“Mrs. Reinhardt has already assisted my father for the night, but from now on that will be your duty. I agree with Ms. Rush’s suggestion that you should work eight to eight, that way he will have finished his evening meal when you come in and help him prepare for bed,” Victor said.
Patty looked at the walking boot next to the foot of the bold canopy bed, marveling at the dark wooden posts that had to be at least six inches wide and carved with wrapping vines. She had never seen one quite like this before. It reminded her of one that the king of a castle would sleep in. It was far from the simple bedframe that she was used to.
Clean clothes were sitting on top of the dresser, apparently placed there by the maid in preparation for the morning personal care routine. She had been a home health aide for many years and, so far, it looked like a typical job, other than she would have to stay in Ruby’s room when she was not helping Lord Andrei.
Repositioning the notebook of rules that she held in the bend of her left arm, she asked, “You showed me the code to open the small gate beside the driveway, but do you keep the house door locked? Will I get a key?”
“We will unlock the front door precisely at eight in the morning so that you can enter. Neither you nor Ms. Rush has a key to the manor house. If either one of you need inside after your regular work hours, then you will need to ring the doorbell.” Victor pointed toward the notebook. “It’s all in there, I suggest you read it tonight so that you are prepared tomorrow.”
Patty nodded, causing a blonde curl—from the hair permanent she had earlier that week—to fall over an eye. She pushed it away and looked at Lord Andrei and the short gray whiskers that reached up to the oxygen tube on his face—she would shave him when she came back the next day. “I will see you bright and early in the morning.”
Lord Andrei narrowed his eyes as he stared at Patty. “Do you know what you are doing?”
His thick accent made it difficult for her to understand his words, but she comprehended enough to realize that he was going to give her a hard time. It did not worry her too much because she had dealt with grumpy patients before and always—well, almost always—ended up getting along well enough with them. Even to the point where they would become friends. “I’m a certified nursing assistant and I’ve been doing this job for a long time. I’ll give you the best care possible.”
Lord Andrei looked her up and down, focusing on the navy blue scrub pants that she knew were a little too tight in the hips. “You look a little fat, are you going to be able to do anything besides set on your ass?”
He was definitely going to be a challenge, Patty thought as she put on a smile. “I’m a hard worker, so don’t you worry about that.”
“Have you had your pain pills, Father?” Victor asked, walking over to the table where his medicine was kept. He picked up the small plastic bottle of painkillers and sat them on the nightstand next to a bottle of water, then he turned and looked at Patty. “He can get a little gruff when he doesn’t feel well. He is able to take his own pills, but sometimes he forgets.”
“Yes, I’ve had them,” Lord Andrei said, refolding the pillow behind his head. He punched at it and then plopped his head on the fold. “Mrs. Reinhardt gave them to me, earlier. She does an excellent job taking care of me.”
“She may care for you superbly, but you know she cannot do everything. Someone has to cook your Limbă cu măsline and Gogoși, just to keep you happy.”
Patty noticed Lord Andrei’s tense posture slacken as if the food that Victor had mentioned was about to be served to him. “I don’t know what those recipes are, but they sound good.”
“They are Romanian. Limbă cu măsline is cow tongue with olives, and Gogoși is basically a filled donut,” Victor said, adding a little flare to his English accent.
“Oh,” Patty said, revising the thought that they both sounded good.
Lord Andrei turned on his side with his back toward them, signaling an end to the conversation.
“It looks like Father is ready for sleep,” Victor said, walking to the door. He rested a hand on the light switch. “Is there anything else that you need to know before we leave?”
Patty looked into the bathroom and saw that it had been remodeled to allow a wheelchair to maneuver about without difficulty. The wall mounted sink, grab bars, and accessible shower would make bathing a breeze, that is, if Lord Andrei would cooperate with her. She would find out in the morning. “No, I can’t think of anything else.”
Victor turned off the light and the two of them stepped into the hallway.
“We look forward to seeing you in the morning,” Victor said, closing the bedchamber door behind them. “Sleep well.”