A/N: I own nothing and make no money. I just like to write for the pleasure of it and for any that want to read it. I do write for myself and also for anyone who likes this story. I try to take into account what people like or do not like so please feel free to PM me. Reviews are appreciated (I try to thank all individually) but I also understand that there are those who may read along quietly and never comment. Either way, thank you. I also try to limit A/Ns in general but sometimes it is the only way for me to communicate with you so I will from time to time.
Warnings: Spanking in some chapters, references to spanking in others, foul language, sexual innuendoes, child abuse (non-vivid descriptions), violence, fisticuffs, drama, angst, family fluff, teenage romance, hurt, comfort, brotherly moments, emotional scenes, grief, love. (I think I covered it all).
Sig Hansen - 18 years old. Eldest brother. Blond, tall, cobalt blue eyes, hard working, highly personable. Currently looking after his two younger brothers this summer.
Norman Hansen - 17 years old. Middle brother. Short, muscular, cobalt blue eyes, light brown hair, highly intelligent but has a fierce temper.
Edgar Hansen - 13 years old. Kid brother. Lanky, tall for his age, soft shaggy brown hair, dark green eyes, stubborn but absolutely adorable, loveable and insecure at times.
Sig waited at the kitchen table glaring at the screen door, his anger growing by the minute. It was now 11:30 at night and his youngest brother, Edgar, was still not home. Norman, their middle brother, was watching television out in the living room. Or at least he was suppose to be. In reality, Norman was hanging around instead of going to bed in order to make sure his oldest brother didn't kill his youngest brother the minute he walked through the door.
Edgar had missed his curfew by two and half hours now and both brothers were starting to get very worried, although neither one of them would admitted it to the other.
Their mother had passed away very suddenly six months ago. A massive stroke, the doctor had said. They buried her three days before Edgar's 13th birthday.
Their father was devastated, retreating into his own world and said very little. He stayed home from Opie fishing season that year to be with his boys, not wanting to farm them out to family.
The three boys silently grieved the loss of their mother in their own ways. Sig buried his head in his school work and took a job working at the docks, repairing boats and equipment. Norman was always working the local hardware store, building engines with his friends and hanging out with his girlfriend. Both older boys were rarely home.
Edgar, being the youngest, took his mother's loss the hardest. He started skipping school and changed his circle of friends. He was on a constant drive to find some kind of adventure and the more dangerous it was, the more it appealed to him. His father seemed to be in a permanent fog and had no idea what he was up to. His brothers practically abandoned him as he almost never saw them anymore.
For Edgar, it was like he lost his entire family all at the same time.
It wasn't always like the way it was now. Although they were never a touchy feely kind of family, they always spent time with each other. Mom always made family dinners and stressed the importance of being together. They took vacations together and celebrated holidays together. The three boys loved each other very much but didn't ever communicate it verbally, taking a page right from their stoic's father's playbook. He was a quiet man who had a temper but kept it reigned on when it came to his boys. He just rarely showed them physical affection.
All that came from mom and when she left, so did the physical affection.
Edgar felt the loss of that affection the most, being sensitive and needing that kind of love more than his older brothers. He was a hard working kid, even at an earlier age, who almost always tried in school, did his chores and tried to stay out of trouble. Like most kids, he got into his fair share of trouble but it wasn't anything out of the norm.
Finally, with bills piling up and their savings dwindling, their father had to go fishing. The family owned a crab boat which their father captained. He had just left five days ago for the start of a two month Salmon trip.
Before leaving, their dad informed Sig, who was now 18 years old and a high school graduate, that he could not go him with him as he had promised last year. Instead, Sig was given the responsibility of taking care of Edgar for the summer. Norm, now 17 years old, could basically take care of himself.
Sig was painfully disappointed. He had wanted to fish this summer and have his dad start training him as co-captain. The last thing he wanted to do was stay home and baby-sit a 13 year old. But he accepted his father's decision because there was nothing either of them could do about. Mom was gone and everyone's lives had changed when she left.
Unfortunately for Sig, upon dad's departure, whatever was left of the leash Edgar still had himself on disappeared and the kid went hog wild. It was summer and Edgar failed his 7th grade year. The school essentially said they were just passing him up 8th grade because of the loss of his mother. Sig secretly thought the middle school just want to get rid of him.
Since dad left, Edgar was spending his summer coming and going from the house when he pleased. He blew off every chore, curfew and any other standing house rule. He started drinking, which Sig couldn't call him on since he himself starting drinking at Edgar's age.
But more concerning than any of that was Sig knew Edgar had starting hanging out with a very bad and dangerous crowd of older kids, some of which were not kids but young adults in their twenties. Sig knew these guys from school since most of them were in his class or the classes right before him. They were total losers, drug dealers, addicts and thugs and God knows what else. Sig was still acquaintances with one or two of them that actually worked for a living.
This group often hung out at a place called "The Shack" which was a run-down bar on the outskirts of town in the middle of nowhere. Lots of dangerous things happened at "The Shack" like accidental drug overdoses, fights that ended in murder and illegal gambling. One of the dumbest things Sig heard of was that people would hold dirt bike racing in the dark and bet on who would crash first. On the other hand, Edgar must have thought this was greatest idea since sliced bread because Sig had found out from a source that his brother was now a recent participant in this ridiculousness. Edgar, being a dirt bike racer with an awesome bike (suped up by their middle brother, budding engineer that Norm was) was drawn to this sort of activity like a bee to honey.
Sig was genuinely worried for his little brother. In all actuality, he was totally petrified and scared to death that something bad was going to happen to Edgar. The thought made him sick to his stomach.
Norman walked in the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a can of Mug root beer. He popped the top and leaned against the refrigerator. "He's fine, you know. He'll be home any minute" he said , attempting to draw Sig out of his brooding.
"He's far from fine. You know where he is" Sig said, having already shared his source's information with his middle brother. "You've heard what it's like down there."
"Hey, you and I have done some pretty stupid stuff, too." Norm said with a chuckle.
Sig was a little irritated that Norm didn't seem to be getting the gravity of the situation. "Yes, stupid stuff like drinking our friend's parent's liquor or taking the car without permission. This is different. It's like Edgar's hell bent on getting himself killed. Those people he is hanging out with are a lot different that the kids we hung out with when we were his age. They don't play for fun. He is on a bad path, Norm, and you know it. Stop trying to play this down. It won't help him. If he doesn't stop this shit, he's going to end up dead by the end of the summer. Those guys down there won't hesitate to kill him if he crosses them."
Sig is right, Norm had to admit to himself. Their little brother was in big trouble and there was no one else around to help them. "So, what are YOU gonna do about it?" Norm asked, taking himself out of the equation and also curious to see how his older brother was going to handle this situation. He wondered for a minute if he needed to lock up the knives and sharp objects.
"Shit, I don't know. What do you think?" Sig asked, desperate for any kind of help he could find.
Norm shrugged his shoulders and turned his cobalt blue eyes to his oldest brother, "I hate saying this cause I feel like I'm selling him out but… ground him, take the bike away. Give him some kind of consequences that will keep him safe for awhile and maybe he'll change his mind about the direction he going."
Sig sighed and turned the same Hansen blue eyes to his short, stocky middle brother in return. "You hated saying that, huh? How do you think I feel actually doing it?" Sig asked regretfully.
Norman didn't get a chance to answer. Both brothers heard the motor bike pull up in the driveway. They turned and looked at each other.
Norm added quickly, for the sake of his little brother's life "Stay calm, Sig. I know it's hard for you but try to have patience. Remember, he shuts down when people yell at him." Norm got up to leave, saving his little brother the embarrassment of an audience when the law got laid down. He didn't go too far, just back into the living room and started "watching" TV again.
Sig took a deep breath and silently asked God for patience. He knew very well that patience was not strength for him. He would find a way, though, to be both patient and strong for his brother.
The screen door of the kitchen opened and a tall, lanky, shaggy haired kid walked in. Sig wondered for a moment how he was the blond one of the family when both his younger brothers had gorgeous light brown hair. Edgar was covered in dust and dirt from his sneakers to his white Metallic shirt. He had dirt smudged on his face and his hair was filthy.
Edgar saw Sig at the kitchen table and froze with the fined tuned instinct of a kid in trouble, big trouble. His dark green eyes grew wide. Shit!
Please let this go ok, Sig thought to himself.
"What time is it?" Sig asked with purpose.
"Late" Edgar replied with a tinge of attitude.
"What time is your curfew?" Sig asked
"Do I have one?" Edgar asked brazenly
Sig had to restrain himself for a minute. "You know you do, you always have. Your curfew is 9: oo. It's now 11:45. Where were you?"
Edgar couldn't get out of this question without lying. He hated lying to his brothers but he wasn't always completely honest with them either. Oh, God let me pull this off. Edgar was a terrible liar and he knew it. "I was hanging out with Matt. Must have lost track of time." He started rubbing at the dirt on his face.
Sig had him dead to rights. "I called Matt's house earlier. He's out of town at his dad's this weekend. You want to try again?"
I'm cooked Edgar thought. He couldn't give Sig the straight answer because his brother would kill him if he knew where he really was. So Edgar shook his head no and said nothing.
Sig started as gently as he could "You were at "The Shack" racing your bike." It wasn't a question but a statement.
Edgar's eyes hit the floor. How the hell does he know this? Guy must have spies everywhere. Edgar continued to focus on rubbing the dirt and, perhaps, the skin right off his face.
Sig continued "You know you are not allowed down there. I know you know why. You're a smart kid. It's dangerous."
Edgar continued to maintain the 5th.
Sig sighed and added softly,"We were worried."
Edgar kept his eyes on the floor but was genuinely a little shocked at that statement. He didn't think his brothers cared where he was.
Sig continued again, trying to get his brother to look at him "What were you thinking? This isn't you. This isn't like you."
That got Edgar's attention. He flashed his dark green eyes at his brother in anger "How the hell would you know what I'm like? You're not here. You're never here. You're only here because dad is making you."
Sig lost his patience a lot faster than he hoped. "Damn it!" He slammed his hand on the table, causing Edgar to jump from the noise. "I wish dad were here but he's not."
Neither is mom the thought hung between them.
"Maybe you wouldn't be acting this way if he was here." Sig tried to calm down, taking a breath, "Doesn't matter. I'm the lucky one that got put in charge. So, you're now officially grounded."
Edgar was stunned. His jaw dropped to the floor. "What?" was the only word he could manage to get out of his mouth.
"For the week," Sig finished softly, and then added "No bike until further notice."
The gravity of the situation was starting to become real and Edgar realized that his big brother was punishing him. He had the right, being the one left in charge. But the sting of it was unexpected. "You can't," Edgar pleaded, caught somewhere between the anger of being punished and just being angry at himself for being stupid.
"Believe me, I wish I couldn't. I wish I wasn't in this position," Sig said honestly.
Edgar was starting to lose it. "I bet you wish you weren't even here," he said sharply.
Sig looked at his brother and could see the kid was holding back the tears. "You know that's not true, Edgar. What's wrong with you? You never talk to me like this," Sig asked.
"Whatever. I'm going to get a shower," Edgar said as he started to cross the kitchen.
"Edgar, we're not done talking and you haven't been excused yet," Sig said firmly. God, I sound like dad.
Edgar kept going "Fuck you, Sig," he added with so much hatred that Sig couldn't move quick enough to stop him. Maybe that was a good thing because who knows what would have happened next if he had.
Edgar stormed out of the kitchen and saw Norman on the sofa. He started to try and plead his case but Norman immediately put his hand palm side up towards him in the silent gesture of "I'm not getting involved." Edgar groaned in disgust and took the stairs two at a time.
Norm waited a minute, heard the shower and got up to go in the kitchen. Sig was still sitting at the same place as he was before Edgar got home.
Norm couldn't resist. "That went well" he said sarcastically.
Sig was still in a state of shock. "What the fuck was that? Where the hell did my baby brother go and who the hell is that brat that looks like him? He actually total me "Fuck you" and meant it. I mean, yeah, he's said it to me but only ever joking around."
Norm felt sorry for Sig. He felt sorry for Edgar, too. "Hey, give him a break; it isn't easy getting punished by your big brother. I know I'd struggle with it. But I'm perfect so I don't have to worry about it. I don't do anything to get punished for," he added with a smile, trying to get a smile from his brother as well.
Sig rolled his eyes. Norm got punished more than Sig ever did growing up, mostly because he liked to test the limits of their father's patience.
Norm added "Leave him be tonight. He just needs time."
"When the hell did you get so damn smart, little brother?" Sig asked.
"That's not the question. The question is 'how could you not notice before?'" Norm got up to go to bed and left Sig to sulk in private.
What did he expect? For Edgar to say, hey, thanks for punishing me, I appreciated. No, but the anger he saw in his brother's eyes told him that Edgar was mad at him for a lot more than just tonight. His brother was on an emotional bender that was about to end in disaster if someone didn't step in and do something about it. Sig had a very bad feeling in his stomach – the one that only came where there was a big storm on the horizon.
There was a big storm coming too. Sig went to bed after he heard the shower stop and Edgar slam his bedroom door. In the morning, Sig woke up to find Edgar gone. He went into his room to wake him up for breakfast and he was gone, bed still made from the night before. His window was wide open.
Sig heard Norm call up the stairs "Hey, bike's gone."
The only thought Sig had at that moment – I'm gonna kill him.