Simon let it all sink in, slowly realizing just how much his brother had risked his life for him and their mother, just how much Johnny had done to keep them safe from their criminal father, let alone what he’d suffered at his hands. Simon realized Johnny hadn’t picked the wrong side, he had just needed to stay away to keep them safe.
Simon looked over at Johnny, suddenly overwhelmed with grief and he blinked back tears. Johnny noticed and his expression softened. Simon wanted to reach over to him but, bound as they were, all he could do was bow his head and hope his brother knew he was forgiven.
Simon looked up at their father. The man with the strong build whose neck muscles and veins bulged smiled sinisterly, and the man who stood behind Johnny, Blake, and the woman behind Simon, Alia, laughed condescendingly.
‘So when did this happen?’ Simon asked carefully. ‘I reckon I’m the youngest of all siblings.’
‘You are,’ replied Tyler. ‘I reckon I should start from the beginning. Before I met your bitch of a mother–’
‘Don’t call her that!’ demanded Johnny.
‘Careful, boy, you’re in no position to make any demands here,’ warned Tyler. He took a few paces and started over. ‘Before I met your bitch of a mother,’ he added extra emphasis on the insult, ‘I had some fun with some whores. Alia is the eldest and deserves only respect. She found me after her mother had told her who her father was and when she learnt who I was, she wanted in. She was thirteen when she joined me and has been an important member of my operations since. She is a leader in her own right.’
‘You’re too kind, father,’ Alia said. ‘It’s only because I learnt from you.’ Tyler smiled warmly at Alia.
Simon hissed. He must’ve been five if not younger when Alia joined their father, and Simon realized just how far his father’s schemes dated back.