After Weston left, Hudson tried his best to calm Isabella down. "You're not going anywhere, do you understand? Don't mind Wes, he's a little immature. He'll come around. Give him a little time, pumpkin," he said, wiping her tears away. He felt bad for the young girl who was still a child and needed a loving home to grow up, not this sort of stress. It must be so difficult for her to cope up with the loss of her parents and then trying to adjust amongst strangers.
"I don't want to impose, " said Isabella, wiping her tears away.
"You're not imposing at all. Mom always wanted a daughter and aunt Gloria was her childhood friend, they were very close. I saw how much she likes you and so does dad," comforted Hudson. Isabella felt much better and smiled at him. Hudson ruffled her hair and went out of her room to his. He wanted to talk to his twin before he left for soccer practice. Quickly getting ready, he walked towards Weston's room.
He saw Weston packing up a duffel bag. "What are you upto Wes?" He asked. Weston scowled at him.
"I'm out of here. I cannot live in the same house as her," he continued stubbornly, throwing his stuff into his duffel bag. The truth was that he didn't want her to leave. It was better that he stayed away from her till she settled down here,
"Stop this Wes. She has no one in the world. Dad's legally adopting her and she'll live here forever," said Hudson, taking the clothes from Weston's hand and placing them back into his closet.
"And you're okay with it?" Asked Weston with disbelief. Hudson nodded. He liked Isabella, she was a sweet little girl.
"She's just a kid. Just treat her like a little sister. What's the big deal, man?" Asked Hudson with a shrug. Weston gaped at Hudson like he had lost his mind.
"She isn't my little sister and will never be. She is an outsider and will always be whether dad adopts her or not," said Weston. Hudson looked suspiciously at him.
"I hope you're not thinking of hitting at her, Wes. Mom specifically warned us that she's off the limits for us. We're her foster brothers," pointed out Hudson. Weston's mouth hung open at his words but he quickly recovered and shrugged.
"Are you nuts? She's ugly and a dwarf. I hate the sight of her," said Weston, glaring at him with disbelief for even thinking of such a thing. Hudson sighed.
"I'll ensure that she stays away from you, Wes. You don't need to leave home for her," said Hudson, walking out of his room.
"Thanks. That would be a big favor, " Weston yelled after him but inwardly Hudson's words kept repeating in his head.
'She's off the limits for us. We're her foster brothers.'
'I'm not her brother', he repeated again and again in his mind.
Isabella kept hidden in her room just like Hudson had instructed her to do before leaving. She was scared of Weston and didn't want to anger him any further. Weston went downstairs to watch some live soccer match but kept looking up at her door not understanding how she could stay locked away in her room. Later his dad too joined him to watch the match.
His mom sat folding the laundry and doing things around the house. "Where's Isa? She hasn't come down even once. I hope she's well," said Henrietta Gray to her husband when Weston went to the washroom.
"Don't talk of her in front of your dear son. He'll leave home," said David Gray. She nodded in agreement. She went to make dinner while Weston sat in the living room watching the match with his dad.
Hudson too came home from practice. He took a shower and joined his mom in the kitchen. "What are you making, Hud?" Asked his mom indulgently. He always made little treats for them to munch on.
"Tuna salad topped crackers," he beamed at her.
"Delicious, " agreed his mom making him all the more happy. He placed the crackers topped with his delicious tuna salad and took it to the coffee table in the living room. His mom too followed him out.
"Grand, I was just waiting for your treat of the day," said his dad, devouring a piece. Weston too grinned and wolved down two. Hudson had one whole his mom too had one.
He picked up two pieces and got up to go. "Where are you off to with two, man?" Asked Weston, eyeing the food.
"I'll just come back in a minute," he said, going up the stairs to Isabella's room. He found her sitting on the window sill, lost in her own thoughts.
"Hey pumpkin, see what I made for you?" Asked Hudson, going to sit beside her on the window sill.
"You're back? I missed you," she said, her eyes lighting up at the sight of him. Hudson smiled and handed the treats to her. She hungrily ate them up.
"You make delicious food, Hudson," she told him. Hudson smiled happily at the compliment.
"You liked it?" He asked and she nodded.
"Come down with me," he told her but she shook her head vehemently.
"I'm fine here, Hudson. Please don't force me," she said, her eyes going wide with apprehension.
"You can't hide forever, pumpkin, " he told her.
"I don't want him to leave home because of me, " she whispered. Hudson understood that she was talking of Weston. He left it at that.
"When dinner is made, I'll come to get you, okay?" He said and Isabella nodded. Hudson went to his room and she went back to looking at the Las Vegas where evening sky, trying to locate her parents amongst the few visible stars shining above.
Weston burned with jealousy when Hudson took the treats to the girl. What did Hudson have that he didn't? He couldn't concentrate on his favorite match even for a minute ever since Hudson went upstairs to her room. He wanted to see what they were upto, he wanted to hear what they were discussing. Were they discussing him? Was it about how horrid he was? He wanted to be the one to be able to make treats and take it up to her but he hated cooking. Till date he hadn't even made his own coffee.
"Mom, why did you teach Hudson to cook and not me?" He asked his mom angrily. His mom's jaws dropped to the floor and she glanced at her husband who too had the same effect as her.
"He was interested to learn, Wes. If you want to learn, I'll teach you too," she told him not understanding how this miracle happened.
"Yes, I want to learn, teach me," said Weston. His mom groaned. She just finished making dinner.
"Not right now. I already made dinner. Tomorrow morning when I make breakfast, you can come down and learn," she told him.
"Tomorrow is a long way off. I want to learn now," said Weston, impatiently.
"Wes, you can't learn to cook in a day. Hudson took a month to get a hang of it," she explained.
"Well, I'm not Hudson. I'll pick up in a day," he said. His mom shrugged. It was useless to argue with him.
Weston looked up every two minutes at her door expecting her to come down but she didn't. Was she still crying? He wanted to go and find out but suddenly remembered that he actually hated her. 'Why should you go? You hate her, remember?' His inner voice reminded him.
His mom got up to lay the table and serve dinner. "Go and call Hudson. I'm serving dinner," said his mom. Weston nodded and went upstairs. He found it strange that his mom didn't once mention the girl in front of him. He shrugged and peeped into Hudson's room.
"Hud, dinner's served, coming?" He asked. Hudson looked up from his books.
"Yeah, in a minute," he told him. After Weston left, he went towards Isabella's room.
"Pumpkin, come down to dinner," he told her. She got up from the window sill and followed Hudson meekly down the stairs like a scared kitten, every now and then glancing at Weston who sat at the table watching her like a hawk.
"Come Isa, sit down," said David Gray. Isabella quietly sat down beside him without looking up at Weston.
Everyone started eating, serving themselves spoonfuls of food, heaping their plates. Isabella felt like an outsider. She just took a little of the chicken stew and sat quietly eating it.
"Isa, you're not eating anything, dear. Are you unwell?" Asked Henrietta Gray with concern.
"I'm fine, thank you, aunt Henrietta, " she said quietly.
They didn't press her further. After dinner, she escaped to her room. She had decided that she wouldn't live here any longer. She would go away to a foster home. She would talk to uncle David tomorrow.
The door to her room creaked open. She turned to look, expecting to see Hudson. However to her horror, there stood Weston with a grim look on his face.