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“Hey guys,” Brian said coming into the room. “You okay?”
“It’s not fair!” Lenore complained. “They sit there harassing me and he doesn’t even care!”
“He promised that he’d never forget that we were his little Prince and Princess,” Stevie cried. “Yet, he went and forgot as soon as the rug-rats came along.”
“You shouldn’t have blown up like that,” Brian told them. “You can never hate family; I must have told Kevin that I hated him like a zillion times, but when it came down to it, I really didn’t.”
“That’s you and Kevin,” Lenore retorted. “You’re not dad and the pain-in-the-butt angels!”
Brian sat down on the bed and signaled for them to come over. They climbed into his lap, still crying. He hugged them tight, then kissed the tops of their heads. “It’ll be okay,” he said. “It always works out.”
“Why does dad favor them?” Stevie pondered. “Why does he ignore us?”
“Dad probably favors them because they’re the last two mom ever had,” Brian informed his younger brother and sister. “He shouldn’t be ignoring us though, because we were the first born; he should love and care for us all the same.”
“Why does Tessa get favored?” Lenore questioned. “Mom didn’t have her; dad adopted her four years later.”
“Probably because she’s the youngest,” Brian replied. “The youngest always tends to get away with more.”
“Yeah, I know what ya mean,” Stevie answered. “Lenore used to break something and not get yelled at, but if it was me, I’d be in trouble.”
“I wish that I was still the youngest,” Lenore growled. “I wish that they’d never been born!”
“Lenore, that’s not very nice,” Brian riposted sternly. “You should never wish something like that, for it may come true.”
“I hope it does,” Lenore retorted. “I hope it comes true really soon.”
“Just because you’re jealous doesn’t mean you make evil wishes,” Stevie replicated. “It’s not their fault they’re favored.”
“Why are you taking their side?” Lenore interrogated. “You said you hated them too.”
Stevie rejoined, “I know, but that doesn’t mean I have to go making evil wishes that God doesn’t approve of.”
“What are you, one of His disciples?” Lenore queried angrily. “I don’t care anymore!”
“Okay you two, that’s enough!” Brian rejoined starting to get mad. “You shouldn’t be arguing at a time like this; you should be sticking together!”
“Sorry, Stevie,” Lenore said quietly.
“I’m sorry too,” Stevie answered. “Brian’s right, we do have to stick together.”
“It’s either we stick together or end up being all alone in this world,” Lenore replied. “I really don’t wanna be left alone in this world having no one that cares about me.”
“Lenore, you’re never going to not have someone who cares for you,” Brian insisted. “I always have and always will care for you. I know for a fact that Stevie will too.”
Stevie joked, “Yeah; ‘cause if I don’t Brian will come and hunt me down.”
“We’ll always care for you too,” A.J. said as him and the other three guys came into the room. “Lenore, Brian’s right, you’ll always have someone that cares for you no matter what happens.”
Lenore looked up at him and the others. “Thanks guys,” she said. “That really means a lot to me.”
“You guys okay?” Nick questioned. “I mean, well, ya know.”
“We’re okay Nick; a little sore, but okay,” Stevie replicated. “We haven’t been spanked in a while, that’s all.”
“Ya sure you’re okay?” Nick queried. “I just wanna make sure ‘cause if ya not, I’ll go knock his block off for ya.”
Lenore laughed, “Thanks Nick, but we’ll be okay, now that Brian’s here.”
“Ah, let me guess, you two have Brian wrapped around your baby fingers?” Howie said.
“Darn right, and proud of it,” they stated in unison.
Kevin smiled, “So I see; you both favor Brian, just like you’re dad favors Jessica, Emily, and Tessa.”
“It’s not the same,” Stevie protested. “It’s dad’s own fault that we love Brian more than him; he’s the one who’s been ignoring us.”
“Yeah,” Lenore agreed. “We didn’t do anything to make him love the rug-rats more than us.”
“I guess, you have a point,” Howie riposted. “I can kinda see where you’re coming from.”
“Hey Lenore, what’s this we hear that you love A.J. and want him really, really bad?” Nick asked. “Do you really want to see what’s under his pants?”
“That’s absolutely positively none of your business!” Lenore snapped turning bright red. “It’s not true; they’ll make anything up, just to embarrass me.”
“Um hmm, sure,” Stevie responded. “If they’re making it up, then why does it say all that and more in your diary?”
Lenore turned even redder. “What the hell are you doing reading my diary?” She demanded. “You have no business invading my privacy!”
“Sorry, but if ya don’t want people reading it, then ya shouldn’t be leaving it out in the open,” Stevie retorted. “I found it lying in the middle of the hallway floor.”
“Like hell you did!” Lenore returned. “Why is it, I never get any privacy around here?”
“If you two are going to sit here and argue then I’m leaving,” Brian rejoined starting to get up. “I’m not about to sit here and listen to the two of ya argue.”
They looked at one another, then quickly knocked him back down onto Stevie’s bed. “We’ll, stop,” they replicated quickly. “We promise.”
“Remember you said that,” Brian riposted. “I’m not in the mood to listen to anymore arguments.”
“So, cous’ are ya going to the party still?” Kevin queried. “If ya not, well, then the rest of us had better get going.”
“I’m staying home this time,” Brian answered. “I can’t abandon my favourite siblings at a time like this.”
“Well, okay then,” Howie said, then turned to the other three, “Let’s get going guys.” With that A.J., Howie, Nick, and Kevin all left to go to the party.
A little while later, Hank came up to find his three eldest children all sitting in Stevie’s room huddled together.
“Why are you all in here?” He interrogated. “Lenore, you were told to go to your room, not Stevie’s.”
“We just are,” Brian rejoined. “You got a problem with that?”
“Stevie, Lenore, I think it’s time that you two went to bed,” Hank replied ignoring Brian’s comment. “In your own rooms; now get going.”
With that Lenore and Stevie got ready for bed, said goodnight to Brian and then hit the sack. Later that night Brian awoke to the sound of someone screaming; he raced out into the hall and realized that the screaming was coming from Lenore’s room. He dashed inside to see what was wrong, and found her lying in her bed thrashing at the air. Brian quickly woke her up and hugged her, telling her that it was all right, and that it’d just been a bad dream.
A few minutes later he heard more screaming; he picked Lenore up, then dashed into Stevie’s room, for that’s where the noise was coming from. He woke Stevie up and told him that everything was okay, and that it’d only been a nightmare.
Brian then picked Stevie up too, and carried both of them into his room; he climbed into his bed, with Stevie on his left and Lenore, wedged between him and the wall on his right. They both snuggled up against him, feeling safer by the minute, just knowing that their big brother was there to protect them from anything and anyone.