Hello fellow readers, just to let you know, I'm slowly but surely reposting a rewrite of this story, Coming Up Roses (Unexpected). Why? Well, why the heck not? It's fresh and awesome (if I say so myself). With that said, enjoy the read, let me know if you're diggin' the rewrite. Peace and love.
London, England International Airport
The overhead florescent lights flashed on, waking the passengers from their sleep.
"Welcome to London, England. The Time is ten thirty A.M." The robotic intercom voice ran throughout the airports speakers. Graham Miller glanced down at his watch as he picked up his carryon duffle bag from the floor and made his way toward the exit.
Outside the airport doors, Graham stopped watching a couple rush past him and jump into the cab he headed toward.
A taxi honk averted his attention from the couple to an Englishman sitting in the drivers seat of a taxi. "Do you need a ride, mate?" The taxi driver popped his head out of the window and threw his cigarette butt out.
"Uh, yeah. Thanks." Graham opened the backseat door and slid inside.
The driver looked at him through the rearview mirror. "Where to?"
Graham dug into his jeans pocket and took out a slip of crumpled paper with an address scribbled down on it. "To this place." Graham handed the driver the piece of paper.
The taxi driver read it then looked at Graham with a concerned unamused expression. "Do you think this is funny, mate?"
Graham's brows pinched together confused by the question. "Why would you ask that?"
"Well, for starters, mate, you look a little old to be going to a place like this. Especially, one that's filled with a bunch of young women." He eyed Graham's face skeptically.
Graham nodded his head slowly understanding where the driver was going with his accusation and explained, "I'm going for an interview at the school. For a job."
"Righty-o, mate." The driver pulled out into the traffic heading toward the destination.
"What do you know about this place?" Graham's curiosity got the best of him. Plus, it seemed like this driver knew something about the Academy.
"Not much. But I do know that a lot of rich folks attend that school. It's not 'officially' an all girls school but it might as well be. I'm also not saying they just any 'ole bloke off the streets attend there… nah, you gotta be a special bloody sort. You follow?" The driver glanced in the back seat at Graham.
"Yea, I follow. What do you know about the Head Master?"
"Head Mistress, mate. It's a woman." The driver wagged his brows suggestively. "A drop dead gorgeous creature, I might add. I drove 'er once, I did. Somewhere in London, don't remember where though. But there was something about 'er… 'he just stared out the window the entire trip with this thoughtfully serene expression on 'er face. You just knew 'here was something more going on in that beautiful head of 'ers. I can't put me finger on it but…" Graham waited patiently to hear the rest of the senescence but it never happened. The driver shook his head from his thoughts and smiled, "A pretty young bird, 'he is." He gave Graham a wonky toothed smile. He bit the butt of the cigarette pulling it from the package and lit it up.
The cab pulled through the large, iron open gates of the private school. Graham looked out the window to the green over hanging trees and tranquil pond as they passed circling around the long driveway.
"Well, here we are, mate." The driver head looking up into the rearview mirror.
Graham dug into his pocket and paid the driver. The driver smiled and watched Graham exit his cab.
When he closed the door, the driver popped his head out of the open window. "Oh, mate," Graham turned to the driver. "Good luck." He snickered and sped off leaning Graham on the steps of the Academy
"Thanks." Graham huffed and turned. He moved the stairs slowly and stared at the large wooden doors. He knew on the other side of that door, she was in there. With a deep nervous breath, Graham twisted the doorknob open.
He entered into the marvellous grand lobby. His eyes widened following the marble Roman columns up to the gloriously painted ceiling. As he went further through the lobby, Graham eyed the portrait paintings of faces he recognised from long ago in Sunnydale, California. In the center of the portraits of the Scooby Gang was the woman he's been seeking across the globe.
"May I help you, sir?" A tight voice interrupted Graham's thoughts. He turned facing a middle aged, well dressed woman with dark hair tied into a bun. Her face showed a few wrinkles, her lips pierced with impatience and arrogance.
"I'm looking for Buffy Summers." Graham said as politely as possible.
The woman ran her eyes over the obviously weathered man with suspicion. "Do you have an appointment with the Head Mistress?"
"I don't. It's important, ma'm that I see her." Graham said.
The woman sighed and looked down at the electronic calendar book in her hand. "Sir, if you have not made an appointment with the Head Mistress, then I am sorry, I cannot let you see her. The point of fact is, the Head Mistress is a very busy woman. So making an appointment with her would be next to impossible."
Graham turned his head seeing a chair against the marble wall. "I'll wait."
From down the long hallway, loud clacks of heels echoed through the large lobby and into Graham's ears. He watched as the older woman jumped to feet and raced down the hallway into the direction the noise was coming from.
Graham stayed in his seat but watched at the woman stop to talk to the shadowed figure down the hall.
The shadowed figure moved around the woman. Graham could not make out her voice when he heard her murmur to the woman. She continued down the hallway.
The clacks of her heels stopped suddenly when she reached the light nearing Graham.
"What are you doing here?" Her voice was breathless and straight to the point.
Graham stood from the chair and smirked at her nervously. "Hi, Buffy."