"You have a nice place here."
Eric glanced around Sirena's apartment with approval, taking a seat on
the couch and casting his daughter a smile. "You've done well for yourself
despite everything you grew up through - shows fight."
"Well, if I have nothing else, I have plenty of determination." Sirena
said ruefully, sitting down in one of the big chairs by the window. "It
feels very odd, having you here, you know. But I suppose it dawned on me
that I really don't know anything about you, or you about me. And it's true
that it's not your fault you didn't know I was born."
"Do I detect some tension between you and your mother?"
"I don't know." Sirena admitted. "When I first signed for her company,
I was her priority in a lot of ways...but it feels like the novelty has
worn off for her. You know, of having a kid? I'm pushed here or there for
composition - if it hadn't been for Jetta's daughter Nancy I probably wouldn't
have had a lot of material to use over the last twelve months - and now
she's had the nerve to say it's not critical I have a record out in the next
couple of weeks. This is my career, and Michael's stability - what in hell
should I do?"
"She has you over a barrel, it seems." Eric looked thoughtful, considering
things carefully. "After all, you have a small boy to support."
"Yeah, and she delights in calling him my brat." Sirena rolled her eyes.
"Like she wishes he wasn't even there. I'm beginning to think more and
more that Grandpa bullied her into making up with me and she signed me
on because I was profitable, but she doesn't actually care about what I
do. She pays more attention to Jewel than she does to me...it's always
been that way." She sighed. "I'm friendly with Nancy and I owe her for
the music she's pushed my way, but sometimes I do wonder who Mom would
rather have as her kid."
"If you ask me, I suspect the answer would probably be neither one of
you." Eric said wisely. "Pizzazz was never the mothering type."
"You don't have to tell me." Sirena sighed. "But enough of that. What
brings you to Los Angeles? Did you come...just to see me?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes." Eric nodded his head. "My business in
Canada is taking a lull and I took the opportunity to return home...as I
said before, family's been on my mind for a while now. I've always been a
career man, but as you reach the age most men retire, you start to wonder
what happens after you decide to throw in the towel. I realised that I really
don't have anything there."
"Well, don't think you're the only one." Sirena said flatly. "Grandpa
won't be there forever and Mike will grow up and leave home...I'm in the
same boat as you."
"Which is perhaps why you invited me here?" Eric suggested. Sirena looked
startled, then she frowned.
"Don't know." She admitted. "I was curious. I've tended to believe Mom's
side of things for so long, but she never told me about Chimera, and so
if she didn't tell me that, what else has she kept a secret? She would've
kept me a secret if she had had her way. She didn't even bother to tell
"Image is important to your mother."
"Yes. Her image." Sirena snorted. "Noone else's matters. Only
her and her stupid Gabor heritage and damn music company and business empire.
Everyone else can go to hell. Me included."
"You changed your name to Gabor." Eric reminded her.
"Of course I did. I wanted to belong to Grandpa's family, and even more,
I wanted Mike to." Sirena shrugged. "What else would you suggest I do?"
"Am I to assume, then, that you have quite a rapport with Harvey?" Eric
was curious, and inwardly excited. Harvey Gabor, he knew, was still a very
wealthy man and as Sirena had said herself, he wouldn't live forever. Sooner
or later Harvey would pass on, and if his suspicions were correct, his daughter
would feature in the will.
"So keeping her sweet might benefit me in the long run as well as the
short run." He mused, as she nodded. "Better and better."
Out loud he said,
"Where is your son, anyway?"
"In San Diego, with Grandpa." Sirena ran her fingers through her thick
wavy hair. "Mom led me to believe it'd be a busy week...she was wrong."
"You miss him?" Eric did his best to conceal the note of relief in his
voice that he would not have to play up to an eleven and a half month old
"Yeah." Sirena nodded. "I'm used to having him around."
Eric hesitated for a moment, considering his words carefully. Then,
"I heard about what Riot did with your contract. He always was a slick
operator, even when he was leader of the Stingers. Keeping him and his
companions within the law was almost as hard as keeping the Misfits under
"Rory Llewelyn can go to hell, I don't give a damn about him these days."
Sirena dismissed this with a careless gesture. "He lost out - I was his
biggest selling act."
"Which is easily proven by the speed with which you secured yourself
another recording contract." Eric observed. "You evidently know how to
get where you want to be...I admire that." He smiled. "I think you inherited
it from me."
"Mom has it too, so maybe I got a double dose." Sirena suggested dryly.
"What about it?"
"Well, I've been wondering about relocating my business back to this
city." Eric told her. "Canada is all very well, but renewing my paperwork
to stay there is always a bind and sometimes - like now - there's a delay
in the process and I wind up rather stranded. To work in America again would
be much easier."
"Mom would love that." Sirena snorted. "Having you on her doorstep."
"Well, I don't much care to have any kind of contact with your mother."
Eric told her quietly. "I've done business with Phyllis Gabor and lost out.
I'm not going to make that mistake again. This time I want to keep things
firmly on the level."
"What kind of business?" Despite herself, Sirena was curious.
"In Canada, I run a string of nightclubs. You might remember that." Eric
spread his hands. "I was hoping that I might extend the empire south of
"Los Angeles has a lot of clubs." Sirena pointed out. "Won't another
one be lost among the rest?"
"Well, you're right, of course, but then Toronto also has a lot of clubs."
Eric responded. "And I've been fine there. It all depends on the kind of
talent you field." He paused, then, "I saw you perform on television the
other night...I was proud to be your father. You shone brighter than your
mother ever did, out there with the fans screaming."
"You saw my concert?" She demanded.
"Of course I did." Eric lied. "You're my daughter. I wanted to know what
you were doing - and I was damn impressed. You have way more talent than
your mother seems to give you credit for."
"Well, we agree on something." Sirena rolled her eyes. "But there's not
a lot I can do about it."
Eric looked thoughtful.
"Well, my dear, maybe there is." He said slowly. "I have a proposition
for you...tell me what you think."