Yeah, there are days I’m a dirty fucker, and I just can’t help it.
Unpacking the Chinese food I’d picked up on my way over, I love what Faye has done with the place in such a short time. I’ve handled her old apartment landlord and whatever fee he thought he could charge her. The moving men had done a good job, but I’d supervised that as well.
The apartment no longer looks like a cold space but is filled with Faye and Kerry’s things. Several pictures cover the walls, and in the far corner of the living room, I see a stand filled with books. There is still plenty of space as they didn’t have lots to move. I saw the main bedroom that Faye had called dibs on, and even put a note on the other bedroom, telling Kerry it was hers.
“Where’s your sister?” I ask.
Kerry dips into one of the food cartons and takes a dumpling. “Shower. Don’t worry, she’ll be out in a minute. She has this mother hen syndrome. It means she can’t be gone from me all that long. I’m surprised she lets me go to school and doesn’t teach me at home.”
I don’t like this.
“Faye cares about you.”
“Then why don’t you start cutting her some slack? You don’t have a clue what your sister has gone through to help get you here.”
“Fucking the boss, please, I bet it’s not that hard.” Kerry snorts.
I stare at this girl, and I shake my head.
“While you were in the hospital, building up never-ending debt, your sister, the girl that loves you and feels like a complete failure because she wasn’t able to protect you, she was selling her virginity to pay for it.”
I shouldn’t have said a fucking word. I know that. Damn it! Everyone knows that, but listening to Kerry’s snort and derisive tone, I was fucking done. I get it. She’s a kid and has to be protected after what she’s gone through. But there comes a point when it’s no longer an excuse. Faye won’t call her out because of her guilt.
“You don’t know that.”
“Oh, yeah, I do.” What Faye doesn’t know is I still have the damn sheets as well. Yeah, some seriously fucked-up shit. “I’m the one that bought her.”
Kerry jerks back.
I stare at her. “She could have been with anyone. There were security measures in place to make sure she was okay, but anyone else, they could have hurt her.”
“What the hell is she doing with you?” Kerry asks, staring at me in shock.
“A chance meeting. My company has a division that employs college dropouts. You see, Kerry, while you’re angry with everyone, your sister, and just about anything—and I get it, I do. I know the truth—your sister gave up everything for you. A flourishing career in business, her virginity, her time, her life. All to make amends for leaving you with a monster. A monster that was supposed to take care of you. You can hate your sister, but when I’m here you will show that woman some damn respect because as far as I’m concerned, she’s more than fucking earned it.”
Silence falls after I finish my warning.
Everyone was looking out for Kerry.
Doctors. Nurses. Teachers. Counselors. The lot.
Who is taking care of Faye? She’s twenty years old, and has taken responsibility of her teenage sister like it came natural to her. Everyone judges her, and no one takes her side. Well, I’m going to be her sounding board because she clearly fucking needs it.
I am done with her sister walking all over her.
“You love my sister?” Kerry looks at me, and she’s gone a little pale.
“Does she know?”
“Why won’t you tell her?”
I smile. “She’s likely to run far away from me when I admit it.”
“You’re the first guy she brought home, ever. I’m pleased she has someone.”
“She has you, Kerry. That’s what she wants. She needs to know that she’s done the right thing because if there’s one thing I know for sure, she loves you.”
I don’t need to say the same stuff.
Kerry gets it, and I see it in her eyes.
“Am I interrupting something?” Faye asks, drawing my attention to her.
She’s in a pair of jeans and a huge shirt that doesn’t show off her curves. Next on my list of things to do, new wardrobe.
“Chase here was riding my ass. I need to, like, finish my homework. It’s so incredibly lame, and I’ve been putting it off.” There was a pause. “Would you, erm, would you help me?”
“You want my help with your homework?”
“It’s an English paper, and I don’t have a clue what to do. You aced English in high school. Please, I’ll be a really good student.”
The request has surprised Faye, but I see the happiness in her eyes.
“We’ll eat dinner, and I’ll help you straight away.”