Violet looked up from buttering her warm buttermilk biscuit and gave Victor a look which clearly stated What are you kidding me?
He sat down with a wounded expression on his face. “Apparently not,” he mumbled.
“Victor, you were gone all of ten minutes. Do you honestly think I can’t live without being in your presence for that long?”
“Was hoping,” he grumbled. "Thought we were happy together."
She laughed. “So, how is Simon? Well, I hope,” she said taking a tiny bite then licking her finger.
“He’s fine. He just wanted to know how my birthday went,” he said, staring hungrily at her lips. “I told him it was the best birthday I ever had and the best… weekend.”
He couldn’t help remembering how just mere hours ago those pretty lips had roamed over his skin torturing him with pleasure. He wouldn’t soon forget all she did to him. As a matter of fact, he suddenly got the urge to clear the table, toss the dishes, food and all onto the floor, take her right there and have a repeat performance.
It took Violet a few minutes to realize Victor wasn’t eating. When she looked up, she caught him gazing at her with a rather intense expression on his face. A thrill shimmied through her being when it occurred to her Richard used to look at her exactly that way after a night of --what he liked to call—Violet unchained.
Her cheeks grew warm and she looked away, not sure what to think of this. “Are you not hungry?” she nervously asked.
“Absolutely starved,” he said, neglecting to mention not for food. Of course, he didn’t have to. She kind of knew.
To her surprise, he seized her hand, linking their fingers together exactly how Richard always did, palms together. This further unnerved her. Was he channeling Richard? Surely not!
“Are you feeling all right, Victor?” she said, tugging her hand and finding it quite impossible to extract from his grip.
He shook his head.
“What…what’s wrong?” she said. “Do you need to lie down?”
He grinned. “Only if you’re there with me,” he said.
“I want you, Violet.”
Her eyes widened in shock. “Uh…to do what?” she asked, although she certainly had an inkling what he was thinking. She desperately wished for something to distract him from this most inappropriate topic.
“You ought to try these biscuits. They’re quite good,” she said, nervously holding the plate out to him. He took it and placed it aside then seized her other hand, effectively holding her prisoner.
“Victor, what are you doing? What do you want?”
“I already told you. I want you. I want you back in bed with me right this minute, close together, skin on skin. I want to fall asleep every night with you right beside me and I want to wake up the same way…just like we did this morning.”
“Violet, don’t play dumb,” he said. “I loved sleeping with you last night and I wouldn’t mind doing it again… and again and again forever.”
“Victor,” she said, in a furious whisper. “You promised you wouldn’t talk about that.”
“Didn’t you?” she shrieked.
He laughed and brought her hands to his lips where he kissed the tips of her fingers. “My funny girl.”
“Victor, you shouldn’t speak of such things here, in public where anyone can hear us. They’ll think…”
“My love, no one is listening to us. We’re too boring to excite interest in anyone. Besides, you know perfectly well there is sleeping together and then there is sleeping together. You know which one we did and I don’t mind saying I enjoyed it immensely.”
“Why?” she asked, trepidation running amok up her spine. “I mean…did I…did we do something?”
He raised both eyebrows. “You mean other than having you in my arms all night?”
“So…so, that was all?”
He tried not to smile, but bless her heart, she surely made that difficult. “Sweetheart, I haven’t had a woman in my bed for quite some time, so yeah, I kinda noticed you there all through the night and I wasn’t about to turn my back on a woman who wanted to snuggle up to me…not you anyway.”
“Well…you should have. I’m sorry...I...I don’t know what came over me. I don’t remember that at all.”
“I assumed you thought I was Richard.”
“Victor, what are you saying?”
“I’d forgotten how good it feels to have a soft, warm female body beside me.”
“Victor, did we do something or not?”
“You gave me the best night of my life following the best weekend and best birthday. I couldn’t be happier. Actually, I could,” he replied, letting go of her hands and taking up his fork.
She gaped at him. “How exactly was it the best?”
“You were there. You know.” He took a bite of his omelet. “This is good, but not as good as you make.”
“Victor, you’re killing me. Did I do something or not?”
He smiled and grabbed the ketchup bottle. “Nothing any other woman wouldn’t do in the same circumstance.”
Her eyes widened in horror. She fleetingly wonder if he referred to a woman like Mother theresa or Kim Kardashian?
“But…but I’m not every other woman.”
“Don’t I know it,” he replied, squeezing ketchup all over his home fries and then taking a sip from his coffee cup.
What kind of answer was that? Heck if Violet could make heads or tails out of this entire conversation. Her head spun.
“So, anyway,” he said, ignoring her obvious confusion. “I know you won’t marry me for whatever insane reason—ghost husband haunting you, whatnot-- but you must see after last night that there’s no reason you can’t live with me.”
“What?” she shouted, making everyone around them stop whatever they were doing to look toward them.
“Inside voice, Honey,” Victor calmly said.
“You must be insane,” she hissed. “I’d sooner marry you than live in sin with you!”
“Now we’re talking!" he answered happily. "A legal, sanctified marriage is always better than just shacking up. Shall we set a date or do you want a proper proposal complete with diamond ring?”
“No! Of course not. I already told you. I can't marry you.”
“Okay, so marriage is still out. That’s what I thought, but listen to my reasons for living together,” he said.
“No, I won’t! It’s totally out of the question.”
“No, it’s not. You are not being practical, but I won’t hold it against you.”
“How kind of you,” she sarcastically mumbled.
“This weekend has shown me how perfect life could be with you.”
“What in the world are you talking about? This weekend wasn’t real life. We spent it doing odd-ball things I had never done before, let alone do on a daily basis, even if I could. Shopping sprees and spa days and fine dining and dancing and parties and singing with a professional jazz band and room service and… that’s not real life, Victor. None of that is.”
“I’m not talking about any of that. It’s you, Violet. You are what made the weekend special. Just you. I had you all to myself for two solid days and you know what?”
She stared at him afraid to ask. “What?”
“It’s not enough. I want you permanently. If you won’t marry me because you’re afraid of Richard’s displeasure, than live with me.”
Her jaw dropped. “Like he won’t be upset if I live with you?” she shrieked.
“Tell me this then. Did Richard’s ghost shown up last night?”
“Uh, no,” she replied, frowning slightly.
“Wouldn’t he have shown up and done something--kicked me out of the bed perhaps-- if he was upset to find us in bed together?”
“I think he’s over it which means you should get over it too. Think about it, Violet. You’re alone in your house, I’m alone in mine. If we lived together we wouldn’t be.”
She gulped. “But…but we don’t have to live together for that. We see each other every day, Victor. Most days we have breakfast together before work and after work you come over and we have dinner, and we spend the evening together. Isn’t that enough?”
“No, this weekend showed me that quite clearly. I have to eventually leave you and then I go home all alone, rattling around my huge house all alone. I go to bed all alone and then I wake up all alone. It sucks! I’m sick and tired of being alone, Violet.”
She bit her lip thinking of any argument against this scheme, but came up with none…except one.
“You’re wrong, Victor. Richard wouldn’t like it and neither would I. It’s just not right,” she said.
He stared at her as he continued to eat. “Just think about it, Violet. I'm sure we'd be happy together.”
As if she had a choice…