The next morning I’m whipping a pancake mix together, pouring it slowly into the sizzling pan when Alison walks down the stairs.
My heart skips a little at her tight jeans and wraparound shirt, but she’s not one of those girls that drowns herself in make up. Her hair is messy and in a loose ponytail, her face flawless and free of any products.
Because up close, her lashes are so fucking long and dark I wonder how someone so blonde has eyelashes like it.
“Good morning,” Alison smiles, Kiki at her heels. “You weren’t kidding about the pancakes.”
I flip one over, nodding at the cupboard behind me.
“Be a doll and grab the syrup and chocolate spread, would you?”
She nods, moving around the island to reach the items. I can’t help but check her out, and I jump a mile when Kurts voice booms into the room.
“Do you own any clothes?” I raise an eyebrow at his bare torso, and he slaps it with a grin.
“My girl prefers me naked.”
“I thought you would be staying at Timea’s, Dad. I hope we weren’t too loud.”
Beside me, Alison drops the syrup and spread onto the side with a clatter, glaring at my son.
Alison looks pissed, and Kurt doesn’t seem to give a shit.
“Ignore him, he’s a loser,” I whisper in her ear, earning myself a glare from Kurt.
Alison sighs heavily, but slides her phone out of her jeans.
“So I booked a viewing on a house for Monday, if you can make it?”
I try to tune out, but Kurt is practically ignoring her.
“Boy,” I bark, slamming my hand on the counter. “Your fiancé is speaking to you.”
I can’t disguise the anger in my voice, and I can feel Alison’s eyes on me.
“It’s okay, Lincoln,” she murmurs, reaching for a stack of plates. “Let’s eat.”
Kurt, however, is glaring at me.
“Of course babe, what time?” Kurt asks, his voice syrupy sweet.
“I booked it for five, because I thought you might be finished at work by then?” Alison says hopefully.
Kurt nods, reaching out for her as she slides the first pancake to him.
“You’re so beautiful, you know that?” Kurt mumbles against her lips, making me want to vomit.
I’m happy for the kids, but I’m not buying this whole getting settled down in their twenties shit. I’m sure Alison will, but my son?
Alison wriggles away and Kurt rolls his eyes, catching me watching them.
Alison leads Kiki out the back door, talking to her in the sweet voice she’s reserved only for her.
“Why didn’t you let Kiki sleep upstairs with you?” I flip another pancake out onto a plate, aggressively filling the pan again.
Kurt steals the second pancake, drizzling it in syrup.
“Because I didn’t want the damn dog watching me fuck my girl.”
Kurt raises his eyebrows at me, shrugging his shoulders.
Hearing him talk about Alison like that makes me want to shake some sense into him, but before I can say anything, Kurt pipes up again.
“I’m out tonight with the boys. Birthday and all that.”
I nod, knowing full well when his birthday is. The five hundred dollar cheque I’d given him had been cashed within seconds of it touching his greedy hands.
“A party, Timea said.”
There’s a brief pause, but Kurt nods.
“Yeah, Timea said she’s going. Does that mean you’ll be there?” Kurt cringes, and I sigh.
“The fuck you looking at me like that for? I’m not gonna embarrass you.”
Focusing on the pancakes keeps me calm, but Kurt is determined to piss me off.
“Dad, you’re forty six.”
“Forty-two,” I grit out, putting a pile of pancakes onto different plates for Alison and me.
“Is Alison going with you?”
I meet his gaze, and he shakes his head.
“Nah. Boys night. I’m seeing her tomorrow.”
“Why don’t you spend the night with her? You’re getting married, for fucks sake.”
Kurt rolls his eyes, drinking orange juice straight from the carton.
“Exactly.” He wipes his lips, grinning. “So I’ve got to play while I can, right?”
“I hope you’re joking,” I warn him, pointing at him with my spatula. “You said that shit was over.”
Kurt stretches, then flexes his muscles.
“How is it ever over? I need a wife at home, someone to clean and cook, fuck and suck—”
“You little prick.” I exhale, wondering how this boy is even my son.
I get playing the field, but lying to Alison while he gets his end away pisses me off.
“Someone to have the kids. You know?”
Kurt winks at me, enjoying my reaction. I’m about to respond when Alison walks in, her cheeks rosy from the cool morning air.
“Kiki loves your garden,” Alison breathes, her eyes dancing with happiness. “I’m going to take her for a walk, Kurt, if you want to come?”
Kiki bounds up to me, and I sneak her a bit of pancake while no ones looking.
She demolishes it, and looks at me expectantly.
“I would babe, but I’ve got to get ready.” Kurt wraps his arms around Alison, pressing her to the counter. I feed Kiki some more pancakes, and ignore the way my son is grinding against Alison.
I guess we all are at that age.
I wasn’t ever a prick though. I was the best dad I could be, with the most toxic wife in the world. It broke my heart when I realised Kurt was the spit of his mother, hardly any of me in him other than the looks.
Kurt taps her ass, jogging upstairs while Alison looks forlorn and lost.
“I’ll come with you, if you want.”
Alison sits in front of me, drizzling syrup over two pancakes.
“Oh, you don’t have to. Thanks, though.”
She covers her mouth when she eats, and leaves a pancake untouched.
“Surely you’re not full?” I ask, mesmerised. “I’ve had six.”
Alison looks up at me apologetically.
“Sorry. I’m trying to watch my weight.”
My eyes almost fall out, but I try to react with a modicum of decorum.
“You don’t need to.”
Or, I could just be blunt.
Alison flushes, dropping her eyes to the plate.
“I’m okay. Thanks though.”
Bass kicks in above us, and I clench my jaw. Kurt hasn’t even said goodbye to Alison, and he’s already in party mode.
“He’s a dick, I apologise.”
Alison gapes at me, and I grab Kiki’s lead from the side.
“Please come on a walk with me?”
I’m probably freaking her out, but I’m desperate to see her smile again.
Alison chews on her lip, glancing toward the stairs.
“I was going to Hessy Fields,” she says, tilting her head to the side. “If you want to come?”
I can’t contain my excitement.
“Sure I do. Let’s go.”