Never Too Far (Chapter 11)
I knocked once before opening the door to Nan's condo and walking in. Her car was parked outside. I knew she was here. I just wanted to make sure she knew I was here. I'd made the mistake once of not knocking and had seen my little sister straddling a guy's lap.I had wanted to pour bleach in my eyes and brain after that experience.
"Nan, it's me. We need to talk." I called out then closed the door behind me. I stepped into the living room and the sound of more than one hushed voice and footsteps coming from the master bedroom almost made me turn around and leave. But I wasn't going to. This was more important. Her sleepover guest needed to go on home now anyway. It was after eleven.
Her bedroom door opened and closed. Interesting. Whoever was here was staying. We'd need to step outside on the balcony to talk. I wasn't discussing Blaire in front of anyone else. I probably knew the guy in that room. It would be the only reason she would keep him hidden in there.
"Ever heard of calling before you come over?" Nan snapped as she walked into the living room dressed in a short silk wrap. She looked more and more like our mother the older she got.
"It's almost lunch, Nan. You can't keep the man in bed all day," I replied and opened the doors that led out onto the balcony overlooking the gulf. "I need to talk to you and I don't want to do it where your bedroom buddy can hear us."
Nan rolled her eyes and stepped outside. "I find it odd that I've been trying to get you to talk to me for weeks and now that you want to talk you come barging over like I have no life. At least I call you first." She was starting to sound like our mother too.
"I own this condo, Nan. I can come in any damn time I want to," I reminded her. She would be leaving here in mid August to head back to her sorority house and her still undecided major. College was a social function for her. She knew I'd pay her bills and tuition. I'd always taken care of everything for her.
"Snarky much. What is this about? I haven't had my coffee yet." She also wasn't afraid of me. I didn't want her to be but it was time she grew up. I wasn't going to let her send Blaire running. In a month, Nan would be gone. Normally I would be too. Not this year. I'd be keeping my residence at Rosemary. Mother would have to pick another location. She wasn't going to have this house free for the rest of the year.
"Blaire is back," I told her bluntly. I'd had time to see things from another angle. I didn't feel like Nan was the victim in this any longer. As a child she was but then so was Blaire. Nan tensed as her eyes flashed with the hate that belonged at her father's feet instead of on Blaire. "Don't say anything. Let me speak first or I'll go escort your sleepover friend from my condo. I hold the power here Nan. Our mother has nothing. I support you both. I've never asked you for anything. Ever. But right now I'm going to ask… no, I'm going to demand you listen to me and you follow my terms."
Nan's anger had faded and now the spoiled brat was there looking back at me. She didn't like being told what to do. I couldn't blame my mother for her behavior, not entirely. I did this too. Overcompensation had ruined Nan.
"I hate her," she seethed.
"I said to listen to me. Don't assume I'm bluffing Nan. Because this time you've fucked with something I care about. This affects me, so listen and shut the hell up."
Her eyes went round from shock. I was sure I'd never spoken to her that way. I was even a little surprised myself. Hearing the hate in her voice directed at Blaire had set me off.
"Blaire is staying with Bethy. Woods has given Blaire her job back. She has nothing in Alabama. She has no one. The father the two of you share is worthless. To her he might as well be dead. She's back to find out where she fits and what to do next. She was doing that before but when the truth came out it sent her world crumbling so she ran. It's a fucking miracle she's back here. I want her back here, Nan. You may not want to hear this but I love her. I will stop at nothing to make sure she's safe. She is secure and no one and I do mean no one, not even my sister, makes her feel unwanted. You leave soon. You can keep your misplaced hate if you want to but one day I hope you grow up enough to realize there is only one person to hate here."
Nan sank down onto one of the lounge chairs she kept out here to lay out and read books. I loved her too. I'd been protecting her all my life. Telling her this and threatening her was hard but I couldn't let her hurt Blaire any longer. I had to stop this. Blaire would never give me another chance as long as Nan was tormenting her life.
"So you're choosing her over me," Nan whispered.
"This isn't a contest Nan. Stop acting like it is. You've got the dad. She lost him. You won. Now let it go."
Nan lifted her eyes and tears were clinging to her eyelashes. "She's made you hate me."
Damn fucking drama. Nan lived a soap opera in her head. "Nan, listen to me. I love you. You're my little sister. No one can change that. But I am in love with Blaire. It may be a major hitch in your plans to conquer and destroy but baby, it is time you let your daddy issues go. Three years ago he came back. I need you to put this behind you."
"What about family first?" She choked out.
"Don't go there. You and I both know I've put you first all my life. You needed me and I was there. But we are adults now, Nan."
She wiped the tears that had leaked out of her eyes and stood back up. I could never tell if her tears were real or fake. She could turn them on and off at whim. "Fine. Maybe I'll go back to school early. You don't want me here anyway. You've chosen her."
"I'll always want you around, Nan. But this time I want you to play nice. Think about someone else for a change. You have a heart. I've seen it. Now it is time to use it."
Nan's spine stiffened. "If we're done here could you please leave your condo?"
I nodded. "Yeah I'm done," I replied and walked back inside. Without another word I headed out the front door. Time would now tell if I had to follow through on my threats to teach my sister a lesson. I really hoped I didn't.