It had been a busy evening in Vice City. For the last five hours, Tommy was running from one thing to another. One of the local businesses was purchased a few days ago by an out-of-towner who refused to pay protection. Instead, he had tried going to the police. Tommy met the new owner at his house, and they came to a "suitable business arrangement." As soon as he dealt with that, he had to run over to the Print Works to take care of some teenage thugs who seemed to get a kick out of torturing the old printer. Most of them fled when Tommy approached, and the few that were left limped home after Tommy gave them a solid beating. After that, Tommy made stops at the boatyard and the Cherry Popper. He finally made it home at one a.m.
As soon as he got around the corner of his estate, he saw his five-year-old daughter in her pajamas, crying in the driveway. He hit the brakes and came to a stop inches away from the girl.
He got out of the car. "Sapphire, I put you to bed five hours ago! What are you doing up?"
"I had a bad dream, Daddy," she said. "Then when I woke up, you were gone."
"I had to go to work," he told his daughter. "What were you doing in the driveway?"
"I thought you were gone forever and ever and I had to find a new daddy," she said.
"What made you think that?" he asked.
"I thought you didn't want me anymore. Like Mommy."
Tommy sighed and rested his hand on his daughter's shoulder. "Sapphire, I'm not like Mommy. I'll always come back. I promise."
"Pinky swear?" she asked, looking solemnly at her father.
"Pinky swear," he said, holding out his pinky. She took it with her own. "Now, let's get you up to bed. You've got school in the morning." The girl didn't argue. Instead, she let out a huge yawn as Tommy led her into the house.
After his daughter was settled in her bed, Tommy sighed and poured himself a drink. He needed to get better locks for the door. If she had gotten into the swimming pool . . . Tommy shuddered at the thought. Perhaps he should hire a babysitter when he went out at night.
He took a swallow of his drink, glancing at a picture of his daughter. They looked so much alike-if not for the pigtails, one could almost believe that it was a five-year-old Tommy in the picture. He couldn't believe it had been almost six years since he'd slept with Sara Peterson. Mercedes was busy, and he wanted to have a good time. Sara was more than happy to deliver. So much so, in fact, that she didn't want Tommy to leave her. It had been with great effort that Tommy convinced Sara he wasn't interested in a relationship at the moment. He thought he'd never see her again, but she tracked him down a few months later to tell him that she was pregnant. She tried to pressure Tommy to marry her, but he refused. Instead, he offered Sara some money to keep her from suing for child support. Apparently, he didn't give her enough. A few months later, he found her baby on his doorstep.
Perhaps it was his old-school sense of responsibility, or his stubborn refusal to never back down from a challenge, but Tommy had decided to give this parenting thing a go. Some days were harder than others. He finished his drink and stood up to get ready for bed. He peeked in on Sapphire as he passed her bedroom. She was sound asleep. Tommy hoped that she was dreaming happy dreams.