It turned out that Kyle didn’t need to spend money for the flight to Chicago.
Apparently, Jason had made plans out of the blue to travel to Seattle, to open up a new firm.
I had just hung up from a phone call with Anabelle, telling her about the trip Kyle and I were going to make. Although she was ecstatic that Kyle and Jason were finally going to meet after eight years. I could tell there was nervousness in her voice. Hell, I was freaking out too.
The ironic thing about the whole trip was how Kyle seemed calm about everything. Even after packing for the journey, getting into his car and driving out of Portland, he remained silent and collected.
The drive took about four hours. Four hours of awkward silences that were barely saved by the music on the radio. When we finally reached Seattle, it was evening. Kyle parked his car in front of the hotel Annabelle had mentioned they were staying at. It looked insanely expensive like one of those elite hotels where you only found the rich and powerful. A valet was ready to take Kyle’s car for parking the minute we got out with our luggage.
At the receptionist, we were handed the keys to the room Annabelle had booked for us. It was a suite and again she’d used the company money. It seemed Jason Reyes trusted her for him to entrust her with such money. However, there weren’t any complaints in my part once I saw how amazing the room was.
It had two bedrooms each with their own impressive respective bathrooms, a living lounge with a huge sofa facing toward one hell of a plasma TV. And the balcony overlooking a great Seattle view.
“Damn.” Kyle voiced out my sentiment as he appraised the place.
I darted toward the balcony and admired the stunning view. I felt the presence of Kyle next to me before he could say anything. I waited for that initial burst of conversation but he was like a statue beside me.
Biting my lip, I turned to face him only for him to startle at my actions, looking as if he’d been caught doing something he was not meant to do.
I intended to ask him how he was feeling so far, however before I could speak a knock at the door rapt loudly, obliterating my attempt. I left Kyle at the balcony to open the door. Whether he followed me or not, I wasn’t sure as I disappeared in the hallway.
Upon opening the door, Anabelle poked her head through and when she saw me she instantly pulled me into a hug.
“It’s great to see you again Keya.” She said, releasing me.
I welcomed her presence because it saved me being alone with Kyle in a hotel room. I couldn’t ignore the knot that has been twirling in my stomach since we stepped into the room. My heart was yet to calm down from its lamentations.
“Hello, Kyle.” She stepped out of the hallway into the living room to greet Kyle whom stood near the balcony door looking somewhat frazzled by her presence.
Anabelle took three strides to meet him with a hand strutted out for a handshake. “I’m Anabelle, your brother’s personal assistant and friend.”
“I heard.” He took her offering hand, the tone of his voice indicating restraint.
Anabelle beamed at him for a long time before she spoke again. “It’s great to finally meet you, I’ve heard a lot you about from your brother.”
Kyle didn’t relax at her warmness in fact he seemed more unobtrusive and wary of her. Anabelle was ignorant of this when she continued explaining who she was and the brief description about Jason Reyes background as CEO.
My phone had rung at that moment and taking the advantage to leave them to acquaint themselves I left for the balcony to take the call.
It was Kelly.
“Just checking up on you guys. Did you get there safely?”
“Yes, we are in the hotel room now.”
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“That’s good. I hope it all works out Key, Kyle needs you to be there for him more than anything right now despite you know…your break up.” She told me.
I sighed. “I know mom. I know.”
“Okay, be safe.”
“Send my love to Kyle.”
“Okay, mom. Love, you.”
“Love you too Poodles. See you in three days.”
I hung up and turned for the living room. They were now sitting on the sofa. Kyle’s eyes rigid on his clasped hands, while Anabelle still bore that gleam of adoration for him.
When I made my presence known, Kyle sprung up.
“My mom was checking on us.” I explained holding the phone up even though I knew an explanation was not needed.
“I was just asking Kyle if it would be okay to go for dinner now. Jason will be joining us.” Anabelle said.
My eyes darted to Kyle my eyebrow shooting up in question whether he was mentally prepared for what was to come. External he wore that calm and collected expression but I knew deep down how nervous he must be. So, I strode over to him and took his hand. I couldn’t ignore the sigh of relief I felt emanating from him in response to my touch.
“Good?” I asked.
He nodded in reassurance. “Good.”
We followed Anabelle downstairs to the exquisite hotel restaurant that screamed five stars. The waiter serving us lead us to a booth at the corner and I was still a ball of nervousness as I sat down with Kyle scooting over next to me, while Anabelle sat opposite us.
She was still chatting to us until her phone rang. As she answered it, I turned to Kyle.
“You okay?” I asked him.
He had his arms over the table his hands clasped together while fiddling his thumb.
“No.” He told me truthful, his green eyes paling on me. “I wasn’t earlier but now that it’s actually happening.” He took a nervous breath.
“Guys,” Anabelle called.
We both looked toward her.
She had her lips pressed together as if in annoyance. “He’s cancelled dinner.”
Kyle froze next to me, his hands clenching. He stood up from the booth.
“No…please it’s my fault.” Anabelle grabbed his arm and he flinched, yanking his arm away.
“Gosh I’m so stupid. It’s not because he doesn’t want to see you…I didn’t tell him.” She was flustered in panic.
I tried not to glare at her as I got up too and took Kyle’s fisted hand upon my own. I felt him relax a tiny bit. Somehow my hand entwined with his gave him the strength to say, “We are leaving,” in a clipped dismissal tone.
Kyle began unintentionally hauling me away from her. I looked back at her, my eyes and mouth telling her not to follow us. We exited the restaurant, heading toward the foyer when Kyle stopped dead in his tracks suddenly, making me bump against him.
I stared in confusion at him and then my eyes followed where he was glaring at. I gasped. Standing two feet from us, in a frozen stance similar to Kyle was none other than Jason Reyes, adorned in grey suit and holding a briefcase just like any businessman.
His stunned expression was unfailing and I felt Kyle’s hand tensing on mine almost cutting off my blood circulation.
“Kyle?” Jason staggered backwards slightly.
Kyle was frigid beside me, the air iced with tension and the only thing audible was Kyle’s rapid breathing. I could tell from his stance that he was in turmoil within himself. He was trying to decide whether to stay rooted where he was or flee from the situation.
“Jason.” Kyle’s voice broke the silence.
“What…how?” Then looking behind us he scowled. Anabelle appeared from behind us, crossing the distance to stand next to Jason whom was still trying to process the current situation.
“You.” He glared down at Anabelle but she only grinned at him, nodding as if answering his tacit question only the two of them understood. The connection between them was staggering and I watched his scowl wavering at her smile. She affected him just as much as he affected her. At least for her it was not an unrequited love as she had described it to me the first time I had met her.
I turned to Kyle and his eyes were glowering on the floor, as if his confidence had depleted and was unsure how to handle seeing his brother after so many years. I knew deep inside, he was feeling a catapult of emotions; all the pain, hurt he suffered. The betrayal. And that arresting feeling of being unwanted by his family hindering every good thing about his life.
I moved, making him follow me since he still held my hand like a vice and headed toward the stairs of the fire exit. He sat on the fourth step, releasing my hand only for it to join the other and clutching his head that was on his knees.
“Ky?” I kneeled in front of him probing his hands so that I could catch his eyes. When they caught my mine, I gasped. Raw and conflicted. My hand moved to his cheek.
“Ky, I know how hard this is for you right now. But you’ve come so far. Everything right now might seem like it’s going on fast forward motion, but the million thoughts that are telling you you’re unwanted are far from truth.” I wiped the lone tear from his cheek.
For the first time in his life, Kyle began to cry.
I hugged him although the hug was awkward in the position I was in but I never let go of him.
“It’s going to be okay Kyle. Please don’t cry.” I told him, my own voice raw with emotion. I refused to cry. He needed me to his sole strength right now and if I break down too, it would worsen his feelings. The pain he felt doubled over me and I couldn’t bear watching him cry silently as if he couldn’t control the tears streaming down no matter how hard he tried.
I grabbed his face with both hands, my thumbs wiping the last remaining tears and I gave him the best smile I could muster. He tried to return it but failed.
I don’t know what compelled me to do it. It was upon watching how hard he was trying to make himself seem okay that I just couldn’t help it. I kissed him. Chastely but arduously filled with every fibre of emotion I felt for him. He responded quickly grabbing me closer to deepen the kiss but I pulled away instantly before I could lose myself.
It took every urge to pull away from him, I wanted nothing more than to succumb in the kiss and let it take us wherever it leads. But I also wanted to comfort him and I didn’t know any other way. My kiss him told him what he needed to know. That I was still here, wanting him more than anything. The kiss conveyed every feeling I had for him.
He looked conflicted and a little displeased at why I pulled away. I smiled at him, resisting the urge to kiss him again as I stood up offering my hand. He took it, finally able to give me a small smile.
Jason and Anabelle were waiting for us when we emerged. Jason took a step toward us and Kyle faltered taking a step back.
“You can do this. I’m here, right next to you. Always.” I whispered to him.
He took a deep cleansing breath
“I came here for two reason, Jason.” Kyle said in a clear tone, squeezing my hand as if seeking confidence for what he was about to say next. “One, is to hear your side of things and two…” Kyle freed my hand only of his to dig deep in his jean pocket. He produced the envelope now mattered and folded. He took two steps to reach Jason and offered the envelop back to its original owner as he said. “I don’t need this, your money. I’ve been fine on my own for the last eight years without your help.”
Jason stood stunned, mouth slightly agape and eyes adhered down at Kyle’s hand that had the envelope. He looked upward to catch his brother’s eyes and they were at same level, both six-foot-tall giants with similar features, they could practically be twins.
“Kyle.” Jason said, his Adams apple bobbing. His eyes brimming slightly with tears as he took a step closer toward Kyle. “Can’t I at least hug you little bro? It’s been years.”
Kyle froze as Jason closed the distance between them by draping his arms around Kyle in a brief bear hug. I watched helpless at Kyle’s shuddering shoulders as he tried to return the hug. It was too awkward but heartfelt for both parties.
Anabelle was tearing up behind them and she came to stand to me, draping an arm over my waist as we both watched the scene before us. It was the long-awaited reunion she had hoped for and it was finally taking place.
✍️ Authoress Ricky ✍️
To be continued…
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