Loan Some

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Vote by March 10, 2014!

In the previous episode, readers voted that during her stupor after taking a golf club to the head, Vera called her father and he had attempted to call back.

Episode 26

Under the “Missed Call” message on her phone, it was her father’s number. Vera couldn’t believe she had called her father. Had she talked to him? Why did he call her back and not leave a message?

“What’s the matter?” Cole said.

“I called my father and have no recollection of what I told him.”

Cole let out a sigh, and ruffled his hair with his fingers.

“You make my job so challenging.”

Before Cole could finish his thought and probably scold Vera for her recklessness, the door opened from outside, and Charlie, Betsey, Owen, and Richard came frolicking in.

“Denise,” said Betsey. “Looks like you’re doing better.”

Vera removed the ice pack from her head to reveal the lump Charlie and Owen’s club fight had left behind.

“Have a bit of a goose egg, though.” Richard tilted his head to the side in the same manner people ask, “How are you?” when they know the answer is bad.

Owen took a look at Vera, and then jumped back as if he saw a ghost.

“Will some makeup cover that?” he said.

“Who won the game?” said Vera, putting the ice pack back on her head and attempting to deflect the conversation.

“Mom did,” said Charlie. “She always wins.”

“I always win.” Betsey lips slivered into a Mona Lisa-esque smile. “Better get going, though. Rehearsal dinner.”

The Staley family headed out toward the limo, but Betsey lingered behind to watch Cole and Vera. After Vera gingerly stood up from the couch with her ice pack at her side, she and Cole held an eye lock of frustration and exhaustion. Cole kissed his fingers, and then placed the spot he had kissed on his hand on her head bump as a sign of friendly affection.

Betsey made a mental snapshot.

***

Back at the hotel, Vera got ready for the rehearsal dinner alone. While looking in the bathroom mirror, she attempted to cover up the bump on her head with mineral foundation and concealer. Nothing was working. In fact, it made her look worse.

She heard the door shut. Owen must have been back. Soon, she felt a presence standing in the bathroom doorway. She turned to it and let out a gasp. Owen was staring at her.

“Why are you standing there like that?” she said.

“Oh, I just had a conversation with my mother.” There was a tone of sarcasm in his voice.

Vera waited for him to continue, but he didn’t.

“And?”

“And she told me that clearly the woman I am with is in love with her brother.”

Vera dropped the foundation container in the bathroom sink.

“Excuse me?”

“She thinks you and ‘Kevin’ are in love. Which, if you are, I don’t care. But knock it off. I hired you to be all over me this weekend. Not anyone else.” Owen exited the doorway, heading toward his bedroom so he could get dressed.

“I’m not in love with Kevin,” she said, following him.  

With his back facing her, Owen turned around and gave her a condescending stare.

“I’m not.”

“But something’s going on. She pointed out that any time I try to get close to you, you pull away. And she’s right. So stop it.”

“For one thing,” Vera started. “You are always trying to grope me, so could you knock off all the horseplay?” As soon as “horseplay” came out of her mouth, she felt like a million years old. Her face scrunched in self-disgust.

“You will recall you’re mine this week.”

“I realize that. But I’m not your prostitute.”

They stood facing each other. Owen’s arm slowly became erect, reaching for her butt. Vera gave him a look of “oh no you don’t,” and he started to chase her in a small circle, with the goal of touching her behind.

“Stop it,” said Vera. “I’m your sister.” She just blurted it out.

Owen stopped, his face severely sobered.

“What did you say?”

“I said, ‘I’m your sister.’” She said it quieter this time, almost as if she were ashamed, which after that little almost-rape chase, she kind of was.

“What are you talking about?” His eyes squinted with intrigue.

“Your mother, Betsey. She’s my mother, too. We have different fathers. I’m your half-sister.”

Vera felt like her heart was beating through her shirt. She had finally said it. Each thump of her heart-felt like a thousand seconds waiting for any kind of reaction from Owen.

 

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