“You’re old, you’re hateful, and full of yourself if you think you can keep me from doing what I want to do! You are my brother, not my dad!” Monica screamed as she left the room, slamming the door.
Weston York sat behind his desk, in his home office, staring at the door his younger sister had just slammed. He gritted his teeth, his breath hissing through them as he let it out slowly.
He was tired, tired of their battles, and tired of being yelled at. This had become Monica’s habit to try and get her way about everything. It was ending this time though, because she wanted what he couldn’t give her.
Their parents were deceased, and he’d been raising Monica since she was ten, now she was fifteen and he was thirty. So, no he wasn’t their father, but he was as close to one as she was going to get!
The two of them had always gotten along well until she turned fifteen six months ago. Then it was like a switch had been flipped and he was the sole reason for all her problems!
Suddenly he was old and useless.
Suddenly he knew nothing and was only out to make her life miserable.
Suddenly he was the bad guy in her life who, since he wasn’t her father, had no right to tell her, or make her, do anything!
Weston gave a sigh as he mumbled under his breath, “Fine, she doesn’t want me to tell her what to do, I won’t because I’m tired of her disrespect of me. After everything I’ve done for her for five years, I feel I deserve her respect. Since she apparently doesn’t agree, I’ll send her to live with Aunt Fergie because I can’t live like this anymore.”
Aunt Fergie was a strange woman who Weston, through age and maturity, had learned to respect. Maybe she would be able to do what Weston couldn’t and get Monica to behave. He knew their aunt would make her work her tail off for every meal she got for showing disrespect because she’d done it to him years ago when he’d gone and stayed with her.
Sitting back in his chair and closing his eyes, he let the memories flood his mind.
“You may not like me Weston, and I really don’t give a hoot, because my happiness doesn’t revolve around your thoughts of me, but I will be respected. Since you thought it necessary to smart mouth me today though, you will have three horse stalls to clean. You have exactly two hours to do it in and if I like the way they look, I’ll fix you dinner. If I don’t like the way they look, you can fix your own meal,” Aunt Fergie had told him.
“But, I don’t know how to cook anything! Mom always does the cooking,” Weston had whined.
Aunt Fergie had smirked, “Then you’d better clean those stalls really well, hadn’t you?”
Pulling out of the memory, Weston opened his eyes. He remembered thinking his aunt had been kidding, surely, she didn’t expect him to clean those stalls for a meal? So, two hours later when she’d come to check on him, he’d been sitting on a hay bale petting the dog, the stalls only half clean.
His aunt had tutted at him as she shook her head in disappointment. Then she’d told him to have fun fixing his dinner because if he wasn’t going to do his job, then she was under no obligation to do hers. He’d ended up eating a sandwich because that was all he knew how to fix.
Closing his eyes once more, he thought of all his hard work and how much he’d had to give up raising his sister. It wasn’t so much that he minded it because he didn’t, he loved Monica. It would be nice if she appreciated all he did, at least occasionally, and even gave him a thank you sometimes.
The death of their parents hadn’t left them destitute or anything. With their death, the house had been paid in full, so they had a roof over their heads. His parents only debt had been the new car dad had bought for Mom, but it had been new enough to sell easily.
Weston had been in college at the time of their death. Although he had his own money he’d inherited from his granddad, he’d still been working a part-time job. The part-time job had become a full-time job and between that and his inheritance, they’d been able to stay afloat while he was going to college.
Once he’d graduated, he had begun running the company his dad had left behind. It wasn’t exactly what Weston had wanted to do, but he’d shouldered the responsibility for Monica’s sake.
Monica also had money she would inherit when she turned twenty, just as he had. That was something else she was mad about, her money. She wanted him to give it to her now and didn’t understand that he couldn’t.
Of course, she told him that he could, he just WOULDN’T!
He huffed thinking as if a fifteen-year-old girl needs that kind of money at her disposal! So, yeah, even if I could give it to her, I wouldn’t be a very smart man if I did!
That said, he’d tried to not spoil her, he made her do odd jobs around the house for her allowance. Most of the time though she put more effort into trying to get out of work than the actual work. He also knew she had the staff do most everything for her when he was off working and wasn’t around to watch her. It was one of the reasons he’d let most of the staff go.
She wouldn’t have that at Aunt Fergie’s because Aunt Fergie had no staff where she lived on the farm. Well, she did have a couple of cowhands, but that was it. She’d made Weston muck stalls and learn to milk the cow the summer he’d stayed with her when he was sixteen. He’d hated it to begin with but by the time summer was over he’d gone from being a whiny child to a hardworking teenage boy.
Aunt Fergie had been proud of him and so had his parents.
He really hoped Aunt Fergie could get through to Monica because he sure wasn’t getting anywhere with her.
So, picking up the phone he dialed.
After making his phone call, Weston headed outside to the swimming pool where he knew his sister would be.
Sitting down in one of the chairs next to the pool, he propped his elbows on his knees, scrubbing one hand through his hair.
“What do you want?” Monica practically snarled as she raised her sunglasses to glare at him.
Weston gave a soft sigh. “I know you think all I am is an unfeeling prick, but I’m human and I do have feelings. Lately, you don’t seem to care about that though and I’m at my wit’s end.”
Monica smirked, then asked, “So, are you going to let me go to the beach this weekend with my friends?”
Weston gave a humorless laugh before answering, “Monica, you only have a month left of school and you’re flunking history and science. So, no, you’re aren’t going anywhere because you need to focus on the extra credit I know your teachers gave you to try and bring those grades up.”
“If you aren’t going to give me what I want then I have no reason to talk to you,” she snarled at him, turning her face away.
“Fine, you don’t have to talk to me, I won’t be here to talk to after today anyway,” he informed her. “I’m leaving, and Aunt Fergie will be coming to visit. She will stay with you until school is out, then she will be taking you home with her.”
Monica sat up on the floating mat she’d been laying on and screeched, “WHAT!”
“I didn’t stutter Monica. You have told me multiple times, on multiple occasions how you want me out of your life because I’m intolerable,” he reminded her. “So, I’m taking myself out of your life.” With that said, he stood and started to walk back into the house.
“You can’t deal with me, so you’re just going to dump me on our Aunt?”
Weston stopped and turned to say, “As I’ve said, you don’t want me around and I’m tired of the constant fights. So, for now at least, yes.”
“You’re only doing this because I ran off your girlfriend and you’re mad about it,” Monica goaded.
There it was, her way of starting an argument, but he wasn’t giving in this time, he wasn’t!
Trying not to roll his eyes, he turned and crossed his arms over his chest. He then informed her, “It has nothing to do with you running Jennifer off, although if you want to bring that up… it was a nasty thing for you to do.”
Monica snorted as she pulled herself from the pool and wrapped a towel around herself. She then told him, “You deserved it after running Mark off.”
“Mark? Oh, you mean the guy I caught dry-humping you on the couch?”
“He wasn’t doing that!” She denied as she glared.
“Oh really? Well, that was what it looked like to me,” he disagreed. “I wasn’t ready to become a dad when I had to raise you by myself. I’m for sure not ready to take on a baby should my sister become pregnant at fifteen!”
“Oh please! It would never have gone that far and we all know you’re a hypocrite because you and Jennifer had been getting it on!” She shouted at him.
Weston tensed, was that what she thought?
“Even if we were, which we weren’t, the difference is I’m thirty and you’re fifteen,” he informed her coldly. Then, after taking a deep breath, he continued, “Monica, I was twenty-five when mom and dad died in that crash. I suddenly had school, a job, and a sister to raise. I had no time for women and have only had two girlfriends in the five years you’ve been with me.
“Megan, the girl I’d just barely started dating when it all went down, left me when she realized I’d be responsible for a ten-year-old girl. When I met Jennifer a year ago, she filled that lonely place in me that longed for adult companionship, but I never NEVER did anything under this roof with her that would be inappropriate for you to witness.”
Monica rolled her eyes and muttered, “Yeah, whatever.”
Weston threw up his hands, giving up. He then said, “Well, you’re getting what you want, so be happy.”
Then, turning, he walked into the house, going to his room to start packing for the trip to his beach house.
The next morning, Weston made sure he was out of the house before Monica even got up. He’d locked himself in his room the night before, knowing the fall out from the bomb he’d dropped on her would start another argument later in the evening when she would once more try and get her way. He couldn’t take another fight.
It was now Monday, and his aunt would be at his home before school was out that afternoon.
Monica had a driver who took her to school every morning. Weston drove her himself until Monica reached her, “I hate you and you embarrass me” stage.
They also had a part-time cook/housekeeper who would make sure she was dressed and ready to go on time. Mrs. Henley would cut Monica no slack, so he knew she’d be in school today.
Weston heaved a heavy sigh as he pulled out on the freeway and headed for his second home. Since Monica seemingly hates me, she won’t miss me anyway, he thought to himself sadly.
He’d go and get settled into his beach house and began working from there. He’d already let Cindy, his secretary, know and she’d clue everyone else in. He knew it would mean big changes, but it had to be done.
Monica, if she decided to find him, would try his office first and start a fight there. He didn’t need his employees to know how bad things had gotten between the siblings.
The beach house, however, wasn’t known to her because he’d just bought it recently. It had been a good investment, although it needed a bit of work. He had originally thought he’d fix it up and sell or perhaps rent it. Now it looked as if he would be living there for a while.
The ringing of his phone brought him out of his contemplation of what he would need for the house.
Glancing over at the screen he saw it was Monica. Was he ready to deal with her? Did he really have a choice? She was his responsibility.
So, tapping on the Bluetooth button located on his steering wheel, he answered, “Good morning.”
“So, you really did leave,” Monica yelled.
Weston flinched as her voice hit him from all sides through his speakers. “I did.”
“I thought you’d get over your pout and be fine this morning,” she said then.
“My pout? I’m not pouting with you Monica, but I am through fighting with you,” he told her.
“Fine!” She yelled. Then she hung up.
Weston gave a shake of his head as he hung up his phone. He loved his sister, he really did, but he was so glad he wasn’t going to have to deal with her right now.
Glancing over at the road sign, he saw he was almost to his destination and began to plan what he needed.
He’d had someone go and clean the place, make sure everything was running smoothly. He knew they’d replaced all the appliances including the washer and dryer. All he should have to do when he got there was fill the refrigerator.
So, pulling off the freeway, he began to hunt for a grocery store. He’d get a few things to tide him over and do the major buying later. Spotting one, he pulled in and within twenty minutes he was back in his car and headed for his beach house.
Once he arrived, he stepped out and took a deep breath of the salty air. He had always loved living in Florida ever since his parents had moved to Orlando when he was only seven. Now he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
Glancing around, he saw the place looked just as he remembered. He had a privacy fence in need of some repair and a house in need of new paint.
“Well, good thing I’m not scared of a bit of hard work,” he muttered as he pulled his grocery bags from the trunk. “Because this place needs a lot of it!”
Taking his groceries inside he returned to the car for his luggage. Then taking everything inside, he closed the door and hunted down the thermostat before putting his groceries away.
The realty company had done their job well and had the house cool, but he wanted it a bit cooler. They’d also made sure the new fridge was plugged in and humming, so it was ready to chill what he’d bought.
After putting away the food he groaned. “I have no dishes to fix any of this stuff in! Where is my housekeeper when I need her?”
He shook his head. It had been so long since he’d had to worry about the simple things that he’d forgotten how.
Well, he’d go out for dinner tonight and tomorrow he’d head for the closest Walmart and buy everything he figured he’d need.
“At least I remembered to bring my sheets and towels,” he grunted as he turned away from the fridge. “Time to check out my new home office and see what I’ll be needing there so I can work from home.”
Three hours later Weston sat back in his desk chair and grunted.
“You alright boss?” Cindy, his secretary, asked from his computer screen where they were Skyping.
“Yeah, I’m good. This is just so different and will take time to adjust,” he answered.
Cindy laughed. “All this just to avoid that brat you call a sister?”
Weston frowned, then said, “She isn’t a brat… at least she wasn’t until recently.”
“You haven’t heard the way she talks to most of your employees, have you?”
“No,” Weston said with a frown. He wondered if Monica had been talking to his staff the way she’d talked to Jennifer. She wouldn’t do that, would she? Not sure about anything having to do with his sister anymore, he nervously asked, “When has she come around the office and what has she been saying?”
Cindy shook her head. “It doesn’t matter now, although, she did show up here today at lunch.”
“How did she get there?”
“Took a cab I guess. At least that’s what she told Rachel in reception. She wanted to know where you were, and when I told her you weren’t here, she nearly blew a fuse,” Cindy told him.
Weston sat back and scrubbed his face with both his hands before looking back at Cindy on the screen. “I tried Cindy, I really tried, but I’m tired. By the end of the day after working and then putting up with her yelling, I feel like an eighty-year-old man. I don’t like the feeling and I decided I’d had enough. I just want to be happy.”
“You deserve to be happy Weston,” Cindy told him. “Hang in there and don’t give in to her demands. I have a feeling at four when she gets home from school she’ll start blowing up your phone and laying on the guilt. Don’t let her do it.”
“My aunt will be there by then,” Weston reminded her.
Cindy shrugged. “It won’t matter. She thinks you’ll do what she wants eventually because you always do.”
“You do,” she argued.
Weston sighed, thinking, okay, so maybe I have been giving in more lately, but only because I’m so tired of fighting with her! So, he admitted, “I almost feel guilty pawning her off on my aunt.”
“Don’t! If you feel guilty she’ll know it and before you know it you’ll be giving in to her,” Cindy cautioned. “Don’t give in Weston, don’t do it, for the sake of your sanity, don’t.”
“Okay, okay, I won’t!” Weston said with a slight chuckle. “I need to go now because I’ve realized I need more stuff than I originally thought I’d need. I planned to wait until morning, but we got a lot done, so I think I’ll go ahead and do it now.”
“You do that, but don’t forget to enjoy that beach while you’re there,” Cindy said. “A little fun in the sun and maybe chase a few bikini-clad beauties!”
Weston laughed and said goodbye before he shut his Skype down.
Standing up he stretched and yawned. He was so tired from not sleeping last night. Maybe shopping could wait, and he’d just lay down for an hour or so and nap.
Yeah, a nap sounded wonderful. So, going into the bedroom he flopped down on his still unmade bed and was soon fast asleep.
Weston woke up to the sun in his face and starving. So, glancing at the watch on his wrist, he saw it was now six-thirty in the morning. He’d somehow managed to sleep the evening and the night away.
Groaning, he sat up and rubbed the last of the sleepiness from his eyes. Next, he climbed off the bed and walked into his bathroom to quickly shower and dress.
Then, after grabbing his keys, he headed out to find breakfast.
About ten minutes from his house he found a quaint looking little café that caught his interest. His growling stomach had him pulling in the parking lot and going inside.
Once he was seated inside the café, he quickly browsed the menu, finding what he wanted.
He then pulled his phone from his pocket. He noticed he had fifty-something texts, and even more missed calls, all from his sister.
He ignored them all and sent Cindy a quick text telling her he’d be on Skype by ten-thirty. He figured that would give him plenty of time to eat, do his shopping, and get back to the beach house.
Cindy texted back to tell him that ten-thirty would be fine.
“What can I get for you this morning sir?”
Weston glanced up to find a young blonde woman with a name tag announcing that she was Macy. She was holding a pencil and paper in front of her and was sporting a flirty smile.
“I’d like a cup of coffee and a glass of apple juice. I’d also like the big breakfast platter, extra sausage, and toast,” he informed her as he closed his menu.
“I’ll have that coffee out to you in just a minute and it will be about ten minutes for your food,” Macy told him.
He gave her a nod and turned to stare out the window at the ocean view. He took a deep breath, feeling as if he could be very happy here.
The waitress brought him his coffee first, then she just stood there, smiling as she said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in here and I’ve been here for almost three years now. Most of the customers are regulars.”
Weston gave her a polite smile. He knew her chattiness was because she liked his looks, but he wasn’t interested in her. So, he simply said, “I just moved here for a change of pace.”
Macy laughed. “Well, I hope you like it here, it’s a nice town.”
“I hope so too, and it seems nice from what I’ve seen so far,” he agreed, and she left.
He turned his attention back to his phone, knowing he needed to reply to Monica, yet dreading it. He just didn’t know what to say any more to make things better, that’s why he’d began to give her things, it made his life easier. Although, according to Cindy he’d ended up just making things a whole lot worse.
He heaved a heavy sigh, best to get it over with.
Quickly tapping out a text, he told her that because things were changing didn’t mean life couldn’t still be good. He told her he loved her and always would, but that they needed time apart.
After hitting send, he placed his phone back on the table and turned his attention once more to the window.
He just hoped the time apart was what they needed and that he wasn’t screwing things up even more.