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Chapter One– Fightin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Quinn “Q” Moseley
Shattered red glass ornaments.
Mangled green garland.
Two black and blue eyes.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a fight. I kept Bree’s hair wound tightly around my fist. “How could you do this shit to me, bitch!?” I yelled before sending another devastating blow to her once-perfect, caramel-colored button nose.
“I’m sorry! You weren’t supposed to find out this way!” she squealed while trying to free herself from the death grip I had on her.
“Wrong fuckin’ answer!” I screamed, socking her ass one more time.
“That’s enough! Let go of her right now, Quinn!” my father roared as he gripped my shoulders from behind.
Fueled by rage and three glasses of spiked eggnog, I felt like the She-Hulk, ready to take on whoever. He didn’t know my pain. He had no idea the betrayal she’d inflicted on me. I wanted to beat that bitch so bad that she’d still be black and blue by the new year.
His voice boomed again. “I said that’s enough! Let her go! Let your sister go!”
My chest heaved in and out as I shoved him to the side, reaching across the air for her. “She ain’t no fuckin’ sister of mine!” I let go and kicked her before he pulled me from the living room into the kitchen.
“What the hell has gotten into you, Q?” he quizzed, brow creased with concern.
I shook my head as warm tears of rage slid down my cheeks. “You don’t know what she did, Daddy! You don’t know what she did to me!” I yelled.
“It doesn’t matter what she did to you! She’s your family! She’s your sister! That’s loyalty.”
“You wanna talk to me about loyalty? Huh? You talkin’ to the wrong fuckin’ one! Go ask that bitch about loyalty!” I screamed, ready to sound the bell for round two.
“Calm down, or you’re going to have to get out,” he warned.
I shot my vengeful eyes into his. “W–what? You’re putting me out–on–on Christmas, Daddy? You’re taking her side?”
“I’m not taking anyone’s side, but you’re the one in here acting like a maniac! Look around you, Q! You’re scaring your niece and nephew!” he scolded me.
I sighed before dipping my chin to stare at the fuzzy Christmas socks on my feet before slowly looking around. We were far from a couple of children roughhousing and knocking shit over. The seven-foot fir tree was sprawled across the ground, the blinking strings of white lights were twisted, and broken red and green ornaments were all over the place. The stockings for my Dad, twin brother Quincy, niece, nephew, stepmother, and Bree that once hung from the mantel over the fireplace were scattered and hanging loosely.
“I’m sorry for scaring them and for the mess. I’ll clean it up.”
He threw his hands up in disgust, preparing to walk away from me. “You damn right you will! You should be ashamed of yourself.”
I shook my head. Remorse was the furthest thing from my mind. “I’m not sorry for what I did, Daddy. And you say you aren’t taking a side, but all you’ve done is criticize me for what I did to her, and you haven’t once asked what she did to me!”
His nostrils flared, pushing out an exasperated sigh. “What did she do to you, Q?”
I clamped down on my lips and drew a deep breath before revealing the truth. “She’s been fucking Jackson behind my back, Daddy!”
I watched his thick, greying eyebrows rise with concern. “She what?”
“Oh shit,” my twin brother Quincy mumbled while standing next to the oven.
The kitchen fell silent as my father, and I watched him pull out a sheet of gooey chocolate chip cookies he’d baked with the kids for Santa.
“Yo, I’m sorry, Quinn,” Quincy spoke up when it seemed our father was at a complete loss.
I dipped my chin in a nod. “Yeah. Me too.” I was in a mood so dark that no one could change it. The pantry door squeaked as Quincy made his way inside, then stepped out, gripping the smooth broom handle, prepared to clean up our mess.
“Go ahead and get out of here and clear your head. Don’t worry about the mess. I got you,” he assured me.
“T–thanks,” my voice shook.
Quincy and I both knew if I laid eyes on Bree’s ass again, I’d be committing murder. My chair scraped across the hardwood floor before I walked to the door to grab my coat and throw on my boots. Outside, the crisp bite in the winter air quickly began to sober me up. I sat in the driver’s seat and lit a blunt while the car warmed up for a few minutes. I put the blunt to my lips and sparked the flame, inhaling slowly. My nerves were jumping around my body like frogs on tadpoles, and I needed something to calm me down and send my mind somewhere else. Once the smoke filled my lungs, I could feel a calming numbness in my mind and body, allowing me to relax.
I closed my eyes and instantly started reflecting on the last explosive thirty minutes of my night. Bree, Quincy, and the kids were in the kitchen decorating Christmas cookies with her mom while I was snuggled up on the couch watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on the big screen TV. During the commercial break, I heard the muffled vibration from Bree’s iPhone against the coffee table. Being the nosey person I was, I swiped it up and flipped it over. To my surprise, I saw my boyfriend Jackson’s name across the screen. Instantly, my heart began to race. I quickly made my way down the hall and pushed through the narrow doorway of the hallway powder room.
As soon as I locked the door, I sat on the toilet seat and started trying to crack her login code in the least number of attempts before locking myself out of her phone completely. As soon as it unlocked, it vibrated consistently like a washing machine. Although I wasn't ready to face the truth, I had to find out what the hell my man and my sister were talking about. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before navigating to her messages to read their text thread. The first few messages I saw weren’t words but video clips from his phone to hers. I drew in a breath and held it while I pressed play. The moment I saw Jackson fucking her doggy style on his bed while she moaned, I dropped the phone to the ground and cupped my hand over my mouth as I screamed. My heart was beating so fast that I felt like I would pass out. My eyes stung with tears as I reached down to pick up the phone. My palms became clammy as I held it in my shaky hands. Following the videos was a string of texts. My eyes shifted from left to right while I sat perched on the toilet seat in complete shock. I smeared my tears and mascara against the back of my hand as I read the words that made my heart stop.
Jackson: Forgot I had these in my phone.
Bree: Mmm. Good times. 😈
Jackson: When you gon’ let daddy inside again? You know I can’t go too long without my fix.👅
Bree: Kitty got you hooked, huh?
Jackson: It’s the best I’ve ever had.
Jackson: No cap. 💦💦💦
Jackson: Can’t quit you if I tried.
I sat there, rereading the messages repeatedly as the pain marinated inside my chest. I never knew what it felt like to die until that very moment. I didn’t know what tore me apart more, reading about how my man thought my stepsister had better pussy than me or the actual visual proof of their betrayal and infidelity. There I was, thinking things in my relationship were solid, while he was making plans to fuck my stepsister again. By the looks of it, they’d been fucking around for a while and were comfortable enough to film their shenanigans. How could they? I took screenshots of their messages and sent them to my phone before lifting the toilet seat and dropping her phone inside.
“Fuck that bitch,” I grumbled.