Caulter looks at me, his face stony and his jaw clenched. Then he blows a giant plume of smoke in my face, making me cough, and I wave my arms erratically in front of my face. I think my blood pressure goes through the roof at the act of aggression. "Yeah?" he asks, leaning forward and bringing his middle finger up in front of his face between the two of us. "Well, you're the goody-goody, stuck up, boring-ass virgin who's so uptight she can't find anyone to punch her v-card except the manwhore from her school who will screw literally anyone." He pauses. "And then turns out to be the most boring fucking lay I've ever had."
I let out a growl of frustration, but Caulter just laughs, which makes me even more upset.
"What are you going to do, Princess?" he asks, leaning forward, his middle finger still up. He waves it around, inches from my face. I want to break his fucking finger in half.
Caulter has me so pissed off I can't think. I just lean forward and flip him the bird, my finger an inch away from his. We're standing a foot apart, with our middle fingers in each others' faces. Real mature. We might as well be toddlers sticking our tongues out at each other.
Then Caulter smiles. "This is going to be a great fucking photo."
Senator Douchebag slams the newspaper down on the table. The photo of Katherine and I facing each other, eyes narrowed and lips turned up in snarls, with our middle fingers almost touching, is preceded by a headline that reads:
"HARRISON AND STERLING ENGAGED: CHILDREN FACE OFF!"
Katherine is across from me, her face chalk white. She doesn't look at me, just stares at the paper like she's completely transfixed. I have the impulse to take out my phone and get a photo of her reaction, but I think that would be pushing it, since the Senator's face is exactly the opposite of ghost-white. It's nearly purple.
"It's really a flattering angle, though," I say. "For me, anyway. It doesn't do Katherine nearly as much justice." That's not true. In the photo, her teeth are nearly bared and she looks practically feral. I shouldn't be so turned on by that, but I swear as I stand here looking at it, I feel my cock stir. This is probably not the best situation to display a hard-on for Senator Douchebag's daughter, though. He looks like he's going to have a coronary. My mother gives me a look, and I'm almost concerned she's going to cut out my trust fund right now.
"Caulter," Ella warns.
"What the hell were the two of you thinking?" The Senator brings his fist down on the table, causing the paper to bounce, his voice booming.
I glance at Katherine, but she still doesn't look at me.
"Honey," Ella says.
"It's not as bad as it looks, dad," Katherine speaks, her voice soft.
"Not as bad as it looks?" The Senator clenches his fist again. This dude seriously needs to do some meditation or some weed or something. Like, whoo-sah, man. If he weren't talking, I wouldn't believe he was even taking a breath. "Tell me, how exactly do you think it looks for the daughter of a United States Senator to be on the front page of the newspaper, directing her middle finger at the son of his fiancé?"
Probably better than for the headline to read Senator's children fuck around, I think. But I hold my tongue. Mentally, I congratulate myself for my superb act of self-control.
Katherine surprises me by speaking. "I mean, really, it's not the front page. It's the front page of the social section. And it's the Post, so..."
I hold back a laugh, but not very well, so it comes out more like a snort. The Senator turns his gaze toward me. "And you. You think this is funny?"
I roll my eyes. "Look. It's an article in the paper. It's not the end of the fucking world."
He crosses around to my side of the table, and I stand there, only because I can't really believe this guy is actually about to lose his shit, especially over something like this. I can think of at least twenty more scandals I've been involved in that are worse than this blip on the radar. It's when he grabs me by the collar of my shirt that I start to actually get pissed off. "Not the end of the fucking world?" he asks, narrowing his eyes. "You arrogant little shit. Your mother might cut you all the slack in the world, letting you piss away her money on clothes and drugs, but you don't come into my house and --"
I push his hands off me. "You want to get into it, Pops," I say, disgusted. "Let's go."
"Stop!" Katherine yells the words. Yells. The sound of her yelling is so startling that her father looks at her, open-mouthed.