Malcolm tossed Omar the ball. “Do you know anything about him?”
“I can’t get Dad to tell me anything.” He launched the ball and sank a three-point shot. “It’s bugging the hell out of me. All I keep thinking is this guy is going to come in and try to take over.”
“As CEO, you’ll still have the last word, so he can’t really take over,” Justin offered.
Both nodded and Omar said, “Morgan asked me to be there, and whatever my baby wants, she gets. And I agree with Justin. You’re just going to have to learn how to be a team player.”
Malcolm burst out laughing. “Now that I’d like to see. Brandon has always run solo in everything, even when he wasn’t the boss. Khalil, remember when he worked inventory back in high school that summer?”
“Yeah. Somehow, he had everyone playing to his tune, the supervisor included. And growing up, whenever we played a game, he had to be the one who set the rules.”
Brandon glared. “Are you two done?” Listening to them brought back the argument he’d had with Faith. She had said some of the same things.
“Are we lying?” Malcolm asked.
No, they weren’t, but that wasn’t the point. And he didn’t have to justify his actions to them. Both of his brothers had chosen careers outside of the company and had no interest in working there now or in the future, so they couldn’t understand how hard Brandon had worked to prove himself to their father.
“Guess that’s a no,” Khalil said. “Enough of that. I want to go back to this mystery woman. If it’s serious, why haven’t you introduced her?”
“I never said it was serious. You did.” He had wanted her to meet his family yesterday and she’d quickly turned him down. He was still puzzled by her response.
Omar passed the ball to Justin and said to Brandon, “I’m assuming this is the same woman from the accident.”
“A word of advice, my brother. If she’s got you tied up like this, she might the one. Don’t let her get away.”
“Duly noted, Drummond.”
They played for another hour, then called it a day. Malcolm and Khalil had other plans, but Brandon joined Omar and Justin for lunch at Omar’s parents’ restaurant, Miriam’s Place, named after his mother.
Once they were settled and the server had taken their order, Justin said, “So, you’re in love with Faith.”
Brandon didn’t know how to answer. Love was never an emotion he could rightfully say ever played a part in his past relationships. Lust, yes, but never love. But what he felt for Faith went well beyond just the physical. “I think so.”
Omar chuckled. “You think so? If you plan to stake your claim on this woman, you’d better know if you are.”
He leaned back in his chair and ran a hand over his head. “Yeah, I am.”
Justin folded his arms. “Does she know?”
He thought back to last night when they were making love. He’d told her several things about how he felt, but fear had kept him from uttering those three little words. “I didn’t actually say those words, but…” He trailed off when both Omar and Justin laughed. “What?”
Justin leaned forward and braced his clasped hands on the table. “Brandon, if you love her, you need to tell her.”
“And not just beat around the bush,” Omar added. “Don’t be afraid to say those magic words. She needs to know you’re serious.”
Brandon considered their advice. Both seemed to be very happy with their wives. In fact, he couldn’t recall a time when either man wasn’t smiling.
“Do you plan to see her sometime soon? I assume it’s Faith, the woman from the accident.”
“Yes, it’s Faith, and I’m going over to her hotel after I leave here.”
The server returned with their meals and Justin said with a knowing smile, “You can always take that to go.”
He thought about it briefly and decided to wait. “There’s no rush. I mean since the food is here.” He recited a short blessing and picked up his fork. Besides, he needed a little more time to work up the courage to be able to get those words out. It would be the first time he said them to a woman and he prayed it didn’t backfire.