Pluck

Pluck

Janice hurried out the door, running late for yet another appointment.  As she scurried down the front walk, she noticed a handsome young man walking her way with a large, ornate bouquet of flowers.  He was so ornate himself that she slowed her step to just barely a walk and soaked him in visually.  Dark hair, tan skin, and jeans that clung to his masculine hips in all the right ways.

She then noticed that those drool worthy hips turned at her front gate and started in her direction.  Wide eyed, she waited for him to get within conversational distance and asked him, in the most refined way, what the hell he was doing.

He gave a friendly smile and he had a glint in his chocolate brown eyes.

“You must be Ms. Janice Horner, I presume?”

She nodded in affirmation, trying to figure out where in the world the flowers had come from, and how on earth he had been chosen to deliver them to her.

“Then these are for you,” his voice melted each word, making each syllable fine in its own right.  She clung to his voice when she knew she should refuse the gift.  She had no idea who they were from, and she definitely didn’t know anyone romantically enough to be expecting flowers from.

He handed her the flowers, and she took them despite herself, her curiosity piqued.  By the time she had the note wiggled out from the holder, the handsome young man was gone.

That was too bad.  But the note was even worse.  She had no idea what it meant.

***

Lawrence had no idea what he was doing, but when he saw the polished, covertly swanky brunette bombshell walk into his mother’s office the previous week, he was smitten.  He watched from the back as she conducted business: swiftly, short and to the point, but friendly.  When she darted out of the flower shop, he knew he would be the one to deliver the flowers she ordered.

They were to the brunette’s father in the nursing home, and Lawrence admitted that he took his time with the old man.  He sat down, explained who the flowers were from, and then listened to the old man gloat about his only child for nearly 45 minutes.  The older man seemed happy to have the unexpected company, but judging from the sounds of his conversation, the older man had plenty of other company, his daughter included.

Lawrence later sneaked into his mother’s directory to obtain the brunette’s name and address, and he made a point to deliver the anonymous flowers yesterday, only writing, “The first moment I saw you, my heart whispered, ‘she’s the one.'”  Corny, yes, but he was captivated and it perfectly explained his instant attraction to her.  The look on her face yesterday when she received the flowers was priceless, and he planned to do it again this very evening.

***

Janice had promptly placed the gorgeous flowers in a large vase on her kitchen table.  She thought about those flowers all throughout her meeting yesterday, and she thought about them last night when she got home, and she thought about them while she slept and as she ate her breakfast this morning. And, yes, she was thinking about them now as she lazily scooped mac’n’cheese into her mouth.

She still had no idea who the sender was, and honestly whoever it only mattered a fraction compared to the delivery man.  He was sex personified, and she wanted to see him again, purely for selfish reasons, and she wanted to learn how he got such a deep tan and friendly smile and brown eyes.  She wondered what his parents looked like, if they had raised him right like her daddy raised her, or if he was just another dead end in her life.

As she was contemplating this over her dinner, she heard the door bell ring.  That was unusual.  Her best friend just came in without knocking, and most other acquaintances gave a courtesy call or text ahead of time.  But not this person, not even a door knocker but a bell ringer she thought lamely to herself.

She crossed her kitchen, peeked through the spy glass, and noticed it was the man who had been occupying her thoughts all day.  She felt a jolt of electricity shoot through her body as she took a step back from the door, gave herself a quick once over and shrugged her shoulders.  As good as it was going to get.  She opened the door and couldn’t take the smile off her face if she tried.

***

Lawrence was thrilled when he saw the smile on her face.  Even if she rejected him, he would know that he made her smile, at least once.  She flew the door open and gave him an inquisitive look, the sexiest inquisitive look he had ever seen.  She had this natural air of confidence about her, and even in jeans and an old concert t-shirt she looked stunning.  Her hair was still piled on top of her head, and her dangley earrings accentuated the delicate skin down her neck.  The skin he would love to kiss some day.

When he caught himself staring, he realized she was doing the same.  She was checking him over, head to toe, and when her eyes traveled back up, they seemed to approve.  He handed the flowers to her, and her eyes brightened again.

“Thank you!” she said delightfully, clutching the bouquet to her chest.  “You sure must enjoy delivering smiles everyday!” she said cheerfully.  If only she knew.

***

Janice tried to make small talk with the handsome delivery man, but her mind just seemed to go blank.  She didn’t understand it.  She could stand before CEOs and potential billionaire clients without missing a beat, but this man made every nerve stand at attention.  She noticed the swagger of his walk, the hairline over his forehead, the smell of his cologne and the timbre of his voice, but she couldn’t remember what he had said.  He had already turned and was walking down the path before she could pull herself together.  Unacceptable, she chastised herself.

She danced indoors, plunked the beautiful bouquet in a vase and plucked the card out of the holder.  “The second I laid eyes on you, I knew I would never want to look away.”

OK, that was borderline stalkerish, but she still didn’t know who her stalker was.  She puzzled over who it could be, studied the handwriting on the card, and simply decided to appreciate the flowers.  And finish her mac’n’cheese while drooling over her delivery man.

***

Lawrence carefully selected the flowers for tonight’s delivery as his mom kept glancing over.  She didn’t want to be snoopy, but he could tell the curiosity was killing her.  Being in her position, she could have easily been the town gossip.  She knew who was sending flowers to who, who had gone to be with Jesus, and whose baby had just been delivered at the local hospital.  Of course she always kept this to herself, and she would rarely even tell Lawrence what was happening, but this time she wanted to ask questions.

Just a few more days, then he would have the answers.

As he was tying the bow, his Mama finally spoke up.  “You know you don’t have to pay for the flowers.  You’ve more than earned your keep here in the shop over the years.”

“Yes, Ma, but if things go right I might be tying flowers every evening for the rest of my life.  I really don’t think that’s in the budget.”  He gave his mama a wink and her eyes widened.  “Honestly, Lawrence, any woman who puts that smile on your face is worth every penny.”  She always knew how to get him right in the feels.  He gave her a quick hug and skipped out of her shop.

He hadn’t delivered flowers since he was a teenager, but Janice made him want to deliver flowers.  Even if just to her.  He could more than afford them now.  He had been incredibly successful in local realty investments, and he was looking forward to enjoying his wealth with those he loved, those who supported him when he missed every birthday and holiday for years, fighting to climb the ladder of success.  and hopefully, Janice.

He made it to his destination, and he was nearly tipped backward when she was waiting for him on the front porch.  She was dressed to kill in her skinny jeans and flowy blouse, her make up highlighting her generous cheeks and lips, and when she rose, those stilettos did their thing.  He swallowed hard and made it to her porch.

Barely.

***

Oh yes, Janice knew what she was doing, and she proved herself right when she saw his jaw clench, his adams apple bob as he swallowed and his eyes somehow grew impossibly darker.  She sashayed up to him and flashed him her brightest smile.

“I was hoping you would be by tonight,” she announced, not even needing to feign the honey in her voice.  He brought it out of her without even trying.

He handed her the flowers, and she took them, enjoying their beauty.  “I poured some lemonade, if you’re thirsty?” she asked, hoping that he would say yes.

He didn’t take long to respond, “I’d love a glass, thank you.”

She led him to the patio furniture adorning her front porch, and they sat across from each other at the table.  She took him in and managed small talk.  He quickly engaged, and soon they had found a new orbit.  It was as if each of their solitaire planets collided mid air and they automatically revolved around the sun together.

She was shocked when she looked up and the sun had started to set, casting a colorful hue on everything around them.  It even highlighted his physique in a phenomenal fashion.  She finally wrestled the note from its holder and thumbed it, rereading its message, “Third time’s a charm.”  Simple enough, but then she realized the flowers were bound with a charm bracelet that twinkled in the evening sun.

She wasn’t sure how she had possibly missed this earlier, possibly because she was ogling Lawrence, but it was astounding.  Its brilliance was unmatched, much like the man who delivered it.

“If only I could take the charm from the mystery man and combine it with the man who delivered it, life would be perfect…”

She shook the thought off and looked up, only to see his dazzling chiseled face smiling in an all too knowing way.  She wondered if she had spoken that thought out loud, but judging from the dimple in his cheeks, she knew the answer.  Whatever, own it, she thought to herself.

Then she realized she wanted to trace her lips over those dimples, and trail her lips down to his, and taste him.  She wanted to put her hands on his body and enjoy every inch.  She wanted to climb atop him and…

“Well, I do hope to see you again, Miss Janice” he whispered with his smokey voice.  If she didn’t send him away right this second she would be in his lap, enjoying the stars from a fresh angle…

“I certainly hope so, Mr. Lawrence.  Tomorrow?” she asked, wondering if he knew tomorrow’s delivery schedule.

“We shall see” he said with that all too familiar twinkle in his eye and he stood and excused himself.

Damn if he didn’t somehow look familiar.  She just couldn’t place it.

***

Lawrence saw that look in her eye, the look that must have been reflected from his.  She was falling for him even as she wore the mystery man’s charm and enjoyed the mystery man’s flowers.  If only she knew that they were one in the same.

He kept this routine up each evening, with the exception of Sunday when she visited her father, and their conversations grew deeper and more meaningful.  She was incredibly smart and sassy and sexy.  He looked forward to their meetings each day, and he kept his anonymity for two whole weeks.  She met him at the door every day, but when he walked up this evening, he noticed the front door was instead propped open.

When he approached the doorway, he could smell something delicious.  He wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but he could hear things bumbling around in the kitchen.  When he announced himself, she gave him a cheery greeting and told him to come on in.

He stepped inside and waited, not sure what she wanted.  After a full minute of trying to imagine what she was up to, e got a glance of her glorious body clad in an apron.  Not just any apron, but the kind of apron that accented her perfect hourglass figure.  He wanted to see her in nothing but that apron, but then he would want to untie it from her waist and retie it in other ways, around her wrists, or ankles, or whatever she begged for as he made their two bodies one.

This woman could look like a model in holey jeans or designer silk; she was phenomenal.  She gave him a bashful smile and asked him if he was hungry.  Hell yes he was, but for more than food in his belly.  He removed his shoes and traipsed across her white carpet until he reached the marble of her kitchen.

He watched her artfully display her concoction into a couple of bowls, garnishing with something green and setting the bowl onto a plate with a slice of bread, homemade by the smell of it.

Maybe he’d eat this meal first, then he’d move on to the second course…

***

She was running a bit behind, as usual, but she managed to get the meal on the table before he ran off, so she called that a win in her book.  She set her favorite mac’n’cheese dish on the table, and served up a couple glasses of wine.

She noticed he hadn’t taken his eyes off her the entire time.  He watched appreciatively as she finished the meal, set the table and poured the wine.  The way he looked at her made her feel warm inside, as if he was warming her up for a meal all his own.  She loved the anticipation.  He gave her a curious look, and she tried to explain, “Four cheese gourmet  mac n cheese, the best there is” she said with a wink, “and only served with wine.  You’ll love it.”  It was her favorite, but she wanted it to be his favorite, too.

Tonight was the night that she was going to figure out what his intentions were.  He clearly owned a busy, lucrative business that did not financially require his hours delivering for his mother’s shop, yet he showed up with the flowers in hand each and everyday.  Well, except for the days that she had dinner with her father, who spoke so highly of the patient and kind flower delivery man that delivered her flowers…

She was feeling torn. Whoever this mystery flower sender was, however charming his notes continued to be, he still did not enthrall her as much as the delivery man.  She was growing feelings for Lawrence, but she knew she couldn’t have both, that she didn’t even want both.

“I see you’re not wearing your bracelet tonight?” he asked her passively.

“Yes, well, honestly, here’s the truth.  As much as the charming words and bracelets and flowers make my day, it still doesn’t hold a flame to being around the man that delivers them…”   She felt the words trail uncharacteristically quietly off her lips, and she suddenly had difficulty meeting his eye, as if she had bared part of her soul that she usually kept under lock and key and couldn’t bear the possible rejection.

When the silence continued, she finally forced her eyes upward, and she saw nothing but joy on his face.  “Is that so?” he asked, playfully, hopefully.

“Yes.  I honestly love the flowers and charms, Lawrence, I cannot deny that.  Although, I am more eager for your presence than for the gifts you have in hand.  I can’t in good conscious keep accepting such nice things from someone I don’t know, giving someone hope when all I hope for is you.”

He laughed, and nearly choked on his gourmet mac’n’cheese.  “Well, one last time, would you accept the flowers and read the card?”  he asked.  This interested her, and his light tone at her bearing her soul made her suspicious.

“What is it going to say?” she asked, finally putting the pieces together.

“It will say, “What if the charms from the mystery man and the delivery man are one in the same?”

Understanding seeped into her bones.  She was shocked.  “You?  All these things were from you?” she asked.  When he nodded his head, she was overjoyed.

***

“I finally get to say thank you!” she said as she sauntered over to him.  He stood and met her halfway.  As she reached up for his face, he bent down to finally kiss those rose colored lips he had been dreaming about for weeks.  They were just as soft as he imagined, and she wrapped her arms around his neck.  He wrapped his around her waist and found his thumbs tracing her skin where her blouse rode up just an inch.

Her moan was nearly his undoing.  He had been so very patient for so very long, and now he just wanted to possess her.  He knew he had her heart, and now his body yearned to connect with her physically.  The long awaited kiss quickly heated, and he found himself pulling her body close to his.  He trailed his kisses down her kissable neck and settled at the base.  She rolled her head back and pressed her breasts to his lips.

He was certain this angel was plucked from Heaven just for him and he let out a groan of his own.  “I can’t wait to see you in nothing but that bracelet” he found himself murmuring as he unbuttoned her blouse.  She was already flushed, and it was as if he were getting to open a Christmas present he had been waiting on since Thanksgiving, the waiting torturous but making the big day all the more incredible.

She ran her hands up his torso and pulled his shirt up over his head.  Her greedy  hands took her fill of him, and he soaked in the sight of her, her blouse hanging open, her breasts covered only by the lacy bra, the flush up her neck and down her chest.

Just as she pressed her lips to his skin, he heard her cell ring.  When she didn’t answer, he pressed his lips down, just over the fabric of her bra, teasing himself before he finally got his fill.  Just as his hands traced her spine up to her strap, her phone rang again.  This time she pulled away and fumbled for the phone as he caught his breath.

“Hello, Dad? Good to hear from you…yes, I have met the delivery man… yes he is… yep” she said as she eyed him teasingly.

Yes,she is perfect.

 

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