Charmed Ones: Part 2

Connor stared at the house grant blankly. He didn’t know what to do with it. He didn’t know where to start. He would have to go back to New York in few days time yet he hadn’t talked to his brothers about the villa. What they were going to do with it. He had thought about selling it, but that would not be approved by Caleb. Since the delivery of the will from their father’s lawyer, Luke Greene, Caleb had expressed his wish to stay in the villa considering that the hospital where he worked as a medical assistant was closer to the villa compared to his old apartment.

Connor went down to the living room. He saw Charlie was lying on the sofa browsing through the TV channel. Charlie was wearing grey shorts and white muscle shirt which had “YOLO” written in the middle of it. He was eating a box of popcorn while watching the rerun of “Pimp My Ride” on MTV. Charlie saw Connor coming to his way but he didn’t bother to turn his head to look his direction. His eyes were so glued on the screen of that 42-inched LED Samsung TV in front of them. Connor joined him, unsure how to start the conversation with his youngest brother.

“What are you watching?” Connor cleared his throat because his voice sounded dry. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“This is the best thing I can do in this freaking old villa.” Replied Charlie, still glued to the TV screen.

“Just got back from the gym, I see.” Connor looked at the TV and the show turned to commercial break.

“I don’t wake up one morning then ‘poof!’ this hot body suddenly become mine. I put extremely lots of work to gain this.” Charlie turned to look at Connor, bringing his eyes up and down. “I think you should spare some time at the gym too.”

Ignoring what Charlie said to him, Connor said, “Have you seen Caleb? Think it’s time for dinner.”

“He BBM-ed me earlier saying he would be back in a bit. He bought dinner for us. Hope you’re not allergic with Chinese food.” Charlie checked on his BlackBerry to see if there was any notification he hadn’t opened.

“Oh, okay. Could you please tell me when he arrives? I need to do some conference call in my room. I’ll leave to whatever that you’re doing right now.” Connor stood up, prepared to leave Charlie alone.

“Sure. I’ll just text you. Keep your cell phone close. Too bad you’re not using BlackBerry. I could've BBM you. You don't even have WhatsApp installed in your iPhone.” Charlie said with a smirk.

Connor left Charlie alone in the living room. He got upstairs and sat on the bed. He didn’t really have a conference call he needed to do. It just felt weird being in the same room as Charlie without Caleb’s presence there. Plus, he didn’t want to risk being in an argument with Charlie again. He didn’t quite remember what had happened between them when they were small, but they hadn’t had the best brotherly relationship.

He pulled out his iPhone 4S and started browsing through the net. He logged on to Facebook. His jaw literally dropped as he stared at the first post on the News Feed that read ‘Lisa Grimaldi is in a relationship’. Lisa Grimaldi was the love of his life, or so he thought. They broke up just a few weeks before Connor got the phone call from Caleb’s on their father’s death. She told him that she didn’t feel the excitement in their relationship anymore. ‘Irreconcilable differences’ as she told him. He had suspected that she might be cheating on him, but it wasn’t his style to accuse people without having any proof. He couldn’t even do that when the person he suspected was the person he was in love with. A notification suddenly popped up onto the screen that read ‘Caleb’s home.’ Perfect timing, he thought to himself. He deleted the notification and placed his phone in his pocket.

Connor went down only to see that Caleb and Charlie were already sitting at the dining table. Seeing the Chinese takeout made him realize that he hadn’t eaten anything since Luke Greene’s visit to the house. Luke Greene. He thought there was something odd about that guy. Well, he knew that Caleb was already head over heels about him but he had an anomalous feeling about that lawyer. All the more reason to be cautious.

“Thanks for the dinner, Caleb.” Connor broke out the uncomfortable silence.

“Don’t mention it. I’m just glad both of you are here right now. It sometime feels kind lonely here in LA without any family members close to you, you know.” Caleb looked at Connor and Charlie both.

“I’m just glad Connor isn’t allergic to Chinese takeout. Who knows if he needed CPR right after? I ain’t doing it in a million years.” Charlie burst into laughter. “I’m sure Caleb wouldn’t mind giving you CPR, Connor.”

“Watch it, Charlie. Even though he’s gay, it doesn’t mean that he wants to kiss me.” Connor paused, thinking about what he said. “You wouldn’t, right Caleb?”

“Of course not! That’s just disgusting! Euw! Can’t believe you thought about it like that. I won’t do you CPR if you needed one. I’ll just punch your chest instead. Sure you can handle it.” Caleb said humorously.

For some reason, they laughed about it. Somehow, they needed it after the bad day they just had.

“So, any decision on the villa and that old wooden chest?” asked Charlie. He looked at Caleb who later turned to look at Connor. Connor felt trapped, like they both were ganging up on him.

“That’s what I wanted to talk about.” Connor put his food aside. “I don’t know what to do actually. I was hoping we can all decide what our next move will be.”

“I was wondering if both of you could move in.” Caleb turned to Charlie. “That would be okay with you, right?”

“Well, I’m going back to Miami to tend bars. You know a guy have to do what he’s got to do. I’m a career man. Plus, it’s YOLO.” Charlie pointed at his muscle shirt like some sort of a rap singer.

“YOLO?” Connor looked baffled.

“It means ‘You Only Live Once’. Dude, you really have to keep up with the Internet lingo.” Charlie gestured something signifying that Connor was old.

“It’s also the dumbass’ excuse for doing something stupid,” Caleb put his food aside now, “and I know you’re better than that, Charlie.” Charlie seemed unconvinced so Caleb continued, “Come on, Charlie. I’m sure you can tend bars here too. It’s LA, for God’s sake. You’ll get paid better here.”

“Fine. I’m staying, but just because you said I’ll get paid better here. And you’re going to help me with it. Deal?” Charlie pulled out his right hand and set his picky finger out. “Pretty please?”

“God! You’re the most annoying brother ever! You didn’t really have to make that voice. It’s a deal.” Caleb ignored Charlie immature acts and voice for that matter. “How about you, big bro?” He later turned to Connor who looked agitated about the whole conversation.

“I can’t leave my job in New York just like that.” He said to Caleb. He didn’t want to look at Charlie. “I’m leaving this weekend.”

“Can’t you ask for a transfer? You said they have an opening here, right?” Caleb asked.

“They do, but it’s a lower position.” Connor said.

“So, you’re worried about being paid less? Thought you’d care about family bonding and whatnot.” Charlie said exasperatingly.

“Now look who’s talking. Who has been away doing ‘God knows what’ in Miami? Don’t you think I know that you’ve been tending bars because you dropped out of college?” Connor looked into Charlie’s eyes.

Flabbergasted, Charlie turned to Caleb and said “Damn! That was supposed to be a secret. Thought I could trust you on this.”

“Come on, Charlie. Who would have believed you’d finished your bachelor’s degree this soon? I had to tell him somehow.” Caleb said as he tried to talk some sense into Charlie. “Connor, you sure you can’t pull some strings on this?”

“I don’t think I can. I’m really sorry.” Connor said feebly. “I’m okay with you both staying in this house but I can’t leave my commitment just like that. Hope you would understand.”

There was an awkward silence for a couple of minute before Caleb asked everyone, “Ok, that’s it about the villa. How about the chest?” 

“Since we can’t open it, I was hoping if Charlie could bring it down to the basement?” Connor turned to Charlie, “Is that okay with you?”

“You expect me to carry that alone? Who knows what’s inside? It might be extremely heavy for me.” Charlie felt like he was being bullied.

“Come on, Charlie. I think you can handle it. All those times you spent in the gym must have given you a lot of strength.” Caleb tried to persuade him.

“Very well, I’ll do it but you owe me tomorrow’s lunch. I’m a college dropout after all.” Charlie continued, “Or you have a date with McSmiley?” he said mischievously.

“McSmiley? Who’s that?” Connor seemed confused.

“It’s Luke Green, Connor. Didn’t you see how Caleb responded when he smiled? He practically melted many times.” Charlie blurted it out.

“I did not! Plus, why would you be that observant on a guy? It’s incredibly odd for a straight guy like you.” said Caleb, trying to put the attention on Charlie as he began to blush.

Connor said, “Caleb, you’re blushing. I could basically see it from here.” He let out a small laugh.

“I…may…have…liked…the…way…he…smiles.” Caleb said slowly and softly.

“Told ya!” Charlie said to Connor. They both ended up laughing out loud.

“Whatever you do, we support you 100%, Caleb. You’re our only gay brother.” Connor assured Caleb “But I think you should be careful with him.” He continued.

“Why is that?” Caleb questioned.

“He said our father appointed him as his lawyer, but he needed to attend some divorce cases at the court? That sounded peculiar to me.” Connor insisted.

“I’m on the same page as Connor on this one; even a college dropout like me knows that lawyers have their areas of expertise.” Charlie agreed.

“It says here that he’s the Deputy District Attorney of LA.” Caleb told everyone as he pulled out the name card he got from Luke before he left.

“That makes it even stranger. The DA is supposed to take care of crime cases, against the criminals.” Connor took the card from Caleb then gave it to Charlie.

“This is strange. Think you should look into this, dude.” Charlie gave the name card back to Caleb.

“Maybe I’ll ask him about this tomorrow.” Caleb stopped there. “Think I’m going to call it a day. I’m so tired.” He quickly left the dining room, leaving only both Connor and Charlie looking bewildered at each other.

“He seemed upset.” Connor muttered.

“Of course he was. If the girl I like turned out like a serial killer or something, I’d be upset too. He liked the guy.” Charlie tried to rationalize Caleb’s gloom.

“Think I’m heading to my room too. There are a lot of things I need to settle.” Connor wiped his mouth with the napkin. “Don’t forget about the chest, okay?” he pointed to the chest. “Good night.”

“Night.” Charlie replied short. He then looked at the chest, “You and I, we’ve got serious problem. I need to carry you to the basement. Wish I had a magical power to teleport you down there.”

Charlie cleared the dining table and threw away the leftovers into the bin outside the villa. He found it surprising that the chest was actually lighter than the weighs he lifted at the gym. So he put the chest on the basement’s floor. As he turned away to get back upstairs, he heard a click behind him. He returned to the chest to check it out. The padlock had suddenly been unlocked. “The impact must have made this happened.” Charlie thought to himself. He got curious; he wanted to see what was inside the chest that their father left. The same chest that Calvin looked at as he took his final breath, only Charlie didn’t know that. He opened it. There was a creaking sound as he opened the chest. Chills went down his spine. It was abruptly cold in the basement. It was so eccentric considering that the basement got no windows but Charlie didn’t think about any of it. His curiosity empowered him to look into the chest. Inside, there was a green-leathered book with a triquetra symbol. Charlie grabbed the book. He said, “What in the world is this?”

3 comment(s):

fafa said...

I started to like Charlie,hehe. Setting crita ni mcm campur2 american and malaysian lifestyle,but the combination is not that awkward.For me,it's acceptable =)I still don't get Connor tho, I mean,I don't really understand his character. Is he someone who dislikes commitment? can't wait to read part 3, cepat sikit tulis eh =P

Iz said...

Wah Fafa u ni suka yang bad boy ke? Haha Connor blom ada background story lagi. Part3 dah nak siap. Hehe

nananananad comel penguin :D said...

"‘poof!’ this hot body suddenly become mine"
suuuuuure Iz. suuuuuuure. hahaha