Flower arranging was a far cry from his policing days, but Matthew enjoyed the quiet of his little shop. After an unfortunate accident in the line of duty that left him with a permanent limp (and him setting off metal detectors for the rest of his life), Matthew's days were filled with the sweet earthy perfume of flowers and plants instead of blood and decay.

Becoming a florist had been a surprise to everyone besides the Blakes. Prior to his accident, Matthew enjoyed gardening, and had a bountiful plot in the backyard of his house. He and Jean often compared their gardens and techniques when he dined at the Blakes.

Matthew had a broken hospital tv to thank for his new passion, the infernal box stuck on a channel that showed various home shows including several on floral arrangements. After being released from the hospital and into outpatient therapy, Matthew learned all he could about flowers, attending classes once he'd been given the green light to walk again (with a cane, but walking nonetheless), and using his police pension to purchase a small shop front.

The Green Room launched with Jean's help, the leftovers of his police pension, and a loan from Lucien. At first, Matthew didn't want to accept help at all with his little shop, but the Blakes talked him around. Lucien helped with the legal dealings; Jean would help with the customers when his leg acted up, and she had an eye for decorating that Matthew hadn't quite learned.

He loved the shop before they even opened it; he loved the creaking wooden floors, the back door that stuck a little when the humidity rose in the air (Jean hated it), the moss green that they chose for the shelves, trim, and front door, the newly whitewashed walls, and the tiny silver pewter bell above their front door to signal incoming customers.

The shop opened on a breezy spring day. Rose dropped by to cover it for the Courier's website (leaving with a small arrangement of her namesake in soft pink for her desk). They enjoyed a steady stream of new visitors and regulars in the first few weeks of their opening.

It was Jean's idea to have a small greenhouse out back to grow some of their own flowers. Her small green kingdom - filled to bursting with their more delicate and finicky flowers (orchids, begonias, some lovely birds of paradise).

Matthew preferred the back room where he could make the bouquets and arrangements in peace and not over use his leg.

Jean managed the front, dealing with customers with her natural charm and welcoming nature. She'd check on Matthew throughout the day, sometimes pulling him out of his isolation to run the register when the shop got busy or their deliveries arrived, but sometimes she pulled him out front just to give herself some company when the trickle of customers ran low.

(He didn't mind it; it was Jean's way of caring for him, of looking after him since the accident)

So, he'd look after the front on slower days with Jean, or alone if she was out puttering around the greenhouse, out about town on auditions or running the errands she didn't get to on their days off. He liked the quiet days, the hours passing with few interruptions as he filled orders and read the books he'd put off years ago when he worked on cases.

Matthew settled into the new routine of his life like a contented cat on a windowsill. He had his friends, a less stressful job (unless a wedding or party popped up), Rose visited more often (when she wasn't chasing the next big headline), and he'd found a new passion for life. Nothing would top this feeling.

That was, until Alice Harvey walked through the front door.