“Lacy Weston Party,” I said instead. I clutched my wallet in my hand as he checked the list before him for my mother’s name. Without even a “this way please”, or “over there”, he walked off, causing me to hustle behind him to catch up. He walked the aisles between the tables like a pro, where I did nothing but manage an excuse me here and there. The place was packed to the brim for a Tuesday night and all was okay, until I looked up from the marble floor and to my mother’s table. It was then my heart dropped into my stomach.
“Fuck no,” I mumbled under my breath gripping my wallet that much harder in my hand. The man I loathed more than anything in the world was sitting right next to my mother, and another man was sitting at the same table with them. This had to be some sick fucking joke.
Taking a deep breath and wiping the look of disgust from my face, I took my seat next to the man I didn’t know. The entire time I could feel Talon’s eyes on me, and as I took my seat I looked up at him. He wore a look of shock that matched my own. Looks like neither of us knew what was going on.
“Mother.” I narrowed me eyes at her, all but saying explain yourself now or else. She smiled at me like she did nothing wrong and then started to speak.
"Mia, this is Jackson Reed and his son Talon. I met Jackson at a widow support group last year.” She had to be kidding me; this couldn’t be going where I thought it was.
“This isn’t happening,” Talon spoke out loud. I shifted my attention to him and then back to my mother. I knew there was a reason she had been coming home late and eating at such high-end places. Here I thought it had something to do with working late but no, she was secretly seeing someone, that someone being Talon’s father. I couldn’t do this right now.
“We started dating months ago, and we decided that it was time for you both to meet as soon as things started to get serious,” Jackson, Talon’s father said smiling at me, as if he wanted to say welcome to the family, the smile alone giving me the heebie-jeebies. Not because he was creepy looking. He was actually quite handsome, but because he was Talon’s father, and I hated Talon.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to get married or some disturbing shit like that.” Talon sounded more pissed than I was, the mask he always worse slipping away to reveal an emotion I am sure no one had ever seen him show: fear. Wow, the man who showed no fear of being scared of anything was now on the border of pissing his pants.
“Talon, I know losing your mom was really hard for you but, you're an adult now and I think you're old enough that now it's my turn to find love again. I've been lonely since we lost your mom. I never thought I could love again, but Lacy has helped me heal. I know this is going to be an adjustment for both of you, but we've decided not to waste any time and plan on getting married." Jackson’s words caused my eyes to bulge out of my head and my hands to lift up to chest.
“I would’ve told you sooner, Mia, but I didn’t think you could handle it. I mean look at how…” I put my hands up to make her stop talking. She didn’t know shit. Only what she wanted to. That was the thing about her; all her choices were hers to make. It was those that it affected that should’ve mattered just as much.
“I’m with Mia. This is fucked up.” Talon’s hands were going through his hair so fast I was sure he was going to start losing some.
As I knew I would, I shifted my anger to him. I couldn’t stand him. Not in class, not in the hallways, or around campus, but now I would be forced to endure a lifetime of stepsibling love with him? Fuck no. Fuck that. Fuck all these people.
I pushed my chair back, causing a loud scraping to sound across the marble floor which rang throughout the restaurant. I couldn’t do this shit, not here, not anywhere for that fact.
“Sit down, you’re being dramatic,” my mother whispered under her breath as we were starting to draw attention. What she didn’t know was that I didn’t care, or maybe she did and it just didn’t matter to her. Who knew at this point? All I knew was that I was getting out of here. I stood from my chair the same time Talon did. I wanted to reach across the distance between us and take my anger out on the asshole. Instead, I directed my attention back to my mother.
“Dramatic? Are you kidding me? I’m not the one that hid this for months. Also I refuse to be of any relation to that fucker over there.” I pointed at Talon’s form, watching him out of the corner of my eye.
He lifted his hand over his heart, anguish etching into his features. “Awe, I’m wounded. As if you’re something special yourself.” I could hear his disgust; at least it was mutual at this point and time.