Drake stared at a blonde woman with green eyes angrily as she looked around the room coldly. ” Mom, what are you doing here?” Lance asked. ” My brother died Lance, that’s what I’m doing here” the woman snapped. ” I thought you hated him.” ” Oh I did, but I want his money. He never got married or had any kids so, therefore, it’s mine” the woman said, sitting down at the table. Drake smirked, ” hate to break it to you, Lindsay, but it’s not going to you.” The woman glared at him, ” shut up you little insect! No one permitted you to talk. And since when can you afford a maid?” she asked suddenly looking at Katrina. ” Excuse me?!” Katrina retorted. ” You’re excused. Now be a good servant and make a sandwich for your master.” Katrina lunged for Lindsay, but Drake stopped her ” it’s not worth it, it’s not worth it!” Drake said. Once he got Katrina back in her seat and glared at his mother, ” will you just shut up?!” ” For real, you’re not exactly helping,” Lance said. Paul cleared his throat ” if you are quite done, let’s get on with this,” he said looking at some papers.
" Mrs. Solace, normally the money would go to you, but in your brother’s will it states that if his nephews are eight-teen, then the money shall be divided 50-50 among them”. ” What will is that?!” Lindsay demanded, ” let me tell you something, Mr. Barret. Perhaps you are unaware that my husband was the original caretaker of my brother’s affairs and while he was my brother wrote him a different will which I have here” Lindsay said pulling out an envelope from her purse. She handed it to Paul who opened and read it ” this is an interesting development.” Lindsay flashed Drake a smug smile ” now I don’t care if Lance gets a share, but I don’t want Drake getting a cent. His future is selling drugs, that’s all he is good for. He doesn’t deserve a dime, nor that welfare bimbo sitting next to him” Again Drake had to stop her from lunging at Lindsay ” Katrina, no!” Lance cleared his throat ” before we see Katrina lose it, I have a suggestion. Mom, why don’t we talk about this Wednesday morning and see if we can find a solution?”
“Very well. I’ll see you then Lance and little girl,” she said looking at Katrina ” don’t you dare burn the dinner. I know how you people are, can’t do anything right” Once again Drake had to stop Katrina from going after her ” you need to calm down!” he told her. Katrina was seething “I hate her! She says one more thing to me; I’m going to go to jail! What were you thinking, inviting her here?!” she snapped at Lance. Drake’s brother looked surprised ” Wasn’t my fault!” then sighed, “look guys I know how to work her, alright? Just trust me.” The meeting drew to a close shortly after. Drake shook hands with everyone then he left with Katrina and Lance. While Katrina was seething, Drake was talking to Lance, ” Sure you don’t need me there man? You know how she is.”
Lance shook his head ” I’ve got this.” ” Well at least meet up at the police station. You know how she gets.” ” I’ll be fine Drake,” Lance said ” I’m heading back to my hotel. I’ll tell you how it went when I get home” ” Look, Lance, you and I haven’t always gotten along. We’ve spent most of our lives as rivals on and off the field. And this woman is a big reason for that; you know how demented she is. Ever since she lost our sister.” ” Thought we agreed to never talk about that” Lance said softly. ” We can’t just pretend Chloe never existed,” Drake said, knowing he was approaching the line he and his brother didn’t like going near. ” It’s what messed her up man. ” I know that Drake. But bringing her up isn’t helping. Mom’s sick, she has been for a long time. I know how to get through to her, but I need to do it alone.” Drake sighed but nodded, knowing Lance would not be deterred ” Alright Lance, see ya later.”
All day Wednesday and all day Thursday Drake was on edge. He was dreading going home after practice. King approached him in the locker room as he was getting ready to head out ” hey bro, what’s up? You’ve been on edge lately.” ” Oh hey King,” Drake said.” Just waiting for my brother to call me”. ” Yeah Katrina called me last night and told me the whole story. How much money at you looking at?” Drake thought, ” it was never discussed, but I understand a lot.” Just then his phone went off, and Drake answered it on the second ring, ” Hello?” ” Hey, Drake?” came Lance’s voice. ” Yeah, about time you got back to me. How’d it go?” ” We’ve got a freaking problem. Mom’s on her way to your house”. ” What?! I’m on my way!”
Drake said. He hung up the phone and looked at King, ” hey buddy; you’re coming over. Let’s go,” he said. King raised an eyebrow but followed Drake in his car as his friend raced home. Drake stopped the car in the driveway and ran inside his house to see Katrina angrily cleaning ” Katrina, what are you doing?” ” Well since your mother is coming over I’m trying to make this place look good.” ” Why?!” ” Because!” Katrina snapped. ” Hey hey come here,” Drake said. Katrina set her rag down and walked over to Drake’s arms folded.
Drake pulled her in close and held her ” just stop. There’s no need to make this place look good for her. Just stop okay?” Katrina smiled, ” okay. The dogs were driving me crazy, so Lance took them outside to play.” Drake smiled, kissed the top of her head, and went to the backyard to see Lance throwing a frisbee for the dogs. He joined his brother, ” how long till she gets here?” ” Bout an hour . . . look out!” Next thing Drake knew he was on his back as Sierra, the German Shepard was standing over him, licking him over and over again. Drake laughed as he tried to get up, ” oh come on girl let me up.” Finally, she backed up as Drake got up and petted her ” good dog” he said then looked at Lance ” we had better go get guns if she’s coming over. She’s evil man; you know what she’s like.” Lance frowned ” She’s just not mentally well but good call. Last time the three of us had dinner together, she tried to stab you.” Drake nodded, and the brothers went inside to see Katrina throwing stuff at King and yelling ” what is going on?!” Drake demanded. King looked scared as he peered over a corner ” I just asked what was for dinner!” ” You know that I hate cooking!” Katrina responded. ” What did I just tell you? I said not to worry about it. We’ll order a pizza and call it good. Now if you don’t mind, me and Lance have to get our guns ready.”
" Why do you need guns?” King asked confused. ” Because our mother is pure evil. She’s never been the same since-” ” She just has a few mental problems” Lance said, giving Drake a sharp look of warning as he cut off his younger brother. Drake nodded in understanding and looked at King and Katrina. ” Yeah. She has mental issues, and she’s bad at managing them. One time she ruined Christmas by throwing empty Jack Daniels bottles at us then decided that she no longer wanted kids, so she decided that she was going to ‘send us to the Northpole’, in her own words. Aka kill us” Drake said. ” She had a little too much to drink. And some drugs as well. And set our presents on fire.” Lance chuckled ” We spent the night in our treehouse that night.” Katrina got a sympathetic look on her face as she went to Drake and hugged him ” my poor baby! I’ll kill her if she touches you I promise!” Drake raised an eyebrow ” maybe you shouldn’t get a gun” he said. ” But I want one!” Katrina said stomping her foot, crossing her arms and pouting. ” No.” Drake said smiling before heading to the basement with Lance and loaded his Glock 9 ” really don’t want to have to use this but knowing her she’ll probably shoot first” Lance said. ” This is just a precaution. I am not ending up on the news tonight” Drake said.
They went back upstairs to see Fly run out of the bathroom with toilet paper hanging from his mouth and trailing him. The Border Collie looked proud of himself as he laid on the living room floor and started barking when Katrina began to scold him ” how many times have I told you to leave stuff alone? Don’t you talk back to me!” Tundra and Sierra both joined Fly, and soon all three dogs were barking at Katrina. Drake chuckled as the four of them started to pet the dogs. Right when they started to relax there was a sharp knock at the door. Drake went over and looked through the peephole to see his mother ” ah crap” he said, ” it’s her.” He opened the door to receive a disgusted a look ” oh it’s you” she said pushing her way inside. ” Well yeah, kinda my house,” Drake said. ” You call this a house? It looks more like a drug den”. ” You would know what one looks like,” Drake said dryly. Lindsay rolled her eyes as the dogs went over and sniffed her all over. Lindsay shot the dogs a disgusted look and glared at Katrina, ” so I see you brought your siblings. You look just like your sister,” she said with a false sweetness in her voice. Katrina had an outraged look on her face and would have gone for Lindsay had King not held her back.
They went to the dining room where Lindsay shot King a look of loathing ” so how many gas stations have you robbed? We are not on the reservation you parasite.” King just looked at her ” you know you like me deep down,” he said with a smile. Katrina’s reaction was different” talk to my brother like that again, and I will cut you!” ” Try it, and I’ll make your life a living hell you wetback.” Drake held Katrina back ” excuse us,” he said, pulling Katrina to the backyard. He closed the back door and looked at his angry girlfriend ” maybe you shouldn’t stay here for this.” Katrina folded her arms ” No! I’m staying, and that’s final!” ” Then try to calm down.” ” Or I could just do us all a favor and make sure she doesn’t leave this house alive!” ” No,” Drake said, stopping her from going inside ” look, let’s just get through this okay?” ” Fine,” Katrina said through gritted teeth as she marched back inside the house. Drake walked back inside and was able to hear Lindsay’s latest insult, ” So I see you did burn the dinner, which explains why we’re eating this garbage.” Drake stepped in before Katrina could say anything ” I thought swine liked garbage,” he said. Lindsay shot him a hateful look as Katrina smirked: ” she looks like she enjoys it.”
" Alright enough!” Lance said. As soon as everyone calmed down, Lance looked at Lindsay ” now we’re here to come to a solution. Mom, I know you don’t like it, but our uncle left his fortune between myself and Drake, seeing as we are both eight-teen. You have enough money as it is. So why do you need your brother’s money?” Lindsay looked at Lance” as I told you this morning, I have no issue with giving you your share but why should Drake get his share? He’s a good for nothing thug. He is no better than a nig-” ” Okay, I’m gonna stop you right there!” Drake said. He cleared his throat ” Look Lindsay I know what I’m going to say is going to confuse you because your three brain cells can’t understand anything more complicated than dirt but here’s the thing. You do not have the right to call me anything. After all, how much money have you spent on illegal drugs in your life?” His mother glared at him, ” I have never-” ” Never what? Never spent your entire paycheck on drugs and told your kids to just starve to death?” Drake asked innocently, ” because yeah you have. I was there.
Lindsay sat back in her seat, ” you got me. But that’s what you get for ruining my life”. Drake raised an eyebrow, ” and how is that?” Lindsay leaned forward, ” The day you were born was the worst day of my life. I will never forgive you for being born”. ” What’s that supposed to mean?” Drake asked. ” You know damn well what it means. It’s because of you that Chloe died!” Drake narrowed his eyes and met his mother’s hateful stare ” I am not responsible for her death.” He said, aware of Lance growing uncomfortable and King and Katrina’s confusion. ” Yes, you are. If you weren’t such a screwup, she’d still be here. You are a curse, Drake. The day you were born wasn’t a blessing but a curse. It should have been you that died, not Chloe.” Drake clenched his teeth and gripped the sides of his chair ” Don’t you dare blame me for that.” ” I hate to interrupt, but what are you two talking about?” King asked.
Drake and Lindsay both looked at him. ” that is none of your business” Lindsay hissed. Drake sighed and looked at the table, the pizza that had been forgotten. ” I’ve never told anyone this but-” ” Drake, if you tell them, I will never forgive you,” Lindsay said, her voice laced with venom. ” Good thing I want you out of my life anyway,” Drake said in response. ” Anyway... when I was born, it wasn’t just me. I had a twin sister.” ” You have a twin? Why haven’t I met her?” Katrina asked. ” She’s kinda...dead,” Drake said, feeling his heart sink. He looked at Lance whose face was a mixture of anger and sorrow. ” Dead?” Katrina whispered. Drake nodded, remembering what had happened. ” How’d it happen?” Katrina asked. When she got no answer she persisted, reaching out to touch Drake’s arm. ” Hey, you okay?” Drake took a deep breath, ” yeah. Sorry but I really shouldn’t be talking about this.” ” Might as well now,” Lance said suddenly. Drake met his brother’s stare and realized with a jolt that his older brother understood how he felt. ” Okay,” Drake said and met Katrina’s eyes.
" It happened when we were kids. Lance couldn’t have been older than three; I was two. We were playing with our sister, Chloe. Our mom was taking a short nap on the couch in the living room. I don’t remember what it was, but Chloe ended up swallowing something and started choking and coughing. Me and Lance didn’t know what was going on, but we could tell she was in trouble by the way she was acting. We just watched her as she suffered.” ” Katrina put a hand to her mouth as Drake paused. ” When she stopped moving and breathing, we tried to rouse her to no avail. We panicked and started crying. Our mom woke up, and Lance explained what happened. There was nothing anyone could do.” ” Tell them the truth Drake,” Lindsay said, hatred making her voice tremble. ” Why don’t you tell them why it’s your fault.” ” How is it his fault?!” King asked angrily. ” How was he supposed to know-” ” I’m not exactly without blame,” Drake said, cutting off his best friend. ” The reason Chloe swallowed whatever it was that she choked on... was because I dared her to.”
Silence hung over the room like a thick fog for several minutes. ” It wasn’t your fault brother,” Lance said after what seemed like forever. ” You shouldn’t blame yourself.” ” Shut up Lance” Lindsay snarled, her eyes glaring daggers at Drake. ” I swear, I would love nothing more than to take revenge for what you did myself Drake. Because of you, your sister never got to have a life of her own. Meanwhile, you have always acted like you don’t even care. You continued to carry on without a care in the world. You didn’t even remember until Lance dared you to steal my diary and you read the story yourself. I will never forgive you for what you did. I wish I had miscarried you. I always knew you were going to end up a failure, in trouble with the law, just like your father.” ” Dad was a great man!” Drake shouted. ” if I’m lucky, I’ll end up half the man he was!” ” He was a good for nothing street rat just like you! I just wish one of these gang members that hang out in this part of the city would just kill you already so you can go to Hell where you belong!” Lindsay shouted back.
" Shut your damn mouth!” Katrina yelled at Lindsay. ” If anyone is going to Hell here it’s you! You’re the one that decided to take a nap with three little kids wandering about! Maybe if you weren’t an arrogant, pretentious bitch who only cares about herself, maybe your daughter would still be here!” ” Hey sis, I wouldn’t go there,” King said nervously. Lance said nothing as he studied his younger brother. Drake flinched when he saw the murderous look in his mother’s eyes; he had seen the same look countless time and knew what it meant. Lindsay glared at Katrina for a few moments. Worried, Drake slowly reached for his gun to defend his girlfriend if need be. Strangely, his mother simply laughed” now isn’t this sweet. The four of you are so close. So I guess it wouldn’t matter if I told you that Lance is the one who called Homeland Security on you last year Drake.”
Lance glared at her ” you said you would never tell him!” Drake, King, and Katrina glared at him as Lance tried to find a response ” Look man it was only a joke. Come on!” ” I’m not mad about that. I’m mad because that makes it your fault that the media wouldn’t leave me the hell alone that whole week!” ” Sorry?” Lance asked with a worried look on his face. Drake rolled his eyes ” whatever man. No sense of crying about it.” Lindsay chuckled ” you mean like how there’s no sense in crying about you being responsible for crashing Mrs. Sawyer’s new car last spring Drake?”
Drake gulped as King and Katrina turned their disbelieving eyes on him” how’d. . . how’d you find out about that?” ” I was at the DMV when you came in.” He tensed when Katrina gave him an evil glare ” you said someone ran into you” she said in a cold voice. ” Not cool man,” King said. Drake gulped ” hey guys come on. I paid for it. . . By taking money out of the bank”. ” You took money out without telling me?!” Katrina screeched. ” Yes?” Drake asked. ” Go easy on him you two. You’re no saints, right Native?” Lindsay asked King.
" What the hell are you talking about?” he asked. Lindsay chuckled ” oh remember how you really needed to borrow nearly five grand from Katrina? Did you ever tell her it was to cover gambling funds?” King’s mouth fell open ” how. . . How. . . ” ” One of the members of the book club I frequent told me the story. Did you really think you would get away with it? Big stud running back getting into gambling trouble at the shadiest casino in town?” Katrina turned her fury to King ” I can’t believe you three!” ” Hey little miss perfect, don’t you act high and mighty,” Lindsay said. Katrina glared at her but said nothing. Lindsay looked at Drake ” you remember how this little tramp cheated on you last year? Did she ever tell you the reason why? Here’s why. She didn’t feel as though it would last because she’s afraid that due to all you’ve been through that you’re going to lose it and just leave her one day and never come back. I overheard her tell her mother one day when I was in town”.
Drake stopped and stared as Katrina became still ” is that what you really think?” he asked her. She gulped ” this is not the time to talk about this okay?” Drake looked at Lindsay” you think you’ve won? Okay. You want to throw revelations our way? Let’s see how you like it! I know it was you who killed Dad!” ” Dude!” Lance said. ” What?! All bets are off now!” Drake said. Lindsay fixed Lance with an unreadable look ” how long have you known?” Lance gulped ” years. I overheard you talking about it to your husband once.” ” I see,” Lindsay said. No one said anything for a while. A thick tension had settled in the air before Lindsay stood up and walked out without saying a word. Drake was the first one to speak ” damn.” he said. King and Katrina just nodded while King stood up ” I’ll... uh... see you guys later ” he said before walking out. Drake and Katrina stared at each other for a while, ignoring Lance before Drake decided to speak ” you really think I’m that screwed up huh?” Katrina gulped ” It’s just, I’m worried that something might happen and you’ll leave, never to come back to me.”
Drake stared at her ” look at me. Nothing is going to happen to us okay? Just because I have Satan’s daughter for a mother doesn’t mean I’m going to be anything like her. I’m not going anywhere. And that’s a fact”. ” Is that a promise?” Katrina asked softly. ” Bet your ass it is. Sorry I wrecked your mom’s car.” Katrina grinned ” It’s cool. At least you fixed it. But if you ever take money out of the bank without telling me again, you’re dead.” she threatened. Drake shivered but grinned ” deal. So. . . what are we gonna do about King?” Katrina gave him a sadistic grin ” Oh I’ll think of something.”
Lance stood up ” I hate to break this up but Drake, can we talk for a bit?” Katrina nodded and Lance for Drake to follow him. The two brothers headed to the backyard and walked around, not saying anything for a while. ” That got intense” Lance finally remarked. ” For real. I thought she was going to go off on Katrina.” ” You sure got yourself a feisty one brother,” Lance said with a chuckle. ” You’re telling me,” Drake said. Silence followed once more until Lance broke it. ” I can’t help but wonder, what if Chloe had lived? Would our mom be alright?” ” I doubt it,” Drake said. Lance looked at him ” I’m sorry she’s been so harsh with you. It’s not right.” I’m her son for crying out loud! Drake thought bitterness swelling in his throat. ” I know you won’t believe me, but she can be quite caring when she wants to be” Lance continued. ” To you maybe” Drake angrily muttered. ” You were always her favorite.”
" That’s true.” Lance said, “And again, I want to apologize for everything that has happened between us.” ” It’s water under the bridge man; I keep telling you I’m cool with it.” ” That still doesn’t excuse the fact I allowed her and our stepdad to turn us against each other when we should have been for each other. I have always opposed you and kept you at a distance. But now I think, that perhaps being the favorite isn’t such a good thing. It’s no wonder why you ended up at Easthaven Correctional when you were forced to grow up alone. If only I had stepped up and been the older brother you needed, then maybe so much that happened could have been avoided. But, there’s something I want you to know. You have every right to stay pissed at me but know this. No matter what I will love you always, little brother.”