CHAPTER FIVE - HOME OF OUR OWN
When Aidan opened his eyes and he looked over at his mother. Anna’s mouth was open and her eyes were staring widely at her father like she truly did not know him.
“Aidan, Sarah, I have to talk to your grandfather alone for a minute,” Anna said, her lips white. “Go around to the backyard.”
“There’s nothing more to discuss, girl. I told you plain that you were not welcome here,” Grandfather Patrick said, his brow furrowing. “You’d best just go.”
Sarah whimpered and tucked her head against Aidan’s side. Aidan now knew what his mother had done in her desperation. This was worse than he’d feared. She knew how much he hated me. How he’d be. But she brought us here anyway.
The strength in his mother’s voice shocked him as she said, “Dad, we did talk about this. And I explained that Mom left the house to me, not you. I let you live here, remember?”
Aidan’s mouth opened in surprise. His mother owned a house? His mother? Real estate? What the hell?
High spots of color appeared on Grandfather Patrick’s already ruddy cheeks. “She was my wife for thirty years. This house was – ”
“In her family for longer than that. And she wanted to ensure it stayed in the family, Dad. So she left it to me,” Anna stressed.
Aidan almost didn't recognize his mother at that moment: the firm set of her mouth, the squaring of her shoulders, and the narrowing of her eyes. Though normally a pushover, Anna seemed almost fierce.
“The will is crystal clear. The house is mine and we’ve come to live in it,” Anna announced. “So you can either like it or – or leave.”
Grandfather Patrick’s mouth opened and shut convulsively. His face purpled with rage. He made a strangled sound before he finally managed to spit out, “You and what army are going get me out of here?”
Anna gave a harsh bark of laughter. “Me and Sheriff Labute. You know he’s not terribly fond of you or the Clan. I gave him a call to let him know we were coming and that there might be trouble. I think he’s actually hoping that you’ll put up a fight just so he can truck your sorry ass off.”
Grandfather Patrick swallowed, his lizard eyes focusing on Aidan. Sarah pressed tighter to his side when she felt Patrick’s gaze sweep over her, too. Aidan struggled not to shrink away again as those pitiless blue eyes met his. Instead, he gave Patrick a faint challenging smile and his grandfather’s color deepened even more.
Finally, Patrick said, “Perhaps the children should go elsewhere while we talk.”
“Yes, that would be best,” Anna said, the slightest tremor in her voice. “Aidan, I seem to remember there being a nice bit of grass out back where you could play Frisbee with Sarah.”
“Mom, I should be here with you – ”
“No need, honey. Your grandfather and I will work this out. Please, take care of your sister,” Anna said, and though her voice was strong, her eyes pleaded with him to obey.
Sarah then gave out another little whimper and the decision was made for him. He had to get his little sister away from this. Aidan swiftly leaned through the open car window to snag the day-glo orange disc that was wedged between two cartons of knickknacks, then he grasped Sarah by the hand and they started walking around the side of the house towards the rear. He could sense his grandfather’s angry eyes on his back. He refused to look back to see if the old man was indeed staring after him.