Fall 2011: Kalen Behar is 26 and Taj Behar is 4. Last update: Fall 2010

Soundtrack: “Insects” by 10 Years

Warning: Simulated nudity.

Boredom is going to kill him, he’s sure of it. Kalen leans heavily on the cold metal fence, his hands stuffed in his pockets as he dispassionately watches Dana repeatedly gets rammed from behind. He can’t lie, he used to get a thrill from this; not so much the sex but the rush of pushing something dirty and illicit had made him feel so good… or at least it used to. Now, he’s standing outside watching two middle aged men get the only thrills of their lives outside of a new Star Trek collectible and counting down the seconds until one of them comes so he can warm his nuts up inside.

It’s the change of seasons working on him. He hates when summer fades into fall pulling the temperature below a reasonable 70 degrees. It never fails to remind him that if he was home – back West – he wouldn’t be freezing once it hits September, which always leads to why he left and his shitty parents and their shitty ultimatums then his shitty parenting skills and his soon to be fucked up kid.

The urge to kick something is strong and Kal stares at the back of his customer for a few long seconds, imaging what it would be like to take all his frustrations out on someone’s flesh. He snorts derisively, what he really needs is a shot of whiskey and a poker game to take the edge off.

Staccato grunts fill the air and pull his focus back to the man finding the end of his pleasure bare ass naked in the dirt. Kal is at once grateful for the reprieve. His thoughts are becoming all too real, too heavy and he’ll have to down a bottle of Jack before he gets back on the track, especially if his son’s mother starts swimming in his head.

Kalen moves quickly. He somewhat forcefully hands the man his pants and escorts him and his buddy to the side gate, making excuses about possible raids or undercover cops. He doesn’t care if the excuses are thin, he just wants to go inside and escape himself.

“What’s the rush, boss? Poor guy barely had a chance to get his pants on good.”

Dana smirks as she stretches, her long limbs arching to show off her body. He admires it openly, aware that she’s doing it for his pleasure before grabbing a robe and wrapping her in it. She’d been an easy pick, perfect body and right amount of exotic to draw the guys in.

“Need a drink.”

“Me too.” She slips an arm around his. “Who knew those two nerds could be so randy. I might have to re-think them in real life.”

He laughs along with her. “That’s if they can get pass your side job.”

“What? Every guy likes a girl who knows a few tricks.”

“Key word there: knows tricks, not turns them.”

Dana shrugs as he holds the door open for her. She doesn’t respond, simply tossing her sweaty hair out of her face before heading for the bathroom. He watches her for a moment, admiring the silent strength that all the girls share when facing the lascivious and knowing looks men shoot their way. He makes his way to the bar, avoiding gyrating bodies and fistfuls of money waving in the air. Travis has his shot waiting for him and Kal smiles gratefully, eagerly swallowing the whiskey.

Without thinking he shifts so he can watch Chance dancing up close and personal with two customers. He watches as she holds onto the pole, bends at the waist and grinds her ass against one of the men’s groin. Something twists in his gut and Kal grips the shot glass tightly before dropping it in annoyance. He purposely thinks about Janice, her fucking note and his son crying alone in his crib to push away any thoughts of possessiveness. Women didn’t have a permanent place in his life anymore.

It’s 7am when he gets home. He’s tired, cranky and in need of a good lay. Maybe he shouldn’t have insisted Chance go home but he needs to get her out of his system. A sudden noise from the garage grabs his attention and he rushes inside, almost trampling over Taj in the process. He’s instantly pissed.

“What are you doing in here? I’ve told you a dozen times to stay out of here! Did you touch anything?” Kalen yanks him up by his shirt, easily lifting his son into his arms. He’s careful with Taj despite his temper. He might be a shitty dad but he’s not an abusive one.

“No, Baba.”

“Why are you out here anyway? Tristen should be making you breakfast.” He heads out the door with only a slight glance at his newest toy.

“She left.”

That gets through to Kal and he stops. “She left?”

“You’re late…again.”

He scoffs, continuing their trek into the house. “That girl acts like she doesn’t get paid. All she has to do is make dinner and put you to bed but she still bitches.”

Kal leans over to put the kid down in the kitchen, his eyes dropping a bit at the prospect of falling into his bed but Taj clings to him, little arms and legs holding on tight. He wants to sigh because he can sense the familiar knife of guilt hovering over him. He could do better, he could do much better.

“What are you going to do today?” He feels the shrug and this time does sigh. “You could go to the park.”

He shakes his head without looking up.

“Why not? You love that park.”

His response is muffled. “The mommies always stare at me…’cause I’m by myself.”

Kal doesn’t stagger, he doesn’t even stumble. Somehow he makes it up the spiral stairs to his bedroom and drops his son onto the bed. He can feel the weight of those eyes, perfectly grey like his mother’s, and turns to avoid the obvious question in them. Where’s my mommy? He’s so tired of that question haunting him. He didn’t know, didn’t care and they were the better for it.

“Come on, let’s take a nap. When we wake up it won’t be so bad.”

Kal wakes up later alone in bed and lies still for a moment trying to figure out why there was so much noise in his house. The kid usually knows better, having been on the receiving end of too many my-sleep-is-precious speeches to act up. He hears Sarabeth’s shriek of laughter and remembers that he invited all the girls over so they could relax and discuss a bit of business.

It only takes him 10 minutes to get ready and he brushes tangles out of his hair while attempting to pull a shirt over his head. He briefly contemplates getting a haircut, something more manageable, but a memory long buried of being 14 with unevenly hacked hair gifted to him in his sleep by a pissed off father bubbles up and he bares his teeth in a mockery of a smile before pulling it tightly into a ponytail.

Kal isn’t surprised when he gets downstairs to see a party in full swing, the girls all dancing around the kid and the door wide open to reveal a keg they somehow got up the stairs. He doesn’t ask questions, simply slipping into the group and dancing to their catcalls.

He dances close to Sarabeth, sharing a mischievous smile with her as they dance along to some popular rap song. He pulls her close suddenly, staring into brown eyes inky and dark like his own before kissing her on the cheek. She dances away from him with a laugh, tossing her dark hair over her shoulder.

“You trying to get me in trouble, jefe? La pelirroja can be very possessive.”

Kal shrugs, ignoring the glare Chance shoots their way. He really shouldn’t mess up the dynamic with the girls; they got along pretty well despite the competitive nature of their job but he’s never did like imposing rules on himself. He likes Sarabeth; she’s bubbly and fun with just the right amount of fire. He’d never think about there being anything more between the two of them besides whatever happened in his bedroom because she wouldn’t let him. She knew how to keep things in their proper categories just like he does.

“If she’s more invested than I am, that’s her problem.” The lie feels good and he gives himself a silent reminder to repeat it often.

Sarabeth stops dancing and stares for a moment before busting out a deep belly laugh. The other girls stop and turn to look at them.

“What’s so damn funny?” Chance asks, brushing her fringe out of her face.

She walks away from him with a smile, tugging Taj along with her. “Oh, nothing.”

Tae and Dana smirk at him before resuming their conversation. The music is loud so he can’t hear what they’re saying but he can only imagine what jokes they’re setting up to hit him with for the rest of the week. The phone rings and he edges around Chance who refuses to move out of his way. He knows she’s trying to assert her position in his life but he ignores her. Her place in his life wasn’t real and it’s obvious he’s kept her in his bed for too long.

Kal leans against the brick wall, keeping his back to Chance. ““Hello?”

“Kal?”

He almost drops the phone. He’s never believed in movie moments where the sound drops away and everything focuses in on a single pinpoint but damn if that isn’t how he feels. He shakes his head hard to clear the sudden fog. “Janice?”

‘Of course, you asshole! Where are you and where’s my son?”

Kal shoves himself away from the wall and storms into the kitchen. He can feel them watching him, sensing his mood change but he doesn’t care. He needs to rage, would give anything to have her here in front of him just for a second. He can picture her perfectly, blonde hair in a bun and disdain on her face. The sour taste of bile sits in his throat.

“What do you mean where’s your son? With his father like you left him!” His voice is sharp, adrenaline making his nerves raw. “How’d you even get this number?”

“That’s all you can say? I want to know where my son is Kalen and I want to know now. How could you move without saying anything?”

“The same way you could leave without saying anything, Janice. Did you even look back when you left or was the lure of Daddy’s money too tempting?”

“I warned you Kal, you never listened. You’re lucky I even left him with you.”

Her venom brings his calm back and he leans against the counter, feeling in control.

“We both know that wasn’t going to happen. Daddy wouldn’t welcome his wayward whore back with her half-breed son now would he?”

Her silence is the only answer he needs and a vague echo of remembered hurt hit him in the heart. She’d been his partner in crime, laughing it up when his parents kicked him out and her Daddy said his kind wasn’t welcome on his land. They’d gotten through the shock her pregnancy and they were convinced they would be mediocre parents together. If he still wanted her he wouldn’t be able to say it; it’d taken him a long time to even acknowledge it but what did it matter now, she walked out and he was the better for it.

“Don’t strain yourself trying to come up with an answer babe.”

“Listen, you bastard, I want to see my son and I want to see him soon so tell me where you are!”

“No.”

“What do you mean no? You can’t tell me no, I’m his mother! I gained 30 lbs. for him and spend 15 hellish hours in labor to have him!”

“No, you’re not. You’re the stray animal that gave birth to him and walked away. I’m his Baba, I make the rules and I’m telling you no. I want you to remember no every moment of every day for the rest of your life because I rather see him dead that for you to get a glimpse of him again. He doesn’t need you anymore.”

Her gasp of pain signals his jab and if Kal wasn’t aware of the roomful of people warily watching him he would dance to his victory.

“He’s four-“

“Yea, well when his mother goes back in time to the moment when she had a choice to do the right thing and actually does it then I could change my mind but until then good fucking luck finding us.”

Kal stabs the end button, calmly placing the phone on the counter. He doesn’t actually feel calm but he can’t risk baring his internal struggle, instead he reaches into the fridge and grabs a beer. The smirk on his face is fake but there wasn’t one person among them who would notice so he’s keeps the happy persona up.

“I thought we were dancing.”

It’s late when he gets a chance to go downstairs and play with his new toy. He doesn’t really want to but he needs something to take the edge off the frustration that’s been simmering all day. Usually some beers and a good lay would help but despite indulging his vices, her voice continued to ring in his ears coloring his emotions.

Kal turns the crank forcefully, enjoying the whine of the machine as it printed the illicit money. He doesn’t need more money but it was fun to play with and he had an easy place to launder the stuff if he needs to. The constant groans help to drown out his last memories of her but he knows a shot of his favorite whiskey would be better.  Sometimes he can still remember the softness of her skin, the way she loved to wrap her legs around his waist and hold him tight but every time he attempts to take refuge in those memories her most cutting words slice through them. My Daddy was right.

He stares at inked stained hands for a moment, remembering when they were clean and neat and used to playing chess and working with delicate wirings of prototypes. They’d been hands that hadn’t lived, belonging to a boy that had only known someone else’s label of him: IQ of 157. Kal scoffs, slowing working the machine again. Nobodies’ daddies were right about him, not anymore; least of all some old racist hick he could run mental rings around.

He doesn’t notice it at first, too wrapped up in his internal dialogue but it cuts through quickly and he knows he’s screwed. The blue and red lights dance through the crack in the door and light up the wall, letting him know long before the officer actually bursts through the door what he’s in for. The primal part of him wants him to scramble, to search for a way out but he’d be damned if he acts that uncool.

He’s already turned towards the wall with his hands behind his back when she runs in.

“Freeze!”

Keeping the smirk off his face is hard and Kal turns his head slightly to get a glimpse of her face. He’s actually kind of shocked by how pretty she looks with her long hair down in that unflattering uniform. “I’m way ahead of you officer.”

“I suggest you be quiet. Kalen Behar, you are under arrest for counterfeiting money and have the right to remain silent.”

He tunes out the rest of what she’s saying, focusing instead on the chill of the steel around his wrists. He hasn’t been arrested in several years but the confinement of handcuffs he’d never forget. He wants to know which one of his neighbors tipped the cops off and how they even find out he had the machine but it’s not a pressing concern. His main worry is Taj and what the hell they were going to do with his. Kal isn’t surprised to see Chance and Taj outside the house along with a few nosy neighbors, the damn sirens must have woken them up.

“You have a child here, sir?”

He doesn’t want to answer because he knows the next step in this process. Once they find out Chance wasn’t his mother his kid would disappear into some hell hole, or worse they’d find his mother and he really won’t get him back.

“Yes.”

“Is this his mother?”

The desire to lie is strong and the way Chance is cuddling his boy to her he can almost believe it. He almost feels bad for his behavior earlier. “No.”

He can feel the weight of guilt pressing onto him, suffocating him in the tight space of the police car. Taj stares at him without tears and he wonders if he’s done that to him – taught him not to cry. Kal wants to tell him everything will be ok like earlier, that he will be gone only a few hours then they both could go home but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know anything for sure anymore  and he’s scared.

===========================

A.N: Another super long one and I’m sorry but it just kept going and going. I mentioned this on Twitter but I do love writing Kal. He’s just so different from everyone else! He’s blows so hot and cold as an actual Sim and then his traits just make him all over the place. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there with Janice and why she left but it was an idea that stuck with me and got wrapped up in her character and their storyline then it swirled into Kalen’s psyche and how often things actually affect him and how deeply.

So yea, his arrest has some crazy consequences, thank you ROS that I rolled a million years ago. (I really do write too slow.) You’ll get a mini peek at some of that in the next update which will be the school update. Yay for the kiddies.

Anyway, I hope you like it.

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