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Criminal

By:Alex Abbott

“Oh, Kaiden! Right there! Oh God, I’m going to come!”

The rhythmic creak of the bed is the least of my worries as I lay awake, listening to them. My step-brother and... who’s tonight’s guest? I want to say Samantha, but honestly, they’ve all blurred together by this point.

The bed grinds into the floor, the headboard banging against the drywall. Kaiden’s breathing is hard, but he doesn’t say much at all. He just makes her scream louder.

All the women he takes back to his place might call out his name like he’s some sex-God, but he barely ever makes a sound, let alone puts much effort into remembering their names. What’s the point? I’d never seen the same girl by twice since I moved in with him six weeks ago.

Every night it’s the same thing. I’d almost think it was a routine if Kaiden weren’t so against such things.

He comes in around one or two in the morning with some new girl, usually tipsy, and both of them laughing before he takes them into his bedroom. And, unfortunately, his bed is right up against the paper-thin walls.

Right up against my room.

I pressed the pillow to my head as Samantha-or-whoever screams and Kaiden grunts.

“Take it,” he growls. “Take it all!”

He doesn’t care at all that I can hear. I’m under his roof and his control now, at least until I decide what to do with my life. Everything had been derailed when my father and step-mother—his bio-mom—died in a car accident eight months back. Before that, I thought everything was going to be fine. I had just turned eighteen, and I had an education fund set aside.

I didn’t know that my education fund had been ‘borrowed’ from to bail Kaiden out of jail. I didn’t realize that my parents were effectively broke. I also didn’t realize how much funerals cost. And I had to do it all on my own. Kaiden barely even made an appearance outside of the funeral, and though he looked broken-hearted, he was gone before I could blink.

So instead of going off to college, all expenses paid, I struggled to live on my own, grieving for months. Then the restaurant I worked at went bankrupt. I had to beg my step-brother, the person who had bankrupted my college fund, for a place to stay.

And he was just as happy about it as I was. I was going to interfere with his life, he said.

What kind of life does he have, anyway? Screwing random women every night, making money in who-knows-what ways. He was arrested for drugs, but that bar he hangs out in every night, I knew that was trouble; that the people he hung out with were trouble.

What other choice do I have, though?

So I lay in bed, listening to him pound the girl into oblivion, and I can barely help the flush that goes through me. Beneath my annoyance and anger, there was hurt as well. Beneath it all, I can still remember how much I’d crushed on him through high school. How every time my friends told me how hot he was, I was secretly agreeing. I can still remember the time when we went boating, and I fell in. He rescued me, held my face, and all I wanted him to do was kiss me, but he didn’t. He got all awkward and wouldn’t talk to me for a week.

My body feels like it’s floating as I hear them come, as if I weren’t quite within myself, but looking down as I flush, my hand dips between my thighs.

It’s not something I’m proud of. The way my body prickles with heat, craves my touch. It’s a habit I thought I’d broken. I had hoped it was just a childhood phase, but as I hear him grunt and growl, I can picture him laying over me, his gorgeous body thrusting.

The fantasy is so familiar, and I burn with desire.

I touch myself over my panties; my body is already so hot and wet, so needy from listening to my step-brother have sex with his latest fling. I close my eyes, holding in my moan so that he won’t hear me. So that he won’t know what I’m doing, fantasizing about him.

Every night I have to fight the urge to masturbate to the sounds of him pleasuring someone else. Every night I have to remind myself how dirty these desires are.

I swallow and force my hand away, so desperately wanting to lose myself in my fantasy.

But I can’t.

***

My schedule has been turned upside-down since I moved in with him. How can I get up bright and early to look for a job when he’s been keeping me up ‘til three in the morning screwing random chicks?

I plunk myself down at the kitchen table, a plate of toast and some tea in front of me.

Kaiden’s still sleeping, even though it’s past noon, and I at least have some peace and quiet. I bring the piece of toast to my lips as I boot up my laptop and the local job search pages.

I haven’t been having any luck. Kaiden lives in the middle of nowhere, and just like Kaiden’s nightly rituals, the job search page is always the same. Some jobs clearly out of my experience and education range, one or two scam postings, and that’s it.

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