Step-Granddaddy’s Love Chapter 01 - Kissing My Step-Granddaddy
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I was hiding in my bedroom, hugging my ragged stuffed bear, waiting for the storm to pass. I had considered crawling under the wooden frame, but I was no longer a child. My curvy ass and generous boobs were making it impossible to use my old hiding places and short of instantly becoming invisible, this was the end of the line for me. There was nowhere else that could be safer, except outside. But it wasn't safe for me to bolt out now.
My mom was drunk again and she was having an argument with Bobby, Donny, whatever his name was. He was shouting and she was shrieking and they were both busy throwing at each other whatever shit we still had left in this dumpster of an apartment.
He thought she was cheating on him and she thought he could go fuck himself.
I thought I heard the TV screen break and I sighed, giving my teddy a hard squeeze. Goodbye Gilmore Girls, it was nice watching you. Nice pretending that Lorelai was my real mom and that I was sweet Rory, young, smart and full of promise.
But the truth was… I was likely going to die here, a nobody. Unimportant. Unwanted. Hardly missed. I had tried to run away, several times, but I kept coming back because what was out there was equally dangerous for a girl like me, with no money, no friends, no reliable work.
My eyes filled with unshed tears and I buried my head into Sir Cuddlesworth, wetting his matted fur. He was my only friend in the world and he knew my soul better than anyone.
A particularly loud “fuck you” made me jump up in my bed. I pondered whether I should be going out there, doing something, calling someone, but I was all alone in this Hell.
So I stayed put.
I stayed safe.
I could never get men’s weird outbursts of jealousy. Wasn’t it obvious that this was all there was, with my mom? She was a crack addict, living from high to high. Pills and bottles were her only constant lovers. Come on, even I knew it and I was called the dumb teen tease around here. But Johnny here somehow thought he was different. He thought she loved him. He thought he was the only man in her life. He thought she had a life… and a future.
It made me want to laugh, not a funny laugh, but a bitter, hollow, despairing one, yet I needed to be quiet. The last time I made noise and drew attention to myself, the guy broke my arm before I managed to wrestle free and run out the door. He had wanted to take his frustrations with my mother out on my innocent body. Truth be told, I was rather lucky that all he had managed to do was break a bone. He could have broken me.
And my mom? She hadn't bothered to rescue me. I could still see her, in my mind’s eye, standing there high as a kite, against the wall, while I screamed and shouted at my assailant. I got away all on my own, in the end, anyway. So you see, it doesn't matter. Nothing does. Tommy doesn't matter. Not even I do. So whoever his name was, I hoped he was going to be a good guy and to stop shouting, to just get her high, get his complimentary fucking out of the way and get lost. By next week there was going to be someone else in his place anyway.
Which was why I never bothered paying attention to any of them. Who cared what their names were, what they did for a living, or what they thought about my white trash mom, me, us. By next week, there was going to be someone new to crawl between her legs and buy her a dose of whatever was available in exchange for sex. That was how it always happened.
I wanted to hate my mom, I really did, but then I remembered my childhood and how different things were back then, when daddy was alive. But then we lost him to a random back alley shooting and mom started drinking, and I supposed that was when her soul died and I was left to grow up with her walking corpse.
But a walking corpse only knew to feed its immediate needs.
I have been on my own for the last ten years and now that I was a woman, I found I had to navigate a whole new set of dangers. Most men were… safe, in an odd way, but eventually one would come along and try to have his way with me too and I was all on my own in trying to defend myself.
Life was so unfair.
And with that realization, I noted how silent the house had grown. Blood froze in my veins. Did something bad happen? Was I even more alone? Was mom dead?
I climbed out of my bed and tiptoed to the door and I pressed my ear against its cold wooden surface. I heard muffled cries, barely subdued panting, and the floor creaking and I thought they were probably making up now, her legs around his waist and his hands on her mouth, keeping her silent. Disgusting, but life in general seemed to be that way.
“Where the fuck is she?” I heard the deep, growly voice of a man I did not know echo through the apartment and with that, panic surged through me.
Who was he and why was he looking for me? What did he want from me? He sounded terrifying.
I pressed my teddy against my chest. My stuffed friend. My plush shield.
The door opened the moment I decided it was about time I bolted out of the apartment. I barely made it a few steps out of my bedroom, when a strong arm caught me around my waist and hauled me back inside. I was thrown onto the floor and I landed on my ass, scared for my life.
I looked into the living room. That Danny guy was kneeling on the floor, his face all bloody, panting, and my mom was stunned into silence next to him. I raised my gaze to meet the stranger's and I, too, was silenced by what I was seeing. There was something familiar about him, something warm and peaceful, despite the violence he had just demonstrated. That odd something went beyond the comforting memories his red plaid shirt and washed out blue jeans brought out in me. It was incredibly stupid, but when I looked at him, at his imposing stature and rigid posture, when I looked into those kind brown eyes… I could somehow see my daddy. He liked to wear the same kind of clothes and he was no doormat, no sir, my da ddy had been fearless.
But my daddy was also dead and this guy just beat the crap out of my mom’s newest lover and I couldn't get past him.
I tried to keep my cool, but I was so scared. He frowned at me and gave me a once-over, then shook his head. I supposed he saw something he didn't like.
“Hayley?” he asked.
I nodded. “Yes, that’s my name.”
“You’re coming with me.”
That wasn’t a question. Nor an invitation. I was going to go with him no matter what.
I drew in a long, deep breath and I swallowed hard. I looked at my mom. I was not sure why I did it, perhaps I was hoping she would come to my defense, at least now, but then this guy threw some money at her and she was suddenly busy with something more urgent than my apparent kidnapping. She had drug money now. My issues could be postponed. God, how I wanted to hate her.
"Come now, girl!"
When I failed to get up from the floor, mister lumberjack hauled me up and dragged me out of the apartment.
Mom was still busy gathering her money.
I could barely keep up with him. It was cold out here, I was not wearing any shoes and his legs were longer than mine, so I had to hop and skip to keep up with his brutally fast pace. People were sneaking glances at us from behind the safety of their doors. Curious onlookers, all of them, from the men to the little girls. No one was going to come to my rescue. Not here. Not in this bad neighbourhood. Which was why I didn't even bother screaming. Maybe this was the day I became a walking corpse too, like my mom.
“Get in there,” he growled and shoved me towards a black pick-up truck.
I opened the passenger door and quietly climbed in. I could have tried to climb out and make a run for it, but I doubted I would have gotten very far.
Or to anywhere much safer.
I was half naked, with no shoes, in a place littered with broken glass and used syringes and worse… men with unchecked urges.
Going with this guy was definitely the lesser evil so I made myself small and obeyed him.
He was a careful and quiet driver, I noted, when he failed to talk to me or do anything to me. He was just taking me somewhere North, past the city limits. His knuckles were painfully white around the steering wheel and I had to admit I was rather afraid to ask him anything, so my stupid mind was free to create gruesome after gruesome scenario. I, too, stared ahead, and I imagined all the ways this strange man would be destroying me once we reached wherever our destination was.
Yet… I didn't really, truly, feel threatened? He hadn’t yelled at me, really. Just rushed me. He definitely hadn’t touched my curves or made me touch his crotch, the way most of my mom's men knew to say hi to a girl.
He wasn't even looking at me.
We were on a side road, he could have stopped anywhere and had his way with me and no one would have bothered him.
Hours later, we finally reached what looked like a small cabin in the woods and that was where he parked the truck. I didn’t need to be told to get off. I did it and then I waited for him to instruct me further. Except he was still in the car, staring ahead, tightly gripping the steering wheel. My feet were not only cold now, but slightly muddy as well.
I thought I heard a dog barking like mad in the distance and I prayed the stranger was going to come back to his senses before the beast mauled me.
“Has that man laid a hand on you, Hayley?”
His sudden question took me by surprise. It was such an odd thing to ask. What did he care?
“I’m talking to you, girl," he shouted again and I nearly jumped out of my skin in fear. "Did he touch you? Did he make you touch him? Did your mom tell you to, uh, be nice to him?”
“Is that a question or an answer?”
“No, sir, he did not.”
I found it strange, not just the line of questioning, but also his inability to look at me while he asked me such questions.
He nodded to himself and finally let go of the wheel. He exhaled and got off, coming round the truck to grab my arm again and lead me inside. Once again, I had to hop and skip to keep up. He opened the cabin door and an enormous mass of black fur jumped on me. I found myself knocked down onto my ass for the second time today. Luckily, all the beast wanted to do was to sniff and lick me, so I was safe on the mauling front. My ass, however… big ouchie.
“Sargeant, get off her!” the man shouted and the dog released me from his wet welcome. “You’ll have to excuse ol' Sarge, he has a thing for young women. The vet is young too, and she spoils him rotten.”
I nodded, like I knew anything about dogs and vets, and I even let him help me get up.
His gaze lingered on me and I became self-conscious. I wrapped my arms around me and bent a knee, trying to somehow make myself smaller, if not invisible.
He caught himself staring at me and coughed, then looked at anything but me. Again. Which was a really good sign. He didn't seem to want to hurt me and I didn’t want to give him a reason to either.
“You will find clothes to wear inside, and a blanket to wrap yourself in. We can talk after you’ve had a shower and some food," he said and pointed with his chin at a wooden door.
“Bathroom is on the right, under the stairs, the door next to it is just some storage space.”
"Thank you," I murmured and made my way to the bathroom.
I did indeed find a change of clothes in here. They didn’t really fit me, some were kind of baggy, some were way too tight, like he wasn’t sure what size I was, somewhere between Shakira and Queen Latifah. I had to go without underwear, since I inherited my mother’s full, curvaceous figure, and these small things would’ve maybe fit me when I was 12 or something. Now, at 18, I didn’t think I’d be able to fit a boob even if I used both those bra cups.
When I came out of the bathroom, I saw him scrubbing the floor clean of my muddy footprints. I felt a little ashamed of that. He had a nice place, way nicer than anything I'd ever seen, and I had dirtied it within five seconds of being here.
I lingered in the small halfway, barefoot, wondering what to do or say.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get to you sooner, Hayley,” he said.
For a moment there, I thought his voice was shaky, but I didn’t see a reason why it would be, so I dismissed my thoughts.
He was still kneeling and scrubbing, when he added, “I’m Jack. Jack Handerson. Your step-father was my son."
He then added more awkward silence to the scene and kept staring at a half-cleaned spot, and something in my head made a loud noise. So loud, it blinded me and it felt like I was falling. The last thing I heard was Jack shouting. No, not Jack… my step-grandfather.
When I came back to, I was in the softest bed I had ever slept in and someone was murmuring something while pressing a cool cloth against my forehead.
“Mom?” I said without thinking, before memories had a chance to come back. But then they did, and I felt stupid for calling out for her. I knew better than that.
“You’ve had a very eventful morning, Hayley, and you look like you haven’t had a proper meal in ages. I can see your ribs, honey,” a deep, gruff, male voice broke through the darkness.
I knew that voice.
He had thrown me onto the floor!
My eyes opened instantly and I recoiled from his touch, making another realization.
“You’ve undressed me?!” I shouted, feeling violated. Had I been violated?
“I had to know if you were lying to me or not and if… if you indulged in the same things Angela does.”
Ah, that was more familiar. Distrust. A world of darkness and lies. He was no stranger to it, though I deeply resented the allegation that I was a drug user, like my mom. Or a whore.
“I’m clean. In every way that matters,” I added.
He nodded. “Do you remember what I said before you… uh, collapsed?”
“How do you feel about it?”
I looked into his eyes and I saw some hopefulness there.
I wanted to stomp on it.
That was my first instinct. To take his hopes and smash them, tear them, break them. My step-grandfather? He was sorry he was late in taking me with him? My mind was full of contradicting feelings. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to have someone who cared about me, finally. But after everything, after so many years? A decade? The hell with sorry, he could’ve stopped all this, he could’ve helped mom and neither of us would…
I wanted to cry and scream and shout, but I could not, I was frozen.
“Hayley?” he asked. “I know you have questions. I know you probably hate me. I wouldn’t blame you. But I am here now and I promise to answer them all and to do my best to make up for the time lost.”
At that, I hit him. I expected him to dodge my palm. I even expected him to return it. Instead, he let me hit him and now my cold skin was touching his warm one and something electric passed between us. I could feel it, it was entering my body, powering my emotions, all at once, and I found myself crying and screaming nonsense and hitting him over and over again, across his face, chest and arms and all he did was to stand there and take it all. I was releasing a decade’s worth of negative feelings and pain that was so horrible, I could feel it in my bones, chilling me to the marrow, and it was well beyond my control when the hurt turned into regret and longing and I climbed into his lap and pressed my chapped lips against his smooth ones. I’m not sure why I did it. Maybe it was the only form of intimacy I still had a grasp on. Maybe it was how his kind works and generous promises broke me. Maybe it was because of how he rescued me and I didn’t remember how else gratitude was expressed like.
He was stunned, I could feel it, just like I could feel his erection poking me between my legs. I’ve never had a man inside me, like mom did, but now, something was making me want him in that way. I didn’t know what to do with the way I was feeling and he didn’t seem to know any better either because he wasn't stopping me.
“Hayley,” he mumbled against my lips and I let him turn us around, I let him press me against the bed and I allowed him to grind against my crotch. His body felt so hot and his thick, strong, arms felt so safe. I closed my eyes and I let him continue the kiss. His faint stubble pricked my skin and it hurt, but I welcomed the pain. I was feeling alive again.
He was making me feel alive.
He was peppering small, hungry kisses all over my face and neck and mumbling my name. My hands roamed all over his body and I could feel hard muscles underneath his plaid shirt. No wonder he didn’t really look old, he was fit and strong and suddenly, images of that Bobby guy entered my mind and I let out a small shriek. Granddaddy was instantly off me.
“What’s wrong, Hayley?”
“I don’t know, I…”
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have.”
“No, no!” I shouted and pulled on his shirt, drawing him back against my body. It was so cold when he was not pressed against me. I didn’t want to be cold and alone again. “Stay, please. We can just… we can talk, right? Tell me about my dad? You said he was your son?”
He smoothed my hair and clothes and then laid down next to me. “We can do anything and everything you want, Hayley. I am here now. And you are safe with me. No one’s going to hurt you. I will kill the man who tries.”
I smiled at that.
Was this really happening now? I had dreamed of hearing that all my life and now someone was truly saying those words to me. It felt…. surreal. But I only needed to snuggle into him and let his arms wrap around me again to feel it was for real. I could listen to his heart beat fast and steady in his chest. He was here for me. I could feel his warmth and care for me in the way he was holding onto me, like he was afraid this was a dream, the same way I was feeling like I was going to wake up and find it had all been my imagination. He was here, I was here, and I thought... I thought I was beginning to feel something for him. Jack, he'd said. My granddaddy, he'd said. My hero. I fell asleep with a smile on my lips, feeling safe and happy and hopeful, for the first time in forever.
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