Cockney:A Stepbrother Romance(7)

By: Aubrey Irons

The house is honestly ridiculous, too. A huge four-story townhouse right on Hoxton Square Park. The place looks like the house from Mary Poppins, or the Darling’s house from Peter Pan, complete with wide stone steps and the huge wooden double door crossed with iron, like some sort of urban fairy-tale castle.

Except this is quite the opposite of a fairytale, and the only thing “princely” about Oliver is that arrogance he seems to carry around with him in his back pocket.

Welcome home.

Inside, though, is anything but old-looking like the exterior. The whole place looks like one giant bachelor pad, which makes sense I guess, considering the father and son who live here. The decor matches Barney’s gaudy clothes in terms of price over style; all flash and glamor instead of anything with actual taste. Giant pop-art paintings of martini glasses, black and white photographs of lingerie models and a damn swing in the living room.

I mean, honestly.

Your new husband has a swing in his living room, mom. I mean, alarm bells much?

Barney seems to follow my confused look and chuckles, “Oh, that!” He snorts out a laugh, “Well, you know we didn’t ‘ave much when Ollie was comin’ up; no money for a swing-set or nothin’ like that.” He shrugs at my mom, “First thing the little shit does when I buy the place is have that damn swing screwed right into the ceiling.” He glares at Oliver and shakes his head.

Well, shit. Of course I feel like a completely callous bitch thinking it was some sort of weird sex swing after hearing that.

“Never even uses the bloody thing, at least not while I’m around.”

“Oh, but I use it all the time when you’re not, dad.” Oliver is nodding his head and grinning, but he suddenly looks my way when our parents look away and makes an exaggerated thrusting motion with his hips while grinning lewdly at me. He mouths the words “sex swing” at me as I wrinkle my nose and look away.


“Well then, let’s get you to your rooms so you can relax, eh, girls?” Barney claps his hands together before he grabs my suitcase and heads for the stairs. “Your mum and I are downstairs, where the master suite is, but I’ve got you,” he grunts as he hefts my suitcase up the stairs, “I’ve got you up here.”

There are three doors at the top of the second staircase; one a bathroom, and the other two closed. Barney opens one to a plain, if not nice and well-lit, room painted all white with large windows. “This is you, my dear.”

Well, this isn’t so ba-

“And if you need anything, Ollie’s right next door.”


Barney chuckles, oblivious to the look of horror on my face as he turns to my mother, “Keep the young folks together and away from us, eh, darling?”

Oliver is leaning against the doorframe to my room, smirking at me and rubbing his jaw with his strong-looking hands. “Oy, you need anything, sis, you just knock, yeah?” His eyebrows arch. “Thin walls, you know,” he says with a knowing wink that only I seem to pick up on.

Barney clears his throat and checks the ridiculous looking watch on his wrist, “Well, shall we decide on dinner? I’m starved.”

“Oh that sounds lovely honey,” My mother says, smiling and taking Barney’s arm.

Honey? I find myself glaring at their backs as they walk way. I mean, jeez, how has this whole relationship of theirs gotten to this point without me even knowing? Was I seriously that wrapped up in school and my own life not to see this? And lovely? When the heck did my mom start using decidedly British words like lovely?

They’re halfway down the staircase when I turn back to a smug looking Oliver, “What?”

“Oh, nothing, it’s just your face right now.”

I frown. “What about it?”

“It’s so...angry,” he says with a chuckle.

“I’m fine, just jet-lag,” I mutter, stepping into my room.

He follows, of course, and I turn to give him a look. “Okay, so you live here?”

“In my house? Yes, Chloe; strange I know. It must be a European thing to live in your own home.”

I roll my eyes, “No, I mean, it’s your dad’s house, and aren’t you like this big hot-shot chef now?”

He grins, “Hot shot, huh?”

“You know what I mean,” I say, crossing my arms over my chest. “Why don’t you have a place of your own?”

Oliver makes a face, “You know what rent is like in this fuckin’ city? Forget it, sweetheart. Here, I got a whole floor to myse-” He smiles thinly at me. “Had a whole floor to myself, with two stories between dad and me.” He grins as I give him a quizzical look before he leans into me, “Plenty of space to keep the screamers from waking him, catch me?”

I wrinkle my nose. “Screamers?”

“Oh yes chef!” He starts to moan loudly in a high-pitched female falsetto voice, “Oh chef, you’re so naughty!”

I blush bright crimson and shake my head “Okay, okay! Enough, I get it. Jesus Christ.”