Orb's Year 937
Darius put his hands on his hips and glared, "That's the point! You've struggled for so long on your own - never letting us help carry the burden!"
Baji sputtered, "Not let! Nothing but your own selfish pursuits has kept you from inside that shop!"
Darius tried to take a deep calming breath. "I know it, brother and I am ashamed. I thought Marchant Wares would help take the load from your shoulders. Let me help," he pleaded.
Baji shook his head sadly before trudging to the shop. "You have ruined us. All the hard work was for naught."
Why, he'd even gotten royal paintings from the King's sister to display!
Darius bowed low before showing King Barron to the art room.
Darius sighed, "You're right, of course," he said sullenly.
"Of course I am!" Devon smiled broadly. "Now I must go get Gabriella. It is time for her bottle."
Orb's Year 938
"Why can't you give me the benefit of the doubt?" Darius snapped in anger. "You're not the only one that can successfully run a business! I bet my shop could outperform your shop!"
Baji scoffed. Darius' shop was too new to pull in extra money. It was likely Darius was using the family coffers to fund his crazy scheme. "Fine! Prove it! We will see which store does better! If you lose, then you will shut down Marchant Wares!"
"Fine!" Baji snapped as he stormed away.
Devon turned to Baji, only to have him interrupt. "Please tell Darius that if he wants the jam, he can get up himself and get it!"
Devon threw her hands up in the air. "Really!" she said in exasperation. "You two are acting worse than children! What an example you are setting for Fabian and Gabriella!"
When the two grown men both avoided eye contact, it seemed that nothing could make them put aside their argument.
Orb's Year 939
Not just any day, though. It was Gabriella's 5th Orb's Year celebration!
"Come on children, let us go outside and read a story," Devon said, shooing her children into the sunshine.
Orb's Year 940
Devon softened and placed her hand to his cheek. "Yes, we are having another child." She paused a moment to let that sink in. "Mend your rift with Baji. Not only is he your brother, but he is the only father you have ever known!"
Cautiously he entered the shop and felt his heart drop when he saw his weary brother bent over the cash drawer.
Baji did not even look up when Darius put his arm around his brother. "Did you come to gloat?" he asked. "You were right. I was wrong. Marchant Wares is more successful than my little shop. Without your help, we would not have been able to pay the King's taxes, yet again..." Baji trailed off disheartened.
Baji reached forward and clasped his brother's arm. "We'll do it together from here on out. Agreed?"
"Agreed!" Darius said proudly.