Once they reached Avalon Woods, Mr. Gardner and his right hand man, Mr. Calder drove a large van with tinted windows and helped move Victoria's stuff into the home. Mr. Calder was young maybe 31, but his serious, aloof demeanor made him seem much older. While Mr. Gardner was 6'5 and very thin, Calder was 5'10 and super jacked. he spent 2 hours a day working out at the Iron Garden and was extremely diligent about his health and work and accomplished anything he set out to do. His duties constantly shifted at Hawkeye Property Inc., but he usually worked on Mr. Gardner’s off the cuff jobs or ones that required an intimidating presence. Calder always wore tan lululemon pants and a high-end black windbreaker with the company logo on the front. He was of Korean descent and kept his black hair buzzed and was always wearing large aviator sunglasses. Some suspected he only had one eye and horrible scars all over his arms and legs that he hid. He had a slightly off kilter walk due to his prosthetic leg, but hardly anyone had seen it and he never seemed like it prevented him from doing things. He had hardly ever spoke and most at the company had never heard him say more than 3 words at a time. He mainly communicated through nods and gestures. Gardner trusted him the most out of his employees and they had developed a strong synergy over the years after he started working as a security consultant at age 24. They hardly had to speak to each other. Mr. Calder always knew what had to be done.
After finishing the move they both got in the van and Mr. Calder started driving.
“Take me to the Meadowland Estate please, Ian. I think I’ll stay nearby tonight.” That was his family country home.
“Yes Boss.” Mr. Calder said in his deep voice, the veins in his tan muscular arms bulging under the skin.
“Thank you again for this, I know it was such short notice. You can return to the other matters once you get back.”
Mr. Calder nodded slightly and drove in silence as Mr. Gardner stared out of the window.
Vicky and her son hardly had any things with them when they helped them move all their stuff into the house. The whole situation made Mr. Gardner feel for his younger sister. She had been working full time in addition to studying and applying for nursing school. She told him she would be start online courses in the summer. He thought maybe she had finally changed, but he knew better that to assume that. She was still relying on him Afterall, if she had truly changed she would have been able to fully recover self-sufficiently. Regardless, he could tell she was heading in the right direction. She finally had some purpose and direction in her life and he couldn’t help but be impressed by the job she had done in raising the boy. He seemed wise and observant for his age. Most kids that age were far less intelligent and incredibly annoying. Mr. Gardner had never attempted to connect with a child other than when his sister was young, but he actually enjoyed talking to the boy. Even if only for a couple minutes. He saw some of himself in the boy. He looked very similar to his child self and talked in a similar way as well. He had to initiate conversation as the boy would only stare at him with inquisitive eyes until he was asked to speak. The boy had been drawing something in the car. Blue prints for an imaginary tree house he had been designing. It looked similar to the club house his father had built for him long ago. He told the boy after he finished the design, he’d have Mr. Calder come and construct it for him. The only thing he was willing to offer them beyond the house. The rest was up to Vicky.
He already decided he’d let her stay at most until the end of the year at which point he would evict her. The tree house could always be moved. If she had truly changed, she’d have things together much before then. He knew she wouldn’t though. Victoria never changed, most people didn’t. He knew she would still be stuck at the dingy diner having abandoned her dreams of nursing school. If not for the boy, she would only be in the house for a month. The more he thought about her, the more his sympathy for Victoria grew. Maybe it was just the gravity of the situation in addition to the boy but maybe it was something else. Could he have actually missed her? it was hard for him to really know. He had buried most of his emotions deep inside long ago. She seemed happy to see him; a far cry from their latest interaction. For a second while helping her tidy up, it seemed as if no time had passed. She had even made him laugh. Something he hadn’t done in a long long time. He knew things would revert to their status quo in no time though. Victoria had played this trick on him far too often for him to fall for it again. No one knew the evil she had inside her like him. He decided he wouldn’t go back to visit her again, this distraction had proved to be more powerful than he had thought. Things were startling to unravel and there were to many loose ends at work. There was no space in his life for Victoria. It would only lead to more sympathy and regret and weakness. This wasn’t the time for emotion. It was the time for results.