’s what I believe. Maybe I’m just a tad over protective, I don’t know, but I hated seeing my kid like this.
“Well, I’m still here if you need me, kiddo. Love you.” I walked towards the door. “And don’t hurt anything, you know, valuable.” I winked.
Jamie just laughed and as I left he turned his music back on. Outside the room Cait walked right past me, “Hey, Cait!” Nothing. That was another thing that was killing me. Cait still wouldn’t talk to me. Instead she just kept to her phone, texting away. “You know, one of these days your gonna have to talk to me!”
In the morning I found Ma, Riddle, and Cait all talking at the kitchen island. From what Riddle told me (she had a long talk with her, I guess), is that Cait’s still mad at both of us, but she can understand how Riddle didn’t want to tell her because of the rape. However, Cait’s more mad that about my reaction to her mother’s rape. Riddle said she tried to talk to her about it, but Cait wouldn’t listen. She believed because of that, I really never wanted to be her father, so now she didn’t want me as one.
I ended up walking to Riddle and kissing her on the cheek, “Hey Riddler,” I whispered, trying not to interrupt the ongoing conversation. The night before had been amazing, “Missed you this morning.”
“Sorry, woke up early and didn’t want to wake you.” she whispered back.
I nodded, “Seen the twins?”
“Out following your dad around on errands. And before you go crazy, he knows they’re tailing him. He promise to take care of them.”
“He likes the company,” I whispered.
“That he does.” The girls went back to talking and I was bored. I listened to the conversation and when I realized they were talking about boys, and Cait was telling everyone about this guy named Aaron I interrupted them. ”Wait, what?”
“Relax Kaliq, He hasn’t asked me out . . . yet.” Cait, ma, and Riddle snickered.
That didn’t sooth anything inside me. Nope, just made me more paranoid. “Yet? Why would, why would. . .” Oh I was getting light headed.
“Because she’s a teenage girl, and you know, they tend to want to have boyfriends,” Riddle told me.
“You never dated in high school.”
Riddle laughed, “Says my first boyfriend. Don’t you remember your first kiss? I sure as hell remember mine,” Riddle leaned in and started to tell ma and Cait about her first kiss. It was with me, which I thought was kind of sweet, till I remembered how old we were – sixteen!
“You’re too young to be dating, Caitlin.”
“What does it matter to you, anyhow? You’re not my dad, and I can date who and when I want to.”
“Caitlin!” Ma and Riddle gasped.
I stopped them before they yelled at her, “It’s alright, let her say what she feels.” I looked at Cait, and hid my emotions. “If you feel that way, Caitlin, then go ahead, date this moron. See if I really care.” I stormed off when I started to feel my chest tighten. I just couldn’t take this type of pain. I loved that girl, she was my daughter, dammit!
I had a hard time breathing as I walked towards my computer. I felt like shit hearing what I heard. God, teenagers can be so cruel to people. I rubbed my chest after sitting down and told myself to just ignore her. That she would eventually come around.
Dad came home later, and I looked at him with wide eyed as he carried in Pear. He tossed my son on the couch, “Stay!”
“What the fuck!” I looked around, “Dad, where the fuck is Penny?” This was not helping my chest pain.
“In the car. Hold on.” He went out and brought back my daughter. He walked over and took off their gags. He actually gagged my kids! “Okay, you two. Have either of you learned a lesson?”
I just stood there in shock. My dad had them handcuffed! The kids remained silent and looked at each other. They were afraid, and by the looks of my dad, I was afraid.
“Okay, new rules. No more spying on me! When you were younger it was okay, I didn’t mind it. This obsession though has to stop, and it has to stop now. You almost got yourself killed! If I hadn’t seen that car, Pear would be road kill down that street.”
“WHAT!” I yelled, “Penny, Pear!”
They stayed silent.
“So, here’s the deal. Next time I catch either of you spying I will tie you up and lock you in your room until you’re old enough to vote. And believe me, I will know if you are. You two brats may have been believing I don’t know, but I do. I didn’t survive thirty plus years in the SIA and not know when I was being watched. So, promise me now that this will stop. It has to, or so help me I will keep you tied up for the rest of your childhood.”
Both of their eyes went wide, but they did nod. “We promise,” they said in unison.
“Good, now you’re staying like this until dinner. Maybe you can think about how you almost caused me to have a heart attack out there today. I’ve never been so scared in my life, kids. Don’t do it again.”
Dad walked away and headed for the office. Talk about him having a heart attack, my chest pain wasn’t going away. Just thinking about my kids almost getting hit by a car, god, I didn’t even want to think about it. I followed dad into the room and saw him grab a bottle of vodka from a hidden drawer. “Make that two, dad.”
Dad handed me the first glass and he poured himself a second. “Don’t tell your mother. She doesn’t know about my hidden stash.” He pounded the first glass and poured another. “Your fucking rugrats are going to kill me one of these days.”
“They were almost hit by a car?”
“Yup. I was just walking across the street, next thing I know someone screamed I looked behind me and Pear was standing dead still with his eyes on the car that was coming at him. The driver was texting on the phone. I did what instincts told me to do, I grabbed Pear just as the guy hit the breaks and we flew onto the pavement. Once the car stopped I tore the driver out of the car, and shattered his phone he had in his hand and started to give him the biggest headache he’s ever had until the police tore me off of him.”
“They arrest him?”
“Yup.” Dad pounded the remainder of his next drink and poured another. “So, how was your day?”
“Cait still hates me. Book is going nowhere. Oh, and Jamie thinks he’s bisexual. I was going to ask you to talk to him.”
“Me? Why would I talk to him?” I arched my brow. He knew I knew, he just didn’t want to admit what I knew to be true. It didn’t take but a moment for him to comprehend what I was referring to. “Dammit, Kaliq! I told you to fucking drop it.”
“I’m not saying a word, but Jamie needs someone in his corner.”
Parker sighed, “No one can know, Kaliq. I know your only trying to help Jamie, but Kal, no one can know. I had many lovers in those years, but not many that hit my heart like. . .”
“Exactly.” Dad looked up to me, “Kaliq, I really did love him. I went in to do a job and came out with my heart more than a little broken, okay. So, please just fucking drop it.”
“Okay,” I whispered. Wow, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Riddle called everyone for supper just as I was about to apologize to dad. I watched dad shoot down his third vodka martini and hid his bottle.
We headed to the kitchen. Jamie grabbed his light dinner and headed upstairs to eat it. Cait, surprisingly sat at the table with us adults. Penny and Pear were let loose, and made to eat away from grandpa.
It was about midway through the dinner that I felt more pain in my chest and arm. I started to rub it. Riddle looked next to me, “You okay?”
“Yeah, just hurts a bit. I’ll be fine.” But it did really fucking hurt. Maybe I shouldn’t have had so much liquor with dad.
Riddle believed me, and everyone started to talk again. Cait started to talk about this moron again, and I tried to faze it out. I really didn’t want to hear about him. The more she talked, the more my chest hurt. I got up and grabbed a glass of water.
The last thing I remember was Riddle screaming, “KALIQ!” and then the lights were out.
Author’s Note: If you or someone you know is being bullied, say something. Do something. Stop the silence, and stop the bullying.
I want to thank Amber for giving me the sims I used in this update – even if they are big meanies! Oh! and Jamie’s face mask – even if it’s a really sad one. Thanks to Pons for naming the principal – the sim is Pons in male form, it’s only fitting she names him. And besides, only she would come up with that name. LoL. Oh how I do love Pons. Oh and thanks to Rad for coming up with Lipstick Traces.