Chapter Thirteen – Surprise

Sophie's birthday was four months after Sofia passed away.

It was a joyful day though. Sophie didn't let the woman's absence spoil her excitement as she crossed out the box on the calendar and then went down to the docks with her mom to pick up Rosie and Tanya.

They tried to come every year on Sophie's birthday. Of course, work and life in general would get in the way, but they made it happen as much as they could. Sophie had on a bracelet that Sofia gave her on her eighth birthday, and she wore it with pride.

Donna told her that missing Sofia was okay, it'll never not be okay, but one day finished is one day closer to seeing her again. Although that wouldn't be for a very long time. Donna helped Sophie put it on and the girl donned a bright smile afterwards.

"Is Sam coming, Mom?" Sophie still didn't call him Dad. It'd be awhile before she ever truly called him that. Sam was okay with it.

Just as Sophie asked that, Donna was on the phone with Sam. She had a look on her face that Sophie didn't like. "Okay, I'll tell her. Bye. Love you, too."

"Tell me what? He's not coming?"

"No. I'm sorry, Soph. He got held up at work, but he said he'd try to come for awhile in the next few days, though." Donna spotted Tanya and Rosie's ferry coming. "On the bright side, Auntie Rosie and Auntie Tanya are coming. You haven't seen them in a while."

Tanya and Rosie arrived after a few minutes and they all made the trip up to the hotel. Rosie informed Donna that she and Bill hit it off after the funeral. He needed some comforting after he revealed he hadn't been there for Sofia as much as he should've before her death. Rosie was there to comfort him. They talked about it a little and then talked about the books each of them had written or were in the middle of working on. By the end of the day, Bill was okay. He still missed the old broad, but he was okay.

"How are things with Sam, Donna?" Tanya followed her up to the room with suitcases trailing behind.

"Good, good. Things are good. He and Lorraine's divorce was finalized about a month ago. He told me that Lorraine has found someone – they've been out on a couple of dates while Sam had the boys."

"When is he going to move here?"

Donna shrugged. "Oh, I don't know. He's still trying to figure that one out. How are you and Kyle doing? Is the couple's counseling even working for you two?"

"No, not really. I've decided to file for a divorce. He's not happy, I'm not happy. What's the point?"

Rosie chimed in, "The point is that you got trashy taste in men."

Donna sipped a glass of wine. "She's not wrong, you know."

"Oh, I know." Tanya rolled her eyes. Sophie joined them after awhile and was allowed to open one present until her birthday party that night. A lot of kids from her school were coming; Donna tried homeschooling her when she was younger, but when Sofia got ill and was no longer able to run the hotel, Donna had too much on her plate.

When Sophie reached second grade, Donna decided to enroll her into a school on the mainland. She was nervous at first, but Sophie loved it and that was all that mattered to Donna. She made a bunch of new friends and one day came home all excited, talking on and on about how she met two girls named Ali Lilley and Lisa McDowall and they hit if off well; it was as if they weren't even strangers and more like old friends. They were spending the night, too.

Nearly Sophie's entire third grade class was coming, and the young girl could hardly wait. As Tanya handed her the present, she squealed and tore it open without a moment's hesitation. It was an art kit; Sophie always loved to draw, and she always joked about how she'd become an artist someday.

"Thank you, Auntie Tanya!"

Tanya smiled as Sophie attacked her with a hug. "Anytime, pumpkin. I hope you like it."

"I love it!"

While they shared a moment, Donna went down to the kitchen to tell the cooks just how much food to cook and how many people would be coming. She even listed allergies that she knew some of the kids had or may have. Before turning back to Sophie and the Dynamos, she told them that Sam wouldn't be coming.

What she didn't notice was the man approaching the hotel with two young boys behind him. He had his sunglasses on, and a smirk spread across his face as he led his sons into a room upstairs to put their things away.

"Why'd you lie to Donna, Dad?" Timothy slipped his jacket off.

"It's more fun showing up this way. Watch how she reacts; it'll be hilarious." Sam gestured for his sons to follow him and they followed Donna back up to the room Tanya and Rosie were staying in. Sophie was in the middle of hugging Rosie when Sam gently knocked on the door. "Doesn't Dad get a hug?"

The four of them quickly turned around and Donna raised a brow. Sophie smiled, and ran over to him. "Sam! I thought you weren't going to be able to make it."

"My sentiments exactly." Donna mocked Sam's voice as she stood up straight, crossing her arms over her chest as she stared at him. "You lied to me."

"I wouldn't call it a lie – more like a…a brilliant surprise."

Bentley looked over at Sophie, and in a singsong voice, said, "Dad's in trouble."

"Ooh." Sophie played a long.

Donna ignored them and walked over to Sam. "I just told all the cooks you're not coming, so they would know how much food to cook."

"Donna, there are 24 kids coming with their parents. I think there'll be enough for three more people." Tanya pointed out. Donna rolled her eyes before smiling at Sam and bringing him in for a hug. They shared a kiss before all going downstairs for dinner. Donna chatted with the boys some, asking what they thought of Lorraine's new 'man friend' (which is what they called it). Timothy wasn't a big fan, stating that there was something off about him. Things just didn't sit well with him when it came to the man his mother was seeing.

Bentley didn't really have an opinion right now. He was more focused on the birthday cake sitting on the counter and everyone had to keep a close eye on him until the cake was cut. Donna chuckled at him. "Later."

"Does later mean right now?"

"Later means later, Bentley." Donna argued.

"So right now."

Donna gave up and let him have a chocolate bar before Sam pulled her into another room and shut the door. He kissed her passionately, pushing her against the wall. Donna laughed in the middle of the kiss as she pulled him closer to her. Sam ran a hand through her blonde locks and kissed her a little longer before Donna pulled away. "I'm really liking this conversation, but we also have guest coming and we need to get ready for the birthday party."

"They'll understand." Sam smirked.

"Down boy." Donna spoke rather seductively, her eyes staring into his to tease him before she gently pushed him away, smoothed out her clothes, brushed her hair, and walked out of the room. Sam stood there for a while, a smile on his face.

He was happy. He was right where he wanted to be.

It's not much, but I didn't want to go a month without updating this. Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit. Until next time.