One of the best things I learned as a child was that stories were adventures you could take on even the bleakest of days, days when the last petals of the rose fell away and there was nothing more than a grey day. As I matured, that beautiful escape became something of a passion. I began to weave stories to chase away even the most aggressive tempest, protecting that delicate bloom inside. Yet, a beautiful flower longs to be admired in all its stages.
Today, I’d like to share this story with you. I have no idea where it will take us and what the adventure will be like. The characters will tell us who they are and what they care to do one page at a time. The blossom will grow and change from the tiny seed I leave you with today, until it grows to fruition. We will get to know its fragrance and charm. Maybe, just maybe, we will even learn its nature.
I invite you to pick my brain with your feedback and messages. Tell me what you love or hate and why. I make no promises about revisions, but I’m as attentive a reader as I am a writer and your words will stay with me as I hope mine will with you. We will begin with a light flirtation and let the story unfold. Since everything flowers in my garden, story may end up anywhere from a light sweet romance to a dark BDSM. Adult readers only, please.
What is it about crafting orchids out of sugar that gets me so hot? Is it the way the sugar texturizes itself the more it warms? Perhaps it’s the fact that as you roll out each little frill you have to tamp it down with your finger, heightening your awareness of its fragile state, so much like a woman’s arousal that it pains me. I honestly don’t know, but the more I toy with the flower petals and frills, the greater the need in me. If only they smelled like her, the seductress in an orchid purple silk gown, I might give them more attention as I paint a pale pink color around the edges of the yellow center.
Yet, in their own way, each intricate flower reminds me of her, my peacock, flashy and showy right down to the jeweled feather headband she wore to the Great Gatsby Gala Ball. From the first moment I saw her, I couldn’t help but be pulled down into the chaotic spiral of events like the way a story book Alice fell down the rabbit hole.
My fractured soul had me there, at the ball, to confront an old lover. Though I was given two invitations every year, I never once stayed for the party. Adriana insisted I take her to mingle with high society, and I admired her ambition so I acquiesced to her request and purchased a tuxedo and tails. The starched collar chaffed at my neck, but I wore the monkey suit for her. Beguiling, frank, and dismal to a lovely fault, she was as much my destiny as she would care to entertain.
Our affair was at best brief, but left me with a desperate longing. Within a season Adriana tired of me and let herself be courted by another. Sergey was a big name with an even bigger bankroll. A week before the ball I watched as his car pulled up to my door and his man stood waiting to open the door for Adriana. “I’ll always keep this close to my heart. Don’t think badly of me,” she said holding the USB drive necklace with pictures of our skiing trip in it. I remembered taking pictures of her in our room with nothing more than a thin white bed sheet wrapped around her. She took one of me in my Jockey underwear and ribbed undershirt. Adriana giggled so much holding the camera that I was surprised the picture even turned out. We never made it to the ski slopes that day.
With my heart in my mouth, I went to see her. Music played but I kept the mantra of my pain at the ready. Adriana was such a vision in that fringed red dress and black pearls that I choked back the cleverly crafted retort I spent days plotting for her. Feet moved and I watched the dancers whirl, Adriana and Sergey in their midst. She was lovely, but the awareness that she was no longer mine curbed my appetite for her. Our eyes met for an instant and I smiled. The dream of a perfect love wasn’t gone, but I accepted that it wouldn’t be with Adriana.
“Bourbon, neat.” The bartender handed me a fishbowl sized glass. The lofty ceilings, grandiose décor, and huge glass in my small hand made everything seem that much more surreal. If I had been in a mood to laugh, I would have. Not feeling particularly gay in spirit, I consoled myself with the sizable quantity of alcohol and stepped outside the grand Waveny House.
As I stood outside admiring the stars in the midnight black sky, a mellow wind caressed my face. I closed my eyes unable to remember what fucking Adriana felt like. I knew the mechanics of it, but the emotional connection wasn’t strong enough for me to reminisce what it felt like with her body poised underneath mine. Our lovemaking seemed like a crude carnal act of desperation that lacked the tenderness it deserved.
My hand wiped the forehead from my sweaty brow. The black bowtie was the first thing to go, followed by the awful detachable shirt collar. It all seemed so pointless, this charade. I was a chef and a white coat and apron was more my style. “Argh!” I started down the stairs towards the parking lot.
A sound sweeter than a hammer dulcimer, interrupted my rant. “If I have to attend another one of these banal events I am going to scream. There is nothing worse than being subjected to the drunken ravings of a bunch of rich people on the lunatic fringe.” The beauty paused a moment as if asking the stars themselves for guidance. I stood listening to her, hidden by the dark shadow of the large edifice. “Maybe it’s my fate.” She let out a sigh and eased the back of her gown into the hand with a purple and black patterned clutch purse as she descended the stairs. Her movements were so similar to angels in flight that I wanted to cry out with joy on catching a glimpse of her visage on the stairs and yet I felt every bit a scoundrel for having watched her private moment.
The nearer she came the harder I felt my heart beat until I was certain every part of me hummed with life. Afraid that my own erratic breathing would give me away, I took shallow breaths that made my nerves tingle. A misstep propelled her forward. The faintest gasp escaped her lips, and the look of fear on her face was enough for me to will my limbs to move. Before she had the displeasure of landing, I reached out and grabbed her, an unceremonious but necessary gesture.
We careened to the ground with her atop me. Her laughter, like a sirens cry, stole every other thought from me. I could not help but be mesmerized by her ruby lips. “Such a clumsy oaf,” she giggled and I pulled myself up onto my elbows. Her hands brushed my short hair back and away from my face. “Trust me to find my own excitement,” she said, rising to her feet and straightening out her gown.
Watching her hands smoothing out the fabric over her breasts and waist made me lick my lips. The gesture did not go unnoticed and as I rose to my feet and brushed off my tails she cocked her head to the side and took her time doing a second pass. With an impish smile, she moved closer and held out her hand. “Joy.” It took me a moment to register that it was her name and not simply the state of being of everyone around her.
“Avery,” I replied and took her hand in mine, sealing our introduction with an unworthy kiss.
TBC next week