Cockney:A Stepbrother Romance(3)

By: Aubrey Irons

“Pop, I need to get back.”

“They’ll be here in a minute, Ollie.”

“Dad, I’ve got stocks to prep, mis to set up-”

Shit to cut, cook, sear, broil, sous vis; you name it. If it’s food and it requires some sort of preparation, it’s probably on my to-do list.

“Cool it, boy.”

“Shit doesn’t cook itself, dad.”

He shoots me a look; “This is important, Oliver.”

Yeah, to you.

I’m still trying to process this shit, even now when “this shit” is about to land in England and walk right into our lives. The “shit” I’m somehow just learning about within the last week, I might add.

“You were busy with taking over at the restaurant, Oliver, I didn’t want to distract you with that.”

Give me a fuckin’ break. There’s what, like twenty million eligible women his age in Great Britain, and dad goes for one from America. And not just any woman, of course.

Nope, he goes for Chloe fucking Caulfield’s mom.

Surprise, your old pop is getting married again, and guess who your new stepsister is? I mean it was a long time ago, but it’s still too fucking weird.

Okay, so it’s also a teeny bit interesting, if I’m being honest.

Chloe Caulfield. I haven't seen her since that senior year exchange trip. Rigid, bookish, uptight, and one might even say bitch if one were being crude. And yet, things sure got interesting back then. Interesting like three days of sleepless nights, three days of sneaking around to make out late into the night. Three days of pressing myself against her, seeing how far she’d let my hands go before pushing them away. Three days and nights of wanting so much more that an uptight virgin like her was going to give, even if I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Well, until it did.

“Ever been properly kissed?”

She darts her eyes to the floor, her cheeks going this flushed red color. “Of course I have.”

“Naw, sweetheart, I mean real proper kissed.”

She wrinkles her nose, “What, like frenching?”

I have to grin. “If it’s 1985, sure.”

But whatever, she’s here, even if it’s apparently only for a few months until she goes back to school. “Taking a break” I think is how my dad phrased it. Yeah, right; heard that one before.

She was a pain in the ass back then, and I can’t imagine that’s done more than grow in the five years since.

She was also temptation on a fuckin’ stick.

I’m suddenly wondering if that’s grown too. Four months might not be long, but it’s going to be an eternity if we’re anything like we were back then. I barely survived four days of that girl before.

Four months? Yikes.

But whatever, I wouldn't have time for this shit even if she wasn’t going to be my stepsister. I’m way too busy with the restaurant. Fuckin’ ‘ell, I’ve been “chef” for three weeks and it already feels like forever. Three fuckin’ weeks since dad fired Martin and stuck me in his place. Martin of the two stars, and now me with zero of them.

Hey, no pressure.

Every day a fucking battle to make sure they respect that in there. A kitchen is a war zone; it’s a military regiment that needs the discipline of a damn army to run efficiently. I’m not talking a burger joint kitchen here either. Jolie is the fucking big leagues. This is 200 quid a head dinners, and that price demands the type of discipline from a kitchen that you rarely find outside of the Queen’s guard. And if you’re the type of utter idiot like me who wants to be at the top of that? Congratulations, you’re the general. Now, act like the toughest motherfucker in a room full of guys who willingly spend the majority of their waking hours in an insanely stressful environment involving sharp knives, open flame, and close quarters for a living.

And I have to run that with an iron fist.

So like I said, I’m a tad busy, and a touch high-strung at the moment, and hanging around Heathrow waiting for the girl I don’t want here anyways is pushing all my buttons.

But whatever, at least I’ll be so busy with Jolie the next few months that I’ll probably never see her anyways.

“Dad,” I glance at my watch, “I’m seriously pushing it on time. I’ve gotta get back. Look I’ll just take my own taxi or the Piccadilly train or something.”

“Oy, cool it boy-o, they’ll be fine at the kitchen. We’re closed Mondays anyways.”

“No, they won’t be, and I’ve still got shit to do, you know.”

“Ah!” He says cheerily, completely ignoring me. He points to the gate flashing their plane’s call numbers. “Looks like they’re here!”


He turns to me, “Besides, you ought to wait for Chloe anyways before you go back.”

I groan, checking my watch and wondering how fast I can bribe a taxi driver to go on the M4 today; “Why?”

The gate opens, and suddenly, there they are. I can see Mrs. Caulfield - Laura - beaming as she sees my dad. And he’s grinning too as he starts to move towards her.