The sunshine was warm as it fell across my face. I wasn’t ready to get up yet but my alarm wasn’t allowing anyone to sleep in today.
Rolling over I flipped the switch and turned the alarm off. My muscles screamed as I stretched and I brushed my hand across the cold spot where Alec was supposed to be.
I felt a twinge of sadness wash over me. He never stayed the whole night, he always went home to her.
What was I doing?
I was going to break my best friends heart just as Alec was going to break mine.
Sighing I climbed out of bed and took a quick shower.
It wasn’t long before I was out and getting dressed, I had to get to work in less than forty five minutes. Pulling on a pair of jeans and a baby doll blouse I tied my shoes, grabbed my apron and ran out the door.
Peter’s flowers wasn’t far from where I lived so thankfully I saved time on that. I pulled my hair into a pony tail before heading inside carrying the green apron.
The bell chimed overhead as I walked through the door. The smell of dirt and various kinds of flowers greeted me.
“Cassandra is that you?” Mrs. Holtz called from the back of the store.
“Yea it’s me” I called back as I stepped around the displays. I pulled the apron over my head and tied it behind my back. The logo on the front said “Peters Flowers” in a faded mixture of yellow purple and pinks. A floral design surrounded the logo.
Peter was Mrs. Holtz youngest son, she used to bring him to work every other day. He was a cute kid, curly blonde hair intelligent bright blue eyes and a giant ball of energy. At the time the place was called “Floral engagements”. Then one day Mrs. Holtz called and said she was temporarily closing the shop. Peter had gotten really sick really fast, turns out he had stage four cancer. He lived the last four months of his short six years of life in a children’s hospital. The shop was closed for over a year after his death, I found other work until three years ago right after I graduated Mrs.Holtz called and said she was reopening and offered me a position. I was assistant manager. She then changed the name from “floral engagements” to “Peters flowers”.
Now I work along side Mrs.Holtz and her oldest son Brian and teenage daughter Megan. Mr.Holtz shows up every once in a blue moon.
“Hey cas” I looked up and met Brian’s blue eyes.
“Morning Brian” I weaved behind the register and punched in my code to clock in.
“Mom said there’s a lot to do today” he was looking at me in the way he always looks at me, I was fully aware of the crush he had I just refused to acknowledge it. I didn’t want to lead him on. He was handsome, his physique was nice and his features were that of a model, his blonde hair was short and he looked like the perfect male specimen...but I’ve never felt any sort of romantic feelings for him.
“Yea there’s a wedding tomorrow, she told me about it yesterday” I said heading towards the back.
Mrs. Holtz was leaning over a row of potted plants carefully inspecting each one. Her golden gray and white hair was as always tied into a tight bun on the back of her head, her small figure was aging and i knew her brown eyes would still hold the sadness of her loss, even if she wasn’t aware of it.
“Good morning Cassandra, beautiful morning isn’t it?” She looked over her shoulder and smiled at me.
I have her a smile in return, “yes it’s gorgeous outside”
“Not to long now and fall will be taking over” she said standing up to her full height and brushing her hands off.
“I know, I’m going to miss the warmth” I said while gathering the flowers the brides mother had ordered.
By noon half of the order was done and I was starving. My stomach growled just as Brian past by.
He laughed and I jumped from the sudden sound, “Cas why don’t we go get some lunch?”
“No I’m ok, we really need to get this done” i said just as my stomach let out another thunderous growl.
“Yea well you need to eat so come on” he grabbed my hand and set down the flowers I’d been holding , “Mom, Cassandra and I are going to get lunch we’ll be back... do you want anything?” He called.
“No thank you dear” her small voice called from the back.
He smiled at me and pulled me out of the store.
Brian was a few years older than me, he was twenty six, three years my senior, we’d gone to high school together for two years before he graduated. He’d gone to college to become a doctor but the moment his brother fell sick he’d come back and he’d never left.
We walked into “Lasalles” a small restaurant nearby, thankfully within walking distance of the flower shop. The place was small and quaint, it was a cute hole in the wall and decorated like a country kitchen. It was always nice coming here.
We took a seat on the patio outside enjoying the summer sun.
“So how’s the order coming along?”
I looked up from the menu and glanced at him “Good, we’re so close to being done. I still have to tie the giant ribbons around a set of roses for the church pews and then all that’s left is the brides bouquet”
“You’re really good at handling everything, from the plants to the flowers to crazy exotic orders” he chuckled “you’re wonderful”
I blushed a deep crimson, my face suddenly felt a little to warm “thank you”
A young waiter walked over and smiled, “good afternoon my name is David I’ll be your waiter this afternoon, can I start you folks off with anything to drink?”
“Lemonade please” I said skimming the food section.
“Waters fine” Brian said. After the boy walked away I could still feel the heat of Brian’s stare.
“Cas I’ve been wanting to ask for awhile now and now seems the perfect time as any” wide eyed I looked up at him. His face had gone pale and he looked really nervous.
A dark movement by the street to the entrance of the restaurant caught my eye.
A pair of angry steel gray eyes met mine before scrutinizing the male sitting across from me.
Brian chose that moment to take my shaky hand in his. Those furious steel eyes flared and his jaw clenched. I was sure Alec had cracked some teeth.
He thought I was on a date.
Alec was jealous.
I’d never seen him jealous before and I...I loved it. I felt almost empowered by it.
Last night flashed in front of me, everyone was expecting me to have a boyfriend. Alec thought he was the only man in my life, he doubted that I could be in a stable committed relationship.
This could be my way of getting out of my lie.
I turned and gave him the biggest smile, his face brightened and he practically puffed out his chest and banged on it.
“So is that a yes?”
“Yes?” I wasn’t even sure as to what I was fully agreeing to, but I had to get past this to ask him to be my fake boyfriend , just for a little while.
“Great then its a date”
My eyes bulged and swung to the empty spot Alec had currently occupied.