#11- Peace Talks Of The Sort

‘We need to talk Dad.’

Jason, Thomas and Fen let themselves into their childhood home where their father still lives, even if it is too big for him. They all moved away from home and did not come back after University. All except Cleo. She clamoured for her father’s affection and she eventually got it, but there was something missing for their father, he never forgave himself after that night with JJ, he also never spanked any of them again. The children wondered why he stayed at the family home, he never remarried after the divorce and as far as they know, he is not seeing anyone so why hold on to something that held some hurtful memories for him? This was where his family which he tried hard to hold together, fell apart. He tried with military precision the same precision with which he was raised, to raise his children. As a high ranking and well decorated and venerated military man who upon retirement inherited the family estate and has made it even more profitable, he was raised to expect nothing short of perfection and it was with that same hand he ruled his home.

But Gyll balanced him out until she didn’t.


‘To what do I owe the barging in?’ Martin looked from one adult child to the next, he cannot deny the pride he feels, each one of them incredibly successful in their field without much of his meddling. Even Cleo, his heart tugs with guilt at the thought of his daughter who tried so hard with him. He ought to do better by her. By all of them. He’d loved them the only way he knew how as children but he wishes he could make things right with them somehow. That frustration led him to screw things up with Jorja monumentally.

The chef had started laying the table with the evening meal but paused having seen the three adult Adamson children and their father.

‘Staying for dinner?’ Martin asks sullenly.

‘No. Penelope and the children are expecting me for dinner.’ Thomas answers, equally as sullen.

‘I’ll stay.’ Of course Jason the peacemaker.

Fen was caught in the middle, as freaking usual. ‘Fine I’ll stay too.’

‘Don’t sound so happy about it Fenmore, Abigail please set a place for two more people.’ Martin says to the chef and she gets to.

‘Well… you are not particularly rainbows and unicorn yourself dad.’ Fen says with a shrug, she could be home with her husband and children, but her brothers ambushed her at the office and roped her into this unplanned visit with their father, to have a talk with him.

‘Tommy is staying too.’ Jason adds to the chef.

Thomas shoots his brother a glance but does not refute him.

‘Well then let’s sit and eat.’ Martin leads them to the dining table that has now been set for four. They obviously came here to do battle and he would rather not do this on an empty stomach.

The chef and her servers laid the dishes on the sideboard and the servers fill glasses with water and decant wines before giving the family some privacy. Gladly.

‘You were saying?’

‘You need to be on your best behaviour dad.’ Fen states matter of factly.

‘What do you mean?’

‘You have been invited as a guest to Rocco and JJ’s Christmas away in Tuscany, we won’t have you upsetting her.’

‘Why you’ve been invited I don’t know.’ There goes Tommy.

‘Honestly.’ Fen rounds on Thomas who raises his hands peaceably.

‘Why would I upset her?’

‘Because you know she still feels guilty about everything, I don’t know, considering she simply stepped out of your dictates for her life and starting living it on her terms.’ Jason points out, ‘just a thought.’

‘I don’t dictate any of your lives.’

‘Please dad.’ Thomas nearly tsks, ‘you know what we mean.’

‘I don’t so why don’t you just spell it out.’

‘Okay we will, don’t be an arsehole to her.’ Only Thomas.

That does it for Martin. ‘You know, all I have ever done for any of you is raise you to the best of my abilities, especially after your mother left. Could I have been a better father? Show me a parent who doesn’t think that.’

‘There’s being a better parent and there’s how you raised us, especially after mom left. You seem to forget you preferred the hard parenting until that night.’ Fen stands up to her dad.

Martin stops chewing to exchange a cold look with his oldest and obstinate daughter. ‘I have tried to make up for what happened-’

‘You mean what you did.’ Thomas does not bother disguising his tone and their father does not have a comeback as an uncomfortable silence settles around the table.

‘All we are saying is’ Jason brokers the peace, ‘that we want JJ to have a happy Christmas same as she wants for us, which is why they have both invited us.’

‘So would you rather not have me there.’

‘Yes actually, I would rather not to be honest,’ Thomas says flatly, ‘I’d much rather you did not attend and upset her but she’s a better person than I am and she obviously wants your approval still, after everything that you did.’

Fen shoots a warning look at her brother. ‘We want you there, as does JJ otherwise she would not have invited you, but all we are saying is, let’s just have a good Christmas like she intends.’

Martin wants nothing more than to make up with the child he loves the most, hopefully give her some of the love he was meant to as a father with a child he did not know how to raise but did his best with. It wasn’t good enough but he’d tried his absolute best with her.