It's been a while, so I'll be blabbing at the end.
It had been over two weeks since the paternity test revealed that Wyatt was in fact William Spencer Jr.'s son, and a lot of changes had occurred. The result of the paternity test hadn't exactly come as a surprise to anyone. The physical resemblance between Bill and Wyatt, the timeline of Bill and Quinn's relationship, and Steffy's impressive deductive skills were all strong indicators of Wyatt's biological connections.
As soon as the results came out, everyone in the family was very welcoming towards Wyatt, everyone but Liam who -to this day, still refused to acknowledge his new-found brother. Steffy was at complete loss about the reasons pushing Liam to be so aloof and dismissive with Wyatt, and his unwillingness to explain his behavior wasn't helping any. She didn't remember a time when she saw him act so out of character. Obviously, Steffy was not the only one confused about her fiancé's irrational behavior. Bill was also quite upset with his eldest son. If anything, Bill expected Liam to be the first person on Wyatt's team considering their similar stories. After all, it wasn't so many years ago that Liam was exactly in Wyatt's shoes.
Despite the rather stormy start between his two adult sons, Bill was determined to do whatever it took to make them become friends and eventually, conduct themselves like brothers. As a matter of fact, the more hostile Liam acted towards Wyatt, the harder Bill worked to bring them closer, which was one of his reasons for offering his new-found son a position at Spencer Publications, alongside himself and Liam. He thought Liam could teach his brother the ropes of the job. He saw it as a bonding opportunity for his two sons.
One had to say that things were going extremely well professionally for Wyatt. In addition to Bill's proposition for him to join the family company, the Forresters had also made him an offer to assist his mother in her jewelry work for Hope for the Future. Quinn had pitched the idea to Eric a few days before, and Steffy -who at the time being was the one who knew Wyatt best, disregarding his mother of course -had given her assent, so Eric had decided to give Wyatt a chance, temporarily. The latter was currently employed at Forrester Creations on a trial basis, which worked perfectly for him because Wyatt wasn't sure yet where he wanted to settle permanently.
As much as he wanted to build a relationship with his new-found father and claim what was rightfully his as a Spencer, Wyatt still had bridges to mend with his mother. She had been the only constant in his life since the day he was born, they had both stuck with one another through thick and thin, and he couldn't simply toss her aside now like a pair of old sockets because he had finally found his father. Quinn was already upset enough as it was that he was even aware of his kinship to Bill, Wyatt could only imagine how badly she would react if he ended up deciding to work for the guy too. She would most definitely perceive it as an act of betrayal, and nobody dealt with betrayal quite like Quinn Fuller.
Whatever his ultimate decision turned out to be, for now, things were going great for Wyatt at Forrester Creations. Although he'd only been there for a short amount of time, that was all it had taken for Wyatt to make an impression. Everybody liked him. Everybody appreciated his friendliness, his zeal, his diligence, not to mention his hard work. He was quite the sociable guy. His relationship to Steffy Forrester and Hope Logan were only two of the reasons why he was so popular around the office. It was a known fact to everyone at Forrester Creations that Steffy couldn't be more in love with Liam and that Hope and Oliver were very much an item, but still, that didn't exactly stop the gossiping or the unfounded rumors.
"Quinn! Hi!" Steffy hailed the older woman as she moved past her.
"Oh Steffy, hey!" Quinn stopped dead in her tracks and walked back towards the young brunette. "What's up?"
"I just received an email from Oliver about the most recent proofs for Hope for the Future in which the models are wearing your jewelry."
"Oh, are they in need of your approval before they get released to the public?"
"That's right, yes." Steffy confirmed.
Quinn nodded. "So what do you think?" she raised an inquisitive eyebrow. She was actually a bit nervous about Steffy's view on her designs. She was fond of the young woman's style and thus valued her opinion.
"I love them." Steffy immediately replied. "They're amazing, and I don't mean just the photographs either, the pieces of jewelry too."
"Really?!" Quinn couldn't contain a beam of pride from spreading across her face.
"Absolutely." Steffy reiterated. "Your entire collection is beautiful. Truly. It's edgy and classic at the same time. Avant-gardist yet old-fashioned. It's the perfect balance of modernism and tradition, and that's what Forrester Creations is going for right now."
Quinn literally glowed under Steffy's unexpected praise. It meant so much to finally get recognition and commendation for all her years of hard work.
"We are very lucky to have you." Steffy continued with a warm smile.
"Thank you. I consider myself extremely lucky to collaborate with you as well." Quinn replied appreciatively, returning her smile.
"Hey, keep up the good work, and who knows? You might get to work on other lines, not just Hope for the Future." Steffy hypothesized.
"Really? You think so?" The jeweler artist's excitement at the thought was palpable.
"Yeah, I do." Steffy stated before quickly amending herself. "I mean my grandfather and my brother would have to give their approval of course, but if you keep doing so well, I can see it happen."
"I would love that."
Steffy's mouth curved into a small smile, just as she remembered why she had stopped Quinn in the first place. "Anyway, I meant to ask you: have you seen Wyatt today? He's not answering on his phone." She enquired.
"Um, I have, but not in the last couple of hours no, sorry. He's probably hanging out with Hope… somewhere in the office." Quinn offered.
Steffy managed to maintain an almost impassive expression. "With Hope, huh?"
"Yeah, most likely. I mean it's who he spends most of his days with lately."
"It is, isn't it?" Steffy muttered under her breath at Quinn's statement.
Quinn frowned, not having caught that. "Sorry."
"Nothing." Steffy shook her head. "I uh, I'm going to keep looking for him. Thank you." She said and walked away.
Wyatt knocked on Steffy's door and waited for her to allow him to come in before he did. He let her know that his mother had informed him that she was looking for him.
"I'm sorry I didn't pick up earlier when you called. I didn't have my phone with me." Wyatt apologized and Steffy acknowledged his words with a nod and a small smile. "So… how are you?" he asked.
"Good. Very good, thank you. You?"
"I am great."
Steffy gave Wyatt the once-over. "You look great." She paused before pursuing inquisitively, "Does Hope have anything to do with that by any chance?"
Wyatt arched an eyebrow at Steffy. Surely, he had misunderstood her. "Excuse me?"
She stared at him pointedly. "You heard me."
"Why would you say that?"
"I did not make a statement, Wyatt. I asked you a question." She rectified. "From what I've heard, you and Hope have been spending quite a bit of time together lately, so I was wondering if she was in any way responsible for your good mood…" Steffy explained simply.
She had been observing the less than discrete rapprochement between Hope and Wyatt for a few days now, and she had abstained from making hasty judgments, telling herself that perhaps they were simply forming a purely platonic friendship. But seeing the evolution of Hope and Wyatt's relationship and hearing all the gossip about them at the office, Steffy deemed it was time for her to have a serious conversation with Wyatt. She had hoped that Oliver would grow a pair and take a stand, asserting himself as the man in Hope's life thereby setting appropriate boundaries with Wyatt and getting the latter to back off, but since Oliver hadn't, Steffy resolved to take matters into her own hands and ensure that the gap between Liam and Wyatt did not broaden.
"She is, yeah." Wyatt finally admitted. "So are you. So is every employee here. I love working at Forrester Creations. Everyone is so nice and pleasant. Not to mention down-to-earth and humble." He added, gesturing to Steffy, illustrating her point.
Steffy smiled warmly at Wyatt as she walked around her desk to her seat.
"I'm glad you're enjoying your time at Forrester Creations. We love having you here as well." She was being genuine. Wyatt truly was a promising element.
"Well, I have you to thank for that."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do." Wyatt countered.
She arched an eyebrow at him. "My grandfather offered you the job." She reminded him.
"And he wouldn't have without your support." He smirked.
Steffy rolled her eyes. "Well, like I said, we're glad to have you here." She raised her eyes to him and only briefly hesitated before saying, "I care about you, Wyatt. I care about what happens to you. I want you to have a successful career, I want you to get along with your family." Hoping to make an impact, she paused and let her heartfelt words sink in. "Speaking of which, when was the last time you spoke to your brother?"
Wyatt released a sardonic laugh. "Wow, Steffy, I'm impressed at how smoothly you managed to work Liam into the conversation."
Steffy stared back at Wyatt, wordlessly.
"I tried calling him a few days ago. He didn't respond and I haven't heard back from him." Steffy attempted to speak after that, but he didn't give her a chance, pursuing his thoughts, "So if your goal here is to convince me to bond with my little brother, I suggest you have this conversation with your fiancé instead." He advised aloofly.
Steffy looked down and heaved a deep sigh.
Knowing full well that she only meant well and that she truly had all their best interests at heart, Wyatt's features softened. "Steffy…" he called, drawing her attention back to him. "I owe you a lot. Everything good that has happened to me since I've arrived in LA has been because of you, and I really couldn't be more grateful." His entire life, all Wyatt ever had was his mother -who was as much a blessing as she was a curse -but now, thanks to Steffy, he was part of a family. He had a father, two younger brothers, a cousin, a step-mother, and Steffy herself. But he wasn't quite as desperate to form a loving relationship with Liam as Steffy seemed to see happen.
"But you're not willing to make an effort with Liam." Steffy completed for him.
"But I'm not willing to twist myself into a pretzel to conform to his idea of what a good brother should be like." Wyatt calmly corrected.
"That's not fair." Steffy defended, shaking her head. "Liam is an amazing guy, and you would know that if you took the time to get to know him. He's nice… friendly, good-hearted…"
"Well, I will have to take your word on that because my brother hasn't exactly shown me the warm and fuzzy side of his personality yet." Wyatt said sardonically, causing Steffy to release a loud sigh.
"You know, the worst past about this absurd situation is I am positive the two of you could actually get along."
He casually shrugged. "Maybe we will… eventually. Time will tell." He took a good look around her office and noted an addition to her large table, pressed against the wall. "Nice flowers. You have been getting a lot of those lately." He commented, hoping to stir the subject of conversation away from his brother.
"Thank you. They're from Liam."
Wyatt rolled his eyes. No such luck. "Moving on, can we please discuss something other than lover boy?"
Steffy scowled at the nickname. Wyatt and Liam would never get along unless Wyatt showed a serious change in attitude, at least towards Liam.
"Lover boy?" She raised a disapproving eyebrow.
"How about how beautiful you look today?" He suggested smoothly with that trademark charming smirk of his.
"How about the real reason I asked you here?" Steffy counter-suggested. "Hope Logan."
Wyatt raised a brow at that and looked at Steffy expectantly, waiting for her to elaborate. When she didn't, he pressed, "What about Hope Logan?"
"Are you interested in her?"
Wyatt's eyes widened in disbelief at Steffy's blunt question. "Excuse me?"
"It's a rather simple question. Either you are or you aren't."
"I barely know the girl, Steffy."
"Yet, you're spending all your days with her." She noted with a false air of casualness.
"I work on her collection!" Wyatt opposed. "It's part of my job description to spend time with her and get to know her to guide my mother in her designs for Hope."
Steffy arched a skeptical eyebrow at him. Just how stupid did Wyatt think she was? Did she look like she was born the day before? There was not a soul at Forrester Creations who had witnessed the daily interactions between Hope and Wyatt who believed that Wyatt's interest in the blonde was purely professional, and Steffy was no exception.
"You are eluding my question. I'm not asking you if you want to marry the woman. I'm asking you if you are attracted to her. You should be able to tell me that." She said pointedly.
"She's beautiful! Obviously, I'm not insensitive to her charms if that's what you're asking…"
Steffy frowned at his attitude. "Why are you being so defensive?"
"Because I'm starting to feel like I'm being interrogated, and I'm not sure why!" Wyatt replied, aggravated. "So what if I'm into Hope, why do you care?" he asked in confusion. "I promise you that you are still my favorite person in LA. At least for now." He specified playfully, but Steffy was truly not in a mood to be teased, what Wyatt noticed very quickly.
He stared at her in confusion. Why was she so concerned about his relationship with Hope? Did she have any feelings of possessiveness towards him? Why in the world would she? He knew she was a hundred percent committed to Liam, and she never failed to chastise him whenever he would engage in his flirtatious ways with her -even when he did so jokingly.
"Steffy…" He called and waited for her to lift her gaze to him before he continued, "Why the questions? What does it matter what I feel for Hope? Hypothetically, would it really be so bad if I wanted to pursue a relationship with her?"
She sighed. "I'm afraid it would, Wyatt."
"Why is that?" Wyatt wondered, genuinely puzzled.
"How much do you really know about Hope, Wyatt?" Steffy inquired. "I mean have you talked about one another's personal lives at all?"
"A little, yeah." He nodded. "I mean I know she's dating Oliver if that's what you're asking?"
"And that doesn't bother you?"
"A minor inconvenience." He replied dismissively, shrugging.
"A minor incon -" she repeated, emitting a stunned laugh at his gall. "You know, we really have to start working on that cheekiness of yours." His sarcasm and impudence were truly unlike anything she had ever seen before. She still didn't know him well enough to tell whether he was just putting up a brash and sassy act as a protective means in order to hide his true self or truly had no sense of boundaries whatsoever.
She shook her head in disbelief, earning a smirk from Wyatt. "And no, that's not what I was referring to."
"What are you referring to then?"
"Listen, I don't really know how to say this, so I'm just going to come out with it. Hope is Liam's ex-girlfriend; actually, to be more specific, she's his ex-fiancée."
Wyatt's eyes widened and he stared at Steffy, his mouth agape with incredulity, as he absorbed the new piece of information.
"I assume by that look on your face that you were not aware of this." She guessed, to which Wyatt could only confirm.
"No, I didn't." He paused. "Then again, it's not like Hope had any obligation to tell me, or any reason to for that matter."
Steffy smirked at that. "Indeed. Besides, their whirlwind romance was so publicized, she probably thinks you do know about it."
"When did this happen?"
"Liam and Hope?" she asked and he nodded. "They dated on and off for about three years." She answered tersely. No one had time for the whole story, and she certainly had no desire to reflect on it any more than she already had, much less discuss it at length with yet another guy who seemed to be attracted towards both Hope and herself.
"Were you responsible for the off bits?" Wyatt inquired with a half-smirk, out of intuition.
Steffy licked her lips and pressed them together in a brief moment of consideration, after which she decided there was no point in being dishonest. "At times."
He chuckled at the validation that his assumption had been right. "So when did this ménage-à-trois come to an end?"
"Not too long ago."
At her rather vague reply, Wyatt wondered if Steffy's pregnancy was what ultimately brought the Liam-Steffy-Hope love triangle to an end. Liam didn't really strike Wyatt as the decisive or committed kind of guy. Thus, for lover boy to string both ladies along for as long as life allowed him to, until he reached a point where he just had to pick one and let the other go, didn't seem too far-fetched of an idea. However, Wyatt thought of Steffy as a friend and he could tell by her concise, elusive answers and her composure that this was a difficult topic of conversation. That is why, for Steffy's case and in spite of his curiosity, he chose to put his own personal curiosity aside and stop his line of questioning.
"I see." Wyatt said with a nod. He momentarily gazed at Steffy, wondering how much his brother had surely put her through and why she hadn't walked away. Bringing his hands together in a clap, he grudgingly admitted, "Well, I've got to hand it to my brother he's got impeccable taste in women."
Steffy looked down to let her hair shield her face, trying and failing to conceal her blush. "You just can't make a statement without sliding in a compliment for me, can you?" she tried to sound scolding, but the slight smile that tugged at the corner of her lips belied her intention.
"Oh shush, you're flattered."
"That's what you think." Steffy quipped.
"That's what I know." Wyatt corrected defiantly.
She scoffed. "Whatever helps you sleep at night."
"Or whomever." He muttered under his breath and laughed heartily when Steffy glared at him. "You know, I still fail to see why you are so strongly opposed to my developing any sort of connection with Hope." Wyatt told her honestly as he replied to a new text message on his phone.
Steffy stared at him in disbelief, her brows knit together. Had he not heard her? "You are kidding me, right?'
"Ok, so Liam and Hope used to be involved, so what? They're not anymore. Liam is engaged to you. You are pregnant with his child. Why does he care about Hope's dating life?"
"He doesn't." Steffy stated matter-of-factly.
"Well, ok then."
"But the notion of you and Hope together remains inappropriate." She persisted.
"Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about that."
"Wyatt, Liam is your brother!" She enunciated each word slowly, practically desperate to get her point across to Wyatt. He had to realize that this was the very last thing that his already strained relationship with Liam needed. "Going after his ex-fiancée, a woman who held such an important place in his life and in his heart, would be -"
"Legal… Steffy." He finished for her with a keen stare. "It would be absolutely legal. There is no law against me pursuing Hope."
Steffy closed her eyes and heaved a deep sigh. She wasn't making any headway here. There was no talking Wyatt out of anything. He was going to do whatever the hell he wanted to do, regardless of her opinion. At least now, he had all the pieces of information necessary to make the right decision in all conscience, and no matter what happened, he wouldn't be able to say that he hadn't been warned.
Perhaps, Steffy actually had no reason to be worried about this. Truth be told, she really doubted that Hope would even consider the possibility of committing to a romance with Wyatt, having knowledge that the latter was Liam's brother. It would be quite out of character for innocent and virtuous Hope Logan.
She rubbed her forehead, irritated, before running a frail hand through her hair. Wyatt's next statement, however, steered her attention back to him.
"But rest assured, I don't intend to."
"Steffy, I have told you. My mother and I are working on Hope for the Future, it is part of my job to get to know her to optimize my Mom's designs, that's it." He coolly explained.
"That is it. Listen, I am putting together the pieces of my life right now. I just found out who my biological father is after about a quarter of a century. I was just offered the amazing opportunity to work in the number one fashion house. All thanks to you." He paused, letting Steffy absorb his feelings of gratitude for her. "My priority at the moment is getting to know my new-found family members, a title you will soon have" He winked at her and watched her cautious expression soften into a happier one. "And proving myself to the executive team of Forrester Creations… especially to Eric and you."
Steffy smiled warmly at Wyatt, appreciative of his gratitude but wishing that he would give himself more credit. There was a reason she had vouched for him when Eric had come to her with the idea of giving Wyatt a chance at Quinn's solicitation. She believed in him. She saw a potential in him, and so far, he hadn't proved her wrong. Besides, Wyatt's hard work and rather impressive promotion were what got Quinn Artisans and Jewelers on Hope's radar in the first place. Steffy shook her head as though to physically rid her mind of her digressing thoughts and return to the matter at hand. "So you have no intention of getting involved with Hope?" She asked, wanting him to speak the words so there was no misunderstanding.
"As of now, I can honestly say that is the last thing on my mind."
"Stef!" Thomas barged into his sister's office, seemingly out of breath, interrupting her discussion with Wyatt.
Instantly alarmed by her brother's expression, Steffy practically jumped out of her seat, rising to her feet. "Thomas, what is it?!"
"Mom just called. She needs us at grand-dad's house. NOW."
"What? Why?! What's going on? Is Mom alright?!" she assailed him with questions, utterly panicked, her mind directly envisioning the worst possible scenario.
Thomas shook his head in response, clearly still distressed. "I don't know, sis. She wouldn't tell me anything, but there seems to be an emergency. We need to get going."
Steffy turned to Wyatt and drew a breath, parting her lips to say something, but he spoke before she could, "Go! Go. We'll catch up later, and we were done away. Please go!" He urged.
Nodding, she gave him an almost appreciative smile and then swiftly gathered her belongings before dashing out the door with her brother.
"Mom! Mother!" Steffy called as she worriedly burst into her grandfather's prodigious residence. Recognizing Taylor's figure from the back, Steffy strode towards the living room, where her mother and grandfather stood, having what seemed to be a heated conversation. "Mom!" She ran and crashed into Taylor's arms.
At the comfort of her mother's embrace, Steffy's heartbeat started decreasing, progressively returning to normal. She slowly pulled away to take a good look at her mother, eyeing her face and then body for any trace of any physical injury, and breathed a sigh of relief as she found none. "Mom, are you okay?"
"Yes, sweetheart, of course, I'm ok. Why would you think I'm not?" Taylor answered, disconcerted by her daughter's evident concern.
"Well, Thomas said you asked us over. He said it was an emergency. I was worried! What is the emergency?!"
Thomas inopportunely chose that moment to join them, and Taylor immediately shifted to give him a look of disbelief. "What?" He shrugged with a false air of innocence. "You said to get her here as soon as possible, by any means."
"I did not mean by scaring her half-to-death, and you know it!"
"Your sister is twenty-three weeks pregnant, Tom! What is the matter with you?" Eric chided, to a contrite look from his grandson.
"Hold on, so there's nothing going on here?" Steffy asked her mother before shifting to focus her attention on her brother, her eyes fiery with rising anger. "You said there was an emergency! You made it sound like something was wrong with Mom!" she spat, poking him in the shoulder repeatedly.
Thomas pulled a face as he recoiled from his sister and current assailant. "Ouch, Stef! That hurt!" He complained.
"Well, you deserve it!" she fired back.
"Ok, ok." Taylor decided to intervene before Steffy kicked Thomas' ass and sent herself into very early labor. Putting her hands on her daughter's arms, she gently turned her around so they were facing each other. "Your brother is an idiot. That has been established." She tilted her head slightly to the right to give Thomas an admonishing look who hung his head down in remorse. "But listen, I did ask you here for a reason."
Steffy took a deep breath and once she felt herself calming down, asked, "What's that?"
"I asked you here for a wedding, sweetheart."
Steffy turned to glance at her grandfather and brother before looking back at her mother in confusion. "Whose?"
Steffy's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "What?"
"Liam has been planning this for a little while." Eric began, drawing all attention to him. "He put together a ceremony. He gathered a few of your closest friends and family members." He explained.
Steffy stared at him wordlessly, trying to gauge his level of seriousness, wondering if she was hearing him right, her mouth agape and her brows knit together in disbelief. She looked at her mother and asked again, shaking her head, "What?"
"I know this is a shock. Liam intended it to be a surprise. He didn't want you to worry about a thing. Everything is taken care of. All you have to do is get ready." Taylor calmly explained.
"No." Steffy shook her head.
Thomas frowned at his sister's disarray and attempted to reassure her. "Sis, everything is good. You don't need to -"
"No!" Steffy repeated forcefully with widened, seemingly fearful eyes as she took a step back. "No, this isn't happening. I am not getting married today!"
BAM! Now who saw that one coming? Be honest.
What is up with Steffy's reaction? Any predictions about what's going to happen next?
Thanks for reading.
On a more personal note, the summer holiday is almost over. Who's going back to school/work?
Did anyone go on vacation? Tell me everything.
Anyone still interested in this story?