*For those of you not up on computer lingo, here are some hints as to a few that will be used in this story. On a particular RPG (Role Playing Game) website that I use, if you are caught using bad language, your words will be malformed and you may land your character in jail for a period of time, hence, the abbreviations. LOL = Laughing Out Loud ROFLMAO = Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ass Off WTF? = What The Fuck? STFU = Shut The Fuck Up*
“Honey, it’s just for a little while until his bed arrives. Please, just do this for Mommy, okay? It won’t be for long, I promise.”
“Mom, it’s not fair! I’m nearly twenty-one! He just turned eighteen. I’m over that whole teenage bullshit. I’m a goddamn adult! “
Her golden eyes darkened to whiskey, hands flying to her hips. “Don’t you use that language with me, Quinn! I won’t have it.” Her look softened, her hand reaching up to cup my cheek. “Please, baby. It was his idea! He thought it would give you two a chance to get to know each other. Just for a few nights, that’s all I’m asking.”
“Just because you’re getting married, I don’t see why you have to force him and his family on me.” Childish, I knew, but I still slammed the door and locked it. I could hear Todd’s voice full of concern down the hallway, though my mother was quick to assure him that I was just having a bad day and I’d be fine with time.
Yeah, right. She could just keep telling herself that.
Her voice carried through my door. “Honey, we’ll talk later, okay? Todd and I have to get ready for the party tonight!”
I didn’t really care whether or not she got married. But did she have to get married to the father of a bullying jock? Besides the fact that my mother had held me back a year before sending me into the first grade, I landed myself into a psychiatric ward at the age of sixteen when I took a few too many pain killers. Apparently, they thought I was suicidal.
My kind father had decided to kill himself and take Mom and me with him when his stock went under and he lost everything. Thankfully, my Mom was a whole lot handier with a gun than I’d ever given her credit for. You just never think of your Mom baking cookies, crocheting blankets, and holding a .38 caliber in her nightstand. Unfortunately, good old Dad had managed to give me a nice piercing in my stomach with a large kitchen knife before Mom came in like Billy The Kid. Hence, the pain killers that I may have taken fifteen of instead of the recommended one.
Depression wasn’t really what I would call the things I went through. And yet, I was still forced to see a counselor for months on end, then forced into seeing the idiotic counselors at school when they finally thought I was safe to return. Though I begged my mother to allow me to just get my GED instead of being two years older than everyone else, she politely declined and told me that with my baby face no one would know I was older than them unless I told them. Goody.
So here I was, twenty years old, just finishing high school, and somehow still looking like I should be about sixteen because, like my Mom had told me, I had a baby face. Now my Mom was marrying Todd. I didn’t have much of a problem with Todd, he was a good guy, if just a tad too optimistic for my taste. Even his little twelve year old twerp, Bobby, was okay, who was thrilled beyond belief because Mom had turned the attic into a bedroom just for him. It was his older son, Kyle, that I had a problem with. Kyle had picked on me in high school merely because he was bigger. He knew I was older and used it to his advantage. He would threaten me, saying that if I lifted a hand to him, he’d tell the counselors I was a child abuser and have me locked away. I didn’t really know if he could do this or not, so I did nothing. I don’t know why the kid intimidated me, but he did, a lot. Older didn’t really do a lot considering he was bigger than me. He was the All-Star quarterback of our school, did weights almost obsessively, and at six foot looked like a god. Me, I had glasses, a slim build, no friends, loved online RPG games obsessively, and was a small 5’7″. I was lucky I was that tall, considering both my parents were under 5’4″.
“Stupid jerk,” I muttered as I turned on my laptop. “I bet it was his idea. Just a new way to torment me now that we’re not in school. As if the possibility of him ruining every holiday from here on out weren’t enough.” I quickly pulled up my favorite RPG website and logged in. Within minutes, I was quickly running through one of the more popular graveyards and killing skeletons, zombies, and specters alike and looting their bodies for anything I could sell back in town. “I am such a dork.”
I was brought from my undead slaughtering when someone began picking the lock on my door. Unless Mom had found a new hobby, it could only be one person. The same person who had broken into my locker numerous times to disrupt my homework and making a general mess. I wanted to block the door, to tell him to go away he could move his stuff in later. But I could feel my chest starting to tighten with an impending attack. As my door swung open, I dove across my full sized bed to grab my inhaler on the nightstand.
Glaring at the unwelcome intruder, I quickly inhaled the medicine, tempted to take another four puffs, but really didn’t want to have a repeat with counselors.
“Aw, what’s the matter, Quinn? Under a little stress?” Kyle grinned and walked up to the bed, watching as I quickly averted my eyes.
“I didn’t agree to this,” I wheezed. It always took a minute before the inhaler began to work. Rising from the bed, I decided to ignore him, so I returned to my game. Thankfully, my guy was strong enough, he’d killed three skeletons while I was gone and was only slightly wounded.
“You don’t have much of a choice, buddy boy.” Kyle took no time in beginning to place several of his items around the room. “So, that was some hissy fit you decided to throw at Mom.”
“Don’t call her Mom.”
“Well, she is going to be my Mom now that her and Dad are getting married.” Kyle grinned over his shoulder as he dumped his football gear in the corner. College was fast approaching and football was the whole reason he was getting into the local college a few miles away. “What? Aren’t you happy to have a new daddy and brothers?”
“Go screw yourself, Kyle.” Though I said it under my breath, apparently Kyle still heard me as he leaned against my chair, pushing it painfully into my desk. “Oof!”
“What was that, Quinn? I don’t think I heard you.”
Now, I would have loved to push back in my chair and start a fight with the guy that was nearly a hundred pounds heavier than my skinny ass frame, but for obvious reasons, I was unable to. Instead, I leaned down nearly to my keyboard, gasping as the desk dug painfully into my stomach. “Get off of me.”
Kyle leaned in close, leaning against my back, his breath against my cheek. Goosebumps broke out over my arms. “Don’t piss me off, brother of mine. We both know who would win if the two of us went at it.”
When he let me up, I took another puff of the inhaler, not sure if it was for my lack of breath or my nerves. This guy always made me edgy. Silently, I condemned my Mom again for telling me I had to sleep in the same room as a psycho.
I was so preoccupied, I didn’t see the Skeleton Shadow come up and start beating the crap out of my character. “Damn it!”
“What?” Kyle came back over and looked over my shoulder. “What are you playing?”
“Never mind. It’s not for the brainy types like you,” I said sarcastically, rapidly trying to heal my character and run at the same time. My character was good, but not good enough for the shadows yet.
Kyle began to laugh. “You named your character Quinn? Jeeze, you’re a dork.”
“You’re right, I should have named him something like, Shadow Killer, or Death Master, right?”
Kyle sat back on the bed and stretched out with a grin. “I think I’m going to like having you for a brother, Quinn.”
I eyed him suspiciously. “Why’s that?”
He grinned evilly at me, but didn’t say another word.
“We would like to thank everyone for coming to our dinner party in celebration of our up coming wedding,” Todd said as he raised his glass of champagne, his arm tucked around Rachel’s waist as they grinned out at their friends and family.
I watched with disdain near the hallway. The party had been going on for an hour already and didn’t look like it would be ending anytime soon. I’d already had several Aunts and Uncles come up to me with worried looks and patronizing, “How are you doing, Quinn?”
It had been almost four years since I’d been released from the hospital and people still walked on eggshells around me, afraid I was going to jump out the nearest window and throw myself in front of a moving bus if they so much as looked at me cross eyed.
On one such instance, Kyle came up beside me and rested his arm around my shoulder, grinning at my Aunt Meg. “Oh, you must be Aunt Meg. Mom told me how you were her favorite sister.”
Aunt Meg blushed and giggled, being praised by such a hot young stud.
With a disgusted sniff, I pushed my glasses up my nose and tried unsuccessfully to dislodge Kyle’s arm. “Don’t worry about my big brother here. He’s doing great, he’s just tickled pink and has welcomed Bobby and I into the family with open arms.”
It was on the tip of my tongue to snap at him, until he began pinching my arm. I had nowhere to struggle except farther into his side.
“See? He just loves us!” His other arm came around my front, locking me in a very unwanted hug. “I love you, too, brother!”
“Oh, how sweet!” Aunt Meg sniffled into her napkin and walked away.
I growled under my breath and pulled at his arms. “You big jerk, let go!”
Before I knew it, Kyle did a twirl and had me against a wall in the darkness of the hallway leading to our room. His face came in close to mine and at that moment, his smile dark, bringing butterflies to life in my stomach.
Now, if I’d had the guts, I could have gotten away from him, just slipped to either side and kept going. But I couldn’t. This eighteen year old had a gaze that was penetrating, an essence that was immovable. A chill traveled noticeably down my spine when his hand came up slowly and plucked the glasses from my face.
With a lopsided grin, he pocked my glasses and ran a finger down my nose. “Much better. You’re eyes are the most spectacular green when you’re not hiding them with these things.” His head cocked to the side. “Maybe they won’t bug you so much if you don’t have to see their pitying glances, huh?”
It almost sounded like he cared that it bothered me the way everyone was treating me. Then it dawned on me that without my glasses, I would be vulnerable. I couldn’t see, couldn’t identify anything or anyone! With all of Todd’s new stuff in the house, I could trip over anything! I’d be a laughing stock and then people would awe over me even more. I would have to move far away, very far away. Maybe I’d just move into the basement and refuse to come out until Hell froze over. “Kyle, give them back. Give them back now!”
He took a step back, his face the only clear thing in my vision. Without my classes, I was close to being clinically blind, my eyes were so bad. “Aw, don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”
“No, you don’t understand,” panic crept into my voice. “I need them back, Kyle! I can’t see without them! Please!”
He backed his way down the hallway, making his way back into the room of people, still facing me with that lopsided grin, growing fuzzy in my vision. “Don’t worry, Quinn. I won’t let you fall.”
Then he was gone, disappearing into the crowed of well-wishers. What did he mean he wouldn’t let me fall? The bastard would probably put something in my way on purpose and shove me for added effect!
With shaking hands, I slid my hand along the wall on my left and made my way to the party. Blurry shapes were all I could see unless someone was right in front of me. Even though I knew most of the people, it was frightening not being able to identify them, to not know who was coming at me, or what was happening around me. At the end of the hallway, I looked helplessly out into the blurry crowd, taking slow shuffling steps so as not to trip. I had to find Kyle and get my glasses back. I didn’t have a spare set. Shapeless masses moved and laughed all around me. I couldn’t even tell who my own mother was.
Tears of frustration pricked my eyes. The only thing I could be thankful for at this moment was that Mom and I hadn’t moved into Todd’s house! Then I really would have been in trouble.
Someone bumped me and I fell into a corner. There were too many people and not enough damn faces. Some were out on the lawn, some in the back yard, every room in the house except for the bedrooms were filled with people. Friends, family, co-workers all gathered in celebration for Todd and Mom. And here I was plastered up against a wall, afraid to move.
“Damn it, that bastard.” Frustration burrowed in my chest side by side with fear. Senseless, but there none the less.
I had to get out of the crowd. There was no way I was going to find Kyle like this, I never should have left the safety of the hallway. Damn it! Now I had to try to make my way back. Slowly, I headed in the direction I thought the hallway was. It was the only dark part of the house, so I was sure my guess was pretty good. Oh, I was going to make that bastard pay for this. Somehow, someway, he was going to pay.
I was nearly to the hallway when someone behind me called out to me a hearty hello and slapped me on the back. That was all it took and I was falling. My hands came up to protect my face, but suddenly, a strong arm was wrapped around my waist and kept me on my feet.
“Jeeze, Kyle, that was a great catch!” Someone said. “Quinn, are you okay?”
“He’s fine, just a bit tired. We’ve had a busy day,” I heard Kyle say. I wanted to hit him for what he’d done, but I couldn’t even move, I just held onto his arm and kept my head down. “If you’ll excuse us.”
He quickly led me down the hallway, his arm still secure around my waist, keeping me upright when I stumbled. When he shoved me into our darkened room and flicked on the light, I turned around and slugged him.
“Shit!” I pulled my hand back and cradled it to my chest. I’d never hit anything before, much less a person. It hurt! “Damn it!”
“What the hell was that for? I told you I wouldn’t let you fall!”
Not exactly the reaction I had expected from him. I thought he’d cream me for sure, but he just stood there rubbing his jaw. The frustrated tears I’d held at bay all through my stumbling finally began to fall. “You son of a bitch! Give me back my glasses! Did you think I was kidding when I said I couldn’t see without them? I couldn’t tell who anyone was out there? I couldn’t even pick out Mom! I can’t see anything but blurry shapes moving around me! You son of a bitch!”
He was silent, just staring at me as I cried. I felt like such a damned baby blubbering because I’d been scared. It wasn’t so much the fact that I couldn’t tell who people were, but everything was unknown and frightening when one of the biggest senses was taken away. It was like a whole new world that I wanted no part of.
Finally, he reached into his pocket and handed me my glasses. I snatched them and moved over to the bedside table, reaching for my inhaler. Crying always sucked, not just because of the headache that inevitably came afterward, but it cut off my breath as sufficiently as drowning me.
Sucking in the medication, I willed myself to calm down as the vice tightened around my ribs. It hurt worse than my hand did, but I’d be damned if he saw that.
“Quinn, I’m sorry,” he said it quietly and it pierced me as sharply as my father’s knife had so long ago. “I didn’t realize. I really am sorry.”
Though it was only nine-thirty, I threw my inhaler and glasses on the nightstand and dragged my shirt off over my head. I grabbed my pajama bottoms I’d left on the floor and sat on the bed to take off my shoes.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like, ass wipe? I’m going to bed.”
He retreated from the room without a word. I didn’t know if he just felt bad or had something else up his sleeve. At that particular moment, I really could have cared less. Tugging off my socks and jeans and underwear, I pulled on my pajama bottoms. I hated sleeping with underwear on, but I couldn’t seem to stand sleeping fully naked. Especially not with Kyle sleeping in the same room.
Shutting off the light, I climbed into bed and hugged my pillow. I hurt, the fear of being blind still clung to me, but worse than anything I was humiliated at having cried in front of Kyle. Not in the two last years of him tormenting me have I ever shown so much reaction, not once. And now that damn had broken because of a stupid little prank. Yep, I was going to have to move very far away. Siberia maybe?
It was after ten thirty when I awoke to the bed moving. I could still hear partiers out in the living room, though it was quieter than it had been before. People were settling down, some leaving, and the remaining probably didn’t want the neighbors to call the cops on them for disturbance.
“What the hell?” As the bed shifted again, I got up on my elbow to look over toward my desk. There was Kyle, dressed in a pair of boxers, sliding into the other side of the bed. I quickly began gathering the blankets up around me. “Oh, no! You get the floor for as long as I have to share my room with you! Get out of my bed! Damn it! Get your cold feet away from me, you jerk!”
Grabbing some of the blankets away from me, he snuggled down into the bed like a little kid. “No way in hell am I sleeping on the floor. Get over it or go sleep on the couch. Just shut the hell up.”
Well, I wasn’t going to stand for this! Turning sideways, I braced my feet against his side and began to shove.
“What the hell?” With a laugh, he grabbed his pillow and hit me in the face with it.
Not one to give up so easily, I went up on my knees and started shoving at him with my hands. Maybe if I could just roll him out of the bed, that might work. Before I knew it, he’d grabbed both of my wrists and flipped me over on top of his chest, holding my hands down near his hips. “Would you please settle down and go to sleep? I’m tired and really not in the mood to dominate you into letting me sleep in the bed. It’s happening, so get over it.”
It was just my bad fortune that I’d come to the realization earlier in the day that he turned me on. Yes, that’s right, the guy that tormented me, unbelievably gave me wet dreams. This was so not happening.
The feeling of his chest smashed up against mine, my heat seeping into his cool skin, the strangely erotic grip of his hands on my wrists began to do things to my body that for a moment I prayed I was imagining. Petrified when I realized that yes, my timid little body was responding to the closeness of his, I closed my eyes and hoped for a bolt of lightening to strike me dead.
“Shut up, just shut up,” I whispered in desperation and dropped my head to his shoulder in abject humiliation. As if my day couldn’t have possibly gotten worse, now this happened. Great. “Please just shut up and let me go.”
With a heavy sigh, he brought our hands up and with a heave of his shoulders, rolled us over so he was laying on top of me.
“Wha-what the hell are you doing, Kyle? Get off!”
“Shh.” He brought our hands above my head and slowly began to grind his hips into mine. That was when I felt him grow. My breath hitched in my throat not allowing me to stop him. He began to move faster, rubbing us together through the clothing of our sleepwear. My back lifted off the mattress, a groan escaping me. I couldn’t help it, it felt so wrong and so good.