Sixteen-year-old Wiatt Cavanaugh-Devereux shielded his eyes from the blinding Spanish sun. In his left hand he held a cell phone. In his right, he held nothing, his arm shaking too much to calm down from what he'd seen.
Wiatt had an older brother named Tanix. Tanix, though sixteen as well was three months older. Logically, someone would assume one was adopted, but that wasn't exactly the case.
Their father, Ismael Cavanaugh, a famous singer, at the age of twenty, had a brief affair with Isabella Montoya, a woman he met backstage at one of his Madrid concerts. A few months later, Rosalie Devereux, a French girl who had been caught sneaking into one of his performances hooked up with him in his dressing room. He was too entranced by her to let her be kicked out.
Both women fell pregnant, and Ismael eventually married Rosalie. Isabella filed a paternity suit against Ismael. After taking the paternity test and discovering that young Tanix was in fact his, he asked for visitation rights, which was graciously granted to him by the judge.
At the age of ten, Tanix on a visit to his father's house, begged the man not to let him go back to his mother's again. No one ever asked why, although Wiatt had his suspicions. After a long discussion with Isabella, Ismael was given primary care, a fact Wiatt despised. In wasn't that he didn't love his brother, but he could do without living with the idiot.
In three days, Tanix was set to visit his mom, and Wiatt would return then. The people at the bar knew him well, and as long as he didn't try to actually drink, they let him stay. It wasn't his fault that the drinking location was the only business on their long street of strictly houses, nor was it his fault that his mom had been leaving to take care of business. He wasn't sure what this business was, something about an "old friend."
Every time Rosalie left the house, Tanix decided it was time to show his younger brother just how good of a son he could be. It made Wiatt sick, but he told no one what had been happening behind the closed doors of Rosalie and Ismael's room whenever Rosalie left the house. Maybe it was because it would be admitting his family, the wealthy Cavanaughs, had skeletons in their closet. He wanted to hold onto the misconception that his family was perfect. Famous, rich, and perfect. Not famous, rich, and disgusting.
Disgusting as Tanix and Ismael were, as despicable as Ismael was for not only cheating on his wife, but that the "other person" was his sixteen-year-old son…
God, Wiatt was selfish. Sometimes he wondered if he was just as bad as them. He loved his momma so much, and didn't she deserve better than that husband and step-son? Why didn't he try to tell the authorities?
It wouldn't do anything, would it? Incest in this country is legal, and the age of consent is thirteen, or is the incest thing different when one of them is under eighteen. Spanish laws confused him so much.
A man tapped Wiatt's shoulder. The blonde turned around, worried that he had been recognized as "Ismael's son." He didn't claim that vile man as his father, and he hated the knowledge of his parenthood that came with Ismael's fame.
"You seem lonely," The man said, his brown eyes boring deep into the emerald orbs of Wiatt's. The man looked vaguely familiar, but Wiatt wouldn't realize from where until much later. Wiatt looked down, letting his blonde hair hide his eyes. Did this man know? Could he see the secrets that were binding the Cavanaugh household together?
"What do you want?" Wiatt mumbled, stuttering.
The man laughed and ran a hand through his brown hair nervously. "I just wanted to keep your underage self company."
"How did you know my age?"
"You barely look a day over 14, let alone 18." The man looked over at the group of people dancing—like they were trying to reproduce with their clothes on—as if scared that he would be noticed.
Wiatt spoke up. "I'm Wiatt Devereux." As an unspoken rule, he never said his father's last name.
"That doesn't sound like the common Spanish last name."
"Well, my grandfather on my father's side was Welsh, and then before my father was born he moved here. I actually have two uncles who still live in Wales. They're my father's older half-brothers."
This was true, in actuality, about Ismael's family. Ismael didn't get along very well with his older brothers, who had grown up with their mom after Ismael's father ditched them for a Spanish woman, married her, created Ismael, and didn't bother to see his older children until Ismael was fourteen.
Wiatt, two years earlier, discovered quite horrifically that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He hadn't gotten along with Ismael since.
The man smiled. "My name is Klaus. I'm from Germany."
"I can see that. Your accent is quite strong."
The grin on the older man's face did not falter. "What brings a kid like you to a place like this, huh?"
"Life." Wiatt answered, not wanting Klaus to know the terrible things he had heard—and seen—occur between Ismael and Tanix. No one could know, not even Rosalie. Although honestly, Wiatt would much rather his household consist of just his mother, if he had to choose between the other three members of his twisted family.
"Home life? Girl life? Boy life?" Wiatt laughed. "Hey, don't laugh. It is legal here in Spain for you to marry a man after all."
"I don't believe in love," Wiatt responded. "And in case you were wondering, yes, I do 'swing that way'"
"Why such a cynic?"
Wiatt didn't respond, instead changing the conversation. "No last name, Klaus?"
"My last name is dangerous. I don't know if I could trust you with it. Can you keep a secret?"
Wiatt flinched. Of course he could keep a secret. He kept Ismael's disgusting one. "Si."
"Actions speak louder than words. I'm going to need more than that." The man ruffled Wiatt's hair, and then left.
"Wiatt? What are you doing here?" He jumped, turning to find Tanix behind him.
"I'm avoiding you and your disgusting fetish for men who are married, much too old for you, and related to you."
Tanix glowered at his younger brother before sighing. "You aren't ever going to forgive me, are you?"
"I'm more mad at Ismael than at you."
"Good enough, I suppose."
"How did you find me?"
"Call it brother intuition. Also I followed you here. You know you aren't the only one who this place lets in illegally, right?"
"Dammit. I guess I have to find another hiding spot then."
"Listen, I know you don't approve of me and Ismael, and I haven't been the best brother lately but I promise you that I'll always be there for you before anyone else… even him. I mean, you're my brother. Te quiero hermano."
Wiatt forced himself to smile.