Tom bounced up from the couch where he and Rory had been discussing the restaurant. For some reason he felt somewhat guilty about discussing it with someone else other than Faye first. “Do you need any help” he offered as he watched Eddie and Faye come in with bags of groceries each.
“Nope we’ve got it” Eddie said kicking the door shut behind him.
“Daddy” Hannah cried running into the room arms spread wide.
Putting the bags down Eddie bent to pick up his little angel. “Did you miss me” he asked her.
Hannah nodded her head like a bobble doll. “Missed you” she mumbled pressing little kisses on his cheek.
“I guess you did” Eddie laughed squeezing her tight. He was going to enjoy this moment because he knew it wouldn’t last long.
“Down daddy” she whimpered a little before struggling in his arms.
“Alright down you go” he said kissing her round little cheek before setting on on the ground. He looked up to find Faye watching him, a gleam in her eyes that hadn’t been there before. “What” he asked feeling a self-conscious under her scrutiny.
“You” she waved a hand at him “you’re amazing.” She had never known either of her parents ever dropping what they were doing to pick her up or talk to her when she came running to them for attention. They had always put her off in preference to what they were doing. She had always known something else was more important than her.
Shrugging his shoulders he started to put the groceries away. “Hannah knows that no matter what she’s free to come to either Rory or I when she wants. Now that she’s discovered she can run it’s never for long.” He sighed a little “they don’t stay little for long.”
“Little girls always need their dads” Faye said “even when they wish they didn’t.” She looked up as Tom put a comforting arm around her. She leaned into him taking what he had to offer instead of brushing him off.
“So this is where the party’s at” Rory said joining them. He bent to help Eddie put the food away. “Did you tell her yet” he asked.
“Tell me what” Faye asked moving enough to look up Tom.
“Did you call Uncle Gene” Eddie asked turning from the refrigerator.
“Yeah I did” he said. He could feel all of them watching him. “The restaurant can be ours if we want it. There’s just one problem” he looked down at Faye “Gino is also interested in buying the restaurant. Uncle Gene will never sell it to him but …..”
“But he has enough power and influence to make sure no one ever goes there. He could shun us from the culinary world for good,” Faye cried.
“I wasn’t even thinking of that!” Tom exclaimed, hitting his forehead with the palm of his hand. “That complicates things further. I was going to say that Uncle Gene doesn’t mind selling us the restaurant. There’s a clause in the contract that says he can sell it to us for any price, even a $1.”
“That’s great news,” Eddie said. “Isn’t it? Uncle Gene will help you fight off Gino.”
“It’s not that. I feel bad not giving him anything for it. It’s like he’s handing down the business to me, without me really earning it,” Tom said with a frown. “That’s not how Faye and I want to do it.”
“We’ll purchase it at the going price,” Faye said in a determined fashion. “I have a stash of money saved up and it is pretty sizable. I’m sure your Uncle could use the extra money too. Not to imply anything.”
“He’d never let us buy it for asking price,” Tom said. “There’s not only that, but you’re right. Your dad hates the Bennett’s. This whole thing puts a target on us.”
“So?” Rory asked, raising a brow. “Just because you shoot the target, doesn’t mean that you’ll hit it. I think you can call your celebrity friends and stand in solidarity against Gino and people who try to ostracize you from the industry.”
“He’s my dad,” Faye surmised. “Is there no way to….” Her voice trailed off. “I know there is no way to keep his pride in tact and mine as well.”
“He’s fighting you too hard, Faye. I know you love him, but he’s toxic. He’s only hurting you, and I’m tired of seeing that man make you cry. I won’t stand back and let him do it anymore,” Tom said. “So, you tell me what to do. I’ll do anything.”
“Can we sleep on it?” Faye asked, with a forced smile. “I uh…there’s something I need to do first. If you don’t mind.”
“Of course I don’t mind,” Tom said. “Do what you need to, but please. I beg of you, don’t keep secrets. Alright?”
“I’m not,” Faye replied, shaking her head. “I don’t want you to get hurt either.”
Faye left the room taking the small brown bag Eddie had given her earlier. She had to know. She couldn’t put if off any longer. Closing the door behind her she leaned against it taking in several deep breaths. Too much was happening at once. It was hard to imagine that it had just been yesterday they had gotten off the plane.
Her hands shook as she took the pregnancy test out of the package. Reading the directions carefully she made sure to follow them precisely, not that she didn’t already know how it worked, she just needed the mind numbing task. Something to focus her mind on besides her dad, the restaurant and even what she was doing right at that moment.
She splashed water over her face. She couldn’t be pregnant. She just couldn’t be. They had been careful. She scowled at the test and it’s positive results. She couldn’t deny it anymore. She was pregnant. She was going to be a parent. A mom. She was going to be sick. She rushed to the toilet and emptied her stomach. Rinsing her mouth out she pinched some color back into her cheeks.
She joined Eddie in the kitchen. He was busy chopping the veggies they needed for the recipe she wanted to try. He looked up “are you ok?”
“I’m fine” she sighed picking up a knife joining him “nothing that nine months won’t cure.”
“So you are” he didn’t finish his question “When are you going to tell him?”
“Tell me what” Tom asked walking into the kitchen.
“That we should take your uncle up on his offer” she said giving Eddie a warning look not to say anything.
“I thought you wanted the night to think about it” Tom said sounding as confused as he looked.
“I changed my mind” she turned back to her task explaining to Eddie what she wanted to do and the adjustments she wanted to make to the recipe. “There’s a lot of things we need to discuss first before like what kind of cuisine to serve. The clientele the restaurant already has. I’ll want to see the existing kitchen and sous chefs before we make any definite decisions.”
“Great” the worry in Tom’s eyes vanished as he listened to her “I’ll arrange all that with Uncle Gene. I’m sure he can arrange for us to see the restaurant before we make any decisions.” Sniffing the air he said “that smells good, what is it?”
“Just a little recipe I’ve wanted to try” she said evasively.
Eddie lifted an eyebrow at her but didn’t say anything until Tom wandered out of the kitchen. “I recognize this recipe. It’s one of your dads. I think your dad’s worried that you’re going to be the next great chef and he’s doing everything he can to make you think you’ll always be in his shadow.” He stirred the contents on the stove “my advice to you is don’t let him. Let him know you’re someone to be reckoned with.”
“Do you think I can” she asked an unusual not of vulnerability in her tone.
“I know you can” Eddie said giving her a reassuring grin. “Besides you have us cheering you on.”