Friday, January 23, 2015

Ch 235 Long story

“Geez, dude, why doncha quit medical school and join the CIA? You got the spying and sneaking up on people down pat!” Ronnie said irritably.
Simon merely smirked and calmly walked into the living room, looking over his brother and Sophie marking how close they stood together. He didn't like it, not one bit. He wondered what would have happened had he not entered when he did. Before he could say anything about it, however, they both spoke at exactly the same time.
“How's Cassie?”
Simon laughed. “What are you, twins?” he said.
“Do we look like twins, smart ass?” Ronnie said, deliberately stepping away from Sophie.
“Where's my mom?” Sophie said.
“Tending to our funny little friend, of course,” Simon replied, eying them closely, not missing Ronnie's guilty expression and Sophie's flushed face. “What have you two been doing...besides beating on each other, I mean?”
“Just...talking,” Ronnie said, casting a furtive glance at her. “Dad called. He's going into the city of the associates needs his help with a case and...”
“More likely they just need him to intimidate the opposing team of lawyers by his mere presence,” Simon said.

“Yeah, whatever. He wants us to watch the kids.”
“Are you serious?” Simon said, rolling his eyes. “Just what I need. Watching a trio of snot-nosed brats isn't exactly what I had in mind for my first day off in months.”
“Don't worry, you don't have to lift one of your precious fingers. I can do it myself,” Ronnie said. “I've been doing it all week.”
“So, you've finally found your calling? You're fit to be a Manny. Dad must be so proud.”
“Shut it!” Ronnie snapped.
Sophie cleared her throat, making sure they remembered she was still there. “Cassandra seemed to like you a little, Simon” Sophie said, smiling. “I've never seen her like that with any guy before.”
“Don't worry, I won't let it get to my head,” Simon said, shaking his head. “Poor kid. Dr. Larimar said she is not going to feel very well tomorrow...if what she has in her system is what he thinks it is.”
“And how would he know without seeing her?” Ronnie asked.
“Frank showed me the drugs they found on Antoine and I described them to Dr. Larimar,” Simon said.
“He...Antoine had more drugs on him?” Sophie said, the expression on her face a mixture of horror and disbelief.
“Yes, he did,” Simon said, turning to frown at her. “You seriously didn't know this about your friend? That he was doing this to girls?”
She shook her head.
“You didn't know him very well, then, did you?” he said.
“Apparently,” she muttered as she went to sit down, but she heard her mother's footstep in the foyer and they all went to see her. “Mom, how's Cassie?”
“Oh...just a wee bit wired. I left her singing a silly song to one of the dolls I meant to give as a present to...oh, I forget...maybe Molly or Carmencita...haven't decided yet. Might end up giving it to Cassie as she seemed to like it so much,” Violet said, not stopping to talk. She went on into the kitchen saying, “I thought some hot cocoa might help her sleep.”
“Hot cocoa always helps,” Ronnie said, coming in right behind Sophie, and Simon behind him.
“Then I'll make some for all of us,” Violet said, taking milk out of the fridge and semi-sweet chocolate chip from the pantry.
“We really should be getting home,” Ronnie said, longing for anything reason to stay longer, such as something from Violet's kitchen.
“Not before I get the whole story, you won't!” Violet said. “Now sit down and start talking while I make this.”
Simon and Ronnie exchanged looks then pointedly turned to Sophie.
She looked like a deer in headlights, her big, blue eyes like twin glacial lakes looking back at them. “Don't look at me! I don't know half of what was going on. I was on stage singing, wasn't I?”
“Wait... what?” Violet said, dropping the chips into the heated milk.
“Well, so was know...while I was looking for you,” Ronnie said, casting a guilty look at his brother. “You can see everybody from up there and I did eventually find her.”
“ were both on stage...singing?” Violet said, stirring the milk to melt the chips. “How in the world did that happen?”
“Well, you remember Palmer Kimble, Mom? He has a cover band now and he asked me to join him on stage for a couple songs . We sang that song you like so much...Counting Stars and uh... Wake me up  and...”
“How about telling your mom something that's relevant?” Simon said, rolling his eyes then taking over the story telling. “It was a mad house in Danfords, Violet. Tons of high school kids. There was no way we would find Sophie without some help so Ronnie and I split up and somehow he got distracted...”
“No, I didn't! Vance told me the best way to find Sophie was to get up on stage...and it worked! She was right in front of me before I finished the first verse,” Ronnie defended himself.
“Right, and singing with her helped us find Antoine, how?” Simon interjected, snide as ever. 
"Violet sent us to find Sophie, not Antoine. I didn't care one way or another if we found him," Ronnie argued.
“Yeah, well, it was a good thing I did," Simon said, turning back to Violet. "Anyway, I talked to Frank...Cassandra's brother and he...”
“He was there?” Violet asked. “I thought he was still overseas.”
“He's back and, Mom...he lost an arm,” Sophie said in a near whisper, as though that would make it less horrifying.
Violet gasped.
“He's doing really good, even without it,” Ronnie said quickly. “You'd never know the prosthetic one isn't real the way he...well, he does everything! Even smacking around a scumbag or two when he has to.”
“Again not pertinent to the discussion,” Simon said. “I told Frank what we suspected Antoine was up to and....”
“How would you know what he was up to? Do you know him?” Violet asked, now pouring the steaming cocoa into mugs.
“We...we kinda knew from....uh...from stuff we heard at school,” Ronnie said, exchanging looks with his brother. “He's done this before.”
“Allegedly,” Sophie said.
“Going to law school now, are you?” Simon asked.
“Still defending her boyfriend,” Ronnie said, contemptuously.
“He's not my...”
“Give it a rest, will you?” Simon snapped. “Okay, he's not your boyfriend, but it was still rather dumb to be hanging with a guy who's done terrible things to other girls....allegedly or not!”
“Done what?” Violet said, now dropping heaps of whipped cream onto the cocoa.
“He was caught with drugs on him,” Simon said, still glaring at Sophie.
Violet gasped again. “You mean like Heroin, pot and cocaine?”
“No, more like Rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyric acid,” Simon answered.
At the vacant look on Violet's face, Simon elaborated. “Those are commonly used drugs for committing date rape.”
That's when Violet gasped one more time and dropped the spoon, splattering whipped cream all over the floor.
“Oh, Mom...don't,” Sophie said, grabbing a rag to clean up the mess.
“Omigosh! Sophie, did he...”
“No! He didn't do anything to me!” Sophie said, while kneeling on the floor.
“Not for lack of trying,” Ronnie muttered.
“ should get the hot cocoa to Cassie, Mom, shouldn't you, before it gets cold?” Sophie said, biting her lip and wondering how long her mother would protectively hover over her when they told her the whole truth.
“I'm not going anywhere until you tell me everything that happened tonight. EVERYTHING!” Violet shouted, tears springing to her eyes. “And I sent you out with that beast! I should have listened to my intuition!”
“Mom, I'm fine. Look at me I'm fine!” Sophie said, taking her mother's trembling hands in her own. “I was safe with Ronnie almost the whole time. Antoine didn't get a chance to do anything at me.”
Violet grabbed her daughter in a fierce embrace threatening never to let go.
“Cassie is waiting for the hot cocoa, Mom,” Sophie said, trying and failing from prying herself out of the killer maternal hold.
“I would do it, but I might not make it back downstairs without getting raped myself,” Simon said turning to Ronnie. “You might fair better, though.”
Ronnie shrugged. “Okay, I'll do it. She's always been nice to me...but not that nice.” He then took one of the mugs and went upstairs.
Simon waited for Violet to release Sophie, but when a few minutes went by and Sophie looked like she might suffocate he decided to step in and pull them apart.
“Come on, Violet. It's all right,” he said, taking her to a chair and putting her into it, motioning Sophie to bring a mug over for her. “You have nothing to worry about. You sent us out to get Sophie and here she is, good as new. No harm done to her. Did we deliver or did we deliver, huh?”
Though her vision was blurry, she could see he was smiling. She lifted a hand to caress his cheek then kissed him. “Oh, Simon, how can I ever thank you enough?” she whispered and threw her arms around his neck.
He could only laugh. “I think you already have, but, you know...we were here when you needed us because of my dad, could thank him some time, okay?”
She nodded and sniffed. “You can be sweet, Simon,” she said.
“I try extra for you, but am I sweet enough for you to ever consider me a son, do you think?”
“Why would she have to do that?” Sophie asked, bring two more mugs to the table slapping them down with a bit more force than was required before sitting down herself.
“That, Sophie, is between Violet and me and has nothing to do with you, so have some cocoa, why don't you, and worry about your boyfriend coming back,” Simon snapped.
“He's not my boy...wait, are you talking about Antoine or Ronnie?” she said.
Simon narrowed his eyes. “Does it matter?”
Sophie grabbed her mug and didn't answer, her cheeks turning slightly pink.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, drinking their cocoa, and just when they thought Violet was safe from further trauma, she said, “But what happened to Cassandra then?”
Sophie grimaced.
“She's sound asleep now,” Ronnie said, coming in just then, grinning at them. He spotted the hot cocoa and asked, “Where's mine?”
Sophie patted the seat next to her and he sat down grabbing his mug. He drank from it and licked off the whipped cream mustache as he looked around at them all. “What's with the stony faces?” he asked. “The drama's over, isn't it?”
“What are you not telling me?” Violet said, glaring at Sophie.
Ronnie looked from Sophie to his brother. “All this time and you still didn't tell her everything? What the hell?”
“How's Cassie?” Sophie asked, clearly stalling for time.
“Already said, she's fine now...sound asleep. She drank her cocoa while I sang to her.”
“Hasn't she suffered enough tonight?” Simon said.
“ She wanted me to sing to her so I did. You know, I'm starting to like that Simple Simon song. Might have to teach it to my little brothers and sisters. I think they'll like it,” Ronnie said, smirking at his brother.
“You do and they'll be singing it at your funeral,” Simon said.
“Good. I want music at my funeral,” Ronnie said, brightly. “So, whaddaya want to know, Violet? Ya gotta know by now what a scumbag Sophie's boyfriend is, right?”
He grinned at Sophie when she smacked his arm, then turned back to Violet. “First he slips the drugs into Sophie's drink, but lucky for her the band started playing... distracting her and then...well, it was too bad she left the drink where Cassie could find it and drink it, but at least Cassie's brother's goons found the dirt-bag. He was not happy...Cassie's brother, I mean. I'm surprised he didn't kill him...doing that to his little sister and all. I know I would've! I'm thinking he might be resting uncomfortably in a jail cell by now...Antoine, I mean...what's left of him anyway. Those goons didn't look like they knew what the meaning of the word gentle is.”
Violet gaped open-mouthed. “He...he drugged Cassie with the drink he intended for Sophie?” she squeaked.
“Well...yeah,” Ronnie said, wondering why it took her this long to figure it out.
“And he was going to...” Violet paled and looked ready to faint.
Simon grabbed her before she did. “But remember, nothing happened. Your mother's intuition was spot on and nothing bad happened,'s all good,” he said.
“Pfft!” Richard's ghost said. “Mother's intuition my ass!”
Of course, no one heard him.

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