Chapter XII

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       Brandon finished his sit ups quickly and without even breaking a sweat.   It shocked Brian how easily he was able to do them.  He would have been exhausted before he even finished ten.  Brandon let out a laugh as he got up from the floor.  "Next time we make a bet give me a little more challenging punishment bro."

           "I'll keep that in mind."  Brian said as his brother sat back in the chair.

           His jovial expression evaporated and was replaced with a serious look.  "So what is the quiz on?"

             "The Caribbean Islands."  He replied.  "Chapter twenty."

             A thoughtful look crossed his face.  "That's in Asia right."

             Brian shook his head as he said "They are nowhere near Asia."  Once again he felt embarrassment for his brother.

              "Oh they are off the coast of North America."  He said looking at the book.

               Brian knew what was coming next, he could see it a mile away.  Please don't say it he thought please don't say it.

               "Are they a state."

                His face then fell and he felt a pain form in his forehead.  "No they are not."  Please go away Brian begged.  Please go do something else before I lose my mind. 

                 "Are you okay?"

                  "I'm getting an headache."  He said.

                   "Do you want an aspirin?"

                    "No, I'm fine."  Brian said shaking his head.   He then looked at his brother.  "Can I ask you something?"

                   "Sure."  He said with a shrug.

                   "Why this sudden interest in my studies?"  He asked.

                     Confusion glimmered in his eyes.  "What do you mean?"

                     "For the past ten years I have been in school not once have you ever offered to help me study or help with my homework.  And now suddenly out of the blue you want to help me study for a quiz?  Why?"

                       Brandon shifted in his seat.  "I just wanted to help you."   His phone then began to buzz in his pocket and Brandon quickly pulled it out.  Brian shot him a dirty look.  "It's Amber."  He said.  "I need to take this." He got up and handed him his book.  "I'll be right back."   He then put the phone to ear and said "Hey babe."

                       Of all the hypocrisy Brian thought.  He then eyed the night stand drawer where his phone was.  The door closed behind Brandon as he walked into the hall talking to his girlfriend.  He's not going to be a couple of minutes he thought, he probably will forget that he was suppose to be helping me.

                      I'll check my messages real quick he thought as opened the drawer.  Just make sure Kelly is okay and then I will get to studying.    He powered his phone as he heard Brandon's laughter erupt from the hall.  His heart began to race as he eyed the door and then his cell phone and back to the door.  The cell phone came to life and it began to played start up music.  His heart jumped at the sound of it and he quickly placed it under pillow hoping to mute out the sounds.

                  He looked at the door again expecting his brother to burst in but he remained in the hall talking to Amber.  He pulled his phone back out and quickly lowered the volume as notifications began to appear on the screen.  He had received texts in his group chat, from Kelly and from Butch. 

               Kelly had sent him several messages asking if he was okay.  He quickly replied that he was fine and he was studying for his geography quiz.  He told her that he would text her later.

              He was about to hit the text from Butch when he heard his brother say "Hey can I call you back I am helping Buddy study for his quiz."   His hand then touched the door knob and Brian quickly tossed the phone in the drawer and shut it.  "No, I am not kidding."  He said as he walked in.   "Here ask Buddy yourself."  He then handed the phone to him and said "Tell her I am helping you study."

               Brian took the phone from Amber.  "Hey Amber Brandon is helping me study."

               "How is that going?"  She then asked.

              "Awesome."  Brian said.

              She then laughed and said "Liar."  Brian smiled in response. 

              "Give me."  Brandon stuck out his hand.  Brian said goodbye to her and handed the phone back to his brother.  "Hey I'll give you a call back in thirty minutes."  He said as he scratched his other ear.

                 Thirty minutes he thought in horror.  He was not sure he could take thirty minutes of this.

                  "I love you too."

                   Brandon put the phone in his pocket and then sat in the chair and hung his head for a moment.  "Is everything okay."

                    Brandon looked up at his brother with a look of disappointment in his face that caused a cold shiver to run up his spine.  "No everything is not okay.  Get up, bend over and grab your ankles."

                     Brian's mouth dropped opened and water filled his eyes as he asked "Why?"

                     "Don't." He said raising his finger.  "Don't act innocent."  He then stood up.  "I might not know where the Caribbean is on a map but I know the sound of a cell phone starting up."  He then opened the drawer and pulled out the powered on cell phone.  "You got on your cell phone didn't you."

                    Tears streamed down his face as he said "Yes Brandon."

                     "And what did dad say I had to do if you did?"

                     "Whip me."  He sobbed.

                       Sounds of his father yelling came from downstairs causing Brandon to look at the hallway.   He ignored whatever was going on and faced his brother again. This was more important than some silly arguement that his parents were having.  Brandon placed the cell phone in the drawer and closed it.  "Up now."  Brandon said as he retrieved the belt from the post and began to fold it.

                      Brian offered no protests as he got to his feet and did as his brother commanded. 

                      Brandon walked to the door and closed it.

                      Elizabeth had reached the top of the steps by the third crack of the belt.  She walked to his door and placed her hand on it as the belt cracked again.  "My poor baby."  She said and then walked down to her room as the beating continued.

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