It never fucking failed. The minute I opened my beer and sat down — finally — at one in the morning, after an entirely too long day, the doorbell rang. I glanced into the hallway but didn’t bother getting up. Instead, I picked up the remote and turned on the TV. Maybe whoever it was would go away if I ignored them.
Nope. No such luck.
Another ring, this time, two in quick succession.
“I’m coming. Hold your horses, man.” Who could it be at this time of night anyway? When I reached the door, I looked out the side window to find a patrol car parked along the curb. Lights weren’t flashing though, which meant it was probably Mack.
I sighed. This was getting old.
I opened the door to find Lisa, my twenty-year-old stepsister, struggling to free herself of my friend Mack’s hold. He had her cuffed, though, so not sure what she thought she’d do when he let go of her.
“Hey, Mack, good to see you”—I made a show of checking my watch, more for Lisa than for Mack—“at one in the morning.”
“Jace.” Mack nodded. I knew our wealth intimidated him, but he could be such a prick. I’d known him throughout high school. We’d been in the same graduating class but on wholly different social spectrums. I’d been one of those kids everyone liked—students and teachers alike. Captain of the football team who could manage to score straight A’s with minimal study. It pissed people like Mack off. He’d had to work a hell of a lot harder and, for some reason, he always held it against me that he lived in a trailer park while I’d grown up in a mansion. I was never mean to the kid — told a bully to back off once — but all it got me was more resentment. And, now, he was a cop in our little town. Throwing all hundred and fifty pounds around whenever he could.
Good news was, he had a crush on Lisa, who could always manage to find herself some trouble. Given my father’s high-profile government job, that wasn’t a good thing.
“What did she do this time?” I asked, meeting Lisa’s glare as I did.
“She got picked up on a bust. Pot, nothing major, but it’s her third time.” He gave her a chastising look, at which Lisa rolled her eyes.
“Christ, Lees.” I shook my head. “Where the hell is your head?”
“Screw you, Jace. What are you, my dad?”
The palm of my hand itched to smack her ass as our eyes locked in battle.
“I got to her before they could make the arrest,” Mack said.
Translation: I did you another favor.
“But this could cost me, man.”
I expect a favor back.
I only stood there staring at him like I didn’t follow. It always made him fucking nervous.
“If I got caught, I mean,” he stammered, exactly like he used to in high school.
I patted his arm. I could give him that. “You shouldn’t have done it, Mack. Maybe it would have taught her a lesson to be booked along with her criminal friends.” That last part was directed at my stepsister.
“It was pot. I’m not some fucking criminal!”
We both ignored her and Mack shrugged his shoulder. “Thought it might cause some trouble for your dad,” he said, oh so kindly.
I didn’t have to say a word because Lisa shoved at him with her elbow then. He turned to her, the crush he’d had on her since high school still apparent in the way he looked at her now. Lisa, however, ungrateful spoiled brat she was, just gave him her signature “when hell freezes over” look.
“I’ll get her out of the cuffs,” Mack said.
“Good idea.” As much as I thought Lisa needed to learn the lesson a public arrest could teach, I also knew how bad that would be for my dad. He was up for re-election this term, and vultures waited around every corner for a story like this one to break him. The damage to him would not be worth the lesson she might not even learn.
But then another idea did shine its light on me, one I’d jacked off to often in the last couple of years.
Mack un-cuffed Lisa and handed her over. I took her by the arm. “Say thank you to Mack for his kindness, Lisa.”
“What do you think you’re doing?” Lisa asked, looking from my face to where I held her arm, and back.
“I’m trying to make a decent human being out of you. Now, say thank you so we can let Mack get back to work. He has an important job.”
Her eyebrows went up and I almost busted a gut laughing with her right there. But it had been a long time since Lisa and I had shared a smile, much less a full out laugh. Instead, she turned an expressionless face to Mack and smiled the most bogus smile she could. “Thank you, officer,” she said, her voice sickly sweet.