The Lady's Maid
By Youkai Yume
Author's Note: Thanks so much for being so patient with me. And even more for the wonderful reviews. I hope you all enjoy this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Studio Ghibli, and blah blah blah…
Chapter 7: The Wizard
Haru had to guide her Mistress back to her room that night by the arm, as the noblewoman couldn't seem to walk straight and giggled every ten seconds at nothing at all. Apparently, Louise had been convinced to try the catnip wine before they left the Ball, and had found it to her liking. Unfortunately, Louise Engel was not a woman that could hold her liquor very well. She had been chattering nonstop and giggling the whole ride home.
"Oh, I'm sorry Haru," she sighed, a pleasant smile still on her flushed, albeit a bit less red than before, features. "I must look a mess."
"Far from it, Miss," Haru assured, keeping her Mistress steady. It seems that some of the wine was beginning to wear off, and already the Maid could tell that Louise was going to suffer the consequences tomorrow morning.
Once inside, Haru wordlessly began to help Louise out of her elaborate gown, silently counting to herself the laces that went up her corset, and the number of threads that was stitched in her embroidered fabric. Anything to distract her from remembering the feel of Baron's lips on her own.
So far it didn't seem to be working too well.
It wasn't until half an hour later, when Louise had stepped out of her hot bath and Haru was pulling the Lady's nightgown over her head that she realized Louise had grown very quiet herself. She looked at her Mistress's reflection in the mirror, her jade eyes clear from the effects of the wine, but distant in contemplation.
"Miss?" Haru asked carefully. "Are you alright?"
"Hm? Oh, I'm fine. It's just that…" her voice was strangely soft, like a distant sparrow in the summer breeze.
"Are you sick? Do you want me to get some water?"
"No. Nothing like that. I've just been thinking…" And at that Haru felt a dread grow inside of her but bit her lower lip, "About Baron…"
The dread grew ten fold, followed by an ocean of guilt. 'She knows,' Haru thought frantically, and held her breath as her eyes trained on Louise's reflection in the mirror.
"I know he cares for me. But am I mistaking kindness for affection?"
"And…And what makes you think that, Miss?" Haru swallowed, her hands frozen on the hem of Louise's shift. "Did he say anything at the ball or…" She nearly choked on her next words, realizing that perhaps her and Baron's little meeting in the Garden hadn't gone unseen, "or did something happen?"
"Hm? No, he didn't say or do anything. In fact, I had a really nice time, and he was nothing than the perfect escort," Louise smiled, causing Haru to sigh in relief. "Still…" she continued. "Sometimes, when we're in each other's company, I feel as if his mind and thoughts are…elsewhere. Like he's standing right next to me and yet I can't reach him."
Louise glanced down at the Maid, her cheeks still slightly pink. "Baron knows of my feelings. But do you think he feels the same, Haru?"
The insecurity in her voice and the honest look in her jade irises breaks Haru's heart all over again. She bites the inside of her cheek until she tastes the tang of blood, wondering how on earth she could look her Mistress in the eye and tell her pretty lies. She wonders how, even now as she stands beside possibly her closest friend, that despite everything, she still didn't want to take back that kiss that Baron had stolen from her. Her first kiss.
So instead, she smiles warily back, places gentle fingers on the Lady's shoulders, and says, "He'd be a fool not to."
And that, was the complete and utter truth.
Louise smiles and thanks her, and Haru wants to cry and tell her that it was the last thing that her Mistress should do. But she says nothing after that, only blowing out the candles and wills the shadows and nightmares to prey on her tonight so that Louise may dream sweet dreams instead.
It's long past midnight now, and Baron had yet to move from his desk. His hands are folded solemnly in front of his face, while his normally brilliant emerald eyes stared vacantly into the fireplace. He had yet to change out of his suit, but at the moment, Baron hardly cared.
His lips still burned with scorching feeling of a kiss that should never have been.
"Damn it!" He cursed under his breath, standing up so abruptly that his chair clattered to the floor behind him. "Damn it!" The curse came again, louder this time, and it echoed around his study darkly. His feet began a steady pacing, his tail swished back and forth in consternation.
What had he done? What in the world had he been thinking? 'I hadn't been thinking,' he smiled wryly to himself. He had been going on instinct and the heat of the moment and on pure, unadulterated WANT. And that was the rub, wasn't it? He was a Noble, a Baron, with expected roles and responsibilities and duty and honor. He wasn't supposed to want. At least not THIS kind of want that burned and consumed and made him ache for more.
He wasn't supposed to want her. But he did…he DID want Haru, and for that one terrifying moment, he had given in.
A humorless chuckle escaped Baron's lips and he slunk onto his couch, head in his hands. He had given in for only a second--a glorious, bittersweet second--and for what? He was engaged to be married, and the guilt ate him up because Louise was a good woman, who deserved better but chose him instead. And the Viscount…dear lord, he had to grit his teeth and accept his gratitude on being such a perfect candidate to be Louise's husband. He had betrayed the Engels' trust, and Haru…he felt himself unable to breath at the mere thought of her hatred of him. And why shouldn't she? He had basically forced himself and his uncontrollable feelings on her and worst case scenario, she'd leave Louise and walk out of his life forever.
And maybe that would be best…
His heart pounded in his chest--hadn't stopped pounding since he stood with Haru under the moonlight. He briskly walked down the out of his study, down the hallway, and straight down to the servant's quarters, making sure not to make too much noise as to wake the other servants. He didn't know what he was doing, or why he was here, or what he was going to say. But he had to see her, to make it right, even if it was impossible. He had to try.
He knocked once, twice. "Miss Haru," he whispered just loud enough so that she could hopefully hear. "Miss Haru!"
A minute stretched in silence, before Baron decided to try knocking again, determined to see the Maid. Before he could start pounding however, the door opened just a crack, revealing a sliver of Haru's wary face.
"You really shouldn't be down here so late, Sir," Haru whispered.
"Haru, we need to talk about what happened--"
"I'm sorry, but there's nothing to talk about," she replied quickly, moving to close the door. Baron stopped her before she could do it, forcing it open while she looked at him with confused eyes.
"Yes. There is, and I can't ignore it any longer. And neither can you."
She didn't let him in, but she no longer tried to force the door closed. He continued, "I know this is wrong, and that nothing can come out of this. But…it FEELS right, and I know it shouldn't." Baron's voice was now a low, desperate whisper, his emerald irises searching her for any sign of reaction. "Tell me you feel it too, Haru…"
Hazel eyes blinked rapidly, as if trying to keep back tears. She averted her gaze so that they stared at the wooded floor, and Baron never felt more inadequate than he did now, standing in front of Haru in her sleeping gown and he, still in his formal suit.
Finally, she looked him square in the eyes, frightened but firm. "I do feel it."
His heart leapt into his chest, but before he could define what emotion he was feeling at the moment she shook her head.
"But it doesn't matter, because the truth of it is this: Miss Louise is my Mistress, and I love and respect her a great deal. So you're going to marry her and be happy together, and forget about me. Please…please just forget about me."
"…Are you going to leave?" he found himself asking; his voice hoarse in his throat.
"I don't know. Will that make you forget?" Haru inquired, her words equally quiet.
He didn't answer her, his eyes downcast and his fist clenched tightly by his side. He had been expecting this, what else could he have expected? Still…it HURT, honest to goodness felt like he was dying hurt.
Haru gently began to close her door, and Baron didn't try to stop her. "Thank you for the dance lesson today, Sir," were the last words she said before the door clicked shut in his face. It was over before it had even begun…whatever it was.
She had been relieved from duty for the day early this Sunday, so Haru wandered out to the meadow not too far from the estate. She took nothing with her, save for the clothes on her back and a small bundle wrapped in worn cloth, and walked for hours, barefoot on the grass until the sun began to set and she sat there on that hillside to watch.
Carefully, she unwrapped the package in her lap. The dandelion Baron had given her a little some time ago, swayed in the breeze. She wrapped her fingers around the small pot, as if the act alone would give her strength.
So…this was it. This was what people wrote songs and poems about and what men died for in war. This was love. She wondered if half of them had ever really been in love, otherwise they'd know it hurt and wouldn't have hyped it up as much. Haru brought the dandelion closer to her lips, and gently blew. The seeds danced against the sunlight; floated on the wind. She wished for nothing this time, only thought how wonderful it would be if all of her worries could be carried away like that…forgotten on a whim. People would be much happier if they were all dandelions.
"There you are," a gruff voice panted from behind her. "You wander out any further and you'll get lost, Chicky."
"Hello, Muta," Haru said, not turning to look at him as he plopped unceremoniously down next to her. The earth shook with his weight.
"The sun's setting," he commented after a long pause.
"Yeah. Isn't it pretty?"
"I've seen better."
"Hm. When I was eleven I visited Tokyo Tower with my Mom. The security guards told us that it was about to close, but they let us stay there an extra while longer, just to watch the sun set. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen."
The large cat beside her studied her for a moment, before sighing heavily. "Something happened, didn't it, Haru?"
"Nothing happened," she replied tonelessly, and at once tasted the lie.
"Okay. Nothing happened."
She was sure Muta tasted it too, and was grateful that he didn't say 'I told you so.' Still…
"I'm such an idiot, Muta," Haru whispered. "I honestly thought that I could just write it off as a silly crush and go on pretending. Now look at the mess I've made."
"Don't blame yourself, kid. If emotions were meant to be controlled, everything would be a lot easier," the Chef said wisely, patting Haru on the back. "I'm only sorry I couldn't protect you."
A mirthless laugh escaped her, and she shook her head. "Sometimes I wish I'd never saved Prince Lune from that truck. I wish I'd never laid eyes on Baron and I wish I could take it all back," she confessed bitterly, and was surprised at her own words. But she couldn't stop now, and Muta didn't stop her either. "I wish…I wish I'd gone with Hiromi to watch that corny Shrek sequel on the weekend like she asked me to. I wish I'd given Machida that stupid burnt chocolate on Valentine's day instead of chickening out at the last minute. I wish I came into class on time for once so Sensei couldn't rub it in my face any more.
"I wish…" At that point, Haru realized that the fur on her cheeks were quite damp and she had started crying. She buried her face in her knees and felt all of her wishes rise into her throat like acid. Perhaps she should have saved them all for that dandelion after all. "I wish my Mom were here…"
And as Muta moved his hand up and down her back awkwardly, not quite sure how to comfort a homesick, heartbroken girl, Haru curled further inside herself and willed herself to disappear. They stayed like that for a while until it grew cold.
Muta stood up first, his lips pressed together in a thin line, as if debating whether or not to let the words that collected in his mouth to escape. Finally, with a heavy sigh, he looked down at the girl and gave in.
"You know…there might be a way…"
"…Huh?" She looked up with a tear streaked face.
"A way," he repeated, his tail lashing in discomfort. "A way to fix all this. A way for you to go back."
Go back. That could mean a lot of things. Go back to the Manor, go back to the palace, go back to the human world and live her days as a house cat…but somehow she knew that wasn't at all what he meant. Haru's eyes widened; her heart caught in her throat. Surely he couldn't mean…"Meet me in the kitchen when the whole house is asleep," Muta told her solemnly before starting his trek back to the Von Gikkingen Estate. "I'll wait for you."
The town looked so much more different at night, Haru thought, pulling the dark cloak around her tighter. Ahead of her, Muta walked on in silence, a cloak of his own draped across his large shoulders. She almost wanted to cling onto the swaying cloth on his back, just to soothe the uneasy feeling in her gut. Dark alleys still felt creepy no matter what world you were in.
Finally, they stopped at their destination, and Haru lifted a confused brow when she saw the familiar sign hanging on the door.
"I don't think hats are the solution," she said, deadpan. Muta gave her a look that told her it was in no way a joke. She straightened herself immediately.
"Just stay quiet, and let me do all the talking, okay?"
He knocked for a good minute or two before a familiar feminine voice answered from the other side.
"Sorry! But the Hat Shop is closed now!" The door creaked open a sliver, revealing a rather grumpy looking Hatter girl. Her dark brown eyes widened when she saw who it was. "Muta! What are you doing here so late?" The door opened wider to reveal a certain Maid standing behind the fat cat. "Miss Haru? You're here too?"
"Sorry to disturb you at this hour, Sophie," Muta bowed. "But is Pendragon in?"
Sophie's demeanor suddenly grew tense. She glanced back and forth at the Maid and Chef before her, her eyes hesitant.
"It's important," Muta added, and she eventually nodded at them to come inside.
"Please come in."
They were lead through the back door of the hat shop and across a small courtyard to another door on the other side. Haru couldn't stop the nervousness from rising, and wondered where Sophie was taking them, why Muta was so quiet, and who this Pendragon was and how he could possibly help her.
Sophie ushered them inside the room, where they climbed a few short stairs up to what looked like a homey little living space. Haru glanced around, seeing little weird knick knacks and baubles here and there, and stacks of books on the walls. In the corner, a fireplace glowed dimly in the dark, and Haru blinked once when she thought it flickered blue for a second. The entire place was meticulously clean.
"Sophie?" A kitten with messy, red fur sat up from his position on the couch. He looked vaguely sleepy, but curious. "Who are they? Customers, this late?"
"Yes, Markle. Can you please go and fetch Howl for me?"
He nodded and gave one last questioning look at Haru and Muta before bounding up the stairs.
"Muta, what's going on?" Haru finally asked, the suspense killing her. "Why are we here? Who's this Pendragon, or Howl or whatever? How's he going to help me?"
Sophie gave the large cat a look that clearly said 'you didn't tell her?' He turned to give the Maid a bit of an amused smile.
"You ever seen or read Wizard of Oz, Kid?"
"What, is he a Wizard? Is he going to give me silver slippers and make me tap my heels three times?" She asked wryly.
"I don't know if he's going to give you silver slippers. Besides, Glinda did the 'there's no place like home' bit."
Haru choked on her own air for a minute. "A WIZARD? He's a magic spells with robes and the pointy hat WIZARD?!"
"Sans the pointy hat and robes. They're so tacky," came a smooth, masculine purr. Haru's attention turned to a tall, handsome cat dressed in a white silk shirt and black slacks descending down the stairs. He had fine, golden fur and the most piercing sapphire eyes she had ever seen that twinkled mysteriously in the dark. His ear gave a slight twitch, causing the green stone of his earring to catch the firelight briefly.
"Let me introduce myself. I am the Great Wizard Howl Pendragon," he greeted with a grand, sweeping bow that had Sophie Hatter noticeably rolling her pretty eyes. "And to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit, Miss…?"
"Haru," the Maid answered nervously. "Yoshioka Haru."
He nodded once, smiling pleasantly before turning to the large cat beside her. "Always nice to see you again, Muta."
"Skip the pleasantries, Howl. The little lady here needs your help."
"I know," he said airily, studying Haru for a moment. "And I have a feeling I know exactly what too. But humor me. Just exactly how can I be of service to you, my dear?"
Haru shifted on the spot, her fingers wringing under the cloak. "I…I want to go home. I want my life back…as a human…"
"I was afraid of that," Howl sighed. "Come, come. There's no need to stand in the doorway like that, have a seat."
"I'll put on some tea," Sophie offered, moving to the small kitchen as they moved over to the couches.
"Are you sure you can help me?" Haru asked after Sophie left the room.
"Yes. But this isn't some idle matter. The process could be potentially dangerous if it isn't done right. So before I go any further, I need to know if this is what you really want." The Wizard's gaze was intense and darker than the merry twinkle she saw earlier, causing Haru to shiver slightly.
Despite that, she felt a firm resolve settle inside of herself and nodded mutely.
"Very well then." He stood up and went back upstairs. "Please wait here a moment."
Haru squirmed in her seat and wondered what it was she just got herself into. Muta placed a comforting hand on hers and she smiled weakly back.
"I had a feeling you were from the human realm but I didn't think you were actually human," Sophie said softly as she came back with tea. "Don't worry. Howl may be a little bit flamboyant sometimes, but he's a very skilled sorcerer. You're in good hands, Miss Haru," she assured her, handing her a teacup.
"Thank you," the Maid nodded. "I didn't realize there were such things as wizards."
"And witches too," Sophie smiled. "The world is rife with magic, no matter where you go. It's just a matter of knowing where to look for it, that's all. There are plenty of witches and warlocks here. Why, Madame Yubaba practices quite a bit of the dark arts herself in supposed secret, and of course there's the Witch of the Waste. I can't decide which one is uglier."
Haru had no idea who she was talking about, but the entire thing intrigued her. She didn't know why she didn't consider magic to be a part of this world. After all, they were a bunch of walking talking cats. What isn't unusual or magical about it?
"Sorry to keep you waiting," Howl's voice interrupted. He came back with a worn book in one hand a small bottle the size of his fist in the other. Both of them were placed gingerly on the table; Howl began flipping through the pages of what Haru suspected was a spell book, and muttered under his breath. Finally, he found just the page he was looking for and looked up at his expectant clients.
"Now, listen carefully. The spell that I'm about to cast will turn you back into a human--"
'Well, that doesn't sound at all complicated,' Haru thought.
"--However, it's not going to do any good unless you're completely clear-minded and…cleansed."
"I…bathe regularly," she said slowly, not sure what he meant. Howl's expression hardened.
"Let me put this another way. The Cat Kingdom and the Human Realm are two separate worlds. There are strict laws and regulations to keep the two apart. Cats can travel back and forth between them, yes, but they can't assume upright form nor can they talk to humans when they're in the Human World.
"Likewise, a human cannot keep their form when entering the Cat Kingdom, as I'm sure you're fully aware of. If a human only stays briefly in our world and returns to the Human Realm before the change becomes permanent, eventually the memories of them ever being here will fade, and thus secures the line of separation.
"In your case, Miss Haru, you can't go back mainly because you've stayed here too long and have become one of us. Therefore your memories can no longer be erased of this place even if you went to the human realm. It's what prevents you from turning into a human when you go back and what keeps you here. The magic that separates our two worlds won't allow you to keep them without endangering the balance."
Haru let his words soak in, trying to mull out what he was really trying to tell her. So far, she didn't really like what she understood.
"But I could talk to cats before I came here."
"True, there are those with the rare sixth sense, but they are few and far in between. None of them know fully of our world and it's safer this way."
"So…what you're saying is, I'm stuck because I know too much?"
"Sort of," Howl smiled warily. He tapped a slender finger on the small bottle, and Haru found herself staring at the crimson liquid swirling within. Red and dark, as blood. "Tell me Haru, could you leave it all right now without any regrets? Is there nothing for you here? No possessions, no friends, no attachments? Tell me Miss Yoshioka Haru…what is it that keeps you here?"
Haru's eyes widened and she opened her mouth, only to close it again. It would be a lie if she said she had nothing here. She thought of Yuki and Lune, and the kittens that they'd soon have…Yuki had promised to send pictures of them and she had so wanted to see. She thought of Toto taking her on little flights when he thought no one was looking and his engaging stories on Sunday afternoons. She thought of Louise, her kind Mistress and the first time she first helped her into the Maid's uniform and told her she looked adorable in the outfit. She thought of Baron…and his gentle emerald green eyes and the way his arms folded around her when they danced.
Then she looked over at Muta, who was staring at her solemnly and felt his hand tighten around hers. Her safe harbor amidst a storm. She loved them all. She did. She couldn't lie and say she had nothing.
"I want you think really hard about them," Howl remarked, his words firm, "Because those are the things that you are going to have to willingly give up in order to go home. Those are the things you have to forget."
"What?" She looked up in surprise at the golden cat before her, and saw that he was entirely serious.
"This potion," he held up the bottle, "Will erase your memories of your experience here, including the people you've met leaving only your memories as a human."
"But, how can I possibly do that?!" She couldn't fathom giving up any of her memories for anything, despite how painful they were. At the moment, she knew it might have been easier, but now, faced with the actual decision, she felt reluctant to erase them, as they were now a part of her.
"You MUST, Haru. It's the only way. And more than that, if you don't focus solely on those attachments and memories when drinking the potion, you could lose some memories, but not all of them and still be stuck as a cat. Or worse, without any specification at all, the potion could erase all of your life's memories, and you could become a blank slate."
Haru gasped and Howl's sapphire eyes danced in the firelight. "I told you it could become potentially dangerous. If you aren't one hundred percent committed to this, then I suggest we stop here."
She worried her lower lip between her sharp teeth, her heart thundering in her chest. Haru looked over to Muta, whose eyes were narrowed in extreme worry and sadness. He returned her gaze with a tense look.
"I don't like this," the large cat admitted. "But it's your call, Kid."
Haru sighed. She wanted to go home, really she did. But the thought of not remembering him…any of them…
"There isn't another way?" She asked dejectedly at Howl.
"I'm afraid not," came his grim reply. He held out the bottle to her, a blatant command to make her choice.
After a long, agonizing moment, Haru reached out and closed her fingers around the round, glassy vial. It was cool to the touch in her hand. The intricate label on it read "Tabula Rasa."
"Alright then," Howl breathed, straightening in his seat. "Don't drink it yet. Wait until after I've cast the spell."
"Will…will this whole thing happen right away?" Her question came out hoarse.
"No. Actually it's all very gradual. After I cast the spell, you have about twenty-four hours to consume the potion. Your memories will leave you bit by bit over the next week. Once all your memories of the Cat Kingdom are gone, you'll wake up back in your own world as if all of this was just a midsummer night's dream."
"But wouldn't that be dangerous, you know, if she walks around for the next couple of days with her cup only half full?" Muta grunted beside her.
"That's why I'm counting on you to keep a close eye on her, my friend," Howl nodded. "This is all a very delicate situation, and everything must be done right. Let's not think about the 'or else'." Slowly, the Wizard stood up and motioned for Haru to do the same, so that they were standing in a clear space on the living room floor.
"Sophie, I forgot the crushed Willow leaves…can I count on you to get them?"
"Don't worry, after our last fiasco with misplaced potions, I've labeled everything," Sophie huffed, and then her face softened. "Are you sure you want to go through with this, Howl? A spell like this can leave you very ragged."
Haru watched as the Wizard placed a gentle hand against Sophie's cheek, running through her silver fur. There was no mistaking the tenderness that could only be held between two lovers. The sight of them made her ache as she was reminded of she and the Baron in the King's Garden. "I'll be fine, Cariad. You know this is nothing compared to the other things I've done before."
"Show off," Sophie sighed heavily before going off to fetch the crushed Willow leaves.
"Sophie…you're so cruel!" Howl whined, then turned serious once more as he faced Haru. "Ahem. Now, there's a couple details I want to go over before we start. Muta, you should take notes." He smiled at the Maid's extremely nervous aura and chuckled. "Have no fear, Miss Haru. It won't hurt."
"I'll do it even if it does." In fact, she knew the pain she'd have to endure wasn't going to be physical at all.
"You're a much braver person than I am," he remarked. "Are you ready?"
She held her chin high, her hazel eyes determined. "Yes."
Dawn was just over the horizon when they finally left Hatter's Hat Shop. The two of them walked side by side, a strange tension in the air. Haru's body still tingled slightly from the spell, and from beneath her cloak, she fingered the potion bottle absently. She wasn't quite ready to drink it yet.
Muta had tried to hand Howl a sack of gold coins earlier in payment, but the Wizard wouldn't take any of it, insisting that it was on the house. Then Muta told him "I'm no Welsher!" To which Howl had replied, "That's vaguely insulting, considering I AM Welsh!" And well…
Haru wanted to laugh, but the sound got choked in her throat and made the ache in her chest hurt all the more. She looked at Muta, who lumbered silently beside her and thought of how much she was going to MISS this cat beside her. Then she thought 'No, I won't, because I won't even remember him.' Clearly, he still wore an expression that told of her he almost regretted bringing her here in the first place now that he knew what had to be done. But what's done is done, and she never realized how selfless he was and wanted to hug him tightly against her.
"Muta?" She whispered.
A low rumbling sound escaped him and he turned conflicted eyes to her. "I hate this, you know?"
"Then…then why'd you let me go through with it?"
"Because, Chicky," he closed his eyes and walked ahead. "I couldn't stand to see you in pain."
They were both silent after that.
Author's Note: Despite the serious nature of this chapter, I had a lot of fun writing it. Howl and Sophie always cheer me up. Things are picking up. Some notes on this chapter:
- Obviously all of our guest characters today were from Howl's Moving Castle. Initially, I wasn't going to include them at all, but they wheedled their way in any way. Sophie went from just a brief cameo in Chapter 2 to a rather crucial role of this fic.
- "I'm no welsher" or "Don't welsh on me now" is a saying that usually pertains to someone skipping out on repaying money. Usually on a bet or gamble. Howl, in the book, is from Wales.
- Howl calls Sophie "Cariad" which means "my love" in Welsh.
- The flicker of blue in the fireplace refers to Calcifer, the fire demon.
- Tabula Rasa (the label on the potion) means "blank slate" in Latin.
- The Willow in general, is symbolic, and means 'forsaken love' in the language of flowers.
PLEASE READ AND REVIEW! And thanks so much for all of your feedback on the previous chapter. Stick around, this story's not finished yet!