Chapter 4 - The Adopted Brother


Seeing my Dee again had me on cloud nine. I had completely forgotten that Alicia was with me once I laid eyes on my baby. She was mine; she just didn’t know it yet. I had let her run away five years ago, but I won’t let her this time around. No matter the talks of her being engaged to that douchebag, good for nothing Nicolas Patterson, or the fact that I’m her adopted brother, she’s mine. Always have been and always will be.

Looking at her drive away, I was already planning ways to get her to accept and acknowledge that she felt the same way about me as I did for her. It was obvious that she was putting up her walls around me and distancing herself and that fact alone was enough to confirm that she still had feelings for me.

“Are you serious right now? For god’s sake, she’s your f**king adopted sister?”

“Alicia, I’d advise you to watch your mouth.”

“Why should I? You’re my boyfriend but all you can talk about is her. You look at her as if she’s the sun and the moon, yet don’t even bother with me.”

“Do you want to find your own way home or are you going to shut the f**k up and get in the car?”

I don’t know why she acts like our relationship is anything more than a business transaction. It’s no secret that the only reason we started dating four years ago was due to her father needing a bailout and me needing a well-known family as a partner to debut my ascension as the new CEO of St. Claire’s Inc.

The relationship was only a cover-up, so no one outside of both families would suspect anything. Since I was adopted into the St. Claire's. Many people opposed Pa giving me the family business and refused to partner with me until I proved my worth. It didn’t help that Dee got up and moved, giving away all her rights to the family business.

Since no one had any idea what her end game was, outsiders all assumed that it was due to her opposing me having anything to do with the family business and even the family itself. Pa and Ma came up with the idea of using the Montgomery’s. They were already sinking but only a handful of people were aware of their financial dilemmas. Since they were still in the top five families in the business world in Florida and had remained family friends, my parents estimated that having them on board would heighten my position.

The plan was flawless, at least that’s what we thought. The Montgomery’s added their daughter as a package deal. Date her for a year or so just to calm any suspicion, but no one expected that soon as we signed the deal, a few hours before we released the press conference, that Dee would have become my biggest investor. Nor did anyone could have guessed that within the first year she disappeared, it would be announced and publicized that she would become Forbes top 5 richest under 30 only a few hours before my debut.

In the end, partnering with the Montgomery’s was useless. Soon as the news about Dee was out, I was overwhelmed with partners and contract proposals. It was so bad that Pa had to come out of retirement for more than six months to help me out. But since I’m a man of my word, I abide by the contract with the Montgomery’s, including dating their daughter. One year turned four and now I can’t seem to get rid of her.

“Jaylen, did you hear what I just said?”

“Nah, wasup?”

“Nothing, can you drop me off at my parents'?”

I nodded and kept driving. I knew what Alicia was up to, it’s the same thing she’s been up to the past three years. Go home to mommy and daddy, complain, and get them to call and beg me to stay with her, even if it’s for the sake of convenience. After a year it stopped being for my convenience but solely for hers and her family. But this time no amount of begging was going to get me to change my mind.

Thinking about the fact that my baby was finally home, I was more than happy to drop Alicia off. These five years have been hell without her. She refused to talk to me on the phone, always coming up with an excuse as to why she couldn’t talk and barely text me. I had to resolve into harassing ma for information and stalking the webs to find out what she’s been up to.

There was plenty of time I planned on running after and confronting her, but then a news article would come up about all her good deeds, her accomplishments, and so forth that would cause me to let her be. As much as I had wanted to be a part of her life, a part of her accomplishments, I knew I couldn’t be selfish. I was willing to settle for rooting for her on the sidelines, but seeing her all grown up today made me realize I couldn’t any longer.

Absentmindedly, I dropped Alicia off at the Montgomery estate. I know Dee said she had errands to run before going home but I couldn’t wait to get home and see her. Hopefully, the whole errand thing was a lie to get away from Alicia and me. In less than fifteen minutes, I was in my parents’ driveway rushing out of the car.

Noticing her rental wasn’t there, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. What if she decides to get a hotel or stay at some unknown friend's house again? It’s not like she can avoid me for the next two weeks, but what if she decides not to stay with our parents for the time being?

“Boy, are you just going to stand out here like a lost puppy, or are you going to come in and help me finish this barbecue?”