Brooklyn and Sophia didn't take long to settle into their new place. Although it did take Brooklyn a little longer to get comfortable in the house, Sophia was happy in the house and the bigger city.
Sophia kept contact with her friends back home and and often thought about them. But she really wanted to make things work for her here.
Sophia kept contact with her friends back home and and often thought about them. But she really wanted to make things work for her here. Their first week, Aj took both of them shopping.
Aj: I figured Sophia would want new clothes before school starts. High school is all about new friends and new beginnings.
Being in the different stores proved itself overwhelming for Brooklyn, instead she spent her time waiting on Sophia. So when they were done with Sophia, Aj took Brooklyn out to his personal consultant to help Brooklyn with her shopping. He tagged along as the shopping consultant looked her over and found the most appropriate clothes.
Brooklyn: I want to keep my style but also dress like I am not a tourist.
Aj: Well Bobbi is the best in town. I know she is going to help you. In the meantime, with only a couple of weeks left before school started, Aj wanted to make sure to take advantage of the time he had with Sophia.
Sophia: I want to learn more music.
So Aj would set aside time in the day to practice music with Sophia. She was a great student.
Aj: You are even better than I was at your age. And when they were done with her lesson, they would enjoy a jam session together. She played the guitar that Travis had bought for her. It was the one thing from home that she refused to part with. At times they would play so late into the night that Brooklyn would have to tell them to stop and eat dinner or go to bed.
As promised, Aj had bought Sophia a horse. He knew she loved riding back home but the Brooklyn had to sell their animals in order to make ends meat.
She was grateful to have one of her own and although it did not live on the property she was allowed to visit it as often as she liked.
The chemistry between both the horse and rider was almost instant.
Aj: You were made for each other
When Aj was busy in the studio she would kill time by going to stables and go riding. And just days before school began, Aj taught her how to drive. He was just as nervous as she was as he gripped the dashboard tightly.
Sophia: How am I doing?
Aj: Fine....just fine....
Sophia: Are you okay?
Aj: Fine....just fine..... Brooklyn: I wanted to talk to you about something.
Aj: What's up.
Brooklyn: You've been showering Sophia with gifts and all...I just don't want her to become too dependent on your giving her everything she wants.
Aj: Oh. Brooklyn: Back home, Sophia was used to a more simpler kind of living. But now we're here and I feel like you are trying to make up for lost time or something.
Aj: I just want to give her everything I didn't have. Everything she should have had, had I been the right father to her. Brooklyn: But it is not all about the gifts to her Aj. It is about the time as well. I just don't want her to get too used to all the spending and think that is what life is about. Travis and I didn't raise her like that.
Aj: I understand. It's just so hard to not want to give her things. To see the look on her face when she gets it. It's the same look you used to give me.
Aj: Tell you what, I will try to stop spoiling her if you let someone start spoiling you.
Brooklyn: That's not what I was aiming for.
Aj: I know. But when are you going to enjoy yourself for a change? It's always me and Sophie, what about you?
Brooklyn: I have my fun.
Aj: Sure. High school began and the first few days were a blur to Sophia. The kids were nothing like her hometown. It was like they had their own language and all of them had at least 2 electronics attached to their bodies.
In the class is where Sophia excelled, she was proving to be the top of all her classes. She even took a few classes with the older students because she tested out of her own level. It wasn't until she was befriended by Lia Yusomoto (Star Crossed Series) that things actually changed for her. Lia was a junior but the two of them were in a few of the accelerated courses together.
Lia was on the Varsity cheerleading squad and was able to get Sophie to try out for the JV team. The two of them became besties. They shared almost of the same family issues. Lia's parents were not together up until she was 10.
Lia: Trying to get parents together is tricky. They are so stubborn and it never seems like they see the same things we see. It's up to the kids to give them a little push. At school, they were called the Dynamic Duo. And even though they both had been asked out, they often went to dances together.
Lia was a good influence on Sophia. She was like a big sister to her and also someone she could talk to about her plans. And once word got around that Sophia was the daughter of Aj Allen, did the unknown sophomore become center of attention at the high school. So when she hosted parties almost everyone showed up.
The teen was able to figure out early who were her true friends and who just wanted to be around fame. Lia's brother Yuyin would also hang around the girls. But Yuyin hung around for different reasons. He was more interested in Sophia and getting closer to her.
Both Yuyin and Sophia were sophomores and often studied together the night before exams. He was a little on the shyer side and so he would find reasons to hang out with the girls. Aj was not fond of the different boys that were coming around and asking Sophia out. He often voiced his concerns to Brooklyn who would just smile as he paced back and forth until she returned home.
Aj: Can't I just get her another horse instead, then she won't have time to date.
And before leaving to go out, Aj always gave her a 10 minute speech about being safe.
Aj: And where your seat belt at all times!
And no texting. To get his mind off of Sophie dating, Brooklyn took Aj out.
Brooklyn: Remember this song.
Aj: of course. I remember our epic duets in your grandfather's basement as little kids. You were the best partner. Always the Cher to my Sonny.
Brooklyn: I can't believe you had me be your backup dancer at the high school talent show.
Aj: We won didn't we. And when they were done, they went dancing. It had been a years since either of them had went out just the two of them.
Brooklyn: You still have some moves after all these years.
Aj: What can I say, you have to stay with the times.
Brooklyn laughed as he tried a couple moves, only to trip over himself at times.
Brooklyn: Yeah you still got it alright. Aj couldn't help but laugh back at himself as he tried to show off his "dancing skills".
He didn't know if it was the sweet nectar they had drank or the light in the club, but there was a small glow around Brooklyn that night. He almost felt like he was back in his younger years when he and Brooklyn were dating. The years had not changed her much. By the next morning, Aj couldn't stop thinking abut Brooklyn. Up until that night he had always tried to keep his feelings subdued.
Surely they could keep things platonic while they shared the house. Besides, he knew nothing was going to happen between them. Nothing could happen. It would truly mess things up for Sophia. Sophia: Yeah. So that was a bust. You were so right. Parents are always stubborn. I have to create the right moment, the right setting. I need to amp things up. Aj was upstairs taking a break from the studio. As always, he would play a game of pool to relax and get his mind off away from work.
This time Sophie decided asked to join him.
Aj: I never knew pool was your thing.
Sophie: I picked up a few things from my dad. I mean...
Aj: It's okay. Sophie: You know, you and mom have made this very easy for me.
Sophie: I mean, I miss my dad and spending time with him. And this past year without him had been rough. But you coming to visit us made it much better for me.
Aj: I'm glad I was there. Travis is my best friend. And so is your mom. I would have done anything in my power to make everyone happy.
Sophie: I'm glad you mentioned that. Sophie: I think mom needs a little break.
Aj: A break.
Sophie: Yeah. She has been spending so much time making sure we are alright that she doesn't really do anything for herself. I'm really worried about her.
Aj thought for a moment.
Aj: You know, I told her the same thing a while back. What are you thinking about. Sophie: I don't know. She likes art, she likes music. What do old people these days like?
Sophie: You know what I mean.
Aj: Yeah. You know. You're right. We've been spending so much time, just the two of us that we don't really include your mother. Why don't we invite her to something that we do?
Sophie: All that older people stuff is a little too boring for me. Besides I know you've known mom a lot longer than me and can find something that adults like to do.
Something that she doesn't have to act like a mom.
Later that week Brooklyn had arrived at the Museum of the Arts.
According to her invitation she received, she was dressed nicely and entered the building through the side entrance. She stood there for what seemed like forever, and just when she was about to give up and go home, she heard a voice. Aj: Sorry to keep you waiting. I had to get some finishing touches prepared.
Brooklyn: What is this?
Aj: You've never come to the museum?
Brooklyn: No I mean all this. Are we breaking the law.
Ajlaughed: Well, I told you, you needed to be pampered some times.
Brooklyn: How did you do all this? The museum is closed.
Aj: I have my ways. Besides, the best view of this place is at night. They walked through the museum looking at all the art of sculptures.
Brooklyn sat in front of the Weeping Angel. She sat there as entranced by the view.
Brooklyn: This ones my favorite.
Aj sat with her in silence as they both looked at the piece.
Brooklyn: You were right. It is better at night. Afterwards, he took her to the top floor of the museum. It was a small restaurant that was never open to the public. Only certain people knew about it and it was Brooklyn's first time there. It had a center view of the museum and was also surrounded by more art.
There the two of them sat and enjoyed a nice dinner alone.
Brooklyn: How did you do all this? Aj: I have my ways and a few connections here and there.
Brooklyn: I can't believe how you've gone from small town boy to this. The way people treat you. Heck the way they treat Sophie and me just for being your family. It's all so surreal.
Aj: You get used to it after a while. But it does have its perks. They went on talking for the rest of the night. Chatting about old times when they were young.
Aj liked seeing Brooklyn happy. Sophie was right and this was a good idea. He hadn't realized how much he loved talking to her. She was the same Brooklyn he had known and grew to love for over 25 years.
He thought to himself: I was such a dumb kid. The family sat playing the PS360. It had been really nice in the house after Brooklyn and Aj had gone out that night.
Brooklyn: How do I jump over that block again?
Sophia: Hold down the x and up button
Brooklyn: What ever happened to Centipede
Aj: Exactly. Yes! Bonus!
They were so into playing that they had not noticed that someone had entered the house.
The woman sat her bags down and watched curiously as the three of them continued playing.
The voice stopped Aj from playing. He turned towards the doorway to see the young blond looking confused at him. Aj instantly walked over to Tasha standing in the doorway.
Aj: Latasha! What....what are you doing here?
Tasha: The tour ended early. So I came home. What is going on here? How long have I been gone?
Aj: You look great. What do you mean ended early.
Tasha: It was cut short. They said I was being "difficult" could you believe it. I just told them I wouldn't continue until they started treating me right. I was tired of sitting there in the cold waiting for the photographer. I just wanted to come home, back to our bed, back to...
Tasha looked over to the two women looking back at her.
Tasha: Um...who are they? Sophia was the first to get up from the couch. She had been staring with shock up until this moment
Sophia: Oh my goodness! Do you know who you are? You're Latasha Noel. From Next Top Hottie season 4.
Tasha: Why yes, yes I am.
Sophia: Oh my goodness, I can't believe it. Latasha Noel in our house
Tasha: Your House? What the-
Aj: Tasha, this is Sophia.
It took a moment and then her frowned lightened.
Tasha: Sophia? You mean?
Tasha: Oh goodness. I didn't realize you would be coming out this way. I've been longing to meet you for some time now.
Tasha: And I take this must be mother. Bridgett
Brooklyn walked over to her as well. Brooklyn was a bit confused. She had never heard Aj speak of Tasha. But when she looked over at Aj he seemed a little nervous.
And she didn't understand why she didn't know that her and Sophie were living there.
Tasha: I am so sorry. I'm not very good with names. Aj never mentioned you all were coming before I left for my photo tour.
Tasha: It's a pleasure to finally meet the both of you in person. Aj would talk all about you guys. I feel like I'm part of the family.
Tasha: It must have been a long trip from...from...well from your home. Will you be staying with us long?
Aj: Well how was the tour? Was it all glitz and glamor?
Brooklyn listened as the woman kept going on and on about herself and her trip. Brooklyn had never truly heard of Latasha Noel. And had only realized who she was when Sophie mentioned her while watching television. But she wasn't much on reality television and paid little attention to the going on of celebrity life.
She could see how pretty the young lady was, her hair, her face, her younger body. Aj: Why don't we get your things and get you settled in? Then you can tell me all about the rest of your trip.
Tasha: You're right. I am pretty tired and do need to relax a bit.
Brooklyn: I'm going to take Sophia for a walk. I think we can do some more site seeing. Besides, I am feeling a bit stuffy in here. Both girls went upstairs to their room to gather their things. Aj rushed to grab Tasha's belongings.
Tasha on the other hand was still confused about what was going on. She stood there for a moment, looked around the house and then followed Aj to their room. Brooklyn and Sophia left for a jog around the town and shortly after returning she went into the kitchen and began cooking.
She heard the footsteps come down the stairs and called to Sophia who had promised to help make dinner.
Brooklyn: Good to have an extra hand. But it wasn't Sophia, it was Tasha. And she was dressed in her nightie.
Brooklyn turned around to the see the woman standing in front of her.
Tasha: I just wanted to say that I am so sorry if I came off too strong. I have a tendency to do those things. Anyway, Aj explained everything to me and cleared a lot of things up. Tasha: I just want to make sure that since all four of us will be living here that we have some things solidified. I mean, you are the mother of his daughter and I am his girl.
Brooklyn couldn't believe what she was hearing and didn't know where this conversation was going. Tasha: I do have to admit, hearing about all his trips to visit you all, I was always a little jealous. But seeing you all now, I know that you are a woman to trust. That we can have an understanding when sharing his attention and affection.
I've just been used to being his only in this house for the past two years. It's going to take some time for me. But.... you know how that is. Brooklyn could not believe it.
Are you serious: she thought.
She went on to listen to the girl and tried her best to bite her tongue as Tasha went on and on about family and bonding. Brooklyn didn't think Tasha believed her own words.
Brooklyn tried to keep a straight face but inside she wanted to just shake her. Who did she think she was. This was not a competition and up until today she had no idea he had someone. Finally Brooklyn interrupted.
Brooklyn: Tasha, I understand that you and Aj are together. I am here for my daughter and once she goes away to college I do not plan to stay. You and Aj are a wonderful couple and I know you are going to have a great life together. Aj and I are here to raise Sophia and I understand just how much he means to you. Tasha hugged Brooklyn tightly. Thanks for understanding. I am so happy we had this talk.
She walked away before Brooklyn could say anymore. And when she walked up the stairs, Brooklyn shook her head and went back to cooking.
Brooklyn: The nerve.
Best Friends- Sophia V
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