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Season 8

Episode 32

(The party begins (3)

Greg and Violet stuck together arm in arm. Tim stood next to Greg, while Alice was beside Violet. The four started to talk.    

 "Greg hid you. Now I finally got a chance to meet you. I'm impressed,"  surveying Violet up and down, Tim praised in his trademark light-hearted manner with Greg.     

"You're trying to pull my leg, I know. But why would I hide her from you? I just didn't get a chance, mate. And see, I specially arranged for you to meet her. That's why I invited you here,"  Greg tried to extricate himself.   

  "You must have feared to expose your lovely wife to us. Can't you see, she's a real gem? But then you realized time would expose you, I suspect. Or why did you change your mind suddenly? 

Anyway, part of our crew who couldn't make it here requested for one favor, if you don't mind. They asked me to send them photos of you two lovebirds when I go back. What do you think? Should I give them?" Tim asked with mock seriousness. 'He's mellowed down because his wife is around, I'd say. The guy knows that I'm pulling silly jokes and running rings of mischief around his mind. Yet he's so calm, unlike his bossy version. If his wife wasn't here, he would kick my ass on the spot, ' Tim thought.   

"No, Tim! I won't allow photos. I'm careful not to feed your paparazzi tendencies. No way I could trust you to send anyone Violet's picture. Whoever missed the party doesn't deserve that luxury,"  Greg replied with feigned rigidity.    

 "Knock it off Greg,"  Tim joked. "I suspect you're becoming camera shy with age. But since our crew will not be interested in photos of you, I think I can save your day. Let me stand next to the queen of your heart, just for a photo-shoot. What do you think?" Tim teased with a grin. He knew that Greg would refuse his request.   

"True. You had better knock it off." Alice enjoined, smiling.     

"See? Someone answered your question for me. I'm not gonna to repeat it again,"  Greg said, laughing.    

 "Who is someone, Greg? I have my name. How could you call me that?" Alice pretended to scold.     

Holding Violet's arm, she pulled her closer and made a face as if to threaten Greg. "If you offend me next time, you'll lose Violet,"  she said.     

Greg took a look at Alice, and then on Violet. With a helpless expression, he nodded his head as a sign of surrender.     
Tim burst into laughter. "What a surprise! I thought no one could make arrogant Greg yield,"  he chimed in.     

"Maybe Violet is the exception,"  Alice echoed. She then shifted her gaze to Violet. "Am I right, Violet?" she asked.  

 "We're all friends. You shouldn't make it sound like Greg is your enemy,"  Violet responded.     

"Violet? Can I call you that?" Tim asked. He stared at Violet, anticipating her reply.     

"Of course, you can,"  Alice answered.     "No, you can't,"  Greg replied.     

They almost gave their answers at the same time.    

 Dumbfounded, Violet and Tim gawked at Alice and Greg. 'What's going on?' they wondered.     

"Why not? He can call her that with my permission,"  Alice said in a bossy voice, looking at Greg askance. 'Greg has no say in Violet's matters. It's not his call. 

Besides, Tim is his good friend, not an outsider, ' she mulled. Alice was now obviously getting worked up.   

"I said I opposed it. That's final. Violet is my wife, so I have a say in it,"  Greg retorted equally curtly.    

 "Stop, you two,"  Violet mediated, noticing that the two were going to fight.     
She then turned to Tim and said,"Of course you can call me Violet. You're Greg's best friend."   

 At Violet's permission, Tim celebrated with a raise-the-roof hand sign.     

But Greg's face darkened with discontent.     

Realizing Greg was angry, Violet came over to him. "Don't be angry. He is your best friend,"  she cooed, taking his hand.     
"Perhaps your husband fears that I may steal you from him. That's why he refused me to call you Violet instead of Mrs. Xiao,"  Tim joked. 'Greg knows that I am a womanizer, ' he thought.   

"I don't understand why you insist on calling my wife by her name. She's married,"  Greg said, as he took a dissatisfied look at Tim.   

 "I like to call her name. Is there any problem?" Tim replied with a gloating expression. He looked away and pretended to ignore Greg.   

  "Don't forget I'm a doctor, Tim,"  Greg reminded Tim.     

"Well,"  Tim said, looking back at Greg. After some consideration, he continued,"Didn't you threaten me with this last time? Are you going to do this again?"    

 "Okay, I allow you to call her Violet. But don't tell others,"  Greg agreed at last.   

  "As you command, Mr. Greg,"  Tim replied obediently.     

Hearing Tim's meek reply, Alice commented teasingly,"Mr. Greg, I get a sense, you must be a big shot."  

"Of course, he is. He always pushes me like this,"  Tim followed, casting Alice a furtive glance. He thought it easy to communicate with Alice in a fashionable dress. 'She could always catch up no matter what we talked. I guess I'm becoming fond of her, ' he brooded.    

 "Well, you guys go on. I need to go and speak with Dad,"  Alice excused herself.     "Okay. Pass my regards to Uncle Derek,"  Violet urged, realizing that she hadn't greeted her uncles, including Derek, Wilson and Mond.     

"I will. I've got to go now,"  Alice replied.     Watching Alice walk away, Violet said to Greg,"I need to go to the rest room. I'll be back soon."    

"Do you want me to keep your company?" Greg asked with a concerned look.     

"Don't worry. I'm not a kid. I can handle myself,"  Violet replied, smiling.   

"Alright. I'll stay here and wait for you,"  Greg said tenderly.     

As he watched Violet's back. Tim looked into Greg's eyes and saw the concern in there.     

"What? Feeling sad to leave your lovely wife? Just go ahead and follow her,"  Tim said jokingly.    

 "If you fall in love with a girl, perhaps you'll be more love-struck than me,"  Greg snapped. 'I know Tim very well. He acts frivolously. But once he's in love, he will do anything for his girlfriend, ' he mused.     
The smile on Tim's face faded slowly. 'Perhaps he is right, ' he said to himself silently.     

Out of the blue, Tim heard someone call his name.    

 He turned around to find his friends.     "Go now. They are waiting for you,"  Greg said.   

"How about you?" Tim hesitated. 'I can't leave Greg alone, ' he argued within.    

 "I'll stay here and await Violet. Don't mind me. Go and have some fun,"  Greg encouraged.     

Tim nodded and strode toward his friends.   

Greg stood still alone.

And Cassie from a distance moved closer.

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