Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flowers, Orb's Year 937-940


Orb's Year 937
Gladys Flowers primped in front of the mirror, wondering who she would hear from today.  She really liked Jerome, but she wouldn't mind if another cute boy asked her to go for a ride. 

"Gladys, you just received a message!" her twin, Floyd called out from the front room. 

"Oh goody!" she giggled as she hurried to see who sent the message.  "Aw, it's from Jerome!" she said grinning.  "He's such a sweetheart!  He says he'll be here to pick me up at 8!  Please tell mother I'm in my room sleeping!"

Floyd frowned.  "You know I hate lying, Gladys," he hedged.

"Oh please! I just can't wait to see Jerome!  Please tell me that you'll cover for me!"  she begged, knowing Floyd couldn't deny her anything.

Exasperated with his sister, Floyd gave in.  "Fine! But if she goes in to check on you, I'm telling her where you are!"

"She won't!" Gladys grinned.  "You're going to keep her busy for me!"
With that, she checked her hair and flounced away, anxious to get ready.  Floyd sat down to do his schoolwork and grumbled under his breath about twin sisters.
8 o'clock rolled around and Gladys hurried outside to find Jerome waiting for her under the moonlight.  "My love," Jerome said, presenting her with a lovely flower.  "I'm so glad you could make it!"

"Anything for you, Jerome!" she grinned as she allowed him to pull her into his arms.

***

"Floyd, have you seen Gladys?" Caira Flowers asked, coming out of her room.  "I had wanted to talk to her about a floral design I was thinking of."

Floyd cursed under his breath.  "I think she's sleeping, mother.  Maybe you can show her tomorrow morning."

Caira glanced towards the bedroom door. "She's sleeping this early?! Is she feeling well?"  Caira took a step towards the door.

Panicked, Floyd blurted out, "She's fine!" Caira turned around and gazed at him as though he were unwell.  Clearing his throat, he strove for a calm he did not feel.  "It's probably best to leave her be.  Perhaps you'd like to play a game of chess?"

Caira playfully scowled.  "Only if you promise to let me win!"

***

"Oh Chandler, it's wonderful to see you again!" Caira said as she closed up her flower shop.  "You have perfect timing!"
Chandler Gerghis grinned, "I knew that you would be closing soon." Reaching out, he grabbed her hands.  "I've missed you, Caira."

Caira blushed and stepped into Chandler's strong arms.  "I've missed you, too."

***

"Come on, Floyd.  Promise me you won't say anything!" Gladys said anxiously.  Floyd was ignoring her right now. He was still mad that she'd made him lie to their mother the last time she'd asked for a favor. 
Smacking the paper, she stamped her foot.  "Come on, Floyd.  You won't have to lie to her this time! She's busy with loverboy!"

Floyd made a face.  "Gladys! There's nothing going on between them!" he argued.

Gladys rolled her eyes.  Anyone could see her mother was in L-O-V-E!  Apparently anyone except Floyd!

"You couldn't spot love if it was 3 feet in front of your face," she gently teased, then added more forcefully, "Now promise me!"

Floyd rolled his eyes and set his paper aside. "Fine! I promise! Go away!"

"Yay!" Gladys cheered as she gave her brother a quick hug, then hurried to meet Jerome in the front of the cottage.
Floyd watched his sister run out to meet her sweetheart and sighed.  His sister certainly knew how to twist a man around her finger!

Orb's Year 938
"This is a bad idea, Gladys.  She could come home any minute now!" Floyd worried.

"Nonsense," Gladys argued.  "She's gone to Taveryn's Kitchen with Chandler.  They'll be gone for hours."  Probably making use of the room upstairs, she thought wryly.  Mother was determined that they not know she was being courted by Chandler!

"Fine," Floyd sighed, giving in once more. 
"You won't regret it," Gladys grinned as her friends began to file into the cottage.  Gladys immediately turned her attention to Jerome.
Any excuse to touch him excited her!
Hours later, it was time to say goodnight to their friends and Gladys waved as the left the room.  "See that wasn't that bad, was it?" she asked him, glancing over his shoulder distractedly.  "Oh yeah, she has it bad for you," she mumbled under her breath.

Floyd looked at her with confusion.  "What? Who?"

Gladys sighed, "You are hopeless Floyd!  I told you that you couldn't see love 3 feet in front of your face!"

"What are you talking about?" Floyd asked, offended.

"Brittany! She likes you!"

Floyd reared back. "She does not!"

Gladys smiled, "Have it your way.  I'm just saying she wouldn't protest if you were to steal a kiss from her!"

Floyd blushed bright red and blustered for a moment as Gladys laughed and walked away. 

"She does not like me!" Floyd yelled back at her.  Does she? he wondered, feeling a fluttering of hope in his chest.

***

"Floyd, Gladys, I'd like to speak with you," Caira said, calling to the twins.  "Could you please come inside."

Gladys looked nervously at Floyd, wondering if he'd tattled on her for teasing him about Brittany liking him.
Understanding dawned as Gladys took a seat and Caira moved to stand beside Chandler.  Worriedly, she glanced at her brother, hoping that he wouldn't be too terribly shocked.  She'd been trying to tell him how serious it was between their mother and Chandler!

"What is it?" Floyd asked, annoyed to see Chandler standing so close to his mother.  He didn't know what she saw in the aging athlete! 

Chandler cleared his throat.  "There was something I was wanting to ask your mother that affects the two of you, as well," he said nervously.
Awkwardly, he dropped to his knee.  "Will you marry me, Caira?" he asked.
Caira grinned widely and nodded, too overcome with emotion to talk.  Chandler slipped his ring on her finger and pulled her into his arms.
"Cursed Orb!" Gladys yelped, "Why did you call us in here if you were going to do that?"

Floyd just stared on in shock.  Gladys had been right.  He couldn't see love 3 feet in front of his face.  He wasn't sure why - but it gave him hope that he'd been missing the signs with Brittany...

Orb's Year 939
Caira couldn't be happier!  She finally had a true partner in life: a lover, a husband and a friend.  She felt that she'd missed so much because of her marriage to Remington.  But, without him, she never would have had Floyd and Gladys, so she never ever regretted marrying him!
Glancing over, she frowned when she saw Gladys standing too close to a nobleman.

She hurried over there to put some space between them!
Caira leaned forward, "Was he causing you trouble, Gladys," she asked suspiciously, knowing how sometimes people of a higher class took advantage of the lower class without cause or regret.

"Oh no, mother.  He just wasn't able to hear well! I was telling him our specials!" Gladys answered brightly.  "He's no trouble at all."

"If you're sure," Caira said slowly, now suspicious of her daughter's ulterior motives.  "Perhaps it would be best for you to go inside for awhile.  We need more stock. I think Floyd can handle the sales from here..."

Gladys' face fell as she headed inside, shooting the young nobleman a sad look.  It was just as she feared.  Her daughter had been flirting with a nobleman, Caira thought. 
Meanwhile, Floyd was tongue-tied attempting to sell flowers to Brittany.  She kept leaning closer to him and then he would forget what he wanted to say.  She must think I'm an idiot, he thought with frustration. 
Too soon, he was called away to finish tending to the money box.  If only he could've thought of something witty to say instead of stuttering like an idiot!

Orb's Year 940
"I thought you might want to take a break," Chandler said, coming up behind Caira and wrapping his arms around her.  "You've been arranging flowers all night!"

Caira turned in Chandler's arms and kissed him sweetly.  "I would love to!"

***

A knock at the door interrupted their plans, though.

Gladys glanced at the handsome man standing at their doorstep, awed by his nobility and his good looks.  She was surprised to find herself tongue-tied.

"Hello, is Chandler at home?" the man asked pleasantly.

Mutely, Gladys nodded and pointed him towards her mother and step-father.
Letting his gaze pass over the young girl once, he sauntered forward, raising an eyebrow when he saw he was interrupting a passionate moment.
"Chandler!" he called out with cheer, reaching out to clamp his squire's arm.  "There is something wrong with the world when I have to learn of my favorite squire's marriage from the gossips!"

Although he'd been momentarily non-plussed to see Angus Laird standing in his humble cottage, Chandler happily greeted his old friend.  "Angus, how are you? I believe I had mentioned my wedding the last we were out," he said. 

Angus shrugged, unconcerned. 
"The Angus Laird?!" Gladys close to screeched.  "I love you!" she said excitedly.  "It's so amazing to watch you joust!"

Angus smiled at the young girl, now more intrigued.  It was always nice to have his ego stroked.  And although the girl was too young at this moment, in a short few years she would certainly be old enough!

Chandler didn't like the way Angus was looking at his young step-daughter.  He well knew how Angus treated his fans.  And he would not see that fate befall Caira's sweet girl!
"Well, I have missed our talks," Chandler said, interrupting Gladys fawning over Angus.  "Perhaps we should hie down to the Kitchen and see who's there!"
Angus puffed up and sauntered behind Chandler, winking at Gladys before he left.
"Isn't he handsome?" Gladys sighed as she watched him leave. 
"It is time we had a talk, dear," Caira said firmly, determined to end her daughter's infatuations.

***

Chandler listened inattentively as Angus droned on about his fans and his miserable wife.  He actually found the poor Crystal Laird quite sweet, although he would never so aloud.  It must be hard for her to put up with Angus' antics.
Swirling his ale around in his glass, he wondered how he'd enjoyed these visits with Angus before.  It never failed that they talked about him: his fans, his prowess on the field, his wife, his children.  Orb's truth, Chandler had told the man that he was marrying and he hadn't even remembered!
Soon the time came and threw his arm around Chandler, "Come on, let's go find two pretty wenches to enjoy," Angus said crookedly.

Chandler frowned.  Angus had never offered to share his bounty before.  It was curious that he did so now when he knew that Chandler was newly married.  Shaking his head, Chandler tried to decline graciously, without offending Angus.

It didn't work. "What? Are you hampered by your wife's apron strings?" Angus teased.  "Afraid of a little woman?"

Chandler actually felt somewhat sorry for the man who couldn't see the love that he'd wasted not once, but twice.
"I'm sorry," Chandler said as he walked away.

Angus watched him walk out the door and called out, "I'll be seeing you!"  Chandler couldn't just up and leave him.  He was his only friend he had left...

***

Floyd was trying to get a jump start on the next day by restocking some of the merchandise for his mother. 

He was surprised when Brittany showed up. 

"Brittany!" he exclaimed, "What are you doing here? Did you want more flowers?"

Brittany nervously picked at her sleeves.  "Actually, I umm... I came by to say that I really liked the flowers."
"Oh... thanks! My mom makes them!" he said shortly.  What he really wanted to say was how pretty her hair was... how nice she smelled... how soft her skin was.  Why couldn't those words make it past his lips? 

Brittany waited a moment, staring at Floyd expectantly.  Finally, she sighed.  "Well, I guess.. thank you again..." she said sadly.

"Wait!" Floyd shouted impulsively, taken aback by how loud he'd been.

Brittany had also been stunned and stood in the same spot, glancing at him... waiting for something...
Forcing himself to throw caution to the wind, Floyd leaned forward and kissed her quickly. Brittany smiled widely and gave him a quick kiss back and then hurried away.
And for the life of him - Floyd just couldn't stop grinning.

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