A firm hand drew the decanter away from him. Scotty allowed it to depart and sipped at his refreshed scotch.
“Scott how many have you had?” his brother asked. Hunter, perfectly correct in his Armani suit and subtly holiday themed tie, poured himself a bare swallow to justify taking the decanter from Scotty and placed it back on the cart. They had class, after all, couldn’t just dump all the alcohol in one of the potted ferns. Scotty enjoyed his brother’s frustration over a long slow swallow of his drink. “Three or four.” He shrugged. “Or so.”
Hunter met his eyes and held onto his politician’s aplomb in the face of Scott’s most infuriating laconic grin.
“When are you entering rehabilitation? Donovan’s is supposedly the absolute best in the business. I can have my secretary make you an appointment if you’d like,” Hunter said, pausing deliberately before adding, “brother.”
“Enjoy a joint once in your life, and I’ll consider it, brother. As it is,” Scotty gestured to the rest of the room, the other suits, the properly formal cocktail dresses, the sheen of glitter and ambition swirling around the room like sharks to blood. “I’ll handle things my way, and you deal with your own.”
Hunter took a step toward his brother, angling himself so the two looked like congenial conversants. “You don’t handle anything, Scott. You’re-”
“Pursuing the theoretical and philosophical theories of the universe, yes, I know, too abstract. But really Hunter, why tonight? I show up for one or two holiday parties, bore everyone with aforementioned philosophy, and we get to ignore each other for another year. I would like written notice of any such change in our arrangement.”
Hunter looked down at his drink and then out at the room. He took a sip. “Very few important contracts are ever concrete.”
Scotty watched his brother watch the room and something small twisted in his gut.
“People and arrangements change all the time. You haven’t been playing Scott. So don’t be upset when your, how would you put it, premises falter.” Hunter placed his untouched glass on a passing tray. Scotty held his but didn’t sip.
“Say hello to Tyrell when you see him,” Hunter said. His parting smile left Scotty cold. He downed his drink and glared at the empty glass. Fuck. He looked up. Hunter was too far away to punch. He considered throwing the glass against the wall, but he saw the staff watching him and so he stepped back to the bar and set it down. Obligations be damned, he was out of here.