Kate had never felt such an internal struggle in her entire life. There she sat, at the other end of the table from the person she disliked most in the world. Every so often, he would make eye contact with her and then quickly look away, probably worried that she might just jump straight over the table and smother him in a bowl of mashed potatoes.
“So, how was the fishing today?” Jack asked, only looking at Evie and completely ignoring Brandon.
“Pretty good. I caught a couple of bass and threw them back, of course.”
“Good girl. One day we’ll have a fish fry out there.”
Evie smiled. “Dad also caught a fish. It wasn’t quite as big as mine, but pretty good,” she said as she looked over at Brandon.
“You just need better bait,” he said before taking a bite of his roll.
“Better bait? I’ll have you know that cut up hotdogs is one of the best bait you can use,” Jack said, glaring at Brandon.
“That must be a southern thing because we don’t use cut up hotdogs as our bait up north. It was kind of weird.“
“Let me tell you something…” Jack said, rising up out of his chair a little.
“Why don’t we change the subject?” Mia said loudly. Jack eased back down into his seat.
“Sorry. I didn’t realize discussing bait would be so controversial,” Brandon said, laughing under his breath.
“So, Dad, I understand I have a brother and sister?” Evie suddenly interjected.
Brandon looked a little surprised that she had brought it up at a table full of people that included her mother, grandfather and aunt. Of course, Cooper was also there, sitting silently and trying to stay out of the crossfire.
“You’re right. You have a little sister named Abigail, and she’s seven. And you have a little brother named Elijah and he’s nine.”
“Do they know about me?”
“Of course. I’ve shown them pictures.They’d like to meet you one day. Kara just wants to wait until they’re a little older.”
The whole thing feels so very awkward to Kate. Why did her daughter have to ask about her siblings? Why didn’t she already know them? And why couldn’t they know her now?
“Why can’t they meet me now?”
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