Brandon should have been happy. She’d given him what he wanted, but somehow it felt hollow. Faith avoided looking at him for the remainder of the meeting and, when it was over, his family was quick to welcome her. Seeing her standing next to Uncle Thad, Brandon realized she looked a lot like him. Throughout the entire time, she never turned his way.
After Faith and Uncle Thad left, Justin came over to Brandon. “Is there a coincidence that the woman you helped at the crash and this woman have the same name?”
“Well, at least she’s not taking the job. Siobhan said you’d rather run the company alone. Although I can’t understand how you’d mind seeing her at the office every day.”
His father interrupted. “Faith is part of our family and will make a wonderful addition to the company with her background. And though she mentioned not taking the VP position, I’m hoping to convince her otherwise. Thank you for making her feel welcome. Your mother and I will be joining Thad and Faith for lunch. I’ll be back this afternoon.” His mom waved as they left, leaving Brandon, his siblings and in-laws alone.
Siobhan was in Brandon’s face before the door closed good. “You were pretty rude to Faith. I know you think you should run the company alone, but you’re going to have to get used to having her here.”
“Unfortunately, Brandon’s problems with Faith extend beyond the boardroom,” Khalil said.
All eyes turned Brandon’s way and Malcolm threw up his hands. “Good grief. What now?”
While they all looked on, Brandon told them how he met Faith, about their growing relationship and the blowout.
“And as usual, you jammed both feet in your mouth before a signal went to your brain,” Morgan drawled. She shook her head. “I swear, Brandon, after all the trouble your mouth has gotten you in over the past three decades, you should have learned to think at least once before opening your big mouth.”
Brandon didn’t like having his shortcomings put on full blast, especially by his baby sister, who used to think he walked on water. He stood. “I’m going to my office.”
Khalil followed suit. “Whatever. But you need to fix this. I’m going back to the gym.”
He didn’t know how to fix it, or if he even wanted to.
By Thursday, Brandon was as close to miserable as he had ever been. His concentration was shot and he hadn’t gotten one thing done since arriving at six thirty that morning and it was eleven now. He got up and paced the confines of his office. Had he been unfair? He replayed the last conversation between him and Faith and kept seeing the hurt and anger in her eyes. He scrubbed a frustrated hand down his face. Brandon didn’t know what he expected after he ended the relationship, but it wasn’t her agreeing and showing him the door. Usually, there were tears, questions and, once, begging. But not Faith. He thought he could dismiss her just as easily as the others, but she had stolen his heart without even trying. He loved her and wanted her.
Brandon rounded the desk and dropped down in his chair. He couldn’t eat, sleep, and his siblings were all mad at him. But what tore at him more than anything was hearing her give up her inheritance, what was rightfully hers because of him. He’d been selfish and felt lower than dirt. He had to talk to her. Picking up the phone, he started to dial, but hung up. This had to been done face-to-face. He rotated toward his computer and brought up his schedule for the afternoon. He had a meeting at two, which left him plenty of time to run by the hotel. He stopped by his dad’s office to let him know he was leaving.
His father looked up from the paper in his hand. “Sure.”
Brandon came fully into the office and propped a hip on the desk. “I need to go out for a bit. I’ll be back for the meeting with Marketing at two.”
“That’s fine. Oh, and don’t think I didn’t notice you at the meeting on Tuesday. I’m expecting you to do whatever it takes to make Faith feel welcome here. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, but I fully expect for you two to be straightened out by the retirement party.”
His father gave Brandon a meaningful look and Brandon knew he was talking about more than the job. “I’m going to try, Dad. Thanks.”