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Thread: A rose by any other name...[M]{DamoniquexBrokecollege}

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    Default A rose by any other name...[M]{DamoniquexBrokecollege}

    Rated M for stong language, drug and alcohol use, blood and Gore, sexual themes and content, and physical and emotional violence. Don't say I didn't warn you...

    First Day

    The day was overcast, as was his mood, as Darien sat staring out the tinted windows in the backseat of a huge black Mercades. The car would stand out anywhere, but especially in this part of town, and people were already taking notice.A few rough looking young men in baggy jeans and t-shirts crossed from the other side of the street to get a better look.

    Darien knew the type, as did his driver, who rolled down his own window just long enough to disposess them of any ideas they might have. Just a quick glimpse was effective, and they scurried off to whatever hole they came from.

    Darien paid him no further mind and turned back to the object of his attention. It was a small storefront wedged between a struggling bakery and a boarded-up hardware store. But despite it's dreary surroundings, it was vibrant.

    Dozens of colors, hues, and shades clashed in the flower shop windows, but not unpleasantly. Whoever had arranged them had clearly put a lot of talent and effort into arranging the display for just the right effect.

    Darien had been here before, though he'd never gone in. First years that felt like a lifetime ago, and more recently over the last few months. The driver looked back and opened his mouth as if to say something, but a good look at the expression on the bosses face stopped him before he started.

    Darien himself looked down at his hands to find them shaking, ever so slightly, and clenched his fists tight to stop it. Too tightly, as pain blossomed where his well-manicured nails dug into his palms, very nearly sharply enough to draw blood. He took the pain without complaint, barely so much as gritting his teeth against it. It served it's purpose, helping him focus.

    Suddenly, almost angrily, he threw open the door and stepped into the street and slammed it behind him, drawing wary glances out of the windows of the crammed-together apartment blocks on the other side of the street. The owners of those eyes were surely relieved when he headed the other way, towards the flower shop

    The tall, dark-haired man stopped in front of the door to compose himself, carefully smoothing the creases out of the dark tailored suit fitted perfectly to him, adjusting the blood-red tie he wore about his neck, and checked the time on the silver Rolex on his right wrist against the scheduled hours hand-written on the sign on the door.

    It was a little after Ten AM, the place had been open for about an hour, but probable not very busy yet, if it ever was. Idly, he wondered if it was possible she had written those words, years ago. Unlikely, stores changed hours, signs wore out...he realized he was stalling, and with a sharp, uncharicteristic intake of breath before stepping forward and pushing open the door.

    There was a single, crisp chime of a bell when the latch opened, alerting the shops sole occupant of a customer's arrival.


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    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

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    When she was younger, Delphine had wanted to be a teacher. It did not matter to her what subject she taught--in fact, the only thing that mattered was that she had a classroom of her own, and thirty-one kids who she could passionately teach and inspire. She liked to think that if her father hadn't fallen sick, and that if she hadn't had to drop out of college during the first semester, then maybe she would have completed that dream.

    Delphine frowned suddenly before she quickly shook her head and stood from her seat. What was she doing, fantasizing about such things? If she had time to let her mind wander, then she could be doing something else! Like, paying the bills or organizing the arrangements for the windows and displays. The young woman adjusted the apron that hung around her neck and, with her lips pursed in determination, grabbed an armful of colorful flowers.

    She set them neatly on the table in the backroom and, after grabbing a few other necessary tools, got to work creating arrangements. She remained seated at that table until an hour later when the faint sound of a bell chiming caught her attention. Customer. She glanced over to a nearby clock, and then furrowed her brow. A customer so early in the morning? Her usuals did not show up until later in the afternoon, usually after work or during their breaks.

    She placed her unfinished arrangement down onto the table before she rushed out to greet the customer. "Hello, there!" she greeted as she approached the lone customer.

    But after greeting him, Delphine was brought to a pause. Most of Delphine's customers consisted of weary single mothers, older women seeking to add to their gardens, and the occasional boyfriend looking for an arrangement to appease his annoyed girlfriend. This man did not fit in any of those categories. He was tall and dark, and extremely handsome. She wondered, for a brief moment, if the man had ever modeled in his life.

    He must have. How else could he afford such a fancy suit and fancy accessories? I mean, that watch that was wrapped around his wrist looked as if it was worth more than Delphine's life and her store combined! But if he could afford such things, then why was he on this side of town in Delphine's little shop? Delphine, realizing she was staring, cleared her throat and smiled. "Hello, welcome to Louise's Garden. Did you need help looking for anything, sir?" she questioned.
    "and like all lovers and sad people, i am a poet."

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    Darien was already having second thoughts as the door opened fully and he stepped across the threshold into the store, thoughts whirling through his head. What was he even doing here?

    He had important business to attend to. His people, and his enemies, would think less of him, surely. Grigori wouldn't say anything, but there were eyes all over the city, and the people loved to gossip. Besides, even if the woman was here, what would he say to someone he had never met, knew barely anything about and surely knew nothing of himself.

    But the doubts quieted when he breathed deep and the scents washed over him. Lily, Jasmine, Hiacinth, Rose...and Delilah. These flowers and half a hundred more, many he couldn't name by smell or sight. The shop swirled with color to his vision, not just the color of the actual flowers, but tracers representing the myriad scents blurring together. His sometimes curse, sometimes blessing of synesthesia acting up.

    It was sudden and overwhelming enough to induce vertigo, and he stumbled forward, hands shooting out to catch hold of a display table to retain his balance, closing his eyes and taking several deep breaths until it passed.

    Only when he opened his eyes again did he realize he was no longer alone. And not with who he was expecting, either. He quickly stood up straight, brushing an imaginary hair from his shoulder, and observed the girl before him, deep blue-greys widening by the second.

    His lips parted to let out an imperceptable name under his breath that was lost in the distance between them. No, it wasn't a ghost he was seeing, Darien hadn't lost his mind yet. Close though, almost uncannily so. But as he studied her, the differences became obvious.

    She was young, early twenties, and slighter of build, a few inches shorter. Reddish hair was more a rich auburn than deep crimson, tied back in a braid similar to his own. Fairer, pale skin was dusted with freckles that brought out soft emerald eyes. Pretty, yes, but not the beauty he was imagining. He had missed her first question in the moment, but caught the second clearly.

    "Hello, welcome to Louise's Garden. Did you need help looking for anything sir?" She asked in a trilling voice, and Darien nearly smiled despite his confusion. The kindness in the girls tone was palpable

    "Actually, I was looking for Ms. Louise herself. Is she in?" He asked in a low voice, almost without thinking.
    Last edited by Damonique; 04-04-2019 at 06:36 PM.


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    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

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    For a moment, the man just stared at Delphine. He looked startled by her presence, almost as if he had been expecting someone other than Delphine to step forward and offer help. When he did speak, it was only to utter something--though, it was voice was so soft and so faint that she could not understand what it was that had been said. Another moment of silence passed between the two before the man, in a more firm and clear voice, admitted that he needed some help.

    And while she expected that help to revolve around finding a certain flower or preparing an arrangement, she was surprised to find that was not the case. The man was actually looking for a person--more specifically, her mother. Her smile faltered for a brief moment, before returning to its bright and cheery state. "Ms. Louise does not visit the store very often these days--" because she couldn't, as the poor woman was confined to the bed due to her health.

    "--but I am her daughter, Delphine. If there is any business that you have with her, then I would be more than happy to relay a message to her." She paused suddenly, her bright eyes glancing over the man. Wait. He was a wealthy man looking for her mother? Could it be that this man was from the insurance company, and that is why he had been caught off guard by Delphine's presence? She bit the inside of her cheek.

    She knew that she was a few months behind on her payments, but did that blasted company really have to send someone in to terrorize them about it?! Well, if he was from the insurance company, then Delphine simply wouldn't relay his message to her mother. The woman was already suffering through so much, there was no need to add stress about bills and the payments. She gestured towards the nearby counter.

    "If you would like, sir, you can write down your name and number on a piece of paper for her." she offered before she walked over to the counter. She dug through the drawers before she pulled out a pad of paper, and an old ink pen with a random Hotel name scribbled across it. She returned to the man, paper and pen in hand, and offered it to him with a smile.
    "and like all lovers and sad people, i am a poet."

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    Darien took a moment to process what the girl was telling him. This wasn't Louise O'Neill, but her daughter, Delphine. The name did ring a bell, but before he could put his finger on it, the girl became a flurry of activity.

    After her warm introductions, the colder, businesslike way Delphine spoke after he'd asked for her mother came as quite a shock. Had he somehow offended her? It seemed doubtful, he'd hardly said a dozen words put together. Perhaps she realized who he was? Also unlikely. If she did, she would be more polite, not less.

    Whatever brought on her change of tone was personal. He recalled her downcast expression when mentioning her mother.. that could be it. He had known Make. Louise had not been well, even back then, clearly, the situation had gotten worse.

    "My condolences, Miss Delphine...." He stated almost automatically after putting those facts together, and then considered the pen and notepad she offered for a moment before placing his strong hands around her small ones and gently pushing away the pen and pad. Her fingers were patterned and calloused to guard against prickles and thorns, stained the light green of chlorophyll.

    "That won't be necessary. I was just checking in for a..." He paused, considering his next words carefully. "..an old friend." He settled on, releasing her hands to make a waving gesture as if to say it was unimportant.

    Darien turned as if to leave, realising there was nothing here for him but heartache, but stopped and turned back around to regard Delphine. It would be rude of him to walk out without buying something, and after all, it was an anniversary, if not the happy one it could have been.

    "Actually, I think you could help me with something. I'd like to buy a rose, just one. Red or white, makes no difference. Thorned, preferably." He stated in the same confident tone he conducted all his business in, polite but somewhat forceful.


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    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

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    Delphine was brought to a pause when the man spoke his condolences. His condolences? Before she could ask why he would offer such a thing, the man reached forward and gently pushed the pen and paper that Delphine held away from him. Her offer was not necessary, he said, as he was just checking in for an old friend. So.. he was not from the insurance company. But, then, what old friend of his could have had business with her mother?

    She doubted this man--or any of his friends, for that matter--ever ran with the same circles as her mother. The young woman slowly nodded her head as she pulled the pen and paper to her chest. She thought about asking about this old friend of his, out of pure curiosity, but just as she was about to open her mouth the man turned around in preparation to leave. She watched him for a moment before she, too, turned to go about her day.

    Though, before she could fully turn around the man had turned back towards her to speak again. This time, he asked Delphine to help him in purchasing a single, thorned rose. How odd was that--Delphine did not think she had ever recieved a request for a thorned rose before. She nodded her head, "Of course, sir." she turned on her heel and headed to the back, where she retrieved an untouched red rose from one of her fridges.

    She returned to the counter with the rose and some tissue paper. "Your total will be $3.50, sir." she informed as she gently placed the rose onto the tissue paper. There was a pause before she continued. "Thorned roses are very rarely asked for." she admitted as she gently folded the tissue paper over the stem of the rose. "I think it has something to do with their meaning. A thornless rose symbolizes love at first sight, you see. But the torns of a rose symbolize loss and thoughtlessness."

    The young florist grabbed a red ribbon and tied it around the wrapping paper that now held the rose, securing it in its place. "Or, it just could have something to do with their tendency to poke people." she finished. She picked up the rose and offered it to the man with a smile. "Your rose, sir."
    "and like all lovers and sad people, i am a poet."

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    Darien listened intently to the redhead's words as she went to fetch the flower for him, explaining the difference in meaning between Roses with and without thorns, and he nodded along with the explaination.

    He already knew this, which was why he'd made his request just so. His Delilah had taught him that, and much more besides. She had known nearly everything one could know about flowers, learned from Delphine's mother, old Mrs. Louise.

    "Myself, I always pick the painful truth over the gentle lie. The thorned roses tell the truth, that love comes with pain. The ones without are the liars." Darien stated in an even tone, waxing philosophy. It was something of a habit, giving Delphine a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes when she presented him with the Rose.

    Again, he found the resemblence striking as Delphine spoke of flowers in her lyrical tone, though he knew it was more a trick of his mind than the reality. Upon hearing the total, he reached into his back pocket and retrieved a fine leather wallet, monogrammed with the initials D.F. in embossed silver script and opened it.

    There was a lone fifty-dollar bill folded in between the sheafs of personal and corporate cards and identification. He considered just using a card before looking again into Delphine's soft green eyes, and then fetched out the bill, pressing it into her palm with one hand and collecting his rose with the other, tucking the stem carefully into his breast pocket.

    When he inhaled, the heady aroma of the flower was overpowering, framing Delphine's reddish hair with wisps of deep cherry red flowing like smoke. It was breathtaking...and familiar. He was staring so intently that he forgot he was still holding on to the fifty until she reached for it, brushing his hand with hers, and he let go of the bill with a start.

    "Please, keep the change. And thank you very much, Delphine." He stated in a low, almost breathless tone, and turned toward to storefront to see his tone was running short. Grigori,his massive, clean-shaven bodyguard, was standing beside the open driver's door of the Mercades, peering in and waving when he caught Darien's eye.


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    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

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    Thorned roses tell the truth, the man said, of which was that with love comes pain. Delphine let out a quiet, 'hmph' in thought. What a truly bleak perspective of love this man had. When she told him the total, the man reached into his back pocket and pulled from it a leather wallet with fine, silver lettering going across it. The man opened the wallet and, after a second of thought, pulled a bill from between the folds.

    Delphine offered the man her free hand to place the money in, which he did. But he did not let it go immediately--instead, he held it in the palm of his hand, his grey eyes peering down at Delphine with a mixture of emotions she could not decipher. When he realized he was staring, he released the money from his grasp and told Delphine to keep the change. She looked down, expecting a crisp five dollar bill to have been placed in her hand.

    But, instead, she was greeted with a fifty dollar bill. The man then turned around to leave the store, but before he could take a step forward, Delphine interrupted him. "It exists. Love without pain. You've just yet to find it." she tucked the fifty dollar bill into the register and, even though the man was turned around, smiled. "Have a good rest of your day, sir. And thank you for your generous tip." with that being said, Delphine adjusted the apron that she wore and returned to the backroom.

    Love was beautiful. It was kind. It was forgiving, it was generous, it was the one thing in this world that truly mattered. Delphine would know, because it was Delilah that told her that all those years ago. And there was no woman more truthful or more genuine with her words than her. God, the way her eyes sparkled when she described love to Delphine... the redhead would never forget it.
    "and like all lovers and sad people, i am a poet."

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    Darien heard Delphine's kind words echo behind him, but didn't turn to face her. If he had, she would have been able to see the combination of bitterness and sadness that seeped into his features at the sweet sentiment.

    "It exists. Love without pain. You've just yet to find it." Said the girl who truly knew nothing of what she was speaking of, her naivete showing. It was a harsh thought, not innacurate, but still unkind. The fresh, crisp scent of rose still filling his head, he recalled Delilah had been much the same at not much older...it was natural of the innocent to see the best in the world and the people around them.

    "A sweet thought, but the world is not a poem, nor a play with happy endings." He whispered absently, in way of parting, as much to himself as to Delphine just before he reached for the door. But the words brought another thought unbidden to his mind...Unless one wrote their own script.

    With that in mind, Darien left the store without another word, leaving behind only the money and the tinkling of the bell to indicate he had ever been there. When he reached the car, he started Grigori with a request he hadn't made on nearly a year.

    "Take me to the cemetery....to her."
    Last edited by Damonique; 04-05-2019 at 06:36 AM.


    Spoiler: Favorite Quotes(Changed Monthly) 



    Damonique and Natora, Joshua and Jessica, over a million words strong and the story goes on and on and on.....

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    -approximately one week later

    "Could you loan me some money?" "Why? Are you behind on your bills again?" "Just a little bit." there was a pause, and then a long sigh. "Delphine, this is the sixth month in a row you've been behind in your bills. Don't you think that it is time for a different approach? Maybe, even, a more... radical one?" a young, feminine vioce questioned. Delphine frowned, as she already knew where her friend was heading. But Delphine could never do that.

    This business meant everything to Delphine's family. She could not sell it just because they have had a rough couple of years. "No," Delphine stated, her voice more firm than it had ever been. "I can't do that. I won't. Besides, this is the last month that I'll be behind, I--" "You said that last month. And the month before. And the month before that one. When does it end, Delphine?" Rosa's question had the young woman pursing her lips together. She should not have called Rosa--as good of a friend as the woman was, she always ended up turning their conversations into lectures.

    "You know what," Delphine sighed as she scratched the back of her head. "I have to go. There's a ton of arrangements I have to work on, and customers I have to tend to..." the redhead trailed off as she stood from the metal barstool she had seated herself upon. "I'll call you later, Rosa." with that being said, Delphine hung up the phone and tossed it onto the table. Well, shit. She ran her hands over her face in frustration.

    If she could not get money through her friends, then she would have to find another way. Although, she did not know if any other ways existed. At least, other ways that did not end up with her having to make an agreement with a loan shark. The redhead grabbed an armful of arrangements she had made the night before and begrudgingly made her way to the front of the store where she, like every other week, got to work re-arranging the window display.
    "and like all lovers and sad people, i am a poet."

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