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HUGE PLAYERS: Chapter 28


The silence is shattered.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” It’s my dad’s voice and something inside me dies. There is the familiar feeling of shame. Of not being enough. Of being a disappointment.

There is nothing about this picture that could be any less incriminating or explicit.

“Fuck,” Kyle mutters.

Janice and Dad are in the doorway and they are seeing everything. My ravaged pussy leaking cum, four of their sons naked and surrounding me. Strewn clothes on the floor, and a room that stinks of sex.

I am mortified behind belief.

 “Get out of here,” Kameron says, cupping his dick with his hands. I’m impressed by his bravery in this situation. No apology, just an order for privacy. Maybe he’s not thinking clearly about what our parents are seeing. Or maybe he is.

There is no way of me covering myself. We’re all lying on the comforter and any clothes we had on are now surrounding the bed like a discarded sea of sin.

Janice makes another distressed noise that sounds a bit like a cat being run over and I close my eyes and die inside.

What the hell are they doing back here? We were supposed to have another five days. Five days to work out if we can be together without the pressure of sneaking behind our parents’ back. That all feels like a joke now.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?” My dad bellows, his anger increasing as he doesn’t get any answers and the horrible reality of what he’s seeing finally penetrating his shocked brain.

“Fuck,” Joshua mumbles.

“You need to get out of here,” Kameron says again. “Go downstairs and we’ll come down in a minute.”

“YOU DO NOT GET TO ORDER ME AROUND IN MY OWN HOUSE.” Dad sounds apoplectic and I cringe, flushing hot over my whole body with shame.

“Your daughter is naked,” Kyle says gently. “You need to go so she can make herself decent.”

Janice wails and my dad makes a strangled sound in this throat but I hear footsteps retreating from the door and Kameron whispers, “They’re gone.”

I’m on my feet and scrambling for clothes before anyone can say another word. We dress in silence, except for me cursing under my breath. Oh God. This has to be one of the worst situations a girl can find herself in. The worst.

The sex video circulating at college was nothing compared to this.

As I pull on my vest and struggle into Kameron’s sweatshirt, I can’t even bring myself to look at any of my stepbrothers. I have to get out of this room and away from this situation. I’ve never been one to bury my head in the sand but it’s the only thing I can think of to do right now. Facing up to whatever Dad and Janice have on their minds is too much. I’m about to walk out of the room, when Jessie grabs my arm. “Wait,” he says. “Where are you going?”

“I don’t know…I just…this is too much.”

“I know,” he says, his brothers beginning to gather around us. “None of us would have chosen for this to happen, especially not now. But it has happened and we need to deal with it. All of us. Together.”

Kyle puts his arm around my shoulder and tugs me into his chest, planting a kiss on my messy tangle of red hair. I know I must look as though I’ve been dragged through a bush backward, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

“We’ve got you,” Kameron says.

“All of us,” Joshua adds.

“You don’t even need to do any talking,” Jessie says.

And that’s what happens. The boys lead me downstairs to where Dad and Janice are sitting in the den. They look as though someone has died, and I suppose they have in a way. We are not the same kids they left behind. I’m different. I feel whole where before I always felt as though there was something missing. I feel beautiful and ripe and sexy in a way that all women should feel. As we stand in front of our parents, I’m flanked by four men who will take all the blame for me, who will shield me with their bodies and their words. They’ll do all they can to protect me, body, mind and heart.

I wish I could say that the conversation goes well, but I can’t. Things come out of Dad’s mouth that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Awful, judgmental, and critical words. Janice’s voice gets so high that only the neighborhood’s dogs can hear her.

I’m a tramp. A slut. A manipulative whore who’s come into her home and corrupted her sons. When Joshua tells her to shut her damned mouth, I swear I see the blood run out of her face. I don’t want any of my stepbrothers to speak rudely to their mother, but I’m glad that he wants to protect me from her vicious tongue.

I can’t say that I blame either of our parents, though. If I had walked in on one of my kids in that situation, I know I’d hit the roof too. This is all understandable, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to bear.

Things quieten down when Kyle tells Dad and Janice that they love me. My dad’s eyes bug out and Janice hangs her head.

Love.

It’s a big word. A huge word. The kind of word that slips into your chest and does funny things to your heart. I have to put my palm over mine when he says it, as though I want to hold the warm feeling that follows as close as I can.

“You can’t love her,” Janice says. “You’re just messed up in the head. She’s got you thinking funny because she’s fucked you like a whore. You think you’re never going to feel like that again, but you will. You’ll find someone better. Each of you will find someone better.”

Dad puts his hand on her knee then and squeezes, hard. I see his knuckles whiten and his jaw tick. “You love her?” he asks Kyle.

“Yes,” they all say in unison. “And Jameson too.”

Janice makes another strangled sound and Dad turns to her, his face stony.

“The way you talk, it’s like you hate my daughter.”

Janice’s eyes widen, her face still white. She opens her mouth and closes it a few times, like a fish out of water, struggling for breath. This is the first time that Dad has ever stood up to her over me. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard him challenge her about anything.

“Were you not in the same room as me?” Janice says. “Did you not see what I saw?”

“I saw plenty. More than I ever wanted to see. I saw five adults in that room. Five adults who all consented to be there. You’re suggesting that everything is Maisie’s fault, but your sons were there too. All four of them.”

“Five,” a voice says from the doorway.

We all swing around and find Jameson on his crutches.

“You shouldn’t be out of bed,” I say at the same time as Janice. Her head swivels to look at me and I see a moment of realization pass across it. She sees that I care about him.

“I’m not going to leave you all down here shouting about something that I’m part of. You have to know that Maisie has been an amazing support to me since I was injured.”

“We know what kind of support she’s been. My friend sent me the video…it’s why we came home. Why I had to leave my amazing vacation.”

My dad stands, pacing toward the window and staring out into the garden. The pool is lit up and the sun is beginning to rise. There’s a new day coming and despite all the anger in the room, it feels positive. “I don’t like what I’ve seen,” he says, his back still to us all. “Some things should stay between consenting adults. Some things a father should never have to see. And I’m not going to tell you that I like what you’re saying. You might all have feelings for Maisie but they can’t be love. If they were, you’d understand that this isn’t right for her, or for you.”

Dad turns and his eyes find mine. They’re full of concern and I know he’s just trying to protect me.

“You’re saying that if we loved her, we’d give her up.”

“You’d let her find something normal, something that won’t have people whispering about her for the rest of her life.”

“I don’t care about the whispering,” I say. “I did…when that video was released. I thought that my life was over. But it’s not important to me what other people think. It’s important that I’ve found men who love me enough to sacrifice, who will protect me to the point they’ll hurt themselves, who will put everything on the line for me, happily. I’ve found good men who want to be with me and I want to be with them. I’ll keep us all together, happy and united, and our family will be the stronger for it.”

Janice turns away from us, wiping her eyes. “This is just a phase. Just a stage you’re all going through. It won’t last. It’s hard enough to keep a relationship going with one man, let alone five. They’ll get bored with you. Once that group sex isn’t that kinky anymore, they’ll be fed up with waiting in line for what they shouldn’t have to share. Then we can go back to how things were before.”

“Your boys are leaving you,” Dad says. “In a few months, three of them will be going wherever football is going to take them. Kyle and Kameron will go the year after. It’s not Maisie who’s taking them from you. It’s life. They’re grown…all of them are. We can’t treat them like children anymore.”

“And you shouldn’t be hoping that this won’t work…you shouldn’t be wishing for us to be heartbroken,” Kameron says.

Janice shakes her head. “You don’t know what’s best for you. You never have. Why do you think I encouraged you to keep Maisie at arm’s length? All that teasing…I wanted you to make her hate you. I knew the risks of this unnatural family situation.”

My stepbrothers shake their heads. Kameron takes my hand and squeezes it. “You did that?” he asks Janice.

“A mom has to do whatever it takes to keep her children happy.”

“Yes,” Joshua says. “Yes she does. So you know what you need to do right now. You need to stop talking and apologize to Maisie, for everything you’ve ever done to hurt her. And then you need to go to bed and leave us to get on with our lives.”

Janice opens her mouth to retort but Jameson doesn’t give her a chance. “We don’t want to hear another word, okay? We’re done.” He turns and starts to hobble up the hall and I dash after him, wanting to make sure he gets back to his room okay. When he sees me, he pauses, resting on his crutches. I find his hand and kiss his mouth, his beard soft against my lips. “Thank you,” I say. “You didn’t have to risk your health to come to my rescue.”

“And let my brothers have all the fun? I don’t think so.”

“Your mom saw the video,” I say, holding my face in my hands with embarrassment.

“Yeah…I’d rather she hadn’t but at least everything is out in the open now.”

“I guess it is.”

“No hiding.”

“I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”

Jameson nods. “I know. It’s not an ordinary situation. I get why you wouldn’t want everyone to know.”

“Not straight away,” I say. “I think we all need to take some time together, without the pressure of everyone knowing and all the questions and speculation. It’ll be good…to have privacy. To work out the dynamic.” I don’t want Jameson to think I’m ashamed of him and his brothers, or of the relationship we’re starting. This isn’t about that. I’d sing about us from the rooftops if I didn’t think the exposure had the chance of damaging our fledgling love. “We just need time.”

“You don’t need to explain,” he says.

“Good.” I kiss him again. “Now you need to get your ass back into bed, before Coach comes and drags me over hot coals.”

“Coach needs to mind his own business.”

I chuckle to myself, remembering Coach’s words and the role he played in me winding up in Jameson’s bed.

“You should probably be sending Coach a thank-you card. He was the one who thought you needed someone with great bedside manner…AKA me.”

Jameson grins. “You really do have the best bedside manner, Mais.”

I take a small bow, much to Jameson’s amusement. “Now, back to bed with you. You’re a terrible patient. Ignoring doctor’s orders.” I roll my eyes and Jameson chuckles again.

“Yes, boss,” he says. I get the feeling he would have saluted me if he wasn’t relying on crutches to stay upright.

I watch him take the stairs slowly, obviously very conscious that he could do himself a real injury if he isn’t careful. Joshua joins me at the bottom of the stairs. “This has been quite a day,” he says, putting his arm around my shoulder.

“We got through it in one piece, though.” I smile up at him, loving the way his green eyes contain a mix of mischief and warmth.

“Just about,” he says. “Anyway, it’s tomorrow now isn’t it.” I glance at my watch…7 am. No wonder my eyes feel like two dry cookies.

“We should be getting ready to leave. I for one definitely need a shower.”

Joshua’s chuckle is dark and dirty. “Yes you do,” he says. “Can I come?”

“I think that might be pushing our parents a step too far.”

Kyle, Kameron, and Jessie join us, gazing up the stairs even though Jameson has disappeared into his room already.

Jessie takes my hand. “You know, I don’t understand why it feels this right between us all, but it does.”

I know exactly what he means. When he presses his lips against mine for a simple, chaste kiss loaded with meaning, my heart skips.

“Do you think it’s going to work out?”

My boys don’t even pause for breath. “Yes,” they all say in unison.

I take a deep breath as hope bubbles inside me.

Nothing in life is certain except death. Life often sends us more challenges than we feel we can bear. Love comes with so much risk to our hearts that sometimes it feels too much. Taking a step forward, knowing that we might hurt, takes courage.

I never felt like I had the courage to take that kind of step before, but now I do.

Surrounded by my men, looking to a future of joy, unity, strength and love, I know I can do this.

I can risk my heart because I know they’ll always cradle it in their hands. My stepbrothers might love to play games, but this is as serious as it comes.

And it’s with that certainty that we take our next steps into this new life.


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