Lost: Puck & Emily's Story

(unedited - title subject to change)

Chapter 1

Lucas

Twelve years ago 

 

The glare of the sun over the water is blinding me even though I have my expensive sunglasses on.

My eyes fall to my boat shoes. They’re top of the line and way more expensive than one pair of shoes should be. Same can be said for my entire outfit.

I hear a whimper from behind me, but I don’t turn around to look. I know who it is. My mother. And she is crying. Again. She thinks that if she follows me around crying, I won’t leave. What she doesn’t understand is that I don’t have a choice.

The day started fairly well. I’m home from college for the summer, and I had plans to meet with my high school buddies, get drunk, smoke some dope, maybe more. That included fucking any available pussy in sight.

And then, my uncle happened. The almighty Kenneth Luther Adams the Third.

“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” he asked in his commanding voice, stopping me in my tracks.

Mara, the housekeeper’s fifteen-year-old daughter who also works at the house, grabbed the dirty plates off the dining room table and rushed off, plates clinking together all the way to the kitchen.

“Out,” was all I told him, knowing it would get him all wound up.

“You better watch how you talk to me, Lucas,” he warned me in his perpetually unforgiving tone.

“Or what?” I smirked in the corner of my mouth. I was well aware that it only served to aggravate the tension between us, but I was at the point where I didn’t care.

“Or you won’t be able to attend the fancy Ivy League school you’re currently enrolled in. You think you’d be able to live like a commoner?”

I hated the condescending tone in his voice. It raised my hackles like nothing else.

“It doesn’t matter where you think I can or can’t handle going to school,” I retorted. “There were very clear instructions in my father’s will.”

I watched in fascination when his nostrils flared at hearing my mention of my father. His brother. The man who died when I was barely out of diapers, and whose death I am sure my uncle here had something to do with. 

I just can’t prove it. I may never be able to prove it even though I am trying really hard.

His cell phone started ringing just as he opened his mouth to spit more of his vitriol at me. His face changed in an instant, and his hands started shaking when he brought the phone to his ear.

“Bricks,” he mumbled into the phone. “Can I call you right back?” He eyed me with disgust and signaled for me to leave the room, but I refused to do it. Instead, I pulled the chair back out, taking my place at the table. If he wanted to get rid of me, it meant he didn’t want me to hear his conversation. 

I enjoyed every second of his discomfort when he turned to leave but saw my mother coming down the stairs, so he tried to hide from her.

“Mother,” I called out to her, making sure my voice would echo throughout the house. “Uncle Kenny wants us here,” I pointed at my uncle. Her dull from alcohol eyes brightened right up.

“Bricks,” my uncle repeated the name from before. “No, no, don’t do that,” his panicked voice called. “I’ll have all the money by the end of this week. I swear.”

Whatever the other person on the phone said made him red in the face. You could not pay me to leave the room right then.

His eyes clashed with my mother’s, and the psychopath I always thought him to be shined right through.

“This is all your fuckin’ fault,” he pointed a finger at my mother. She took two steps back, the joy from being called into the same room as her husband dying a quick death.

“Kenny,” she gasped in shock, one hand pressed to her chest. “I didn’t do anything. I…”

“You had to screw around with my brother,” he walked toward her. His tall stature was nothing my mother would be able to fight off. I wasn’t able to do it until three years ago when I had a major growth spurt. It happened to be around the same time I started working out, a fact that definitely put my uncle at a disadvantage.

“Having me just wasn’t enough for Princess Elaine, was it?” Kenny spit into my mother’s face as he got closer. “You just had to have Blake, too, huh? The golden son. The one everyone loved.”

You see, my mother was engaged to Uncle Kenny when she fell hard for his brother’s charms. They planned on eloping, but life got in the way. My grandparents found out, they talked my mother out if it due to all the money she was marrying into. And the second son would just not do.

My mother broke the news to my father, then went and married her intended. Around that time, she also found out she was pregnant. Kenneth’s name went on my birth certificate, but Blake Adams knew as soon as he saw me that I was his son. He changed his will, making sure to leave me enough money for a posh education worthy of the family I came from, and also to have a separate cushiony trust fund. 

It would all be in my name once I turned twenty-one years old. That’s in six months. My mother is the trustee until then, but I am nervous. I know Kenneth is putting pressure on her to make him a trustee.

“Kenny,” my mother gasped for air when he wrapped both hands around her neck.

“Hey!” I stood up from my chair, the movement so abrupt, it propelled the chair into the table with a bang. “Let the fuck go of her!”

Kenny did the opposite. His fingers started squeezing harder and harder, and I watched in fascination as my mother’s face started changing color. Then, with no warning, he let go of her. The momentum pushed her into the wall where she slid all the way to the floor.

“What do you care what I do to her?” he growled at me with murder in his eyes, spit flying all over the place.

“Well,” I didn’t show him any reaction. Instead, I flicked at an invisible spot on my shirt and raised an eyebrow at him. “Say it, don’t spray it, Kenny.”

“You’re dead,” he pointed at me. “A dead man.”

“Hmmm, interesting,” I tapped a finger to my lips. “I hope you know that I just got you on camera saying that, and that the recording will be not only going to the police in case anything happens to me, but to all the news outlets as well.”

I was full of shit. I had nothing. But I did enjoy the feral look on his face when he started looking around at the ceiling, trying to figure out where a camera could’ve been hidden. He then managed to surprise me.

“I have this place checked every single day,” he smirked at me. “There is no way you would’ve had time to do anything since last night,” he called my bluff.

I just shrugged and gave it back to him. “You know I’m good with computers.”

I am very good with computers, but yeah, he’s right, not good enough to mess with anything over night like this. I’m still a rookie when it comes down to it.

Kenny just huffed in annoyance, turned around and left. I remained standing in the spacious dining room, staring at his retreating back while listening to my mother still whimpering on the floor. 

“Lucas,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, baby.”

“If you sign the papers to make him a trustee of my money,” I looked at her with cold eyes, “I will never forgive you. Do you think you can remember that?”

Alcohol and whatever pills she had taken that morning were mudding her thoughts, I could tell.

Now, it is hours later. The sun is setting over the lake, the glare off the water almost painful in its brightness. 

My mother is lying on one of the lounge chairs behind me, completely wasted and still crying. I told her I’d find a permanent place to stay at school until I graduated, and I’d never come back to this house again.

“Don’t go, Lucas,” she whimpers once again, making me roll my yes toward the sky. I have no idea why she thinks she has any power to persuade me one way or another.

I choose to ignore her and continue staring at the water. But her next words chill me to the bone.

“If you leave for good, I’ll sign the papers to him now,” she threatens in her slurry voice, one of her mood swings hitting out of nowhere. She always does that, almost like she has some personality disorder.

My shoulders tense up, an instant tension headache taking over. I force myself not to react, knowing that’s what she’s looking for.

“Did you hear me, Lucas? Don’t think that I won’t.”

I still don’t answer. Instead, I pray like I never have before, hoping that the gods will listen, and that she will have forgotten all this by the time she wakes up tomorrow morning.

“You think Blake would’ve been a better father to you than Kenny?” she snickers behind me.

“I guess we’ll never know that, won’t we?” I reply, then hate myself for it. Now she knows I’m listening, so she’ll continue talking for a while. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before though.

“Blake was a bad man,” she slurs. “What kind of a man sleeps with the woman betrothed to his brother?” 

“What kind of a woman cheats on her fiancé? With his brother, no less?” She really is getting to me tonight. And now I got her mad.

“You know nothing, Lucas!” she starts screaming like a banshee. “Nothing!”

I finally turn to look at her, and she calms down in an instant, tears running down her face. A face that used to be beautiful in her younger years but has since been ravaged by drugs and alcohol. 

“Why don’t you tell me then?”

She is shocked that I’m asking. That I am attempting any sort of conversation with her. It hasn’t happened in a while, not since I was a little boy. Me asking about Blake Adams used to start a full on war between her and my uncle, which in turn would all backfire on me. I was a constant reminder of what my mother had done to him, and he loved reminding me that fact any chance he had.

“His parents promised to leave him destitute if I didn’t marry Kenneth,” she finally whispers.

I raise an eyebrow in question. “Did Blake know that?”

“Blake didn’t care,” she waves the question off, then reaches for the large glass of liquor she has on the side table. “He just wanted to play hockey for fun. And he was good, really good.”

I looked my father’s name up once. He was a great businessman with a reputation as a ladies’ man. But I think whatever relationship he had with my mother threw him off. 

“If he didn’t care, why did you?” I ask the obvious question.

“Because love doesn’t pay the bills, Lucas,” she rolls her eyes at me, then takes a large sip of whiskey from the expensive crystal glass she’s holding.

“So this is the life you envisioned for yourself, huh?” I lift my chin at her in disgust. “For me.”

“Well, no. Getting pregnant with Blake had never been a dream of mine,” she shrugs, and I feel literal shivers up and down my spine. “Kenny was ecstatic when I told him I was pregnant. His parents were as well. I prayed the baby was his, but… not meant to be,” she sighs.

“What about Blake?” I mutter through clenched teeth.

“Blake wanted to take you with him. He said Kenny was bad news once he’d learn the truth…”

He wasn’t wrong, I think to myself.

“Why didn’t you let me go with him?” My voice is shaking, and I can barely swallow the lump in my throat.

“I didn’t want to start a fight with Kenny,” she shrugs but refuses to meet my eyes.

It takes me a minute to process what she just said.

“Let me get this straight,” I manage to choke out. “He wanted to take me away from this,” I point to the mansion behind us. “And you said no. Because you didn’t want to get into an argument with Kenny,” I make sure to clarify.

I wish I could say that I see a small glint of shame in my mother’s eyes. She knows what me growing up around Kenny did to me.

“It is what it is, Lucas,’ she finally shrugs and takes another healthy sip from her glass.

I am frozen in my spot on the deck. Suspended in the air, unable to stop images from flooding my brain. What would have my life been if Blake Adams really took me away from his brother?

“You really hate me for it, don’t you?” Elaine Adams, the woman who gave birth to me, asks.

“More than you will ever know,” I murmur quietly. What’s the point of getting angry and lashing out at her anymore? 

Sadness washes over her face, but only for a fleeting second. The clarity I see in her eyes when she stares at me surprises me.

“I’ll make you a deal, Lucas,” she finally says in a pensive tone.

I really don’t want to enter into any sort of deal with her and, by association, my uncle. But curiosity gets the best of me.

“What kind of a deal?”

“I will have my attorney look into the trust Blake left for you. See if you can get it early.”

My heart is beating out of my chest, echoing into my ears and making me lightheaded.

“In exchange for what?” I know she’s not doing this out of the kindness of her heart.

“Leave Kenny alone. Don’t seek revenge. Lay it to rest.”

Her words are not slurred in the least when she tells me that. In all honesty, I haven’t heard her sober like this in, well, probably ever. But the fact she tells me this makes me think Kenneth Adams is hiding something. And now that she planted that seed in my head, I need to know what it is.

“Why do you protect him?” I will never understand this need she has to take his side in all things. He uses and abuses her, and she never blinks an eye to it all. In fact, she is content in her misery. Even when she cries.

“He is my husband, isn’t he?” she eyes me shrewdly. “In sickness and in health.”

“Even at the risk of your own health?” I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with her.

“That’s what marriage is, Lucas,” she smiles at me, looking almost scary when she does so. “You will learn that one day.”

“I will never sacrifice my child,” I point at her, “or any child for that matter, for some idea that doesn’t make any sense at all,” I vow to her.

“Never say never, Lucas,” my mother smirks. “Never say never…”

(c) Andie Bale 2022

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