Brooks sat quietly in one of the chairs in his father's office, one of the barn kittens curled up in his lap sound asleep. He was still half asleep himself, his head propped up on his hand with his elbow resting on the arm of the chair. He wasn't exactly sure what time it was, but judging by the lack of light filtering through the old blinds covering the window it seemed that it was the very early hours of the morning. Definitely earlier than he was used to waking, but his father had come into his room, thrown off his blankets, and told him to wait for him down in the office.
He wasn't sure how long he had been waiting when the older man finally came into the room. "Look alive, kid." He said, giving Brooks a hard pat on the back as he passed by him and sat down on the other side of his desk. "I have an important job for you. The most important job you have ever been given." he added in a tone that simply said that if Brooks screwed up he was going to be in a whole heap of trouble.
Brooks sat up straighter, assuming that was what his father wanted him to do. "An important job that requires me to be up before the sun has even risen?" he mumbled, earning him an annoyed look. His father didn't seem to appreciate when his son gave him attitude even though he himself always seemed to have the worst attitude toward everyone around him. Still, Brooks also knew that his father wouldn't actually do anything about it. His mother would throw a fit if he tried to punish him in anyway besides stern words that Brooks simply just ignored. This morning he didn't even bother with those.
"You have to be up early because you are accompanying the farmhands on the trip to the market this morning." He told Brooks and it all clicked with him. It was the big market day today. The day when they would take fresh items to the market to be sold off to both the people of the district and to be prepped for shipment to the Capitol and the other districts. It was the big delivery day and they had to be there bright and early before people bought much from others and didn't have as much to spend on their products. Still, he had never had to accompany them before. This wasn't something anyone, but the farmhands had to deal with.
His father must have seen the confusion on his face because he continued before he was able to ask any questions. "The Eldest Ellison girl will be there and maybe her brother will be as well. I want you to befriend them." he said simply, to which Brooks laughed. "What? You want me to befriend the Ellison children? Why would I do that? Why would-" He stopped when he saw the anger and frustration growing in his father's expression, the little blue vein popping out by his temple like it always did when he was really, really upset or annoyed about something.
"Because they are the ones in possession of the farm now and the little brats won't do the smart thing and hand their land over to me!" The man snapped, clearly quite annoyed by the situation. He had been trying for years and years to get their father to budge and even after he was gone he couldn't even get the kids to hand it over. "They can't take care of a farm that big on their own. They are just being terribly stubborn." he continued. "But, maybe they can be persuaded by a peer that they trust to see how it would benefit them." he added with a shrug, leaning back in his chair. "Get it?"
Brooks did understand. His father wanted him to befriend these two that he had never spoken to in his life and convince them to sell their farm to him. He was using Brooks and he wanted Brooks to use them. "I get it, but..." he started, though when he saw the look of agitation growing again he just shook his head. "I got it." he assured him. He lifted the kitten and stood, laying it back down on the seat where it yawned and stretched out now.
"Good. Now go. Marvin will point her out to you once you are there." He said, shooing Brooks away. Brooks nodded and moved to the door, though as he pulled it open his father spoke again and made him look back toward him. "Don't let me down, Brooks. This will all be yours one day...you need to be able to do whatever it takes for the good of the farm and the people who count on us." He told him. Brooks nodded a bit and then just left the office. He wasn't sure how this was actually going to go.
He went up to his room and changed, fixing his hair as best he could before heading outside where he found Marvin waiting for him by the truck that held the crates in the back and on a trailer and climbed in with him. Marvin didn't really talk much and Brooks was fine with that, just watching outside at the fields that they passed by on the way to the market, thinking over everything that his father had said to him.
Soon enough they were there though and he hopped out, busying himself by kind of helping Marvin with the crates, but really he wasn't putting that much effort into it. Soon enough though he spotted a girl who appeared about his age and when he looked to Marvin for confirmation the man nodded. and then continued on with his sales.
"Alright Brooks...You can do this." he mumbled to himself, taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly. He had never had an issue making friends before. They seemed to just find him actually. How hard could this be? He walked toward her with his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "Hey there, darling." he greeted with a charming smile on his face. "How do you manage to look so lovely while doing such hard work?" he asked innocently. That was what girls liked, right? To be complimented?