VICTORIA AND KING
Disclaimer: I do not own the movie Victor/Victoria. I write just for fun, I make no money from it.
I admire the stars, James Garner and Julie Andrews, there are very few of today's stars that come anywhere close to their integrity. The one exception may be Anne Hathaway, but then she learned from Julie.
Stories about the characters King and Victoria don't come easy. Please give me feed back.
Victoria sat on the side of the bed, telling Toddy, "I'm very much in love and I don't know what to do." Meanwhile King is out proving his manhood to himself.
The next evening King meets her in her dressing room, all bruised and beaten; he decided he could take a chance on a relationship with Victoria and try not to be bothered by her Victor pretending.
Yes, they were very much in love; with Victoria's true self about to be exposed, she and Toddy exchange places. Unbeknown to King, she causually walks into the club and takes her seat at King"s table.
The confused look on King's face quickly changes to joy and love – he realizes Victoria is giving up her charade for him. He is surprised but grateful. Standing and applauding Toddy's performance, he subtly acknowledges his understanding to her. Victoria takes his hand and leads him to Andre's private quarters.
They have a few minutes alone; "Victoria I don't know what else to say but thank you."
"King, I love you and it was my decision to stop, it just happened differently than I had planned."
He smiled and kissed her with love in his heart. "We need to decide what to do, where to go."
"Yes, I know I can't stay here in Paris, someone is sure to recognize my voice."
With that the door opened and Andre walked in along with Toddy and Squash. It's obvious that Toddy had found a new partner. "King, I'll stay with you as long as you need me."
"Victoria and I will be fine. We're going to find some dinner, then we will return to the suite. You will be in Toddy's room should I need you?"
"Yes, we will be there for awhile."
Back in their room, Victoria sat Indian style on the bed waiting for King to come to bed. He sat almost the same way; taking her hands and gently stroking them with his thumbs. "Vicki, (she was always called that, Victoria was her stage name), I know we agreed to take our relationship one day at a time. We did that, but now I think we both need more. I want you to be totally mine for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?"
Tears filled her eyes, "Oh King, yes, yes I will, I will!"
"I don't have a ring to give you."
"King, I don't need one, all I need is you."
"Let's marry here in Paris and share our happiness with all our friends."
"I don't see why not."
And so they did, after completing all the legalities; two days later they were married at the club. King had time to buy Vicki the most beautiful ring set, not ostentatious, but complementing her slender fingers. Everyone came, Toddy, Squash and of course Andre but also everyone from her production numbers and all the staff. The club was closed that night so they had it all to themselves.
A few days later they said their goodbyes and traveled southern Europe for a couple of weeks; Rome, Venice, Vienna, stopping in Switzerland before crossing the English Channel for England.
"King, there weren't very many opportunities when I lived in London a few years ago; I wonder if things have changed." She auditioned as a fill-in and was hired on the spot; but nothing came of it afterwards.
"While you had your rehearsals, I looked for a club to buy. Most were in terrible shape, would have cost a great deal to renovate and besides I didn't like the locations. Vicki let's go to America. Will you?"
"Of course, King. I'm sure we will find a place to call home."
"You know it won't be Chicago, I could never return."
"I'm sorry; I know that is your home."
"That's alright, the mob is into almost every business – I hope someday that will not be true. Vicki, I know my association with them made it look like I was one of them, but I really wasn't – I just tried to stay on their good side and they left me alone."
"I realize that now, I think I wasn't sure of myself when I said that. Now, how about some time with husband."
"I think I have some time for you; you're very good in bed." Laughing, they embraced for some husband and wife activity.
New York City had plenty of nightlife but neither felt comfortable there and King didn't find any business opportunities. They traveled to Montreal for a few days and fell in love with the city.
"King, this is a wonderful city, I feel very comfortable here."
"Me too, it's a good place for us."
They rented a small apartment in the cultural center. Vicki had a homemaking side of her that surprised King – not opulence but simple and neat.
"So, you like to cook Vicki?"
"I'm not a chef but I have a few recipes I enjoy preparing. I love strudel, that's why I wanted to stop in Austria."
Immediately Victoria found employment in a very successful nightclub, but she was not the headliner. King shopped around and found an offbeat nightclub to purchase from an elderly couple who needed to sell; his payout from Sal covered the purchase price. Victoria did not immediately quit her job; instead she helped King fund the renovations to the club which took about three months.
Vicki and King worked together on the club, she met with the interior designer – King respected her talent for decorating. "Have you selected the color theme for the main showroom? He asked.
"Hues of blue, with a deeper blue for the ceiling – it will make the big room seem cozy. And the smaller one, I'd like to use rose-beige." With the showrooms done, Vicki turned to the dressing rooms. She wanted comfort not glitter.
Opening night was packed. Vicki took a peak from the shadows in the wings, she was overwhelmed. It did make her a little more nervous, but she sang better when she was slightly nervous. Many of the patrons from her former club were there; that club had begun to cater to a younger crowd. Everyone came from Paris, even her brothers showed up as well as King's sister Sophia.
"King, I can't believe the crowd!"
"It all because of you sweetheart, they're waiting to hear that voice of yours, knock them dead."
With confidence, "I'm going to do just that!"
Her opening performance was designed "to bring the house down." Her costume was just as flashy as the glittered one from Jazz Hot. Her songs were classified as "Gipsy Jazz," like Limehouse Blues, Dinah, and Riverboat Shuffle. Her last number was a flirty little song, Ain't Misbehavin'; a number that would send them home singing.
At their private reception the complements flowed. "Victoria, your voice never sounded better." Toddy smiled with pride as he spoke. And then Squash, "I told King you were a keeper the first time we heard your voice."
The party went on into the wee hours of the morning, King and Vicki slept until noon. The reviews in the paper were flattering – not only Vicki's performances but comments on the club as well.
Meeting up with their friends later for an early dinner, Squash remarked to Vicki, "What have you done to King? I've never seen him this happy."
She teased him, "I married him!"
King laughed, "Married life is good for both of us."
Vicki worked hard to keep her show fresh and energetic; but the patrons had their favorites and kept requesting them. There was a full house every night – business couldn't get any better.
King's club, Le Quartier, was located in a lovely artistic section of Montreal; full of theaters and movie houses. His business thrived and he added a restaurant, the Chez Queux, featuring the well know chef, Claude Pelletier.
One evening the club's chief of security, Joseph Carbona, approached King about several men he had seen for many nights taking front row seats. King had also seen them from the wings of the stage.
"King, there's something about these men that is unsettling." He didn't like it one bit. Joseph was able to get pictures of the men and sent them to Squash.
Squash recognized them immediately. In a phone call to Joseph, "they're from a competing mob from Chicago; I'm not sure why they are at your club." Joseph did some investigation; the local authorities in Montreal told Joseph that the mob was not active in the city. Sometimes they came from other cities to see the nightlife and tried to bribe them to come to Chicago. They suggested that Joseph put extra security around King and Victoria.
In a return phone call he asked, "Squash will you come back for extra protection? We need your help." Within days Squash arrived. He kept in the background, not wanting to be seen by the men. He was able to contact some friends in Chicago to see if they knew any reason these men were in King's club. A few days later he received a call telling him that Sal had joined this new mob and was determined to destroy King. The club that he and King had owned together had gone into disarray.
Without provocation, there was nothing the authorities could do. Joseph had arranged for a local private eye, Jacques Rockford to tail them for a few days.
Everyday Jacques noticed that one man went to the hardware store and came out with a package. The next day he waited inside the store to see what he was purchasing. This time it was a gasoline container. He asked the salesman "has that gentleman bought anything else recently?"
"Yes, he bought some wire and a cheap watch with a timer."
That information was enough for Jacques; he reported back to Joseph. The two of them knew these men were going to try to set the club on fire. Without concrete evidence there was nothing they could do but watch and wait. Joseph was sure these men knew the club was closed on Mondays; the mob was not into killing innocent people.
Joseph, Jacques and Squash staked out the place on Monday. They watched with horror as King went in the backdoor.
Within minutes the mob guys were seen stringing wire and soaking rags with gasoline. It didn't take them long to place incendiaries all around the club. There were eight guys; they knew they needed back up. Joseph called the local authorities who immediately dispatched officers to the club. They did not arrive in time; the main switch was triggered by the leader of the mob and quickly flames surrounded the building.
Not wasting any time Squash ran for the backdoor; under the watch of Joseph and Jacques. There was a gun battle; Squash was hit in the leg as he entered the back door; he pushed it shut and locked it. Running with blood running down his leg, he made it to the elevator that went to the office suite.
King had heard the commotion and the gun shots; he opened his door and saw Squash lying on the floor. He helped him inside the office and tended to his wound. Smoke started to seep though the cracks under the doors.
Police and fire fighters were soon on the scene. The fire fighters put their lives on the line as they entered the area following the police who were engaged in a gun battle. The mobsters fled; allowing the fire fighters to put out the blaze.
Joseph told them that Squash had entered the club through the back door. Breaking down the door, Joseph led them to the elevator and up to the office. He called for King, who heard them and opened his office door.
"Where's Vicki?" "She was going to meet me here and we were going out to dinner."
The police captain radioed down to the Sergeant; "be on the watch for Vicki, a tall thin blonde woman, King's wife."
"King, what door would she use? The front or the staff entrance."
"Probably, the staff entrance."
"Squash, where are you going?"
"I'm going to find her. Help me get to the back staircase."
Joseph helped him walk. As King came out the door to join them, he told him to stay in the office. "I don't want anything to happen to you, we'll find her, I promise." Reluctantly, King waited in the office with the police captain.
As Joseph and Squash entered the stairwell, they heard voices. "Let's tie her up over here, no one will find her." They waited for the talking to stop and then they heard a door close. Slowly, they made their way down the stairs; turning the corner they saw her; slumped over in the corner tied to a water pipe.
After making sure no one was there, they went to her. Quickly they untied her; Squash held her in his arms. Joseph used the police radio the Captain had given him. "Captain, have the police check outside the staff door; we found Vicki in the stairwell tied to a pipe, she's alive but unconscious."
They heard a gun battle. Soon it stopped and the door opened. Squash drew his weapon as he heard, "police, drop your weapons." Squash put his gun down. They entered the stairwell and saw Vicki slumped against Squash; immediately they called for medical backup. Joseph radioed the Captain, "Tell King she's alive but unconscious."
King hurried down the stairs. The ambulance had arrived and they were administering oxygen to Vicki. King went to her side; picked up her hand and kissed it. The emergency tech told King, "she has a significant lump on her head; she must have been hit with the butt of a gun." King never left her side; he rode with her to the hospital; while Squash waited for the second one.
King was very distraught; even tears filled his eyes. The EMTs tried to reassure him, "sir, her vital signs are very good."
At the hospital they took multiple x-rays and scans of her brain. They revealed a small skull fracture and a hematoma. The doctors told King, "After the hematoma dissolves she should regain consciousness."
King sat by her bed, never leaving. Twenty-four hours went by and she still hadn't woke up. Joseph came by to stay with her but King refused to leave her side. Joseph insisted he eat something, all he had had was coffee the staff had brought him. "Only if you bring here to the room," King told Joseph. He ate there in the room waiting for the doctors to make rounds.
"I'm ordering another scan, I want to see if it is dissolving." the doctor told King.
"I'm also consulting a neurosurgeon."
After the scan, Dr. Manley examined Victoria while he talked to King. "I have compared both scans, the hematoma is getting smaller; I want to wait another day before I decide on any surgery." King expressed his understanding and thanked him.
The next afternoon, the nurses noted that Victoria's eyes were moving and that her pupils were responding to light normally; all good signs. They told King to squeeze her hand gently and call her name and even softly rub her cheek; all little things that she might respond to.
Over the next few hours King did just that. He constantly held her hand; soon he felt a little squeeze from her and he called her name.
"Vicki, it's me, King. Can you hear me? Squeeze my hand." She heard him and slowly opened her eyes. Immediately, he called for the nurse.
"She's awake," the nurse heard as she entered the room. The nurse performed all the routine observations; indeed Victoria was now fully awake but drowsy.
The nurse reported her findings to the neurosurgeon and the attending physician. Within the hour they both came to check on their patient.
"King, in another day or two, you will be able to take her home."
King was elated. After they left, he kissed Vicki very gently. She smiled at him and brushed a tear from his cheek; then drifted back to sleep. He knew she would be alright. He called Joseph to tell him the good news. Joseph informed him that all the mobsters had been rounded up and were now sitting in jail.
"I'll be there in a few minutes to let you go home for a while."
When Joseph arrived, King slipped down the hall to see Squash. He had had surgery on his leg to remove the bullet. He was awake and very glad to know that Victoria was going to be fine.
"By the way King, Toddy will be here in the morning. I know he was very worried about Victoria."
"Yes, I can imagine, they are very good friends."
King decided that everyone needed to get away from Montreal for a few days. He booked lodging at a small country lodge with enough room for everyone.
Toddy arrived the next day and was brought straight to the hospital. After checking on Squash he went down to Victoria's room. She was resting at the moment. King informed him of his plans for everyone to join him at the cabin.
Later that afternoon, Toddy and Victoria had a nice visit.
Cleanup on the club was well underway when they all left for the cabin; it should re-open in about a month. Vicki would be temporarily replaced for a month and then she would only be doing the Friday and Saturday shows.
Vicki and Squash both recovered from their injuries; in two weeks Squash and Toddy returned to Paris. Vicki and King stayed another week at the lodge.
The club wasn't only refurbished, additional security was also added. And from now on Vicki would never be alone. The mobsters were awaiting trial.
The Grand Re-opening was a huge success; standing room only. Vicki performed her Le Jazz Hot number, not as a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman; as herself. The number brought the house down. The after-party continued well into the morning. King and Vicki returned to their apartment house to celebrate in their own way Vicki's complete recovery and her return to performing.