Chapter 13

Kristina arrived at her dad's later that night upon his request to have dinner, His girlfriend Brenda was there. Kristina really liked Brenda. She seemed like a nice person and she loved her style. She had seen Brenda in a lot of her fashion magazines that she was so obsessed with reading. Her dad had called her earlier that day to have dinner with them. It was a strange call though. Her dad sounded distant and cool. Kristina couldn't figure out what was wrong but decided the only way she would find out was too go.

Kristina walked into her dad's house. Sonny and Brenda were sitting in the living room when she arrived. "Dad. Brenda. How's it going?" Sonny got up, enveloping his daughter in a hug. "Sweetheart. Good to see you. Sit down. Dinner will be ready shortly." Kristina sat down and looked from Brenda to her father. Brenda gave her father a frustrated look but said nothing. Kristina frowned feeling as if tonight she had walked into the lion's den. This didn't seem like the typical family dinner she was used too. Something was up. "So guys what's going on?" Kristina asked increasingly frustrated. "Why don't we talk over dinner sweetheart. Just relax." Kristina huffed, visibly agitated as Brenda just scowled at Sonny. She obviously seemed to know what was going on. "Dad seriously. I can tell you want to say something. Please just say it." Kristina pleaded.

Sonny sat quiet for a moment in contemplation. He finally spoke after much thought. "Kristina what did you do today?" Kristina was confused. This was his big question? "Nothing really. Did some homework for the big project due on Monday. Went shopping and had coffee with a friend. Why do you ask?" Sonny said nothing again and sat quietly. Kristina thought she was going to pull her hair out in frustration. What was going on with her dad? Again he spoke but with an eerie calm. "Who was the friend you had coffee with?" Understanding dawned on Kristina and she froze. She hadn't expected this and wasn't prepared in what to say to her father. Kristina looked at Brenda desperate for some help. "Honey why don't we wait till dinner before interrogating Krissy about her day. I'm hungry and want to eat now hmm." Kristina sighed with relief as Sonny's attention was temporarily diverted from hers. What was she going to say? She couldn't tell him the truth could she? No she couldn't. One her father would Kill Johnny. Two he would ground her for life. "Think think Kristina." She thought to herself. They sat down to dinner and Sonny asked again who she had coffee with. Kristina had thought up the perfect story since. "This guy Taylor who is new to town. We became study partners. He's a good guy." Sonny smirked, his stance relaxing which helped Kristina to relax. "I'll be the judge of that. When can I meet him?" Kristina rolled her eyes. "Why do you have to meet him dad? You don't want to meet all Michael's friends." She reminded him. Sonny acknowledged this but then replied that she was his only daughter and that was a dad's right. Kristina agreed that one day soon Sonny could meet Taylor. She sat back with relief enjoying the rest of her dinner. Her secret was safe for another day.

Meanwhile….

Ethan arrived at the Quartermaine's ready to pick up maya for a night out. Ethan was led into the living room to wait when Edward came in. "Ethan my boy. How are you today?" Ethan had always liked Edward. He was a no bullshit guy and even though you didn't always agree with him atleast he would be honest. "Hey Edward. Same as always. Getting into trouble." He said with a laugh. "How are things?" Edward sighed heading over to the little bar to grab a glass of brandy. His night time ritual before heading to bed. "Oh you know. Same as always. Heading out with my granddaughter are you? Night on the town." Ethan nodded in agreement. "Yes. A night out of relaxation I hope."

Just then Maya came into the room dressed in her doctor's scrubs. "Maya why are you dressed like your headed off to work?" Edward asked. "I thought you were going out with Ethan here." Ethan looked at Maya, sighing. "Oh Ethan I'm sorry, didn't you get my message. I had to cancel tonight. I got called into the hospital." Ethan couldn't believe it. This was the third time they had made plans this week and she had cancelled every time. "Really Maya? You couldn't pawn the shift off on someone else?" Maya looked at Ethan with an annoyed look on her face. "Ethan you know my job is important to me. I have responsibilities. I can't just pawn them off on someone else. I'm not you." She huffed. "Well this is the third time." He stated. Edward excused himself without saying a word except to give Ethan a sympathetic look. "Ethan I don't have time for this. We will talk tomorrow. I am sure you can find something to fill in the time." Ethan couldn't believe this. She never made time for him. He liked the girl but this was bordering on ridiculous. She made him feel like his life didn't matter and her priorities did. As if she was the only one with any real responsibility. "Fine Maya we can talk tomorrow. I gotta go." Without another word Ethan left the house, heading to the Haunted Star.

Ethan arrived at the Star and headed straight for the bar. He was tired of Maya's games. She wasn't someone he usually dated but there was something about her that made him want to try. She was beautiful, smart and had her head together. It was something a part of him wanted for himself. He liked not worrying about her and knowing she would be alright in life no matter what. However lately he wondered why he had bothered. She had made him feel like an inconvenience. A pest in her life she had to deal with. Ethan poured himself a glass from Luke's private reserve and gulped it down.

Suddenly he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He checked who was sending him a message.

Kristina.

Just seeing her name put an immediate smile on his face. She never made him feel insignificant or a pest. She made him feel like a hero. Like he really did matter in this world. Not something many people had done. Where are you? She messaged. He told her he was at the Star. He was alone and Luke was gone. There was no reason to keep the Star open if Luke wasn't here. He had his Jobs with Johnny to pay the bills. Ethan sighed, looking at the clock. So much for his night out. He hadn't received a message back from Kristina and assumed she had found someone else to talk to. He was just about to shut the lights out when he heard a set of footsteps walking on the carpeted stairs.

Ethan turned to see who had entered the Star when he saw a pair of Black knee length stiletto boots. His eyes followed the legs up to the owners face. It was Kristina. Ethan's eyes nearly fell out of his head. Kristina was dressed in a scarlett red body hugging dress. He had never seen her wear anything so provocative before. "Hey Ethan. I wondered if you were busy. If you wanted to hang out for a bit." Her innocent voice definitely didn't match her clothes. Ethan felt himself grow hard and he immediately felt relieved to be behind the bar and guilty because it was Kristina that was doing this to him. "Um yeah I guess. I was just about to head up for the night. My plans fell through so I was just gonna bum around tonight. I'm surprised you don't have plans. Especially being dressed like that. " he gestured to her with drink in hand. Kristina blushed but waved her hand in the air like it was nothing special. "This old thing. Please." That made Ethan laugh. He was glad she had come over. He needed cheering up. "Well you look beautiful anyways." He complimented. She blushed again, smiling shyly at him. "Thank you Ethan." Kristina sat down at the bar.

"What's the matter Ethan? Are you ok?" she asked. Kristina immediately picked up on his sour mood, She always knew his moods. She could read him like a book. "Nothing really. Just feeling sorry for myself. " She frowned in concern. "Why may I ask?" Ethan wasn't sure what to tell her. He knew she had a crush on him and didn't want to hurt her feelings by bringing up problems with his girlfriend. "It's not a big deal. I am sure you have better things to worry about then my problems." Kristina huffed in irritation. "Ethan you are my friend. Friends listen and help eachother. You always do it for me so I want to do it for you." Ethan sighed, taking another sip of scotch. "Well if you really want to know I had a date with Maya tonight but she had to go into work again. This is the third time she has cancelled this week. It's just frustrating really. I know her job is important to her. I get that. I mean she is a doctor not a bartender. Her job matters." Kristina held up her hand to stop him. "Ethan before you go any further let's make one thing clear. Your time is just as important as hers. No matter what job you have. No one is better than the other." Ethan laughed. She always defended him and made him feel like he mattered. "Well thank you Kristina. Still I know Maya isn't all wrong. Her job is important." Kristina rolled her eyes. "Please. If you and I were going out I would never cancel plans on you. Important job or not. Maya needs to treat you better and realize what is in front of her." Ethan warmed at her defense of him.

"Thanks for listening. I'm sure things will be fine. So what is new with you?" he asked. "Nothing really. I forgot my dad sometimes has me watched. Well I ended up hanging out at Johnny's the other day and they saw me. I had a huge tale to spin there." Ethan wasn't sure that he heard right. "Johnny's?" Kristina nodded, not thinking anything of it. Ethan felt a flare of anger. Why were they hanging out together all of the sudden without him being there. Ethan didn't know why but he didn't like it one bit. "you should probably be careful hanging out with Johnny Kristina. He has a lot of enemies and you could get hurt." He warned. Kristina rolled her eyes as if this was nothing knew. Which of course it wasn't. She had grown up with this her whole life. Ethan sometimes forgot how she had to live. Never like he lived. She had a long line of men in her life waiting to protect her. She didn't need him too. "Sorry but it's true. I don't want to see you get hurt." Kristina sighed. "Like you Ethan? You work for Johnny. Why is that ok? Because I am a girl? Please." She huffed. "No not because you're a girl. You are my friend Kristina. I don't have many in this world and I cherish all the ones I have. I want you to be safe because I care about you." Kristina's face broke into a happy grin. Ethan suddenly worried that he was leading her on. "As a friend." He added as an afterthought. This of course did nothing to deter Kristina's happy mood. "Why thank you Ethan but you have nothing to worry about with me. Johnny will protect me and I am not giving up his friendship because of enemies. Especially my father. Trust me it will be ok." Ethan looked at Kristina doubtfully. Somehow he wasn't so sure he believed that.