About: Brothers & Sisters
Disclaimer: I don’t own Brothers & Sisters – written with love, not for money.
Summary: Ingredients: Take a couple of Walkers, add a few Wandells, a pinch of Holden and a Caplan formerly known as Harper, a dash of Altamirano and Whitley, a teaspoon of Byrolt, Paresa and Salazar and (for added flavor only) a Barry&McCallister. Mix and shake…and… watch it explode.
Warning: It is my very own season 7, you guys! Go with it! ;) Don’t complain! If YOU can do better, post your own story! (I dare you!)
“Listen, Kevin, I appreciate that you wanted to warn me, but I can handle meeting Lena again.” Tommy says. “You would do right to hire her, she’s a good secretary and she’s smart… I wouldn’t like her to lose a chance on a job because of my stupidity.”
“I wasn’t holding it against her. Just didn’t want any nasty surprises.” Kevin tells his brother.
Tommy leans back and he seems indecisive about something, Kevin can tell.
“What’s wrong, Tommy, I’m learning to read you somewhat better. I can tell that there’s something on your mind.” Kevin coaches gently. The relationship between Tommy and him has become better, but he knows that Tommy still has trouble with trusting people.
“I don’t know. I’ve been thinking a lot about Julia and Elizabeth and Billy lately. … As a lawyer, have you never had someone come in with this incredibly believable story, where you cannot find any fault and yet,… there’s little feeling of unease nagging at you, that it’s not real, not true, that there’s more to it than what you’ve been told?” Tommy asks his brother.
Kevin closes his eyes for a few seconds.
“Yes, I think that I know what your mean.”
“I have that feeling with Julia. There’s nothing wrong and yet, I feel like there is. It’s very frustrating.”
Kevin leans closer to Tommy.
“What are you talking about?” He asks.
“I come home after work and the house is clean, food is ready, Billy is looked after and everything is just … perfect!” He shudders at the last word.
“And that is bad?” Kevin asks, just to be sure.
“No. Yes. … I don’t know. That’s just it. I don’t know what to think anymore. She’s like a robot, a Stepford Wife. Everything is perfect as she thinks I want to see it… And then there’s Elizabeth…”
“Elizabeth?” Kevin wants to know.
“She goes on and on about having Elizabeth back home. About taking her to school, do fun things with her, she wants to get to know all of Elizabeth’s new friends and she talks about the parties she wants to throw for Elizabeth…”
“So? She’s planning something of a future? Is that bad?” Kevin wonders.
“She acts like Billy doesn’t exist. And neither do I. She only talks about herself and Elizabeth. Like she plans a life without us.” Tommy sighs, feeling a little silly now that he gives a voice to his thoughts.
Kevin doesn't answer immediately.
“I’m not dismissing your feeling, but … when we plan to throw a party for one of our kids, we focus on that child too, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other kids are put out on the street.”
“Yeah, well, like I said, it doesn’t necessarily make sense. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but… something is off.”
“You have dad’s gut-feeling, Tommy, if you really think that there’s something wrong, then it probably means that there is something going on, even if you can’t pinpoint what it is.”
“I worry about Billy. Each time I hold him, … he feels so light. It’s like he hardly grows. I remember that, no matter how tough her start had been, I could see Elizabeth grow by the day…. And I know I shouldn’t compare children. They are different kids, with a different back-story… and … I don’t know.” Tommy sighs.
Somewhere deep inside Kevin feels honored that Tommy is confiding in him and he would like to find a solution to Tommy’s confusion.
“Have you been to a health center with him?”
“Julia did. She said that the pediatrician was satisfied.”
Kevin frowns, plays with a thought, dismisses it as something that Julia wouldn’t do, but then he tries anyway.
“At the risk of making you angry… Do you believe Julia?” Kevin asks slowly. Tommy takes longer than expected to answer.
“No…. I don’t…” He looks miserable. “I even considered calling the centre and ask about it myself, but… what if it’s just in my mind? What if it’s just me seeing ghosts? Julia would be so hurt if she would discover that I went behind her back…”
“Yes, she would be, but it might take a lot of stress away from you if you knew the truth.”
“Maybe…” Tommy hesitates.
“Listen, call in or drop in and tell them that you would like the hear the results, because you’re worried that Billy isn’t growing enough. As a father you have equal right to be concerned and to raise questions…”
“Yeah, I might just do that… And Kevin? Will you please not say anything to Scotty?”
“I feel a bit stupid for having all those thoughts in my head….” Tommy answers.
“Alright, I’ll keep your secret…” Kevin replies with a grin. He can’t see the problem, but if this is what Tommy wants….
THE NEXT DAY
“Good morning, Mrs Valence…” Tyler smiles, but Mrs Valence doesn’t smile back.
“My golden earrings are missing.” She says sharply. “They must have been stolen.”
“Are you sure tha…?” Tyler can’t even finish her question, because Mrs Valence silences her with one look.
“Miss Altamirano, I live most of the year in different hotels all over America. Travelling is my life. I’m not stupid. I know not to leave things lying around and I put my earrings in a special box in the top drawer. I did that the day before yesterday. The same I always do when I stay here.
I haven’t taken them out. I haven’t had visitors and I’m not that senile that I don’t remember where I put my belongings. I’ve been coming here for nearly 10 years and I’ve never had a single problem before. I know where they should be. And they are not there….”
“I’m sorry…. I don’t know what to say… Naturally we will investigate who cleaned your room and who else had access to your room…. And I will see if I can get them back… Daisy? Will you please make sure that Mrs Valence get a cup of coffee or tea at the bar. On the house… Mrs Valence has had a shock…”
“What happened?” Cleo asks, as soon as Daisy has taken Mrs Valence away.
“We have another theft.”
“Yes… I want a thorough check on who entered her room… Be discrete!” Tyler orders.
Julia can hear Tommy on the phone and she, oh, so carefully picks up the other phone. Quietly she listens in.
“…yeah, Kevin, it’s fine with me. I’m sure that Elizabeth will have great fun at Annie’s house today.”
“It’s just, you know, if you want to have her today, now that she has a day off school….”
“I’m sorry her teacher is sick and a replacement couldn’t be found so quickly… but I have to work all day…”
“What about Julia?” Kevin asks quietly and Julia wonders the same.
“No… Just … let Elizabeth stay at Annie’s place… It’s fine…” Tommy decides and Julia’s mouth opens and she almost screams in protest, but then she forces her mouth closed again. Her lips become a straight line.
“Whatever you want, but…”
“Trust me, Kevin. This is the right choice.”
“Perhaps Julia would feel better if she could spend some time with Elizabeth. Jordan is here today to look after Daniel. He can also look after Billy, giving Julia and Elizabeth some mother-daughter time?”
“No!” Tommy answers, almost annoyed that Kevin doesn’t take no for an answer. Julia’s fill with tears of anger and frustration. Tommy’s voice is soft again. “I’m sorry, Kev, I know you mean well, but… for now… let’s keep some distance between Julia and Elizabeth.”
Julia carefully puts the telephone in place and she locks herself in the bathroom. She turns on the shower and lets the water fall.
“You’re going to regret this, Tommy. How dare you insinuate that I wouldn’t be able to be with Elizabeth?” She whispers between clenched teeth.
“Café 429.” Scotty answers the phone.
“I would like to speak the manager or the owner?”
“Speaking. My name is Scotty Wandell.”
“Good morning, Mr Wandell. My name is Roy McGraw.”
Scotty gasps. Roy McGraw is the owner of large chain of restaurants, mainly operating in New York.
“How can I help you.”
“I’ve been at your restaurant a few weeks ago and I was very pleased.”
“I’m grateful to hear that.” Scotty answers, not quite understanding what is going on.
“I was wondering if you could find the time in your busy schedule to come to New York and have a meeting with me?”
“With you? In New York? Why?”
“I don’t wish to discuss things over the phone. If you wish to accept my offer… I will make sure that your get your flight-ticket and I will arrange a hotel for you.”
“I can’t take off on a moment’s notice. I have a family, my husband….”
“I understand. I have several meetings this week too, but how about if I call you back early next week and we’ll discuss details then?”
“That is … acceptable.” Scotty agrees. He says his goodbyes and puts down the phone, spins around in a dance-move that would have made Michael Jackson jealous and he screams from the top of his lungs: “YESSSS!!!!”
“Hi, Lena, it’s Kevin.” Lena grabs her phone a little tighter. “You have the job if you want.”
“If I want? I want it. I want it!” Lena answers. She’s almost in tears. “Are you absolutely sure?”
“Yes, I am. I’ve spoken with Justin and Tommy and they see no issues either…” Kevin laughs. “Can you come to the office? I want to give you a contract.”
“Sure. I can be there in half an hour.” Lena answers out of breath.
“Fine with me. I’ll see then.” Kevin laughs.
“So have you learned some more?” Saul asks, sitting down at the kitchen-table.
“Seriously, Saul, I’ve been through the entire box last night. Pictures, news-clipping, death-announcements and birth-cards. It took a little while to get through it all, but it’s all here. William’s father, William Sr, married a woman called Justine. That was in 1927.
Together they had 4 children. Three boys, one girl. The girl, Sarah, was born in 1928, just before the economy collapsed. She’s the oldest child. There were two other boys. Thomas and Sean. Thomas got killed at the age of 5, when he accidentally got under his dad’s truck. Sean died, age 7, when he drowned in a stream, not far from his home.
And then there was William, who was born in 1935. There was an age-gap of 7 years between him and his older sister. His mother died in 1944. I don’t know how or why. I only found a death-announcement. William must have been 8-9 years old and Sarah around 16 years old.
We know that Sarah ran away to Alaska when she was 18 and William was around 10 years old. William’s father, William sr, died in 1954. He was found at the bottom of the ladder that went to the hayloft. The body was found by William jr.. This happened after a huge fight between father and son had been heard by many farmhands.
William was a serious suspect, because the police didn’t believe that the fall had been an accident. But this is where it gets interesting. William was eventually released when a farm-hand, D. York, testified that William jr had been with him when William sr had fallen down the stairs….”
“D. York? Dennis York?” Saul asks.
“Could William really have known him from that far back?” Nora wonders.
“Why not? I’ve always felt that there was something suspicious about William’s relationship with Dennis.” Saul admits.
“Could it be that Dennis York lied?”
“I wouldn’t put it past him.”
“Oh, Saul, what if William… pushed his father…. What if he killed his own father?” Nora suddenly wonders.
“Cassandra, you have nothing to worry about.” Julia smiles at Annie’s mother. “Kevin and Scotty won’t mind at all. If I hadn’t been in the shower when they called, they wouldn’t even have asked you to look after Elizabeth today. They would have asked me.” Cassandra smiles, but the smile doesn’t reach her eyes.
She knows Julia. Elizabeth and Annie had been in kindergarten together, until Julia had left for Seattle. At the time the two girls hadn’t been friends, but Cassandra and Julia had spoken with each other regularly. She has no reason to doubt Julia’s words and, yet, something feels off as she walks out to Julia’s car.
“Where’s Billly, mom?” Elizabeth asks, looking at the empty backseat.
“We’re not taking him with us.” Julia answers curtly.
“Is he with grandma?”
“Then who is he with?” Elizabeth wants to know.
“Stop whining about something so unimportant, honey, and get in the car.” Elizabeth feels weird, but she doesn’t dare to refuse her mother’s orders.
“Drive safely.” Cassandra replies with a smile. She always says those words.
“Contrary to popular belief, I’m not an idiot.” Julia replies angrily and she drives away with such speed that Cassandra can feel a chill go along her spine. When she enters the house, a phone rings and she picks up.
“Hi Cassandra, it’s Scotty. You were looking for me?”
“Yes, Julia, Elizabeth’s mother, just picked up Elizabeth.”
“Apparently you or Kevin told her this morning that Elizabeth couldn’t go to school today because the teacher is sick and they couldn’t find a replacement, which is true.
She then said that, though you asked me to look after Elizabeth, she wanted to do that instead. Elizabeth was happy to see her. I couldn’t see any reason not to let Elizabeth go. Elizabeth is her daughter… but…. I have a weird feeling about this…”
“Kevin spoke to Tommy, I know that much… I’m going to call Kevin, just a moment…”
“Hi, honey, it’s me.”
“Hey, babe, what’s up?” Kevin asks while torturing his key-board. “Keep it short, Lena can be here any minute to sign her new contract.”
“Did you talk to Julia?”
“Julia? No. Why?”
“Julia picked up Elizabeth without my permission. Did you give her permission?”
“No. Hang on. I’m going to call Tommy….. Tommy?”
“Hey, Kev. I just got the new contracts and…”
“It can wait. Did you tell Julia that she could pick up Elizabeth at Cassandra’s house?”
“According to Cassandra Julia just drove off with Elizabeth….”
“Don’t know, but you didn’t give permission?””
“I haven’t even mentioned Elizabeth or Cassandra or Annie to her.”
“Then we have a problem. Can you come here?”
“I’ll be there in 15 to 20 minutes…” Tommy says and he hangs up, while Kevin takes back his line to Scotty.
“Scotty, baby, Tommy didn’t know either… He’s coming over here and we’ll go to Cassandra’s place from here.”
“Fine. I’ll meet you there.” Scotty breaks off with Kevin and returns to Cassandra. “Cassie, it was as you feared, something is off. I’m on my way back from the market. Can I come to your place? Kevin and Tommy want to go and talk to you face-to-face as well.”
“Scotty, did I do something wrong? I couldn’t stop her from taking her own child with her… Could I?”
“No, Cass, you didn’t do anything wrong, but I guess it’s just easier to talk face-to-face, rather than over the phone…” Scotty smiles.
“I’ve cross-referenced the staff,” Cleo sighs. “.. but no one was working in the rooms of both Mr Dunberry and Mrs Valence. In
Mr. Dunberry’s case the room was cleaned by Mariette, but it was Molly who did it for Mrs Valence. Molly wasn’t working when Mr Dunberry’s watch was stolen, but Mariette wasn’t working when Mrs Valence’s earrings disappeared.
Besides, both of them have been working here for nearly 7 years… I’m not aware of either one being in financial trouble or something like that… Short of them simultaneously developing kleptomania, I can’t believe that either of them did it….”
“I agree with your assessment, Cleo.” Tyler sighs. “What do we do now?”
“I’ve contacted Mr Dunberry and he swears up and down that no one was invited in his room…”
“As did Mrs Valence.”
“I don’t believe that either Mr Dunberry or Mrs Valence would be lying.”
“Neither do I.” Tyler shakes her head. “This means that we’re missing something.”
“Should we contact a private investigator. I don’t like the idea of police in the hotel, asking a lot of questions, guests tend to dislike that too.” Cleo points out.
“Do you know someone?”
“Yes. Someone who’s done some little jobs for us before….”
“Alright, contact him. I’d like to see this solved as quick as possible, before it happens to other guests as well.”
End of part 3/4
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