Royal Prick (A Stepbrother Romance)(6)

By: J.L. Beck

“I’ll be the judge of who I see him as. Just because a slip of paper tells you someone did something wrong, doesn’t mean that they’re at fault and it definitely doesn’t mean that he’s a criminal, at least not by choice.” I couldn’t believe I had stood up against my mother. The breath in my chest stilled as I waited for her to let me have it.

“I cannot…” She was flustered as she searched for a word to use against me, a word to describe her pure disapproval of me.

“Well I did, and it’s done and over with. Let me see him for myself and get to know him for the person he is before I judge him. Your assumption on who he is and my assumption are clearly very different. I need to be able to decide what type of person he is and whether or not he deserves to be treated like a criminal. After all, I’ve been alone in this house literally my whole life. It would be nice to have some company for a change.” I pushed off from the marble island counter and walked over to the farmhouse sink, setting my bowl in it.

“He’s a fighter. A criminal. He’s trouble walking. He’s put people in the hospital… You…” She tumbled over her words, looking for the perfect way to tell me he was a bad person.

I rolled my eyes as she carried on the conversation. “This isn’t going to work out. I should have known better than to agree to anything Mark wanted. I mean he hasn’t been in the child’s life since he was baby, and we don’t need this kind of negativity in the house. Everything is perfect as it is without him here. Just look at what’s going on now; the kid isn’t even here yet and you’re already arguing with me.” My fingernails dug into the edge of the sink, my eyes lingering on the immaculate green lawn outside the window. Perfection was around every single corner of this house. I took in a deep breath, willing my nerves to cool. I already knew my mom was a bitch, but I never knew more than in this one single moment how true that statement was.

I stood there in silence, not saying a word even though I wanted to scream at her for being such a cruel person. It wasn’t our job to judge him, and if he hadn’t seen his dad since birth then I’m sure this was already hard enough for him too. The woman only heard and believed what she saw on paper or what would fit into her neat little imaginary box.

My silence only settled the matter more for her. “I am calling Mark and telling him to call this all off. You don’t need this kind of influence in your life. You’re going off to college next year, and we don’t need someone like him coming into our lives and causing problems.” I was seriously considering cutting my ears off so I wouldn’t have to listen to the insanity spewing from her mouth anymore.

“It’s not your choice, Mom. Let Dad decide that for himself. It’s his son, not yours.” I tried to keep my voice neutral because I wasn’t ready for her bat shit crazy self to go off on me.

“Excuse you!” Her anger was mounting. Clearly I hadn’t kept my voice neutral enough. “It’s my choice because I am protecting my daughter from that vile boy. Which he will most likely bring a charade of bad habits with him as well.” She sighed into the air as if talking about the entire issue was the most exhausting thing ever for her. I was done with this conversation, and done with letting her ruin my day.

“I’m going to let Dad make that choice. I’ve got homework so I’m going upstairs to finish it.” I tuned her out, even though she continued to speak as I headed up the grand staircase. Why did this entire thing between Mark, my mom, and Royal’s mom seem so fucked up? It seemed like there was so much more going on behind the scenes. Shit that I knew nothing about. I felt a little lost, and I wondered if Royal would be just as confused.

It didn’t start to sink in on just how fucked up it really was until I walked down the hall realizing that Mark was a millionaire and had all but plucked my pregnant mother up off the street. He cared for us when no one else did. He gave us everything he had all while he had a son on the side that he had nothing to do with? Then there was everything with Royal’s mom. Somewhere along the lines things weren’t adding up. Why would a man as good as my dad leave his son just to take in a woman expecting another man's child?