The next morning Bella awoke early (for her) and headed down the gently curving staircase to bid her father farewell before he went off for his weekend 'business' trip. He left every saturday at 10am and she needed to catch him before he went this time.

If her mother noticed that he seemed to spend a lot of time away at night and on weekends she never said, but Bella certainly couldn't help but realize what was going on. Then again, perhaps her mother was aware, as she had been spending considerably more time at her sister's house and less and less time at home. Which was alright, she supposed, but it left Bella with a lot of alone time. Not that her mother was much company when she was in her usual state, anyway.

Her father was seated at the head of the dining room table, reading the paper in a dark blue suit and sipping coffee.

“Morning Daddy.” Bella said, as she entered the room.

“How was school yesterday, Issy?” Her father asked, crossing his legs and glancing over the top of the paper at his daughter. He was an attractive man in his early 40s. He had deep brown hair with white streaks glancing back from his temples, bright morning sky blue eyes and chiseled features. He wore his success over his shoulders like a mantle and he seemed to ooze authority.

“It was fine, there was a surprise world history test. I was very surprised.” She said, rolling her eyes and sitting to his left. She sorted through the discarded sections of newspaper until she found the comics.

“In other words, you weren't prepared.” He said, giving her a mock stern look.

“Daddy, how can you possibly prepare for a surprise?” She asked, eyes wide with innocence.

“It's a good thing you are pretty, precious.” He said, reaching across the table to tap the end of her nose. “God knows you'll need your looks to get by without an education. You should study harder, you'll never get into a good school at this rate.”

“I'm sure I don't know what you mean.” She said, lifting the comic to hide her face. “I need more money, Daddy.”

“You could try something novel, like getting a job.” He said, turning the page of his paper.

“How could I possibly study more if I have to get a job?” She asked, lowering the paper to stare at him wide eyed again.

“How much do you want?” He asked, sighing and folding the newspaper.

“Oh... You know... However much you think...” She began before he cut her off.

“You have a figure in mind, I know you. How much do you want? Or shall I just give you your allowance early?” He asked, reaching for his wallet.

“Oh, please do. That would be perfect.” She hopped up and stood by the arm of his chair, hand held out. When he placed the bills in her hand she glanced at them, and back to him without saying a word. Laughing, he added another to her open palm.

“Thank you, Daddy. I love you, you know. I really do.” She bent to kiss his cheek before darting out of the room without waiting for a response.

“Good-bye Daddy, if I don't see you again before you go! Tell Chrissy I say hiiiieeeee!” She tossed over her shoulder, laughing at the thought of the surprised look her father must be wearing at having her see through the thin pretense that he was spending the weekend on a business trip instead of in his 22 year old secretary's loft.

She had a lot to get done that day, and was eager to get started. When Beth crossed her mind, she thought to herself, giggling WWJD..? He would probably set her bitch ass on fire and send her to hell.

Bella went to the garage and started her car, then headed in the direction of the mall.