The guest bedroom door swung open as Vienna stepped inside and gathered all her strength to remain calm. Once Vanessa walked in, she shut the door and reluctantly met her sister’s eyes. A look of worry washed over her grim face.
“Are you alright? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“No. I’m not alright. I’m actually sort of freaking out.”
“What’s wrong Vienna?”
Vanessa watched her pace around a bit; rubbing her temples and breathing out deeply before finally standing still.
“It’s about your husband.” Her voice sounded tense.
“Noah? Well, what about him?”
She was extremely apprehensive and had no idea how to break the news to her sister about what she had witnessed earlier. But Vienna knew the truth had to come out. So she took a deep breath, and started talking. “I was walking down the hall, heading towards my room when I noticed Noah and Aria standing in the front foyer. They were talking with that boy, Ryan
Vanessa folded her arms against her chest and quirked an eyebrow at her. “Were you eavesdropping on their conversation?”
“This is the part where you’re going to get mad, but please believe me when I say that I was rightfully justified to eves drop. Just hear me out.”
She let out an exasperated sigh and made an encouraging gesture with her hand. “Fine, go on.”
“There really is no other way to say this, so I’m just going to come right out and say it,” Vienna paused for a moment, building up that climactic moment where the ugly truth would be revealed. “I…saw Noah and Aria…kissing, right after Ryan left.”
An awkward silence fell upon the two sisters; neither of them moved or spoke. And then Vanessa laughed, completely ignoring Vienna’s disturbing
“I’ve seen Aria give her daddy a quick peck on the lips before, numerous times in fact. I’m sure you’re misjudging what you saw, which I don’t blame you for at all given your past—”
“Vanessa! I know what I saw!” she snapped. “Your husband
wrapped his arms around your step daughter’s waist, pulled her in close and kissed her full on the mouth!”
Vanessa really didn’t want to abandon her calm composure, but there was just so much anger and resentment that clandestinely lingered inside of her. It was extremely difficult not to lose her temper and blow up at Vienna. The sisters shared an unpleasant history of jealousy, competitiveness with boys, and very turbulent teenage years together. “Are you saying that Noah is having an incestuous affair with his daughter behind my back?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you.”
“Stop this right now Vi. I don’t think you understand the degree of damage this can cause my marriage life if I confront Noah with these absurd accusations.”
“Why don’t you believe me?”
She exhaled loudly and took a step forward to rest a comforting hand on her sister’s shoulder. “Vienna, I know Cousin Billy really messed you up when you were younger. But this isn’t the same situation. My husband for one isnot
an adulterer, and secondly he’s not some immoral scumbag, preying on his teenage daughter.”
“What happened with Billy is completely irrelevant to this situation. I know what I saw!
And I’m telling you that you need to confront Noah!” Vienna was really getting upset.
“I will do no such thing. Clearly you’re still sick in your head and haven’t gotten over what happened all those years ago.”
She suddenly jerked her shoulder back so that Vanessa’s hand was no longer resting on it. It hurt her very deeply to see the lack of faith and confidence her sister had in her. Unfortunately for Vienna, she was never really good at expressing herself when she felt internally wounded. Masking those vulnerable emotions with anger and hostility always seemed like the safest and easiest option.
“Sick in my head? How can you even say that to me!? I’m trying to help you out here!”
“Help me out?
Just because you
had an incestuous love affair with our cousin doesn’t mean everyone else is!”
The sisters both shared a dark family secret; a secret Vienna had burdened them with years ago. She had fallen in love with her cousin when she was sixteen years old and Billy was much older than her; fifteen years her senior. Needless to say, her parents completely disapproved of the relationship and they were mortified when they eventually found out she was trying to get pregnant.
“I wasn’t having an affair with him! I was in love with him! I was young and stupid, okay? He took advantage of me and I needed years of therapy to recover. You know it all Nessa.”
He did more than take advantage of her. Billy had completely convinced Vienna into believing that incest was okay and that it should be practiced amongst every family; fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters. Basically anyone that was related to you in the family tree; the list went on. Vanessa had discovered her sister’s disturbed mental state when she read her diary one night. Vienna wanted to get pregnant and have a child with Billy so that he could engage in a sexual relationship with his own offspring once they would come of age. That’s when she decided to show her parents the diary and have them intervene. She begged her mother not to tell Vienna that she had read her diary, so her mother shouldered the blame and told her youngest daughter that she took it upon herself to violate her privacy. All hell broke loose. Relationships were broken and the family unit was destroyed for a very long time.
“You believed that incest is okay and that everyone is capable of doing it—”
“That’s because of Billy’s brainwashing! I was in love with him, but he just used me for sex and had this sick obsession with incest! Why can’t you understand? I was young and easily influenced. Do you even know how badly that whole ordeal emotionally scarred me? I’ve been in and out of therapy ever since. Mom and dad still won’t treat me the same, because they feel ashamed of me. I humiliated the family.”
“I understand that you were young and you weren’t aware of the consequences for your actions with Billy, but Noah and Aria are just naturally affectionate with one another. I’ve seen her kiss him on the cheek countless times, even quick pecks on the lips. It’s all very innocent. We used to give daddy little kisses on the lips. That’s not so weird in my eyes.”
“We were toddlers Nessa! Aria’s almost an adult!”
She adamantly shook her head, refusing to listen. “My husband would never be unfaithful to me. He’s an honorable, high-minded man. He’s not
“Are you not hearing me properly? I know what I saw Vanessa. It was full on tonsil hockey!”
“Stop it.” She huffed in frustration. “This is Christmas of 03
all over again.”
“No it’s not.” Vienna argued back.
“This isn’t the first time you’ve accused family members of partaking in incestuous relationships. Remember what happened that year when you came home for the holidays?”
Vienna had been checked into a psychiatric hospital for six months after her parents had discovered the sexual nature of her and Billy’s relationship. They forbade her from ever seeing him again and she had gotten so depressed that she attempted to take her life several times. So they sent her away to get the proper professional help she needed to get better.
“You accused Uncle Tom and our cousin Anna of having an affair.”
“They were always so close and affectionate with one another. It wasn’t normal in my eyes, okay? Therapy had made me extremely sensitive to the whole good touch, bad touch
“They just hugged a lot and you seriously obsessed over it just because she was very fond of him. I know they were only six years apart in age, but you always justified their alleged affair in sick ways! And then of course, two months later we found out that Uncle Tom was in the closet for many years and the only person who knew he was gay was Anna. They were like best friends and you accused them of being incestuous lovers. You were wrong then and you are wrong now.”
“Stop treating me like I’m some mental patient. I know I was messed up in my head for a while, but I was young and victimized by our sicko cousin. Thank God he’s in jail now. I knew that bastard was bound to fuck up and get caught.”
These secrets were too ugly and too shameful for Vanessa to ever open up and share with Noah. Her family had completely dusted it all under the rug and did not want to press charges against Billy because of the shame it would have brought the family. So they just moved away and put Vienna in therapy. Vanessa grew up deceiving everyone close to her. Making them believe that her childhood was amazing. That her family was picture perfect, when it was clearly far from the truth.
“Please, listen to me. It wasn’t a quick peck on the lips. They were kissing like…” she paused and dug her fingers through her hair in distress. “Like lovers.
Nessa, please confront him about this.”
“I’m not going to confront my husband with these ridiculous accusations!”
“Fine, if you won’t… then I will!
you will! I can’t believe you’re trying to sabotage yet another relationship of mine. You just can’t stand to see me happy can you? You resent me deep down inside because I was always mom and dad’s favorite and you were labelled as the disgraceful fuck up
. You seriously need to get over those years Vienna! We’re not rivalling teenagers anymore!”
“How the hell can you say that to me?”
“When will your jealousy ever end?”
” She could hardly believe her ears.
“You’re jealous of my lifestyle. Look around you and compare it to your ordinary life. Don’t think for a second that I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been eyeing Noah throughout your little visit with us.”
“I’ve been watching him and Aria
you bitch! I’m not a home wrecker!” Vienna could no longer hold back her explosive temper. “Open your damn eyes and just watch the way they interact with one another. All the signs are there. You are so fucking blind! I’m not jealous! Why should I be jealous of you? You’ve totally fucked up your face and body. At least everything on me is real!” She kept shouting and was secretly hoping that Noah would overhear and barge in. The two of them were really crossing the line with each other as they argued back and forth.
Vanessa was quiet for a while, and then spoke in a very sad tone. “We can never just get along can we?”
Vienna was unresponsive.
“I want you to let this go. Let go of this sick obsession you have with playing incest detective
and act normal for the next 48 hours please
! I beg you, don’t embarrass me and embarrass yourself by getting into a fight with Noah about this. It won’t go down well. If you can’t respect my wishes, then I think it would be best if you stayed at a hotel tonight.”
“I never expected you to have this sort of reaction Nessa. I’ve gotten over our issues in the past, but it seems you haven’t. I felt you had a right to know, because I don’t want you to spend the rest of your life with a man who’s not all he says he is.”
“You are seriously mentally ill Vienna!” She exclaimed in disgust and breathed out her anger. Once she was calm, she lowered her voice and spoke in a more gentle tone. “Maybe I shouldn’t even be mad at you. It’s not your fault. Billy really did a number on you.”
Vanessa’s remark was enough to make Vienna’s dynamite temper explode again.
“Shut up! Please just shut your mouth before I rip your extensions out of your scalp!”
She frowned, horrified by her sister’s sudden hostility and threats towards her. “Keep your voice down
“Why? This house is big enough. I doubt your husband can hear us anyway, and I’m not the one who’s ill. You are
. I’ll gladly leave. I don’t want to stay under the same roof as any of you for another second. You’re all damn crazy!”
Vienna turned her heel and walked towards her suitcase, dragging it across the floor and lifting it on top of the bed. She then marched straight towards the dresser in the corner of the room and opened the drawers one by one, grabbing her clothing in haste. “It seriously hurts me that you think I’m deliberately trying to ruin your marriage.” She started to cry and that’s when Vanessa really felt bad for her, realizing that she had crossed the line with some of the things she accused her sister of.
“Wait, don’t go. I’m sorry for what I said. I got angry and lost it. We both did.”
Vienna so desperately wanted to just throw all her things into her suitcase and get out of there, but she wanted to prove her sister wrong more than anything. She wanted her to believe that she wasn’t crazy and that she was right about what she saw. So Vienna took a deep breath and put her clothes away. Losing her temper with fighting words wasn’t the best way to approach Vanessa about this. She knew she had to handle things like a two faced politician if she was ever going to uncover the truth about Noah and Aria. It was something Vienna was good at (when she was able to keep a tight lid on her anger of course). If she wanted to make her sister believe her, she had to find some sort of proof and capture it…on camera
. It wasn’t her wish to leave California on such bad terms, but she just couldn’t let this go.
“I love you Vanessa. You’re my sister and I want nothing but the best for you. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m still messed up because of what happened with Billy.”
“I love you too and I don’t want
to kick you out of my house. I just want you to understand that Noah’s my husband and I know him better than anyone else in this world. My marriage is rocky enough as it is. I don’t want things to get worse.” But she was already risking the destruction of her marriage in so many other ways. Vanessa had a dirty little secret of her own. She was having an affair with Noah’s best friend and colleague Lewis Crawford for a year behind his back. “Please just respect me and trust me when I say that you are making a big mistake.” No I’m not, but soon you shall see.
Vienna thought to herself. “You’re right. I’m sorry for the hurtful things I said. I didn’t mean them. Forgive me?”
“Of course, we’re family and you’re my only sister.” Vanessa wrapped her arms around her, offering a comforting hug. “I really am sorry you went through all that when we were younger.”
“It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. Besides, it’s all in the past now,” she pulled back and looked at her older sister. “Let’s make these next couple days really memorable before I go M.I.A.
for the next six months.”
Vanessa smiled. “I’ll book us a full body spa treatment first thing in the morning. I think we could both use a little pampering.”
Vienna was disappointed that her sister did not believe her, but she was confident in catching Noah and Aria fooling around. She would spy on them until she had the necessary proof she needed. She would be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. ARIA
Last night I dreamt of Noah. We were on this beautiful yacht, sailing away into the sunset together. I was wearing a white bikini and although I couldn’t see him from where I was standing, I felt
him near me. He wrapped his arms around my waist from behind, and kissed my neck and shoulder. I felt the wind in my hair and the sun bathing my skin with warmth as he slowly untied the spaghetti strap of my bikini top. His fingertips brushed down my naked shoulders until they found their way to my breasts. He cupped them gently in his hands, rubbing and teasing my nipples while he whispered dirty things in my ear. I moaned and arched my back against his firm chest, so that my head was resting in the crook of his neck. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and this only made my heart pound faster. Flesh against flesh; Noah’s scent all over me. ‘I want to consume you, Aria. I want to bend you over and ram my cock so fucking deep inside you, filling you up right here out in the open. Do you want that? Tell me what you desire and I’ll give it to you. I told you I’d give you the world, but you don’t want the world do you? You want me. I’m offering you all of me, Aria… forever.’
His whispering seductions echoed in my ears as
I immediately felt a pleasurable pull inside of me. I was beyond aroused and totally ready to surrender to him. His hard on throbbed against my ass and that’s when I knew I’d want him penetrating every possible hole in my body. I used to think anal sex was scary and gross, but the thought of Noah violating my ass with his big pulsating cock made me so incredibly wet. This sudden realization also made me happy because I knew that I would be able to offer so much more to him; all of myself, completely.
I was lost in a passionate reverie that just felt so real. Disappointment was hard to digest when I eventually woke up, feeling abducted from my blissful place of euphoria. I could still feel his breath against my neck, and his kiss. My shoulder tingled when I touched it lightly; smiling at the dream hazed memory.
I couldn’t resist touching myself when I took a shower. I had rubbed my clit so fast and hard that it was incredibly swollen by the time I found my climax. It hurt from the friction. I just kept imagining Noah bending me over the edge of that yacht and slowly penetrating me until he was deep inside my velvet walls. Release never felt so good.oOo
My morning was uneventful. Vienna was acting strange though. I could feel her eyes on me all throughout breakfast, and at one point I really wanted to ask her what her problem was. But every time I looked up, she’d just smile. It was very awkward to say the least.
Noah and I kept sneaking occasional glances at one another every chance we got. I really wanted some alone time with him and was so thankful when my step mom told us she and Vienna were making a trip to the spa after breakfast.
“Would you like to come along with us, Aria?”
I would’ve looked at Vanessa first, but it was Vienna’s reaction that really caught my eye. She gave her this unsettling yet serious stare, as if she were trying to telepathically communicate something that wasn’t quite registering with my step mom. Does she not want me to come? Well, screw her. I don’t want to go anyway.
I thought to myself.
“No, that’s okay. I’ve got an essay to write that I’ve been procrastinating on all weekend,” Okay, that was a bit of a lie. “Thanks though.”
“Okay honey, I’ll bring you back some amazing body lotions!”
Did I feel guilty at all for seducing her husband and trying to lure him away from her? No. Noah was my dad and I felt that he was rightfully mine
. There was a blood contract between us after all, and Vanessa could never compete against that. No one could understand it.
“When will you ladies be back?” Noah asked.
“Well, I’d like to spend the day with my sister since she will be leaving tomorrow evening. So, we’ll probably go shopping afterwards and do lunch and then shop some more! I think we’ll eat out for dinner too. I really feel like sushi today. You good with Sushi, Vi?”
“Yeah, I love sushi.”
“Have fun ladies.”
“What are you going to do today sweetheart?” my step mom walked out of the kitchen and sat on Noah’s lap. Oh god, please no.
I groaned in my head, feeling my blood simmer in my veins.
“Just gym and work.”
“You’re such a workaholic,” Vanessa sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I’m not letting you fall asleep again in your office.” She kissed him on the lips, triggering big, ugly black snakes to float out from under my hair. They were hissing around me while I imagined turning her into stone with Medusa’s death glare. I appeased my jealous, mythological monster by visualizing all sorts of alternate ways to ruin my stepmother’s morning. If it were up to me, I’d yank her off of him right by the hair and throw her down on the ground. Violent I know, but at least she’d still be breathing. I could envision far worse.
I suddenly snapped out of my homicidal daydream when I felt Vienna’s dark eyes on me again.
“Sorry for stealing your wife away for the day, but I’m sure you’ll survive.”
What the hell was she glaring at me for?
avoid texting each other unless it’s an emergency.”
“I have no problem with that.” He chuckled as she pulled Vanessa off his lap. Yeah, you better not.
It seriously annoyed me how she always threw herself all over my dad like that. He couldn’t have been in love with her still. He just couldn’t.
I had no idea what Noah and I were going to do once my stepmom and Vienna were gone, but I seriously hoped it involved a serious make out session and possibly...more.
I was about to head into my bedroom to phone my mom and check in on her, when the doorbell rang out of the blue. This was strange. We weren’t expecting any visitors. “Aria, could you get that please?”
Vanessa’s annoying voice bellowed down the hall in a very unpleasant way. I almost wanted to close my palms over my ears to shield my ear drums from further torture.
I changed direction and casually entered the foyer, unlocking the front door.
Now, I had no idea why I felt so caught off guard like a deer in headlights, but the stranger standing across from me had the same matching expression on his face. He was tall, maybe the exact same height as Noah and he had a head full of thick brown hair, which he had cut short and styled; fading the sides a bit. His eyes were a warm chocolate brown with caramel accents in them and his complexion was a light tan, like the color of beach sand. There was a subtle hint of stubble around his chin, jaw and philitrum; creating a shadowed, barely there goatee. It was trimmed very short, so you could hardly see it. I noticed a pair of dimples when he eventually smiled at me. This stranger was ruggedly handsome to say the least. My god was he ever ripped. Who are you?
I pondered the question in my head.
“Wow, Noah’s one lucky bastard. I know he’s a good looking guy, but how the hell did he manage to get a ring on that finger?” Did he just compliment me
? I couldn’t think. Stricken with confusion, I stared down at my ring finger.
“Let me guess, you’re getting that missing solitaire resized, huh?” his voice was deep like Noah’s, but maybe just a slight semi tone higher. It added more warmth when he spoke.
“Umm…” What the hell Aria? Speak! Words! Use them! Use your brain and stop standing there sounding like an absolute doofus!
“Now I’m really
regretting not showing up for the family reunion three years ago.” He took a step forward and I just stood there in place with one hand resting against the door frame.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Seriously Aria? Why can’t you just ask him who he is like a normal person?
I really had no explanation for that. All I knew is that I was very much affected by this mysterious stranger who was incredibly attractive. He looked like he was in his mid or late twenties.
“It means,” he reached for my left hand and raised it to his lips, placing a gentle kiss in between my knuckles. “If you laid those gorgeous blue eyes on me, you wouldn’t be married to my brother.” His gaze was darkly intense; it made my face flush in heat. Whoa, wait…brother!?
“You…you’re Noah’s brother?” I stuttered stupidly in disbelief.
“It’s such a shame that I wasn’t invited to your wedding. I definitely
would have put a stop to it.” He kissed my hand again, showing off another seductive smile. I watched him shove his hands into his trouser pockets and lean sideways against the door frame.
“Maybe that’s why my invitation got lost in the mail. Knowing me, I probably would’ve ruined everything.” And then he cleared his throat and changed his voice, making it sound more animated. Like an impersonator. “Should anyone here present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace…”
he laughed and I loved the way it sounded.
“I wouldn’t have been able to hold my peace, doll face.” Oh, now I get it.
He was imitating a wedding minister. I blushed again.
“Are you going to invite me in? I’m not the big bad wolf,” he looked up and stared at the monstrosity of my dad’s mansion. “It’s not like I can huff and puff
and blow this house down anyway,” his eyes found mine again as he leaned in closer and spoke in a low, hushed whisper. “And I certainly won’t bite,” there was a pause. “Hard.
“What the hell are you doing here!?” Noah sounded angry. He was standing right behind me, pulling me closer towards his body as if I were at risk of getting kidnapped.
“That’s no way to greet your little brother.” He smiled sardonically at my dad and then switched his gaze over to me. Little brother?
Noah told me that he was the youngest. What the hell?
“I like your wife, Noah. She hasn’t said much, but she really doesn’t need to when she’s an absolute stunner.” He winked at me and I felt my face heat up once more.
“What the fuck!?
She’s not my wife!”
“No? Oh thank God,” he sighed in relief and then pulled out his cellphone, handing it over to me. “Drop your digits sweet heart. I’d love to take you out while I’m in town.”
I wanted to tell him that I was his niece, but Noah beat me to it with his unexpectedly raging outburst.
“Stop hitting on my daughter! What the hell is wrong with you
That naturally charismatic smile completely disappeared from his face when he looked back at me, wide eyed, in jaw dropping shock. I stood there feeling a little awkward as those mysterious brown eyes penetrated right through me and then they targeted my father’s face. He repeated this patterned observation for at least five seconds. I’m sure he must’ve been comparing the resemblances in our physical features.
“Wait…she’s…” my uncle looked at me long and hard, narrowing his eyes in disbelief. “You’re Aria?”
I smiled and nodded. I had officially met my Uncle Christian, or Isaac… or Nathan.
“Aria, I want you to go inside.” Noah placed his hands on my shoulders and spoke in my ear in a low, but stern voice.
“No.” I didn’t want to be shooed away. I wanted to meet his brother. This was just so exciting!
“At least let me make a proper introduction since I probably
creeped her out.”
“No, I want you gone. How the hell did you even get past the gate?”
But he ignored Noah and extended his hand to me. “Hi Aria, I’m your Uncle Evan.”
His smile was amazing, and I couldn’t help but reciprocate it as I shook his hand. Uncle Evan?
Noah had never mentioned having another brother named Evan. This,
I was a hundred percent sure of. I would interrogate my dad about it later.
“How did you know my name?” Curiosity got the best of me.
“Well, you were always a very popular topic of discussion in my family.”
This was certainly news to me.
“I want you to leave,
Evan.” Noah shoved me aside gently and went head to head with his brother.
“Honey, who’s at the door?” Botox Barbie showed up behind us and I used the opportunity to just peer over at my handsome uncle, without getting noticed.
“This must be the wife, huh?” he reached out his hand. “Hi, I’m Evan. It’s a pleasure to meet you at long last.”
Vanessa was reluctant to greet him.
“I’m the brother in law you never met.”
She suddenly looked at Noah and then back at him, while shaking his hand with a perplexed expression on her face. “Funny… Noah never mentioned you,” she then glared at my dad. “Not once.
“Vanessa, there’s bad blood between Evan and I. Look, I’ll explain it later but right now I want him off our property.”
“Honey, he’s family.”
“No, he’s not. Not part of my
family anyway.” There was nothing but hostility in his voice.
“It’s rude to just let him stand out here, and even worse to send him away.”
“Who’s the new house guest?” Vienna suddenly appeared and I swear I could physically see the floating red hearts in her eyes as soon as she looked up at my uncle.
“No one. He was just leaving.” Noah answered bitterly.
“Don’t’ be ridiculous. Come on in, Evan. I’m curious to know why my husband never mentioned your existence.”
“That’s because I was adopted. So, technically I’m George Hunter’s illegitimate son and heir.”
“Your adoption has nothing to do with the reason why I’ve cut you out of my life.”
Wow, he was adopted. The eyes were a dead giveaway, but he had the same masculine frame as Noah, so I assumed he was my biological uncle.
, stop being a jerk and let him in.” Vienna intervened, squeezing in between my dad and step mom so she could formally introduce herself before dragging Evan into the house. She probably just wanted to flirt with him and punch her
number into his cellphone. My uncle was definitely easy on the eyes.
We were all about to gather in the living room, when Noah pulled Evan aside and told us that they would return shortly. How come he was so hostile towards him? And why didn’t he ever tell me about Evan?
The questions were killing me.NOAH
“What the hell do you think you’re doing here?”
“You seriously need to relax man. Marriage life has clearly made you crankier than I remember.”
I paced around my study and resentfully glared at my brother. The last time I saw him, he was 21 years old. Now the guy was almost 26.
“You were flirting and hitting on my daughter for fucks sake!”
“I didn’t know she was Aria. I thought she was your wife.”
“That’s just as bad! Why the hell would you hit on my wife!?”
“Take it easy. I was just kidding around. Your lady’s not much of a head turner anyway, what with all that plastic in her face…”
“Okay, that’s it.” I stomped right over to him and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt before I aggressively slammed him back against the wall. “I’m not going to allow you to come in here like some punk
and disrespect my family to my face!”
“Well, technically I meant your wife.” He shrugged.
“My wife is
my family you moron!” He was making me so fucking angry. Nothing had changed.
“Calm down bro.”
call me that. I am not
your brother.” I made sure to stare him down very threateningly before I decided to release him and keep a safe distance. The urge to give him a black eye was much too tempting.
“When are you ever going to forgive me?”
“For killing our father? Never.”
“It was an accident, Noah! Why won’t you believe me?”
“Because you had every motive to kill him.” I wasn’t yelling. There was just no emotion in my voice. “Do you even remember that weekend, Evan? Or have drugs and alcohol really fucked your brain up?
“I experimented in my teen years. You know
I’m not the addict in the family.”
Now I really wanted to knock his teeth out.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me. Let’s go through the tragic chain of events shall we?” I slowly paced around him like a district attorney cross examining the defendant. “Dad sits us all down one evening, reveals his will. Dad drops a bomb on us, declaring you
as his rightful successor when he dies. Dad dies three days later.” I scowled at him accusingly. ”You were going to take over the company. Christian, Isaac, Nathan and I fought dad on his decision because let’s be honest, you were never going to buckle down and get serious about life. You were flunking school, getting yourself arrested almost every weekend and you preferred to party as a full time job instead of building a proper career for yourself.”
“That was seven years ago! You make it sound like you forget what it was like to be 19 years old and in college.”
“That’s not the point. My point is, you killed dad on purpose that day in the woods. You never got along with the old man and he loved you enough to believe in your capability to run his company one day, and what did you do? You shot him point blank.”
“How can you even accuse me of that? You were there, Noah! It was foggy as fuck! I didn’t see him! We all separated at one point. I was on drugs so I was already paranoid. I thought it was a deer I shot. I didn’t know it was dad.”
came on hunting or fishing trips. What made you suddenly decide to take an interest and come along with us? Was it because you had already orchestrated dad’s murder in your mind?”
He wanted to speak, but I refused to let him.
“And don’t give me a bullshit excuse about you being inexperienced with a gun. You may have skipped out on many years going hunting with us, but you were addicted to the shooting range and took quite a keen interest in dad’s collection of fire arms. You knew exactly how to use that gun.”
“Would you please listen to yourself? Do you even realize how crazy you sound? Of course I knew how to use the gun. I told you I wasn’t able to see properly! I was already paranoid because I was doped up on drugs. I shot dad by accident thinking it was a deer.”
“I’m not crazy, I’m right. You hated our father all your life. You saw an opportunity to stick it to the old man, take over everything he dedicated his life to and worked hard for. You sold his company to his competitors, despite my advisement.”
“Mom kept insisting that I sell!”
“What the hell does mom know about the business world?”
“She was a shareholder in the company, Noah. I trusted her advice more than anyone else.”
And that’s when it hits me. My god…my own mother.
I stop pacing and rub my temples.
“You know what, maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re innocent in all this. You always were mother’s lapdog. She probably couldn’t wait to get her greedy hands on dad’s money. You were just the perfect scapegoat.”
“What the hell are you on about?”
It all made sense now. Our father had been planning on divorcing mom because he wasn’t happy with her anymore. Our mother was always a very cold, emotionally withdrawn and strict sort of woman. I really didn’t blame him for wanting out. He spoke to me about it one day after our tennis match. I was always closest to my dad. Apparently before he and mom got married, they had signed a prenuptial agreement. In the case of divorce, mom would only walk away with a million, and this would secure my father’s right to hold all other assets. She didn’t take it so well when he eventually told her they were headed for splitsville
. But my father was always a very generous man. He was willing to fork over 200 million to mom, because throughout their marriage he had acquired a vast amount of wealth. He owned Milton Mobil Corporation, which was part of the oil and gas industry. He also managed to expand the company and bring in billions of dollars in profit. I’m certain that my mother got greedy. Because when Evan sold the company, she ended up sitting on top of the family fortune. She gained control over all of dad’s assets.
“Dad’s death was an accident. It wasn’t premeditated murder! You don’t know how many times I wish I could just turn back the clock and have argued with him instead to not go on that stupid trip! I was tired of being the prodigal
son. I really wanted to make him proud. That’s why I finally decided to come with you guys. You think you’re the black sheep in the family for all your fuck ups? You’re dead wrong brother. Dead. Wrong.
I could never compete with you. Any of you! I could never measure up, and you want to know why? Because I’m not part of the famous family tree.
I don’t’ have honorable Hunter blood
coursing through my veins.”
He clearly had acceptance issues.
“Do you want to know what really does my head in?”
Evan was silent.
“Why the hell did you get all fucked up on drugs during our trip if you really wanted to make him proud!?” I shouted at him in anger.
“You want to know why?”
I waited for him to continue. “Well, do you!?”
He yelled back at me, miming my volcanic temper.
“Oh please, do enlighten me.” I couldn’t hide the sarcasm in my voice.
“I was so fucking depressed. I was getting high on Oxy and LSD almost every day that year. But when dad read the will and invited me to that trip, I packed up all my drugs and was prepared to toss that shit into the lake as a show of good faith to myself. I was ready to change and turn a new leaf. I wanted to return home as a changed man, but that didn’t happen, Noah.”
There was an uncomfortable silence between us while I leaned back against my desk and tried my best to read him.
“I overheard you, Nathan and Christian talking behind my back in the cabin that evening. That’s right. I had gone out to gather firewood, but I ended up coming back because I had forgotten my gloves. Do you remember that conversation, or would you like me to refresh your memory?”
I was unresponsive because I honestly didn’t remember that conversation with my brothers. It was so long ago.
“What the fuck is wrong with dad? Has he lost his mind making Evan the new CEO? Little brother’s going to burn the company down to the ground. He’s dumb as a donkey that kid. Yeah, a kid, that’s what he is. He’s always screwing up. He’s making us all look bad. Wish mom and pops never adopted the little hell raiser. I’m going to talk to dad. Isaac should take over the company. He’s got the brains and the experience, plus he’s the oldest.”
Evan re-enacted a huge chunk of that dialogue, while I just stared at him with no expression on my face.
“Do you remember now? Need I say more? You guys always thought less of me because I wasn’t really part of the family. I was always the outsider, the bad seed, and I eventually gave up and just lived up to everyone’s expectation of me.”
“Stop it, Evan. Why can’t you come to terms with your adoption? We never treated you any differently.”
“But you did! I always felt like a failure compared to all of you. You knocked your girlfriend up at sixteen and you still
managed to not fall from grace. You were always the golden boy, while I was the pitiful undeserving low life.” Christ, look at all that pent up rage.
Evan and I were so alike in our temperament. Maybe that’s why we never got along. I was so used to being the youngest; spoiled with all the attention. When he joined our family, I was seven years old and very much a brat. I felt a bit of resentment towards my newborn brother, but that slowly went away with time. I think he really looked up to me in my teen years, but I was too busy with other things to really spend time with him. By that time our other siblings were already out on their own and building their futures. Maybe that was what screwed him up so much; the family pressure, expectations and loneliness. There was always mayhem and discord in our family. Evan had done so much fucked up shit throughout the years. It was really difficult for me to forgive and forget. I took dad’s death really badly and my brother’s behavior afterwards really caused a bridge to officially burn between us. I wasn’t the only one who felt this hatred toward him. He was not on good terms with any of our other siblings due to his destructive ways. Our mother was the only one who was always had a soft spot for him, despite his continuous asshole tendencies. I had to beg her not to talk about him when I brought Vanessa home to meet my family for the first time, and it was even harder convincing her not to tell him about my wedding. I was literally afraid he would show up at the reception hall and burn the place down; literally.
Evan was a pyromaniac throughout his childhood and teen years.
He reminded me so much of myself when I was reckless and irresponsible. The only difference was; I got my act together. He clearly hadn’t.
“Let’s skip going down memory lane shall we? It clearly brings out the worst in both of us. So I’m going to ask you again, what are you doing here and what do you want from me?” I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair.
“I’ve been living in LA for about a couple months now because I’m here for work. I’ve got some huge renovation projects going on a few houses. Breanne and I have been in touch for quite some time now and yesterday I was asking her about you. She told me you were living here, so I thought I’d drop in and see how you were doing. It’s been too long since we last saw each other. I was kind of hoping my karmic years of bad luck would be over and done with.” Leave it to our sister Breanne to feel sorry for him and go against my wishes.
I thought in silence.
“You’re an architect now?”
He looks at me all uneasy, rubbing the back of his neck like I normally do.
“Uh, no not exactly. After I flunked out of school I decided to get into the trades. Got myself an apprenticeship and now I’m an excellently skilled carpenter. I can build you just about anything. The past two years I spent in Haiti building houses and a school in one of the village communities.”
Well, I’ll be damned, “Impressive.” And here I thought he was squandering his trust fund and life savings away in Las Vegas or something.
“Nah not really—just doing what I love.” He smiled, but I just stared back at him impassively.
“You have a very beautiful daughter by the way.” Oh fuck no.
“Stay away from her, Evan. I mean it.”
“I’ve only just met her—”
“And you’re not going to get to know her any better.”
“Why won’t you give me a chance? Why does everyone in the family have to paint me as some fucked up hell spawn
“We never painted you that way. You did a great job at fucking up your own reputation all by yourself.”
“I’m human just as much as you are. We all make mistakes.”
“And we learn from them. I know your pattern, Evan. You’re unreliable, untrustworthy and there’s no way in hell I’m going to allow Aria to be around you.”
“Is this about me flirting with her earlier? Because look, I honestly didn’t know she was your daughter. We haven’t been on speaking terms in years, Noah. I had no idea you got in touch with her again. I thought she was your wife and I was only kidding around.” Kidding around, my ass!
“You only bring bad news everywhere you go. Pains me to say it, but it’s true. There’s nothing for us to reconcile, and I refuse to let you into my daughter’s life.”
And that’s when Aria suddenly stormed into the room. “Don’t you think that should be my decision
to make?” Fuck, was she listening in on our conversation this entire time?
“You don’t know him like I do—” I argued my case, trying my best not to snap at her.
“Then let me get
to know him better. Can’t you understand how alone I feel? I have all this family I know absolutely nothing about. You never go into detail, or even talk about my uncles or my aunt. You definitely won’t tell me about my grandmother, and now that your brother’s showed up at our front door, and you turn him away and make decisions based on what you
feel is best for me. You never even told me about Uncle Evan. Seriously Noah, do you have any other siblings who are alive but dead to you
that I should know about?!”
“Aria, listen to me. Evan is dangerous and reckless!” “That’s not who I am anymore!”
He cut me off.
“What the hell is going on in here boys?” My wife suddenly appeared behind Aria and walked into the room.
“Nothing. Evan was just leaving,” I glared at him. “Now.
“Breanne was right, “he scoffed at me and shook his head. “I never should’ve come. I just thought I knew my brother better than anyone else. I guess I was wrong.”
“Noah, what is the meaning of this?”
I looked at my wife and tried to control my temper, but I just could not stand the idea of Evan getting close to my daughter. I was protective of her. I would die for her. I would kill her for, but I would have to be blind, deaf and paralyzed in order for those two to have any opportunity to spend time together. Feeling jealous Noah? Are you worried he’ll put the moves on her like you have? Did you see the way he made her blush? He’s really bulked up since you last saw him…
Fuck, why now? Why was my evil half so hell bent on taunting me!? Well, the answer was simple. He was evil, therefore it would make sense that he should choose such distressful situations like now to mess with me more. I guess I’d just have to keep it together to one up my shadow self.
“Why is everyone yelling?” Vienna was at her sister’s side, and I felt like I was suddenly surrounded by a group of people who wanted to persecute me and let the enemy into my home, while all I wanted to do was protect them. I learned a long time ago that Evan could never be trusted. Why the fuck did I need to open up every single detail of the past to make them understand? Why couldn’t they just take my word for it?
“Do you see what you do, Evan? Are you happy now? I let you into my home for ten fucking minutes and—”
“Stop yelling, Noah! Stop yelling at him! You’re the only one who’s been angry and hostile from the second you set eyes on him.” What the fuck!? Why can’t she understand that I’m trying to protect her!?
I raged in my head.
“Aria, stop it. You don’t know everything.”
“I heard enough. How could you blame him?”
Vanessa looked at me in confusion, and then at Evan. “Wait, what did you hear? Blame him for what?”
Great, this was just perfect. This was exactly how I wanted to spend my Sunday.
“Can we all just go back to the living room and clear up all this confusion?” Vienna tried to mediate between us.
“No, that won’t be necessary.” Evan finally spoke. “My brother doesn’t want me here and that’s okay. I’m not the kind of guy who likes to force my presence on anyone, especially if I’m unwelcome.”
I gripped the edge of my desk harder and clenched my jaw when he walked past Aria.
“Wait! You can’t just leave. I…I just met you. You’re my uncle. Don’t you want to know me better?”
My heart sank in my chest when I saw my daughter reach for his arm. Why Aria? Why do you need him in your life all of a sudden? Am I not enough? Why can’t you just trust me when I say that he’s bad news? Why? Why? Why!?
Alarms were going off in my head and it took every ounce of my strength to refrain from lifting her over my shoulder and carrying her out of here to lock her up in her room. Why so judgy, Noah? Do you really believe he’s as sick in the head as you are?
There’s that fucked up sinister voice again, mocking me. You’re the last person to judge him and cast a stone, pal.
“My cell number’s on there if you ever need to talk. Call me anytime.” Evan handed over an ivory called business card and smiled at Aria. She seemed charmed by the bastard, looking up at him; mesmerized. What the fuck!? I’m going to punch that smile off your face!
I strode over to them and pulled the card right out of her hand.
“I said I don’t want you talking to my daughter! Now get the fuck out!”
I shouted at him, abandoning that state of calmness I so desperately tried to hold onto.
My wife looked absolutely appalled by my behaviour while Vienna shook her head at me in dismay.
“Come on Evan, I’ll show you out. I have no idea what’s wrong with Noah today.”
Vanessa and Vienna escorted him out and Aria was about to leave when I grabbed her arm and pulled her back. “Oh no you don’t young lady—”
She frowned and tried to free herself from my tight grip. “Let go of me! How could you be so rude and mean?”
“Because I’m trying to protect you. You have no idea who he is. I’ve grown up with him. You need to listen to me.”
“Give me back his number.”
I don’t know why I felt so hurt when she said this to me, but my reaction didn’t make things any better. I ripped up his business card and tossed it in the trash bin. My heart twisted in agony when I looked at her beautiful angelic face. She was crying and I immediately felt like shit for taking it so far to such extremes.
“Why are you trying to isolate me and keep me from meeting your family? Are you ashamed of me, Noah? Are you afraid I’ll tell or they’ll know? Because nobody knows!”
She fled out of my study before I could stop her. “Aria!” I tried to go after her, but she locked herself up in her room.
By the time I turned around, I noticed my wife and Vienna glaring at me, expecting explanations. So I reluctantly sat them down and briefly summarized why Evan and I didn’t get along. You’d think that after discussing his bad track record, they would finally side with me, but no. After wasting my breath for twenty minutes, the only thing Vienna could manage to say was; “People change.”
And my wife backed her up saying, “Brothers never abandon each other. They get over their differences and are there for one another. Give him a chance.”
We left things that way before they both went off on their little spa adventure, and I avoided Aria because I knew I’d only lose my temper again, so there was no point in apologizing.oOo
I ended up burying my head in work all throughout the afternoon, but there was only so much of that I could do on a weekend. So, I left my study and got changed into my gym gear.
There was a whole traffic jam of thoughts going through my head, as I tried to drown out the voices with a little cardio and strength training. I repeatedly assaulted my punching bag for thirty minutes and it felt like I was under some sort of hypnosis because I couldn’t stop; left, right, left, right.
I was throwing jabs faster and harder, feeling the painful impact against my knuckles even though they were shielded by boxing gloves. You don’t really believe Evan’s responsible for your father’s death, Noah. Of course you resent him, but in truth you’re just threatened by him. You want to keep Aria all to yourself…you don’t want him to steal your pedestal.
I threw one last punch, growling my frustration and ripping my gloves off with my teeth. What the fuck was I doing? I wasn’t thinking rationally. I was cheating on my wife with my daughter. You’re not in love with blondie anymore.
I was the world’s most fucked up human being. The guilt was eating me up. Why the fuck did Evan have to show up at my doorstep? Out of all these years, why now? I really suggest you let me out, before you lose her. I’m getting restless in here, Noah. Let me out to play, just for the evening…
I found myself negotiating with that darker part of me as I tried to rationalize and stay in control, but that didn’t last very long. I pulled off my shirt and grabbed my water bottle, squirting cold water all down my head. Come on, you know you want to…
“Fuck it.” I walked out of my home gym and headed upstairs to shower.ARIA
I wasn’t sure why I felt so hurt. I mean, Noah had a point. I had no idea who Evan was. The only information I had discovered about my uncle was that he had a troubled youth, and my dad hated him. His back story definitely wasn’t so great, but when I met him, his eyes betrayed a warm and gentle nature. They didn’t exactly possess the same kind of intimidating intensity that Noah’s eyes had. Maybe my dad was just subtle with his bad ass qualities, whereas Evan was more out there. I knew Noah wasn’t a saint, but he certainly went out of his way to be on his best behavior whenever he was around me. I think he was trying to set a good example.
I never wanted the whole altercation to happen in the first place. I genuinely wanted to get to know my uncle better. I was sure there was a lot he could tell me about Noah, since he wasn’t going to tell me himself. It sucked. All my life I grew up with my mom and step dad and no one in his family was interesting or nice. But Evan was actually sweet
to me. I guess I just wanted more family involved in my life; adopted or not.
My iPod stopped playing because it had ran out of battery, and I was about to charge it when there was a loud knock on my door. It kind of startled me. “Let me in, Aria.”
Oh god, it was my dad. I threw my legs over the edge of my bed and stood up. He sounded angry and this made me nervous as my stomach twisted in knots.
I chewed on the inside of my cheek and walked towards my door. “That sounds like a demand, Noah.” “It is. Now stop being a smart ass and open the damn door.”
Was it wrong that I was suddenly incredibly turned on? I swear it was like he gave off sex pheromones through the wall or something. I took a couple steps closer and slowly pressed my palms against the door.
,” his voice sounded tired. “Don’t make me wait.”
Closing my eyes, I tried to visualize him standing on the other end, and for some reason I was able to see him resting his arm against the door frame, leaning his weight into it. He had just showered. I could smell him; his cologne, body wash…
“Why don’t you ask me nicely to let you in?”
I wasn’t sure why I was giving him such a hard time, probably because part of me enjoyed pushing his buttons on purpose. “I was really hoping you wouldn’t force me to do this.”
I took a step back and gasped in shock when he twisted my doorknob and broke the lock with his brute strength. My heart was in my throat at this point as the door slowly creaked open and in walked the hybrid human.
“You…you broke my lock.”
Noah took a couple steps forward, towering over me.
“I can fix the doorknob. However,” he paused and intensified his stare. “I won’t replace the lock. It’s hard enough getting past your titanium walls. I don’t like the idea of locked doors getting between us.”oOo Author's Note:
This was a really long chapter so I split it into three parts. I will upload the rest soon!
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/incest/i-shouldnt-feel-this-way-chapter-20-3.aspx">I Shouldn't Feel This Way - Chapter 20 PART I</a>