Author’s note: Metamorphosis is the story of Eddie’s brother Tom after he returns home from appearing on Sim Star Chef. This is a collab story with the author of Sim Star. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Faye shut her eyes tightly. She wasn’t in Monte Vista anymore. Instead, she sat in the airport of Brooklyn Heights. Her hands were shaking frantically, she could barely hold the handle of her suitcase. She tried taking in a deep breath, but she felt eyes on her from every corner of the crowded airplane. She was Faye Ferrari. She couldn’t just go on with her life-like it was no big deal. Sim Star Chef was over. She was moving away from her father’s spotlight and it was hard to adjust to. She felt sick just thinking about it. “Faye? Why don’t you take a seat. We’re waiting for my brother and his husband to pick us up anyway, so we can afford to take a breather.”
She tried looking around, but she felt so dizzy. She let Tom lead her to the small couch. “I’m sorry. You don’t need some washed up celebrity hanging onto your coattails. If your brother could give me a ride to the nearest hotel, that would be awesome.”
He shook his head. “No. You’re staying with us. It’s just for a week, Faye. You can do it.”
“I don’t want to,” She mumbled. “It’s your family, not mine.”
“You have to see how a real family functions, Faye.” He held her hand, giving it a light squeeze. “I know we didn’t do the whole few dates thing before becoming a couple, but you’re my girlfriend now. I want you to meet my family.”
“I can’t do that,” She whispered. “They’ll hate me.”
“Eddie won’t hate you,” Tom said. “Why would he hate you? He loves cooking. His husband is in a famous band, that’s right up your alley. You love stuff like that.”
“Stop trying to incorporate me into your family. We’re moving too fast!” She could feel her hands shaking. “Please, I like you a lot Tom. I do want to meet your family, but I need time for myself.”
She felt his strong arms wrap around her, as Tom willed her to look at him. “Hey,” He said softly. “Don’t shut down on me. I need you here.”
She shook her head. “I need you more than you need me.” His grip on her arm tightened and he placed a hand under her chin, gazing into her cloudy eyes.
“No you don’t,” he whispered. “You think you do, but you don’t. You are strong and beautiful. You’ve done all of this on your own. All I did was help a little. But the rest of it is all you.”
She looked up into his eyes and felt a calming serene wash over her. She took in a deep breath. “I can do this. It’s not like I’m meeting your brother, the person you’re closest to, or anything. And if he hates me-”
“He won’t.” Faye’s eyes widened when she heard an amused tone. She looked up to see a man with teal hair, hugging a blonde male. “My husband is a nice guy, he doesn’t bite.”
Faye’s mouth dropped open and Tom had to shake her to bring her back to reality. “Uh, hey Rory, Eddie. This is my girlfriend, Faye Ferrari.”
The blonde male moved forward a timid smile on his face “I’m Eddie.” He swallowed unsure what to say or do next as the girl just stared at him waiting for him to say something, anything meaningful.
His husband took over, draping a casual arm across Eddie’s shoulder. “It’s a pleasure to have you stay with us. We’re looking forward to getting to know you apart from what we saw on the show.”
“Yeah um…” Eddie nodded, thankful that Rory had stepped into the conversation. He hated meeting people for the first time. “We never missed an episode,” he added, lamely shooting his brother a look that clearly begged him for help. His eyes shifted nervously around the busy airport. “Um maybe we can continue this at home?”
“About that…” Faye began. “Where’s the nearest hotel? I’d like to check in my stuff.”
“Faye,” Tom replied, this time a twinge of annoyance to his voice. “Why do you always have to fight me on everything?”
She gave him a nonchalant shrug and stood up from her seat. “I’m not fighting you on anything. I’m just saying it’d be best if total strangers didn’t sleep under the same roof.”
“You’re my girlfriend,” He replied, yet again. “NOT a total stranger.”
“He’s got a point,” Rory added. “You’re family by extension.”
Eddie nodded silently agreeing with Rory and his brother. “Please stay with us. We may not know each other yet but hopefully that’ll change.”
Faye still looked opposed to the idea. “I still think it would be best if I stayed at a hotel.”
“If that’s what you want,” Eddie nodded looking somewhat dejected at her refusal to stay with them, “We do have a few hotels in the area.” Turning to Tom he asked, “Did you want to stay with Faye at the hotel? It’s ok if you do.” He tried to hide the disappointment he felt. This was not the way he thought things would be like.
“Eddie,” Rory’s deep voice said close to his ear. “Are you sure about this? You spent hours cleaning and getting things prepared for them.” He glared a moment at Faye standing to the side of her luggage.
“Rory please.” Eddie took his husband’s hand. “She doesn’t want to stay with us. We can’t force her.” Avoiding Faye’s steady gaze he pulled his phone out, concentrating on finding a quality hotel in the area. The least he could do was find her someplace she’d be comfortable in.
Rory was appalled by the situation and snatched the phone from Eddie’s hands. “Remember Gayle,” Rory replied calmly, not looking at Faye. “Family is family, no matter what. That’s what you said.”
“That’s different,” Eddie argued. “Gayle is your sister.”
“I’m your brother,” Tom piped up, trying to break the tension. “Do I have a say in this?”
“If you say in the hotel, then no,” Rory replied. “You guys are staying with us.” He finally turned to the girl who stood with her arms crossed over her chest. He had watched the show with Eddie, and while one couldn’t help but root for Tom and Faye in the end, if they looked back at everything Faye had done, she wasn’t a nice person. She was stuck up and full of herself. No amount of self-esteem issues could excuse that. This was the real world and now that the fame had come crashing down around her, she had to grow up. It was what Eddie taught him when dealing with his little sister, Gayle. It was a valuable lesson. “Faye,” He addressed her, “Eddie spent a long time fixing the house for you.”
Faye looked thoughtful for a moment, and then taken aback. “He did?” She asked in a soft voice, not looking at him but at Rory.
Rory nodded. Faye was like a child, he observed. She wanted to be told that people had went out of their way for her. He had no idea if that was her hunger for fame or attention talking. “You did babe, right?” Rory asked, nudging Eddie lightly.
“I uhm…did,” Eddie admitted.
“He even bought new sheets,” Rory said. “He thought you’d appreciate a nice cotton blend.” He was teasing Eddie now, but his husband had actually purchased new bed spreads for the girl.
‘She’s a celebrity,’ Eddie had said at the store. ‘She probably sleeps with silk sheets or something. What about these? They say that you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud….’ Rory would be damned if he let Faye dash his husband’s efforts.
“I just thought…” Faye began but dropped her voice and shook her head. “Never mind. We’ll stay.”
No thank you, or even a glance of appreciation. Rory didn’t like that, but he’d give her a chance. He extended his hand. “Here, let me carry your luggage for you.”
“It’s okay,” Faye mumbled, but didn’t protest when Tom took it from her grasp and slid it over to Rory.
“They really want to impress you,” Tom murmured to her quietly. “So smile and be nice, alright?”