Chapter 15

"Brennie, we're hungry," Michael informed her as the group's spokesman.

Looking up from the mounds of paperwork swallowing the desk Sonny had set up for her, she gave the kids a brilliant smile. "Do you want Kelly's or pizza?"

"Brennie, Dad would want us to have- -" he paused when he remembered whom he was talking to. Brennie was good at grilled cheese, tuna melts, tv dinners, but that was the extent of her culinary abilities.

"Kelly's," he, Glory, Morgan, and Robbie agreed.

"I knew you would see it my way. Go tell Pablo what you want for dinner."

The kids raced out the room and she went back to her documents. Brenda was reviewing all of the information pertaining to Glory. She could still remember the first time she held her as if it were yesterday.

After another harrowing day at her new job at Enchantment, she came home to find a basket on the front porch. Between her years with Sonny and now with her mom, she cautiously approached the basket and poked at it with a stick she found on the ground. After eliminating it as a bomb or any other deadly thing she could think of, she carefully opened it and much to her delight discovered a brown doe eyed baby quietly staring at her. She quickly gathered the baby in her arms, rushed to unlock the door and got the baby out of the chilly Pine Valley air.

Grabbing a blanket from the sofa, she wrapped the baby in the blanket until the house could heat up. She should have called Anna or Derek Frye, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Instead, she was content to hold the quiet baby and gaze at it. When she deemed the house warm enough, she unbundled the baby and discovered it was a girl. After she found the bottle, few diapers, and extra clothing in the basket, her inexperienced self fed and bathed the baby. By the time Robin rushed through the door after her vague call and requests, she had fallen madly in love with the baby and wasn't about to let anyone take the precious infant from her. She thought she would have to do a lot of convincing so Rob wouldn't call their mom, but after letting her little sister hold the baby for a few minutes and reading the note that said, 'Take care of her', her little sister had been as hooked as she was. So instead of calling their mom, Robin suggested they call Tad.

Lucky for them Anna was working on a case and had been practically living at the station which allowed her and Robin enough time to persuade Tad for a limited amount of time to keep the baby a secret from Anna. He agreed to keep quiet for 24 hours. So while he contacted a lawyer to see what it would take to adopt the baby girl, she and Robin, after Robin's check up of the baby, per Tad's demands, scanned the internet and police scanner for any missing or child abduction cases but none of the children described matched the precious baby in her arms.

When Anna walked through the door over twelve hours later, Brenda was equipped with the knowledge of everything that would happen once her mom, the cop, was told about the baby. Anna was shocked and dismayed that such a huge secret had been withheld, and as a cop, more than a little upset that the few clues to indicate who the baby was and who left her had been tampered with. But Anna bounced back from the deception and supported Brenda through everything.

Her mom was there when she had to place the baby, she had named Gloria-Anna Cerullo Barrett, into the arms of another at the emergency foster home. And Anna pulled the covers over her when she fell asleep in bed trying to read another book for her foster parenting class the next day. The journey to make Glory, as she was affectionately called by Papa Tad, hers had brought her and her mother closer. The closest they had ever been. And at the celebration of Glory's return home, it was her mom who suggested she was pregnant.

Becoming a mother had given her a new perspective on all her relationships. And now staring at this pitiful bit of information, she vowed to do whatever it took to find out more about Glory's past for the sake of their future relationship. She had considered hiring Felicia to help her; maybe it was time she did that.

"Do what?"

Brenda's head spun around as she heard the voice behind her. Quickly and automatically, her hands shoved Enchantment paperwork on top of that pertaining to Glory. "What are you doing back already?"

"I've been back for a while. I looked in on you earlier, but you seemed to be deep in thought so I took the kids upstairs. Are you okay?" Sonny asked.

Brenda nodded.

He waited for to expound on her answer, but she didn't. "So what are you going to do?"

"Oh, nothing. It's work related. I didn't realize I was talking out loud."

Sonny saw the quick movements of her hands and knew she was lying and after life with Carly, the last thing he and his sons needed was another lying, deceitful, conniving female in their lives. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he sighed. Maybe the stress over Carly's death was making him a bit more suspicious than usual. It could be any number of things Brenda slipped under the other papers. It didn't necessarily spell pending disaster. He quickly assessed her. She didn't appear to be nervous or scared, so he'd let it go. "Come on, the kids are waiting for us so they can eat."

"Good, I'm starved," she said, walking towards him. "So how would you feel about a mini-vacation to Minneapolis?"

"I'm listening."

"I'm going there for business and I thought it would be nice if everyone went. We could all use a little break from reality."

"Won't you be busy with work?"

"Ah, that's the beauty of it. There are two stores in the Mall of America, one is selling our latest perfume like hotcakes. The other store can't seem to give it away."

"And the stores are similar?"

"Exact same demos."

Sonny nodded.

"So I thought I would do a little shopping and observing, and while I'm doing that, you and the kids could live it up at the second largest mall in North America and Camp Snoopy."

Glancing over at her, Sonny wondered who this woman was. Brenda Barrett, mother and businesswoman. He always knew she could do it, she just needed to mature and find her niche. He smiled, allowing her to enter the dining room first. "Who wants to go to Camp Snoopy?" he asked, as they sat down.


"I do, Dad."


"Me, too!"

"Good. As soon as Brenda and I finish up some loose ends, we'll leave."

"Yippee!" the kids shouted.

Brenda grinned at Sonny as she cut up Robbie's hamburger. She hadn't expected him to consent so fast. She was taking her family on a business trip. They were going on a trip period. Her family. Morgan had stolen her heart from the start and Michael and she were building a nice relationship. Her daughters, her sons, their father, and she were going to a town where no one knew their names or anything about them. To Minneapolis, they would just be a family of six. A family. Her heart jumped.