Sibling Rivalry…

“Is he in?” Chris glared into Brent’s secretary’s eyes as he brushed past her desk and headed into Brent’s office, not caring about, nor waiting for her response.

“Ah, yes, but he’s on the phone,” she called after him as she watched wide-eyed as Chris jerked the heavy door open and slammed it behind him.

Brent looked up and saw Chris headed his way. “Harry, let me call you back. Someone just walked in my office. I haven’t seen you in a while,” Brent offered as he placed the receiver back in its cradle.

“Save it, Brent,” Chris huffed. “Just what the hell do you think you were doing going to Kori and telling her to stay away from me?”

“Now Chris, I didn’t tell her to stay away from you. I merely told her we haven’t seen you lately. It’s not like you.”

“Brent, don’t lie to me.”

“I’m not. Maybe you should ask Kori not to lie to you,” Brent answered, reclining in his leather chair and looking at his brother with a smirk.

“She doesn’t have a reason to lie to me.”

“Really? Is that what you believe? Then you must be in much more of a vulnerable state than I thought.”

“You are the most arrogant and self-absorbed person I’ve ever met and it’s hard for me to believe we are even related at times.” Chris could feel his blood boiling in his veins and he had to turn away to keep himself from jumping across the desk and punching Brent. If he had to look at the smug look on his brother’s face any longer he knew he would put his fist through his teeth.

“Me? Self-absorbed? I’m looking out for you.” Chris grit his teeth turning back to watch his brother’s guiltless expression.

“Exactly how is going to Kori and telling her to stay away looking out for me?”

“Chris, you don’t know her. You have no clue what her motives are.”

“No, what I don’t know is what your motives are, Brent? Why do you think I need someone to monitor who I spend time with?”

“You don’t spend time with us anymore. You blow off any type of event we have and I’m starting to believe she’s purposely keeping you away from the people who love you.”

“Why would she do that? What possible reason would Kori have to keep me away from my family when she knows just how much you guys mean to me?”

“I don’t know, you tell me. Maybe she’s working her way into your pockets.” Chris rolled his eyes and shook his head at Brent’s ridiculous explanation. “Hey, there are a lot of women out there who would love to sink their claws into a wealthy man like you. I’m just trying to look out for you.”

“Like you care, Brent. At least Kori genuinely cares about what’s going on with me, which is more than I can say for you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Brent shot back and Chris knew he was starting to rattle his brother’s cage just as much as he was rattling his own.

“It means that while you were too hung up on me coming back to the company, Kori was actually supporting me at the grand opening of my shop. Where were you? Besides Mom and Dad, she’s been the only person that I can talk to and doesn’t judge me for wanting to live my own life.”

“Look Chris, just looking at her, I can see why you are spending so much time with the girl. She’s hot. I mean, I saw the ass on her, I can see what the attraction is. Believe me, I get it, but don’t let the sex go to your head. It can’t be worth you getting hurt again. I’m just looking out for your well-being.”

“You arrogant son of a…” Chris lunged at Brent, grabbed him by the collar and pulled him out of his seat to stare directly in his eyes.

“Hey, what’s going on in here?” Nick’s voice bellowed behind him and Chris felt his father’s arm on his forearm before he could take a swing at Brent. “Chris, let your brother go, what’s gotten into you?”

Chris shoved an amused Brent back into his chair and looked at his father. “Why don’t you ask Brent why he can’t stay out of my life?”

“What is going on?” Nick inquired again as Chris stepped back and clenched his hands into fists. If his father hadn’t intervened, he knew his knuckles would have been bloody from knocking out every pearly white Brent had. “We hardly see you anymore or hear from you and now when we do, you are in here slamming doors and attacking your brother.”

“Don’t you ever go near her again,” Chris fired off at Brent before turning to his father. “Keep him away from me,” Chris snarled, glaring at his father before stalking out of the office.

“Chris!” Nick called as he watched Chris’ retreating figure storm out of the office, “You mind telling me what that was all about?” Nick turned towards his oldest who was straightening his collar and tie.

“Oh, ‘Golden Boy’ is just sensitive all of a sudden.”

“Oh really? Looks to me like he was ready to take your head off. What did you say to him, Brent?”

“Nothing, Dad. It’s nothing,” Brent chuckled, looking at his father’s disapproving scowl. “I’m serious; it’s really nothing but a misunderstanding. You know how Chris is.”

“Yeah and I know how you are. I don’t like you two fighting, you know that.”

“I know, Dad. Like I said, it’s just a misunderstanding.”

***

Family ties are strong, but sometimes the bonds can be broken. Get to know the Carlisle family and the secrets that threaten to tear their world apart. Lest We Aren’t Forgiven is on sale now. Grab your e-copy for only $0.99 USD. Prices outside the US are sale priced, but may vary.

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