We were having a pleasant lunch when daddy dearest ruined it. Matt got a call from the police saying he was in jail, and the bail was nothing we could afford. So, Jack offered to pay, overhearing Matt’s phone call and now comes the interrogation from my mother about my worthless father.
“He’s a drunk?” mom cries, looking at all three of us. The other kids all sit back in their chairs and Jack remains calm while his wife is frantic. “I left my daughter with a drunk.”
“We moved to LA and now I have Matt and Kai,” I reply, trying to calm her.
“Why didn’t you say? You are definitely moving here now,” my mom exclaims.
I can tell Matt’s alarm bells start ringing. He glances to my panicked face and his expression hardens fiercely. I can't move away from Kai. I need him, and Matt. They are all that I have. And I made real friends at school, who I can rely on to keep me on track.
“She is coming back with us where we will protect her,” he yells at her.
“Like you protected her from that maniac?” Lisa comments. I feel my rage boil at everything, my mom, the prospect of moving here, Axel. And I also didn't tell Lisa and my mom that story so they could throw it back in my face.
“We did. We made sure it didn’t go any further,” Kai shouts.
The whole table is in uproar with everyone aside from me and Scott joining in. Scott just glares at me. What is with this guy?
“Alexandria, you are living here,” my mother states.
Everyone screams at each other, so I slam the table, loud enough that it echoes through the whole house. And it's a big house. Everyone jumps, startled by the massive sound and the vibration they could feel through the table.
“I’m staying where I feel safe, with Matt and Kai,” I announce.
“You are safer here,” she cries.
“No, she is not,” Matt says. “You left her with dad. He turned into an alcoholic. She drags to pathetic body upstairs every morning. She got a job when she was in Arizona just to pay the bills. She fell in with Axel just to pay the bills, and to forget she had that burden. She doesn’t need you anymore. She wants to stay with us, and she will.”
“Okay, but what happens when you both leave for college, huh?” my mom exclaims.
“She’ll move with me, or stay with Kai in the state to finish off her school years in the same place,” Matt replies, and I smile at the thought of staying with Kai. It would be so perfect. Of course, ideally, Matt would know about it by then and he'd accept it so we wouldn't have to hide.
My mom huffs in defeat, sitting back down and eating. Everyone else seats themselves and we eat in an awkward silence. Kai and I share secret glances and little flirty smiles. A very dangerous game we are playing. We spoke about it and we decided to tell Matt when we get back home.
Matt’s phone rings again, and it is the football coach, so he takes it outside. Kai’s phone also rings about a match, and leaves the table. I wish my phone would ring so I could disappear but no such luck.
“She’s staying with us,” I hear my mom whisper as we leave the table.
She's not allowed to do this. She can't waltz in and take me away from everything I know. She doesn't know anything about me. But there is no way Matt would ever let this happen. And Kai would fight as best as he could for me too.
After we all finish lunch, I walk around the house to find Kai, needing some warmth and hugs. It's amazing how good he is at hugs. Instead I find Scott cleaning a motorbike instead.
“The cliche bad boy,” I declare as I startle him.
“Fuck! Can you not creep up on me like that?” he shouts, before his face relaxes into its usual scowl.
“I’m your sister now, it’s my job to annoy you,” I counter and he groans.
“I don’t need another annoying fucking sister.”
“Another annoying fucking sister is what you now have.”
“You sound like fucking Yoda. And, well, Alexandria, I don’t like you,” he says.
I jump up onto the seat of the motorcycle, dangling my legs on the side of it. He grips onto the handlebars. He glares at me, probably for going anywhere near it.
“You don’t?” I retort with a smirk. “I’m really upset about that. You like your new brother?”
“Haven’t really spoken to him. And can you get the fuck off my bike?” he growls but I sit still. “It doesn’t look like you annoy your brother like this.”
“No, because you’re easily wound up, and you don’t like me. We're family. You need to like me.” I pout playfully with puppy dog eyes to irritate him more. I don't know why he doesn't like me. I'm fed up of his persistent glares for no reason at all.
“So you’re gonna annoy me until I like you?”
“Maybe, but I only have so much time here. Anyway, see you later.” I hop off his bike, pat his back and head out. I see him smile a little as I waltz out. I want to get to know my new family.
I find Tommy in a playroom filled with expensive toys, and tons of planes.
“Hey, whatcha doing?” I ask, seating myself crossed legged next to Tommy on the floor.
“Playing with planes. Want to play?” he asks innocently and excited, clapping his hands slightly.
“Well, actually I’m frightened of planes.”
“What? Why?” he questions, a cute frown forming on his face.
“When we flew here, it was the second time I’d been on a plane. Every jolt was scary,” I explain.
“You shouldn’t be scared silly, here.” He hands me a plane and we start messing around, bashing into each other and making noises.
When my mom comes into his room to find us playing, she giggles a little and tells Tommy he has a piano lesson. He zooms out the room and down the stairs, his arms at a right angle to his body like a plane. My mom looks at me avidly.
“You’ve really grown up,” she comments.
“Huh?” is my response.
“You and Tommy playing. You’re like a big sister. You’re really trying to make it work with the new family. I saw you talking to a Scott and I think you actually made him smile, which is something I’ve never been able to do. How?”
“I don’t know. He’s like a few guys I’ve met. They have a tough exterior. You just have to be patient, I guess. I should go."
I walk around again to find Kai, and spot him in the garden, sitting on the bench with his hands in his head.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I ask, seating myself next to him.
“The fight. It’s against Reign. They call him that because he’s the reigning champion. Undefeated,” he replies, wincing at his own words.
“You’re undefeated, though.”
“This guy is good, Lex. I need the victory money to pay our bills. I have to beat him.”
“And you will. I know you can do it. You have me as your ring girl. He won’t know what's hit him.” I hug him, leaning into his chest and move upwards to peck his lips. “I love you.” Kai’s body tenses but he doesn’t move, and neither do I.
Oh shit. I shouldn't have said that. He doesn't feel the same. Why did I have to say that? I always ruin everything. He'll break up wih me and I'll end up living a miserable life with no one to love. Fuck, why isn't he saying anything?
“I love you too,” he utters. And he kisses me deeply, lifting me up to straddle him.