He didn’t answer until he’d given me a kiss. “My brother’s fist collided with my face,” he answered gruffly.
“Your brother hit you? Why?”
I knew there was some kind of distance between the Lawson siblings. But I didn’t understand why.
“We had an old score to settle. So I settled it.”
“What happened?” I asked softly, hoping he’d confide in me. I wanted to understand his family dynamics, but he rarely talked about anybody except his sisters. “Why don’t you get along with your brothers?”
“Mason and I get along fine,” he said as he took his jacket off and tossed it over the back of a kitchen chair. “But Mason is rarely around, and he works too damn much. Something happened to my family when my parents were killed. We just all seemed to scatter. Harper and Dani went off to do their own things, and Mason, Carter, and I decided to work together. We sold off most of our parents’ assets to divide up the inheritance, but we kept my dad’s fledgling tech business so we could make it our own since we were all educated in technology. Everything happened pretty fast once we moved the company to Seattle and it really took off. We each have our own division, so pretty much all we ever did was work. We fell into a relationship that was more about being business partners than brothers.”
He grabbed a beer out of the fridge, popped it open, and sat down at the kitchen table.
I took a seat across from him. “Were you close as children?”
“Yeah, that’s the weird part. We were all pretty tight. Harper and Dani were close, and Mason, Carter, and I were like best friends. We did everything together.”
“Your parents’ deaths had to have been traumatic for all of you. Don’t you think that sometimes those things either draw you together or tear you apart?”
I had no idea what it was like to have siblings. I was just trying to understand through my own experience of losing my parents.
He nodded and took a slug of his beer. “Unfortunately, it didn’t draw us closer together. I think we were all so raw that we couldn’t talk about it, so we didn’t. And we didn’t talk about anything else, either. Somehow, we just completely lost our family, and it went on for so long that we couldn’t seem to get it back again.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said softly. “But it’s not too late.”
“It might be,” he contradicted in a solemn tone. “I just wish I had noticed years ago, after our folks died. I guess we just got so caught up into becoming a leader in the tech industry that I never stopped to see how dysfunctional my family had become. And it wasn’t like we needed the money. We were filthy rich before the company started its rise to the top because of my parents. But it wasn’t really about the money. I guess we were caught up in the challenge. We’re all hardheaded. Even my sisters.”
“It’s part of who you are,” I told him. “And that’s not always a bad thing.”
Jett was stubborn, but that’s one of the qualities he’d needed to get through his injuries.
“I’d really like it if we could reconnect. But I have no idea how to rebuild a family. Harper and Dani will be in Colorado, but it’s not difficult for any of us to see each other. It’s a fairly short jet ride.”
“I’m glad you’ll be seeing your sisters soon at the wedding.”
“Maybe we could go a few days early,” he suggested. “It might give me time to talk to my sisters and figure out where in the hell we fucked up.”
“I’m ready when you are,” I offered. “I can make my last delivery to Indulgent Brews near the end of the week and I’m free.”
He grinned, and he looked like a naughty schoolboy with his black eye. “I have another job for you.”
“Can you supply breakfast pastries for my staff? They’d all worship you. We have a contract with a bakery for morning stuff, but the quality is crap for what we pay them.”
“You know I’m always happy to help.”
He shook his head. “Nope. This isn’t something you’re doing for free. Like I said, we already pay a bakery to provide stuff. You’d be paid accordingly. We can try it out with my office, and if it goes well, you’ll get the rest of the offices, too.”