For a moment she pulled back then let him pull her from the room. Apologizing wasn’t a common everyday occurrence for her or any Ferrari for that matter. She was sure her father never did it.
They entered into the living to find Rory sitting comfortably in the living room playing his guitar. “Where’s Eddie” Tom asked looking around a worried crease between his eyes.
“He’s in the kitchen” glancing up his unfriendly eyes raking across Faye. “He’s worried about what to cook.” He didn’t add that his worry was mainly the seldom satisfied girl standing in his living room.
“Can I see if he needs any help” she asked moving towards the kitchen.
Rory stood up like he was going to follow “if you upset him more than you already have…”
“I won’t” Faye said hastily “I promise I won’t. I want to apologize for the way I’ve been acting. I do appreciate everything you’ve done for us in letting us stay here.” With that she turned and walked away but she didn’t miss the look of astonishment that took over Rory’s face
She entered the kitchen to find Eddie carefully gathering ingredients. “You have excellent mise en place skills” she complimented him.
Her voice made him jump almost sending the ingredients he had gathered to the floor. “Thank you” he stammered looking up at her “that’s what my instructors at culinary school told me.”
“You went to culinary school” she asked moving in close to observe him better.
“Yeah before life got complicated” he looked up at her a shy smile spreading across his face. “Would you like to show me how the Ferrari do things?”
“You wouldn’t mind me cooking?” she asked somewhat surprised.
“I see Tom told you about my phobia” he murmured. He looked to the floor before meeting her eyes. “It’s my kitchen. I know what’s in here.” He moved aside inviting her to join him “besides Tom trusts you. I think I can too.”
A big smile grew on the girl’s face. Trust was something seldom earned. She trusted her staff in her restaurant, she trusted her best friend Sonny, and she trusted Tom. There was no one else she thought she trusted, so Tom’s brother saying he trusted her was amazing. The idea that one’s trust could be dependent on the trust of another? Unheard of to her.
“Thank you for your trust. You don’t know how much that means to me.” She reached over him towards the sink and began to wash her hands. “Uh, we have to be sanitary first.”
“Of course,” Eddie agreed. While he was washing his hands, Faye set up the cooking utensils. “Now let’s make an organic sauce with cilantro and basil.”
“Sounds good,” Eddie commented. “What will we use the sauce for?”
“Pizza,” Faye said with a smile. “Just because I’m a world renowned chef doesn’t mean things have to be complicated. Oh, and I got us a bottle of the finest red wine I could find. Feel free not to drink it. I won’t be offended.”
Faye began to mix the sauce and then let out a small laugh. “Also I just love making pizza because it’s what really made me love Tom.”
“I saw the episode,” Eddie said with a small smile. “It was all real?”
“Yeah. I love him, truly I do.” She bit her lip and then whirled around to face Eddie. “What does family mean to the Bennett’s? Kids, marriage- the whole nine yards?”
Eddie set his knife aside a moment considering her questions. “Wow I never thought about it before. It’s more than kids and marriage. Don’t get me wrong. Those things are important but it’s not what makes a family.”
She looked at him a perplexed expression of her face. “What do you mean? Isn’t family the ones you’re related to?”
“Yes but it’s more than that” Eddie sucked on his bottom lip as he thought about what he wanted to say. “People can be family without being related. Family is more of a feeling. It’s a safe place. A place where you can be yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be yourself.”
“I never thought of if that way before” she voice was full of wonder “is that why people who are blood related may not act like family? I mean, when I’m with my dad I always feel like I have to be the best. Be perfect. I can never be me.”
“It’s sad but true that the people we’re closest to may not be the family we need” Eddie commiserated with her. “I’m sorry you never had a chance to feel that kind of unpressured belonging with your dad. It’s a great feeling. Our dad always encouraged us to be who we are. He had dreams for all of us but he always just wanted us to be happy.” He picked up his knife to continue chopping veggies for the pizza.
They worked in silence for a while until Faye glanced over at him. “Do you think I could learn to be a good member in your family? Tom says I’m an acquired taste. Does that mean I won’t ever fit in?”
“I think you’re well on your way already” Eddie assured her. “If Rory could do it I’m sure you will too.”
“Rory didn’t fit in with your family either” she asked glancing towards the living room to make sure they weren’t being watched.
“Let’s just say Rory made about as good an impression on Tom as you did on Rory” Eddie smiled at the memory.
“You mean Tom hated him” Faye stated “he never told me that.”
“Well they like each other now” Eddie set aside the veggies and watched Faye finish up the sauce. “When they met Rory and I had broken up and I was devastated by it. Tom had come to stay with me for a while. He’s a good guy to have around. There’s nothing he won’t do for those he loves. That’s something you’ll have to get used to if you intend on becoming part of this family.”
Assembling the pizza Faye couldn’t wait to get Tom alone to discuss everything she and Eddie had talked about. She had so many questions. Her stomach growled. Food first she thought.
Setting the pizza in front of Rory, Faye took a step back and bit her lip. She was hoping he’d love it. She knew it wouldn’t be enough to win him over, but it would be a start. “Smells good,” He commented and a sigh of relief washed over Faye.
“Thanks,” She said quietly. Tom looked up at her and winked. She felt the butterflies in her stomach grow just watching him, and then…a sudden wave of nausea hit her. She grabbed the back of one of the chairs and shut her eyes tightly.
“Faye!” Tom moved to stand up but she held her hand up. “I’m alright. Just a bit nauseous…uhm…can I be excused?”
“Do you need to lie down?” Eddie asked. “Tom can bring some food up to you.”
“It’s okay. Really, I’m just a little lightheaded. A lot happened today.”
“Eddie’s right. Go lay down.” Tom stood up and joined her side. “No one will mind if you sit upstairs.”
“Your health comes first,” Rory agreed. “Don’t worry about us.”
“Ok…” Faye gave in. “But Tom, you can stay down here and eat with your family. I don’t mind.”
“No, it’s alright. I want to be with you,” Tom said.
“Please,” She begged. “Have dinner with your brother and his husband. I know you’re excited to catch up with them. I won’t halt this any longer. I just need to lie down for a bit. I’ll be okay.”
Tom watched Faye as she walked away a worried frown creasing his brow. “She’ll be ok” Eddie assured him.
“Are you sure” he asked nibbling on his slice of pizza “she didn’t look well.”
“I’m sure” Eddie sounded sure of himself.
Rory glanced up at him “you don’t think…” His voice faded away when Eddie shook his head. Luckily for them Tom didn’t seem to notice. “Let’s not let this wine go to waste” Rory refilled their glasses “this pizza is delicious.”
I’ll have to remember her technique with the sauce” Eddie sipped on the wine “she combined ingredients I didn’t think paired well. I’m glad to find out they married well.”
“Kind of like us” Rory teased winking at his husband.
“Stop” Eddied chided him “you’ll make our guest uncomfortable.”
“I don’t think our guest is paying any attention to us” Rory waved a hand in front of Tom’s face.
“What” he blinked looking around the table with a slightly dazed look.
“Why don’t you go on up and check on her” Rory suggested “Eddie and I will will clean up.”
“If she’s already asleep I suggest you let her sleep” Eddie said as Tom got up to follow Faye upstairs.
By the time Tom opened the bedroom door he found Faye curled upon her side sound asleep. He moved around the room getting undressed. He crawled into bed careful not to disturb her. She murmured and turned to him in her sleep. He stroked her hair as he drifted off to sleep himself.