The next day passed by smoothly and without trouble. Riley wasn't exactly able to speak with Greg on friendly terms, but that would come in time.
That day, Cole and Riley helped Andrew clean out the barn. There were plenty of old tools and boxes that needed to be thrown away.
"Remember how every day we'd clean out the stales for the horses?" Cole asked his brother.
"Yeah. I remember" he replied. He was still a little distant.
Greg studied Riley and took notes throughout the day. Writing down his every move.
After supper Riley fell asleep on the brown leather couch with a book in his hand.
"He appears comfortable with his surroundings" Greg said closing his notebook. "But I think he's leaning to hard on you, Cole."
"What do you mean?"
"It's like when your child is first learning to walk. You hold their hand until the grasp the idea that they can make it without you. But if you keep holding their hand, they'll never learn to do it alone. We don't want Riley to think he can't make it through life without you."
"This whole mess is my fault" Cole protested.
"Even if it was your fault, which I don't believe it is. Riley still needs to handle his own problems" Greg quickly shot him down.
Cole looked at the swinging door leading from the kitchen to the living room. Wondering if maybe Greg wasn't telling the truth. He didn't want to believe it.
"What did you have planned for tomorrow?" Greg asked turning his attention to Andrew.
"A little more cleaning in the barn and other odd jobs."
He nodded his head. Satisfied.
"Cole, I don't want you around tomorrow."
Cole dropped the dish he was drying with a bang. The rain crashed against the window with occasional lightning. He promised he would never leave Riley again. So how could he stay away a whole day?
"No, Greg. I'm not gonna leave."
"Don't you understand, Cole. I need to see how your brother reacts without you around. It'll only be for a day."
Andrew looked through the swinging door at Riley, who was fast asleep.
"Besides, it looks like you could use the rest" he hinted at the bags under Cole's eyes.
Cole thought about it for a moment. Feeling it would be the biggest mistake of his life. But he gave his consent.
He was to leave by five in the morning which included no texting, calling or messaging in any way.
When Riley woke up that morning and found that his brother left for the day, he immediately became inclosed and quiet. Greg however, was intent upon restoring this family. As was his goal with all the family's he helped.
Greg decided to change into a tee shirt and jeans and wanted to help with the cleaning up. To be close to Riley and work with him. He'd never been in a barn in his whole life and he found the new task exciting.
Greg and Riley worked very well together. Although they didn't engage in friendly conversation.
Occasionally Riley would steal a glance over his shoulder and watch Greg. He hated being this close to him, especially with his father in the house. What if it happened again? What if Greg started whispering those words like he use to?
The day went by slowly and he seemed to be frozen in time. He hated it.
Cole got up early that morning and left as he'd been told. He wanted so badly to wake Riley and tell him that he was leaving. But he couldn't.
He was glad he was home when Riley first came back. It was the first week he had off in a long time.
He was about to start a new film, a trilogy he had been working on for the past four and a half years. This would be the third and finally movie. When he brought Riley to Andrew's house the other day he took the time to call the agency and tell them he wouldn't be able to start on it right away. But they were getting edgy and wanted productions on the film started immediately. He booked an early morning flight and was in his office by noon.
After looking over a stack of papers that come in while he was away. He scooped up the script and began to read it. By 1:30 he was bored and worried. He reached for the paper cup that held his coffee, only it was empty. He wanted more, whether he needed it or not. He threw the script down and leaned back in his chair.
It was good to sit back and do nothing. With his sleeves rolled up he realized how tired he really was.
Since Riley came back he hadn't been able to get much sleep. Maybe three or four hours a night. No more or no less. Resting his elbow on the arm of the chair he set his chin in the palm of his hand.
So much had been happening, and it was all happening so fast. The thing that concerned him most was the out burst Riley had the other night. He was extremely angry, but a short half an hour before he was very pleasant. What suddenly caused him to act that way?
He heard a soft knock on the door, but didn't respond. He was deep in thought and didn't feel like talking to anyone. Then another, still he refused to move. Then the door opened, it was his secretary, Betsy Hall. The moment she walked into to his office to start her new job he liked her. Her soft, black curls bouncing as she walked over to his desk. The gentle eyes fringed in long eyelashes stared at him. Her gray skirt and white blouse were neatly pressed, unlike his shirt. He loved the sound of her heals clicking when she walked in and the way her fingers clutched onto the folder.
"Cole?" she asked. Bending at the waist to look him in the face.
He straightened up and apologized for not answering her.
"I should have known it was you."
"Forget it. Aren't you suppose to be reading those scripts?" she asked with a frown. Setting the folder in his already tall pile.
He got up, stuffed his hands into his pockets, shuffling over to the window.
"Betsy, I've been doing a lot of thinking. About the film" he said. Keeping his back to her as he gazed out the window at the busy streets of Hollywood.
"I imagine you would be" her soft, glossy lips parted into a smile.
Since Riley came back he had been thinking long and hard about it. He knew it would probably be a mistake. But he had to do it. In his heart it was truly what he wanted. Nothing else.
"Betsy, I wont be following through with this film."
She looked up, shocked. Those films had been Cole's dream. He worked and polished them until they were perfect. She thought he would be there from the beginning to the end.
"Cole, why? Why leave the project now?"
"I have family problems that I need to attend to" he fumbled. He didn't want to talk about it. All it would take is one paparazzi kid to spread it all over the news papers and dirt sheets.
"Is it Riley?" she asked. Not many people knew he was out of the hospital.
"Betsy, he's my brother. He's been through more then I could ever dream of" he said walking over to her. His eyes rested in the script. He picked it up and said. "Send it along to another producer."
Sadly she took it. Something inside of her felt broken. She was very found of him and loved every minute he yelled at her.
"Will you be abandoning all projects?"
"I have to. I need to be there for him this time."
She nodded her head and turned to leave. He hated to do this, but he would return, someday. But right now he needed to help Riley get through this rough time. Even if it meant giving up his dream
She opened the door and stopped. She'd miss him, she already did. Before leaving Betsy turned to him.
"Riley's lucky to have a brother like you. I hope everything goes well. And give Riley my best."
As the door clicked shut he stood there in the stillness of his office. He was going home. He was going to help Riley every step of the way, even if it killed him. It suddenly dawned upon him how lonely and lost he felt all those years without his brother. He longed and missed him so badly he suffered a mental breakdown! While it was not serious he went threw two months of psychotherapy. He never thought it possible, to need someone so badly. He grabbed his coat off the rack behind the door and rushed off to the airport.