things were looking dreary in Las Vegas.
On Saturday the temperature had surprised the community by rising ten degrees. The bliss wasn't long though because the storm clouds rolled in and a heavy rain began to pour on the citizens.
Brynn was spending the night following every chore Zoe laid out for her. It seemed she still hadn't got over the little tumble Brynn had had with Clair. Brynn had just finished the day's dishes when Zoe entered the kitchen holding the phone close to her ear and chatting loudly.
"Why yes, she's doing fine," Zoe boomed glaring quickly at Brynn. "No, no I think not. She's quite busy with school work at the time."
Brynn laid the last of the dishes out to dry and looked over at Zoe.
"Okay then...love you too...goodbye," she said before clicking the phone off with her free hand.
"Oh Brynn..." she started seeing she had finished her task. "I also want you to sweep this floor it's...
"Who was that?" Brynn said cutting Zoe short.
Zoe looked at Brynn appearing surprised she had the audacity to interrupt her.
"Was that my father?" Brynn questioned instead of taking the subtle hint to get to work.
Zoe sighed and pushed back her hair. "Yes it was."
"Why didn't I get to speak with him?!?" Brynn blurted. "I haven't talked to him in months!"
Brynn was furious and hurt at the same time. How could her father not want to talk to her?
"He is very busy now Brynn," Zoe answered staring down at her with the aggression of a tiger.
"He is making money so you can live as you do."
"You mean as you do," Brynn said.
Zoe didn't answer right away but smiled a cursed smile. "Look Brynn Darling, I've had my patience with you tested once, you need to obey my rule or you will be sent away."
"You can't do that," Brynn answered not entirely sure this threat was true.
Zoe laughed a small laugh and stared at Brynn. "Try me!" She snarled.
Brynn didn't say anything to that. She took a step back and glared back at her step-mother. How could she be so cruel?
"Now go to bed!" Zoe commanded showing the way with a wave of her hand. "I'll want you up early tomorrow to finish these chores."
Brynn scowled but turned none the less. She'd rather be locked in her room then here with Zoe. She headed for the stairs and saw Clair and Cher descending into the front walkway both of them were dressed in matching polos.
"O hello Brynn," Cher smiled coming to block her way up the stairs. "Want to know where we're going?"
"No, not really," Brynn said not looking at Cher as she examined a way to get past them.
"We're going to see Brendon's band," Clair piped in excitedly. "It was by special invitation."
"I'm sure," Brynn said not letting their words rest in her head a minute.
"It's a pity he didn't invite you," Cher chuckled. "Seeing as you we're his...Cinderella." Clair joined in the laugh and Brynn saw this chance to slip by them.
She ran up the stairs and quickly to her room. She sat down on her bed as Max came to lick her hand. She didn't notice the tears until she tasted them on her mouth. How could everything have turned out so badly? It just wasn't fair. She shouldn't be sitting here like this. If things were fair she'd be at the dance with her friends...and with Brendon. She knew Clair and Cher had to be lying about the 'special invitation'. Nobody in that band even liked those two. They merely were tagging along probably with the stalker, Tiffany. Brynn sighed and smiled a little at the thought. Tiffany really had turned out to be crazy. She wiped away a stray tear and petted Max's head.
"I should be there, you know," Brynn said to him. "They're my friends. Not Clair and Cher's."
She sighed to regain some air to her lungs and looked out her window. A nearby tree was whipping haphazardly in the wind and light rain drops clung to its branches. She felt Max lick her hand one more time before her mind had been made up.
Brynn sat up and grabbed the jacket on her desk chair. "I'm going Max," she said to the dog.
Max stayed where he was on the bed and lifted his head slightly just in time to see Brynn close the door on her way out.
Meanwhile downstairs Zoe had decided to spend the evening in front of the TV with a fine glass of wine. Brynn was in her bed for the night and Clair and Cher wouldn't be home until at least eleven. The night would be peaceful and quiet. Zoe sighed and brought her blood red wine to her lips for the first refreshing sip.
The glass slipped a little from the interruption of the door. It splashed onto Zoe and drained down her face. Zoe swore and quickly jumped up. "Who the hell...," she said wiping her face off and setting down her drink.
"Yes, yes," Zoe said moving towards the door at a less than fast speed. Not bothering to look through the peep hole she wretched the door open to reveal a tall man. His features were worn with age and experience. He had deep green eyes and brown hair just like his daughter. "Tom!" Zoe gasped seeing her husband standing in the doorway.
He smiled a bright smile which seemed to light up the dark sky behind him. "Zoe," he said coming to grasp the surprised women in a hug and quick kiss.
Zoe fell back into the house and hung loosely in the hug. What was he doing here? She thought.
"Tom," she repeated pulling back to look at the man. "Wha...what?"
Tom laughed and closed the door behind him and moved with Zoe further into the house. "What am I doing here?" He finished the sentence for her. He chuckled again and sat the women and himself on the living room couch. "I decided it was time for me to come home," he smiled.
Zoe smiled too but the sincerity behind it fell through. She picked up her glass of wine again and took a long drink. She gasped for breath afterwards and looked at Tom again. "But I...I mean I just talked to you and you said you wouldn't be home 'til Thanksgiving," she said still in disbelief.
"Well yes," Tom answered. "But I wanted it to be a surprise. I couldn't miss this look on your face," he said smiling again and grabbing Zoe in another hug.
Zoe still couldn't believe it. He was back!
Tom pulled back again and took the empty glass still clutched in Zoe's hand. He set it on the nearby coffee table and smiled. "So where's Brynn. I can't wait to see her," he said happily.
Zoe let out a small laugh knowing she couldn’t let him see Brynn before Zoe got to talk to her. Brynn being the little brat she was would babble about the cruel treatment Zoe had put on her. Maybe she could persuade her to say otherwise though if she came up with a plan. "Um she's...," Zoe began but was cut short by the sound of someone running down the stairs in the hallway.
Tom also heard the racket and looked back to see what the commotion was. Zoe didn't wait. She stood up and went into the hallway just in time to see Brynn throw open the door in a rage and bolt outside into the rain.
Tom appeared at Zoe's side a second later staring at the open door as well. "Was that Brynn?" He asked looked at Zoe confused.
"Um...," Zoe said afraid to lie too much. "I think so."
"Where is she going?"
"Um...I think she's going to the school for a dance," Zoe said knowing full well that was where she was going.
"Well why is she running in the rain there?" Tom asked looked at Zoe now with suspicion.
"You know I haven't a clue," Zoe said turning to look at Tom as well. "Teenagers," she smiled making to go back into the living room.
"Yeah," Tom said not entirely convinced. "Maybe I should go and you know check on her," he said suddenly making his way to the door.
"NO!" Zoe said running to stop him.
Tom stopped and looked at the weird behavior his wife was presenting now.
"I mean, I should go," Zoe said thinking fast. "I'll bring her back and you can surprise her like you wanted," she said smiling.
Tom contemplated the plan for a bit and then smiled. "Alright," he said.
"I won't be gone long," Zoe said moving towards the door and grabbing her coat. She gave her husband one last smile before closing the door behind her. "That little brat!" She spat before climbing into her car.