All weekend long, Violet thought about that wonderful voice, wishing it was the last thing she heard at night and the first thing she heard in the morning. She even looked forward to going to work to listen in on Chet's conversations over the next week, just to hear John.
Her sister's wedding was that Saturday. She needed to figure out how to get to know John before the wedding, so she wouldn't be alone at the reception.
It would also be really nice to have him join her at the Thanksgiving dinner at her parent's house, as well. Since she was the only kid in her family that wasn't married, she usually took a few trays of food to her parent's house, which sat behind her home, with a big double fenced-in backyard for both houses where the dogs played.
The setup was great for the dogs, because right before she went to work, the four dogs ran to her parent's home and they watched them all day long. It also gave the dogs twice as much space for a backyard. To pay them for watching the dogs, Violet mowed both of the lawns and kept up the flowerbeds.
It was a great situation…except for holidays. Since she was always alone, she'd leave early and let the dogs play with her nieces and nephews.
But for this holiday, she vowed it would be different. She really wanted to meet John and get to know him. His voice demanded respect, but he was a kind, generous, soul, letting Chet hang himself with every word. She just hoped John knew someone high up to get Chet kicked out.
It was now Monday, about a week and a half until Thanksgiving, the wedding that Saturday, which gave her little time to meet John. Violet arrived at work early, to make sure she could actually listen to the phone conversation. Few people were at work yet, so she turned on her computer and began thinking of text for the greeting cards. Since the company was called 'Oakwood Greeting Cards,' the owner decided to call all messages 'oakies' so they'd remember the name of the company.
She was writing traditional, rhyming oakies, the toughest to do. They put the middle employees there, to see if they could make it. She'd been with the company for four years and really wanted to move up to humorous prose. But she had to catch the eye of a big boss to get there…and no one seemed to like her rhymes. So she grabbed her rhyming dictionary and engulfed herself in her work
Violet didn't hear anything going on around her after writing nine cards, her best daily amount yet. She'd turned them into her boss, receiving words of encouragement with each one.
"Hey, Chet," she heard.
It was that voice. John was talking to Chet over the speakerphone. Violet looked at her watch. 8:30 on the nose. She'd been working for over two hours already? Time had flown by. She needed a break and nothing like ear candy. She stared at the wall, hoping no one would walk by, or if they did, she could make them believe she was thinking.
"John, I think I understand where you're going with this," Chet said. "Are you sure it'll sell?"
"Yes. Do you know anyone who has dogs?"
Without thinking, Violet jumped to her feet. "I do."
Silence filled the room. She glanced around her noticing everyone staring.
"Well, little lady," John said with a chuckle. "And who are you?"
"Um…I work beside Chet. I can hear your conversations."
"Is that right?" John chuckled. "Must be some connection or you have great hearing."
"No." Violet stared at Chet. "He puts you on speakerphone every day, and I can hear all the conversations he has."
"Well that's downright annoying. Does it bother your work?"
"Um…" She looked around at all her coworkers nodding. "Sort of, but that's beside the point."
"No, that is the point." John's voice became a bit more determined. "What's your name?"
"Violet," she all but whispered. "Please don't get me in trouble."
John laughed aloud. "Not a chance. What do you do for this company?"
"I'm write oakies." The term about made her want to roll her eyes, but she knew better. The owner would get upset if he ever found out what she thought.
"Oh. One of our writers." John paused. "You're doing a great job, too…I'm sure." He laughed again, and Violet wanted to melt. "So you have dogs? What kind?"
"Yes, sir. I have four Boston terriers. They're all puppies and littermates."
"Whoa. Four? And you're here all day with them destroyin' your furniture?"
She laughed. "No. My retired parents live behind me and they take them all day. I get them at night. They were a rescue group and we just couldn't break up the team. So I have Packer, Viking, Bear, and Cowboy. My dad named after football teams." She winced, because everyone could hear her. But this guy needed help, and she wanted to be a team player.
John's laughter filled the air and people smiled. They all seemed to get back to work, but Violet was stuck. "Well, Violet, I have to come over there just to meet you. I want to see your dogs. We have an idea to take pictures of dogs for our new line of greeting cards, and Boston terriers are really hot on the market right now. Are they trained in any way?"
"Well, they're all six months old, so no. But they are all neutered." She hid her eyes and felt her cheeks heat up as John laughed.
"You're a gem, darlin'," he said. "I'm on my way. I can't wait to see those football playin' dogs, now."
How should she answer? She had to say something. "You're welcome?"
He laughed again, said goodbye, and ended the call.
Chet stared at her. "You're taking my job. Don't say anything when he takes pictures, but just get rid of him."
"Whatever." She sat back down and lifted her cell phone, pressing the speed dial number fast.
"Hello," her father said. She could hear barking in the background.
"Violet? Did you get fired? Is that why you're calling? We'll help you get back on your feet. Your babies are a hoot, by the way."
She chuckled. "No, I'm not fired. I'm bringing someone by my house to get pictures of the dogs for cards. Can I have them back earlier than normal tonight?"
"Well, it'll mess up their schedule. Why not bring the person here?"
"I haven't really met him yet," she whispered.
"Him?" Her father whistled. "Denise, she's bringing home a man!" Denise was her mother's name and her father was William.
Oh brother. She definitely needed the dogs at her place and not near her parent's place.