Mum bolt’s from her seat and sprints down the hall towards the spare bedroom without looking back. “Mum?”
I chase after her retreating form to find her crashing to the floor outside the bedroom closet and pulling out her filing boxes, ripping open the lids and digging through the paper work.
“Mum, what the hell are you doing?”
Her hand pauses on a particular page as she rips it from the file with tears in her eyes.
“No...” Jumping to her feet she turns to face me, the tears now leaking down her face as her hand containing the paper shakes in front of me. “I didn’t.. I didn’t tell you because it seemed like there was nothing to tell and I didn’t want to upset you. I’m so sorry, if I’d known I...”
Taking the paper from her hands I read over it quickly. It’s a statement from one of Dad’s mistresses, claiming they’d been having an ongoing affair and she’d fallen pregnant. Towards the bottom it stated my father had paid for her to have a termination, not that I’m surprised this happened but I guess it hurts a bit I never knew.
“Okay, I don’t understand what this has to do with anything. Some girl got pregnant by Dad and decided not to have the baby?”
Tears falling down her face I can see her quivering like a leaf before me. “Not some girl Josh, turn it over.”
Lifting the page to reveal the next my heart sinks into my stomach. It’s a page I’ve seen so many times before, the D.N.A. results Steve was given my Christine, except this one has an extra section at the bottom.
‘We can confirm paternity of the child bared by Miss Christine Gail Aberenchie to be the biological child of Mr Steven Thomas Jones with 99.9% accuracy.’
That’s not Steve’s name. That’s the man he was named after.
That’s our fathers name.
“The baby... It’s Dad’s...?”
Mum can’t stop crying, she shaking with pain but mine is all anger.
“I’m so sorry Josh, he sent her the money for the termination and she claimed to have completed it. With everything I’ve taken from him and all the other women suing him for emotional distress he’ll be bankrupt soon, he’d have nothing to offer her or the baby.”
But Steve would.
She planned this. She came back on purpose at that exact moment to make sure she had time to hook Steve in.
That baby isn’t his son. He’s our brother.
“Josh, what do we do? We have to tell Steve that isn’t his baby.”
I don’t let her words settle before bolting for the front door, I can hear Mum chasing me but I don’t stop until I get to the Bentley and almost rip the door off getting in.
Anger is not something I’m good with, I don’t get to it easily, but right now I’m fucking raging and I know it won’t stop firing until Steve knows the truth. How the fuck could she do this? How can someone be so comfortable ruining someone else’s life for their own personal gain?
Slamming the car into drive, I’m about to shoot off when my passenger door swings open and Mum falls into the seat. I don’t bother asking her why she’s coming, ripping out of the car park and racing towards home.
Mum doesn’t even tell me to slow down, she’s holding onto the handle above the window for dear life but she doesn’t say a word. She knows it wouldn’t do anything to stop me anyway, I have to get to my brother.
I knew there was something wrong with that fucking test. It was weird his name was listed as Jones from the start when he hasn’t used that name for over a decade, even Tara said it was odd she used such a big company to do the check because it’s the kind of place only big law firms use, not individuals. My father’s lawyer must have confirmed paternity before sending her the money, she must’ve thought she could just pull the wool over Steve’s eyes long enough he’d connect with the baby and wouldn’t do his own investigations.
Tearing into the driveway outside the house I almost go straight into Steve’s bike, I don’t think there’s anything in the world I could do that would make him forgive me for knocking over his baby like that but hopefully saving him from a life with this bitch would earn me a few points.
I don’t get my car door closed properly before rushing in through the front door to be greeted by a very startled Steve, almost jumping out of his skin in the kitchen as I come smashing through the door followed by my mother. My eyes fall on Chrissy, sitting on the couch with her laptop open to a designer baby furniture website and her dirty feet on Steve’s coffee table. This ends now.
“Bro, Denise? What the fuck? You almost took the door off the fucking hinges. Everything good?”
Marching towards him with the paper still in my hand I grab hold of his shirt and rip him away from the sandwich he was making until we’re all standing in the living room. He’s looking at me like I’ve fucking lost it but I don’t care.
“Josh, what’s going on?”
“Steve what’s your middle name?”
Cocking his eyebrow he stares at me. “You don’t know my middle name? You’re losing some serious brother points here Josh.”
I don’t know if I’m happy or not he’s making jokes right now.
“Just say it. It’s not Thomas.”
He rolls his eyes. “Absolutely fucking not, that’s Dad’s. Mine’s Michael, you know that.”
“Yeah I fucking do... I’m so sorry Steve.” Passing the paper in my hands I look over at Chrissy, her eyes darting from my mother to the paper and then to Steve.
She tries to rush over and snatch it out of his hands but my mother stands in her way.
“Come near either of my sons and I won’t let you being pregnant stop me from hurting you.”
She’s been spending too much time with Brie.
Steve drops the papers to the floor, the pain and anger radiating throughout his body as he turns to Chrissy with venom dripping from every inch of him, taking in air through gritted teeth. Fuck...
“The baby isn’t mine... It’s his... IT’S HIS!”
For the first time in her life I think she’s actually crying genuine tears, although her sadness is replaced in an instant as she turns her glare on my mother.
“YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO GET THAT! THEY TOLD ME YOU’D NEVER SEE IT!”
That’s seriously her fucking defence here? I really need Al to come over hear and release some hormones on this bitch.
“You fucking nut case! You’re pregnant with our fathers fucking kid and you were willing to destroy Steve’s whole fucking life to keep that a secret?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!”
She shakes her head. “No! I’m fixing his life! Your father can’t offer this baby anything, he wanted him dead! I told him if he wanted me to get rid of the little bastard I wanted more money but he wouldn’t pay it! So I did the only thing I could, I got my kid a dad who could provide the life we deserve. You don’t understand Josh because faggots like you can’t have fucking kids!”
My mother’s hand came down on her face so fast I almost didn’t catch her homophobic outburst, not that I expected anything else from this fucking cretin. She’s always had that shit bubbling beneath the surface.
She grasps her swollen cheek before she shoves my mother to one side and rushes to Steve, throwing herself down on her knees in front of him so fucking dramatically I want to offer her a fucking Oscar nomination.
“Baby, I’m so sorry, it was a mistake. I didn’t know who he was at first, then things just spiralled. We can still do this, we can still be a family, this baby is still your blood. You can’t abandon us. It’s always been us Steve, you know that. Me and you... we belong together. There’s a reason we keep coming back to each other.”
Steve stills for a moment, all the anger leaving his body and he crouches down to reach her eye level, slipping his fingers delicately under her chin and lifting her face to look at him. I’m about to kick some sense into him for being so fucking stupid until I see the smile that appears on his face.
She doesn’t recognise it, she smiles back like she’s just hooked a prize shark, but I see the teeth.
Leaning in Steve brings his lips almost to hers, a hair away before he pauses and waits for her to open her eyes again. The moment she does his smile becomes the smirk I’ve seen him shoot at every opponent that stood across the octagon from him.
“Me and you Chrissy, we weren’t anything. You’re nothing; you’re nothing to me, you’re nothing to my father and you’ll be nothing to this kid. Pack your shit, take your brat, and get the fuck out of my life.”
There’s nothing there when he looks at her; no care, no hate, nothing. The moment he stands back to his feet I can see him standing taller now the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders.
Chrissy screams in agony, I’m pretty sure as he stepped over her sobbing body she tried to pretend she was going into labour but he just ignored her as he walked straight towards the front door.
“Bro.” He turns back to face me just as the door opens “Where are you going?”
He smiles. “I’m gonna go see a girl.”
Damn fucking right you are.
The door slams behind him and it takes seconds for the bike to rip to life before taking off.
Turning from the blubbering mess on the floor to my mother I can’t help but smile. Harley always said karma is a bitch, he wasn’t fucking wrong.
“Mum, get me some bin bags. Time to take out the trash.”