Miss Perfect and Her Brothers (Part I&II)

2. No troubles

"Are you eavesdropping?"

I felt chills down my spine and turned around immediately, my widened eyes meeting an amused Dylan. Well, maybe his face was laughing, but he didn't get rid of his dark aura.

I shook my head, unable to speak. Dylan chuckled softly and passed by me, going downstairs. I knew he was probably about to tell the others that Hailie was lurking around, eavesdropping on other people's conversations, and they surely wouldn't like that. I didn't want to make such an impression on my new brothers, so I quickly followed him, desperate to defend myself.

"You're all careless. Why don't you let our little sister know all our secrets right away?" Dylan asked, lounging on the couch in the living room. All three men, whose voices I heard, were standing in the same room and looked at him. There were two guys, almost identical, with short dark hair and little stubble. One of them had a large tattoo on his hand and the other had a black eyebrow ring. The third person was a man, the oldest one, as indicated by his attitude. He was dressed classically in a white shirt and dark pants, had dark, combed-back hair, and icy blue eyes that shifted to me, who was shyly pausing at the threshold of the living room.

My voice was stuck in my throat, as usual, especially since after a while I was in the center of attention of everyone presented here. Too bad Will was nowhere around, he would've broken the awkward silence. No one else was eager to do so.

"I didn't hear anything, I stopped on the stairs because I didn't want to disturb you..." I mumbled softly, lowering my head. In my mind, I felt like slapping my forehead. Why was I so intimidated?

"It's okay, Hailie," the oldest man cut off, and sounded a little gentler, so I felt immediate relief. Then he added, "I was waiting for you to come down. I'd like to talk to you, follow me, please."

I deduced myself that it must be Vince, my legal guardian. Saying the last sentence, he left the living room without even glancing at the other guys. He put his firm and steady hand on my back and began to steer me towards the next door, and I let him do so without any resistance.

He didn't introduce me to the twins he'd spoken to before, but based on my limited knowledge of my new family, I figured it must've been Shane and Tony. I just didn't know who was who.

Vince led me to a room that might have been an office or a mini-library. It was decorated quite tastefully: warm, wooden accents mixed with gray colors. Vince took the armchair and gestured elegantly at the couch. I sat on it, focusing on playing with my hands.

"I'm sorry for the death of your loved ones," he began, his voice devoid of any emotion. "I am your eldest brother, the one who became your legal guardian. You already know that."

I nodded and Vince continued.

"I don't know you, Hailie, but from the information I got and collected about you, I know you don't cause any problems. You have good grades, a clean record, you are healthy and well-mannered. So I expect it to stay that way. I wish you would stay out of trouble. Consequently, I will introduce you to the rules that you will follow, you understand?"

I nodded again, feeling the shivers running down my spine. Vince's way of speaking was quite stressful, not to mention that he was addressing me directly and practically warning me against bothering him.

"Hailie, when I ask you something, I want you to answer aloud and look at me," he admonished me, and my heart beat faster. I looked up immediately.

"I understand," I squealed through a lump in my throat, looking bravely into his blue and calm eyes.

"You are legally under my care and you are to come to me with important matters, but as I work a lot and I am often unavailable, your other brothers will also be responsible for you. I wish you would remember that."

I liked what he said less and less, but didn't have the courage to properly react to his words.

"As for the rules, they are simple. Follow our instructions without objection, never lie, no swearing, no drinking, smoking, skipping classes, always ask if you want to go out or need anything. You should be ready to go to bed by 11 pm if you go to school the next day. No guys, no dates. I know Will has already warned you, but it's important that you don't go to the part of the house where we work," Vince continued, and my opposition was growing. All brothers will have authority over me? Even those who didn't have enough decency to introduce themselves to me? Even this whole Dylan? And why can't I see the boys? Why do I need a curfew?
Vince paused for a moment as if he were challenging me to break the first rule right away and start to object. I really felt like it, but I swallowed my pride and said a simple "ok". Probably soon life will verify the value of these principles and we'll all forget about them.

"If you obey me, you'll have anything you want," Vince promised, pleased with my submissive attitude. That ended our short conversation.

I had dinner with him and the twins. I already knew the one with the pierced eyebrow was Shane and the one with the tattoo was Tony. Vince and Tony didn't say much, but I was pleasantly surprised by Shane, who tried to lighten the mood a little by asking me some nonsense. He told me a bit about the school I would attend with them. We will pass each other in the corridors. It didn't make me happy, but I tried to hide it. I also couldn't relax after talking to Vince, he stressed me out with his rules and the dryness with which he dealt with me. I noticed that he behaved similarly to his brothers too, so that was probably the way he was, but it didn't reassure me.
After dinner, Shane and Tony disappeared, and Vince went on to explain small stuff to me, such as the housekeeper's working schedule and the general functioning of the house. For the good night, we both climbed the stairs and split up. I went to my bedroom and, giving Vince one last look, I only had time to notice how he disappeared into the corridor that was forbidden to me.