“Are you serious?” Warren crashed in through the doorway, slamming the thick mahogany panelled door into the wall. James winced at the dent left in the wainscotting then sighed and lifted his gaze to meet his son’s. Warren’s eyes blazed with repressed fury. This was not going to go well.
“Serious about what, son?” James hoped he could play the ‘dumb’ card long enough to let Warren’s temper cool.
Warren slapped a cobalt file emblazoned with the company logo onto James’ desk. “This!” Warren’s voice came out in a hiss through teeth clenched in a chisel jaw. James straightened his posture and, with fingers tented, raised a single eyebrow into “The Look”. Ever since Warren was a child “The Look” could calm him down in a second, recognizing he was no match for his father in a battle of wills. Cool heads and logical arguments were the methods of discussion in the Texere family.
Today was no exception. James hid a smile as he watched his son visibly calm himself down enough to explain what his frustration was.
“Now, what can I help you with, Warren?” He made sure to say this devoid of emotion.
Warren took a final deep breath. “I just saw the latest company memo. Were you planning on telling me in person I’d be sharing CEO duties with Wendy?”
James picked up his pen and continued marking up the report from his sales manager. “We went over this months ago, Warren. You and your sister are equally entitled to running this company. Both of you have the skills and knowledge, both of you should be given the opportunity.”
Warren let out a huff as he began pacing, one hand tangling his coarse, untamed hair. “But she’s so flaky, Dad! She flits around the office barely doing anything! How can you give her the responsibility to run the family business?”
“Warren. That’s uncalled for. Your sister might not be as conservative as you but she still has the business acumen to run the company. She has an MBA just like you; she’s worked for the company just as long as you have.” He stood, moved around the desk to stop Warren in his path. “You two complement each other perfectly. You are the strength, she is the creativity. You can keep a tense situation from unraveling; she can bring a touch of softness and vibrancy to frequently rigid negotiations.”
Warren shrugged his father’s hands away and slumped into a chair. “Then make her a COO.” He sounded like a petulant child.
James rolled his eyes over his son’s behavior. He knew Warren would have difficulty accepting his twin sister as his equal. He’d been lording his three and a half minute seniority over her since they were kids. Thankfully Wendy was such an easy going child she let him have that. That girl never raised her voice or got upset over Warren’s frequent explosive antics. James never had to give her “The Look”. He was looking forward to seeing the two forced to work as a team.
“I’ve made my decision Warren. There is no reason you and your sister can’t co-run this company. The two of you are a perfect blend of abilities, skills and knowledge, if you would just let yourself see that!”
A soft knock drew James’ attention to the open door. Wendy stood on the other side of the threshold, a folder, the twin of her brother’s currently lying on the desk, clutched in her hands. An aura of calm swirled around her. James slid back into his chair, a sense of ease wrapping around him. His daughter had a knack for cooling even the most fiery tempers.
“I’m not interrupting, am I?”
“No, of course not. Come in. Your brother and I were just discussing the changes upon my retirement next month.”
With a smile, Wendy glided into the room and sat in the other free chair. Warren greeted her with a grunt.
“Isn’t it exciting, Warren? I can’t wait to work with you. There are so many things I want to learn from you.” She laid a hand on his and gave it a squeeze, her eyes betraying just a hint of deceit. “Maybe I can teach you a few tricks too, hmm?”
Warren shifted in his seat and tried to pull his hand away. James watched as Wendy’s cheerful, easy-going attitude melted her brother’s rigid anger. No matter how much Warren pushed to be the dominant twin, somehow Wendy brought him down to a level playing field. A wry grin twisted James’ lips. His children needed to be one. The company would never survive in this cutthroat market if they were constantly wrangling for power. He felt a tingling of unease but pushed it down. He had to hold strong in this.
Warren relaxed his shoulders, sliding his hand out from under Wendy’s and giving it a little pat. “Sure sis’. Looking forward to it.” He pushed up out of his seat and gave James a curt nod as he grabbed up his folder and left the room. James hoped his son’s stubborn pride didn’t tear the fabric of this family asunder.
I gave kgwaite this prompt: You stumble across this little critter (https://plus.google.com/106223965383290201748/posts/VdrMbiRqNVr ) and he has an important message for you. What is it?
I didn’t want to go with the obvious use of my prompt, so I tried to be clever. Let me know if you get what I was doing