Willow was tasked with cooking dinner every night. She definitely didn't do it without attitude. I took a shower, something I hadn't gotten to do in days. As I washed my hair out, I thought back to the conversation with my parents.
They came over later that day. They were both furious and we sat at my dining room table.
"I promise it's a lie," I said desperately. "Polly wanted me to have someone to go to the party that wasn't-"
"How could you do this, Nathaniel?" my father interrupted. "Do you know how bad this makes us look?"
"If you would just let me go on air and deny it-!" I began.
"No, absolutely not," my mother said. "Your father and I have discussed it and we're cutting you off."
I sat in silence, looking between the two of them. "No."
"You've embarrassed us enough," my father snapped. "This is the last straw. You are still our son but we're no longer providing for your reckless lifestyle." He tossed me an envelope of cash. "That has enough to get you started."
They stood up and left.
Now here I was in Willow Turner's house because of my sister's stupid plan. Why could she just keep her nose out of my business?
I changed into a pair of pants, boxers, and a shirt that Mr. Turner and given me. I wrinkled my nose. I was wearing his old underwear. That would definitely be the first thing I was going to buy with the damn paycheck.
"It smells wonderful," I heard Mr. Turner say downstairs.
"Spaghetti?" I said when I got into the dining room.
"Don't make me spit in your plate," she snarled.
"I see you still have your claws out," I grumbled. "You haven't been kicked out of your house."
"My sympathy only stretches so far," she snapped. "I can't leave the damn house."
"My sympathy only stretches so far," I mocked.
"Just eat your dinners," her father said calmly. "She's actually a very good cook, Nathan."
I rolled my eyes but took a bite. I swallowed it and frowned. She really was a good cook. I was about to compliment her then stopped myself. No way.
"So, tomorrow you'll be starting with learning how to groom the horses," Mr. Turner said and Willow snorted into her drink.
"What?" I snapped at her.
"You grooming horses?" She laughed. "That'd be a sight to see. Take a camera, Dad."
"Enough, Willow," he said firmly and she rolled her eyes. "It's simple enough so don't be worried. I have some old boots you can wear, too. You don't want to be down there in tennis shoes."
"All right," I muttered. "I'm going to go to bed," I sighed when I was done eating. "What time do you want me up?"
"Six," he said.
Willow groaned. "Let me guess. I'm cooking breakfast, too."
He frowned. "Why not? You always do anyway."
"That was before Nathaniel Banker moved in," she said huffily and collected the plates.
I rolled my eyes and went upstairs. The room was large and I had almost forgotten they were as rich as we were. Well, as I used to be. I climbed into bed. I didn't care what Mr. Turner said.
This wasn't our fault. This was Polly's fault.
The alarm clock on the bedside table went off and I got up, stretching. I sighed. Mr. Turner had brought in a pair of cowboy booths while I was sleeping. I shuddered as I put them on. Cowboy boots? Good Lord. This was going to be awful.
Downstairs, Willow was cooking breakfast. She wasn't banging things around this time, though. She did glare at me when I came down the stairs, however. I just returned it and joined her father at the table. He poured me some coffee then went back to his newspaper.
"Looks great, sweetheart," he said when Willow put our plates down in front of us.
Well, it was more like dropping mine in front of me.
"You'll want to eat all of that," Mr. Turner said, nodding at the full plate.
"PB&J?" Willow asked tiredly from the kitchen.
"Yes ma'am. Give him an extra apple, though."
"Okay. We have a rotten one here that will be perfect."
Mr. Turner just shook his head and went back to his food. I ate half of it and ignored Willow's smirk.
"Are you sure you're not going to eat all of it?" Mr. Turner asked.
"No offense, but I'm on a diet. Besides, I wouldn't put it past your daughter to poison me."
"I wouldn't waste a perfectly good breakfast on poisoning you," she snapped.
She passed us each brown paper bags and I walked out the back door with her father. It was a little cool outside but I knew the weather would heat up quickly. Mr. Turner whistled happily as we walked down to the barn. Already, a group of people were standing by with cameras.
"Thanks for taking me in, Mr. Turner," I muttered when we got into the barn.
"Call me Aaron," he said, "and you're welcome. I know Willow's upset right now but she'll come around."
I laughed. "I don't think so. She never came around when we were in high school."
"She was stubborn," he said, putting our lunches in a mini-fridge. "She still is but not as much as she used to be. Have you talked to Polly yet?"
"No. I don't have a phone anymore, remember?"
He passed me a brush and a bucket. "Then how are you going to show people you're actually working for your money?"
"She's going to come by whenever she can. She has to fix this," I said resentfully. "If she hadn't made that damn deal...."
Aaron sighed and looked at me. "You can't blame your sister for this, Nathan. This is your's and Willow's fault."
I frowned. "How is it my fault?"
"You didn't have to go out and go to clubs," he pointed out. "You didn't have to have multiple girlfriends at once. That was a decision you made. Just like how Willow didn't have to accept Polly's bribe," he added.
"Polly should have told our parents," I said stubbornly. "How many horses do we have to groom?"
"Fifty," he said and I groaned.