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Third re-write. I had to  figure out one of my misbeliefs and that meant changes needed to be made. Thanks if you get time to read this.

“No way! Is that a pile of chocolate kisses on your desk?” Edward groaned as he stopped in mid-stride in the doorway to Daisy’s office. <span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>“Yup, must be,” he said as he walked up to her, leaned across her desk and uncovered the silver bud stash she tried to hide from him.”Ummm, Hershey kisses at nine a.m. Something’s definitely wrong.”

She might be totally uptight but Edward’s deep southern accent always caught Daisy by surprise and made her smile. Her best friend with his mussed longish dark hair never fit her image of a southern gentleman.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>“Yeah, well you were right my dad asked me to be lead council on the Braxton Pharmaceutical case.” She paused before blurting out, “I told him I wasn’t sure I could do the job.” Daisy forced a calmness into her voice she wasn’t feeling.

You did what?” Edward said bolting upright. “You’ve been waiting for this chance to shine.”

“Hold up.” Daisy stood up, walked around her desk and over to her door. “No way do I want this conversation overheard. She’d expected Edward would check in with her just not this early. Now she’d have to explain.

She peeked out into the hallway to see if any inquiring minds were nearby and then shut her door. “Come sit with me,” she said as she grabbed Edward’s hands and pulled him over to one of the two armchairs placed around a small round coffee table.“Listen to me. I’ve got a good reason.” She took a deep breath before continuing, “My mom called. Last Thursday she slipped on the ice and broke her wrist outside her shop. She has the contract<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>to do the flowers for the Fur-Baby Gala. It’s a huge job and hard enough normally but with a broken wrist she’s asking me to come home and help her.”

“So I’m betting you never told your dad about your mom,” he said staring into her eyes.“Well, you need to. Even though your parents have a contentious relationship you have to hope he’ll understand.”

“I planned to. Honest I did. But he got a phone call and waved me out of his office.”

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>Well, you have to talk to him. Daisy you’ve been working day and night to get to this point. Its your chance to prove you deserve the next partner position that comes up. Otherwise your nemesis Sondra will be vying for the Braxton<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>job and the partnership might be hers too.”

“Yes, I know, but what if he frowns on me going home. I don’t have a choice. I have to help my mom. She never asks for help.”

“Question for you? Why can’t your mom find someone in Houndsville to help her? What about your sister? And what do you know about flower arranging? I hate to say this but you never struck me as the creative type.”

Daisy narrowed her eyes on Edward. “Sit right here.” She stood up, walked over to her desk and fished around in the top drawer until she found what she was searching for.Once she had the scissors in her hand she walked back and sat next to Edward.

“Grab that flower arrangement on the credenza behind you and hand it over.”

“Whatever for?” Edward asked even though he did what he was told.

Daisy took the rather large silk flower arrangement from Edward and unceremoniously pulled all the flowers and greenery out of the crystal bowl placing everything on the table in front of them.

What’s that green thingy for,” Edward asked pointing to the round green sphere with metal pins sticking up inside it still in the bottom of the bowl.

“Believe it or not its called a Pin Frog.You stick the stems into the pins and it anchors the flowers in place.Watch me and try to learn something,”she said as she picked up about a half dozen blue hyacinths and some white daisies. “Several of these hyacinths are faded and some of the daisies could use their stems cut.”<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

Several of the hyacinths she threw in a nearby trash can, and she used her scissors to drastically cut the daisies’ stems. The fernlike greenery she didn’t touch.

Edward sat transfixed as she took her time sticking the hyacinths stems into the Pin Frog at various heights and then did the same with the daisies.She finished it off by interspersing the greenery between the blooms. She did have to end up cutting a few pieces of the fernlike greenery. Done she held the finished arrangement up for viewing. “There. All done. Looks better huh?”

“Okay, I take back what I said. How did you learn to do that? It looks like a different arrangement now.”

“Duh? My mom owns a flower shop. But for your information she used to teach flower arranging to some members of a local garden club. My sister, Hyacinth, and I joined in the class. I learned a lot, not so much Hyacinth. She can’t arrange flowers worth a darn. That would be why my mom reached out to me to help rather than my sister.”

“All right you proved your point but I still want to know why your mom can’t find someone in Houndsville to hire?”

“She did hire someone, but she told me Betsy, the new hire, lied about her flower arranging ability, and she’s turned out to be belligerent to the customers. My mom jokingly told me if I didn’t get there soon she might kill Betsy. Daisy clenched her hands together in her lap struggling to spit out her feelings. “Don’t think I’m not afraid to leave. Afraid I’ll lose my edge here. But leaving here and going home is what I need to do.” She paused before murmuring, “Come with me?”<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

Edward gave her his endearing lop-sided smile as he reached across to Daisy and squeezed her hands in his.“Why darling are you trying to change the subject by proposing that we live together?”

Stunned into silence, Daisy blinked, opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came out. Where had her request come from?

“Okay, Edward grinned. “Seriously why would you want me to go?”

Daisy shrugged.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>It had been a spur of the moment decision. She remained silent.

Edward picked up the slack.“Let’s say I’ll consider your offer. When are you leaving?”

“At the end of the week. I plan to drive. It’ll take about seven hours.

“Crap, you don’t give a guy much time to decide.”And you really think no one will know we went together?”

“So let them think whatever. Houndsville, can be fun, and besides what are you going to do without me here?”

“Okay, I have a feeling this is a huge mistake, but life without you here …well, that’s hard to imagine. Good thing I have vacation time coming, but no promises about how long I’ll stay.

“You won’t regret it.” Was she sure about that?

“Oh, one caveat.” he added. “You have to talk to your dad.”

“All right. Will do.” She had a fews days to figure that out. At this point she could only hope he’d understand and might even keep the Braxton job open for her until till she<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>returned.

Daisy’s eyes followed Edward as he left her office. His piercing blue eyes, killer smile, and teasing personalty drew many of the women in the firm to him. For a while now she knew their relationship was always a point of conversation. She could just imagine the gossip being bandied about when they both left at the same time.

She hadn’t been totally up front with Edward. Going home would be a trial for her. She’d had few friends and was bullied in school. When the time came after high school to leave for college and eventually last school she couldn’t wait to leave. Edward might learn<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>she’d been the fat, ugly nerdy<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>kid who never much talked to anyone.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>Would he still like her?<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>Her stomach rolled. Guess she’d find out.

<b>Not sure if I will still include the last paragraph or save it for later in the plot.Inmates any thoughts?</b>

The other thing was in<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span> the last several months she’d had pangs of<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>remorse for her choice of a career. The pace was so darn blistering. She never had time for friends or much of anything fun. But it all came to a head about three weeks ago.She attended a charity event where dogs needing foster homes were available to good homes.

Soldier, a sable six year old collie captured her heart when he raised his paw to her. The forlorn look in his eyes nearly broke her. She turned her back on him. She had too. How could she be a good foster parent if she worked so many hours?

She’d left the event right after that. She couldn’t stay any longer. Still Soldier’s eyes haunted her for days. A zillion times she’d picked up her phone wanting to see if he’d found a home but she stopped herself. Time to think and plan about her next move.


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