Read misunderstoodebook Online
Authors: Kathryn Kelly
Christopher gave him a cheeky look. “More than him if he lets himself be called one.”
“Shut up, you little runt,” the man growled. But Johnnie saw that even he was fighting back laughter. “What do you think I should be called?”
Johnnie decided to test how grownup he was and cleared his throat, puffing out his chest. “Why are you called that?”
The three men looked at him and frowned, and his insides shrank a little.
“Nobody talking to you,” the man called Rack bit out. “Learn fucking manners, boy.”
“We’re together,” Christopher said quietly, shifting a sleeping Zoann on his shoulder. “If you talk to me, you talk to him, so that means he can talk, too. If he can’t, I don’t have anything to say to you neither.”
Rack kicked sand onto Christopher’s jeans. “Don’t have to talk to you, fucker. We could just as easy bury you. From what we hearing, nobody would miss you.”
“Shut up,” Johnnie managed, fury overtaking him. Their family hurt Christopher’s feelings enough. He wouldn’t let strangers do it, too. Especially because of him. “I would miss him. And Aunt Patricia. And Zoann. I don’t ever have to talk to you. I turned ten today and I’m grown like Christopher.”
Their laughter stopped his words.
“I’m Big Joe,” the blond man said after their chuckles died down. “I like you boys.” His grinned widened at Christopher and Johnnie knew he liked Christopher better.
Just because of that, Big Joe was great in Johnnie’s eyes because Christopher needed to be liked just like him and Zoann was.
“Oh, and by the way, boy,” Big Joe continued, looking at
“We call him Kitchen Pussy because he knows how to cook like nobody’s business.”
Kitchen…Pussy rolled his eyes. Johnnie’s shoulders straightened with pride. He’d really used the word pussy.
“Name’s Kaleb Paul,” the man explained. “I’m called K-P.”
“Kitchen Patrol,” Big Joe added, reaching into his vest and pulling out a cigarette. “We just fuck with him and call him Kitchen Pussy.”
“Don’t smoke around my little sister, Big Joe,” Christopher said as the man was lighting up. “She has asthma and she can get real sick.”
Big Joe cocked his head to the side before his eyes widened. “Fuck. These are Logan’s grandkids.”
“Yes,” Christopher answered, not flinching like Johnnie at the quickly closing expressions of the three men. “So?”
Big Joe gave Christopher a sour look and shoved the cigarette back into his vest. He smiled at Johnnie. “You’re Logan’s golden boy, huh, kid?”
Johnnie glanced nervously at Christopher, wondering if his cousin had ever heard the term before. Just looking at Christopher didn’t let Johnnie know his thoughts. He looked mad and upset and hurt all at one time.
Big Joe’s intense blue regard roamed between Johnnie and Christopher before he sighed. “I appreciate how you boys stick together. Shows real loyalty. A good trait for men to have. And, you,” he said, pointing at Christopher, “you’re one of the cheekiest little motherfuckers I’ve ever met. Pity Logan keeps his head up his ass and can’t see what fine boys you both are.” He took Zoann into his arms and looked at her little sleeping face.
She looked like an angel and Johnnie couldn’t understand how such an itty bitty girl could be so
. But, then, girls were noisy and whiny and afraid of bugs and guns and blood. They were afraid of everything that mattered in life.
“Give her back to me.”
“I’m not going to hurt her,” Big Joe swore, cradling her in his arms. “I got a boy. He’ll be seven in a month. We call him Joey. Maybe, I can bring him around sometimes to play with you boys.”
“Whatever,” Christopher said, still reaching for his little sister. “If I like him, maybe, I’ll play with him. If I don’t, then I’m not going to be bothered with him.”
“You’re a straight-shooter, huh, kid?” K-P said, then looked at Johnnie. “What about you?”
“He makes us laugh,” Christopher answered on Johnnie’s behalf, finally succeeding in snatching Zoann out of Big Joe’s arms, but waking her up, too. He huffed out a breath. “Go back to sleep, Bitsy.”
She started whining all over again and Johnnie had gotten tired of being out there. He was missing his party and he sure didn’t want to have to listen to Zoann cry anymore. He shoved Christopher. “You should’ve let her stay with Big Joe. Girls cry about everything and you started all her noise all over again.”
“Shut up,” Christopher ordered. To Zoann he said, “Please be quiet. Go back to sleep.” Then to Johnnie. “You don’t know anything about girls. You’re a kid. I’ve already been kissed and everything.”
Johnnie’s eyes rounded and even Zoann’s crying didn’t matter. “You kissed a
girl or one of your sisters’ dolls?”
Big Joe, Rack, and K-P laughed.
“A real girl, stupid. Me and Marley, we cut class and snuck to the gym and she let me kiss her on the cheek.”
The men laughed harder but Johnnie’s mouth dropped open. “You kissed
?” Marley was so pretty with her golden eyes and golden hair. Every boy in the world wanted her. Even Johnnie liked her.
“She told me she’d let you kiss her cheek, too,” Christopher went on. “She thinks we’re both cute. I think she’s stupid because she said we look alike. Can’t see how. You have blond hair and light eyes and I have black hair and green eyes.”
“Don’t ever question what a cunt has to say,” Rack chortled.
K-P and Big Joe frowned at the man while Johnnie and Christopher frowned at each other.
Christopher cleared his throat. “What’s a cunt?”
“A pussy,” Big Joe answered, scowling at Rack.
“Why do you call girls that?” Johnnie asked.
“Cuz when girls get to be women that’s what they become,” Rack responded.
“If I ever had a daughter and you called her a cunt, motherfucker, I’d cut your fucking dick off,” Big Joe snapped.
“Shouldn’t it be his tongue?” Christopher questioned. “His tongue is speaking the words.”
Big Joe clapped Christopher on the back. “We can compromise. I’ll cut out his tongue because you’re right—always go for the offending body part. But I’ll cut his dick off, too, to make sure he learns his lesson.”
“That would do it,” Johnnie mumbled.
Christopher thought for a moment, then said, “wouldn’t he have to pee like a girl after that?”
Big Joe snickered, but nodded. He pulled two business cards out and handed one to each of them. “My phone number is on there. You boys ever need anything, give me a call.”
Christopher stared at the card and rocked back on his heels, not seeming to mind Zoann pulling at his hair. Johnnie didn’t mind, either. She’d shut up.
“Me, too?” Christopher asked, then clenched his jaw and glanced away. “I-I mean I can call you, too? Not just Johnnie?”
A pained expression crossed Big Joe’s face and he crouched to eye-level with Christopher. “One straight talker to another,” he said, “I wouldn’t offer you my card to be nice. I don’t fuck around like that. Nor do I tell motherfuckers I like them if I fucking don’t. Got me?”
“I think so,” Christopher responded, though he looked like he still didn’t believe him. He backed away. “I have to get Zoann back to Mama. She got out of the hospital last night with the new baby and I don’t want her worried. You probably need to get back to your party, Johnnie.”
“Probably so,” Johnnie agreed.
Big Joe caught Johnnie’s arm. “I need to talk to you a minute.”
Not stopping, Christopher shrugged and walked through the field of motorcycles. The moment Christopher disappeared from sight, Big Joe studied Johnnie, the cigarette he hadn’t lit because of Zoann already hanging from his mouth with smoke rising from the end.
“You do good in school?” he asked.
Johnnie nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“The cheeky little motherfucker?”
“Christopher?” Johnnie asked in surprise. “Um, a man never tells another man’s business. And that’s not my business to tell.”
“A man, huh, puppy?” Big Joe asked around puffs of smoke. “I’ll accept that.”
Johnnie eyed him warily, not understanding why he hadn’t asked Christopher about his grades instead of going behind his back and questioning Johnnie. “That all?”
“I guess so. Just remember what I said and remind Christopher, too. Either of you can call me anytime.”
“I don’t think Grandda would like us calling you.” When Big Joe narrowed his eyes, Johnnie took a step back. “No offense.”
“You don’t, huh?” K-P asked.
“Double standard motherfucker,” Rack growled.
“Take a fucking walk,” Big Joe commanded, shoving Rack away. “These boys don’t know shit and we’re keeping it that fucking way.”
“Yeah,” K-P agreed, “unless you want to end up buried, you need to shut up.”
Rack glared at Johnnie and yanked a little bag from inside his vest. He raised the clear plastic, revealing squishy, bloody contents. So cool. Until Rack identified it.
“He got us cutting out fucking eyeballs while he’s coddling his grandsons?”
Horrified, Johnnie stumbled back as Rack pitched the bag against Johnnie’s chest. Big Joe planted his fist against the man’s jaw, but Johnnie stared at the sandwich bag, breathing hard, his stomach turning.
While K-P ushered Rack off, Big Joe turned to Johnnie. “Go back to your party, son. Forget about this, okay?”
Johnnie nodded, turned, and ran as fast as he could go, never again wanting to think of seeing a real eyeball in a bag instead of where it belonged.
And trying to figure out what Rack had meant about Grandda having them cut out somebody’s eye.
The ringing of the phone awakened Johnnie and he pushed aside the platinum blonde who lay sprawled on his chest. Just as he answered, the thing stopped, and he glanced at the clock on his wall before dropping his head back on the pillow.
Only five days remained between now and Christopher’s and Megs’s arrival back from their honeymoon. He thought about how radiant she’d been at the wedding, unable to stop his grin at the shenanigans that had taken place during the ceremony. Well, after Christopher had gotten Megs back from his deranged father.
The only thing Johnnie thanked Cee Cee for was he was the reason Christopher had left the reception, giving Johnnie the opportunity to hold Megs in his arms one, last time. Not that anything ever went his way with Megs. Christopher had returned in the midst of their second dance and she’d promptly walked out of Johnnie’s arms and hurried to Christopher.
Johnnie grimaced. She’d done exactly the right thing, but—
He rubbed a frustrated hand over his eyes, trying to scrub away the last vestiges of his sleep.
The woman next to him shifted, returning her head back to his chest. He grimaced, wishing he could lose himself inside her a little more, although he’d made a fuckhead move, picking a blonde, blue-eyed twenty-two-year-old with long legs and big boobs. His own personal form of torture, fucking a woman who served as a cross between Megs and the gorgeous redhead.
The phone started ringing again and he answered it quickly.
“John Boy, get the fuck out here,” Val growled and hung up.
Thrusting a hand through his hair, Johnnie shook Sabrina awake. She sat up and blinked, her hair rumpled, her makeup smeared and smudged. Last night, after the alcohol and grass, Johnnie had thought her the ideal solution to his demons. In the light of the day and with him sober, he wondered what the hell he’d been thinking.
“Hey, Johnnie,” she said with a shy smile.
“Hey, babe,” he returned, getting to his feet. Her gaze dropped to his hard dick and her lips parted, her face and body flushing. Her dark pink nipples hardened. “You have to get going. I have things to do.”
“What about that?” she said with a giggle, pointing to his cock.
He shrugged, pretending he didn’t understand her meaning. “What about it?”
She giggled again and scooted out of bed, dropping to her knees in front of him. Wrapping her hand around his dick, she gripped him and licked his balls while pumping his erection.
He groaned and closed his eyes, two different women filling his head. Sabrina could definitely be a Bob, instead of just a girl who showed up every now and then to fuck whoever would have her as long as it was a biker. He fisted her hair. “Suck my dick,” he ordered.
Quite happy to comply, Sabrina sucked half his cock into her mouth. Johnnie pumped in and out of her warm recesses, controlling her pace with his movements, until he stilled her and held her head in place when cum began to shoot out of him.
He pulled away and she looked up at him, waiting for him to fuck her. Ignoring the invitation in her eyes, he turned on his heel and grabbed his jeans, then put them on.
“Get dressed,” he told her because she remained on the floor, staring at him in expectation. Spying her black latex jumpsuit, he picked it up and tossed it to her, jerking her to her feet.
She stuffed herself into the skin tight outfit, which left not one inch of her to the imagination. Even her pussy was outlined. “Can I come back later?”
She licked her lips. “Can I still come to the clubhouse?”
“I don’t give a fuck one way or the other, Sabrina,” he snapped, losing his patience. The women he wanted were unattainable and the ones he didn’t have time for stuck to him like Gorilla Glue. “If you come back, don’t think you’re getting in my bed again. Understand?”
Slipping into her heels, she nodded. “Yes.”
His phone started ringing again. “I’m fucking coming, Valentine,” he yelled in answer.
“Would you hurry the fuck up then?”
Hanging up without responding, he stalked to Sabrina and grabbed her arm, propelling her to the door, down the hallway and into the main room where he stopped short. His veins froze, the shock raising goose bumps on his arms. The old, strangling dread tightened Johnnie’s muscles and constricted his throat.
He shook his head, refusing to believe the man he both loathed and loved stood before him, watching him with a steady gray gaze. Tufts of white hair fanned from his scalp. Though he was older now, every molecule of space still overflowed with his presence.
In that frenzied moment of spiraling emotions, Johnnie bristled with foreboding. Because he was back.