The Ties That Stab pt. 3

Rick didn't bother knocking on the pool house door when he arrived at his parents' estate. He let himself in and looked around at the yellow and pink décor.

"Ugh…Emily still has sucky taste," he muttered. "Rory!"

When he got no reply, and she didn't come out to see what all of the fuss was about, he decided to make his way back to the bedroom. She was probably ignoring him, favoring sleep over being social.

"Come on, little one," Rick called. "Up and at 'em. We got a big day ahead of us."

Still he got no reply, so he opened the door to the bedroom wide, got a good look, and closed it again with a cry of surprise.

"Oh, god," Rick whimpered. "Okay. I'm counting to ten, and if you two aren't out here, covered, I'm coming in there, and throwing the blond out the window."

"You and what army?" the blond snapped.

"Logan!" Rory cried. She emerged from the bedroom first, wearing a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts. "Uncle Rick, what are you doing here?"

After her came the blond, Logan, in only a pair of boxer shorts, looking none too happy.

"Well, I thought I'd surprise you," he replied. "I wanted to take you out today, but I guess I walked in at a bad time."

"Gee, you think?" Logan snapped.

Rory turned to her boyfriend. "Be nice."

"Hi," Rick said, holding out a hand. "I'm Richard Gilmore the Second. You must be the little bastard who's defiling my niece."

Rory sighed. "Uncle Rick."

Rick smiled. "I think you should leave."

Logan blinked. "Now?"

Rick nodded.

"What about my clothes?"

"Well, you couldn't be bothered to put them on to walk out of the bedroom, I figure you've got no problem walking out of the pool house without them."

"But-"

"Go."

Logan rolled his eyes. "Come on, Man, I-"

"You wanna see a neat trick I picked up from Rory's grandmother?" Rick asked.

Rory's eyes widened. "Uncle Rick, don't-"

It was too late. Rick grabbed Logan by the ear and dragged him to the front door, shoving him out. "Have a nice day." He then slammed the door, and turned back to his niece. "So! Do Richard and Emily know you're using their pool house as a sex shack?"

Rory blushed. "I'm-!"

"Using their pool house to have sex with your boyfriend," Rick cut her off. "Do you remember how paranoid they are about sex?"

"This is different!" Rory cried.

"Why? Because they like you better than your mother?" Rick asked. "Because they think you can do no wrong?"

Rory said nothing.

Rick shook his head. "What happened to you?"

"What do you mean?"

"You went from a responsible, intelligent person, to a college drop-out who has lots of sex in her grandparents' pool house," Rick pointed out.

"I'm taking some time off!" Rory cried. "This isn't permanent!"

Rick nodded. "It will be."

"That's not true!"

"It will be permanent if you don't start doing something with yourself," he snapped. "You will be trapped here, and you will regret it."

"That's not true!" Rory repeated. "You don't know that that's true!"

"Don't I?" Rick asked. "I've seen it, Rory! I've seen good friends of mine get caught up in this, and they never get out, because the money is too good!"

"I don't care about the money!"

Rick rolled his eyes. "How much do you think it cost your grandparents to remodel this pool house for you?"

"I don't know."

"I much do you think it costs for Emily to buy you the clothes she buys you?"

"I don't know!"

"How much do you think it costs to hold one of those stupid DAR things!"

"I don't know! I don't know, okay!"

Rick nodded. "Chances are your boyfriend doesn't, either."

She glared.

"People who never have to work for anything rarely do anything," he told her.

"I'm not good at anything anyways!" Rory cried. "So what does it matter!"

"What in the hell are you talking about!" Rick yelled. "You're smarter than most adults my age! You write like nobody's business!"

"Stop lying!" Rory cried. "I know the truth! I know!"

"Rory…"

She sniffled. "That stupid internship!"

"What internship!"

"Logan's dad, Mitchum Huntzberger, gave me an internship at one of his papers," she said, getting more upset by the second. "He told me…he told me that I'm…I don't have it."

"It?"

"It!"

Rick blinked. "You lost me."

"Whatever it takes to be a journalist, I don't have it!" she said. "And that's all I've ever wanted to do, so what now!"

He sighed deeply and took his niece's hand, guiding her to a couch and sitting her down. He kneeled down in front and took her hands. "First rule of interning: Never take one from someone who has the potential to hate your guts."

She sniffled again. "I didn't think he hated me…"

"But you weren't sure," Rick said gently. "Second rule of interning: Mitchum Huntzberger is a piece of crap."

Rory blinked at him. "You know him?"

"We're both in the publishing business, Rory," he nodded. "And he's pretty notorious for being an asshole."

She tried not to laugh. "Mom hates it when you say bad words in front of me."

"You're gonna be twenty-one," Rick grinned. "I don't think she'd mind."

Rory smiled.

"Is that the whole reason you dropped out of Yale?" he asked quietly. "Cause Huntzberger tore you down?"

She looked away.

"That's not the Rory I know," Rick said. "The Rory I know woulda stuck her tongue out at that old bastard and walked off."

"But he's been doing this for so many years!"

"He's a publisher, Rory, he's not an editor, he doesn't know what he's talking about," Rich said. "He deals with money and circulation, and marketing. He doesn't deal with the writing staff, and he wouldn't know a good piece if it smacked him on the ass."

She looked at him skeptically.

"Come on, Rory, listen to the man who has his own publishing company. You know the one who built it from the ground up?"

Rory sighed.

Rick nodded. "Come on. Why don't you get cleaned up, and I'll take you out to breakfast, okay?"

She nodded and leaned forward to hug him. "Thanks, Uncle Rick."

He hugged her back and nodded. "Go."

She got up and walked back to the bedroom, closing the door.

Rick got to his feet and pulled out his cell phone, dialing a number. "Yes, hello. I'd like to speak to Mitchum Huntzberger please? Ah, he's in a meeting. Well, please tell him that Rick Gilmore called. Yes, a message would be lovely. Please copy this down: if you ever…come near my niece again…I will rip you in two. Nope, that's it. Thank you. Bye, now." He hung up.