All the way to Gayle’s house Eddie had been silent. Faye’s disappointed face haunted him. He should have known his quaint little house wouldn’t be good enough for her. He wasn’t good enough for her. He could see it in her eyes and in her body language she didn’t want to be there. In some relief he slid out of the passenger seat when Rory parked the car.
“Daddy,” a high-pitched excited voice cried as the front door flew open. He bent on down opening his arms wide to catch his daughter as she ran to him. At least someone was glad to see him. Her uncomplicated joy at seeing him was a soothing balm to the ache in his heart.
Gayle approached Rory. “I didn’t expect you quite so soon.” Glancing over at Eddie she asked “things not going well with Faye and Tom?”
Grunting Rory nodded “she’s less than impressed with our house. I half expect her to be gone before we get back.”
“Oh no” she gasped putting a hand on his forearm. “That would devastate Eddie.”
“I know” he could feel anger boiling up inside him. He had hoped, for Eddie’s sake that the girl would have at least tried to curb her opinions just a little bit. “Maybe Tom didn’t tell her how sensitive Eddie is about things….”
“I doubt that” Gayle shook her head “from what I’ve seen of this Faye character she’s a hard one to please.”
“You’re telling me” Rory grunted crossing his arms. “Thanks for watching Hannah for us. Eddie and I really appreciate it.”
“Any time” Gayle assured him “now hurry home before they leave. You have to make sure she doesn’t leave otherwise things will always be strained for you guys whenever they come to visit in the future.”
“We were planning on going to the park” Rory said walking towards the car “let Hannah run off some energy first.”
“We’ve already been to the park” she said “just go home.”
He gave her a doubtful look but said no more. “Eddie you ready?” he asked instead.
Glancing over the top of Hannah’s head Eddie nodded. Some of the worry and anxiety had left his eyes as he smiled up at his husband. “Just give a moment to put Hannah in her car seat and we’ll be ready to go.”
His light-hearted tone was reassuring to Rory. Maybe things weren’t as bad as he thought. They got into the car “what do you say we go home and give it another shot with Faye” he suggested.
“Um” Eddie looked out his window before answering. “Ok” he said softly his voice didn’t sound positive but he was at least open to the idea.
“What am I going to do with her?” Tom muttered to himself. He ran his fingers through his blonde hair, before resolving to leave the house. He would go after Faye. Running wasn’t the answer to everything. In fact, it was hardly the answer to anything.
He didn’t know where he expected to find her, but when he had opened the door to leave, he found Faye on her phone sitting on the porch. “Faye…”
She looked up at him, quickly closing her phone and holding it tightly in her hand. “I’m waiting on a taxi.”
“Cancel it,” Tom replied calmly. “My brother and his husband would love to have you stay. I know things aren’t going as you planned, but that doesn’t mean you have to shut down. How are you so composed on television but break down in real life?” He regretted saying it as soon as he saw the look of distaste on her face. “Faye, I didn’t mean anything by that. I’m just trying to get you to see-”
“My dad,” She started calmly, standing up.
Tom shook his head. He didn’t want to hear her finish that statement. “Your dad what? He ruined your life Faye. He tried to ruin the lives of so many other people on his shows. What could he possibly add to this conversation? I thought you were done with him.”
“He’s my dad,” She said, as if it was obvious. “And he invited me to cook with him on Chef Star Battles. Father and daughter pairs face off this episode and the pay is pretty substantial. I should be there. That’s my world.”
Tom couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “After all that you want to just crawl back into the Ferrari trap? Faye, I love you and I can’t bear to see you sucked back into the fame game.”
“It’s really not up to you,” Faye replied. “I love cooking. It makes me happy. People like my food, and there’s something about seeing the smile on someone’s face after they’ve tasted my dish that is satisfying to me. Is the options you’re presenting me to never cook on television again? Let me fade into the background and become some sort of housewife?”
Faye pulled her arm back forcefully. She wanted to yell at him, but was broken from her thoughts by a car driving up to the house. Eddie and Rory were back.
“Housewife? Faye, what are you even talking about?” Tom demanded. “This has to do with Eddie picking up his daughter, doesn’t it?”
“I…yes!” She cried, glaring at him. “I am not here to cater to some child. I see what you’re doing, you want me to see what it’s like to live the domestic life.”
“I want you to see how it’s like to have a family who cares about you!” Tom shouted at her, grabbing her hand. “I want you to see that you don’t have to go crawling back to your dad all the time!”