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It was a really bad time for Pilar to find out she was pregnant. She knew it couldn’t have been Randy’s since they’d always been extremely careful with protection. The baby was Patrick’s. Randy loved her and blamed himself for the situation they were in. He begged her to get an abortion, but she refused. He knew he could never grow to love the product of the night his father raped Pilar. He was right. He couldn’t, but he would raise me as his own anyway and would spend the rest of his life taking everything out on me. That was how Randy became my father, and how I became my brother’s bastard child. *** That was only the prologue, and already it felt like an earthquake had barreled through my head. I couldn’t believe what I just read. My mind and body were now in the midst of a war because while my heart needed a long rest before continuing on, my brain had an urgent need to turn the page. Once I’d started reading, the pages wouldn’t stop turning all night long. I’d made it through the first half of the book by dawn. Reading about the verbal abuse Elec suffered at the hands of Randy was extremely painful. As a boy, Elec would hide in his room and get lost in books to escape reality. Randy would sometimes punish him for no reason and take the books away. One of those times, Elec started jotting a story down on paper and discovered that writing was an even more satisfying escape. He could control the destinies of his characters, whereas he had no control over the life he was forced to live in Randy’s home. As a child, he never knew the real reason behind Randy’s hatred. Pilar’s protection of Randy was unacceptable, and I wanted to strangle her through the pages. The only good thing she ever did was go against Randy’s wishes in buying Elec a dog. Lucky became Elec’s solace and best friend. Elec also recounted the time when he found out about Randy’s infidelity. He hacked into his father’s computer and discovered the online affair with my mother. Elec felt guilty because he was the one who broke the news to Pilar. Randy moved out soon after. Pilar’s subsequent breakdown opened up a whole new set of challenges. She became dependent on Elec in the same way she’d always relied on Randy. That, coupled with Elec discovering the truth about Patrick, and then the death of Lucky caused a downward spiral. He started to smoke and drink to cope with the stress, developed an addiction to tattoos as a form of self-expression and became sexually promiscuous. He’d lost his virginity at 15 to a female tattoo artist after he’d convinced her he was 18. It was really hard for me to get through certain parts of the book, but his brutal honesty was admirable. I read straight through until arriving at the one point where I absolutely had to stop before continuing. It was the chapter about me. *** Chapter 15: Greta Vengeance. That was the only thing that was going to get me through having to spend the better part of the next year living with Randy and his new family while Mami “went away.” The only consolation was going to be the satisfaction that would come from making their lives miserable. He was going to pay for putting my mother in the looney bin and for leaving me to pick up the pieces. I’d already decided that I hated her—the daughter. I’d never met her, but I imagined the worst based on her name alone, which ironically rhymed with vendetta. Greta. I thought it was an ugly name. I was betting she had a face to match. The second I stepped off that plane, the smog and funky smell of Boston were a big giant “fuck you.” I’d heard that song before about the dirty water here, and that didn’t surprise me after taking one look around. When we first pulled up to the house, I refused to get out of Randy’s car, but it was cold, and I was freezing my ball sac off, so I finally gave in and dragged my feet inside. My stepsister stood in the living room waiting for me with a huge smile on her face. My eyes immediately landed on her neck. Fuck. Me. Remember that bet about the face matching the name? Well, apparently, I’d lost that bet to my dick. Greta wasn’t ugly…at all. This development was a minor hiccup in my plan, and I was determined not to let it slow me down. I reminded myself to keep a serious face. Her long strawberry-blond hair was tied up into a ponytail that swung back and forth as she moved toward me. “I’m Greta. Nice to meet you,” she said She smelled good enough to eat. I corrected the thought in my head: good enough to eat and SPIT HER OUT. Don’t lose focus. Her hand was still suspended in the air as she waited for me to take it. I didn’t even want to touch her. That would further throw me off track. I eventually took her hand, squeezing it too tightly. I wasn’t expecting it to be so goddamn soft and delicate like a bird’s foot or some shit. It trembled a little. I was making her nervous. Good. This was a good start. “You look different…than I pictured,” she said. What was that supposed to mean? “And you look pretty…plain,” I retorted. You should’ve seen her face. She thought I was being nice for a split second. I nipped that in the bud when I added the word “plain.” Then, her pretty smile dipped down into a frown. That should’ve made me happy, but I didn’t like it at all. In reality, she was anything but plain. Her body was exactly my type: petite with small curves. Her perfectly round little ass stretched through a pair of gray yoga pants. It was no surprise that she did yoga with a tight body like that. And her neck…I couldn’t explain what it was, but it was the first thing I noticed about her. I had to urge to kiss it, bite it, wrap my hand around it. It was f**king weird. “Would you like me to show you to your room?” she asked. She was still trying to be sweet. I needed to get out of there before I cracked, so I ignored her and headed for the stairs. After a brief encounter with Sarah, who I always referred to as stepmonster, I finally made it to my room. After Randy came in to give me shit for a good half-hour, I chain-smoked and played some music to drown out the noise in my head. Then, I went to the bathroom to take a hot shower. I squirted some girly pomegranate body wash into my hand. There was a pink loofah sponge hanging off a suction cup on the tile wall. I bet that was what she used to clean her pretty little ass. I grabbed it and washed my body with it before putting it back. The pomegranate crap wasn’t really enough to do the job, so I used some men’s body wash to finish. The bathroom filled with steam. I got out, and as I was wiping my body down, the door opened. Greta. Now was my chance to prove that I wasn’t all bark and no bite. I let the towel drop to the ground to shock her. The idea was that she’d run out so fast that she’d barely see anything. Instead, she stood there with her eyes glued to my c**k ring. What the f**k? She wasn’t even trying to turn away as her gaze traveled slowly upward to my chest. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it was like she woke up and realized what she was doing. She turned away and apologized. But by that time, I was starting to have fun with it, so I stopped her from leaving. “You act like you’ve never seen a guy na**d before.” “Actually, I haven’t.” She was kidding, right? “How disappointing for you. It’s gonna be really hard for the next guy to measure up.” “Cocky much?” “You tell me. Don’t I deserve to be?” “God…you’re acting like—” “A giant dick?” Heh heh. That shut her up. Then, came more staring. Now, this was just getting uncomfortable. “There’s really nowhere to go from here, so unless you’re planning on doing something, you should probably leave and let me finish getting dressed.” She finally left. I hoped to God she was kidding. If she’d never seen a guy na**d before then what I’d just done was really f**ked up. *** A couple of days later, I’d overheard her telling her friend that she thought I was hot—“so f**king hot”—to be exact. Honestly, even though I knew I had some kind of effect on her, I wasn’t exactly sure if it was physical attraction. So, hearing that was a little bit of a game changer. The good: I knew I could use it to my benefit. The bad: I was unbelievably attracted to her, too and needed to make sure she didn’t know it. Living at the house seemed to get a little easier each day. Although I would never have admitted it, I wasn’t exactly miserable anymore—far from it. I took joy in doing little things to mess with her, like stealing all of her underwear and her vibrator. Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a little thing. Overall, though, I started to realize that the motivation behind my actions wasn’t what I originally intended. Getting back at Randy was barely an afterthought anymore. Now, I was messing with Greta simply to get her attention. In a matter of days, I’d all but forgotten about my “evil plan.” One afternoon, though, shit got real when I intentionally brought a girl from school to Kilt Café where Greta worked. I’ll admit; I had no problem getting girls and had been with a few of the hottest ones at school within the first month. But they all bored me. Everything bored me—except getting a rise out of my stepsister. Greta never bored me. The first thing I’d think about when I’d wake up in the morning was how I was going to ruffle her feathers next. That day at the café was no exception, but it was a turning point—one I couldn’t turn back from. Greta was waiting on our table, and I’d been intentionally giving her a difficult time. She ended up trying to get back at me by pouring a shitload of hot sauce into my soup. When I figured it out, I gulped the entire thing down to spite her. Even though it burned like hell, I didn’t let it show. I was so impressed with her that I could have kissed her. So, I did. Under the guise of retaliation, I used the soup as an excuse to corner her in a dark corridor and do what I’d wanted to for weeks. I’ll never forget the noise she made when I first grabbed her and claimed her wet little mouth with mine. It was like she was starving for it. I could have kissed her all damn day, but this was supposed to appear like it was about the hot sauce and not the kiss. So, I reluctantly ripped myself away and went back to the table. I was hard as hell, and that wasn’t good. I told my date to meet me outside so she wouldn’t notice. I had to make it seem like what just happened didn’t affect me and needed to quickly reinforce the idea that it was a joke. I’d been carrying around a pair of Greta’s underwear with me for days just waiting for the perfect opportunity to taunt her with them. So, I left her the thong as part of her tip with a note that suggested she change into them because she was probably a little wet. I wished I could have seen her reaction. *** We were starting to spend more time together. She’d come to my room and play videogames, and I’d sneak glances at her neck when she wasn’t watching me. I’d replay the kiss in my head constantly, sometimes even when I was with other girls. Greta and I would be eating ice cream together, and the urge to lick it off the corner of her mouth was enormous. I could feel myself falling for her in more ways than one, and I didn’t like it. Not only was I attracted to her, but she was the first girl whose company I actually enjoyed. I needed to keep myself in check, though, since taking it any further with her was not an option. So, I kept bringing girls home and pretended not to have feelings for Greta. It was working out alright until I found out she was going on a date with a guy from school: Bentley. He was bad news. Her friend ended up asking me to join them on a double date, and I took the opportunity so that I could keep an eye on things. The date had been torture. Having to hide my jealousy, I was forced to sit back and watch while this ass**le put his hands on her. At the same time, Greta’s friend, Victoria, was all over me, and there was zero interest on my part. I just wanted to get Greta home safely, but the night turned into way more than I bargained for. Before it was over, I’d nearly put Bentley in the hospital after he’d confessed that he’d made a bet with Greta’s ex that he could devirginize her. I went ballistic. Never in my life had I felt the need to protect someone like I wanted to protect her. The next day, Greta would return the favor in a big way. Randy had barged into my room and went on one of his abusive rants. She’d overheard and stuck up for me in a way that no one ever had. Even though I pretended to be too drunk to remember it, I clung to every word until she kicked him out of the room. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure that was the moment I fell in love with her. *** That same weekend, our parents went away. It was bad timing because my feelings for her were at an all-time high. I’d made up a story about going out on a date just so I didn’t have to be alone with her. That night, she’d woken me up in the middle of a dream. I’d been having one of my nightmares about the night Mami almost killed herself. I tried to lighten the mood because I must have looked like a crazy person. I said something to her like, “How do I know you’re not trying to take advantage of me in the middle of the night?” It was a joke. She started to cry. Shit. I’d hit a new low. All of the antics I’d been pulling to mask my true feelings had taken a toll on her. I had to stop, but without the insults and jokes to hide behind, those feelings would become obvious.
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