About: William, Nora, Kevin, Scotty and a bunch of others.
Disclaimer: Written with love, not for money
Summary: When William Walker dies, his family gets confronted with a secret that he kept, which will have a huge impact on Kevin.
It is an AU, so the usual applies; Things can/will be different. Don't like it? Don't read it.
“Alright, mom, we’re all here. Can we drop the pleasantries and just get to the point?” Tommy asks. He’s clearly annoyed with having been ‘summoned’ to the conference room of Ojai Foods, by his mother. Nora sighs over his impatience and nods.
“Fine. If that is what you want. We have to talk about this business with Scotty Wandell.”
“What about him?” Sarah asks.
“I’ve thought it over and…” Before she can go on, there’s a commotion outside and the door flings open. Scotty enters, while the secretary nervously comes after him…
“I’m so sorry…” She apologizes. “I said you were having a meeting, but….”
“It’s okay.” Tommy answers. She nods and closes the door. Before Tommy can say something, Scotty cuts him off.
“Good to see that the gang’s all here… At least I won’t have to explain things several times, but I can do it all in one talk….” He sees that he has everyone’s attention.. “I’ve had a meeting with my lawyer this morning and he explained quite a few things to me…
It would seem that the 10% that I owe of this company are worth quite a lot of money, much more than the 40% of my restaurant, so that makes a lucky co-owner of this place. Unfortunately, this also means that I have the same rights as each of you. Each of the share-holders has the right to veto decisions that are made.
I suppose that William just wanted to make sure that you'd all be on the same page about major decisions, but this little stipulation means that I also have the right to veto any decision that will be made from now on,. ”
He can see quite some eyes widen as the realization of what this means hits home. Only Kevin hides his face behind his hands.
“So, guess what I’ll be doing from now on, with each major decision you guys want to make?... I’ll use my veto-right.” Scotty offers with a smirk.
“You can’t do this.” Tommy jumps up, but Sarah pulls him back into his seat.
“Watch me.” Scotty answers without even blinking. “I’ve been ignored, called a liar, threatened in my own place, and I was brought to the brink of doing something very stupid…No more. I have never been, nor will I ever be, anyone’s doormat.
We can’t help who we love, but we can help who we are. We can decide to become ourselves. It is time that I become a person. I won’t be invisible any longer. I won’t be swept under the rug as if I was unimportant to him. I know he loved me. He wanted me. He actively pursued me. William wanted me in his life.
I never asked him to lie about anything. I was indifferent to it all. I knew about you guys and I knew about Nora. I knew she knew about me, but didn’t want to know any details. I knew that for William, Nora and his children were the most important people in his life. More important to him than I ever was.
I knew I would be a secret and I was willing to accept that for William. But I’m not willing to accept anything for any of you. You aren’t worth my loyalty or my silence. Now, you can make this difficult. For me. And for yourselves. Because, you know, all I have to do is claim what is mine. The 10%.
And then I will show up here whenever needed… And I will explain to anyone willing to listen that the reason why William left me 10% was because he loved to fuck me and that he was as gay as they come…. I’m sure that many people in this company will be equally horrified and fascinated…It’s human nature…
And I will tell them everything I remember. Embellish a few things here and there, but nonetheless, give more details about my relationship with William than you or they ever cared to know about…” He can see Kitty’s eyes fill with tears and, for a second, he feels sorry for her, but then he goes on.
“Or… you can give me the 40% of my restaurant. And you get back the 10% of Ojai Foods... Café 429 will be mine. Ojai Foods will be yours. We never have to see each other again and I don’t think that any one of us will mourn the loss.”
“Do you really think that we would trust dad’s little toy-boy?” Sarah asks sarcastically.
“You don’t really have a choice, do you? I don’t want to hurt the memory of William. Regardless of what you guys think… I loved him. I can’t blame you for hating me. But I will not be bullied or attacked in my own restaurant or treated like dirt because William kept secrets from you.
Contrary to what you guys may think I’ve always financially independent from William. The only reason why William helped me by supporting me, was because he didn’t want me to lose everything if things wouldn’t go as we hoped. I never needed his money, but I was glad that he wanted to give the backup….
So, I suggest you guys think about it. I frankly have no desire to see any of you ever again. And I’m fairly sure you feel the same way about me…. Well. Here’s your solution. Take or leave. Or rather…. Take it and get the hell out of my life… All of you…” And he emphasizes the last words with a look at Kevin, before he leaves without a word of goodbye.
Nora rushes up the stairs and flings her handbag on the floor of the bedroom. She slams the door behind her, so she can finally give in to the tears that she’s been holding back for at least half an hour. She sinks down to the floor, her back against the bedroom-door and she sobs uncontrollably.
Her whole body shakes because all the emotions are just too hard for her to handle. She cries until she feels she has no more tears left and then she starts to cry all over again. Finally she calms down enough to regroup herself and she gets up from the floor. She manages to get to the bathroom where she splashes cold water on her hot skin.
She looks in the mirror. She’s a mess. Her eyes are all swollen and her hair hangs around her face like it hasn’t been washed in 3 weeks. She pours cold water on a wash-cloth, lies down on her bed and she uses the wet cloth as a compress on her eyes. The coldness feels good to her and she feels how slowly pieces of a puzzle are coming together.
She had been too hurt. She had not wanted to know about Scotty, but she had gotten confronted with him anyway. The 10% that are in Scotty’s hands make her worried. The 40% she owns from Scotty don’t feel like enough leverage. Scotty is hurt. She’s hurt. Her family is hurt. So much pain going around. And then there’s Kevin….
Kevin who had been sent from one place to the next, caught between his father’s secrets, his mother’s feelings and dealing with his family, while dealing with his father’s lover… No wonder it’s all so muddled, why there’s so much anger and pain going around. No one has had a moment to catch their breath yet….
She chucks the wash-cloth aside and she sits up. In the drawer of her nightstand she finds the letter that William had left for her. The one she had been unable to read properly, because it all came too close to her. But she was no longer going to let it go unread. She knows that she’s finally willing to face the facts.
If you get this letter then it means that I failed. I’m writing this letter, because the doctor has told me that I’m running out of time. My heart is giving me more and more problems. I’m sorry to have to burden you with my issues. But this needs to be done. I cannot force you to accept the choices I’ve made, but I beg you to show the same kindness that you have over the last 40 years.
Now that I’m running out of time, Nora, I’m won’t be able to arrange things as I would have wanted and I may need you to finish it for me. I’ve always loved you, maybe not in the way you deserved, but I’ve always been grateful for having you in my life and that you wanted to be my wife and a mother of my children, when you didn’t have to be…
I know you never wanted to know who he was, you didn't wish to know how deeply I’had gotten involved with him, and how deeply in love I am with him. With Scotty Wandell. I know we agreed: No names. No description. But it must be said. From the first day I met him, I felt so much love for him. I never knew or believed I could fall so hard for someone.
I didn't want to give in. Thinking it was just some infatuation for a young and actractive man, but it was more than that. Until I met Scotty I never wavered on my promise to you, that I’d always be there for you. However, I fell in love. I am still in love with him. And even though I am no longer able to continue the sort of relationship we had before, Scotty still wants me in his life too.
I’ve been working up the courage to come out and be honest about Scotty. I’ve been fighting my feelings for too long and, deep in my heart, I know that I want to spend the remainder of life, whatever little time there’s left, with him. He doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know that, ultimately, I’d chose him.
I wanted him to be known to my family, to my kids. I wanted them to know how happy he makes me. I helped him to set up restaurant by making him 10% partner of Ojai, like some pledge for Café 429. I believed in him. I believed he could succeed. I’ve made my decision out of love.
Now, I rely on you to the right thing and make sure that Scotty will get his restaurant, like he deserves to have it. And that he will know that I wanted to provide for him as well. You’ve always been the one I could count on and, as hard as it will be for you, I’m counting on you now more than ever before.
You and the children are everything to me. I’ve always been a good husband, a good provider and a good father. Not perfect. But I did the best I could. I’ve never asked you for anything regarding my sexuality. I’ve always been discreet. I’ve always kept the secret.
It’s just, with death coming closer every day, I need to make sure that the man who stole my heart, will be respected and taken care of as I would have wanted. I’m sorry, if I hurt you. This was such a hard decision to make for myself. But the closer I came to meeting my maker, I just feel that I have to do the right thing and be who I am supposed to be.
But whenever I see you again, I don’t have the heart to hurt you either. And if you’re reading this, it is because I died as the coward I am and I never told the truth about what I am. I’m so sorry, but I need to say this for everyone to know: Scotty is the one I want to be with, in the end. I had wanted to be with him…. I love him.
I never meant for that to happen, but it did. Just when I had given up on really being myself this young man offered me a smile, a kind conversation, coffee and cupcakes, a shoulder to cry on, a caring man to talk to.. and much more. I can only hope that you will be able to forgive me.
You deserved better. You deserved a better man than me. And I’m sorry that I failed you in the end. Please, tell Kevin the truth about me, show him this letter if you need to. I’ve asked Scotty to approach only Kevin and no one else, because if you receive this letter, it’s because I’ve never had to courage to do what I had to do.
If I’m too late, my secret will die with me and stay with you, Scotty and Kevin. No one else will need to know. There will be no reason to upset the other kids. I’m sure that Kevin will handle it as professionally as he always does. I love you and I thank you for everything. With love and respect, William”
“Oh, William, …” Nora whispers. “… you never failed me. I was waiting for you to tell me this. I knew how you felt. I’m the one who failed you. I should have let you go to Scotty. I should have given you the opportunity to do what you needed to do. I should have given you permission to break your promise…. But I was too selfish…”
Feeling like she can finally do this with a clear had, she looks through the others letters that are in the envelope. All William had wanted. For Café 429. For Ojai Foods. For Nora herself. For Scotty. For The children. She slowly nods and she grabs her purse to take out a little piece of paper.
She dials. This time there’s no message but someone picks up.
“Scotty Wandell…” He sounds so sad on the phone and Nora takes a deep breath.
“Scotty? This is Nora. We need to talk. Just you and me. Someplace neutral. Do you know the Northern Light?”
“Can you be there tomorrow? At around four?”
“Fine… I’ll be there too. Let’s settle this. Once and for all.”
END OF CHAPTER SIX