“But not tonight, you’ve been drinking. Backup wouldn’t be amiss,” she added, raising an eyebrow at Randy.
“Anything for family, Deirdre,” he replied. My estimation of this possible brother-in-law went up exponentially.
Nodding, she went out. I heard the women leaving, but decided that my presence would be unappreciated. Suzie did poke her head in to say goodbye. I gave her a kiss and hug.
“Call if you need me.”
“Always.” And she was gone.
“Is it always like this?” Randy asked.
“Pretty much total chaos all the time. Got to figure, with this big a family, there’s going to be drama. I think it’s one reason Dad left. He couldn’t handle it. Takes a special kind of man to cope. Dad couldn’t. Steven can’t.” I didn’t say another word. I really wanted to put my fist through Steve’s face. It was as well Mom had cautioned me off. I’d gladly have driven to his location, and pounded him senseless.
“Not worth the fury,” Randy said sensibly. “I know she’s not my sister, but I’ve become fond of them all. And I feel the same urge to defend and protect them. But getting hit with an assault charge, isn’t the best thing for anyone, is it?”
I had to agree. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t deny it. He was being logical and sensible, something I couldn’t be where my sisters were concerned. I’d been the protector, strong shoulder, punching bag as long as I can remember. Dad left when I was seven. I’d given most of my life over to the role of man of the family. Even with brothers-in-law well into their forties, I was the male head.
“Jesus, I need to get laid,” I groaned.
Randy laughed. “Beautiful, willing woman, remember?”
“Yeah, well…. House full of sisters. And Mom. Puts a quash on.”
“Gonna let it stop you?”
“With Charlotte?” He chose to shut up.
Since I’d heard chapter and verse about how Chica lost her virginity, and had been told in graphic details about her best lays, I knew that she wouldn’t let a little thing like family get in her way. Might cause Randy a little anxiety….
“I suppose we should join.” I tipped my head toward the pool.
Randy stood, extending his hand. “All for one, brother.”
“I was prepared to hate you.”
“I’m glad you’re open minded.”
We shook hands and I found myself glad for the masculine backup. I never had felt that from the others. We got along, but we weren’t exactly chummy. They are brothers-in-law. With Randy, I felt he might actually reach brother status, like Jake.
The evening was warm, a soft breeze blowing. The pool looked almost magical, lined with the most beautiful of sirens. Sadly, I’m kin to all but the voluptuous, golden haired beauty on the steps.
The deep end is by the house. I dove in without a splash, and swam over to tickle her legs. Giggling, she pulled me up so she could kiss me. I wanted her with every inch of me. Her spirit vibrated in harmony with mine. I could feel her down to a visceral, cosmic level. However, I had a bevy of cock blocks trying hard to ignore me while I kissed her. It took everything I had not to carry her up to my room and make love to her.
“What had Dionne so upset?” Randy asked.
“Problems with Steven,” Charlotte replied tersely. “We’re over him,” she told me in no uncertain terms.
“I can’t kill the man,” I replied. “I’ll talk to him and see what’s up. I can’t make him behave.”
“It’s a matter of letting him know,” Mom added quietly.
“What, exactly, am I supposed to let him know? Steve and I aren’t best buds. If I get up in his face, I’m likely to end up with a fist in my own. This isn’t all his fault….”
I knew right then I’d said the wrong thing. Mom and my sisters glared at me. I felt my manhood shrink and shrivel into nothing. Any happy thoughts I’d had about being laid that night, ended with those five words. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I caught a hint of disapproval from Rowena. I’d stood up to armed gunmen. My womenfolk weren’t going to get me this time. I didn’t care much for Steve, but I refused to let them blame him for it. Dionne’s not easy to get along with, but he’s stuck by her all these years. Like isn’t in the equation, but admiration for his devotion, is.
“No. You’re not going to do that to me this time. I can’t blame all their trouble on Steve. He’s been a good husband, all things considered. And a great dad.”
“You don’t even know what the trouble is,” Mom began.
“It doesn’t matter. It takes two to make a baby, two to be married, and two to fight. He’s kind of a jerk, I know that, but Di’s a bit of a bitch.” I held up my hands when they protested. “I love my sister, but she’s got a wicked tongue on her. She remembers shit that happened when I was five, and throws it in my face on occasion. I can’t imagine what it would be like being married to that. But before you all go postal on me, and tell her I’m against her, or spread more hatred and discontent, think about it. Whatever her side is, he has one, too. And I’m gonna go and talk to him, listen to him, and decide whether I’m gonna plant a fist or two. You’re great, all of you, and I love you to death. But the eight of you are a force to be reckoned with, and there comes a time when a man has to stand up and object. This is that time!”
©2021 Dellani Oakes