James shoves me into a chair, a mix of rage and confusion all over his face. "John. What happened." I can't decide if he's upset because I punched his brother or if he's afraid to find out the reason.
Jenna looks at me with huge eyes, silently begging for me to not tell. "Please," she whispers. "It's not worth it."
Her eldest brother corners my face so I have no choice but to look at him. "Don't look at Jen. Tell me what happened. I know your language well enough."
I can still feel nothing but pure, unadulterated rage coursing through me as I clutch the arms of the chair so tightly that my knuckles turn white. It's all I can do to not just kill that bastard right now. He's so despicable. What man finds the need to touch his sister? Who is that desperate?
"First, he made a comment about her...chest," I hesitate to admit. "I almost let him go. At least, I wasn't going to punch him. But then he actually had the audacity to touch her rear, like she's some property simply created to please him."
James ducks his head, his face going red. I can hear Jenna sobbing, but I simply cannot make myself look at her right now. I won't be able to handle it.
"Here's the thing," I continue. "Jenna is literally the only person I have left right now. I cannot have her messed up psychologically or I'll go even more insane because it'd be my fault." I pause, restraining myself from looking at the lowlife. "The next time he touches her, it'll be over my dead body."
Without a word to me, James straightens and stalks over, grabbing Jairus roughly by the arm, getting protests from his wife, pulling him toward the door. Annabel makes an awful noise, but all I can think to do is grab Jenna and pull her into the first room I find. But what she says surprises me so much that I have to believe I conjured it up.
"How could you?!" She stalks around the room, raking her hands through her hair, tears staining her face. When she starts to claw at her implants, that's when I pull her hands down, forcing her to sit next to me.
"John! How could you punch him? And why would you tell James? He's going to kill him!" Her eyes are so crazed that it looks as if she's staring right through my head.
"Oh my word. Are you actually defending him?" I take her face and force her to look at me. "Jenna. He has no right to touch you. No man--or woman--ever gets to touch you without your complete and utter consent. What Jairus is doing to you is illegal. He's positively murdering your mind and your self esteem, Jen. I care too much about you to let this continue."
"Here's the thing... I kind of deser--"
Before she can even finish the sentence, I sign for her to shut up so furiously that my hand hurts when I uncurl it. "Jenna. I need you to listen to me. Just because in the past you've gone with whoever comes around doesn't mean anything. It does not make you any less important, or any less of a human being. It does not justify your brother using you." Then the thought dawns on me. "If he's willing to touch your butt in front of me and your entire family when you're an adult, what did he do to you when you were a child?"
As soon as I say this, her face turns dramatically white as if she's seen a ghost. "John, I think you would take an ax to his head if I told you."
I just laugh in a sort of cold and menacing way. "Did you think for a second that I wouldn't?"
"No. That's why I'm not telling you. You can't even hear someone call me blank, for crying out loud. Why is that? It's really not that big of a deal." She rubs the back of her neck with her hand, obviously uncomfortable with our current conversation. But I'm not letting these words that have been due for years keep going unsaid.
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Skin Deep (Featured - Completed)Teen Fiction
John is blank in a world where everything anyone says appears on their skin. They're held accountable for every secret, every demand, every sacrifice scrawled across their foreheads in bold black letters. He grew up in an insane asylum and had acc...