CHAPTER 33: LEGACY… ONE FORGED
“That was Ted,” Mel informed Brian while watching the laughing little boy in the stroller, who was happily being fed by his father.
“Okay. So what the hell has happened this time?” Brian asked, still trying to coax his son into taking in the mixture on the small spoon. “C’mon, Gus. Open up for Dada. You like bananas, right? And when you’re older, you can play with a whole different kind of banana, but this isn’t it.”
“UGH! Brian! That is just sooooo inappropriate!” Melanie scolded, even as she laughed at the antics of father and son.
“What? It’s the truth… well unless he’s into pussy, and then I’ll get to leave the talk on the care and feeding of that to you.”
“You really are incorrigible, aren’t you? You really have no shame.”
“None. However, I’ve always believed wholeheartedly in education, and that one is never too young to learn. I mean look at Justin, he’s a natural at…”
“That’s enough!” Mel laughed even harder. The more time she spent with Brian Kinney on a personal level, the more she liked him. His irreverent sense of humor was hilarious, probably even moreso because she instinctively knew that he meant every word.
“Oh alright. Gus, always remember that your Mama is a killjoy.”
“I’m not a killjoy. I just prefer to keep Gus innocent as long as I possibly can.”
“And you think that’s possible with us as parents?”
Mel thought about that for a moment. “Well with you as his parent…”
Brian chuckled. “I call bullshit.”
“I’m just saying that now that Lindsay is wherever she is, I’m not the one with two hot women after me.”
“No, just a young stud with a libido that has the potential to surpass the Master if what I heard last night is any indication.”
Brian forced back a smile as an image of Justin riding him hard and fast, his face a mask of unbridled lust, flashed through his mind. Admittedly, Mel had a good understanding of who Justin was beneath that innocent facade he shows the world. Changing the subject, he asks, “So what did Ted say?”
“That Heather is at the hospital, and Em’s child is about to be born.”
“Shit! I thought she wasn’t due for a few more weeks.”
“I know. We were all hoping that we had more time out of Pittsburgh’s orbit, but we promised him that we would be there.”
Brian fell silent for a few moments, not only thinking of the situation with Emmett, but also what was revealed last night while talking to Mendal and Frayda. “Let me call Justin and get his opinion on things. This affects him and the boys, too.”
“What else are you thinking?” Mel asked him, mild concern etched on her face.
Brian decided to be honest with her, since in reality, she was the only other person besides Justin that could really understand the chaos his entire existence was just thrown into. “I’m thinking that if it’s at all possible to get in and out of Pittsburgh undetected, I need to see what was left for me at the bank by Skye Kinney.”
“Then that’s what we’re going to do, Brian.”
“Yes, we’re,” Melanie stated emphatically, before sighing softly. “Brian, she was my grandmother too, regardless of the fact that whatever she’s left for you is solely yours to do with as you please. I can’t help but be more than a little curious about what she had to say before she died. But more than my curiosity eating at me, my thought is that you’re going to need a lawyer. And who do you know that’s better than me, especially now?”
Brian looked at her for a long moment, seeing the wisdom in her words. The bottom line is that Melanie had a right to know; had earned it in ways that had nothing to do with DNA, and everything to do with her proving herself to be in Brian’s corner for the first time in… well, ever! The peace between them was no longer tenuous, it was based on a common goal to see justice served on those who had wronged him and Justin.
Now it was also solidified on mutual respect and protection of the family they were building. Brian, Mel, and Justin were now responsible for three others that were going to be affected by whatever was found at the bank. So Brian figured that it was better to begin as he meant to go on, and that meant having both his sister and his lover by his side. “Okay, you have a point. But I think all of us should go.”
“All of us? As in…”
“You, me, Justin, Daphne, and the boys. This is not just about an inheritance, Mel; it’s about legacy. I can’t explain why I feel that way, just that I do.”
Mel nodded, understanding what Brian meant. This was about so much more than an unknown shared history, it was about making an informed decision together. It was how it should be, since every last one of them had a stake in seeing this new family unit succeed against all odds. But also, by including John and Peter, it’s announcing to the boys that regardless of whatever happens within the court system, they ARE family. “Okay, so let’s pack what we need for a few days, and contact Jennifer and George. If anyone can keep the boys safe, it’s the Schickle-Alwin faction.”
Brian cleaned his hands and pulled out his cell phone, answering Gus’ content coos as he did so. Once again, Melanie was amazed at Brian’s attentiveness to his- their- son. It was a side of Brian Kinney that no one would have ever suspected existed… Well, no one except Justin. It made Melanie wonder what else that young man knew about the enigmatic man before her, and what other revelations awaited as she got to know the man for herself.
“Justin, Daph, and the boys were already on the way back to the hotel room. He’s going to fill Jennifer in on everything while packing for the few days we’ll be away from here. You should probably call Ima and Mendel, just to let them know we’re going to retrieve whatever Skye left for me while we’re there,” Brian advised as he began to pack up the area they had been occupying for the last few hours.
“And with any luck, they will have a direction that we should head in first.”
Brian looked at her from behind Gus’ stroller, as he continued to adjust the sun visor. “I’m counting on it.”
P.A.- SHICKLE ESTATE
“Hey Dad, are you busy?” Frankie asked when her father finally picked up his phone.
“Yes, and no. I’m at the hospital…”
“WHAT?! Are you okay? Who’s there with you?! Oh fuck! Where the hell are my damn keys?! JARED!!!!”
“Frankie, calm down, Girl. And watch your language,” George chuckled. “I thought we broke you out of that foul language habit back when you were five.”
“No. I just learned to hide it better,” she huffed. “But seriously, Dad, are you alright?”
“I am, although Emmett might be ready to pass out just now. Vic and I are with him here at the hospital since he’s about to become a father in a short while.”
“Wait?! What?! I thought that Heather-lady wasn’t due for a few more weeks?”
George outright laughed then. “Honey, children this close to term decide when they are ready to make their appearance, and a calendar be damned. It’s something my own mother used to tell me in reference to my own birth. I arrived two weeks later than what they all thought, which always seemed to drive her nuts. ‘It’s funny that you were born late, Georgie, considering you are always in such a hurry to arrive early everywhere!’ It’s one of the few times I remember her joking about anything,” he told her, becoming just a little wistful at the end of the cherished memory. Although his mother was an innately warm woman, his father’s coldness had frozen her from the inside out. Shaking himself out of that thought, he asked, “So Frankie, what’s so important that you sounded almost frantic when I answered?”
“I found exactly what that… that… woman has been hiding! I had Jared move the paintings out of the way in Virginia’s old rooms so that I could locate the wall safe. And you’ll never believe what I’ve found!”
“Well don’t keep me in suspense, Frankie-girl. What is it?!”
“I can’t tell you; it’s something that you need to… Shit! Dad, I have to go. Jared is having some trouble with none other than the barracuda and her school* at the door.”
“Alright. In the meantime, I’ll call Nathan Mathers, and see if he has time to meet with us here. I have a feeling we could use the legal counsel, and I would rather use someone who already has an idea of what’s going on rather than have to explain all of this from the beginning again. It’s all much too extensive a history to have to go back to the beginning of when all this mess really began. But Frankie… listen, before you go out of that room, take a picture of whatever you’ve found and email it to me right away. I don’t trust Virginia’s motives for being there at this moment when you just found whatever it was you were looking for.”
“Great idea, Dad. Even though I hear Jared running interference for the moment, there’s no telling how long that will last. Plus, Hammond is with Clara and Virginia, so there’s no telling how sneaky he will get in order to distract Jared. Anyway, be on the lookout for the documents in a few minutes. See you soon, and hug Emmett for me.”
Frankie disconnected the call and crossed over to the office door. After peering out of it carefully, she quietly closed the heavy oak and hurriedly clicked the lock in place. As she looked at the documents on heavy parchment paper, she still couldn’t believe all they said. Her father was going to have a shit fit when he read them. But more importantly, Virginia and Joan were going to go all constipated when they found out that all of what Alfred Hammond left to Brian Kinney could be null and void should Brian choose to cut all ties with Joan.
And damn them all, because DNA doesn’t matter, since Alfred had no idea that Brian isn’t Joan’s biological son. The last will and testament specifically states the firstborn Kinney male; doesn’t specify who the mother is, since it was implied that it was Joan. Also noticeably absent is the false notion of a stipulation that stated said male has to be married in order to collect his inheritance. She couldn’t help but wonder who decided that needed to happen, seeing how it isn’t written in black and white. Based on everything they’d learned so far, Frankie was willing to bet that it’s something her mother led Joan to believe in order to keep her power over the stupid woman.
But it still didn’t quite explain why Virginia was so keen on facilitating the marriage of Brian to Lindsay Peterson, of all people. Seriously, what’s in it for her? Frankie kept running through possible reasons and scenarios within her mind as she finished taking the screenshots of the documents before sending them off to her father via email. Yes, she was aware that Nancy’s father was the attorney on record for both the Hammond and Kinney families, and had been for many years, even after Jack was basically kicked out of his family. Frankie just couldn’t shake the feeling that she was missing something very obvious about the whole situation, but decided she had time to examine it all again later.
After attaching the files within a single document, as well as sending each individual document separately in case it needed to be examined immediately when time was of the essence, Frankie could feel the excitement bubbling within every fiber of her being. It was taking everything within her to not jump up and down, cheering at this undisputable display of Karma coming back around for those two bitches. Finally! That young man holds all the cards because of the one thing Joan Kinney tried to beat out of him so that she could rule him… His willingness to make his own decisions, and live by them.
After emailing everything, she shoved the hard copies into her small tote bag and headed towards the patio doors. Thankfully, her father still preferred the smaller office at the back of the mansion as opposed to the more opulent one he used for meetings on the second floor. It made her getting out of the home undetected that much easier. Just as she got to the door, she heard the loud banging, along with the screeching banshee yells and threats coming through from the other side. Laughing aloud, and throwing up her middle finger, Frankie exited the office, leaving her mother, her brother, and his fuckbuddy, Clara, behind.
Yes! She couldn’t wait until she reached the hospital, not only to see her father, but because somehow she knew beyond doubt that her cousin and his lover were on their way there as well. Digging into her small tote one more time, she finally located her keys. Holding them up triumphantly, Frankie raced to her car, laughing at being able to make a clean getaway. Once she got to the stop light, she made sure to text Jared advising him of what she was up to, and to let him know that he could let the dogs out now.
When she read his text back saying, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof! it was a wonder she was able to continue on her way to the hospital. Only Jared, Justin, and her father would remember her very favorite song from the summer of 2000**, and how it translated to describing The Bitches of Beelzebub. She should probably feel bad for grouping her own mother and brother into that category, but… Nah, her feelings just aren’t set up that way.
*school= the term for a group of barracuda
**"Who Let The Dogs Out" by the Baha Men https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkuu0Lwb5EM