Chapter Eight

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The sound of the waves pushed every thought out of my head. I focused on the continuous swish and slurp of water as we sat on the grass.

"I hate my mum sometimes." His sudden comment elicited an involuntary jolt of my arms. They gripped my legs, as I sat on the grass, holding them up and containing my posture, as well as my feelings.

"Why?"

He didn't look at me, his eyes were fixed on the sea. "When you shouted about hating Tony, it was close to home, too close."

I knew he had no idea who Tony was...yet. So I could only assume it was because of the word hate. I didn't have to wait for his explanation.

"My mum and Ron had built up the hotel, they bought it years ago, a joint venture, although I think Ron put in more than her. Still, it was theirs, equally." He rubbed his temples, his hand spanned across his forehead as he rubbed like he could remove the memories. "When Ron died, Mark wanted the hotel, he didn't want to share with me." He shrugged. "Mum wasn't interested in it and Mark saw an opportunity to buy her out. She'd been trying to get rid of the place anyway, she wanted to retire. Mark buying her share was perfect as far as she was concerned." Dillon sighed and shook his head. "She never felt like she owned it once Ron died. They had a joint will stating should one die the estate was split three ways, not automatically handed to the remaining spouse." He tugged grass from its roots at the side of his feet and chucked it into the wind. "Who knows how long ago they drew up the will, maybe one or the other was scared that should something happen to them, their child would miss out." He snorted with dark humour. "Joke was on me though, seeing as she sold her share and made Mark the owner of two thirds, sticking me in a tight spot." I watched Dillon as he worked his jaw. His teeth grinding with his thoughts. "Mark told me I had to pay my share toward maintenance and stuff, but I had nothing to contribute. He wanted to sell my dad's house, as it was part of the estate, it was the only thing, apart from my car, that belonged to my dad. My fucking mother was willing to hand it over to him." He scrubbed his hand down his face and shook out whatever was eating him. "I told him he could have the hotel and I'd keep the house and the car. The only clause was that I could stay at the hotel for free, whenever I needed to." He turned to face me as he offered a small smile. "My dad's house is old, it needs work to bring it up to a liveable state." His voice lightened as he chuckled again and this time it was honest, pure. "The fuck of it was, my mate Fat Boy, one of those bikers from before, he's a lawyer, he took on the will, looked it over, got a couple of people interested in buying my share of the hotel, I was offered a small fortune, enough to live out the rest of my days easy. But I didn't want to be underhanded, so I told Mark." Dillon grinned and his face lit up with it. "He didn't have the funds to buy my share, so we agreed on me being a silent part owner. He pays me the equivalent of a monthly wage and I live there while I work on my dad's house. But the house and the car, they were legally transferred into my name. I still have enough to live my days out easy, and I didn't shit on Ron's legacy, cause as much as that little shit is a jumped up prick, his dad wasn't and I actually respected that man." A muscle in his cheek jumped and we both fell silent.

I wasn't sure what needed to be said, if anything. There was a time when I would fill the uncomfortable silences, unsure of myself and others. They haven't concerned me lately, sometimes silence brings its own answers.

I looked over at his taught face, all the muscles seemed to move at once. I let my gaze drop down to my hands, they were fists clenched in my lap now. I had known this guy for only hours, I knew little about him, yet I felt like I knew everything that was important.

"My dad was my dad, but he also wasn't." I vomited the sentence, then looked back over to Dillon, this time it was for reassurance. He watched me intently, the nod he offered was slight, but enough of an encouragement for me to continue.

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