"Quinn… hey, what are you doing here?" Helen was surprised at her daughter's appearance at her office.
"Can't a daughter visit her mom?"
Helen looked at her daughter through shrewd lawyer's eyes and knew that there was more.
"I just thought that I would touch base with everyone in Lawndale before heading to Boston."
"Oh," Helen brightened up, "visiting your sister?"
"That's great. Is Paul joining you? Your father and I would love to have you both over for dinner."
Quinn was momentarily thrown and cursed herself because it wasn't as though she hadn't expected to be questioned about Paul.
"No mom, Paul isn't with me."
"Oh?" Helen knew that there was definitely something more going on now, but was reluctant to press it seeing how things had gone so wrongly with her other daughter. Still, Quinn was her child and she needed to know that she was there for her. "I hope you know that- well- I only want what's best for you and your sister." Helen's words were quick, as though admitting them were an unwanted action. "I recognize that, at times I can be a bit… abrasive, but I do mean well and I am working on it."
Quinn was more than a little stunned. Her mother never admitted to any kind of weakness, especially with her children.
"Okay mom." Quinn longed to be able to open up about things, but a larger part of her just wanted to move right on past it.
Why rehash the ugly? It only gets uglier…
"So let me take you to lunch then," Helen offered pleasantly. "We'll see if you've dad can join us and make a family thing out of it."
"Actually, I already talked to dad and he's making lunch at home. I came to try and coerce you into joining us," Quinn countered with a smirk reminiscent of her sister.
"That would be lovely dear," Helen declared, then stopped short stacking her papers, "He's not making that chili again is he? It's delicious, but the black beans… they give me such heart burn."
"No mom, he's doing something different that he promised was healthy and delicious."
Those to words do not automatically go hand in hand for me, but okay sweetie.
Helen smiled at her daughter and after giving her secretary instruction, they left.
To everyone's delight Jake made a wonderful lunch complete with a light salad and wraps. Quinn enjoyed her time with her parents and found it oddly comforting being in her childhood home. After lunch and her mom had went back to the office, she found herself wandering through the house touch familiar things and remembering old conversations. She stood in the doorway to her old room looking at it and seeing her teenage self sprawled on the bed phone in one hand, fashion magazine in the other prattling on and on to the Fashion Club about whom she was currently planning on dating.
Ah…the good old days…
"Honey, you okay?" Jake's voice interrupted her thoughts.
She's wearing that fake smile that she does when she doesn't want anyone to know what she's feeling…just like her mother.
It's, okay dad…you've always had more of a kinship with my sister… Odd that I can call her that so easily in my head and I was so set on not doing it publicly for fear of my popularity status…it seems like a lifetime ago.
"I'm gonna head to the grocery store for supplies; would you like to join me?"
She grabbed her purse and they headed to the store.
Quinn was surprised that Jake was so adept at the grocery shopping. She watched as he picked out good choices- mostly and talked about the different meals that he was thinking of preparing.
"Mom's really lucky to have you dad. You're a good guy."
Jake was momentarily surprised by such flattering statements.
"I'm lucky to have her too honey. In fact, I'm lucky to have all of you lovely ladies in my life."
They smiled at each other.
"I'm gonna get some personals dad," Quinn turned down the feminine care aisle and almost bumped into someone. "Sorry-"
"It's okay. I wasn't watching where I was going."
"Stacey? Hey." Quinn couldn't believe that she had literally bumped into her old friend. "What are you doing here?"
Stacey made to cover the package that she was carrying, but it was too late. Quinn's eyes had already glimpsed the pregnancy test. Quinn's eyes went back to Stacey's. Stacey looked as though she were about to puke.
"Wait here, I'll be right back." Quinn went and quickly found her dad two aisles over. "Dad, I have to go."
"I ran into an old friend and turns out she needs my help."
Jake looked down at his daughter. She had certainly matured a great deal.
"Is there anything that I can do to help?"
"I'm not sure yet dad." Quinn answered honestly. "I'll call later about dinner okay?"
He nodded and watched her hurry off.
Spiral Tour Bus…
"Hi Brad…it's Quinn."
Best to keep this simple, that way I will have the element of surprise.
"I know- I mean your name came up so…"
"Right, I was wondering…can you send me the itinerary for the tour? I'm thinking about meeting up with you guys."
"Yeah, I have some ideas that could make this wrap up a huge anticipatory event for their next tour."
"Oh, okay." Brad's voice dropped slightly.
Of course it's about work. What? Did you think that she missed you and needed to see you or something?
"Thanks Brad. I'll let you know when to expect me."
They both hung up their respective phones; Brad put his phone down and picked up the social section of the paper that he had gotten before leaving New York. There had been a picture of Quinn and himself splashed across the middle with questions regarding their relationship- or rather the depth of it considering what she had on and the absence of her fiancé. According to the article there had been no denial or confirmation when trying to reach Quinn or Paul on the status of their impending nuptials.