Reading my mind, she climbs off me and goes to the shower. I pull on my boxer shorts, splash my face in the sink and start to head downstairs to make us coffee.
But then I hear something. Footsteps outside the room.
“Guys? Are you up?”
It’s Jeff. He’s earlier than expected.
Wondering how I can stall him I desperately think of what I can say.
Just as he walks in.
And Jenny walks out of the shower, clad only in a towel.
Jeff looks from me to her, his mouth hanging open, shock and disbelief written in his eyes.
“What the fuck?” he says finally. Seeing that Jenny looks upset I go to stand by her side.
“I know what you must be thinking Jeff,” I begin, trying to sound reasonable, but Jeff glares at me, rage seeping into his expression. He looks from me to Jenny.
“Get dressed,” he snaps. “I’ll be in the kitchen.” He storms out, slamming the door behind him, and Jenny sighs audibly.
“It’ll be okay,” I say reassuringly. “He’s going to need some time to wrap his head around things.”
But by the time we head down to the kitchen he looks even angrier and I’m starting to suspect that this isn’t going to go well at all. He stands with his back to the counter, his arms folded, glaring angrily, his eyes on me as we walk into the room.
“Dad,” Jenny says and I can hear the distress in her voice and it makes me bristle. “Please listen. It’s not what you think-”
“No?” he cuts her off. “Because what it looks like to me is that as soon as my back was turned my so called friend took advantage of my daughter. See the opportunity for a quick weekend fling, did you? How dare you?”
“It isn’t like that,” I say firmly. “I understand why you’re mad and you have every right to be.”
“Oh, you think?” Sarcasm drips from his voice.
“I’m in love with your daughter,” I begin, but Jeff tips his head back and laughs drily. “In love? Is that what you call it? Is that what you told her to get her into bed?” He turns his attention to Jenny. “I didn’t raise you to be foolish,” he snaps, “or loose.”
Jenny gasps, and her hurt is palpable. Red mist descends over my eyes and I step towards him. I don’t give a fuck if he is her father or not, nobody speaks to her like that.
“Watch your fucking mouth,” I snarl at him, “Or I will watch it for you. You don’t fucking talk to her like that.”
Jeff raises an eyebrow at me. “Anger getting the better of you again is it Alex? Still not learned to keep that in check? And you think you’re suitable for my daughter?”
My fists ball at my sides but I stay still, reminding myself that this is Jenny’s father. I take a deep breath and tell myself to calm down, it’s only natural that he is angry. He loves Jenny too.
“Look,” I try to say reasonably, but then Jeff looks at Jenny and his eyes widen in horror. Frowning, I turn to see what he’s looking at.
“What’s that on your arm?” The bruise from where that idiot Brad grabbed her is purple and angry looking on her upper arm. He stares at me with a wild look in his eyes.
“What have you done to her?” he roars before charging at me. I sidestep him easily, my hands at my side, but he comes at me again with his fists swinging. “Dad, no!” Jenny screams, and there are tears coursing down her face. Every instinct in me screams at me to knock him out, but I can’t, not with Jenny here. Instead I raise my fists and dodge behind the table, still trying to calm him down.
“Jeff, you’re acting crazy,” I tell him. He seems to have completely lost his mind. Jeff is no slouch, but we both know that I could knock him out without even breaking a sweat, yet he is clearly too angry to have any sense of self preservation left.
He jumps over the table and takes a swing at me again. I manage to dodge its full force but he clips my jaw and the sudden pain makes me seethe with anger. When he goes to hit me again, I grab him and twist him up, holding him in a death grip from behind.
“Calm the fuck down,” I hiss through gritted teeth, fighting my temper and the urge to just settle this once and for all. Jenny stands across the room, her eyes pleading with me.
“Go on,” Jeff wheezes. “Hit me. Show her what you’re really like.”
I close my eyes and count to five. I’m not going to rise to his bait, I’m better than that.
“No,” I say firmly. “I’m not going to do that Jeff, not today. I’m going to let you go, and we’re going to discuss this like adults, okay?”