Never Too Far (Chapter 17)
"Do you not remember what I asked you the other day, Nan?" I snarled once Blaire and her cart were out of sight.
"You were being pathetic. I was trying to help you not look like a lovesick loser."
I turned around and stalked toward her. She was pushing me. I'd never had that all consuming rage most brothers have to physically harm their sisters when we were younger. But right now I was experiencing it.
Grant stepped in front of me putting a barrier between us. "Whoa. You need to back off and calm down."
I shifted my glare from Nan to Grant. What the fuck was he doing? He hated Nan. "Move. This is between me and my sister," I reminded him. He'd never claimed her before. Even when his father had been married to our mother he'd made sure we all understood he hated Nan. There had never been even a remote sibling attachment between those two.
"And you're gonna have to go through me to get to your sister," Grant replied taking a step in my direction. "'Cause right now you aren't thinking about anyone's feelings but Blaire's. Remember how Blaire's presence affects Nan. You cared about that once."
What the fuck! Was I hallucinating? When did Grant start defending Nan? "I know exactly how Blaire affects Nan. But what I'm trying to get through to her is that nothing was Blaire's fault. Nan has hated the wrong person for so damn long she can't let go. What the hell is wrong with you anyway? You already knew this! You were the one who championed Blaire when she first showed up here. You never believed this was her fault. You saw her innocence in this from the beginning."
Grant shifted uncomfortably and then glanced back at Nan whose eyes had gone as round as saucers. "You made her weak, Rush. All her life you protected her. She relied on you. Then you go and drop her and focus all your attention on Blaire and expect Nan to be okay. She may be an adult but she has been so codependent on you her whole life she doesn't know any other way. If you weren't so damn focused on getting Blaire back you'd see this."
I shoved Grant out of my way and leveled my gaze on my sister. I didn't need this lecture from him even if there was some truth to it. Deep down I was pleased that these two had finally found common ground. Maybe Grant cared for her afterall. We had lived in the same house for years. We'd been neglected together.
"I love you, Nan. You know that. But you can't ask me to choose. It's not fair."
Nan put both her hands on her hips. It was her defiant position. "You can't love us both. I'll never accept her. She held a gun on me, Rush! You saw her. She's insane. She was going to shoot me. How can you love her and love me? That makes no sense."
"She would have never shot you. She held a gun on Grant too. He got over it. And yes I can love you both. I love you differently."
Nan shifted her gaze to Grant and gave him a sad smile. That was even weirder. "He won't listen to me, Grant. I give up. He is choosing his love for her over me and my feelings."
"Nan, just listen to him. Come on. He has a point," Grant told her in a gentle tone I'd never heard him use with her. I was in the fucking Twilight Zone.
Nan stomped her foot. "No. I hate her. I can't stand to look at her. She is hurting him now and I hate her more for it," Nan screamed. I glanced around to see if anyone had heard her and saw Woods walking toward us. Shit.
Grant turned and followed my gaze. "Ah, hell," he muttered.
Woods stopped in front of us and looked from Nan, to Grant and then to me. "I overheard enough to know what this conversation is about," he said, keeping his focus locked on me. "Let me make myself very clear. We've all been friends most of our lives. I know the dynamic of your family." He shifted his gaze to Nan with a disgusted snarl of his lip then back to me. "If anyone has a problem with Blaire then they need to take it up with me. She has a job here as long as she wants one. The three of you may not like it but I personally don't give a flying fuck. So get over it. She doesn't need this shit right now. Back off. Are we understood?"
I studied him. What did he mean and why was he acting as Blaire's protector? I didn't like it. My blood started to boil and I fisted my hands at my sides. Did he think he could make his move now? Show up when she was weak and be the hero? Hell no. That wasn't happening. Blaire was mine.
Woods didn't wait for a response. He stalked off instead.
"Looks like you have competition," Nan drawled.
Grant walked over to her and put her behind him again. "That's enough, Nan," he whispered then he looked over at me.
I was done with this. I couldn't deal with the two of them right now. I threw my club down and went after Woods.
He either heard me or felt the anger rolling off me because he stopped just before he reached the clubhouse and turned around to look at me. One of his eyebrows shot up as if he were amused. That just pissed me off more.
"We both want the same thing. Why don't you take a few deep breaths and calm down?" Woods said as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"You stay away from her. Do you hear me? Back the fuck off. Blaire loves me; she's just confused and hurt. She's also very vulnerable. So help me God, if you even think you're going to take advantage of her current state I will beat the shit out of you."
Woods tilted his head to the side and frowned. He wasn't very affected by my warning. Maybe I needed to make him affected. "I know you love her. I've never seen you act this crazed in your life. I get that. But Nan hates her. If you love Blaire then protect her from the venom that is dripping from your sister's fangs. Or I will."
I felt like he'd slapped me in the face. Before I could respond, he opened the door behind him and went inside. I stared at the closed door for several minutes before moving. I was going to lose one of them. I loved my sister but over time she'd forgive me. I could lose Blaire forever. I wasn't going to allow that to happen.