|Oceans of Violets in bloom|
♪ ♫…Dig if you will the picture, you and I engaged in a kiss, the sweat of your body covers me, can you, my darling, can you picture this? …♩ ♬
Ronnie put his arm around Violet and continued singing to her. Victor rolled his eyes, Simon groaned, but she was enthralled.
♪ ♫… Dream if you can a courtyard, oceans of Violets in bloom, animals strike curious poses, they feel the heat, the heat between you and me …♩ ♬
“Will you stop that,” Simon growled. “Yes, we know you can sing, but give it a rest already.”
♪ ♫…How can you just leave me standing alone in a world that’s so cold? Maybe I’m just too demanding, maybe I’m just like my father, too bold …♩ ♬
Violet shook her head. “Isn’t it twofold? Always thought it was twofold,” she muttered, but she prompted Ronnie to keep singing.
♪ ♫… maybe you’re just like my mother…she’s never satisfied…♩ ♬
“Don’t insult Ms. Bennett like that,” Simon interjected, which made Violet giggle.
“Okay, enough,” Victor said as the elevator doors opened. “You guys go and see Marty while I try to find her doctor.”
♪ ♫… Touch if you will my stomach, see how it trembles inside?…♩ ♬
Ronnie lifted his shirt showing off his abs and winked at a cute nurse as she passed them in the hall. Too busy watching the stud walk by, the nurse ran into a breakfast cart and spilled half eaten scrambled eggs all over the floor.
“You are such a flirt!” Violet said, laughing at him. “Your father told me you’re a lady killer.”
“I’ve never killed anyone…definitely no girls!” Ronnie said, indignant.
Simon groaned as if in pain. “He’s so dumb, it’s embarrassing to be related to him,” he muttered, as he held the door open for Violet. She stood in front of him frowning, arms akimbo. “What?”
“Stop being so mean to your brother. He looks up to you,” she said.
“No I don’t!” Ronnie shouted.
“Hush!” she said. “Simon, you’re the big brother and with that comes responsibilities. You have to show the way. You’re a good boy, but you can be so much better if you were kinder. Please, Simon, don’t be mean. There are just too many mean people in the world and so few nice ones. There isn’t a mean bone in your father and I know you want to be just like him. Please try, okay?”
Simon blinked at her, thoroughly chastised. “Yes, ma’am,” he muttered.
“It pains your father to see you constantly at each other’s throats, tossing insults and sniping away. You know you boys love each other. You should be best friends, so try acting like it.” With that she went into the room.
The boys stared at each other a minute, both embarrassed.
“You’re still dumb,” Simon said in a low voice.
“And I don’t look up to you,” Ronnie hissed.
Looking away, then bumped fists. It was as close to a brotherly hug as they were getting.
“Good morning, Marty,” Violet said cheerily. “How are you feeling today?”
“Back again, are you?” Marty said in a snippy voice.
“Yes, I tend to be a bug sometimes,” Violet said, apologetically. “If it makes you feel any better, Victor and the boys are here too.”
“You mean I haven’t been completely abandoned by my family? There’s a shocker!” Marty whined, lips pursed. Her face lit up, however, when her grandsons walked in, kissed and hugged her and fawned all over her. “My beautiful boys! Are you finally getting me out of here? I spent a dreadful night!”
“Yep, we’re taking you home… soon,” Simon said, looking to Violet and clearing his throat. “Ms. Bennett will tell you all about it.”
“Tell me what?” Marty said, suspiciously.
For a minute Violet looked like a deer in headlights. “Um…yes, we were talking…me and the boys…and um…we’re…uh… worried… about Victor.”
“We are?” Ronnie said, and promptly got an elbow to the ribs from his brother. “I mean, yes, very worried.” He rubbed his ribs as he and Simon exchanged wondering gazes.
Simon shrugged as if to say, “Just go with it.”
“You see… I think he’s…um…” Violet paused and licked her lips. She really ought to have thought more about this. Winging it was not her strength.
“Spill it, Girly!” Marty said, irritably. “What are you trying to say?”
“I think…we think Victor is…um… in trouble,” Violet whispered, looking at both boys for help, guidance, anything!
“Trouble? What kind of trouble?” Marty said looking from one face to the other.
“It’s difficult for us to talk about, Grandma,” Simon said, looking to Ronnie.
“Yeah, it’s…it’s…not good,” Ronnie said, looking to Violet.
“Is he ill?” Marty squeaked.
“Uh…” Ronnie said. “Hard to say.”
“Then what is it?” she shrieked.
“Victor needs your help, Marty,” Violet said, in a rush. “He’s in a bad way and he’s the last one to tell anyone about it. I only just discovered it. He won’t listen to any of us if we bring it up, but you, I think you can… you know…keep him safe for us without him knowing we put you up to this.”
“What are you babbling about, Girly?”
Just then Victor came through the door, smiling. “Good morning, Marty. You’re looking well. How do you feel?”
“I should be asking you that,” she said, as Victor hugged her. She could see over his shoulders the other three frantically shaking their heads, waving arms and making quite sure she knew not to speak a word of any of this to Victor.
“Why would you say that? I’m perfectly fine,” Victor said, turning to look at the others. “So, has Violet told you her brilliant plan?”
“I do believe she was getting to it when you arrived. Why don’t you tell me, Victor dear? She was having some trouble explaining,” Marty said.
“Well, it’s quite simple really. You see, we think we can keep Catherine from talking about the …”
“The hell pit she wants to throw me into,” Marty said, her eyes narrowing.
“Now, Darling, you know she would never send you to some inhumane place. She just wants you to get proper care,” Victor soothingly said.
“Whose side are you on?” she shrieked.
“Yours, of course, and the boys and Catherine and mine.”
She made a funny face at them all. “What’s that supposed to mean? She’s convinced you to get rid of me after all?”
“No way!” Ronnie said.
“Absolutely not, Grandma. I told Mom I’d quit school and come live with you before I allowed her to do that,” Simon said.
“Oh, Simon, dear,” she said, taking his hand and tenderly smiling. “I can’t let you do that. Your grandfather would come back from the grave and haunt me if I allowed you to leave medical school. It was his fervent wish.”
“That’s when I suggested the next best thing,” Violet volunteered.
“Which is?” Marty said, her eyes going to Ronnie. “I won’t let you ruin your life either, Ronald.”
“You’re the best, Gramma,” Ronnie said. “But that’s not what Ms. Bennett means. We were thinking of you moving in with Dad…cuz… you know… you need to watch…I mean Dad needs to watch out for you.” Ronnie gave her a significant look.
“Yes, Dad will love having you live with him…so, he can care for you. That way you don’t get in trouble anymore,” Simon said, slowly winking at her.
Marty frowned looking at them all in turn. “I see,” she said slowly. “But…what about Girly Violet?”
“What about me?” she said.
“Aren’t you shacking up with Victor yet? I would if I were you. You ain’t getting any younger, you know,” she said.
The boys tried and failed to stifle laughs.
“Marty, Violet doesn’t want to live together until we’re married,” Victor said.
“Why not? What on earth’s stopping you, Girly? Have you taken a gander at this man?” she asked, winking at Victor. “He’s a hunk–a-burning love… better than Elvis, though…because, he’s at least not dead.” Her expression changed dramatically. “Oh…I know what it is. Still in mourning, aren’t you?”
Violet blushed and nodded slightly.
“Hmm, pity,” Marty muttered, gazing thoughtfully at Violet. “So, okay. I’ll shack up with him instead…until you’re done moping over…whatsitsname.”
“Richard,” Violet said automatically.
Marty shook her head with a disapproving expression on it. “Youth is wasted on the wrong people,” she muttered as she pointed to the locker beside the bed. “Fetch my clothes, Girly, and help me get dressed.”
“But don’t you need to see the doctor first?” Violet asked.
“He’s already seen me and he better have told you I'm going home!” Marty said.
“Yes, the doctor has released you, so get dressed and we can make plans.”
“Now come on, Girly! We have so much to do if I’m to make Victor’s home agreeable to my taste.”
Violet hid her grin as she stepped around the bed and retrieved the clothes as directed by the would-be Queen.
Victor gaped. “You mean…you’re not going to argue about this…at all? You’re not going to fight and come kicking and screaming?”
Marty stared at him. “Why should I? You need me there, don’t you? You may want a wife, but your girly’s not ready yet. I understand that, but in the meantime you can surely use a motherly touch, and that’s what I have,” she said. “Sorry to tell you this, but you are sorely in need of fixing, Victor dear.”
“Really. Didn’t know I was broken,” he drolly remarked.
“Oh yeah, you are so broken, Dad, you don’t even know it!” Ronnie said, grinning.
Simon clamped a hand on his father’s shoulder and steered him out of the room. “I just hope she doesn’t fix you so much that we don’t recognize you.”
“Good God…what have I gotten myself into?” he muttered leaving the room with his sons laughing behind him.
“Okay, they’re gone,” Marty said, jumping out of the bed with the agility of a woman half her age. “Now, tell me what is wrong with Victor?”
“Well,” Violet said, slowly laying out the dress and underthings as she tried to come up with something plausible. “The thing is we’re not sure. I mean, I’ve noticed a slight change in him…but nothing I can really pinpoint…I don’t know if I’m explaining it right, but I’m worried and I asked the boys and…we thought that you could help. You could watch him for us and…”
“Oh, I see, and report back to you if I see something wrong,” Marty said, excitedly. “I can play the detective! Ooh, what fun! Unless, of course, there is something amiss.”
“I’m hoping it was just me being overly cautious…you know, because I lost my husband so young, but then the boys noticed it, too,” Violet said. “Victor has been so wonderful to me since I lost Richard that I can’t help worry something will happen to him too.”
Marty slipped the dress on and turned her back so Violet could pull up the zipper for her. “Oh, you mustn’t think that way. I’ll take care of him for you.”
“I do so appreciate it and I’m sure the boys will too,” Violet said, tugging the zipper smoothly in place. “There now, how nice you look! Shall I comb your hair?”
“That would be lovely, dear,” Marty said, sitting on a chair, waiting patiently. “I wonder, do you and Victor give many dinner parties? I do love an occasional dinner party.”
“Uh…does a labor day party count?” Violet asked.
“Heavens no!” Marty shouted. “I wonder if Victor will mind if I had one once I’m settled at his home?”
“Oh, I’m sure he wouldn’t,” Violet said. “But I think you’ll have a lot of work ahead of you before you invite your friends over.”
“What kind of work?”
“Decorating, of course. The house is a blank screen at present and desperately needs something to make it a home. Right now it’s a bachelor’s place.”
“We can’t have that!” Marty said.
“No,” Violet said, not even trying to hide her smile as she ran the comb slowly through the silvery mane. Never had she expected Marty to comply so easily with their plan. She had imagined a huge fight, yelling and screaming and nothing really coming of it. This was easy. Of course, they hadn’t yet said a word to her daughter. “I wonder, Marty, if you think your daughter will be all right with you living with Victor. Do you think she will cause you problems about it?”
“So, what if she did? I’m still doing it! Victor needs me, and that’s all there is to it,” she said. “Oh, dear, do you think Victor will have room for my orchid collection? It’s quite extensive.”
“We’ll make room! Even if we have to kick the men out!” Violet said and they both laughed. “I wonder, do you know Morris Kramer?”
“Are you all right? Did I hurt you?” Violet said, pulling the comb free from the hair.
“Yes, no, I mean…no, you are not hurting me, and yes, I do know Morris…used to know him,” she said wistfully. “We went to school together. I had a crush on him in grade school, but he barely knew I existed.”
“How can that be?” Violet asked. “Isn’t he a good ten years older than you?”
Marty sighed. “Bless you, but no, we’re the same age. I suppose I preserved better,” she said, then she frowned and looked up at Violet. “And how do you know him, pray tell?”
“His great-niece was my best friend, but that was a long time ago. Victor and I met him a while back, when he sold Victor Somerset Hill.”
“Victor owns Somerset Hill now?” Marty shrieked.
“Yes, he wants to build a nice house for…uh…for retirement,” Violet said, resuming the combing.
“I can’t believe the old coot actually let that piece go. It’s been in his family since before the civil war,” Marty said, truly astonished.
“Well, he is getting on in years and he’s lost hope of an heir, so…” Violet said. “Anyway, my reason for bringing him up is he also has an extensive orchid collection. You ought to see it! It’s magnificent!”
“I have many times. It’s actually his nasty wife’s collection. Vera gave it to Weston Botanical Garden for safe keeping while she and Morris galivanted all over the globe,” Marty said, with obvious dislike. “I suppose they were back for a while if you met them, but they must be gone again. They never stick around for long. Catalpa Valley was never good enough for that wicked woman.”
“Perhaps you don’t know. She died and he’s moved back home.”
The gleeful look on Marty’s face was almost comical. More so when she pretended to be sorry. “Oh, what a pity. Vera was such a…ah, let’s not go there. She was a bitch through and through and there’s no use saying otherwise. Never liked her…especially since she got Morris and I didn’t! Poor man, though. He truly loved her…heaven only knows why.”
“Yes, I feel rather sorry for him…so alone as he is,” Violet said, carefully and trying not to burst out laughing. “I was going to ask him over for dinner, but it never seemed the right time. Perhaps we can invite him once you’re settled. Since you know him and you’re the same age, he won’t feel so awkward with just me and Victor. He calls us whipper-snappers or something like, but he’s a nice man. What do you think?”
Marty surveyed her hair and smiled, patting it into place. “That will do nicely, Girly. Now, let’s get me home. We have so much to do! And now we’ve got a dinner party to plan for Morris as well.”
Violet smiled and helped the older woman up from her chair. She vaguely wondered if she should mention the Halloween party she and Victor were giving. Surely that can wait.
Don't get any funny ideas!
©2013 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved