*photos exculsively by Jules. Do not use without permission.
* "Come As You Are" performed by Nirvana


Simon was loud and his voice attracted everyone’s attention.
”Ah want answers Unca’ Asa…!”
Freddie leaned over, “Ain’t that yer man, Sophia?”
Rae raised an eyebrow at Sophia.
Sophia’s face betrayed nothing as she returned Rae’s harsh look. Who was she to judge Simon Buchanan?


Sophia ignored Rae’s looks of disapproval and continued to stare at Simon who had raised his voice to Asa. She knew exactly how he felt. After all, finding out Rae was her mother was a sudden change for her.

Her brother Freddie also watched the exchange with interest. He was curious about the commissioner’s family.

Rae didn’t know what to think or feel as she studied Sophia. And then it downed on her. Sophia felt something for the young man confronting Asa.

”Tell me Unca’ Asa!!” said Simon.

Asa looked up at the young man. Renee looked confused.

Asa bit his lip, “I’ll tell you boy – yes – I’ve suspected that Bo was really yer paw.”

“Suspected?! Don’t you know for sure?” spat Simon.

“No boy, I don’t but I tell ya – I’d be honored and proud to call you my grandson…if it were true,” said Asa. He flashed Simon a sly smile.

Renee was in shock.

“Ah need to know for sure!!” exclaimed Simon.

“Well, short of a DNA test…” started Asa.

“Ah don’t want to take a damn DNA test!!” yelled Simon.

“Why boy? It won’t make you less of a Buchanan…” said Asa.

Sophia got up and walked over to Simon. Rae stood up as well and followed her daughter. Freddie just sat back, delighting in the show.

“Simon…think about what…you’re doing…” said Sophia softly approaching him. She put her hand on his arm.

Simon looked hurt, “Sophia! Ah’m doing what Ah have ta’ to get answers…!! You know that…”

“I know but…” she started.

“Look, you did what you had to. Ah’m doing it my way!!” he continued. He shrugged his arm free of her hand and without another word walked out. Sophia went to run after him but Rae grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Give him his space,” said Rae.

“But Simon! He needs me!” yelled Sophia.

“I think he needs…” started Rae.

Sophia turned to face Rae and crossed her arms, “Anyone ever tell you you’re a ”buttinski?””

“No,” said Rae, “Usually people seek out my advice. You know that…”

“Well, I certainly didn’t seek out your advice concerning Simon, did I? I didn’t ask you to bail out my brother and I didn’t ask you to be my mother, did I? So do me a favor and “butt” out!!” exclaimed Sophia. She stormed out of the palace and onto the terrace.

Freddie laughed. He stood up and approached Rae who was obviously struggling with herself. She told Sophia not to go after Simon because he needed his space and now Sophia needed her space and Rae wanted to follow her.

“Well, she told you, didn’t she?” teased Freddie.

“Shut up Freddie!!” said Rae.

Just then Bo walked in and froze in his tracks as his eyes met Freddie’s. Freddie sneered at Bo.

Coldly, Bo approached Freddie and Rae. Asa and Renee stood up.

“Renee, I didn’t now you let the trash in here…” started Bo.

“Hey!!” yelled Freddie, “I ain’t trash!!”

“Could have fooled me Freddie…” said Bo.

“Why you…” started Freddie. He lunged at Bo but Rae grabbed him and without a word, took him into the lobby.

“Why do you let the commissioner push your buttons?!” asked Rae firmly, “You could have gone back to jail in a heartbeat!”

“Why do you care?!” asked Freddie.

Rae paused. She wanted to choose her words carefully and that was the opening Freddie needed.

“Since me and Sophie were kids no one cared. We were the “lowly” Pelligrinos from the wrong side of the wrong side of the tracks and no one – NO ONE - cared about us. Ever our father so don’t go around trying to the perfect parent ‘cos there’s no such thing!!” spat Freddie. His voice was full of emotion.

Rae met the anger in his voice, “You know Freddie, you’re right – there’s no such thing but all I want is a chance to at least be a parent!!”

“Why?” pushed Freddie.

“Because I do care!! Don’t think I see right through both of your masks, your facades. Both of you have hearts! I’m not your enemy Freddie…” shot back Rae.

Surprised by her answer, Freddie did nothing, instead he searched her eyes trying to see if they would reflect the truth of her words.


The terrace…

Sophia leaned back in her chair, rocking on its hind legs. She kicked up her feet on the table and fumed. She said nothing as she crossed her arms and her eyes grew narrow.

She didn’t know what to do. Why did Rae have to “butt” in? Just because Rae was her mother didn’t give her automatic mother rights. No. She had to earn them.

“You know, that’s not very ladylike…” said Renee walking onto the terrace.

“What are you? My mother?!” spat Sophia. Her voice dripped in sarcasm.

“Oh no. That’s someone’s claim to fame,” said Renee, “Now do me a favor and show my furniture some respect.”

Begrudgingly, Sophia put her feet down.

“You want to talk about what’s bothering you?” asked Renee.

“What’s bothering me? Yeah, sure – my boyfriend – if you can call him that is going through an identity crisis, my best buddy in the whole world is leaving me to go to Switzerland, my brother’s out on bail – AGAIN – and my mother…”

“Your mother?” questioned Renee.

“Yeah – Doctor Rae – my mother – wants me to instantly love her just because. Well it doesn’t work that way. Sophia Pelligrino doesn’t just instantly do shit. Besides, how can I love a woman I don’t know a thing about? All I know is that she gave me up – gave me to one hell of a guy – the guy who raised me and taught me to call him “father” treated and Freddie as his own personal punching bags…!!”

Sophia suddenly stopped as she realized what she just said. Renee’s heart went out to her.

“Renee, can you give Sophia and I some space? We obviously need to talk,” came a firm and authoritative voice. Sophia and Renee looked up. It was Rae, standing at the doorway.


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