The Ferry was finally pulling into the terminal at Port Townsend, it was small quaint town and Sophie was nervous about this visit. As they drove off the Ferry, she looked over at Brock and he smiled at her. She’d been quiet most of the drive and he’d been filling her in on who would be out at this gathering.
‘My mother and father, of course, Gerta and Thomas Giles, my youngest sister, my younger brother, Bailey, my older sister Brooke and her husband, Dick, oh I mean Dirk.’
She laughed when he said that, ‘why did you get his name wrong?’
‘I don’t like Dirk and he doesn’t care for me. He’s a complete snob as is my sister sometimes but she has a good heart. He has no heart. They have two little girls, cute as buttons but spoiled rotten.’
‘Oh Brock! That’s what you do with children, you spoil them. Where do they live?’
‘In Sammamish in the highlands. Dirk’s family is wealthy and in politics in Georgia but not as wealthy as ours. He seems to think I’m some kind of ne’er do well because I worry about people less fortunate than me and I’m not trying to abuse my power. Which is weird because I actually haven’t got any.’
‘That bad, hmmm.’
‘Oh yea, please don’t worry if he says anything racist or stupid I’ll set him straight. He’s not that smart it will be easy to do.’
‘Okay,’ Sophie was not in the mood to battle idiots so she was happy Brock seemed to have no issue doing so.
‘Brock. Can I ask you a question?’
‘Sure, why not. I’m an open book for you, baby.’
‘Have you ever brought a black woman home to your family?’
He started to laugh heartily, ‘what an odd question. Are you concerned?’
‘Well…yes and no, but can I get an answer to my question.’
‘Well, no I haven’t, but don’t let that concern you. I haven’t brought a black woman home to meet my family but then again, I haven’t brought many women home to met them. My family isn’t perfect and although their name is attached to a corporation and I love them. They’re my family and I only bring really serious girlfriends around. That way it keeps down trouble for me.’
Sophie turned to smirk at him, Brock caught her look. Now she was really freaking out.
As they drove Sophie couldn’t help but notice the beautiful trees, it had been awhile since she’d been out to the Peninsula and it was gorgeous. She’d tried to pack conservative clothing she didn’t want to be too provocative. From what Brock had told her his family was mildly conservative. She’d also brought evening wear. He said it was a requirement that they dress up for dinner Saturday evening. She didn’t have an evening dress so she’d gone to Macy’s to buy one. She almost went to Lindstrom’s but she thought it was would be over doing it if she stepped into their household with one of their evening dresses on. Sophie had never even heard of dressing for dinner, she’d only done that as a child when they went to her grandparents house after church on Sunday. Leann had helped her pick out something for the dinner but as usual with Leann it was low cut and sexy. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do it but Leann had reassured it was in good taste and that Brock would love it. Leann had picked out a white one shouldered mini sheath with embellishment at the shoulder and a pair of strappy silver sandals with crystals on them. Sophie remembered the last outfit Leann picked for her on the date with the narcissistic lawyer, she hoped this whole thing went over well.
They were winding down a road with not much more than fir trees to catch their eye. It was Friday and summer so it was a cool night. The moon roof on Brock’s Prius was open and Sophie could feel the breeze she heard the crickets singing in the evening and although it was almost 8 pm, it was still light outside. She loved these northern summers. They came to a road that just looked deserted and Brock turned in although it was paved it wasn’t paved well. It seemed that if another car came toward them it would be a pretty decent game of chicken going on for who got the right of way.
‘Ahh the old homestead,’ Brock chimed in and he took her hand and squeezed it.
She figured he was trying to reassure her but at this moment nothing was going to make her feel better. As they drove along the road started to wind, Brock didn’t have any issues as they made their way further in. As they went along, Sophie could see something through the trees, just peeks but it was a very large clearing and a house, well not exactly a house, a mansion and suddenly he took another sharp turn and it appeared. Sophie was blown away it was huge, it was the biggest homes she’d ever seen.
She saw Brock turn to her and grin, ‘impressed? You ought to see the Italian villa.’
She looked at him, ‘you have an villa?’
‘Well, I don’t per se but the family does. This house is just a place to relax here in Washington. This is Vatten Stuga, the Water Lodge.’
‘Do you speak Swedish?’
‘A little, I had to learn on my own. My great grandfather forbade his children from speaking Swedish he wanted them to be real Americans,’ he says with sarcasm. He didn’t seem really proud of that part of his family story. But then he suddenly cheered up and patted her knee, ‘I’m so glad you’re here Sophie, I’m so glad.’
Sophie felt like he meant those words. She was glad to be here too because suddenly the cool and collected Brock she knew seemed nervous and stiff. She wondered what that was all about.
As Brock pulled up he parked by a Porsche SUV, there were a few other luxury vehicles parked in spaces as well.
‘I see Brooke is here with Dirk, this is his Porsche. God, he’s such a douchebag I really think he’s cheating on my sister but I can’t prove it.’
Sophie exited the car quietly she didn’t know what to say to that news but the easygoing man that had driven them here was gone and this tense one had taken his place.
As they opened the hatchback Sophie noticed three people headed their way. An older woman and gentlemen and a younger man about Brock’s age but shorter and he looked like he’d been working hard.
‘Hello Mr. Giles,’ the man spoke first as they approached.
‘Hello Mr. Rundquist and Mrs. Rundquist, how are you two doing.’
‘Fine. And yourself?’
‘I’m fine Mr. Rundquist. Let me introduce you. This is my girlfriend, Sophie Robeson. Sophie this is Mr. and Mrs. Rundquist, they’re the caretakers here.’
‘Hello,’ Sophie was cordial Mr. Rundquist greeted her, the woman however just nodded her head and looked suspicious. This was not how she wanted to start this trip but whatever.
‘Felix, how are you?’
‘Good, very good Mr. Giles.’
The man spoke with a slight accent. He was Filipino and seemed very nice.
‘Can I take those for you ma’am?’ he asked Sophie and started to take her bags and put them on a dolly. He took Brock’s after wards and headed back up to the house.
As Sophie got a good look at it, she really noticed how beautiful it was. It was a giant wooden mansion with intricate detail and carvings all over it. They looked to be Swedish traditional carvings, Sophie couldn’t believe how beautiful it appeared. The place was huge with a large porch that looked as if it went all the way around. She felt Brock’s hand on her arm.
‘Hey, Mr. Rundquist is everyone around the back at the pool?’ Mr. Rundquist told him yes and Brock started to lead Sophie toward to back of the house.
‘Pool? This place is by a lake, what’s the pool for?’
‘The kids. Come on, I’ll take you back there and introduce you to everyone. I think my Uncle Peter is here and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.’
‘Are your parents here?’
‘Umm yea, my mom was driven out and my dad’s Mercedes is back up there parked in the garage.’
Sophie just walked silently as they strolled along a rock path toward the back of the large home. It was a long walk but she noticed the lake as they walked, it was beautiful and serene. She could see other homes across its span with docks and large boats pulled up to them. She guessed this was the time for folks to be out on Discovery Bay. Summer here had to be spectacular. Brock took her hand as they approached the back of the home. She felt much better because as they walked the yard she was overwhelmed. It had guest houses and another large two story home she saw coming onto the grounds. There was large playground, tennis courts and a basketball court and lots of land. Sophie suddenly started to hear voices, a loud discussion about politics but not like anything she’d ever heard. It wasn’t not loud with laughter, it was a stern discussion of money. There were some people not agreeing about the economic future of our country.
‘Oh goodness, not already. I knew it was coming but not this soon. Sophie, please don’t break up with me because of my family.’
Before they entered the fray he turned to hug her, he kissed her tenderly then more passionately it was a kiss she’d never felt before. Sophie was swept away, they’d kissed many times but something about this kiss was desperate and hungry he squeezed her tight and clung to her. Sophie wasn’t sure what this was about but she liked it.
‘Uh-unh.’ Sophie heard the interruption to the side of her. Brock let his grip go slightly limp but still had her in his arms. They both looked to the person who’d interrupted their little intimate moment.
She was blonde, slim with blue eyes and a tall frame and she looked rather pissed.
‘Sorry sis,’ Brock told her looking contrite.
So this was the sister she’d heard so much about. She was lovely although not as beautiful as Sophie thought she would be but she’d keep that to herself. At her feet were two adorable little girls one was blonde and the other had brunette hair.
‘And there are my favorite nieces, come give me a hug.’
The two little squeaking delights ran toward him as he stooped. Sophie smiled it was such an adorable image, she could imagine him with their kids one day. Whoa! That thought was out of nowhere, they’re kids. Sophie pushed it aside.
Brock turned and stretched his hand out to Sophie, ‘Sophie, I want you to meet my two favorite girls. This is Tate and Morgan.’
The girls twisted in their little matching outfits and played coy, they were cute. Just as adorable as Brock had told her.
‘Hello, Tate. Hello, Morgan.’ They smiled shyly at her.
‘Also, this is my sister, Brooke. Sis, this my girlfriend, Sophie Roberson.’
Brock’s sister smiled toward her and extended her hand, Sophie shook it. It was rather formal but everyone’s family wasn’t hers.
‘Come on back, Brock, everyone has been expecting you. I know they’ll be happy to see you.’ She grabbed Brock by the arm and started to drag him toward the crowd. The girls went running in front of them. Sophie came in behind them, it seemed as if his sister was happy to see him but not thrilled to see the new girlfriend.
It had been a whirlwind, there were a lot of people in the back on a large stone patio and wood deck with a huge fire pit in the middle. Brock’s family seemed happy to see him. Sophie had been introduced all around, it was a large family and they weren’t even all there. Sophie had met his Aunts and Uncles and some cousins and lots of kids. His Uncle Peter would be there tomorrow on a plane from Puerto Rico, seems he was the black sheep in the family kind of like Brock and also his favorite Uncle.
‘Mom and Dad this is Sophie, my new girlfriend. Sophie, these are my parents Thomas and Gerta Giles.’
‘Hello Sophie, so glad you could join us. Brock doesn’t bring many of his female companions here so we’re honored.’
‘Thank you Mr. Giles.’ Brock’s dad was tall about as tall as he was. He had dark hair like Brock with gray at his temples with those chocolate brown eyes like Brock and was in great shape. He also had a slight British accent. Sophie was really happy he seemed really welcoming and friendly.
‘It’s so nice to meet you Sophie. Brock has spoken about you to me, it’s just wonderful to finally meet,’ his mother spoke to her smiling ear to ear.
‘It’s nice to meet you too, Mrs. Giles.’
‘Oh no, please call me Gerta.’
‘Yes, we’re not that formal here despite what Brock may have told you,’ Mr. Giles looked over at Brock and smiled.
Sophie noticed Brock’s mother was staring at her, it wasn’t oddly, she just kept smiling. She was tall but so were most of the women in Brock’s family it seemed. She had brown hair in a blunt haircut very stylish and was slim with a athletic physique. She was a very pretty woman and looked as if she’d been a real beauty in her day.
‘Well, I’m so happy to meet everyone,’ Sophie hadn’t been this nervous meeting a guy’s family ever but she had so many feelings invested in her relationship with Brock. She didn’t want this to go badly.
‘Where is Grammy?’
Sophie giggled a bit at Brock’s use of ‘Grammy’ it was so cute coming from this strong and capable man. He looked over at her a bit embarrassed.
‘Your grandmother went to bed at 7pm. You know how she is Brock,’ his mother responded.
‘I know. Sophie, my grandmother has a regimen that is strict, up at 5am to bed by 7pm. She’s kept it all her life and the woman is healthy as a horse. Where’s Bailey?’
His dad looked at his mom, ‘Bailey is on a business trip.’ He made the air quotes as he said it.
Sophie wasn’t sure but she was sure that something was amiss about his brother not being here.
A young woman came up and hugged him tight. She looked familiar like Brock’s mother.
‘Hey there, my little Bianca.’
‘I am not little Brock. Stop calling me that.’
‘You’re still little to me,’ and put her in a headlock which had her screaming to the top of her lungs.
‘Brock, let your sister go,’ she looked over at Sophie in exasperation, ‘I swear these two have been like this forever but he loves his sister. You two stop it!’
Sophie could see that. She finally got introduced to his little sister who was actually not little, she played basketball at Gonzaga and like his mother and older sister was a beauty with blue eyes and long brunette hair. She was a lot like Brock, fun and very social. She talked a lot and had brought her roommate, Vicky, to this family gathering. A pretty petite blond who seemed to have an eye for Brock.
Everyone had been really nice and friendly, everyone except his brother in law, Dirk. He’d been quite cold and although he treated her with disdain there was something in his eyes that kept watching her with disgust and sexual longing. It creeped Sophie completely out, he just seemed like a perverted ass who was totally about image while living a hidden freaky life. She was going to try her best to avoid him the remainder of the weekend.
Later that evening most everyone had settled in for the night. She, Brock and a few of his cousins along with his sister, Bianca and her friend were still up hanging outside drinking and chatting.
‘I like your family.’
‘They’re not bad. It’s sometimes like an out of this world experience coming here.’
‘Well, look around Sophie. Who lives like this? Most of the time I’m in the real world and when I come here, it just seems artificial somehow.’
‘Well, I love it.’
‘Yea a lot of people do.’
Sophie looked over at him, he was staring at the sky as if he’d just checked out of the entire conversation. She decided to settle into his embrace as they both stared out to the beautiful clear night sky.
Sophie had finally gotten sleepy. Brock was leading her upstairs toward their room. If it looked big on the outside, the house was ginormous on the inside. The were staying in the East Wing while his parents, Aunts, and Uncles stayed in the West Wing of the mansion the part occupied by his grandmother. They’d come to the room on the second floor, yes the home did have three floors.
‘This is goodnight,’ he told her as he opened the door and escorted her in.
‘Goodnight? Where are you staying?’
‘I have a room down the hall. My grandmother does not allow unmarried people to share bedrooms in her home. She’s Catholic. So no hanky panky.’
Sophie stepped into the room, it was large with a large wooden canopy bed against the wall. It was beautifully decorated in hues of rose, a deep ruby color, and gold accents. She couldn’t imagine sleeping in here the entire night alone.
‘This room is too big, Brock.’
‘What do you mean, it’s the size of your apartment,’ he said sarcastically and grinned.
‘I’m not joking. It’s a little intimidating and kind of scary.’
‘Well, I’m sorry this is it. The majority of the rooms here are now taken. Don’t be frightened you’re safe as kittens here. Come on in and relax. This is part of my grandmother’s addition to the house and see, at least you have your own bathroom. I don’t even have that and I’m a favorite grandchild.’
Great, she thought.
‘You’ll be fine.’
‘I don’t think so. Where are you at?’
‘Two doors down, left side.’
‘Okay and by the way where’s your brother? Bailey.’
‘Huh? What kind of question is that?’
‘Well your mother seemed annoyed when you asked and your father and his air quotes and eyebrow told a me something was wrong.’
‘Are you trying to get me to stay?’
‘Well, yes and no. Brock, please, just stay till I go to sleep.’
‘Okay but if you get me in trouble with my Grammy…well young lady, this relationship could be on the rocks.’
Sophie laughed at him and ushered him in. She got ready for bed and got under the covers, she had to say the bed felt like cotton. This probably would be an easy rest tonight. He was still fully dressed just his shoes were off. She got under the covers and he sat on them and held her close. It was comfortable in the house, not too cold, not too warm. Sophie figured when she got to sleep she’d sleep well.
‘Well, are you going to answer my question.’
‘Bailey is with a mystery woman.’
‘For the last couple of months Bailey has been M.I.A. when it comes to family gatherings. My dad said when he ask where he was, Bailey just shoos him off. My mother is upset she thinks the woman is a bad influence on him if she won’t even let him come to spend time with his family.’
‘Do you know anything about it? Who she is?’
‘No. Bailey works for the family corporation. My dad is CFO, Bailey is Assistant Chief of operations. My brother is 27 years old, he’s his own man. I don’t get why mom and dad are so worried. He doesn’t shirk any of his duties at work, he just doesn’t come to family stuff all the time. My dad told me while I was down there that Bailey took the private jet to Italy this weekend. My mom doesn’t know.’
Private jet? Sophie was so overwhelmed by the wealth of these people she didn’t know how to cope barely but she didn’t want Brock to know that. She kept thinking about tomorrow’s dinner and that dress she bought from Macy’s these women probably had their dresses made by the best designers in Europe and here she comes with off the rack.
‘Oh,’ was the only response she could think of for what Brock just told her.
‘I don’t know. Bailey is very private. He’s always been that way, we’re not close because he’s more reserved than me. He went to military school for God’s sake. But we do have one thing in common.’
‘We both love beautiful women.’ He peered down at her and Sophie could feel him coming in for the kiss. It was intense, he was going deep and gathering her up into his solid arms. They started to caress each other and then his hands reached under her nightgown. Sophie was all in now and suddenly he pulled away.
‘What’s wrong Brock?’ she was bereft and confused at his sudden change of heart.
‘This,’ he pointed down at the hardness in his shorts, ‘I want to make love with you so badly but right now I’m so horned up I’d make way too much noise. I better get to bed, so should you.’
Sophie knew he was right. She didn’t want to disrespect his grandmother’s wishes but she was just hoping she could get a little something, it probably would have put her to sleep. He got up and got himself in working order. Sophie walked him to her door, they kissed briefly before he left and before they ended up naked on that very big bed in the throes of passion.
She closed the door as he said goodnight and left. Sophie was feeling strangely about this entire trip not just about her awkwardness at being in the midst of the super rich but also wondering why Brock had brought her. He clearly wasn’t extremely close to his family, although they seemed very loving, and wasn’t part of the family business. She wondered what the hell was she doing here.