Akane Wilson emptied the drawers that had held her mother’s clothes for so many years.  Serena Wilson had died three weeks earlier, her husband Rick along with her.  Their lives snuffed out thoughtlessly by a drunk driver.  The air in the bedroom seemed to be choking Akane, it’s soft lavender and roses scent reminding her painfully of her mother. Her eyes misted over painfully, knowing that the smell would fade in time but her grief never would.


“Akane!” A deep masculine voice called through the house.  Akane stiffened instinctively, putting down her mother’s shirt and rising slowly. Her step-brother was home.  At 28 years old, ten years her senior Darien had never tried to get along with Akane.  Despite having been a police officer for almost six years he still lived at home with the family in their country manor.


It was common knowledge that although Akane had not been Rick Wilson’s biological daughter he had adopted her and given her his name. A fact that had not much pleased her step-brother.


“What, no warm welcome for your favourite brother?”  Darien asked, leaning against the door jam.


“You’re not my brother.”  Akane answered stiffly.


“Do you want me to finish this for you?”  He asked, ignoring her snub.


“No thank you.”  She replied, turning her back on him.


“Akane, you don’t have to do this yourself.”  Darien snapped, lowering a hand onto her shoulder.


“Don’t touch me!”  She hissed spinning way from him.


“Why are you doing this? Are you really so angry that father… I mean that father’s will-.”


“Yes! Why should you get everything? I can’t live in this house anymore- you own it.”


“There’s no reason why you can’t stay here Akane. This is your home.”


“Not with you here. I’m surprised you’re even suggesting it. I know how you feel about me, I don’t think I could stand your dislike 24 hours a day.”  Akane trailed off inaudibly.


“Can you blame me for resenting you? I always came second in father’s affections and you weren’t even his child. We both know he loved you more than he could ever love me. And yet now- he leaves me everything? It doesn’t make any sense.”


Akane hesitated. “Guilt.”  She mumbled, “They probably felt guilty.”


Darien laughed, only there was nothing funny about the situation and there was no humour in the laughter, only a sort of embittered hatred and Akane wondered why he wanted her to stay.


“Let me go then.” She whispered. “Let me go if you hate me so much.”


“I’m not holding you here.”  He answered taking a step towards her.


“Aren’t you?”  She asked, unable to move.  Some part of her desperately hoping he would beg her to stay.  To let her know he wanted her with him.


“You can leave anytime you want.”  He assured her, moving to stand silently in front of her.


“I never wanted to hurt you, neither did they.” 


“Leave then.”  He repeated, still unmoving.


“Stop saying that.”  She cried desperately.




“Because then I’ll have to- I’ll have to go.” Her lip trembled.


“Isn’t that what you wanted?”


“No.”  She whispered.


“What do you want?”


“My family.”  She answered. “You.”


“I’m not your family.”


“You’re all I have.”


He laughed again, the same hard, hate filled laughter and Akane shivered. “Then you don’t have much.”


“Stop it.”  She begged. “Stop talking like that.”




“As though you hated me.”


“Maybe I do.”


“Stop it! Why are you trying to hurt me…”  She asked, her voice loaded with pain.


“I don’t have that power.”


“You do, of course you do. You always have.”  Akane could feel herself trembling. “I’ll go then, if you want me to, I’ll leave.”


“I don’t want you to. You’re the one who wanted to leave.”


“No.”  She whispered. “No.” She’d wanted him to ask her to stay with him.


“Then stay.”


“What do you want me to do?”  She cried, desperately.




“You don’t really want me to.”


“I do. Stay.”


“Do you hate me?”  She asked, afraid of the answer.




“Then I’ll stay.”


“Do you hate me?”  Darien asked her.


“No.”  She answered, wanting to reach out and comfort him. “Do you love me?” She asked, her voice pleading. “Even a little?”




“Thank god.”  She whispered, moving for the first time into his arms.


“You’ll stay?”  He asked, holding her tightly against him.


“For as long as you want me.”  She promised.


“A lifetime.  He replied, his laughter so genuine Akane couldn’t help but laugh along with him.  “Happy?”  He asked. “You got want you wanted?”


“Oh yeah, and what’s that?”




                                                THE END