Chapter 14

She couldn't believe she was here. She couldn't believe anyone was here. Glancing around the room, she watched little clusters of groups speaking, laughing quietly, sharing, and even gossiping in their dark-colored clothing.

"When did Mom become so chummy with Alexis? And what have they been talking to Bobbie about for so long?" Brenda asked her younger sister.

Robin turned her head and zeroed in on their mother, Alexis Davis, and Bobbie huddled in a corner of Bobbie's dining room. "They're probably talking about the Leora-Kris Foundation- -"

"The what?"

Robin laughed. "Maybe if you weren't spending so much time with Sonny and working, you could come to family dinners and know that Mom and Alexis have started a foundation to help parents whose children have died or gone missing."

Brenda nodded. She had forgotten that Alexis had lost a daughter. And now Bobbie had lost another daughter. "It feels weird being here, doesn't it?"

Robin nodded. "Yeah, I keep reminding myself that I'm here for Bobbie, Michael, Morgan, and Lucas, not for Carly."

"Any word yet?"

The younger woman shook her head. "No. But as a favor to Bobbie, Mom has Aunt Alex running the toxicology tests. But so far nothing is coming up as unusual or even an unusual lethal combination of anything. It's looking more and more like we'll never know what exactly killed Carly."

"Poor Bobbie. Poor boys." Poor Carly, she thought, which was her same thought when Sonny first called her and told her about Carly's demise. After trying for several days to contact Carly to confirm her taking the boys for the weekend, the social worker assigned to their case called Sonny since Bobbie was out of town with Lucas for a school trip. Sonny met the social worker, along with two patrol officers, at Carly's new home and let them in. And lying across the bed in her pajamas was Carly, dead. The coroner said she had been dead at least two days. Brenda had been shocked when Sonny had called her, but as the mystery surrounding Carly's death remained, she knew that if not Sonny, then one of his business associates had finally punished Carly for her gabbiness during the trial. She tried to feel sorry for Carly, but couldn't. If you wanted to play with the big boys, you had to take the big boy punishments.

She wanted to ask Sonny if he knew anything about Carly's death, but then she thought twice about it. If he did, he couldn't or wouldn't tell her. And if he didn't which she didn't think he did, then maybe his feelings would be hurt that she thought he would have the mother of his sons murdered. It was still always possible, that Carly died of natural causes. It was entirely possible as much as she and others hated to think about it, that a woman in her thirties could die as easily and as naturally as a person in their nineties, but it was.

All these thoughts about death made her want to go home and hug Glory and Robbie. She didn't know what she would do without either of them. "Rob, I'm going home."

"I'll go with you."

She nodded, and the two went to find Terri outside. "Terri," she called, eyeing the woman secretly puffing.

"Please don't tell Bobbie. She thinks I quit, but in times of extreme stress, I cave."

Brenda and Robin smiled.

"Bobbie was busy and we didn't want to disturb her, but we wanted you all to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, and if you need anything, please don't hesitate to call," Brenda informed the older brunette.

"Thank you. And thanks for coming to support Bobbie- -"

"We- -"

Terri shook her head. "I might not have lived here, but I know the reputation my dear sister had. Why do you think Bobbie always had to come visit me in Nashville? More than ten minutes in a room with that jealous, self-centered whore and I wanted to murder her. Plus, she treated Bobbie like trash. So it was best we both stayed in our neutral corners."

Brenda chuckled. Terri Brock was a funny and truthful woman. She'd have to talk to Lois about seeing if L & B could do something with this woman. She was something else.

"When are you going home?" Robin asked.

Terri shrugged. "It's open ended right now. I just finished touring so I'm free for the foreseeable future. Sonny has agreed to let the custody arrangement stand. So Bobbie will have the boys every other weekend and alternate holidays. I'm grateful to him for that. Bobbie is overjoyed at having pieces of Carly running around the house. But I think she's forgotten that she's gotten older, and it's been a long while since Lucas and BJ were babies together. So I'll be here to help out with that too."

"She's lucky to have you," Brenda commented.

"No, I'm lucky to have her. The greatest thing Brock, my dad, ever gave me in all his miserable life was Bobbie," Terri said, crushing her cigarette. "I better get back inside. Thanks for coming."

The women nodded and headed to their car. Brenda looked up at the second story and considered running inside to say good-bye to Sonny, Michael, and Morgan, but decided against it. She'd let them have this day to themselves. Sonny was already worried that between Carly's dumping of the boys onto Leticia and Bobbie and then being absent from their lives these past few months, that her final disappearance from their lives will only be a minor blip on their radar. She wanted to tell him differently, but she couldn't because she had thought the same thing, too. Those poor boys.