“Boss, if you don’t sit still, I can’t get you ready.” Nelson struck at Enderson’s hand as the older man tried to mess with the tie in Nelson’s hands.
“Then Let.Me.Have it,” Enderson replied, finally wresting the fabric from the driver. “I was tying these things before you were a spark in your father’s eyes.” He fought with the tie a few moments before his hands flew up in frustration. “These things must have been invented by women as torture for their men.” He looked up at his driver and bodyguard. “Don’t just stand there, Pike. Fix it.”
“Yes sir,” the man replied as he stepped forward and began again to make a proper bow. He concentrated on his hands briefly until he had the bow tied and was adjusting it. “Might I ask why the formality tonight?”
“I’m meeting my son tonight.” Enderson paused in thought. “That does sound a bit odd. And the thought that I’ll be convincing my eldest son to adopt my youngest son …”
“Sounds like a typical Enderson Tate exchange to me,” Nelson quipped with a grin.
Enderson glared at his driver/bodyguard, but his eyes gave away his humor. He checked in the mirror before him as Nelson finished the bow tie. “Thank you, Pike. Well done.”
“Thank you sir.” Nelson bowed his head slightly before turning and walking out.
“And now we start Phase Two,” the head of Tate Industries said to himself. He ran a hand through his thick greying hair then turned and rolled himself out of his room.
Enderson was pouring his second glass of bourbon when the front door chime sounded. He put the glass down and turned his chair as Carlson opened the door and Dr. Kemp walked in.
“Thank you, Carlson.” The doctor looked across the room. “Good evening, Mr. Tate. I have a package for you.”
“Poor choice of words, Doctor,” came the reply. “Bring me my son.”
Kemp carefully laid the infant in Enderson’s arms. At four months, the child was healthy and alert. The old man smiled as he looked at the child and his face took on the appearance of one very self-satisfied. “Remarkable,” was all he said before looking back to Dr. Kemp. “The mother has been taken care of?”
“As you requested,” the doctor replied.
“Good. Not a price I would typically want to pay, but under the circumstances, acceptable. That will be all.”
“Enderson waited until the doctor had left before looking at the boy that lay on his lap. “Well, little one, welcome to your world. It will try to dominate you, crush you, but you are a Tate, and you shall overcome it. As I have done, you shall continue to do.” He smiled, silver glinting in his cold eyes. “The future awaits us, and we must be ready.”
He glanced toward the front door as it opened and he heard Carlson greeting Michael and Byron. He glanced back to his new son and inhaled sharply. Did I see the spark in his eyes, so much like mine? Or was that a trick of the lighting? He didn’t have time to check anything as his older son walked in the room, looking more than a little apprehensive.
“So … um … my brother?” was all Michael managed.
“Brother to become son, hopefully,” Enderson answered. “Come on, Enderson won’t bite. Hold him.”
Michael started to pick up the child then stopped short. “Enderson? You named him Enderson?” He took a step back and looked disbelieving at Enderson.
His father arched a brow. “Is there a problem naming my son after myself?”
Byron spoke up. “Well, sir, don’t you think we should name our son? Or Michael, at least?”
“You want to name him Michael?”
“Actually, Father, we were thinking, that if we adopt him, we might call him ‘Anderson Daniel Tate’.
“Anderson. Not Enderson.” It was not a question.
“That way we can call him Andy.” Byron replied, gushing.
“Andy?” Enderson retorted in surprise. He paused for a breath then smiled. “Well, as your son you have that right.” The smile did not even approach his eyes.
“If we adopt, Father,” Michael stated flatly. “That decision still hasn’t been made.”
“I understand,” his father responded. He glanced around the room. “Carlson!” The child in his lap woke with a start and began to cry, bringing a frown to the elder Tate’s lips. “I had forgotten how easily babies can be startled.” To his son’s surprise, he lifted the child to his shoulder, patted his back lightly, and whispered gently to him until the butler stepped in the room.
“Yes, Mr. Tate?”
“Ask the nurse to come get young Ender… excuse me, Anderson.”
Carlson barely lofted a brow. “Right away, sir.”
Enderson turned to his son and son-in-law. “You will stay for dinner. I will hear what else is going on in your lives.” He stopped briefly. “Before we discuss why you think there’s still a question in your adopting your brother.”
Michael and Byron passed knowing looks before the younger Tate answered. “Of course, Father.”