Amelia was in the kitchen doing her best to scrub away the burnt pasta stuck to the pot when Violet’s phone rang, prying her away from her thoughts.
“Violet!” Amelia called for her girlfriend, her eyes still stuck on that blasted pasta stain. “Violet, your is ringing!”
When Amelia heard no answer she decided it was time to take a break from washing dishes. It was probably some cable company anyway. Drying her hands she made her way to the phone. Instead of an unknown number it was one already on her contact list. A number that hadn’t called in a long time. Curious, Amelia picked it up.
“Amelia?” The cockney accent responded with confusion lacing her words. “Is that you?”
“Yes, yes it is. I’m sorry do you want me to grab Violet?” Amelia asked already making her way to their bedroom. Amelia smiled when she heard Violet singing in the shower. “Oh, she’s in the shower, can I take a message?”
“Oh no that’s fine I can-”
“Oh is it urgent? Is there a long line for the phone?” Amelia asked. She knew Charlotte had been in prison for a while, a few years, and though the two of them were not friends she knew the prison she was in had strict rules.
“No, no, um, I’m actually on my way to your place. You live in the same place right?”
“Yeah,” Amelia said faintly as while she leaned against the wall half listening to her wife singing and listening to Charlotte for her own curiosity. Violet didn’t tell her Charlotte was getting out.
“Great, I’ll be there in ten. Make sure Violet’s ready.” And with that, it was the end of their conversation.
Violet came out of the shower not long after and Amelia told her the news. Violet was partially irritated about the lack of time she was given and partially happy her friend was out of the can sooner than expected. She answered the door in her robe and welcomed Charlotte with a big hug. After all small talk was out of the way, Charlotte got straight to the point on why she came. She had a job opportunity. Upon hearing this, Violet asked Amelia to leave the room. Amelia was not a stranger to her wife’s former job nor to the friends she kept. She actually lived with the Wells family for a time and even though Charlotte only visited from time to time she found her to be lovely. Mrs. Wells never did any criminal activity inside the house which Amelia and her mother were grateful for. Amelia left to watch Netflix in their bedroom. She was curious to what the two were talking about but trusted Violet would tell her. There were no secrets between the two of them. It’s why Amelia loves her so much. Two episodes of Great British Bake Off later, Violet sits down on the foot of the bed.
Violet fills her in on what she’s missed. The FBI tasked Charlotte to take down a big name on the black market. Charlotte came asking her to steal some very important documents from the one and only Lydia Quigley.
When she is done explaining Amelia responds, “I know I shouldn’t say this but I hope you accepted the job.”
Violet didn’t say anything but instead pulled her girlfriend onto her lap to nod and smile. The two kissed, only taking a breath when Violet tells her, “That bitch will pay for what she did to you, my sweet.”
(In all Amelia’s life from womb to tomb, it is the second most romantic thing she’s ever been told. It’s only second because Violet told her the first most romantic thing on their wedding day.)
Amelia met the other girls part of their ‘heist team’. Fanny Lambert, a good-natured girl with legendary hacking skills. Emily Lacey, a less than pleasant girl who was their inside woman (“Once she got her hands away from a bottle,” Violet murmured under her breath distastefully.) Nancy Birch, the stern-looking muscle and a master chef when it came to macaroni and cheese. And of course, the North- Wells family. There was the matriarch, Mrs. Wells, the patriarch, Mr. North the youngest daughter, Lucy, who was their additional tech support, and of course Charlotte, the most talented grifter in the whole country. Violet told Amelia that Charlotte was the lead in every play their school put on and charmed the pants of administration so they could give the school more funding.
(The youngest child stayed with Amelia either helping her cook or watching cartoons on his phone. Amelia was quite envious of his talent in the kitchen but forgave him when she tasted his cookies.)
Amelia was no stranger to the Wells/ Quigley rivalry as she was an unfortunate pawn in the game before she lived with Ms. Wells. Lydia Quigley plays dirty, never caring whose life she endangers, just so long it isn’t her own. Amelia wasn’t sure if it was good for them to be involved in such a scheme. Mrs. Wells was like the bawdy but sweet aunt she never had. And though it felt sinfully good to see the buildup to Lydia Quigley’s downfall, she wondered if emotion clouded too much of the Wells women’s judgement. She wasn’t the only one to her relief however. Whenever Mrs. Wells said something like, “Explode the doors!” in response to something, her husband was quick to calm down his wife.
Amelia mostly kept to herself during these meetings, though Violet never let her stay alone for too long. To the annoyance of almost everyone, Violet would always sneak out of meetings to give surprise hugs to Amelia and a quick chat. Even though what Violet was doing was highly illegal, Amelia loved seeing her with a bright glow for doing what she did best.
(It also didn’t hurt that Violet was a lot more willing to cook Amelia’s favorite food now either.)
(But Amelia did have a feeling she should be more supportive.)
“Can I watch?” Amelia asks one morning welcoming everyone into her small apartment still dressed in her jammies.
Violet enthusiastically agrees to the idea before anyone can deny Amelia.
(Later when Nancy and Mrs. Wells are yelling at her, she spits back the fact Amelia can be their getaway driver. That’s how Amelia finds herself a spot on the crew.)
(Now people- mostly Emily Lacey- can complain to both their faces during meetings where Violet is sitting on Amelia’s lap being completely disgustingly in love.)
(Mr. North just rolls his eyes good naturedly at their public display, still smiling when he tells them to break apart.)
They are in a small, dark room across from Lydia Quigley’s hotel going over the plan one last time. They are joined by an additional member, Charlotte’s friend in government, Isabelle Fitzwilliams.
(Violet makes a sly comment under her breath that only Amelia can hear. Amelia has to cover her mouth not to laugh too loudly.)
(Later, Amelia tells Violet Agent Fitzwilliams was very concerned over Charlotte’s wellbeing during the whole heist and mourned over the fact she didn’t have a gal pal like that. Violet laughs so loudly their neighbor upstairs bangs their cane to keep it down.)
Before she leaves, Amelia gives Violet a good-luck kiss before she leaves. When Violet complains about it being too quick, Amelia tells her she has to come back if she wants a longer one.
Agent Fitzwilliams leaves the room to call her superior while Lucy and Fanny are on their laptops, Fanny watching the girls and Lucy replacing footage with hourly loops of the an empty hallway as well as looking through emails that would point to an even bigger score. Lucy does find a collection of items given to Quigley by a man named Fallon. The name makes Lucy slam her laptop shut, take in two deep breaths, then tell Violet, that when she is done to steal a pair of earrings and a necklace in the Presidential Suite.
“Why?” Fanny asks.
“The earrings are worth fifteen thousand dollars and the necklace is worth three million.”
“How’d you know?”
“That’s what he told me before he tried to have me killed.”
And that was that.
To Amelia’s relief none of the other girls notice how pink her cheeks have gotten and if they did, they have the grace not to say anything. Watching Violet do what she does best brings Amelia back to the days when they first met. The scenario is not the same. The first time Amelia saw Violet they were at school, Violet had her hair in little braids and was eating a sandwich while she walked down the hallway. Despite one hand being occupied and her eyes firmly staring ahead, she managed to dip her hands into nearly every passing boy without being caught once. As she watched her, Amelia remembered her cheeks filling with color and her mouth hanging down in wonder. Times have changed but her reactions has not. It’s different though. Even with the grainy feed on Fanny’s laptop, Amelia can see Violet is a lot more professional, calculated and sharp with her movements. It’s a graceful dance that leaves Amelia breathless. Violet practically dances her way to the Presidential Suite which she exits with a sly smirk that makes Amelia’s heart melt just a little, then to Lydia Quigley’s office where she enters more seriously.
To her disappointment, Amelia can’t see Violet work in Lydia Quigley’s office. She silently prays her girlfriend won’t get caught. However, as a symbol of how good a girl Amelia is Violet is out of the room before she can finish praying. Amelia thanks God and her girlfriend’s sneaky fingers.
(When Violet winks at the hallway camera after a job well done, Amelia feels dizzy with love, not even minding that Fanny and Lucy giggle at her.)
Amelia drives Violet and the rest of the girls to the meeting spot with Agent Fitzwilliam. No one mentions the jewelry stolen and Amelia wonders if she even knows. Though she’s sure Charlotte can figure out a way for her to look the other way.
(Despite only lit up by moonlight, Violet can see the instant smile of Charlotte’s face when Agent Fitzwilliam says ‘good job’. She’d make fun of her later but she knows she looks the same way when Amelia talks to her like that.)
(The next day Lydia Quigley pays for access to the security feed at the intersection. It is when the timestamp says 9:47:07 that she spots Amelia’s smiling face in is the only one present in the video. The other girls are in the back of the van letting laughing at their success and mocking Lydia Quigley, completely invisible to the security camera.)
(It takes her four hours to find her name and an additional two hours to find out where she lives. She passes on the address to a very distressed Mr. Fallon.)
Excuse Amelia’s language, but being stabbed hurts like a bitch. She knew her mother would scold her for such abrasive language but she couldn’t help but find that would to fit what it felt like. Before now, the worst injury she had ever gotten was touching hot water while washing dishes. This was that times a hundred.
At least she got a good look at the man. A thin haired man with a long nose as well as a horrid cologne on. When she fell to the ground, he looked shocked but raised his knife to finish the job. Fortunately, before the man has a chance to, her neighbor and best friend calls out. That small act scares away the man like a mouse to an elephant. Rasselas runs to his friend’s aid and calls an ambulance.
“Get Violet,” Amelia weakly tells him. Rasselas looks conflicted and shakes his head. If Amelia were in the right state of mind she would know Rasselas just lost his boyfriend not even a year ago and remembers what it was like to watch a loved one die in front of him. But Amelia has been selfless all her life and it was time for one selfish act. He runs and gets Violet.
Violet in her white oversized tee shirt and striped pajama bottoms is the last thing she sees before darkness hits. The last thing she hears is Violet’s screaming louder than the sirens.
Amelia wakes up to the sight of a white curtain in front of her. Violet is asleep across from her mother, both of whom are asleep. Both of them had deep eye bags and looked pale in the hospital light. Amelia shook Violet’s hand lightly but hard enough for her to wake up. Violet opened her eyes just a little and opened them wider when she saw Amelia’s eyes staring back. She smiled and hugged her girlfriend tightly. Amelia’s hand let go of her mother and hugged her girlfriend back. The small action was enough for Ms. Scanwell to wake up as well. She joined in on her hug, tears in her eyes. Amelia felt both her cheeks wet with tears, both her own and the two women she loved the most.
“Marry me.” Amelia told Violet, somehow soft and powerful at the same time.
“Of course.” Violet answered without missing a beat.