Oh goodness. Words cannot express how sorry I am that this took me so long to update. I never thought that school would take over my life as much as it has this semester. It is close to being done, which is a silver lining in my life, and I promise that updates will start to get more frequent. There won't be a huge gap between this chapter and the next, especially one as long as the gap between the previous chapter and this one. With that being said, I hope you enjoy this chapter and let me know what you think in a review!
I snapped out of my daze and looked up at the doorway. It was six hours into the day. Bonnie and Jenna had gone out for their lunch break, but I stayed behind. With Valentine's Day getting closer, I had too much to do. Lunch breaks weren't necessary for me. While the two worked out in the front, I stayed in my office trying to sort out an order that had gone wrong.
"What is it?" I asked Bonnie as she stood in the doorway.
"I know you're trying to get everything together, but Jenna and I need your help out in the front," Bonnie frowned a bit.
"What's going on?"
"There's a woman who wants to order flowers for decoration and bouquets for her wedding. She's getting married in June and she wants to put the order in now," she explained to me.
I furrowed my eyebrows, failing to see what the problem was. When Bonnie saw I was confused, she continued to speak, "It's a Hawaiian styled wedding. She asked us to suggest flowers, so we suggested-"
"Hibiscuses, Orchids, Anthuriums, Heliconias," I cut her off. "Tropical flowers. What did she say?"
Bonnie wrung her hands together, "Well she kind of shot down all of our suggestions and is asking for something that's totally far from the style of the wedding in a very…demanding tone."
"Demanding as in…?" I let my question trail off, looking at her as my head tilted a bit.
"Demanding as in she wants the flowers that she wants and she will not listen to anything that Jenna or I say."
I sighed and pushed myself out of the chair. I gave her a small smile and told her I would handle it.
"I'm sorry," Bonnie sighed. "We tried. She's very hot headed and stubborn."
I touched her arm gently before moving out of my office and to the front. I could see Jenna working with the other customers while a young woman stood with someone I could only guess was her Mother. I put on a smile and introduced myself, holding my hand out. "Hello. I'm Elena. What can I do for you today?"
The Mother shook my hand first and introduced herself, "Danielle. This is my daughter, Nicole, and we're here to get some flowers for her wedding." When she mentioned her daughter, she gestured to the side and I smiled in that direction.
Nicole gave me a half smile and pushed the book towards me. I looked down at the book and saw that she had turned to the blood red roses. "I want these," she said.
I nodded my head slowly, beyond confused with her choice. Blood red roses at a Hawaiian styled wedding which was supposed to be tropical? I looked up at her, "Alright. Bonnie told me that you were looking to have a Hawaiian styled wedding."
"I am," Nicole nodded her head.
"What were you looking to do with that flower-wise? Maybe we can figure out what you're looking for exactly before picking out the flowers," I suggested.
"She wants bouquets, obviously," Danielle scoffed. "But along with those bouquets she wants flowers to be part of the centerpieces, for the flower girl…"
"And I want leis that can be distributed to the guests and bridal party," Nicole added to the list her Mother gave me.
"I like the idea of the leis," I said nicely. "Hawaiian styled weddings are very tropical, so when we work with people who are having any sort of engagement that goes in that direction we offer them flowers of the bright variety."
"That's what Bonnie said but I want those roses."
I looked down at the pictures. The flowers had no place in a tropical wedding. Something like these roses would be better off in a wedding that had more of a romantic setting. All weddings were romantic, don't get me wrong, but a Hawaiian themed wedding didn't fit. To have red roses, a winter wedding would be beautiful. Of course a wedding around Valentine's Day would work. But a wedding in June with a tropical setting? It doesn't fit. Nicole seemed stubborn, though, and so did her Mom. I knew it would be hard to get them to see what would be better.
"Can it be done?" Danielle asked me.
"Well it can be done," I nodded my head. "I just don't think that these type of flowers would do well in a wedding such as the one you're having."
"What do you mean? Roses are romantic. Weddings are romantic," Nicole spoke as she kept pointing to the pictures in the book.
"Yes they are, and your wedding will be romantic no matter what, but it will also be tropical. We have beautiful tropical flowers that you could take a look at. I can show you the bouquets we can make for you along with the arrangements and the leis as well."
Nicole and Danielle automatically began to argue with me. I looked over at Bonnie who gave me an apologetic look.
"How about I show you what we can do with the flowers we are suggesting, hm?" I looked at the women. "We will take a look at those and then we will go from there."
It was obvious Nicole wanted no part in what I offered. I could tell by the way she rolled her eyes and breathed in. She pursed her lips then eventually nodded her head, giving me a short response in agreement with my suggestion. I flipped through the pages and turned the book so they could look. For the next twenty minutes, Bonnie and I went back and forth with the two.
After awhile, I stopped talking for a moment and Bonnie took over. She tried to be persuasive, offering personal opinions on flowers and explaining that hibiscuses were her favorite choice. I pitched in with Bonnie every so often, agreeing with things she said.
As they continued to speak, I heard the door open and looked over at it. I wanted to let out a loud groan out of frustration.
Damon Salvatore was back.
I quickly looked back to Nicole and Danielle, trying my best to pay attention to what they were saying. I suddenly found it hard to listen to whatever they were saying. My eyes kept drifting to the man that had just walked in.
Damon was slowly walking around the shop, his hands tucked into his pockets. He was dressed in another suit, this one dark grey. The shirt underneath his jacket had the first few buttons undone and I swallowed when I noticed that. His hair looked perfectly tousled, as always, and whatever cologne he had used that day was great. It was hard to not be attracted to him, but would I ever admit to being attracted to him? No.
He was walking around the shop and occasionally I'd catch him glancing over at me. Every once in a while he would lean down to smell some of the flowers we had out. The way he was walking around was slightly disturbing. The feeling I got the other night when he walked into the shop late at night came back to me. I stood up straight and cleared my throat, looking back at Nicole and Danielle.
"This is absolutely ridiculous, Mom," Nicole muttered to Danielle.
"I agree. My daughter wants the red roses. As the employees, shouldn't you just give her what she wants?" Danielle began to snap. "What would your manager say?"
"Speaking of the manager, I'd like to speak to whoever it is," Nicole added in.
"I am the manager," I grinned at them.
My words cut them off and they both stuttered over their words. I held my grin, but out of the corner of my eye I could see Damon get closer and closer to where I was standing. The grin I had on my face began to falter.
"Is there a problem, ladies?"
And my grin was gone.
Bonnie straightened up when she saw Damon and I kept my eyes on the book. I was gripping the counter so hard that my knuckles were beginning to turn white.
"Just having a conversation with the manager," Nicole spoke up.
I looked up and I wanted to laugh. Nicole and Danielle were standing up straight, chests pushed out, as they faced Damon. Here she was ordering wedding flowers and flirting with him. The Mother was flirting too. Besides laughter, why did I feel like throwing the book at the two of them? It couldn't be jealousy. That would be stupid.
"I can see that. Can I be of any service?" Damon asked them. He moved to stand in between the two and I knew he was well aware of what effect he had on them.
"No you can't," I said when I finally found my voice. "You don't even work here, Damon."
"True, but I am currently dealing with my crazy future sister-in-law who is a party planner and who is in the process of planning her very own wedding," he smirked. "What do you beautiful ladies need?"
"I'm having a Hawaiian themed wedding," Nicole informed him. "It's the whole shindig. We're getting married on a beach, the reception is going to be on a beach, and we're having a luau and much more that fits with it."
"Sounds absolutely wonderful," Damon drawled his words and I want to roll my eyes at the way his eyebrows shot up when the word 'wonderful' fell off of his tongue.
"My daughter wants blood red roses for it, but the manager and her employees will not give her such arrangements."
"Well I can see why," Damon shrugged.
"You can?" We all said at the exact same time.
I wanted to groan when Damon smirked at me.
"Blood red roses at a Hawaiian themed wedding? With a luau? Doesn't work. Caroline, my sister-in-law, wouldn't go for that. I'm guessing that Elena and…" he looked at Bonnie.
"Bonnie," I snapped a little.
"Elena and Bonnie are suggesting to have these flowers?" Damon pointed to the book and when the girls nodded, he pushed the book towards me. "Go with Elena and Bonnie's advice. Trust me on that, ladies."
He winked at them and I was about to chew him out for thinking that his behavior would actually get them to agree, but something stopped me.
"We'll take them all!" Nicole exclaimed with a smile. "Hibiscuses, Orchids, Anthuriums, Heliconias, do whatever you can with all of them! I'm sure everything will look amazing!"
Bonnie didn't question it and rushed off to grab the order forms. I stood there, my eyes a bit wide, and asked them, "Are you sure?"
"Of course," Danielle grinned, "We trust you."
More like you trusted Damon.
"There you go," Damon smiled. "Ladies, it was lovely to meet you. I'm afraid I must go." He took Danielle's hand and kissed it gently. Then he turned to Nicole and kissed her hand as well, his eyes smoldering. "Have a lovely wedding, Nicole. I'm sure you will make a beautiful bride."
She giggled and thanked him. I threw up in my mouth.
"Elena I will see you," Damon pointed at me. "Later on."
I kept my mouth shut and watched as he walked out of the shop. I went about my business and rushed to get Nicole and Danielle out of the shop. We filled out their orders, they put down the deposit, and they finally left as they giggled over Damon.
"Maybe we should hire Damon," Bonnie looked over at me with a grin.
"No thanks," I said. I went to go back into the shop but turned when I heard the door open. "Are you seriously back again?" I groaned loudly when Damon strolled back in.
"I forgot something."
"What could you have possibly forgotten? There aren't many other women in here you can charm," I shrugged, looking at him with annoyance.
"Oh there's one," Bonnie muttered under her breath before rushing off to help Jenna.
"I forgot to ask you to join me for lunch," Damon smirked.
"No. I have too much to do today. Go catch up with Nicole and Danielle. I'm sure they would be thrilled."
"Careful, Elena," he chuckled as he leaned against the counter. "You sound a tad bit jealous."
"I am not jealous. You are delusional."
"Maybe. Maybe not. So what's the answer on lunch?"
"Her answer is yes!" Jenna shouted.
"Jenna I already ate lunch," I was quick to make up an excuse.
"No you didn't," Bonnie said. She grabbed my lunch out of the fridge we had underneath the counter and dropped it down on the counter. My face fell and my shoulders sagged.
"Go get your jacket," Damon's smirk got wider. "I'll be waiting outside."
I glared at his back as he walked out, then glared at Jenna and Bonnie. "I hate the both of you," I said to them.
"We love you too!" The two of them laughed and then went back to working with customers.
I dragged my feet to the back to gather my things and swallowed the lump in my throat. Lunch with Damon. It couldn't be that bad, could it?