Monday, December 29, 2014

Chapter 233: I had a dream last night

Anxious and nervous as all get-out having not received any texts or calls from either of the boys nor Sophie herself, Violet, in an attempt to silence or at least drown out the incessant voice in her head, popped in a DVD and sat down to crochet mindlessly while watching a Jane Austen marathon, just to get her mind off Sophie and what that demon Antoine might be planning.

She grimaced at her own choice of words. He wasn't evil, surely...she just couldn't trust him.

“Well, you shouldn't and neither should Sophie! He's up to no good,” Richard said, groaning at the opening credits for Pride and Prejudice. “Not this one again! My head will explode if I have to sit through this crap for the thousandth time.”

Being he was very much dead already and not in any danger of his ghostly head exploding, this should not have been a problem, at least not for Violet who sat down wrapped in her favorite hand-crocheted granny square blanket, the scarf she was creating, the half skein of yarn and crochet hook in her hands.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chapter 232 New boyfriend

Sophie couldn't believe her eyes, nor her ears. She'd never seen Cassandra acting so wild and saying the craziest things, so completely unlike her usual reserved, shy, decorous self. She looked anxiously from Simon's amused face to Frank's concerned one.

“Are you sure she shouldn't go to the hospital instead of just home?” she asked.

“That's what I said but Mr. Medical school over here said she didn't need it,” Frank said, frowning at Simon and especially the way his little sister was holding onto this complete stranger, still singing her silly Simple Simon song under her breath.

“She's just acting a little goofy, surely not much different than how she usually is,” Simon said.

“You don't know her like we do!” Sophie said. “She's a totally different person now... not sure what she could do to herself if she stays like this.”

Simon frowned. “But she won't. I mean...I'm no expert about this, but...Okay, tell you what. I'll call my mentor at school. He's a world renown psychiatrist so he would know what we should do with her. Sophie, can you hold onto her while I find a quiet place to talk on the phone? She's likely to fall off.”

Sophie nodded and put her arms around her friend.

“The office is the only quiet place around here,” Frank said. “I'll show...”

“Don't touch the papers!” Cassandra suddenly shouted. “Don't you dare mess them up. Took me all...”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ch 231: Simple Simon


"Now, it’s Cassie, right?” Simon asked.
             "Cassandra to you, Mister, since you won’t tell me your real name!” she snapped.
Okay, I'm Simon Romanoff,” he replied, amused by her fiestiness.
Romanoff? You related to Ronnie?” she asked pointing to the stage behind him.
I am, but don’t hold it against me. I had no say in the matter,” he replied. “So, how do you know my brother?”
“Went to school with him...same class.” She leaned forward and peered into his face. “You don’t look anything like him. He’s cute, you know,” she said, leaning closer still.
Hmm, so I’ve heard,” he said, a bit annoyed.
But you…” she said in a whisper, getting so close she almost bumped noses with him. “You are... beautiful.”
His eyebrows shot up. “Am I, indeed?” he said, curiously. Why did girls say that to him? He remembered little Georgiana saying the same thing to him when they first met.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ch230 This is getting interesting

          Ronnie was a bit nervous getting up on stage. He didn’t have his own guitar, after all, he hadn’t played with these guys for over two years and he was in the presence –supposedly--of a lot better musicians and singers…semi-professionals, Sophie being only one amongst them. 
Besides all that, he was worried he might be wasting precious time he should be spending actively looking for Sophie, regardless of the assurances Vance gave him that she would find him once he got up there and started singing. Ronnie would never forgive himself if something bad happened to her while he was having fun.
          “What was I thinking?” he muttered to himself as he strapped on Vance’s spare acoustic guitar and took his place in front of the center mic. It was one thing jamming with the band and staying in the background. It was something entirely different to take the lead. There were maybe a hundred kids here, only thirty or so of which who actually knew him and maybe only half of that liked him. They were all here to have a good time and most of them didn’t care jack shit about him, so what could go wrong?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ch229 Someone may get hurt

          Sophie had just thanked Palmer and the rest of the guys she met backstage. She couldn’t help loving all the attention. They loved her! She stepped down from the stage still giddy from the performance and was bringing the glass Antoine gave her to her lips just as a familiar voice spoke her name. She spun around and smiled.
          “That’s me,” Cassandra said, shyly stepping forward. “I’m surprised you remember me…especially as I’m one of the smaller little people.”
          Sophie laughed and put the glass down on the nearest tall table. Then she wrapped her arms around her oldest and dearest friend and held on tight. Tears sprung to her eyes and she squeezed tighter.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ch228 Find Her

“How the hell are we gonna find her in this crowd?” Ronnie desperately said.

Simon could barely distinguish his brother’s words as they stepped into Danfords and were assaulted with obnoxiously loud music, music so loud it made the building throb, the walls vibrate and the floors shake. Then there was flashing lights to blind you and gyrating bodies crammed together so tightly you could barely move once you got passed the huge, unfriendly security guys at the door.

Simon couldn’t believe the transformation Danfords had gone through. Last time he had been there—granted this was several years back when he was still in high school—it had been little more than a hay barn where a few hick kids hung out to forget they were hick kids stuck in the middle of nowhere, USA with nothing to do and little hope of finding anything to make their boring lives more exciting—except trying to sneak a beer every once in a while.

Well, they didn’t have that problem anymore. Danfords was a wondrous place now, designed to entertain and make even a high school kid feel like there was more to life than a tiny town like Catalpa Valley could offer. They might still not be allowed that beer--Tuesdays at Danfords were strictly an non-alcohol night even if you were of age--, but Danfords was now a fun place to hang. The place was now sleek and polished and apparently a huge money-maker. Danfords surprisingly would not be out of place in mid-town Manhattan. Simon was not easily impressed, but he certainly was now.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ch227 Small town celebrity

          Sophie regretted going with Antoine the moment they set foot in Danfords where upon entering his sweet, charming demeanor switched to the menacing control freak she always seemed to forget was his real personality.
He grabbed her arm and started taking her where he wanted to go-to a remote area where she could only guess he would start his constant barrage of delusional crap—“You’re the girl for me…never letting you go…we belong together-yadi-yadi-yada”--which she didn’t want to hear at all anymore, let alone now when she just wanted to have some fun.
Damn her! How could she be so stupid, so easily fooled every time? Well, no more of that. This was the last straw…the absolute last one!
Despite her protests—drowned out by the deafening music and over-excited high school kids—Antione dragged her on through the crowd. It was only when they bumped into a huge group of her old high school friends who refused to allow him to take her away so soon that Sophie could plan her getaway.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ch226 Ominous feelings

Violet gasped and tossed aside her knitting when the doorbell rang, startling Calendula and making her sprint away. From under the coffee table, she—the cat, that is-- watched Violet do her own sprinting, and she was muttering something about ominous feelings and all her worrying being for nothing.

Violet rushed to the door, pulled it open and said, “Oh, Sophie, I’m so …” She stopped mid-sentence and blinked. “Simon…what…what are you doing here?”

“Hello, Violet,” Simon said, smiling at her. “Merry Christmas!”

She stood stunned as he embraced her warmly and kissed her cheek. She, on the other hand, wasn’t so delighted to see him. Oh, she loved the warm hug—you can never have too many of those--but it was so not what she had hoped for. No, not because she didn’t like Simon or anything like that. It had nothing to do with Victor either. She was just consumed with worry for Sophie. She just had an awful feeling something really bad was going to happen tonight and she was powerless to do anything. But maybe she was just being an over-protective mother and there was nothing to worry about?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ch225 Waste of time

“Well, that was a total waste of time,” Ronnie grumbled, getting in and slamming the door of the truck.

Not for the first time Simon marveled that he and his brother could experience the same thing and come out with completely opposite conclusions.

“Were you even listening?” Simon asked as he started the pickup and buckled his seatbelt.

“Yeah! And I heard nothing new… except Andy playing with the baby,” Ronnie snarled. “I swear if I heard peek-a-boo one more time…”

“In one ear, out the other with no time to linger,” Simon muttered, looking over his shoulder to pull out of the driveway of his mother’s house.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ch224 All my fault

“What???” Simon and Ronnie said together. Then they exploded, each talking over the other.

“You can’t be serious,” Simon said.

“That’s nuts!” Ronnie shouted.

 “Why would you say that?” Simon asked.

“Those kids love you and you know you’re crazy about them, too!” Ronnie said.

Victor held up his hands, trying to stem the storm of words hurtling at him. “I never said I didn’t. That’s not what I meant. I mean I should never have adopted them before securing a mother for them first, before getting Violet to marry me.”

The guys stared at him. “Oh…” they said simultaneously.

“It was wrong of me. They need a mother. I knew they did, but…like Peter I was impatient. I’m only a father, though, and not a particularly good one, and they deserve to have both mother and father, a mother more so.”

“Bullshit!” Ronnie said angrily.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ch223 Can I, please?

“Can I come too?” Georgiana begged. “Can I, please?”

“To deliver Christmas trees?” Simon asked. “Wouldn’t you rather play with dolls or something?”

“That is so totally sexist, dude,” Ronnie said, shaking his head. “Maybe she likes trees. Ever think of that?”

“I don’t care about the trees. I just wanna go to Violet’s house and meet Sophie,” Georgiana said.

“Sophie, huh?” Simon said, carefully studying Ron’s guarded expression. “And what, pray tell, do you know about Sophie, Georgiana?”

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ch222 Simon says

“Simon!” Ron shouted, obviously shocked to see his brother.

“Ron,” Simon replied, amused at the stunned expression staring guiltily at him.

“Hi, Simon,” Georgiana said, nervously.

“Hello, Georgiana. What is it you’re not supposed to tell me?”

She turned to Ronnie first before answering. “What you’re getting for Christmas, so don’t ask. I ain’t telling!”

Simon laughed, leaning casually against the doorway stuffing his hands in pockets of his trousers. “Is that all? I already know what Ronnie’s getting me. It’s the same thing every year. A lump of coal.”

Georgiana pouted. “You would get something better if you didn’t tease him all the time!”

Taken aback, Simon could only stare at her, the smirk wiped from his face. “That…uh…bothers you?”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ch221 What secrets she holds

Ronnie sighed as he put the finishing touches onto the third song he’d written that week. Since being home—fighting depression-- all he could do was sit at the piano and write out his despair using musical notes instead of letters.

“Must be true,” he mumbled to himself. “Misery breeds creativity.”

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Georgiana, standing at the threshold—and not for the first time. She’d been, for lack of a better word, spying on him all day and every time he had asked her if she wanted something, she’d scurry away shaking her head as if afraid of being gobbled up by the big bad wolf. He thought it was funny at first, but now it was a little disconcerting that she was so timid around him.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ch220 Get the feeling you’re being watched

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Well, Violet had that feeling for a few days now, and she just couldn’t shake it. Little did she know she was indeed being watched…most carefully, too.

It was Sophie doing it. 

What for…even Sophie couldn’t quite say. She just hoped to find a clue as to her mother’s real thoughts and feelings, but Sophie thought her mother was either on to her and knew she was being observed or she was so engrossed with Christmas preparations that she just wasn’t thinking of anything more than decorating innumerable Christmas stockings, using pounds of red and green sprinkles for the cookies she was baking by the truckload, and searching through her yarn stash for every color of the rainbow to knit dozens of wacky scarves, silly hats and goofy mittens.

Ch220 Get the feeling you’re being watched

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Well, Violet had that feeling for a few days now, and she just couldn’t shake it. Little did she know she was indeed being watched…most carefully, too.

It was Sophie doing it. 

What for…even Sophie couldn’t quite say. She just hoped to find a clue as to her mother’s real thoughts and feelings, but Sophie thought her mother was either on to her and knew she was being observed or she was so engrossed with Christmas preparations that she just wasn’t thinking of anything more than decorating innumerable Christmas stockings, using pounds of red and green sprinkles for the cookies she was baking by the truckload, and searching through her yarn stash for every color of the rainbow to knit dozens of wacky scarves, silly hats and goofy mittens.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ch219 Only The Truth

Violet rounded on Victor. “What did you tell her?”

“Only the truth,” he said, baffled and completely crestfallen. He looked up to the second floor as if expecting Sophie to come back down to take it all back or to explain that she had overreacted or that she was only kidding, but no such luck.

“And here I thought she liked me,” he muttered.

“And by the truth you mean… what exactly?” Violet asked.

Victor stared at her, a wry expression slowly emerging. “That I am in love with you, of course, and though I’ve asked you to marry me several times, you refused each and every time.”

“Dear God, Victor! Why did you have to tell her all that?”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ch218 Successful Christmas shopping

It had been a successful Christmas shopping trip and Violet couldn’t have been happier to have it all done with loads of time left over for more important things, like baking and putting the finishing touches on the homemade items she intended on giving to family and friends.

As soon as Laurie parked in front of her house, Violet alighted from the minivan, and noticing the car in the driveway wondered who had come to visit Sophie. That white SUV was not familiar and it certainly didn’t look like the kind of car a parent would allow their kid to drive even for a short distance to a friend’s house. It was way too nice and spanking new by the looks of it!

She shrugged and gathered some of her shopping bags from the back seat. She would need to make two trips unless someone helped.

“Oh, let me grab the rest for ya,” Laurie said, as if reading Violet’s mind. “Only way I can leave quickly and be home to feed the baby before Freddy starts crying along with him. My baby bottles are leaking something awful!”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ch217 Over a cup of coffee

“How about we chat over a cup of coffee?” Victor suggested.

“Not a bad idea,” Sophie said, threading her arm around his and leading the way to the kitchen, practically dragging him. “Mom is soooo in trouble when she gets home.”

“So, where is she?” he said, disappointed. “Her car is here, so how…?”

“She went Christmas shopping with my Aunt Laurie and left it for me in case I needed to go out,” Sophie said, pushing him into a chair while she went to the coffee maker.

He noticed that she was woefully underdressed for the weather if she was thinking of leaving the house. Racing shorts and a tank top were not going to cut it when it was only in the forties outside with the threat of snow.

“I hope you’re not planning on leaving the house wearing just that,” he said, unable to restrain himself.

She slowly turned toward him with a wry smile on her face. “Well, now this is interesting.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ch216 Plan of attack

 Victor had put it off long enough. He needed to get Violet on board with this surprise welcome-back-to-the-world-Christmas party which he promised to Freddy for their mother. He even had a plan of attack. He would attack—for lack of a better word-- Violet’s soft spot for the angel kids. But before he could put his plan in action he got an unexpected call from Ronnie.


“Ronnie, what’s wrong?” Victor said, instantly reading misery in his son’s voice. “You told your mother, didn’t you?”

“No, not yet,” he said.

“Then what is it?”

“Um…nothing’s working out right, Dad.”

“And by nothing you mean…what exactly?” Victor asked, opening his car door and getting in.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ch215 This is incredible

“Well, this is truly incredible,” Victor said.

“You can’t know how incredible it is! It’s a miracle!”

Victor had to suppress a laugh as he watched Freddy pacing back and forth in front of his desk, his face lit from within with a happiness Freddy rarely showed and Victor had never seen before.

“I can imagine,” he said, sedately. “Freddy, can you sit still for a minute? It’s exhausting just watching you.”

“Sit still???” he shouted. “I can’t sit still! I don’t think I’ll ever sit still again. Don’t you understand what this means?”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ch214 Just call her Sweetie

Violet didn’t know if she was happier to hear that Sophie would likely get into Columbia with Laurence’s help or that Victor just called her Sweetie. It was truly ridiculous how happy it made her.

Could it be things were getting back to normal? Of course, she didn’t know if getting back to normal was a good thing yet, not when so much was still up in the air for them.
Victor glanced at her. “You can’t tell me you’re shocked by this,” he said.

“I…I guess I shouldn’t be. You’d think I’d be used to men paving the road with gold bricks for me,” she said. “First Freddy, then Richard, then you and now Laurence. I must keep Gloria Steinem rolling in her grave.”

He laughed. “As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty sure she’s still alive, no matter how many times you try burying her. Of course, she could be a zombie by now,” he muttered.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ch213 As Good as in

Victor sighed and went into a long drawn out description of Thanksgiving day at his ex’s, but much to his surprise Violet kept interrupting him.

“You mean Marty did all the cooking? Catherine did nothing?” Violet asked.

“Believe me, we were all delighted with the arrangement. Catherine in the kitchen is a disaster in the making,” he said. “We couldn’t get her away from the baby anyway.”

Back to the baby again….Violet could kick herself for her stupidity.  Quickly she said, “How are Ronnie and Simon? Did they like their new siblings?”

“Ronnie loved them, especially Julian. He finally has the playmate he always longed for. They had a great time playing with Ronnie’s old toys. Simon seemed to like Georgiana…”

“Probably because the oldest kids are always more mature and responsible. Simon obviously recognized it in Georgiana,” Violet interjected.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ch212 Awkward

Well, this was awkward.

Even though Victor was blasting the heat in the car and had the heat warmers on full force, Violet still shivered. She wasn’t wearing a winter coat—just the plush pashmina Victor had given her several months back tossed over a frilly dress—Victor had given her that, too. She wasn’t wearing boots either, which would have done nicely to keep her feet from freezing, instead of her open-toed sandals—yes, another acquisition from Victor.

Did she have anything on which Victor hadn’t bought for her? In fact, no. Even her sexy underwear was curtesy of him, acquired during his birthday weekend spending spree.

Very awkward.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ch211 Figure it out later

Morris swung the door opened and grinned. “Fancy meeting you here!”

“Didn’t Gramma Marty tell you we were coming?” Georgiana asked.

“That woman don’t tell me anything!” he bellowed.

"Well, I like that!" Marty was heard shouting from behind.

Georgiana giggled.

“Don’t lie to those darling children and go get that grill going! I’m certain they are near starved to death, the little dears,” Marty said, pushing him out of the way to get hugs and kisses from each child. “Oh, I’m so glad you’ve come. Come in, come in! our barbeque is on schedule. Victor, dear, how are you?”

Victor kissed her cheek after setting Peter on his feet. “Fine, but I should be asking you that,” he said.

“Whatever for? I’m fit as a fiddle, never felt better,” she insisted, smoothing down the front of the apron she wore over her dress.

“Perhaps, but a barbeque in this weather? It’s barely forty degrees out there, Marty, and they are calling for sleet later on. Sounds a bit kooky.”

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ch210 Best advice I didn’t take


Distracted as she was and staring at the cloud formations out of her window, she said nothing because she heard nothing.

“Earth to Violet…”

A hand passing in front of her face, however, startled her. “Huh?” Violet said, tearing her eyes away from the clouds. “Did you say something?”

She noticed the indulgent smile on his face and knew she had zoned out again. She really ought to stop doing that before Laurence thought her rude or worse, daft.

“A thousand dollars for your thoughts,” he said, lifting his whiskey neat to his lips.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ch209 Forgetting Violet

Long after Victor put the kids to bed—and boy did that take a long time considering how much turkey they ate—he paced the floor bare-chested wearing his checked, flannel lounge pants slung low on his hips. He was unable to relax. Forgetting—or rather trying to forget—Violet was not working, not with the image of her with lady killer Van Gholston stuck in his brain.

“Sonofa…” he muttered, cursing a blue-streak as he thought of that snug ass putting the moves on his girl…but was Violet his girl anymore?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ch208 She couldn’t be here

“Pity Violet couldn’t be here with us,” Catherine said, as she held the basket of warm dinner rolls for Georgiana to take one. “It’s like we’re not complete without her. Would it have made a difference, Victor, if I had personally invited her? You did tell her we wanted her here, didn’t you?”

Victor, who had been spooning peas onto a pouting Peter’s plate, paused to glare at his former wife, assuming she was causing trouble as she was apt to do. However the lack of a spiteful expression made him wonder. Catherine didn’t even have a trace of snark to her tone. Dang, but there was no telling what was up with that woman!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ch207: To be Truly Thankful

Ronnie had just reached out for the bowl of mashed potatoes when he felt a tug at his elbow. It was Georgiana. He smiled and said, “I’ll give you some too. No worries!”

She shook her head. “No, we have to say Grace first,” she said solemnly.

Several other reaching hands stilled and every eye found the little girl’s guileless face. 

“We always say Grace with Reverend Trenton,” she explained.

“Well…that’s lovely. We’ll do the same. Will you do the honors, Georgiana?” Catherine said, passing a loving hand over the child’s light brown curls.

Georgiana nodded and held her hands out, one to Ronnie and the other to Catherine. “We have to hold hands, too,” she explained.

Ronnie grinned and looked all around. “This gets better and better,” he mumbled and held out his hand to Simon who looked as if he was about to put his fingers into a vat of poisonous spiders.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ch206 New favorite son

Meanwhile, back in Catalpa Valley…

Simon surreptitiously watched his father with his new favorite son, Peter, and he couldn’t help--try as he might-- feeling a tinge of jealously. Okay, it was more like an avalanche.

Peter wouldn’t leave Victor’s side for anything, not for the lure of steaming mugs of hot cocoa heaped with marshmallows, nor the opportunity to play with cool toys with Ronnie and Julian, nor even bribes of forbidden candy whose only purpose in life was to spoil appetites before dinner.

Or so Marty shrieked as she snatched the candy bar away from her husband before he came within two yards of the child.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ch205 On the cover of People Magazine

“Girl, you have some explaining to do!”

“Huh?” Violet said into her cell phone…at least she thought it was her cell phone. Could be a shoe for all she knew! It was ringing though and shoes rarely ring, after all so... She could not for her life open her eyes to make sure one way or the other. Blast those pills she had to take last night! They always knocked her out for nearly ten hours and left her fuzzy and disoriented for another six. So, right now, she didn't know up from down.

“So, you leave Catalpa Valley for the first time ever…”

“No…went to Ni-gra falls…and ‘fore dat city for… uh… for birthday…” Violet mumbled into the pillow, but to whom she was speaking she couldn’t quite tell yet, and why for the love of all that is holy was this person--sounded like a woman--bothering her at this ungodly hour?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ch204 No you’re not

Violet was having the strangest dream. She was being held prisoner by an angelic faced young woman who wore flat ankle strap sandals, silver bangle-bracelets all up and down her tanned muscular arms and a long gauzy tie-dyed dress which only slightly camouflaged the paint splatters all over it. The woman looked like the typical hippy free spirit of the 60s. Her long blonde hair was adorned with tiny braids interwoven with feathers and flowers along the side of her head and a beaded headband across her forehead.

Only thing missing was a guitar and a collection plate! Oh, yes, and weed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ch203 Not feeling quite like herself

Violet didn’t know what had gotten into her. She never acted so…well…she didn’t even know what to call it….looney, bossy, pushy, interfering, all things she usually wasn’t! She certainly was not feeling quite like herself and she couldn’t fathom why.

 What was that business about back in the dining room, and what in the world made her think she could do anything to help? She barely knew either of those two and she was supposed to fix this five or six year old riff between an angry teenager with a huge chip on his shoulder and his arrogant, detached, billionaire father?

What on earth was she thinking?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ch202 Had just about enough of that

Violet had it foremost in her mind what Laurence let slip about the spy amongst them, the unknown bodyguard who was being paid handsomely to protect Rance, and along with him, his friends. She figured it must be one of the guys in the band. Who else could have such access?

She enjoyed her food while listening to the easy banter amongst the kids. Surely they would offer a clue to who this bodyguard/spy person was. She, however, got swept away with the amusing talk around her and finding clues kind of slipped to the back burner.
She marveled that the kids seemed to get along so well even though they were drastically different both in temperament and intellect, but even more so in background. Apparently, none were more separated by the circumstance of birth than Rance and Elian.

Elian, it turned out, had come to the United States from Venezuela with his parents and four brothers when he was just a baby, and they lived very happily in what he called a slum.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ch201 No soup for you!

No soup for you!  photo credit:

Violet placed her napkin on her lap and waited for everyone to be served. She looked up at the largest painting again and sighed. 

“I don’t think I’d ever leave this room if this were my home,” she said, smiling at Bug before briefly glancing at his father.

Rick grinned and winked at Sophie. “Hear that, Bug? Mrs. B. wants to live here. Which one of those dozens of rooms you willing to rent out to her?”

“She just said she wanted this room…wait…I didn’t count that many bedrooms,” John said. “Are there really that many?”

Elian laughed. “He’s kidding…I think. Aren’t you, Rick?”

“Not sure I am,” Rick retorted, smirking at Bug. “This counts as a mansion and Bug is richer than…well, maybe Warren Buffet.”

Bug glared at his father, refraining just barely from telling him, “Thanks a lot, Dad!” 

Instead he took in a calming breath and said, “I don’t think you’d really like it here, Mrs. Bennett. The hurricane season gets pretty scary.” Bug then gave a menacing look to Rick who seemed to be having entirely too much fun about this. 

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Violet said. “I just really like those paintings and I would always like to be around them just to look at them. Don’t you like them, Sco…uh, Rance?”

He cleared his throat, but didn’t answer directly. “I’m sure my father would be willing to part with them,” he said. “Not like they’re worth much to him….not worth any money after all.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ch200 Dinner and an art show

Still Life With Fruit and Game, by the 17th-century artist Frans Snyders

Rick did a double take. He stared at the couple on the patio for a minute, smirked, then closed the door and went back to the dining room where his friends were already seating themselves at one end of the massive teakwood table. 

“You guys ready for something unexpected and pretty interesting?” he said, coming into the dining room and sitting down across from Sophie with that smirk still on his face.

“Like what?” Danny asked, reaching for a warm roll from the basket a footman had only just placed on the table in front of him. He didn’t get within an inch of them, however, before he got his hand slapped back by Sophie. 

“Hey! I’m hungry,” he whined.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ch199 Rip you a new one

Violet was bored to pieces waiting for this man to start talking. She was just about to twiddle her thumbs when she looked up at the subtle clearing of a throat.

“Yes, Jeffies, what is it?” Laurence said, not even looking at his butler.

“Shall I serve dinner, Sir?”

“Not until Rance and his friends are back from their tour. They should be done soon. House isn’t that big,” he muttered irritably.

“Perhaps not, but I heard them heading down to the bowling alley and…”

“Bowling alley?” Violet shrieked.

“Yes, Madam,” Jeffries replied, hiding a small smile.