Sonny shouldn’t have been surprised when she asked for directions to the Brownstone. Felicia and Simone both lived there. He didn’t think his surprise showed and even if it did, Brooke was too busy strategizing the best way to move the kids and luggage inside to pay attention.

“Sonny, I never could have done this so quickly and efficiently without your help,” Brooke thanked him, as he carried a sleeping Bridget to the master bedroom and laid her down on the bunk bed.

“The least I could do for someone new to town. I somehow like helping beautiful woman carry their luggage,” he said, the last part more to himself remembering his first encounter with Brenda.

“Nice memory?” she asked curious. Who was this man, Sonny Corinthos? He was charismatic and dynamic, but in a totally different way than either Eric or Ridge.

“Yes.” He’d have to watch himself around her. She was observant. Sonny looked at his watch. He better go, Jason must be wondering where he was. “Are you sure Bobbie, Simone, and Felicia will be back soon?”

“Yes, this is ladies’ night. So the kids are spending the night with the babysitter and Felicia, Bobbie, Simone, and Dara should be back in a bit. I’ll just take a quick shower and be waiting for them downstairs ready for some female bonding when they return,” Brooke informed him.

“If you’re sure,” he said hesitantly.

“I’m sure. Now go.”

She walked Sonny downstairs to the front door of the Brownstone.

“Thank you so much for the tour, dinner, the movement of children and luggage. Thank you for everything,” she smiled.

“You’re welcome,” he smiled back at her. “I’m glad to be your first male friend in Port Charles.”

She laughed.

Sonny pulled out a business card and handed to her. “Call me when you’re ready to be amazed by my horse skills.”

“Which you don’t have now,” she informed him.

“But will obtain, quickly,” he assured her.

Brooke held out her hand, which he grasped and shook firmly.

“Thank you again. I’m sorry, I couldn’t offer you a ride home,” she apologized.

“Don’t worry about it. You get ready for the slumber party, I’ll be fine,” he told her and walked out the door. ”Goodnight and welcome to Port Charles.”

“Goodnight,” she repeated and closed the door. Brooke leaned against the door and then remembering the time, she ran up the stairs to get ready.

After a speedy shower, a change into her comfy pajamas, and a check on the kids, Brooke took out her cell phone. Dialing the numbers by memory, she waited for someone to pick up.

“Good Evening, Brooke Forrester’s office,” Megan greeted her.

“Hello, Megan.”

“Brooke. Hey, how are you?”

“I’m good. How are you?”

“Crazed,” she huffed.

“What’s going on?” Brooke asked, getting comfortable on the couch Bobbie nicely got for her.

“We’re having some problems with a manufacturer in Cleveland, so Thorne and Ridge flew out there to see what the problem was,” Megan informed her.

Brooke sighed.

“Have you talked to Ridge today?” Megan asked concerned.

“No, we keep missing each other,” Brooke lied.

The other lines started ringing.

“Answer those lines, I’ll talk to you later.”

“I’ll tell him to call you at home,” Megan finished as she hung up.

“But I’m not at home,” Brooke said to the dial tone. She shut off her phone, grabbed a book, and headed downstairs to wait for the girls.

She tried to read, but her mind kept drifting to Ridge. Why hadn’t he called her before flying off to Cleveland with Thorne? Wasn’t she his wife? Shouldn’t she hear about emergency business trips from him and not her assistant? But what did she expect, this had been a problem in the making. Every since she decided to share her CEO position with both Ridge and Eric, Ridge had eagerly taken it and spent more and more time away from home.

Maybe it was her fault, maybe she made things to easy. When Taylor begged her to take care of the kids before she died, she took Taylor’s words to heart. After Taylor’s death, she took time off of work to help Ridge and Tommy deal with their loss. To come to terms with the illness that had rapidly taken Taylor from them. She worked at giving the twins stability, as they were too young to understand what was going on.

But soon shuttling between Ridge’s house and her own became too much, and then Ridge proposed marriage to ease her stress level and to bring the whole family together. She never thought in her wildest dreams that she would ever marry Ridge for practical reasons or for the sake of their kids. But she did. Stephanie and Jack both opposed the marriage coming barely a year after Taylor’s death, but they went ahead anyway.

By the time she became pregnant with Willow, she had known for sure that her superwoman gig had to come to an end. So she called Eric and Ridge in and split her position three ways though she retained final veto power. Maybe that had been her fatal error. Ridge had taken to the new position with gusto and little by little she and the children were edged out in his chase for power.