Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ch 43: Who's your daddy? by Glory Lennon

No one could ever say Victor Romanoff did anything half way.

Violet found this out as soon as she assured Flora Trenton that she indeed would take care of baby Missy for as long as need be. She had barely signed off with the director of Littlest Angel Orphanage before Victor was on his feet, twirling and spinning Missy about while humming Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz complete with lyrics of Victor’s own invention.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ch 42: adoption and insanity by Glory Lennon

Violet's tears fell in earnest.

“Ah, honey,” Victor said and put his arm about her. He silently cursed the middle console which prevented him from drawing her closer and truly comforting her. He allowed her to cry herself dry onto his shoulder all the while wondering what to say to make her feel better.

“She loves the child so much, perhaps she should be the one to adopt her,” Heidi suggested.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ch 41: Giving her up by Glory Lennon

“Where can Karen be?” Violet asked anxiously, as they headed outside after Victor paid the bill.

They had only just stepped over the threshold, when Cathy burst through waving the bill in the air.

“Cathy, what are you doing! Get back into the warm. You’ll catch your death out here without a coat on,” Violet chastised.

“But, Mr. Romanoff made a huge mistake. See?” Cathy said, holding out the bill.

“Did I?” he replied carelessly. He took the paper, skimmed it and handed it back to her with a smile. “No, it’s fine as is.”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ch 40: Baby’s first words by Glory Lennon

 Victor turned his gaze on Violet. He watched her carefully place a bib around Missy and offer her a toy key ring. The baby promptly tossed it away, uninterested. Victor thought Violet still looked rather uncomfortable, but she was making a great effort not to appear so. She also seemed to be avoiding looking at him.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ch 39: Perfect little Family by Glory Lennon

Jocelyn came bustling into the playroom, coat and purse in hand, ready to turn off lights and call it a day. Instead, she stopped dead and frowned. For the third time this week, Missy was the last child at Mio Caro Bambino, and much to her amazement, Violet seemed thoroughly pleased about it.

“Big S..little s...silly Sammy Slick...sipped six sodas and got sick-sick-sick...” Violet read from Dr. Suess’ ABC book for the umpteenth time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ch 38: Scent of a savage by Glory Lennon

Victor pulled into Violet’s driveway and hopped out opening her door first. He then got the gifts out of the back seat. He followed her to the front door and grabbed the keys out of her hands opening her door. Stepping in before her, he turned on the lights and looked around.

“Are you looking for something?” she asked, finding this behavior peculiar.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ch 37: Curious-er and curious-er by Glory Lennon

 “So, you knew nothing about what Victor’s been doing for the past few weeks?” Diane asked incredulously.

“No, nothing,” Laurie replied. “Freddy told me he took her out to dinner once and helped her find a new car, but I knew nothing about the presents. Every single day he sent something?”

“From the moment he left, yes. Each getting more elaborate, romantic and whimsical as they went,” Diane said. She then proceeded in telling Laurie what the gifts consisted of. “I’m telling ya, the man’s in love big time.”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ch 36: The un-birthday party by Glory Lennon

The Ruffian Bar and Grille was full to overflowing with friends and relatives. Not only was there a banner proclaiming Freddy’s birthday, but also one saying Happy Un-birthday, Violet.

“Freddy, I’m going to kill you,” Violet muttered dangerously until she was besieged by what seemed like almost everyone in Catalpa Valley, all of them bearing gifts. She had a tottering tower of presents in her arms before she knew what was what.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ch 35: Presents and gifts by Glory Lennon

“Violet, these are for you!” Winnie shouted excitedly interrupting story time. In she came with a large porcelain vase with two dozen pink roses. “Oh, these are beautiful!”

“Winnie, please, it’s story time. Just put them in the back room,” Violet said calmly.  She only vaguely wondered who would send her flowers. She returned to the story and thought no more of them. 

At break time, Violet went into the back to find Cheryl cradling her fussy baby, Billy, who seemed to be teething, Kerry Donovan, the new girl, sipping a cup of coffee and Pamela feeding her own baby, Frankie. All of them were giggling like school girls. Well, as two of them were barely out of their teens, that should be expected, but what, wondered Violet, had gotten into Helen who was well into her thirties. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ch 34: Missing someone by Glory Lennon

Violet sighed as she buttoned her bright red wool coat and tossed a hand knit scarf about her neck.

“Missing someone?” Heidi’s soothing voice asked, her ghostly hand on Violet’s shoulder.

“Yes, of course I do. Richard’s always on my mind,” Violet said, somewhat defiantly. She grabbed her purse, snatched the keys out of it and headed out the door and to her new car, feeling irritable and not quite knowing why.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ch 33: Spring break Romanoff style by Glory Lennon

Victor stood by the glass wall staring unseeingly at the airplanes taking off into the dull gray winter sky at JFK airport. He supposed spring would be here soon, but not before he got back. That thought made him happy. He could imagine Catalpa Valley beautiful in its early spring-green splendor and Violet squealing with joy when she spotted the first flowers poking out of the ground. He allowed his mind to picture it, Violet in her garden with him right there beside her.

Not surprisingly, he wore, along with his snug-fitting jeans and soft chambray shirt, a satisfied grin which had nothing to do with the constant looks of overt interest in each of the many passing women. Women of all ages went out of their way just to get a better look at him, and, no doubt, with the hope he would take an interest in them. No such luck though. His mind was completely elsewhere.

As usual, he thought of nothing but Violet, even as he waited for his boys and the flight that would take them across the country. This time he had good reason to be thinking of her. He had set up several surprises for Violet. These would take place in his absence, the first of which would be waiting for her at the daycare center this very morning. Oh, but he would love to be a fly on the wall when she opened up the card.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ch 32: That strange inner voice by Glory Lennon

After all the papers were signed and the keys firmly in Violet’s slightly shaky hands, Victor watched her climb into the car with a heavy heart. This was the last he’d see her in a very long time. How he wished he didn’t have to leave her alone.

“She won’t be alone! She’s got tons of friends,” Richard hissed at him. 

Where, Victor wondered, were these voices coming from and why were they so adversarial?


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ch 31: Breakfast and cars by Glory Lennon

Violet turned back to her cooking, saying over her shoulder, “Well, sit down. It’s almost ready.”

“May I get us some coffee?” he asked taking a tentative step toward the cabinet that held the mugs and plates.

“Good idea.”

Victor cleared his throat again. He needed a bit of time to remove the image from his mind of Violet’s sexy dancing and singing. He took the mug from the cabinet and poured the coffee. He drank the scolding stuff in three gulps burning his throat and bringing tears to his eyes. It didn’t work. Violet was permanently there, as if her image remained glued to the inside of his eyelids.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ch 30: Just to see her smile by Glory Lennon

Victor pulled into Violet’s driveway. Almost before the car stopped, he jumped out and bounded up the front walk. Before reaching the porch steps, the door swung open and Violet stood there beaming at him.

“Victor, you’re home!” she shouted and threw herself into his waiting arms. “I’ve missed you so much.”

He held her close, lifting her right off her feet. “I’ll never leave you again,” he said in a voice full of emotion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ch 29: Magical destinations

 After their lovely dinner in which Victor succeeded in distracting Violet’s thoughts away from troubling things, he took a rather round-about way to get home. 

Violet noticed this. “Have you lost your way home, little boy?” she asked pointedly.

Predictably Victor laughed. “We’re not heading home quite yet, little girl,” he retorted.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ch 28: Not getting rid of him that easy by Glory Lennon

“Oh, I feel so sorry for them,” Violet said softly, as she watched Jeffery carried out to the car by his dad who looked like he just got hit in the head with a two by four. It brought tears to her eyes when Tony gave the squirming child an extra hug and a tiny kiss on the top of his shiny black hair before putting him into his car seat. “He looks so...”

“Stunned, yes, I know, and lost and worried too, no doubt,” Victor finished for her. He placed a reassuring arm around her shoulders and added, “Early intervention is crucial for autism and the Center for Developmental Disabilities will definitely help. The people there will guide Jeffery’s parents through it all. You’ll see, Jeffery will really gain from this. They all will.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ch 27: Diapers and discoveries by Glory Lennon

“You brought me here to see this?” Richard snarled. “Like I wanna see my wife looking at another man like that?”

Heidi wearily sighed. “No, Richard, that isn’t why I’m here and I didn’t exactly drag you, now did I?”

He said nothing unless you count the growling, irritable sound coming from his throat. “Mr. Fricken Generous-to-a-fault. Who the hell does he think he is?” he shouted.

“Richard! You must be quiet here,” Heidi reprimanded in a near whisper.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ch 26: Generous to a Fault

All morning Violet had a feeling of foreboding in the pit of her stomach that she couldn't quite understand. At least she thought it was foreboding. She found herself anxiously awaiting.... something, but what that was, she didn’t know.

“Victor’s return perhaps?” Heidi suggested.

Violet frowned at that thought. No! It is not that, she told her inner voice adamantly. She had started to like having her very own Jiminy Cricket  but not today. It was saying things Violet would rather not listen to nor acknowledge. She was not thinking of Victor! Although it was his dark, fury‑filled eyes that came to mind every time Sherry caught her hand which was very often. The little girl did so like and trust Violet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ch 25: The More Things Change by Glory Lennon

Violet was quite right.   

Victor made certain her life was never the same again and much to her own surprise she didn't seem to dislike the notion nearly as much as she thought she would. The next morning he found her not only fully dressed when he went to pick her up for work since she didn't yet have her car, but also awaiting him with a wonderful breakfast on the table.

"Well, this is a fine morning!" he said by way of greeting when she opened the door to him looking as fresh as sunshine itself. "We've become a morning person, have we?"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ch 24: Never the same again by Glory Lennon

“You’ll make fun of me,” Violet whined as she trailed behind him, allowing Victor to pull her into the living room.

“No, I won’t,” Victor said with a smirk. She gave him a withering look. “Well, maybe a little, but I promise not to enjoy it too much.”

She continued to glare at him and he laughed. “Okay, you can hit me if I annoy you.”

“I’m thinking you’ll be black and blue by the end of the evening,” she mused as she grabbed the movies out of his hands and popped one into the DVD player.

“So, what is this about?” he asked as she started the movie.

“It’s a chick-flick so what do you think it’s about? Romance, of course,” she answered, kicking her shoes off and curling her feet under her. He sat down right next her much to her annoyance. She wondered fleetingly if she should already smack him.

“Romance, huh? Aren’t you afraid it’ll get us in the mood?” he asked.

She gaped at him eyes as wide as they would go. “Mood for what?” she asked apprehensively.

“Dating, of course. Sandra Bullock is the one girl that would get me to change my mind about dating,” he said happily. “I bet I could fall for her easily. She’s so cute.”

Violet let out a gush of air, utterly relieved. She had for a moment pictured herself fighting off Victor’s amorous advances and failing miserably. He was huge! This being alone with him was so not a good idea. She was certain of it. But how to get out of it now?

“Now, Sweetie, why would you think  that? Victor would sooner chop off his own hands than lay a hand on you. You know that,” came that now achingly familiar and wonderfully comforting voice in Violet’s head, the voice belonging to Heidi.

“I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him,” Richard snarled as he glared at Victor.

“Funny, but you don’t strike me as the Sandra Bullock type,” Violet commented as she started the movie.

“No? What do I look like then?” he asked.

“A total ass,” Richard interjected, laughing at his own joke.

Victor surreptitiously looked around hoping to see someone, anyone but as no one was there he shook his head as if to dislodge the unfriendly thoughts.

“Well, frankly,” Violet said now staring at him through narrowed eyes. “Super model comes to mind.”

Victor burst out laughing. “You sound like my boys.”

“Do I?” she said smiling. “Then I’m not completely off base, am I?”

“I think you are. I made that mistake with my ex and I ain’t doing that again,” he said adamantly.

“Your ex-wife is a super model?” she shrieked.

“No, but she could have been. She was beautiful enough for it,” Victor replied grimacing.

“Why in the...” She stopped and bit her lip. It was none of her business, she had to remind herself. 

She turned back to the movie and started singing along with the opening number.

♫"This will be...an everlasting love...this will be...the one I've waited for..."♫

Victor stared at her as she sang swaying slightly with the music. His insides melted. He couldn’t believe anyone could be so beautiful, so delightful, so charming without even trying. He had witnessed enough coquettish behavior to know Violet didn’t even know how that was done. And her voice! Wow! He just had to make her his and somehow, some way, some day, God help him, he would.

“That’s what you think, Bud, but it ain’t gonna happen,” Richard snarled in his ear.

Ignoring the annoying voice Victor waited until Violet had stopped singing then said, “I’m more into adventure flicks, but maybe that’s my problem. I should watch these kind of films, chick flicks as you call them. You know, to get in touch with my feminine side. What do you think?” he asked albeit casually.

She burst out laughing despite herself.

“What’s so funny, I’d like to know?” he retorted looking slightly offended yet also delighted to have finally made her laugh.

 “Sorry, Victor,  but I don’t think a thousand romantic comedies would ever bring out your feminine side. Very much like Richard, you don’t have one,” she stated in no uncertain terms, still giggling.

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” he asked.

“Does everything have to be one or the other? Can’t things just be?” she sighed with exasperation. “ I don’t believe in changing things from their original form or natural inclination. Men ought to be men and women ought to be women and they should make no apologies for it. Those that try to be both end up being neither.” 

She clamped her lips together. She may have said entirely too much. She glanced nervously at Victor and found him staring at her with an unreadable expression. “What?”

“I think you’re the most intelligent woman I ever met,” he said softly before leaning toward her to add,  “Except for my Mama, of course.”

“You’re teasing me. Should I smack you now or wait until the movie’s over?” she snapped.

“I’m serious, Violet. That makes total sense. You are wise beyond your years. I like that,” he said. 

Smiling he turned back to the movie. Just then Calendula appeared and leapt onto Victor’s lap. “Well, hello, cutie,” he said stroking her back until she arched it and purred loudly.

“Calendula, get down! You know better,” Violet scolded.

“Stupid cat, always getting hair all over everything. Should shave her. Or better yet, drown her,” Richard muttered disdainfully.

“Richard!” Heidi scolded much the same way Violet had just done.

 “She’ll get hair all over you, Victor,” Violet said reaching for the cat.

“Oh, let her stay. She’s not hurting anything. Are you, Calendula? Of course not,” Victor cooed much to her astonishment.

“Well, we’ve finally found something drastically different between Victor and Richard, who simply hates that cat,” Heidi retorted narrowing her disapproving gaze at him.

Unconsciously Violet nodded agreeing with her inner voice. She watched in amazement as Victor seemed to be having a conversation with Calendula.

“Hmm...she won’t tell me, Violet. She says I should ask you,” he said seriously.

“Oh? And what could that be?” she said lifting a curious eyebrow.

“Where did you find her name? Is that a Greek goddess or something?”

“Or something,” Violet  replied unable to stop laughing. “It’s just the name of a flower, a very bright orange flower. I thought it appropriate.”

“And unique,” Victor said chuckling. “Is that your favorite flower? Calendulas? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them.”

“Mine? Gosh, no. Got no favorites,” she said, shrugging.

“I’ve never know anyone who doesn’t have a favorite flower. You must have one. Surely the rose or calla lilies or gladiolus?” he insisted.

“Sorry, I can’t. I love them all so I can’t just pick one,” she replied shrugging again.

“You are funny,” he said.

“Am I?”

“Oh, yes, very,”he said flashing her a smile that took her breath away. He turned back to the movie with the cat contentedly laying across his lap, he stroking her as if they’d been doing that for years.

“She doesn’t usually like strangers,” Violet explained.

“No? You wouldn’t know it to look at her. Seems friendly enough,”he said.

He turned back to the movie and became engrossed immediately. He laughed as he  watched Sandra Bullock try in vain to lift a giant Christmas tree up through her second story window of her apartment. Violet, on the other hand, watched him for a while. She didn’t know what to make of him or this whole situation. Nothing made sense anymore. She got the oddest feeling nothing would ever be the same again.

“Well, that’s really a good thing, isn’t it, Dear?” Heidi whispered to her as she gently stroked her hair. “Why would you want things to always stay the same? That would so horribly boring. You were dreadfully sad before but now with the daycare center and all those children needing you so much you don’t have time for such unproductive emotions. Change is good. It helps us grow, you see.”

Again Violet nodded before turning her attention– well, half of it anyway– back to the movie.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ch 23: Empathy by Glory Lennon

Just as Violet opened her mouth to voice a half dozen questions, Victor’s cell phone went off with a musical number she recognized from long ago. “Isn’t that “Doctor my eyes”?” she said, looking at him curiously.

“It is. That’s Simon ringtone,” Victor said looking at the phone with a crease between his eyebrows.

“Well, aren’t you going to answer?”

He looked at her then back at the phone. “Do you mind?”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ch 22: Dinner, Divorce and Confession by Glory Lennon

“Has anyone ever told you you’re the best cook ever?” Victor said patting his contented belly.

Violet giggled and stood up with their empty plates. Gosh, but it gave her such a good feeling to cook once again and for an appreciative someone no less!

 “Yes, actually, Kenny used to say it all the time. He said the proof was all his friends who would mysteriously show up around dinner time. You’d think they’d never had a  real home-cooked meal the way they went on and on about how great it was here. Funny kids. They told me their mothers never cooked. Can you imagine that?” she asked shaking her head in disbelief.