“My mother hates you,” Brandon smiled in greeting. “But she’d love to do lunch sometime.”
“Charming,” Sookie grinned back. “I’m sure I’ll have time for that right around… How about, never?”
“It’s not that bad,” he chuckled. “My father is far from pleased with my new position that he’s refused to talk to me ever since. My mother worries.”
“Well, it’s only natural that she blames me then, isn’t it?” Sookie snarked. “Pam will have a field day.”
“Perhaps it’s best not to bring her,” Brandon hinted more seriously.
“You really want me to have lunch with her?” Sookie asked incredulously. “You’re being serious?”
He nodded hesitantly, “As much as I hate to admit it, if she meets you, sees you for the decent human being that you are and not as the evil witch my father has painted you, it’ll help smooth things over. Have her on your side and she’ll help us pave the way in a manner neither of us can with a rather stubborn set of Brigants.”
“Fine, but Pam’s coming along,” Sookie sighed. She’d promised Eric that much, and as embarrassing as that could get sometimes, she couldn’t help but agree to the necessity. It didn’t, however, excuse Pam from consistently introducing herself as Sookie’s significant other with a far too satisfied grin. “I figured your dad would be pleased to have you in the seat of power, is he jealous?”
“Hardly,” he replied with a shake of his head. “I wasn’t exactly his first choice, or even his second.”
“Only makes me all the more pleased I picked you,” Sookie smiled. It had only been a few weeks so far, but it appeared that while not all members of the Brigant family were all too pleased to see whom they considered an ‘inexperienced’ at the helm, the shareholders and board members were quite happy with his appointment. Several members of the board had commended Sookie personally on her pick afterwards, around the same time she found out there never had been an attempt at a hostile takeover that was engineered by Cataliades to remove her hesitance over picking Claudine. She’d avoided any form of confrontation about it, sensibly, while Eric was still away.
“Is it sad that he never even considered me for the post?” Brandon posed. “He never so much as even suggested I make a play for it.”
“His loss, my gain,” Sookie shrugged. “Anyhow, it says more about Claudine than it does you. He probably didn’t consider you malleable enough to his liking.”
“I hear Niall’s home got an offer,” Brandon said, quick to change the subject.
“Yeah,” she replied, allowing the deviation as she accurately assessed Brandon’s discomfort about talking any further about the relationship with his father. “They’re lowballing me, assholes.”
Brandon couldn’t help but laugh, “With those instincts, pretty soon you’ll be looking to dethrone me. Just admit you’re not quite ready to leave that house yet.”
“It’s nice and all,” she admitted of the home she had begrudgingly moved into, not wishing to stay in the rented house next door for longer than necessary as it was Cataliades’ name on the contract. “It’s hardly homely, especially since almost all of his things have been picked up by some odd relative or another by now. There’s still a whole pile of things marked for your father, by the way, and he hasn’t exactly been answering my calls, maybe your mom will take them?”
“If she knows about it, she’ll have a moving company there the same day,” he informed. “Trust me, you’ll like her and she’ll definitely like you.”
“If you say so,” she huffed. “So your mother aside, what did you need me for today?”
“Well, I’m not really looking for a job,” Sookie quipped back, swallowing the ‘good riddance’ comment she really wanted to make for propriety’s sake.
“Well, you’re not exactly qualified,” he grinned back. “She asked it back the same night.”
“I hope you told her to take a hike!”
“Nope,” he shrugged. “She’s back where she was.” Sensing the anger emanating from his distant cousin, he added, “She is good at her job. More importantly, I’ve never met anyone so unwillingly asking for something they desperately needed. Like it was paining her to do so.”
“So you’re a sadist,” Sookie grumbled. “Good to know.”
“No,” he clarified, stressed even, making Sookie instantly regret the thoughtless accusation, sensing that the description was probably one more suited to Rogan. “It was clear she was back here under another’s instruction. She’s about as happy that she’s back as you are.”
“Well, whoop-dee-doo,” she replied with a roll of her eyes.
“Come on, Sookie, you’re smarter than this,” he replied sternly, forcing her to fall quiet for brief moment.
“Claudine’s still here under your Dad’s directive,” she summarised. “We’ve interrupted their long game, so she’s been planted back to either find you at fault somehow, thus removing you from your position to be filled by Claudine or one of her lackeys, or they’re continuing as planned, factoring in the minor deviation that is you.”
“Probably the latter,” he nodded admirably. “Though one should never discount the former.”
“Your father did once already, putting him in the disadvantaged position he’s in now, though what he’s looking to gain is still beyond me,” Sookie pointed out. “Is he the type to make the same mistake twice?”
“Probably not,” he granted. “But he’s yet to acknowledge the threat you pose.”
“Well,” she drawled sardonically, “Lucky me.”
A/N: Much thanks to msbuffy. Hope you enjoyed the brevity in anticipation of what’s to come. I know many of you had your concerns about Brandon, don’t know if I’ve added to them or taken away any but more will become apparent in the next parts. Thoughts welcome and all such below 😉