Miss Perfect and Her Brothers (Part I&II)

Part II: Chapter 2

"Like a father who sees his daughter for the first time?" 

A few seconds had to pass for my brain to understand the sense of these words. It took me another long while to process it. Then, a moment of puzzlement followed. I frowned and, almost immediately after that, raised my brows, completely confused. 

The man was looking at me all the time in the same way - serious and with honest interest. A gentle smile was wandering on his lips and it had nothing to do with a taunt which I was stubbornly reading into. 

Finally, common sense spoke to me and I shook out. It told me to get my shit together. With this guy that was sitting now next to me, taking a big sip of coffee, was evidently something wrong. I shouldn't have agreed on any talks with him. I glanced at the beach to make sure that my brothers are still there. The sight of them calmed me and angered at the same time. Angered because they left me here with this weirdo but also calmed because deep inside I knew that my one desperate scream was enough for them to appear here in a blink of an eye. 

"I don't know how father looks at daughter. I don't have one," I spoke, moving my eyes back to my converser. It surprised me how bitter my voice sounded. Back then I had no idea but the way I articulated these words proved how much pain caused by the lack of one parent in my life I had been carrying in my heart.

A hurt look that flashed in the man's dark eyes confused me a bit but I didn't analyze it, I just decided to put an indifferent mask on my face. He was the first one to move the touchy for me subject anyway. 

"Everyone has a father, Hailie," He said. His voice was hoarse and had a taste of the blackest coffee.  

I spat quietly, turning my head aside, at the thick, exotic greenery that was surrounding our chalet. 

"What do you want from me, sir?" I asked directly, getting impatient. I didn't feel like having deep conversations with this stranger. I was on holiday. I wanted to get the rest.

"Forgiveness, my sweet daughter." 

I really didn't appreciate the reaction of my body to what I just heard. My heart beat faster. The shivers that went through my back were so unpleasant that equally the man could just grab a knife and cut it. I also stiffened and my throat clenched so it got hard for me to breathe. I was staring at him blindly and he solidly shared that look, this time not even trying to smile. 

After my mom's death, I didn't expect that someone would ever call me their daughter again.

I stood up rapidly and the chair shuffled. The table shook together with the cup on it. Some coffee spilled on the glass counter but both of us ignored it. 

 "What are you saying to me?" I asked with anger but I was also too emotionally-charged because my voice trembled.

What kind of a sick guy was he? What kind...? 

He cleared his throat quietly as if before our meeting he collected endless deposit of patience and now was carefully making use of it. 

"I am saying, Hailie, that you are my daughter and I am your father." 

He couldn't make himself clearer. 

Something was quivering in my chest, something made it hard for me to take a breath. How could he play with my feelings so cruelly? How could he speak such things to me? Did this man had no limits? 

"My father died," I informed him dryly, showing him at the same time that he can shove his dumb, distasteful jokes up his nose.

He sighed and was wondering what to answer. I was boring into him, waiting for another bullshit he was surely about to tell me. And when I was looking and looking at him like that, it hit me. 

His eyes, so unusually dark and ominous that I remember how scared I was when Dylan looked at me with them for the first time. These brows that now were frowning a bit in an effort of searching for the right words, were identically thick and straight like these which Tony and Shane always raised when they joked. The way he was sitting, speaking, how he stroked his chin - all of it I'd already seen before while looking at Vince. And this affection in his eyes. Now I realized that it was that thing that made his look seem so weird for me at first. I just read it wrong. Will looked at me like that very often and in the past, even more often, my mom had. 

My beloved mom who had beautiful, red curls. I glanced at my long, dark, now fluffy hair that was resting on both sides of my neck, going through my chest and ending reaching my waist. I never liked to think that I inherited its color from my unknown father but now living proof of it was sitting right in front of me. 

He said something finally but I didn't hear what it was. I went deaf. With my eyes wide open, I was gaping at a man that I called a weirdo in my head just a moment ago and who now was introducing himself as my parent. The parent that I'd never had and that in the past I was asking my mom a lot about. Sometimes I was thinking about him, even trying to imagine him. Sometimes I missed him, other days I was just angry. But mostly disappointed and sad. Suddenly, I felt like insulting him, this time out loud. 
"Hailie. Hailie. Would you sit, please? I know it's hard but I would like to explain to you a few things. I owe it to you."

I still didn't understand much of what he was telling me. My eyes moved to the beach and the boys again. I heard Tony's characteristic laugh. Dylan shouted something to him. Hm, they're having fun, aren't they?

I felt the wave of fury spreading inside me. 

"Hailie? The man gently asked, tilting his head. 

I shot him an annoyed glance and shook my head with disbelief. This bastard really looked like someone that could be related to me and my brothers. I turned my head away as soon as I thought about it. I didn't want to see him.

Instead, I decided to head towards the beach. I was going faster and faster. The man called after me but I ignored him. I came down the wooden stairs and ran through the path between thickly growing palm trees and vines. My sandals were doing great until I stepped on the sand. Barely stopping, I almost tore them off my feet and left them scattered behind me. Even this fine, warm and smooth sand didn't give me relief.
The beach was empty and gorgeous. My brothers were the only ones who were currently enjoying its charms. I'd gladly join them but, unfortunately, they destroyed everything with their damned secrets. 

They noticed me only when I was very close to them. They all were in the water. Shane was half-sitting, half-laying in shallows, leaning on his elbows, drinking beer. Almost whole of his body was under the water. Around two meters away, there was Dylan standing. There, the water was reaching a little over his knees. His impressive and kind of terrifying musculature was covered with salty drops that now were drying in the sun, actively accelerating the process of tanning. His hair wasn't tied this time but kind of wet a swept-back but in a different way than Vince's. Dylan's swim shorts were black with a white waistband that was hanging low on his hips. He was also holding a dark bottle of beer. Tony, on the other hand, just surfaced out of the water in the area where the sea was much deeper. He shook his head like a wet dog that just came back from a rainy walk. 
I hesitated just for a half of second before I entered the water. I had still only my pajamas and the silver bathrobe on me and if I wanted to get to Dylan, then I had to get it wet. It's fine. When I made the first steps, I was ready to get a thermal shock that never came because the sea was nicely heated by the sun. I didn't have time to appreciate it though because I was drifting through it, splashing the water on sides. 

Dylan, seeing me, got closer to Shane and passed him his bottle as if he was preparing to handle me. Tony was coming towards us too. A big, freaking trio - I thought with contempt. 

I stopped right in front of Dylan who was looking at me, towering over me. Shane, on the other hand, was raising his head to watch us from the down, covering his eyes with his hand from the sunlight. 

"What the hell?!" I yelled at them with a reproach so huge that I twitched myself at its sound. I pointed with my hand carelessly somewhere behind my back where our chalet had to be. 
Dylan's eyes followed my gesture as if he didn't know what I was talking about, even if he knew it very well. 

"Who's that guy?!" I shouted again but this time my voice trembled. I was super careful not to cry, although I really felt like it. My brothers had watched way too many of my tears in the past and right now I didn't want to show them my weak side. 

"Okay, calm down..." Dylan started in a ton of a fucking mediator that just made me madder. He lifted his hands, trying to encourage me to control my emotions but it absolutely had no chance to work. 

"Calm down? Seriously? Seriously, Dylan? This guy... Is that a joke? How?! H-how? What he...? Just sitting there like that and I d-don't know...  He wants to talk! Is that a joke?!" 

I got quiet because expressing myself in words wasn't going well. I was breathing fast, waiting to, I don't know, maybe one of my brothers to say something... But they were silent too. 

Very well then. In this case, I had two choices. I could cry or level up my fury. That's when I rushed towards Dylan, raising my hands and folding my fingers like a kitten. I hit onto him with my own body, probably hurting myself more than him. He barely moved. Luckily, I had my long nails that I was growing especially for this kinds of situations.
Dylan hissed when I pounded them into his shoulder and pulled down through his muscular chest. For some reason, the fact that I finally managed to make him feel at least a minimal pain woke a feeling of triumph inside me. It didn't last long because he immediately locked both my wrists in his hand and with the corner of my eye I saw how he was lifting his the other one. When I thought that he's going to punch me, he just immersed it in the water and started splashing it straight to my face. A lot. I screamed and screamed at the top of my lungs, trying to run away from this endless tsunami but it was impossible because Dylan's grip was firm, successfully blocking the only protection I could use. 

"Stop!" I was shrieking constantly until I finally gave up. I hugged my head to my shoulder and squeezed my lids, doing my best to hide from the water that I was so sick of. That's when the sounds of splashing disappeared and I felt the warmth of the sun on the exposed part of my face. Slowly, I raised my head and opened my eyes. Immediately, I needed to rub them. I did it, with a relief discovering that Dylan let go of my wrists. I was all wet! Really, together with my bathrobe and hair. I groaned loudly. Additionally, I was now in slightly deeper water so now it was reaching my waist. I didn't even notice when I changed my location.
"Are you done?" Dylan asked, raising his eyebrows. He was standing right next to me. When after a few seconds I cooled off, I shot him a disgusted look, still furious. Well, until today I have no idea how I let this response come out of my mouth. 

"Fuck you." 

Such insult said in my sweet voice shocked even me. Despite the anger, I regretted a bit that I spoke like that to my brother who I knew that won't let it slide. 

Dylan's eyes darkened and irritation appeared on his face. 

"What did you say?" He asked, cocking his ear towards me and taking a slow step forward. 

"You heard," I replied rebelliously, trying to remember that it's me here who is angrier and I would not let him corner me. At the same time, I stepped back, just in case, so Dylan wouldn't catch me again. 

Now he started moving towards me and I immediately made a decision to turn around and escape from the water. Unfortunately, firstly my back hit something hard, something that in the next second started wrapping their strong arms around mines, low enough to restrict their movements. Dylan stood in front of me. I could see Shane, who was looking at us indifferently, still sitting on my left. So it had to be Tony who caught me. I looked down and the tattooed arm tightened around me confirmed his identity. I tried to break free but, of course, I couldn't. The fact, that the water here was deeper wasn't helping me, just slowing me down a lot. 
"Let go of me!" I growled. 

I felt how Tony's chest vibrates behind me and heard his quiet laugh above my ear. This jerk just put me down! Once again, I made a try to wrench myself away from his grip but I failed. 

"We should teach our little sis to mind her manners, hmm?" Dylan muttered, coming closer. He didn't seem angry anymore, just more amused and I could see in his smirk that his mean side was revealing.

"Get off!" 

"First apologize," He demanded. 

I pursed my lips, obviously not going to do it. I was boring into him long enough for him to understand it. He shrugged and disappeared. Under the water. I looked down automatically, expecting that he would catch my legs or something but he resurfaced in a few seconds and holding his hands together. They were full of a sludge that he collected from the bottom of the sea. I stared at him suspiciously. 

"Last chance. I expect nice apologizes," He said and I just blinked. 

Then Dylan, with a wide smile, spread the sludge on the lower part of my face. I tried to break free or at least to take my head away but I stood no chance. My scream was muffled because I was careful not to open my mouth. It was disgusting!
When he stopped, he took a step away and cocked his ear one more time, showing me that he's waiting for me to speak. 

"I hate you!" I hissed and he shook his head, clicking his tongue repeatedly with fake disapproval and he dived again, at my terror.

This time a bit of the soaked sand in his hand landed somehow inside my mouth. I groaned pitifully at its foul taste. Immediately, I started spatting it into the water, twisting my face at the grainy structure of the substance that I had everywhere now - under my tongue, between my teeth... Awfully annoying feeling.

Another portion of the mud found its place on my left temple and was rubbed into my hair on that side. If Tony wasn't holding me, I swear, I would tear Dylan apart. 

"Stop it already!" I grunted, still tasting grains in my mouth. 

"Say sorry," 

I scowled at him. He was standing in front of me, one of his brows and corners of his lips he had lifted and he was gripping a decent handful of the sludge, ready to proceed with my tortures. 
I was so angry but at the same time tired and not in the mood to challenge him. 

With a heavy heart and irritation, I took a deep breath. 



I gritted my teeth, immediately regretting it because of the taste of sand. 

"For cussing at you," I growled reluctantly. 

"And?" He continued, pointing with his finger at four red, long lines on his chest that I was a proud author of. The fact that I left some (even if temporal) mark on his skin raised my spirits. Good job, Hailie. 

"And for scratching you," I added, feeling no remorse at all. 

Dylan nodded with approval and at the sight of the teeth he grinned at my side, I clenched my fists. 

"Very nice, little sis," He praised me patronizingly (I hated when he was treating me like that what was happening pretty often) and he let the sludge slide down into the water. Then, with his palm, still bedaubed with mud, he patted me on my cheek. I answered him with a murderous look. That is, I wanted it to be murderous but I doubt it impressed him. 
"Because of this look, you have to add that Dylan is the best, most handsome and smartest brother you have," He thought up, tilting his head with a smirk. 

I was about to open my mouth to tell him that he's hopeless and he's to leave me alone because... I didn't know how to finish my threat and that's why I hesitated but Tony anticipated me as he suddenly let me go. 

"Don't say this," He muttered, shaking his head with amusement at Dylan. 

When I was free, I took a few steps away from my siblings and started to rinse my mouth with water. I didn't even mind its salty taste. I tried to also get rid of the rests of mud from my face and hair. My eyes started to sting and my completely wet bathrobe was slipping down but I readjusted it right away. When I finally pulled myself together, I just shot a look at my brothers who were standing a bit away, in the place where Shane was sitting before. They were finishing their beers and laughing, from time to time peeking at me. 
I glared at them icily but came closer, slowly and conspicuously showing my distance and outrage. 

"Was it yummy?" Dylan asked, blinking at me. 

"I hate you," I repeated. 

"You are stuck here with us for the whole month, so if I were you, I'd be nicer to us," Shane advised, smiling at me friendly which totally didn't match the sense of his statement. 

"Otherwise you'll have sand every day for lunch," Dylan added, tastefully smacking his tongue at the end. 

The guys laughed and I felt annoyance again which was pursued with powerlessness. It's impossible to talk with them. I sighed. How irritating they were! I would have a better time if I stayed at home. I saddened at this thought. 

"E, come here," Tony muttered, motioning his finger at me. They calmed down and got a bit more serious. All three of them were looking at me. I gazed at them gloomily and shook my head, raising my eyes and prying again not to cry. Why did I even came here to them - I don't know. They were behaving like idiots. 
"Come on," Dylan rushed me but I could hear a little leniency in his voice. 

Normally, I would go around them and came back to the chalet where I could get rest from them but the problem was that our house was occupied by some stranger who I saw the first time in my life and who passed as my, oh my Lord, father. What's more, we were located on an island so I didn't have many options to escape. 

Resignedly, I moved towards them, not caring anymore what they wanted from me. 

"That guy," Dylan started, pointing his thumb at the house, "is our father." 

"Our means yours too," Shane explained. 

I lifted my eyes at them. I noticed that the anger was slowly letting go and its place was taken by acrimony and numbness. My brothers had to see it too because they stopped making fun of me and their looks softened. 

"Why has no one told me?" I questioned quietly, sounding hurt. I wanted to mark my words with reproaches but I failed. 

"He'll clarify everything as soon as you allow him,"  Shane promised indulgently. 
Unconsciously, I shook my head, stopping tears from falling down. 

"I don't want. I can't look at him," I confessed whisperingly because my throat clenched and also because of the fear that my brothers would get angry for what I just said. They shared some looks with each other but I dropped mine. 

I started to freeze. The water was still nice but the sun was slowly disappearing and stopped warming us up. I wrapped arms around my body when I trembled again. 

I heard the sound of splashed water and I saw Dylan coming towards me. Automatically, I wanted to move away but I lost my balance. He put his hand on my back and helped me to regain it, gently pushing me toward the beach. The twins followed us. 

"I know you are hurt, Hailie, but you don't have to forgive him just like that," Dylan told me silently, when our feet touched the sand, " Just let him explain." 

I was staring at my now muddy feet. My lips were trembling and I didn't know if it's because of the cold or emotions. Dylan didn't know it too but just in case, he cloaked me with his towel. I was still upset, especially that I thought I would never get rid of the sand from my mouth but there were more important stuff than holding a grudge. I had other things to worry about. 
Shane cocked his head and shook it to get rid of water from his ears and Tony reached for the cigarette that he had hidden in his shoe. I grabbed my sandals, not even bothering myself with putting them on. 

We were going back to the chalet, together, shoulder to shoulder, and I covered myself tighter with the towel, getting ready to see my father again.