Solid Soul(6)

By: Brenda Jackson

“Look, Chance,” Morgan said as he stood up. “It’s normal for boys Marcus’s age to like girls. So what’s the problem?”

Chance rolled his eyes heavenward. “The problem is that the girl is only fifteen and they were planning to cut school together and—”

“No,” Sebastian interrupted. “They planned to cut a couple of classes, not school. There is a difference.”

“And he of all people should know,” Donovan said, grinning. “Considering the number of times he used to play hooky. I understand they still have a desk in Mr. Potter’s math class that says, ‘Sebastian Steele never sat here.’”

“I don’t find any of this amusing,” Chance said.

Morgan wiped the grin off his face. “Then maybe you should, before you alienate your son.”

“How about chilling here, Chance,” Sebastian interjected. “You act as if Marcus committed some god-awful sin. We know the promise you made to Cyndi, but there is more to life for a teenager than hitting the books. He’s a good kid. He makes good grades. Marcus is going to go to college in a couple of years, we all know that. One girl isn’t going to stop him.”

“You haven’t seen this girl.”

Morgan raised a brow. “Have you?”

“No, but I’ve seen her mother, and if the daughter looks anything like the mother then I’m in trouble.”

“I still think you’re blowing things out of proportion,” Morgan countered. “If you make a big deal out of it, Marcus will rebel. You remember what happened last year when you didn’t want him to play football.”

Yes, Chance did remember, although he wished he could forget. He rubbed his hand down his face. Regardless of what his brothers said, he needed to talk to Marcus again. He didn’t have any problems with his son being interested in girls, he just didn’t want Marcus losing his head over one this soon.

Kylie was waiting in the living room the moment Tiffany walked through the door. She took one look at her daughter’s expression and realized Tiffany knew the conversation that was about to take place. Kylie tried not to show her anger, as well as a few other emotions, when she said, “We need to talk.”

Tiffany met her mother’s stare. “Look, Mom, I know what you’re going to say and I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

So much for not showing her anger, Kylie thought. “How can you say that? You planned to cut classes with a boy and you don’t consider that wrong?”

Tiffany rolled her eyes. “My last two classes of the day are boring anyway, so we—”

“Boring? I don’t care how boring they are, you’re supposed to be in them and you will be in them anytime that bell sounds. Understood?”

Tiffany glared at her. “Yes, I understand.”

Kylie nodded. “Now, about Marcus Steele.”

Tiffany straightened her spine and immediately went on the defensive. “What about Marcus?”

“Why didn’t you tell me about him?”

“Why? So you could find some reason for me not to like him, Mom? Well, it won’t work because I do like him. You’re the one who wanted to leave Buffalo and move here. And I’m the one who was forced to go to another school and make new friends. Not all of the kids at school like me. They say I talk funny. Marcus has been nice to me. Extremely nice. He asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes.”

“You’re not old enough to have a boyfriend, Tiffany.”

“That’s your rule, Mom.”

“And one you will abide by, young lady.”

“Why? Because you think I’ll get pregnant like you did? That’s not fair.”

“It’s not about that, Tiffany. It’s about such things as keeping your reputation intact and not getting involved in anything you aren’t ready for.”

“It is about what happened to you when you were sixteen, Mom. And how do you know what I am or am not ready for? You want to shelter me and you can’t. You’ve talked to me, but the choice of what I do is ultimately mine.”

“No, it’s not,” Kylie bit out. “As long as you’re living under my roof, I make the rules and you will abide by them.”

“I can’t, Mom. I care too much for Marcus and we have news for you and Mr. Steele. We are madly in love!” she almost shouted. “And nothing either of you say is going to make us not be together, whether it’s at school or someplace else.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means,” Tiffany said stalking off to her room, “that I don’t want to talk anymore.”