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Chapter Four

"I'm busy!" Brian replied to the knock on his door, not taking his eyes away from his laptop. The next thing he heard was someone opening his door and helping him or herself in.

"Today's encounter will teach you how to start locking your room" Brian whispered to himself, knowing the only person that could defy his orders were his parents or siblings.

"You've been away for months, is it so hard to spare a couple of minutes to have dinner with your family?" His mother's voice came through.

"I'm working, Mom." He said, typing away on his laptop.

"Why do you always place work over your family? I'm sure you did nothing but work all through the business trip, same on your flight home. Your Dad worked very hard when he was still heading the company but he created time for us and you know that very well." Eve said, taking a seat beside her son.

Brian sighed. "I love you all but there's just so much work to be done. If I don't do them, nobody will. Thanks to your other son who left me with all the burden to pursue his lame career."

"Are you still pained that your younger brother turned down the family business for something he has a passion for? Remember your Dad didn't force you to take up the CEO position. He was willing to hire someone to take over but you showed interest and declared it's always what you wanted."

Brian placed his laptop aside. "It's always what I wanted and I'm glad the company is making great progress under my care. But seriously, Henry could do better, Photography of all professions?!"

Eve rolled her eyes. "There's nothing bad in Photography. Your brother is not just any photographer. He's a professional and one of the most sought photographers in the States. He's happy and very successful. I think you should learn how to be happy for him too."

Brian reached for the glass of red wine that was on a table beside him and took a sip. "I'm happy for him. But I still think the profession is a lame one. Anyways, his works are great. He has been partnering with the company's design team for a while now to create excellent photography for our contracted works."

Matthews Creation was a well-known construction company where they offered all types of construction services. Henry recently partnered with the design team of Matthews creation to deliver breathtaking photographs to help beautify houses, offices etc.

"You should always learn to pick a side and also learn to praise people before bringing out the worst in them," Eve said.

"I'll always be entitled to my opinion." He said, taking another sip of his wine.

"I wonder what changed you, Brian. You were so sweet and loving when you were young. You were also extremely protective of your younger siblings but that's no longer the case."

Brian shrugged. "People change as they grow"

"You're so impossible. Anyways, I came here to tell you that dinner is ready. I've been in the kitchen all evening and I think the least you could do to appreciate my effort is to come to eat dinner with us."

"I'll have dinner in my room," Brian replied.

"No. You're coming downstairs to eat with us." Eve said, leaving no room for argument. She rose to her feet.

"On one condition, mom." He said before she helped herself out of his room.

"What condition?" She asked.

"I'll fire one of the domestic staff."

"Nice try, Son but you should know by now that you have no say when it comes to my employees. If I had given you the privilege, there won't be any more staff in this house. It's hard to find dedicated and trusted people so no, you're not permitted to do so. I'm the only one who hires and fires."

"I would rather have you sleep on an empty stomach than heeding to your request but for the effort I put in making dinner, I'm expecting you downstairs in 5 minutes," Eve said, then exited Brian's room. Before going downstairs, She decided to stop by her other son's room.

"Hi, Mom." Henry smiled as soon as his mom walked in. He approached her, pulled her into a warm hug and kissed her left cheek. Henry's suite was almost the same as Brian's and beautiful too.

"I was about to come down for dinner." He said, pulling away from the hug. Even though Eve was fifty-five, She still looked very beautiful.

"Yeah, I came here so we can go down together. I made all of my babies favourites."

"Thanks, Mom." Henry smiled. "Is Laurel back from work?" He asked about his younger sister.

"Yes, She is. She should be downstairs by now. I came up to make sure your brother shows up at the dinner table."

"Mom, Brian isn't a kid you know, he probably isn't hungry. It's not as if anything special happens when he joins us for dinner."

"I know. But he's still family. I want to spend time with you all while we are still together. It's so sad he gives work his utmost priority. Well, he dare not disobey me so I'm sure he will join us."

.................

After what felt like forever, with everyone already settled on the dining table, Brian showed up and took a seat beside Laurel, the last born of the family. Logan Matthews was seated at the head of the table, to his right was his wife, Eve, and son, Henry. To his left was his precious daughter, Laurel and elder son, Brian.

"Hi bro!" Laurel smiled at Brian.

"Hi" He replied dryly.

Eve said a short prayer, Matilda served the food while Vanessa served wine and water.

Vee was so uncomfortable. The killer glares Brian Matthews was throwing at her was making her panic internally. She was nervous as hell and her heart was beating really fast. While pouring wine and water for the family, She was being so damn careful so as not to spill it, especially before Brian.

"Quit giving her that nasty look. Stop scaring the hell out of her!" Henry said with gritted teeth, bringing the whole family's attention to what was going on.

"Always learn to mind your business," Brian replied to his brother with venom in his voice.

"Not when you're throwing the poor girl glares like you want to strangle her." Henry voiced out.

"Don't you dare disrespect me because of a low life maid." Brian said, trying to control his anger.

"You guys should just stop it!!!!!" Logan commanded. Vanessa was scared as hell where she stood.

"Says the person who would have been a male servant or a gardener for some other rich family if mom and Dad hadn't worked hard with the company and handed it over to him to handle," Henry responded, ignoring his father's command. He knew of his elder brother's unruly attitude towards all the servants of their household and he wasn't going to let this slide because he had taken a liking to Vanessa. He won't stand her being disrespected by him.

"Henry?!" Eve cautioned, knowing Brian had a hot temper. The purpose of this dinner was for them to bond but all efforts were starting to prove abortive.

"Don't you ever talk to me that way!" Brian said in anger, one could almost see smoke coming out of his ear.

"You're pained because I said nothing but the truth. Do you think every staff in this household dream is to be our servant? Grow up and stop throwing Mom and Dad's riches in everyone's face." Henry said.

"If she hadn't been opening her legs for you, you wouldn't dare defend her or speak to me anyhow." Brian blurted out.

Henry reached for his glass cup filled with water and emptied it against Brian's face. He was sitting opposite Brian so it was easy to spill the water on him. Everyone around the table knew what was going to happen next, so before the situation got out of control, they tried to salvage it. Logan was holding Brian, preventing him from going over to beat Henry up.

Henry on the other hand was held by his mom and sister.

"You disgust me! You don't behave like an elder brother at all. Your mind is rotten, filled with bitterness and hate. You are so different from Laurel and I. I'm sure we don't have the same blood running through our veins. It's high time you sat Mom and Dad down and asked them if they are your biological parents, At this point, I believe they saw you wrapped in a tattered blanket by the trash can."

"Henry!!!! It's enough!!!!" Logan commanded, his voice resonating in the room.

"You're nothing but an asshole. I'll deal with you my way!" Brian said, releasing himself from his father. He couldn't believe his brother just humiliated him just because of a maidservant.

Before exiting the dining room, he turned to Vanessa.

"Get the fuck away from her!!!" Henry said, still in his mother and Sister's hostage. "I swear I'm going to strangle you with my bare hands if you lay a finger on her." He added.

Brian Matthews could be anything in the world. He could be the most ruthless and heartless individual, he could say demeaning things, beat up his brother (even though he had never done that) and fire people, but one thing was certain. He had never and he would never lay his hand on a woman.

Looking at Vanessa sniffing under his stare, He wanted to say many nasty and disgusting words to her. Words that would break her and make her lose her self esteem. But the tears in her eyes resonated an uncomfortable feeling in him. The only thing he did was to throw her a disgusting glare. Then he exited the dining room.

"You're dismissed for the night, Vanessa." Eve voiced out after Brian left the room. With tear-filled eyes, she nodded. She was hardly looking at their faces. Laurel gave Vee's shoulder a light squeeze before she left the immediate family.

"Henry, you could have taken it easy. You said way too much." Eve said.

"There you go again, supporting your favourite son," Henry said, reaching for his glass of wine on the table.

"You and Brian are my favourites and I'm not supporting anyone because the two of you were wrong."

"We would have had a peaceful dinner if he wasn't scaring the shit out of the innocent girl. We would have had a peaceful dinner if he didn't accuse me of fucking her. Does he even have any idea how devastating that statement makes Vanessa feel? Just because he's the son of Eve and Logan Matthews, doesn't mean he has every right to treat people like shit. It's getting too much." Henry said.

"I know and I'm going to apologize to Vanessa on his behalf. We all know Brian is like that. He typically says what he doesn't mean. Of course, he knows nothing is going on between you and Vanessa. He only said those nasty things to infuriate you and you let them get to you." Eve said.

"Then make him understand that it's unfair to keep saying mean things to people. Irrespective of whether he meant it or not. I honestly don't know what Vanessa did to him that he's behaving that way towards her and honestly, I don't care! But if he keeps treating her like she's some kind of poor dirt from the streets then he will have me to deal with." Henry said, then stormed out of the dining room.

Eve plopped down defeatedly on her side of the chair, behind the table.

"Hey!" Logan sat beside her, taking her hands in his.

"The purpose of this dinner was to bring us closer. Brian had been away for months. I thought we could have a peaceful family dinner just like old times but the boys hardly touched their food before destroying the whole thing. I wonder if things would go back to the way it used to between them"

Logan placed a long kiss on his wife's forehead. "Your intentions were pure, my love. You did your best in trying to bring them together. But as patents, we wouldn't stop trying until they make peace with themselves. The fact that things didn't turn out the way we wanted it to be today doesn't mean it would be the same tomorrow. I had wanted to go speak to Brian as soon as he walked out on us but I decided to give him some time to cool off. I promise to talk to him after we've had dinner. I know he will listen to me. Cheer up, babe, I don't like seeing you sad."

"Dad is right, Mom. Please cheer up." Laurel's voice came through. That was when her parents noticed she was almost halfway through her food."

"Come on, You don't expect me to starve myself because of my brothers." She replied to her parents questioning eyes.

Laurel and Logan were able to cheer Eve up, they had dinner as a family of three and made lively conversations in between, forgetting about Brian and Henry.

Comments (1)
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Hiewan Kahsay
Well Brian you becom jrek
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