By random chance, Deirdre jumps to the subject of Fonda, putting both Eoin and Aiden on high alert, though she doesn’t realize it.
“Yes, I believe so, yes,” Eoin replied, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
“You’re in pain. Corin, Tylenol.”
Her youngest son grabbed the bottle and brought it over with a glass of water.
“Take. I wish you could use more, but I understand. You know what would help?”
“Hemp oil,” Burl said, grabbing it from the cupboard. “Two squirts under your tongue. Great for what ails you.”
“And the rub,” Aiden added, running to the bathroom. He came back with a jar of something. Opening, he held it for Eoin to smell.
“Lush! I want to eat it!” the young Irishman said. “What’s this?”
“It’s a hemp muscle rub. It helps heal the bruises and eases the aches. Keep it, I have more. I buy a case at a time. As much as my boys are hurting themselves.” Deirdre smiled at him. “I have missed you so much. Why haven’t you come around?”
“I didn’t think you’d want to associate with a man like me.”
“What’s wrong with a man like you?”
“Mum, I wear makeup and a dress, while I prance around in less than God gave Adam.”
“Are you a whore?”
Her question was so bland and straightforward, he paused, blinking.
“No, ma’am. Never sold it to a soul.”
“Then you have no reason to be ashamed. Even if you were, you’re still my son.”
“Here I go again.” He wiped his eyes on the backs of his hands.
Deirdre handed him a napkin so he could dry his tears. “I’m upset with you. You isolated yourself from the wrong people. You should know better.”
“I judged you by my mother’s standards. It was wrong. Now you’ve got me back, you won’t be rid of me.”
“Good. I do think having a drag queen in the family gives us a certain style and panache.” She put her hands under her chin, giving an angelic smile. Batting her eyelashes, she made a kissy face at him.
Eoin laughed loudly, then gasped. “Gods, I’ve missed you!”
“Go put that rub on. Not on the nuts, it’s got menthol. You’ll put yourself through the roof.”
Tilting his head, he tried to figure that out. Corin solved the miscommunication problem for him, making a universal hand gesture. Eoin laughed even louder, then gasped again.
“Going now. And I’ll avoid the nuts.”
The balm did help, so much, he was actually able to relax and sleep. Even the bustle of early morning didn’t wake him. He finally got up about nine, surprised that the boys were gone. Deirdre was just getting going, and made breakfast for them both.
“I could get used to this spoiling,” he said, sipping his coffee. Closing his eyes, he smiled. “As always, delicious. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. And it’s not spoiling, it’s pampering. Don’t think my menfolk get this high a level, unless they’re sick or injured. Do you work tonight?”
“I do. But I’m feeling a lot better, thank you.”
She handed him a small paper bag. Inside was a full bottle of Tylenol, another jar of the balm and a small bottle of the hemp oil.
“I wrote instructions for the oil. Start the regime when you don’t have to work. Sometimes, there are a few days of detox, as it were. You won’t feel that good for a day or two, then it eases off and you feel a lot better. Depending upon how badly you’ve mistreated yourself, will govern how long you’re down.”
“I live a fairly clean life,” he said. “The occasional woman…. Wendy was my truest love. Such a spark of life in her. It sickens me that she was sent to such a dark place before she died.”
“Poor child. I never got to meet her, but she was so much in your life, and Aiden’s.” Her glance went to the refrigerator door. “Now, it’s touched mine a little.”
“She was trying to get Rowan back. She had a scheme to get the money, to petition in court.”
“That’s what got her killed.”
“Yes, I’m certain. There were some very influential people involved. Many of the county’s elite, would be embroiled in scandal. Can’t have that.” He shook his head sadly and wiped his eyes. “I can’t cry anymore. I’ve given enough time to tears. Besides, it will make my eyes puffy. Can’t have Angelique looking anything but her best when she struts her stuff.”
“You often refer to yourself in third person?” Deirdre chuckled.
“Only Angelique. She’s a very separate personality. I’m sure a shrink could have a field day with her—me. You see, she’s the strong one. I don’t mean like a multiple personality, just an alter ego. She’s been part of my life since I was a wee lad. I had a sister. A twin.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes