I didn’t have to ask Rush what he was doing. I already knew. He would be back with food I could eat. If I wasn’t so hungry I would try and stop him but I really did want to eat more than bread.
“You’ve turned my brother into your bitch. It’s pathetic,” Nan hissed across the table.
“Claws in Nan. Blaire is pregnant and needs to eat. Rush is taking care of what’s his,” Dean replied before throwing back a raw oyster off its shell into his open mouth.
“Do you not understand what birth control is? Or was that your plan all along? Hook him with a baby?”
It was very likely that the rest of my life I would have to deal with this kind of attitude from Nan. Getting upset and backing away from it wasn’t going to be a life choice for me. Granted, I didn’t intend to stick a gun in her face again but I wasn’t going to let her talk to me like that just because she was Rush’s sister.
“I realize you’re hurt and angry. But I’ve done nothing to you. So, please, back off.”
Dean chuckled beside me. Nan’s eyes only shone brighter. Great. I’d done nothing but piss her off more.
“You listen to me, you little bitch. No matter what you think you have, you don’t. I’m his sister. I’m his blood. He will choose me if it comes down to it. So don’t you dare threaten me.”
As much as I wanted to go back upstairs to Rush’s room and hide away from all this I knew it would only make her worse. I had to show her I wasn’t backing down.
“This isn’t a competition. You’re his sister. I’m the mother of his child. He doesn’t have to just love one of us, Nan. That’s childish and insecure to think that way. Rush is here because he loves you and he wants to help you. Don’t slap him in the face by treating me this way.”
Nan opened her mouth and snapped it closed again. Her jaw was flexing from all the teeth grinding she was doing.
“Thata girl, Blaire,” Kiro called out and the pain that flashed in Nan’s eyes made me feel sorry for her. I knew what it felt like to have a father not want you. But I also knew what it felt like to have a father who adored you. She didn’t.
“I don’t know why I even try. No one accepts me here. Rush was all I had and now he has attached himself to you and you hate me,” she screeched as she stood up and threw her napkin on the table.
“You took Rush,” she pointed a finger at me then she swung her attention to Harlow. “And you, you have my father’s love. I have nothing.” She spun around and ran from the room.
Rush walked in just as her heels clacked loudly on the floor and he looked at Kiro. The anger on his face was evident. “What did you do? I was only gone for five minutes.”
Kiro shrugged and pointed at me. “Don’t look at me. It was your woman who sent her running.”
Rush’s anger turned to confusion as he shifted his gaze to me. “Blaire? What happened?”
I shook my head. “She was accusing me of things and I just told her the truth.”
Rush let out a sigh and took off after his sister.
I sat there wondering if I should leave too. Or if I was supposed to stay here. My bread was forgotten on my plate and my stomach was now in knots.
“This family dinner is slowly dwindling. Anyone else want to run off before we have our salad?” Kiro asked in a jovial tone. How he could be making jokes after what had just happened I didn’t understand.
Dean reached over and squeezed my arm. “He’ll be back. Sometimes Nan just needs Rush. He knows that.”
Unfortunately, I knew that too.
Rush wasn’t back by the time dinner was over. Kiro was now completely groping the server’s bottom underneath her dress. Harlow was ignoring it and finishing her wine silently. Dean had his attention on the other server. I was more than positive the two women were on the menu for both men. The one Dean was looking at kept giggling and finding reasons to walk over to him. Luckily, he wasn’t going for any body parts yet. I was more than ready to get up and leave.
“I think it might be time for you and Blaire to go on up to bed,” Kiro said to Harlow without looking at her. He was focused on the server’s boobs and his hand was still up her skirt.
“I completely agree,” Harlow replied, standing up and looking over at me with an apologetic smile.
I stood up and started to thank Kiro and Dean for dinner when I noticed Dean’s hand was now between the other server’s legs. I decided to hurry out behind Harlow.
“I’m sorry you had to witness that. Dad’s drinking more now that Nan is raising hell. When he drinks he… uh… requires a lot of women.”
In other words, he screwed around more often. I nodded. However, what was Dean’s problem? Just a horny rock legend used to getting what he wanted, I guess.
“I thought Rush would be back by now,” I replied, wanting to change the subject.
Harlow nodded. “Yeah, me too. Nan can be a handful I’m realizing.”
Handful was a kind word for Nan. I was thinking more along the lines of “bitch”. “She hates me. I guess I need to accept it and learn to live with it. I just don’t like the spot it puts Rush in.”
A loud squeal and then a moan came from the dining room. Harlow made a gagging noise. “Ugh, come on. We can take the elevator instead of the stairs. It will drown out the noise.”
“Are they just… doing it in the dining room?” I asked, amazed at the lack of privacy and the fact the other catering staff could hear them in the kitchen.
“They will do it anywhere. Trust me. You don’t want to know what I’ve seen over the years. I think it’s the reason I’m still a virgin. Well, that and the fact I’m too shy around guys.”
It was a miracle that Harlow was as innocent as she was with this kind of behavior from her father. “I was a virgin until Rush. Sometimes it’s best to wait until the right guy comes along.”
Harlow smiled and nodded. “Yeah. But then there is the chance that will never happen. I don’t socialize much. My life here is very private. I’ve always hated sex because of what I’ve seen it do to my dad. But lately I wonder if maybe I just need to see it in a different light. You and Rush seem happy together.”
I felt sad for her. She’d apparently grown up very overprotected by her grandmother and then only seen the other side of the spectrum from Kiro’s life. She had to be very confused. “Did you date in South Carolina?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Not much. My Grandmama wasn’t a fan of me dating. She said it only led to sex. I was to wait until I got married to have sex. It said so in her Bible. But if I didn’t date how was I supposed to get married?” Harlow let out a soft laugh. “Didn’t matter though. I never could find my words when a guy I was attracted to was around me. I became embarrassingly shy and awkward. I’m getting better with age I think.”
Harlow was a classic beauty. She was elegant and perfect. It was hard to believe she hadn’t dated much.
“I’m going to go on up to my room. I have a book to finish. Recently I’ve found indie authors on my Kindle and I’m slightly addicted.”
“Indie?” I asked.
Harlow nodded. “Self-published ebooks. I’ve found some diamonds in the rough.”
I might need to get a Kindle. “Enjoy then,” I replied and headed up to Rush’s room.