Chapter 4

“Dad’s looking for you two,” Stevie told them as they came in the door. “He’s not too pleased either.”

“Figured as much,” Brian rejoined taking his clothes from Lenore. “We would have been home before him last night if someone hadn’t have forgotten their part of the deal.”

“What happened to you?” Stevie queried as he watched Brian quickly put his jeans on. “Why were ya only in ya boxers?”

“Because a bunch of fifteen year-old girls swiped my clothes while I was sleeping and hid them on me,” Brian retorted glaring at Lenore again. “They decided to let me join in on their Truth or Dare game without telling me.”

“There you are!” Hank roared coming out of the kitchen. “Where the hell did you two disappear to last night?”

“Katie’s,” Lenore whispered. “I had to give her, her gift.”

“After I told you that you couldn’t go?” Their dad yelled. “You deliberately disobeyed me!” “Dad, I’m sorry,” Lenore responded. “I just wanted to give Katie her gift.”

Turning towards Brian he growled, “What’s your excuse? Did Lenore bat her eyes at you again?”

“Dad, we were only going over to drop the gift off,” Brian retorted ignoring the second question. “We hadn’t planned on staying the whole night; we accidentally fell asleep.”

“You should know better young man!” Hank bellowed. “You have to learn not to give Lenore whatever she wants! She’s not six years-old anymore Brian!”

“You think I don’t know that!” Brian hollered. “I don’t give her everything she wants!”

“You do, and you know it,” Hank snarled. “You always have, especially after your mother died!”

They were all silent then; thinking about the day they’d found out that she’d been hit by a drunk driver. Not one of them said a word for about five minutes; Stevie who was now in the kitchen, had heard what their father had said and was quietly thinking back to that first week without their mother.

“You two are both grounded for a month!” Hank growled breaking the silence.

“Now go to your rooms this instant!”

With that the two of them quietly climbed the stairs. When they got to the top, Brian stormed into his room; Lenore tried to follow him, so she could try to explain, but he slammed the door in her face. She then ran into her room, threw herself onto her bed and started to cry. She hated it when everyone was mad at her, especially Brian, for she loved him so much. Half an hour later she snuck over to his room and knocked on the door.

“Brian,” She called softly. “Can I come in?”

“Lenore I’m not in the mood right now.” He snapped. “Go back to your room.”

“I…I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry,” Lenore replied. “I’m really, really sorry. I didn’t mean to get you into more trouble.”

“Leave me alone!” Brian rejoined. “Stop apologizing already! I know that you’re sorry; you’re sorry that you got into more trouble!”

“Brian, it’s not like that!” Lenore cried. “I didn’t want you to get into more trouble; I love you too much to purposely get you into trouble.” Brian didn’t reply this time, he just sat there listening to her cry. He knew he was hurting her, but he was still mad at the fact that she’d broken their deal. He knew that their dad was right, he did give her everything that she wanted. He’d been doing it for nine years to both her and Stevie, her especially; he’d been trying to make up for the fact that their mother was gone and that their father was now completely ignoring them.

“Please Brian, forgive me,” Lenore riposted still crying. “I can’t go on like this knowing that you’re mad at me.”

Brian sighed, he knew he was going to regret this later. He then went over and opened his door; he found her sitting on the floor, while leaning against the wall sobbing. He picked her up and carried her into his room, then sat down on the bed with her in his lap. “Shh. It’s okay Lenore, it’s okay,” he said hugging her close. “I’m not really mad at you, I’m mad at dad. It was partly my fault that we ended up staying the night.” Lenore sobbed into his chest, “I’m sorry Bri, I’m really sorry.” “I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too,” He told her, then he kissed the top of her head. “I hate it when we all argue; I know that Stevie and you hate it too.”

“I hate being yelled at,” Lenore admitted. “Especially by you or Stevie; I think we’re all used to getting yelled at by dad.”

“Why especially Stevie and I?” Brian queried. “I always thought that you hated being yelled at by dad more than anything.”

“Dad’s always yelling at Stevie and I lately, even for no reason at all now and then,” she responded. “I’d rather not say why I hate Stevie and you being mad at me.”

“C’mon, ya know that you can tell me anything,” he answered. “Like, hello, Lenore, it’s me, Brian.”

“I know, but this is kinda embarrassing and disgusting,” she riposted. “I’ve already had to tell Katie, Erika, and Kerrie ‘cause we were playin’ Truth or Dare with no chickens.”

“Please?” Brian questioned looking sadly at her with his dreamy blue eyes. “I’d tell you; as it is, I’ve already told you every little detail about me.”

“Well, alright,” Lenore sighed. “I guess I could tell you. Stevie already knows, only ‘cause he found and read my diary.”

“He read your diary?” Brian said. “What a little creep; I’ll deal with him later. Now c’mon, please tell me.”

“Well, I’m…..I’m,” Lenore started suddenly turning a bright red. “I’m in love with you and Stevie.”

“What do you mean?”

“What I feel isn’t just sisterly love; it’s more like a boyfriend, girlfriend kinda love.”

“You love us in that sort of way?” Brian questioned. “Wow, I never would have guessed.”

“Why do you think I very rarely let either one of you outta my sight?” Lenore asked. “Why do you think I’m always tagging along with one of ya?”

“Is that why you didn’t want me to date Leighanne?”

“Yeah, it is. I was kinda jealous and afraid.”

“Afraid of what?”

“Afraid that she might take my favourite brother away from me; that I’d never be able to see you again unless it was on T.V.,” Lenore admitted. “I was afraid she’d make you forget all about me, that you’d suddenly stop loving me. I really don’t wanna lose our relationship Bri.”

“Lenore, no one could ever make me stop loving you,” Brian informed her.. “I could never ever forget about you either, not even for a minute. You’re always on my mind when we’re touring; why do you think I always fly you and Stevie out to some of our shows?”

“I don’t know,” Lenore said. “I thought you only flew us out ‘cause dad told ya too; so he could get us outta his hair.”

“Lenore, I have to practically beg dad to let you guys come,” Brian responded. “He doesn’t like you two flying alone in those planes; he’s always afraid that something bad will happen. I have to promise that I’ll be at the airport when you arrive or else he won’t ever let you two come again.”

“So, that’s why dad always calls and asks us whether or not you were at the airport to pick us up,” Lenore replicated. “He didn’t sound to pleased that one time when A.J. came to get us instead of you; or the time Kevin came, even though he is our cousin.”

“Let’s just say I had to give really good reasons for not being there to pick you up those few times,” Brian informed her. “I had to promise not to let it happen again or else you and Stevie wouldn’t be allowed to come out anymore."

“Jeez, I guess dad does care about Stevie and I after all,” Lenore replicated. “We thought he’d forgotten about us long ago; when the precious little rug-rats came along.”

“Lenore, dad hasn’t stopped loving you two, he just doesn’t know how to express it anymore,” Brian riposted. “I know he expressed his love for us a lot when mom was alive, but it was easier then because we were younger and someone else was here to take care of Jessica and Emily.”

“Are you sure?” Lenore questioned. “I mean, he doesn’t let us do anything anymore, he’s suddenly become this dull and angry person.”

“Lenore, he loves you,” Brian replicated. “Trust me.”

“Uh hmm,” Hank coughed.

Chapter 5