Friday, September 30, 2011

Chapter 2

...Lavender, the flower of annoyance

“Thanks for meeting me for lunch,” Bobby said to me as we sat at our favorite sandwich shop in Newport.  “Krissy is having the florist come over to the house to start going over wedding plans.”

“You don’t want to be involved with that?” I chuckled before taking a swig of my ginger ale.  I laughed a little harder when I watched his face twist up like he had just bit into a lemon.

“I’m all about helping with the wedding plans, but decorations are not my strong hold,” he grumbled.

“I would have never guessed, especially since all the house decorating was given to Krissy when she moved into your bachelor pad.”

“Yeah, she’s got a knack for that kind of shit.  Not me.  She can pick whatever colors she wants, as long as it’s not pink.”

“Yeah, pink washes out your face…”

“Shut the fuck up,” he growled again as he took a bite of his wrap.  “So speaking of flowers…”

“Don’t even go there.  I’m completely done with women.  I’m going to be a bachelor the rest of my life.”  It was my turn to grumble.

“Uh-huh, that’s what I figured.”

“I don’t know what was worse, getting dumped by Rochelle or the attempt to take the flowers back to the flower store,” I declared.

As soon as the last sentence was out of my mouth, Bobby stopped eating and looked up in surprise.  “Wait, you tried to take the flowers back to the shop?!” obviously surprised by the idea.

“You’ve never done that?” I asked.

“You can’t return flowers to a flower shop,” he said like it was a well known fact that I somehow missed.  “I can’t believe you actually tried to do that…”

“Well the stupid counter girl said she guaranteed them to make Rochelle forgive me.  I just figured that with any guarantee you could return them if it didn’t work.”

Bobby almost snorted the soda out of his nose and grabbed his napkin just in case it did come squirting out.  “Wow, Loops, you really can be a little off kilter.”

I just scowled at him.

“Well, what happened when you tried to return them?” he asked after getting control of himself.

I took a deep breath, debating on if it was even worth the words, but of course I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.  “Well at first I went off on the counter girl from the day before and then this brown haired girl came from the back room.  I’m guessing she was the manager or something because of the way she butted into the conversation.  She accused me of being a cheater because I was some big sports guy and then she told me that you can’t return the flowers.”

“She accused you of being a cheat?” he asked, genuinely questioning this idea.

“Yeah,” I said, as I too was still shocked about the accusation.

I watched as he leaned back in his chair.  “Ya know, I bet she sees a lot of fucked up shit working there.  I’ve known some guys who send their wives and their girlfriends flowers all the time to just keep the peace.”

“I guess I never thought of that.  Either way, I think her attitude was way too cranky to be working at a flower shop.  Shouldn’t they always be happy and all about the romantic shit?”

“Everyone has bad days.”

“Well, I wouldn’t use that florist for anything because of her attitude.  It’s a shame because she was actually pretty cute, despite the fact she was wearing an ugly green smock,” I said thinking about the dark haired girl who was several inches shorter than me with cute freckles and sparkling green eyes.

I have to admit that I was a little annoyed to be making a house call for this wedding appointment, but when Krissy called and said that she would give $100 just for me to come out to her place, I couldn’t exactly say no.  I needed the extra cash to put towards this month rent of my apartment.  I had a bad habit of spending too much money on concert tickets and clothing for Sofia while not leaving enough for food, rent, and gas.

I knocked on the door and was greeted by a petite, cheery blonde.

“You must be Avery!” the blonde exclaimed happily as she pulled me into the beautiful ocean front home.  “I’m Krissy!” she squeaked.  “And who is this little gem?” she asked, bending down to Sofia’s level.

“This is my daughter Sofia.  I’m sorry that I had to bring her along, but her Nana, my babysitter, had some things to do that she couldn’t take her along.  I hope you don’t mind if she is here,” I began apologetically.  I liked keeping my appointments professional and as far as I was concerned, bringing my daughter along was not very professional, but I didn’t have any other choice.

“Oh my gosh! There is no problem with it what so ever!  I love children and I actually have my degree in early childhood education,” Krissy gushed as she took Sofia’s hand and lead us into the living room.  “So how old are you Miss Sofia?” Krissy asked my curly blonde haired daughter.

“I’m 5 years old.  I just started kindergarten,” Sofia said with a dazzling smile.  Sofia adored anyone who would talk to her, especially someone who talked down to her level.  She was a very bright child who was my world.  I had her when I was 20 after being knocked up in a one night stand of sorts.  Her father has no clue about her, and for the sake of keeping things simple, I’m glad he doesn’t.  However, with the money he makes a year, it would probably make our lives a little easier, but I’m not that type of person.

I looked around the house as I drug my messenger bag on wheels along behind me.  “You’ve got a great place here,” I remaked to Krissy as I handed Sofia her backpack to keep her occupied.

“Oh thanks, Bobby actually bought the place before we even met, but I’m the one who decorated it.  Boys really don’t have a clue when it comes to home décor, especially hockey players.”

“Oh, he’s a hockey player?” Yay! This is going to be a great paying wedding…

“Yup, Bobby Ryan, he plays for the Ducks.  Do you know who he is?” she asked with a face I couldn’t say no too, even though I really had no clue who he was.

Sofia beat me to the answer by exclaiming, “I know who he is!  He played for the U.S. in the Olympics!  He’s my favorite player!” she squealed.

Krissy and I both looked over at the little girl who had a huge smile plastered across her face.  “How do you know all that?” I asked, shocked to find that my daughter knew that bit of information.

“Nana and I watch hockey games when you aren’t home,” she said shyly.

“Well that’s news to me,” I said with a chuckle as I looked at Krissy.

“We think the players are cute, especially Loops,” Sofia declared.

“Loops?” I asked Krissy and Sofia.

“Oh, yeah, he’s Bobby’s best friend.  Joffrey, he’s a great guy.  Lost soul when it comes to life and women, but a great guy,” Krissy said with a sincere smile.  “They are actually out to lunch right now.”

“Oh, well that’s great, then I guess we should get to business,” I said as we sat down on the expensive, oversized couches in the living room.

I was there for about an hour and a half going over all the ideas she had.  Halfway through, Sofia asked if she could sit outside on the porch and color.  After Krissy and I got her set up we went back inside and got back to work. 

Krissy actually had some really awesome ideas that I knew were going to take time and a half to do, but I was up for the challenge.  She turned out to be a really nice girl who I was looking forward to working with.  If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, when working on weddings, you form a best friend relationship with the bride.  Of course once the wedding is over, we all go back to our normal lives and pictures are the memories you have to hold on to.  At least she will be a friend that will be cool to work with for the next 9 months.

I was finishing packing up my bag when I heard squeaking followed by some laughter from Sofia and a guy or two.  I quickly ran over and opened the door to find a guy laying on his stomach coloring with my daughter and the other guy sitting on the ground next to them, laughing at some personal joke they seemed to be sharing amongst themselves.

“Oh, Bobby!” Krissy exclaimed as she pushed by me and threw her arms around the guy who was sitting.  “Bobby, you have to meet Avery, our florist!” she gushed, as she pulled him up off the ground to shake hands with me.

He smiled broadly, revealing cute dimples that were accentuated with his blonde curly hair sticking out underneath of his baseball hat.  “Nice to meet you Avery,” he greeted with a firm handshake.  “I’m sure Krissy has worn you out with all her ideas,” he smiled lovingly at his fiancé.

“It’s going to be a project, but I’m sure everything is going to look beautiful…” I said sincerely.

“I see you met my new friend, Sofia!” Krissy said as she walked over towards my little girl and the other guy.

“Mommy, meet Loops!” my daughter exclaimed happily as she finally noticed me standing to the side.  At that, the guy lying on the ground next to her looked up and instantly I recognized his pale blue eyes and chiseled facial features.  His thick-short hair was also covered by a black military style hat, making him look even more handsome than he did the other day when we went rounds in the flower shop.

It felt like something cemented me to the porch floor, not allowing my body to react.  The same seemed true for him also, but he was able to recover a lot faster.  “Well, now look who it is!” he replied smartly as he did a push up off the porch floor.  His muscles once again stretched his shirt sleeves, making them look like they were going to split. 

“Oh, you know Avery?!” Krissy exclaimed happily looking between the two of us, completely missing the tension that immediately filled the air.

“Yup, we met at the flower shop the other morning,” he said, collecting himself with a sly smile as he walked over towards me, looking me up and down like I was a piece of meat.  “She’s very pleasant.”

When he said this, I watched as a look of recognition crossed over Bobby’s face, yet I didn’t get any ill vibes from it.  Seems my buddy Loops must have thought it important to tell his best friend about his stupidity from the other day.  Of course I would be made out to be the bad person.

“She’s amazing!” Krissy exclaimed happily. Finally, I unfroze myself and began moving towards the steps, trying to get the attention of Sofia that it was time to leave.

“Um, Krissy, I’ll be in touch with you on Monday about possible prices.  It will take me the weekend to get all the notes figured out put things down in a more organized manner,” I said quickly, feeling the man’s eyes on me.  Sofia, gather up your stuff so we can get home for dinner,” I said at my daughter who was staring doe eyed at the boys.

I watched in horror while Joffrey helped scoop up Sofia’s things and I almost flipped shit when he picked her up to carry her down the steps.  I tried my hardest to put on a big smile for my little girl who was obviously in heaven, but I’m sure it came across as more of a grimace than anything.  Before I turned to follow them down the down the steps, Krissy gave me a tight hug and another thank you.  I then quickly went after the man that was carrying my daughter, with my bag bouncing loudly down the steps behind me.

“I’ll be right back,” I said quickly to Bobby and Krissy, making sure I ignored Avery’s eyes.  Bobby of course had a smug look on his face and sweet Krissy had her normal innocent smile on her face.  She always wanted people to be happy and I’m sure she thought that this Avery chick and I were already best friends like everyone else in the world should be.

I walked over to the passenger side of the truck and opened the door, helping Sofia into her booster seat.

“You don’t need to do that,” Avery snapped.

“It’s fine, I have nieces and nephews, so I can handle it,” I said, completely ignoring her demeanor while I smiled at the happy little girl.  I have to say, I was completely shocked to find that her mother was the cranky flower shop girl.  Although the sparkling green eyes should have been a dead give away.  Thank goodness her mother’s poor attitude hadn’t seemed to rub off on her yet. 

As soon I gave Sofia a high five and a promise to see her again, I closed the door to find Avery standing at the back of the truck with her arms crossed.  Her face was bright red but I wasn’t sure if it was from anger or embarrassment.  “What, do you want to know if your flowers are still alive?” she snapped.

“No, that’s not exactly what I was going to ask, but since you mentioned it…”

She just shook her head and started to walk towards the driver side of the beat-up S-10 pick-up truck.  “Actually I was just going to tell you that maybe you shouldn’t do the flowers for Krissy and Bobby.  I think they deserve someone with a lot better attitude to help plan for their special day.”

“Fuck off.”

“That is exactly what I am talking about,” I declared, “You can’t even curb your nasty attitude around your daughter,” I chirped, placing myself in front of her driver’s side door, effectively blocking her way and making her look at me.  She really is quite beautiful.  She was wearing a black tank with a purple tattoo pattern that stretched across her breasts.  It was obvious that she spent some time in the sun with her nicely tanned arms and legs.  What really caught my attention was the black nail polish on her fingers and toes.  It seemed to go right along with her several ear piercings and small nose piercing. 

“Leave my daughter out of this.  For some reason I was just informed today that she and my grandmother have some sort of crush on you, so I’d really like it if I didn’t have to tell her how much of an dumbass you really are,” she hissed in low tones.  I think I could even see the flames shooting out of her eyes and ears.

“You sure don’t have trouble hurling insults at someone you don’t know…”

“I don’t need to know you.  If you are trying to impress me by becoming buddies with my daughter, you’ve got the wrong idea,” she spit.

I held up my hands, “Whoa, there was no intention of that.  Believe me, you are not even close to being my type,” I informed her.  “Besides after the whole flower debacle, I’ve decided to swear off women.  You have just proved to me how crazy you all are.”

“Well yooooouu…” she sang out as she gave me a healthy shove to the side so that she could get to the door of her truck, “Are basically calling the kettle black.  So get out of my way before I have to call 911 for harassment.”

She opened the door and began climbing inside as Sofia yelled out, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Loops?”

“Yup, see you tomorrow, grasshopper!” I yelled back and smiled as Avery scowled at the plan she obviously had no clue about.  I kind of felt bad that Sofia would have to deal with her wrath, but I thought it best to walk away before Avery had a chance to back me over with her piece of shit truck that sounded like it was on it’s last leg 50,000 miles ago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chapter 1 roses, the flower of graciousness

“Okay, Krissy, you are in the book for 1pm on Friday.  Bring any ideas you have for flowers and themes along with you and we will go over them to see what might work best for your ideas.  Also, come up with a budget on how much you want to spend on the flowers for the wedding because things can go over budget quickly.  See you then!”

I hung up the phone and looked over at Jess and did a little fist pump.

“Another wedding?” Jess asked with a smile.

“You betcha.  We need this one; it will be a big wedding with basically an unlimited budget from the sounds of it.  Seems like the girl is marrying some athlete,” I said as I rolled my eyes a bit despite knowing this could be a big break in getting my flower shop some much needed business.  I opened it a couple years ago with my grandmother and it was all it took to keep our head above water in such a competitive town as Anaheim.  If we could get our name out, there was money to be had.

“Ooo.  Did you hear who the athlete is?”

“Nope, and it doesn’t really matter to me.  I could give two shits about those overpaid people, unless they are willing to give me their money,” I grumbled, going back to cleaning up some roses that were just delivered this morning.

“Speaking of athletes, there was a guy who came in here this morning that I think played for the Anaheim Ducks.  He bought a dozen of those pink roses, saying he had to say sorry to his girlfriend for something,” Jess informed me as she came over to help with the roses.

“I’m sure he cheated on her or something.”

“I think I’d forgive him with how cute he looked,” she said as she hip checked me.  “Well, I did guarantee him that they would cure whatever problem he needed to fix,” she announced.

“You have always been a softy,” I said, giving a look of sorrow to my hopeless romantic employee and best friend.

“And you have always been one to not fall for the romantic stuff.  I never understood it.  How can you work in such a romantic place and not get all into it?” she said over dramatically.

“Because I am a realist, Jess,” I stated simply.

A realist who has seen so many men walk into my store that cheated on their wives and thought flowers would fix everything.  Or what about the husbands that would frequent the store to send flowers to their girlfriend in another town and also to their wives to make sure they weren’t suspected?  I had seen way too much of that in my time.

“This girlfriend thing really is a pain in my ass.  I’m so tired of putting forth an effort only to get knocked back down again,” I whined to Bobby while we walked out of the practice rink and into the parking lot to our cars.

“I think you try too hard for the girls that shouldn’t matter much,” he said honestly.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, Rochelle is just too much to deal with.  I mean, who the hell gets pissed off at their boyfriend of 2 months for forgetting her mom’s birthday?  Honestly, I don’t know where you find these chicks.  You need to find someone normal or something.”

“I thought she was normal,” I said seriously.

“Loops, it is not normal to wear hooker boots for a hiking trip,” he pointed out.

“She was just trying to impress.”

“Are you really that blind?  Did they cut some nerves with all the back surgeries you’ve had?”

“So do you think the flowers are too much?” I asked, trying to change the subject.

Bobby just snorted and answered, “I don’t see her as the flower kind of girl, man.  I think she is the last person to take flowers as an apology.”

“You are just saying that because you think she is a stuck up snob,” I quipped as I laid the flowers on the passenger side of my Jeep.  Bobby never liked Rochelle because he was never one for the high maintenance girls I always seemed to be infatuated with.

“I think you are just too much of a hopeless romantic to actually find a girl that will take you seriously,” Bobby said honestly.  “And I think you are just trying too hard to fall in love.  You need to just let that one rest.”

“Just because you and Krissy instantly realized you both belonged together does not mean it might just take some time for me and Rochelle,” I announced smugly before I started up the Jeep and put it in drive.  Hearing myself say the words suddenly made me feel not as sure of myself as I did just a second ago.

“She’s not worth it and you need to just let things happen.”

“Unfortunately things don’t just happen for me,” I mumbled as I drove away.

The next morning I was sorting through my flower delivery when I heard the bells jingle on the shop door.  I didn’t even get time to turn around when I heard the man’s voice start talking.

“You told me these would fix my problem,” I heard him say to Jess as she gasped.

“I-they-um…” she stuttered.

“She told me to shove them up her ass, so now I’m bringing them back to you,” he continued in a foul mood.

“Excuse me, what seems to be the problem?” I walked around from the back of the shop while wiping my hands on the towel I was carrying to find a tall, light brown almost blonde haired man standing at the counter with a distraught look on his face.  He had soft blue eyes and was wearing a tight fitting t-shirt that achingly stretched across his broad shoulders.

“She guaranteed me that these flowers would get the right reaction from my girlfriend who is now my ex-girlfriend.  I just wanted to let her know that it didn’t work,” he said, seemingly frustrated that I was getting involved with his little rant.

“Well, guaranteeing something like that was probably not the best thing, but we can’t fix infidelity,” I snapped.

The guy’s eyes popped open wide.  “Infidelity?!” he scoffed as he stepped back, obviously appalled at my accusation.  “You think I bought flowers to say sorry for cheating on her?!”

“Yeah, isn’t that what all you big sports players do?”  I asked, putting my hands on my hips.  “I mean you guys make all this money and think its okay to go about and do what you want with other women…”

“Whoa lady, you got it all wrong,” he insisted, taking a step back towards the counter, looking slightly angry.

“Oh, then tell me?  What part did I get wrong?” I challenged him, making sure I raised my eyebrow dramatically.

He stood there, stared, and shoved his hands in his pockets before speaking.  The words that came from his mouth were not at all I was expecting. “She was mad at me because I forgot about her mom’s birthday,” he stated plainly.

I opened my mouth to say something witty, but honestly, I couldn’t think of anything, because it was probably the most pathetic thing I had ever heard.  I even heard Jess snort in the back room.  She had walked away as the man and I went rounds, but she obviously felt the need to still listen.

“See,” he said like he just won the battle.

“That’s pathetic,” I mumbled.


“She got mad at you for forgetting her mom’s birthday? Really? What the hell kind of girl are you dating?”

“I’m not dating her anymore, remember, that is the reason I’m here bringing back the flowers,” he growled obviously distraught over the stupid situation.

I shook my head and rolled my eyes at his complete stupidity.  “You can’t return flowers,” I reiterated.  Is this guy fucking stupid or what?

“Oh,” he said, slumping his shoulders.  It amazed me how such a strong built guy could look so pathetic at this moment.  “Well I figured since she guaranteed me that they would fix the situation that they would be returnable if they didn’t work.”

“Well she should have not guaranteed them and no, you may not return them.  Give them to someone else if you don’t want them in your house,” I informed him as I was still in disbelief about the fact I was even having this conversation with someone who made a couple million a year.  Worst part, he didn’t seem to have much of a brain.

I was thrown for even more of a loop as he suddenly pushed the flowers in my face.  “Here, take them, I’m giving them to you because I’m sure no one ever gives you flowers since you work at a flower shop,” he said in a thoughtful tone.  If I wouldn’t have thought him so pathetic, I would have almost thought his gesture a cute one.

I held up my hand to say no, but he grabbed my wrist, opened my hand and placed the flowers in my hand, closing my fingers around the stems.

“By the way,” he said as he stepped back.  “As a florist, you probably shouldn’t think the worst of people just because they are coming in here to buy flowers for an apology.  I might be a ‘big sports player,’” he quoted with his hands, “but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad guy.  I’m just a guy who can’t seem to find the right girl.  Oh, and you should smile because you probably look beautiful when you do.”

Before I could get my mouth to work, he turned around and tromped out of the shop.

Introduction and Welcome!

Well, I said I would post other stories I had written and posted on the FanFic board... and this is one of them.  One of the things about writing FanFic for hockey is that a lot of the time, trades happen and you find your story being even more of a fic than before, which is exactly what has happened in this instance. So again, it goes to prove that everything that happens in my stories are fiction and any coincidences are exactly that.

I'm posting this story next because my friend K said this is her fave... and I gotta admit, it's one of mine too!!  It's a shorter story with lots of fun packed into it.  I hope you and enjoy and I look forward to your comments!!!