Wolf

By: April Kelley

Chapter One





Liam O’Reilly walked up the driveway of his mother’s house with a single-minded purpose. He was not the meek and mild type. He hadn’t heard from his brother, Finn, in over a week now, and he was really starting to get worried about him. A worried Liam was an aggressive Liam, and anybody who knew him knew that. His mother probably knew best of all. Well, actually Finn knew best of all. Finn was Liam’s best friend and the one person he truly cared about.

Liam had a really bad feeling about Finn’s disappearing act. They usually didn’t even go two days without talking on the phone or seeing each other.

Finn still lived at home with their mother and the step-monster, Richard. Liam had been trying to talk his brother into moving in with him for the past few years, but Finn didn’t want to leave their mother alone with Richard. Frankly, Liam didn’t give a shit anymore. Their mother could have gotten out of the marriage a long time ago, when Richard first hit her, but money was more important to her, and Richard certainly had a lot of that.

Liam entered his mother’s house. He looked around the large foyer area and up the staircase, as if she were hiding in the walls. “Mom,” he yelled and wiped his feet off on the small rug right inside the door. “Mom.” Liam had been trying to call his mother and ask her about Finn for days now and she wouldn’t answer the phone. He’d had enough of her evasive tactics. Now he was here and ready to find out where his little brother was. She would produce Finn, or heads would roll.

“Liam, what are you doing here?” his mother asked as she was coming around the corner into the foyer.

“Where’s Finn, Mother?” Liam didn’t make small talk with her anymore. He had long since given up all hope that she would get her head out of her ass and actually be a good parent. He avoided her whenever possible for fear he would say something to her that wasn’t appropriate to say to your own mother. It wasn’t that he didn’t love her—it was just that he didn’t have enough energy to deal with her nonsense anymore. He’d expended too much of it when he was a child. He had been too young to deal with her shit. She had just left him to take care of his little brother, and now she expected him to do nothing now that Finn needed him.

She had a shiftiness in her eyes that said more than anything that she knew where his brother was. “He hasn’t been home lately. You know how your brother likes to party.”

Finn might like to go out and have a good time, but it really wasn’t excessive. Liam would be the first one to tell Finn if he thought he was being irresponsible. Finn might fuck too many guys, but he wasn’t an alcoholic whore, the way their mother made it sound.

“The only thing you care about is Finn as usual. Lord knows you don’t come visit me.”

“You don’t come visit me either, and I’ve lived in the same apartment my entire adult life. And that is so not the point, Mother.” Liam couldn’t stand his mother’s guilt trips and had stopped entertaining them a long time ago. “You know where he is, Mother, so just tell me.”

His mother bit her lip and didn’t say a word.

Probably her fuckwit of a husband had done something shitty. “What did Richard do, Mother?” This was just like the time Richard killed Finn’s cat for no other reason than the thing brushed up against his legs. Richard did it while Liam was visiting Finn, too, so he saw the whole thing. That day marked the single worst thing Liam had ever witnessed up to that point. Poor Finn was devastated and had been a little scared of Richard since then, even though he could probably take the guy if he really wanted to. Finn wasn’t a fighter, though, and he wouldn’t hit Richard anyway, because Mom wouldn’t like it.

For whatever reason, Finn loved their mother and thought she was caught in a bad marriage. Liam had a completely different opinion. The subject was like religion or politics for Finn and Liam—they agreed to disagree and didn’t talk about it.

She still didn’t say anything, so Liam made his way through the house, going through Richard’s office door without knocking. Richard sat behind his desk and looked up when Liam came through the door. “A respectable person would knock,” Richard said in that condescending way he always had.

“Where is my brother?”

“In a place he should have been a long time ago. Now, I have business to attend to, so you’ll have to leave. Gretchen, get your son out of my office.” Richard went back to the papers he was looking at, dismissing Liam.

Liam got a sick feeling the pit of his stomach. He knew something bad had happened. Richard had been saying for years that he should put them both in one of those pray the gay away programs, but nothing ever happened. Since the only time Richard ever threatened to do that was when one of them pissed him off, they thought it was an empty threat. More times than not Finn was on the receiving end of that simply because he lived in the same house that Richard did, and he would defend their mother against Richard’s verbal abuse.

“Gretchen, stop standing around like a worthless bitch and get him out of here!”

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