“And these are the docks,” Sonny said, with a smiling Willow in his arms.
“Uncle Sonny, where do all the cool kids hang out?” Ric asked.
As a compromise between calling him Mr. Corinthos and Sonny, Steph came up with Unca Sonny.
“Why? You’re not cool so what does it matter?” Bridget said bitterly.
Sonny looked at her amazed. That was the first sentence he heard her say all day.
Ric frowned at Bridget. “You’re the nerd,” Ric countered.
Bridget opened her mouth.
“Not another word, either of you,” Brooke commanded.
Bridget and Ric glared at each other and then went to their separate corners.
“I’ll find out for you and Bridget, Ric,” Sonny said, hoping to appease both kids.
They leisurely walked back to the SUV.
“So let me get this straight. The Port Charles Hotel is the best place to stay. The Port Charles Grille is the best place for an intimate lunch or dinner. The Outback is okay and has decent entertainment. For a hearty breakfast, lunch, dinner or desert, I should go to Kelly’s. But for all around good eating, atmosphere and entertainment, it’s Luke’s,” Brooke finished.
“I knew you were a quick learner,” he teased.
“Do the owners of these places pay you for the free advertisement? Or are you friends with them?”
Sonny chuckled. “Oh, you city girl. Welcome to small town life where everyone knows everyone and there’re no real secrets.”
They arrived at the car and strapped the kids in.
“What’s next on our tour?” she asked as she merged with the light traffic.
“What else do you want to see?”
“What lies outside of town?”
“Take a quick left and we’ll hit the highway and you can see.”
Brooke followed his directions and soon they left Port Charles behind.
“You never did tell me why you’re in Port Charles,” Sonny reminded her.
“We’re tourists looking for the remnants of the weather machine,” she answered, with a smile.
“Only a resident of this town would know about that. Plus tourists stay in New York City and make daytrips to Port Charles, and only then if they know someone in town. So who are you here to see?”
“Are the kids asleep?” she inquired, trying half-heartedly to change the subject.
Turning his head, he noticed the twins, Willow, and Tommy were sleeping. Bridget’s head was buried in a book. While a closed-eyed Ric kept in beat with his walkman. Sonny faced forward.
“Pretty much,” he replied.
Brooke did a swift U-turn and headed back to Port Charles.
“Thank God, I knew it would work.”
“You drove out here to put your kids to sleep. I’m disappointed. I thought you wanted to spend more time with me.”
For the first time, Sonny heard Brooke genuinely laugh. It was one of the most delightful sounds he’d heard in a while.
“The moving car trick works every time.”
“You’re visiting who again?”
“Man, you’re nosy,” she answered.
“I’m persistent and you’re being evasive,” he replied.
She stuck her tongue out at him. “Nosy. Simone Hardy. Do you know her?” she finally told him.
“No, but I’ve heard of her. She’s a pediatrician?”
“And you’re not nosy?”
“Determined. Now finish telling me your story.”
“Simone, Dara Jensen, and I were frosh roommates at USC.”
“The doctor, the counselor, and the?”
Her eyes met his for a second as she pondered his question. Mother, wife, CEO… “Chemist,” she said simply.
Sonny studied her profile. He could tell she wasn’t lying. Hmm, a chemist. He hadn’t expected that.
“What,” she asked, looking at him out of the corner of her eye, “you imagined all chemists as nerdy, lab coat, bifocal wearing people?”
“Dara and Simone had to drag me out of the lab.”
“Really?” he said, the surprise evident in his voice.
“With six kids, you have time to be in the lab?”
“No,” she said wistfully. “I don’t do that anymore.”
Sonny wanted to know the story behind that answer, but he refrained.
“Anyone else you know in town?” he asked, distracting Brooke.
“She went to USC, too?”
“Nope. I worked summers on her grandmother’s ranch in Texas.”
“You’re a cowgirl?”
“I can ride with the best of them. Can you?”
“There’s no horseback riding going on in Bensonhurst, even if we could have afforded it.”
“I understand. I went riding on a school field trip and I was hooked. Lucky for me, my mom used to visit this widow who lived on this dilapidated, old ranch. She had kept her husband’s prize possession a horse named Apache. So while she and my mom chatted, she let me ride him for exercise. When I was on Apache, I didn’t have a care in the world. I cried when he died.” Brooke was quiet for a moment. “When I find a stable around here, I’ll teach you how to ride. It’s as easy as riding a bike,” she smiled.
He looked at her with skepticism. “I’ll take your word for it.”
“What, are you chicken? Is Sonny Corinthos a chicken?” she questioned him.
“Are you daring me?”
Brooke shook her head. “No, not at all. I’m just asking if you’re a chicken?”
A gleam shined in Sonny’s eyes. “I’ll be riding better than you in a month.”
“We’ll see, Mr. Corinthos. We’ll see,” she said, as she took the Port Charles Boulevard exit.