This house would never belong to her.
. . . for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion . . .
William Shakespeare , Merchant of Venice, act 3, scene 4
“ Opa !”
Heat slapping her cheek, Portia glanced over her shoulder at a waitress dousing the saganaki with lemon juice. She sighed, regretting she hadn’t ordered the flaming cheese that she’d always wanted to try. Oh, well. She’d probably get another chance since her sister worked here now.
When Viola had told her she’d gotten a job as a singer at a bar, she’d never pictured the place as an upscale Greek restaurant. The menu offered a few Americanized dishes, but primarily served authentic Greek cuisine. Because of Southeastern Michigan’s thriving Greek community, there were several Greek restaurants. Detroit even offered a small area known as Greek Town, with restaurants, bakeries, and a casino.
Portia glanced at the decor of the room, wondering if the scenes of half-naked Grecian women spanning the walls behind the booths should offend her. Several tables littered the floor and a stage sat in the far back corner of the spacious room where bands played every night of the week. One of them being Viola’s.
“You’re really gonna live with a stranger?” asked Viola, stirring her Corona with a straw. “Is he hot? I bet he’s hot. I’ve seen pictures of that family. They’re all hotter than one of Reina’s jalapeno poppers.” She sipped her beer through the straw and waggled her pierced eyebrow.
Portia would never get used to her sister referring to their mother as “Reina.” Still, her sister never failed to make her laugh. While Portia required order, Viola thrived on chaos. She’d enjoyed every minute of their gypsy-like upbringing and perpetuated the lifestyle as an adult. She rented by the month, collected as many friends as she could in the few months she remained, and then left on a whim without looking back. Adding her own unique spin, she acquired a new tattoo in every new place she lived as a memento. If she continued, she’d run out of space on her back and arms by the time she turned thirty, and Portia didn’t want to know what she’d choose to tattoo then.
Portia eyed her sea bass warily and poked it with a fork to make sure it was cooked enough to eat. “Where’d you see their pictures?” Satisfied, she took a bite, surprised at how flavorful the fish tasted. She’d forgive the restaurant’s oversight at drenching her green beans in a sauce rather than serving them plain as she’d requested.
Viola’s jaw dropped. “They’re practically royalty around here. The President always stops by their home to have dinner whenever he’s in town. I can’t believe you didn’t know this.” Her sister took another loud sip of beer and studied her. “You like him.”
“No, I don’t. I mean, yes, he’s nice and we’re practically family.” Of course when she said ‘nice’ and ‘practically family,’ she meant she wanted to do the naked mambo with him. Not that she’d admit it to her sister. Or him. She hated admitting it to herself.
Viola smirked with her ‘I know something you don’t know’ look. “You may be more closely related than you think.”
She wiped the corner of her mouth with a napkin, wondering if her sister could read her innermost thoughts. “What do you mean?”
Viola leaned across the table of their booth and rested on her elbows, a mischievous grin on her face. She’d pierced her ear again. That brought the number up to six on the right. Her pink hair hid the left, but if Portia was a betting gal, she’d wager there were six or more on that side, too.
“Apparently, Alexander was quite the player back in the day. Supposedly, he remained faithful to his wives, but some have speculated that he continued to sow his wild oats even after he bought the farm.”