"I'm glad you're getting Misfit Music back on it's feet."
Emily Gabor stood in the doorway of her mother's hotel room, folding her
arms across her chest as she lounged against the doorpost. "I was seriously
starting to worry about you, Mom...wasn't like you to give up fighting."
"Yeah, yeah, no need to rub it in." Phyllis rolled her eyes. "Come in,
Em, will you? And shut the door. You needn't worry about Misfit Music. It'll
be fine. I called in the redecorators this morning, the place is being fixed
up as we speak. Give us a few weeks and we'll be back up and running. Okay?"
"Good." Sirena smiled. "Because I still have half a new album to lay down."
She hesitated, then, "Mom, something was kinda bugging me, I wanted your
"Bugging you? What about?" Phyllis raised an eyebrow.
"The whole fire business." Sirena responded. "This guy...he used to work
for my father, didn't he?"
"Yeah he did." Phyllis pulled a face. "So?"
"Don't you think it's possible that he could be doing so again?"
"Well, anything's possible." Phyllis sighed. "But you want my honest opinion,
Em? Your father is a lily livered coward who don't deserve to breathe the
same air as the rest of us. He don't have the guts to order someone to be
killed...and that's what the bomb at my door amounted to, even if the fire
can't be conclusively proven as a deliberate act of attempted murder. Tisn't
Eric's style...so no. I don't think it is him." She shrugged. "Trouble is,
can't think who it could be. Riot wouldn't be so stupid, Jerrica wouldn't
have the guts...though both of them would have reason and probably money
to pay Zipper with. I spose he could be doing it off his own bat, but I still
have my doubts." She sighed. "Well, in truth I don't care, so long as he's
"Guess I'm with that, too." Sirena acknowledged. "He has some nerve."
"He always did have." Phyllis replied darkly. "Change the subject, will
"All right." Sirena came to sit down on the bed. "Maybe you can help me
with this dilemma I have over Mike."
"Mike?" Phyllis raised an eyebrow. "What in hell do you think I know about
kids, Emily? If I understood them I woulda raised you, for a start!"
"I know, but it's not that exactly." Sirena frowned. "Mom, he thinks Luca
is his father."
"So what's wrong with that? Ain't like his real Dad is gonna come back
to claim him." Phyllis shrugged.
"I know that." Sirena retorted. "But Mom, one day Mike's gonna ask questions.
He looks like Blade, not like Luca. He'll want the truth and he'll think
I lied to him."
"Have you told Mike that Luca is his Dad?"
"Of course not!"
"Then you're not lying." Phyllis responded. "Look here, kid. Use your
brain. When Mike asks the question, be ready with an answer...but don't
fuss about it! It ain't a big deal!"
"I guess it's partly that I don't know how serious I am about Luca or
how long we're gonna be together." Sirena admitted. Phyllis pulled a face.
"Bleuch. Don't give me the love angst, please! I've had a bad enough week
as it is!" She exclaimed.
"I wasn't!" Sirena defended herself. "I just wanted your opinion. I mean,
Grandpa has said time and time again how alike we are, you and me. And you've
lived with Alan for years, so you must have some feelings for him. I thought
you might be able to give me some advice about, well, making it last."
"Making it last?" Phyllis echoed, staring at her daughter incredulously.
Then she laughed. "Oh man. For real? You're asking my advice on making
a relationship last?"
"Well, you have one." Sirena retorted. "And you're my Mom, so it's a good
starting point, don't you agree?"
"A relationship?" Phyllis opened her mouth to refute this, then paused.
She sighed. "Gee, I guess I do, don't I?"
She grimaced. "Brilliant. Everyone keeps telling me that's what it is,
they all seem to think Alan and I are joined at the hip and truly madly deeply
and all that and I keep telling them that they got it all wrong...but I
s'pose at the end of the day, it is a relationship. Kinda. Man, I didn't
see myself falling into that one."
"Well, that's all very touching and all that, but it's not much help to
me with Luca."
"Well, if you really want my advice, don't let him tie you down." Phyllis
replied at length. "Make sure he knows and you know that you can go at any
time." She snorted derisively. "Seems to have been the best method in keeping
me faithful to Alan. Crafty jerk that he is!"
"I don't know how he sticks it." She teased. "I'm pretty sure I couldn't
live with you for that long."
"The feeling is mutual." Phyllis glared at her. "I may be your mother,
but it doesn't mean I want you around all the time."
"I love you to, Mom." She said with a shrug, unphased. "Hey, you got plans?
Luca's got Mike for the morning, so how about I treat you to a coffee someplace?"
"What do you want?" Phyllis eyed her daughter suspiciously.
"Nothing." Sirena responded. "I'm just keeping an eye on you, making sure
you're okay." She blushed slightly. "Guess I was worried about all this going
on, too. Will you humour me?"
"Oh, why not." Phyllis shrugged. "Go on. But don't think I'm making a
habit of playing the nice docile looked after Mommy."
"I don't think you'd even fit into that role." Sirena told her dryly.
"Just do as you're told for once, will you? I'll drive."