|Becoming Rachel Farmer: Baby Daddy Drama
Author: Gobsmacked82 PM
Another Frank & Rachel series is in order, shippers. In this one, Frank and Rachel deal with all the complications of her previous relationship with Fletcher's father, Terrell. They also move to the East Coast so that Rachel can pursue an important gig on Broadway, and plan their wedding.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Crime - F. Farmer & R. Marron - Chapters: 9 - Words: 27,243 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 05-03-13 - Published: 10-06-12 - id: 8587291
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The story continues, readers. Thanks for all your comments so far. Some of them are quite funny and make me chuckle on those scant times when I'm sitting by myself in a quiet space sipping tea. Keep them coming! In the last piece, the wedding planning got underway while Frank admonished Rachel about Terrell. Did she listen? Read on to find out.
July 21, 1993
Rachel Marron is sitting at the vanity of a large bright bathroom and doing the final blending on her eye shadow when she stops to glance up at Frank. He's buttoning his cuffs and looks exceptionally handsome in a wheat-colored suit, with a few buttons opened on his baby blue shirt.
"Well, look at you," Rachel turns around in her chair and whistles at Frank. "You didn't say anything about outdressing the birthday girl."
Frank smiles at Rachel and licks his lower lip slightly, looking her up and down.
"You're not so bad yourself," Frank nods.
She's stunning, he thinks, sitting there crossed-legged in a mini red dress with a plunging backline. Then his mind flashes with two more images: The first is of him showing her off as the crown jewel of his life and the belle of the ball. The next is of him clocking some random guy for getting too close to her. Frank would have been content taking Rachel, Fletcher and Herb to a movie, maybe a boat ride around the harbor, but Julia thought a 30th birthday bash was "more fitting" for a celebrity of her stature. And of course a big part of Rachel enjoyed the festivities and being the center of attention. Looking the way that she did-more like demigod than anyone he had previously dated-he knew all eyes would be on her. This would be their first appearance, and their first red carpet event as a couple since they went public with their engagement, and here it was her birthday party, not even an industry or charity event. He even had to insist on the day after her birthday to avoid intruding on their lives. Would he always have to share his fiance, then wife, then mother of his kids?
"Frank? Earth to Frank," Rachel calls softly. She walks over to him and slides her hand into his, in a ballroom dance position. "Are you ready for it all?"
"I had better be ready, because the red carpet starts shortly, doesn't it?"
Rachel nods and smiles at Frank. She lays her head on his shoulder and thinks she could slow dance with him all night, just like the first time. But the festivities await them, and her publicist and party planner both come knocking, interrupting their quiet time.
"Rachel! Red carpet starts in 20 minutes," Julia calls from the other side of the door. Rachel looks up at Frank and smiles before peeling herself slowly out of his cozy embrace.
"Well, it's show time," she sighs. "Let's go." Frank spins her around and holds her from behind, kissing the back of her neck.
Frank and Rachel walk downstairs, through the contemporary, airy house. Rachel's staff is buzzing with last-minute preparations as Charles Ayres, her producer friend and his wife, greet them on the patio that leads to the back yard. Sy is chatting with them.
"What a knockout! Frank I hope you don't mind this once," He pulls Rachel in for a kiss on the cheek and spins her around. Frank minds, slightly, and remembers his brief vision of hitting a guy for getting too close to Rachel. But he promises not to get violent at her party.
Before Sy can say another word, Rachel scurries back to Frank, grabs his elbow and struts off.
The party becomes a mix of impromptu concert, where musical legends in practically all genres and disciplines jam for hours, and part family gathering as Christiana and Eldon show up, blending among—and sometimes avoiding—Rachel's industry friends. She ends up talking Frank into dancing, which he turns out to be pretty good at once he stops claiming that he hates it so much.
Rachel keeps an earlier promise not to put Christiana on the spot by asking her to sing, and she handles the crowd like a child methodically working her way through her toy room. Every area of her friend's property bubbles with rowdy conversation until she comes along to play and turn up the volume even more. In one corner, a couple of her friends from a TV Christmas special she did are leading a game of quarters. Rachel stops by and aces it, not getting the slightest bit drunk. The same cannot be said for one of her women guests. As Frank is standing a ways off from them opening a champagne bottle, she sips from her glass slowly, watching him. Then she asks Rachel if Frank makes love the way he's opening the champagne.
"And you can tell by the way h-h-he moves he can be aminal!" She covers her mouth. "But he ain't even drinking, though! What's he like when he loses control?"
"You will never find out!"
Several of the guys are very physically flirty with Rachel, joking with Frank that they hope he's ready to handle her as his wife. Rachel waves them off, even the guy who presents her with a stunning emerald and diamond necklace.
"Will you marry me now?" the small group around them gasps as Rachel cracks open the velvet box and she covers her mouth.
"Not on your life!" she says, fastening it on. "You totally wasted that royalty check. What did I tell you about pursuing pop singers?"
She receives other extravagant gifts that night. One promoter who made $13 million from her appearance in a concert series gives her a month at his house in Switzerland. The producer on Queen of the Night gives her the keys to an exotic car. At that point, Rachel starts to get bored and tired. It comes on suddenly, and unexplainably. But she finds herself feeling stuck. Charles takes her by the hand and creates an impromptu meeting with the director of his new film. They end up talking for an hour, with interruptions from well wishers. One welcome interruption comes from Christiana, who is carrying a small flat box and pulls Rachel into the quietness of the changing room she and Frank had used upstairs.
"Are you having a good time?" Christiana sits on a chair across from Rachel.
"Pretty good," Rachel says. "You guys are saving this place from being a complete circus. But if you sang with me …"
"No," Christiana smiles sweetly. Rachel pretends to scowl, and then Christiana hands her the box. "My daughter is completely enamored with her glamorous auntie—and her handsome uncle to be—and insisted on making this for you."
When Rachel opens the small paper box and pushes the tissue away, her heart melts. It's a bracelet made of green and pink clay polymer beads, with the initials R and F stamped on two of them. Rachel wiggles her hand through the elastic binding and turns it around on her wrist.
"She made this, that precious girl?" Rachel asks, looking up. "She's so talented and thoughtful. I'll write her a note and tell her I love this best of all."
Christiana explains that her daughter ordered the beads, but came up with the design and strung it together herself. The cousins stand up and linger in a warm hug, as Rachel begins to think about the virtues of a family-only farm wedding. They pull away, and Christiana asks Rachel if she has decided to use the farm. Rachel looks down and shrugs.
"I'm confused, actually, Christiana," she says. "I can see beauty in both a cathedral wedding and one on a farm. But Frank wants something simple."
"You haven't said what you want, though," Christiana says, holding her hands in front of her. "Didn't you always dream of a big church and bells and stuff when we were all little and playing wedding? You made me and Nikki be the bridesmaids, carrying your 30-foot train." Christiana imitates carrying precious cloth around the room, which cracks Rachel up. Then Christiana composes herself.
"If that little girl is still part of the big, grand Rachel Farmer—to be—then tell Frank what you want," Christiana says. "You don't have to lose yourself totally just because you've grown and changed."
Rachel nods, and promises to let Christiana know soon, so that she and her family can plan accordingly. Then she snaps to attention.
"What time is it?"
"A quarter past midnight," Christiana says. "We actually have to get going. We asked the car that you offered us to pick us up in 15 minutes."
"Please remind Eldon about the 'man's fishing party' in a couple of days," Rachel jokes. "I just want them to bring my son back alive."
Christiana and Eldon's party leave shortly in their SUVs, and as far as Rachel is concerned, the party becomes hollow after that. She smiles, laughs and runs on autopilot for another two hours, and then she tells Charles that she wants to wind the party down. The carving station, sushi bar and dessert tables come down. The bar tender gives a last call, as Frank happens to walk up.
"I'll have a scotch neat," Frank says. As he turns around to wait for his drink, Sy walks up. The latter had avoided Frank the whole night, but with the crowd beginning to thin out, there was nowhere left to run. Frank merely nodded at Sy, who waved subtly.
"Some party, right, Frank?" Sy says as Frank takes his drink. "But this is the sort of thing you have to expect from a woman like Rachel. She's on fire right now, and doesn't show the slightest hint of slowing down."
Frank nods, taking a swig from his glass.
"But I have to congratulate you, Frank," Sy continues. "Not a lot of guys would have stayed composed while other males were all over his bride to be. I suppose the night's proceedings call for a drink that harder than OJ."
"Nobody was all over her, Sy," Frank looks inside his glass.
"Oh, I beg to differ, especially the one who gave Rachel all that expensive jewelry," Sy sips his drink. "If it were my fiancé, looking that smoking hot and being pursued by …"
"What kind of thing is that to say about your own boss?" Frank slams the glass down on the bar and points a finger in Sy's face.
"Don't start this Barbarian routine with me, Frank …"
"What's going on?" Rachel had approached quietly and was standing near them. "We're not having any problems, are we?" Rachel steps up to them and slides her arm through Frank's. She says something softly to only Frank, who pulls his arm away, turns around and wraps the other arm around her waist, guiding her away from Sy. Rachel only takes one look back as they walk away. No matter how much she tries, she can't get Frank to tell her what Sy had said.
Hours later, back in Manhattan, Rachel is unclasping the necklace and asks for Frank's help. He quietly undoes it and hands it to her, watching her place it back in its velvet box, and snapping it shut.
"Well, that was interesting," she says, taking a hairbrush to her wavy hair. "It was fun showing you off in front of everybody. What did you think?"
"I think it went almost the way I imagined," he says, dropping onto the seat next to her and kissing her neck. "I just had a more elaborate fantasy about clocking Sy and throwing him into the pool."
"Frank," Rachel groans and drops her head backward.
"OK, maybe just punching him out," he adds, rubbing the back of her neck, and pulling her closer. "But at least he didn't commit any … major breaches this time around. At least in terms of your safety. I was beginning to think that guy would never learn."
"I had a talk with him earlier, Frank," Rachel says, putting her arms on his shoulders. "I know he can be a real thorn in your side sometimes, but I think he'll pull back for my sake. At least I hope. Thanks for keeping a cool head."
"Well, you deserve it," he mumbles into her neck, smiling at their reflection. He decides against telling Rachel about Sy's remarks earlier, thinking he'll figure out another way to dismantle him. Rachel finishes her hair and stands up, pulling Frank up by the hand. They walk over to the bed and slip in, but before Frank can turn off the lamp on her side of the bed, throwing the room into darkness, Rachel is already asleep.
Two days later, Rachel and Christiana are leading her assistant, Amy and Julia around Pelham Farm. Amy is sulkily making notes on her clipboard, as Julia scornfully tries to navigate the area in heels, complaining about how early they had to get up to come out to New Jersey, only to get their clothes dirty.
"So are you sure people are going to drive all the way out here?" Amy peeps over her the rim of her sunglasses at Rachel. Rachel's assistant is shaking her head at them.
"They might," Rachel says. "People fly all over the world to go to an A-lister's wedding. Anyway, we're just checking out the possibilities."
"How are we supposed to conceal the tractors and rows of lettuce and corn and all that stuff?"
"Amy, I need you to keep an open mind about this, for my fiance's sake, OK?" Then she turns to Julia and scowls. "We had to come early because it fit my cousin's schedule to take off from work to show us around. And Julia, I told you to wear sensible shoes. What's gotten into you two?"
Rachel's assistant folds her arms over her chest and shakes her head at the two other women, chiding them for "being such spoiled city girls who can't handle a walk in the country."
Julia is about to protest when two members of the staff comes out with a trays loaded with glasses of lemonade and light finger food. They set them on a round table under the shade of a large oak tree.
"Oh, thank God!" Julia makes her way to the table. Within minutes the women are all sitting down and chatting about arranging chairs, setting up archways, tents and trellises, and building a plank as an aisle for Rachel to walk on as she moves toward Frank and the minister. Christiana nods politely at all of it, sliding her cousin a glance every now and then, wondering if she should remind Rachel that she's describing Frank's vision for the wedding and not her own.
Meanwhile, a mid-sized private boat is anchored miles off the coast of New Jersey. It belongs to one of Frank's contacts from the Secret Service's New York bureau, who hosted Frank, Herb, Fletcher, Eldon and Rachel's uncle for the morning. Frank is in a much lighter mood, joking and smiling as he teaches Fletcher how to cast, and Herb pulls in the first catch of the morning.
"Looks like Rachel isn't the only one with an entourage, Frank," Cal joked as he sipped an iced water.
"Please, don't even mention that word," Frank shakes his head. "What you see here is the cream of the crop, with Tony and Bill. Everyone else …"
"They don't impress you, huh? Still, after all this time?" Cal squints.
"Celebrities never have, and they never will," Frank says. "Rachel is the exception, because, she's kind, a good mother. She's ambitious, though, which introduces the projects, the people and the blind spots who don't impress me."
"That's bound to happen though, when you have a rich and famous celebrity like her." Cal says. "But what's this about her agreeing to get married on a farm? Is that where you're going to have the ceremony?"
"I guess, and I would hope so," Frank says. Rachel is out there with her gang of women right now probably thinking up all these ideas."
"I guess you're gonna hear all about it," Cal laughs.
"Yeah. And soon!" Frank says.
"I got one!" Fletcher screams. "Frank! Frank!"
Amy had booked an appointment with a dress designer whose studio was on the way back to New York. Rachel drives her Range Rover and leads another car, with her assistant and Christiana, into an upscale town. As Amy reads the directions, Rachel steers the car down a long street lined with large oak trees, then eventually turns up a long swerving gravel driveway. The women pile out and admire a large Victorian mansion, as Amy leads them up the walk and to the front porch.
"You are going to love Eva," Amy says. "She's a genius with fabrics and is impossible to book, by the way. She's going to love sewing for your figure."
When a young woman opens the door, Amy introduces herself and the rest of the party. They walk inside, stepping into a contradiction of the historically preserved exterior. All the moldings, flooring and windows have been updated and modernized. Large, airy spaces replace nooks and crannies, and there are no figurines resting on top of lace doilies.
When the young woman leads them to Eva's office, the designer stands up and greets Amy with a hug, rubbing her back. They make small talk, then sit down to lemonades and espressos.
"Well, who have you brought me this time, Amy?"
The women giggle, since Rachel's engagement has been a fixture of gossip magazine coverage for months. Then Eva opens a leather bound note book and starts asking Rachel about herself, the wedding date and where she's going to get married.
"Yes. Are you going to walk down the aisle of a church? On a beach? In the dessert? Stand under a chuppah …"
"We're not Jewish, so no," Rachel laughs. "It's either going to be on a farm or in a cathedral."
Eva tilts her head slightly and makes a note, asking if Rachel has pictures of either the farm or the church.
"I have pictures of the cathedral right here!" Amy whips a few glossy photos out of a folder and hands them to Eva. "But not the farm."
Christiana shakes her head and rolls her eyes. Eva nods and says the space is beautiful, then scans Rachel, sitting cross-legged in a blue linen tube-top jumper, with gold strappy sandals.
"You know ultimately, I think you could carry off any dress, anywhere," Eva says. "I could do something chic, manageable and understated for the farm, or a dramatic show-stopper for the cathedral. It's up to you, really, and we still have time for you to decide on what you really want."
Christiana nods firmly, and smiles at Rachel.
"So what do you think, Rachel?" Eva asks.
"Well, I … think both are beautiful, really," she begins. "But I've always liked the acoustics in that church. I'm a musical person, at heart, and I love the sounds that you can make in there."
"I knew it!" Amy says, sitting back with her espresso.
"So is that where you're going to have the ceremony?"
"I still don't know," Rachel sits back. "I still have to work things out with Frank. He wants the farm, and I want the cathedral."
Eva nods and stands up, inviting Rachel to what she calls the dressing room, where she puts on several sample gowns. After a couple of tries she comes to a tea-length strapless dress with a lace overlay. Amy looks aghast, while Christiana says it has possibilities. The best is a high-collared fitted gown with tiered strands of crystals and a seven-foot train. Rachel tries and fails to suppress a smile, and turns around to see herself from several angles.
"Now this is something," Rachel says directly to Christiana, who has already stood up and is examining the crystals.
"You look amazing," Christiana says. "This one is definitely a contender. Not sure about the collar, though. I think you should show off your slender neck. What do you think …"
Amy begins to speak up, while Christiana completes her question …
"Eva? And Rachel. I'm asking the designer and the customer," Christiana says.
"If you want, we can make some changes," Eva says. "I'll develop some sketches for you and we can meet again in a few weeks?"
Rachel nods and says that sounds terrific.
After the appointment, Rachel makes it back to the townhouse before Frank and his fishing party. Christiana returns to her practice, and Rachel gives her staff the afternoon off. Then she walks over to her small office, really a large sunny alcove with huge windows, off of the main bedroom. She pulls the binder that Frank had shown her off of a shelf and rests it on the desk. She pages through it for about 15 minutes, shaking her head. Then she picks up the cordless phone and dials a number. After three rings, Terrell picks up.
"Hi, Terrell," Rachel says. "It's me, Rachel."
"Oh, hey," he says, sounding relaxed. "It's been a long time since we talked. I was beginning to think you'd never thank me for the flowers, Rachel."
"Oh, right, yeah," Rachel says, touching her forehead. "They were really pretty. Thank you. They are um, enjoying the sunshine as we speak."
"So what's the occasion?" Terrell says, sounding like he's smiling.
Rachel mentions that she and Frank were talking about him, specifically his checkered past. It wasn't the sort of conversation Terrell had been expecting, since the Rachel he had been trying to curry favor with in the last several months was less guarded and more receptive to what he's had to say. But with the binder open in front of her, it was as if Frank was beside Rachel in the room, urging her on. That was Frank's handwriting in the margins, his neat printing on the adhesive notes that checkered the section labeled "finance." That book served as her backup, gave her enough guts to press Terrell to fill in the gaps of the story on the pages before her, and get him to tell her his side of things. But he didn't appreciate it fully.
"Rachel, why do I get he feeling I'm on trial here?"
"You're not. Don't be that way," Rachel laughs lightly. "But you have to admit that these incidents raise questions."
"What types of questions?"
"Well, like with the kids," Rachel says slowly. "I mean, do you see them? Are you on good terms with them and all?"
"I actually do, and pretty regularly," Terrell says. "Look, it would have been better to have all my kids with one … special lady, of course. But things didn't work out that way back then."
Rachel huffs when he mentions "special lady," wondering if he meant a special lady in general, or if he regretted the mistakes that drove them apart.
"So Fletcher is the only one that you hardly ever see?" Rachel says, holding the end of the phone and frowning.
"Bingo," Terrell says. "And I need to change that. We both know it's only right, Rachel. He only has one father, and he needs to know who he is."
There it was again, another dig at Frank. Terrell always managed to take a swing at her fiancé, but Rachel rarely challenged him, not wanting to get emotionally involved in a petty spat.
"Terrell, I can't just snap my fingers and make it happen," Rachel says. "Frank definitely has a say in this, too. And he isn't comfortable with it."
Terrell becomes irate, grumbling epithets and saying he doesn't care what makes Frank uncomfortable. Then he demands to know why a stranger should direct how and when he sees his son. Rachel shoots back that Frank is no stranger at all, and that Fletcher is already as close to him as a stepson. And she points out that Terrell himself directed his relationship with his own son by ignoring him for years. To this Terrell tells her to get over it, and stop being the spoiled little princess of David Fletcher Marron, her father. That's when the verbal fight begins in earnest, getting louder and more emotional until Frank, Herb and Fletcher come home. By then, Terrell is insulting Frank, threatening to seek court-ordered visitation rights to Fletcher, and Rachel answers that if he makes one step in that direction she'll have his head.
"Well if Frank is full of shit, then so are you, Terrell!" Rachel yells. "It's all or nothing with both of you, and nobody is thinking about Fletcher or me. We're caught in the middle while you try to play the dad again! Tomorrow you'll get bored of us, and walk out of our lives again, watch!"
By now, Frank has come upstairs, and he is approaching Rachel. She hasn't realized that they have all arrived home, and she doesn't hear Frank come up behind her. He puts a hand on her shoulder and she turns around, eyes puffy and red from hot, angry tears. Rachel straightens her back and stutters a hello, wiping her face. Frank motions for her to give him the phone.
"Is that him? Terrell?" He asks quietly.
Rachel would have shaken her head to deny it, but the binder with all of their research on Terrell was open on her desk, and a brown leather phone book turned open to his page was sitting on top of it. She dried her tears as Frank slipped the phone out of her hand and stepped closer to the desk. The conversation between the men wasn't much better.
"Who do you think your talking to like that, Terrell, screaming and yelling?"
"Your fiance called me, man," Terrell says, dragging out the word fiance until it almost snaps. "If you would handle your business at home, that wouldn't even be necessary."
"You know, Terrell, I've changed my mind about you," Frank laughs. "You're welcome here any time you think you're man enough to trifle with my family."
"I DON'T CARE WHO YOU'RE F$)&^5 , THAT'S NOT YOUR SON, YOU # $/&$# #$ 45 /78. &^!
The expletives fly so furiously that Frank simply hangs up on Terrell, rather than continue arguing. The weeks and months ahead would bring about the consequences of that, but for the moment, Frank concentrates on Rachel.
He holds her hand as they go to the main bedroom and sit on the bed. He asks her about the phone call and how it all turned into an argument. But Rachel shakes her head, not wanting to talk about it anymore.
"Frank, I just want to do something else," Rachel says. "Talking about Fletcher's father always seems to end in an argument, and I don't want to do that."
She stands up quickly and heads to the bathroom to wash her face. When she comes back she asks how fishing went.
"I'll show you," Frank says, standing up. "Fletcher made an amazing catch."
Rachel raises her eyebrows as Frank holds his hands apart to show the length of the fish.
"Really? Well, is it enough to make sushi?"
"Rachel, we're not having sushi," Frank shakes his head, laughing. "We're going to grill the fish. We're keeping it simple."
"Why not sushi? My friend knows the executive chef at Ice. We could get a sous chef over here tonight to make us a few rolls," Rachel says, crossing her arms.
Several hours later, a chef is making sushi rolls in Frank and Rachel's kitchen, while Herb and Frank cook up two other fish on the grill outside. The small casual dinner gathering swelled to a tranquil party of about two dozen. Frank and Rachel are sitting together, as he lifts a roll off of a plate with chopsticks and places it in her mouth.
"Are you going to tell me about the ideas you got for the wedding while visiting the farm today?" Frank says, moving a couple of other pieces around his plate.
Rachel shrugs and finishes the piece Frank gave her. Then she sips her wine, dabs the corners of her mouth with her napkin and crosses and uncrosses her legs.
"Well, I think the place is really pretty, you know that." Rachel begins. "It's one of my favorite places in the world, that farm."
Frank's expression changes as Rachel scratches her upper lip.
"But …" he urges, watching her closely.
"I don't know, I just think we should also talk about the cathedral," Rachel says.
"Well, why would we do that, when the farm was decided?" Frank sits up taller.
"Actually, no Frank, it wasn't decided by me." Rachel rests her hands on her legs. "You said Christiana gave us permission to use the farm. It's there if we want to use it. But I haven't signed onto the idea yet."
"Well, what are you waiting for? Just call Christiana and tell her we want to use the farm," Frank says, sipping from a beer glass. "We don't have until forever, you know."
"Frank, I realize that, but I still say we have more time to think about other options," Rachel says firmly. She looks down, thinking about the fitted dress with the crystal beadwork, instantly flashing to Frank waiting for her at the end of an aisle, inside the sanctuary. As edgy and forthright as Rachel can be, calling shots with her career and having run her personal life without any major catastrophic events so far, the symbol of modern womanhood of the 90s wanted to get married in a white dress in a church.
"I don't think we really need to weigh any other options," Frank says quietly. "The farm is ours, yours. It's tucked away, quiet, private, spacious and pretty."
They went on like that for a few minutes until Rachel begins to wonder if she was scheduled to argue with every man in her life that day. Even Bill had expressed some irritation during their last conference call about how much money she was paying some of her other professional staff, especially Sy. At least she was on good terms with Fletcher and Herb.
"Well, since I'm the one getting married, too, we do need to think about other options," Rachel says. "I can't and don't want to always be hiding from the world, Frank. This is the life. Sometimes when you go places and do things you get photographed and total privacy isn't possible."
"Rachel, it's bad enough that publicist of yours is still on the job," Frank says. "But if you keep giving him reasons to let the vultures in the door, you're going to lose the right to keep them out one day."
"Frank, I can't help it!" Rachel says a little louder than she intended. They become self conscious as several people mill about them, wandering close enough to hear them. "Let's just talk about this later."
"Yeah, we have a lot to talk about later," Frank says.
Later turns into the next day. Rachel helps Herb get organized for his trip home, and even rides with Frank to bring him to Kennedy airport the next morning. Frank helps check his father in and walks him close to the departure gate, then gives him a hearty hug goodbye. They pull away as Rachel steps in to hug her future father-in-law.
"Next time we see you, I'll almost have this son of yours hooked," Rachel jokes. "Take care, Herb."
On the ride home, Rachel and Frank are mostly quiet. Rachel alternately stares out the window and makes calls on the car phone, as Frank focuses on the traffic. When they finally get back to their house, Rachel picks up a note on the kitchen table from her assistant.
"It's from Fletcher and Diane," she says. "They went out to the pool. They'll be back in … another hour or so."
Rachel puts the note down and smiles mildly at Frank.
"So Frank," Rachel asks. "Do you still want to talk?"
"I think we have to," he says.
In the next installment: Frank and Rachel clear the air, and continue planning their wedding; Terrell doesn't take no for an answer; and Rachel makes her operetta/Broadway stage debut!