a Sultry Land

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During Production

Twenty one-

The building’s were steadily coming together, and Enid Rae’s la Boutique idea was a success. Meridian spoke to Dane of her idea sometime ago, liked, even understood Enid’s persuasion, and put her ideas into fruition. Gordon, Dane, and Ruben had a lot to do with the contractor’s, during the building processes, and much of the building’s landscaping, and designs were their own. They designed courtyard seating, and verandas on all three floors. Meridian’s art gallery, will have fragrant plants for sale. The coffee shop will have expensive light posts put in for a distinctive cozy atmosphere.

Gordon’s shipment of equipment for his dream project has come true, as carpenters worked closely, color coordinating the halls of office spaces, stores, and the gallery’s interior walls, and a hair salon positioned focally in the front of the plaza on the first floor, mimics the barbershop facing west. In the gallery, Meridian ordered wooden floors, has smooth music piped in, glass shelves, stained glass sectioning. She’ll have wooden beams on the ceiling, with track lights running across them, a visitors book to sign in at the entrance, with a place to leave comments, Millicent gifted her, and in another month or so, interviews will be conducted for all positions.

The shopping plaza’s grand opening is in two months, and something well planned. With the fifteen spaces still available, several people bid for the spots they like, including a family who wanted to move their ice-cream parlor, and flower shop. Dane took Ruben, and Gordon to that meeting, and the couple’s enthusiasm stole the show, and Gordon’s negotiations at the meeting with the Quinn’s seemed fair to the buyers, so Ruben drew papers of the accounting perspective, and offered incentives, after all, no one lives forever, and the Quinn’s leased two spaces to buy, and humble people signed contracts, and moved out of the spaces they occupied, to new.

They were a shoe-in, as long as Ruben confirmed their down payment with Gordon. Dane thanked the Quinn’s for their interest, and had a good sense about them, happy, the Quinn’s had a place to flourish their businesses. Their ice-cream shop will be on the first floor, next to the pizza shop, and the florist on the other side of the ice-cream shop, and in a short time, the Quinn’s, will advertise, and set up their shops to the liking of their ideas. Dane owned the surrounding land of the plaza, and had the resources to continue building. Quaint is his shopping town with many shops. Dane had to build sidewalks as well as the parking lots.

He, his wife, Ruben, and Gordon accepted offers to fill spaces, and as business came together, Millicent had time off from school, and a chance to dive into the work done at the plaza, and Miss Enid, excited each day another side of the buildings going up, and windows put in. The soil was so rich, it smelled good, and it was almost a shame to cover it, once all the trees, and brush cleared. Everyone had purposes, and togetherness in their lives, Meridian became very interested, showcasing a lot of Millicent’s works of art in the art gallery. Gordon suggested Millicent write books, detailing her crafts, and the Mon Cheri’ expressed they wanted to illustrate her art for years.

Millicent had many creative ideas to offer children for years to come. She’s shy, mostly because in school, her peers criticized her weight, and she in turn stayed to herself, except for Padimye. Millicent outgrew the people with jealous bones, and her lights shone brightly. Millicent, a sweet girl, lived on her parents property while attending college. Millicent was sweet, but if ever she ran into a girl named Ally, another named Giselle, she would hope she had Gordon by her side for their sake. Those two girls, the worst, acted against her in high school, and in college, mocked her, making her feel badly. Gordon, now a gorgeous hunk, as Millicent became beautiful.

Gordon went on missions for his business too, and on occasion, Beryl still made passes. He paid Beryl no mind, as it were, his getting plenty of attention from women, and Millicent, and she, nor her passes meant anything to him. There should not have been animosity, and Gordon thought Beryl plain crazy. He and Dane realized she’s just untamed, as she dated other men besides Vernon, and had the good sense not to bring escorts to her workplace, even if she loved her life tipsy some days. That weekend, Beryl attended Sunday services, and elected to sit next to Vernon, and that time too, she’d been gruff.

To other people, she spoke out of place, and in the sanctuary, made people uncomfortable, and embarrassing Vernon, blue. Gordon went on dates with Millicent, Beryl needed to understand that her party was fun, done. He made the affair clear to Beryl by their third escapade, that they’re kidding themselves, he said, and that they should be done. Not under any circumstances he, the junior Master of the manor (by the way), would be in pursuit of any guest or housekeeper, especially since she’d been persistent. Beryl knew she was being a seductress, and, initiated every reaction Gordon delivered. She knew to remain in act, as if nothing ever happened.

Gordon was out of the manor since lunch, thought he would shoot the breeze for a while, and leaving, Beryl made another pass, he was busy, and made business connections through association. Gordon still hadn’t found the particular friend he’d been looking for. He was away at college four years, and came back two years after that, discovering that some of the people he knew before he left, scattered. It has been a year since he heard from his friend Base, and was concerned. Gordon’s return to the sultry lands six years later, made him unable to get in contact with one, or two of his closest friends, and it was abnormal, since he’d been home at the mansion already almost a year.

That day, he went home to freshen up, and changed his clothes, to go to Millicent’s parent’s house for dinner. Ever since Gordon met Millicent he’d been straight forward, assertive, and apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Mon Cheri’ for being selfish, occupying Millicent’s time with only himself, in which they had concern. Gordon spoke to Millicent’s parents, and used direct eye contact, and also mentioned how fond he is of her, and didn’t give Millicent’s parents a reason not to be optimistic. His gestures was a good look, as he explained how he thought he, and their daughter Millicent had a lot in common, and the Mon Cheri’ seemed easy people.

“I apologize for truly losing track of time.” From the beginning, Philip Mon Cheri’ could see Gordon cared for his daughter, and the couple liked him, but wanted to remind him of Millicent’s studies as well. When he regarded their thoughts on the subject, they reached an understanding of her educational importance. They learned more about Gordon, his persistence, and his studies. Before the night was through, the Mon Cheri’ extended a welcoming invitation for Gordon to visit any time. Their concern of Millicent having challenges with certain people in the Sultry Lands, was quite a triumph to get over, and didn’t want to see Millicent fall into a broken heart again.

Millicent was not in love with anyone, but was backstabbed. She will devote her time into giving help to those in need, and in apprenticeships, achieving her master’s degree. Her artistic abilities, and technical skills are useful, but the Mon Cheri’ want Millicent to stand on her own, with a profession she could fall upon. Her dreams for opening a summer camp for handicapped children, she wanted a reality, but the Mon Cheri’ saw better things for Millicent,, and made Gordon aware, they didn’t want her to fall behind, and give up her dreams for anyone.

Gordon was on their side, and by Millicent’s as well. The d’Anise name precedes him, which could mean one, to three things, yet, Gordon, is Gordon.

“Millicent accumulated her bachelor’s degree in nursing, braille, childcare, sign language, and business administration,” Bernadette proudly explained to Gordon listened attentively, and as long as they weren’t throwing him out. Gordon sipped Sherry, and watched Millicent move to, and fro.

“Once she’s done with her master’s degree in education she will have the necessary credentials to run a private practice,” stated Mr. Mon Cheri’.

That information was more than Gordon knew of Millicent. He knew she was smart, but didn’t know she’d already mastered those requirements. Millicent can be too modest sometimes, but wanted to be the best she could be, and without distractions, and the Mon Cheri’ knew her ability to do just that, until Gordon came along. What Millicent, and her mother prepared for dinner smelled utterly delightful. Gordon had a perplexing day, eagerly going out to find the underlying cause of silence from one of his childhood friends, and by that time upon finding him, he wanted a confrontation. Had Basil Vaughn become a hot shot doctor- too good to speak to Gordon anymore?

Gordon wanted to know what was so great, his friend was up to. Basil was no place to be found. Earlier, the people he saw were stoned. When Gordon turned his back, they snickered, as if Gordon was still that chubby kid of yes-ter-year, and acted weird as usual, when he asked about Basil. Hamlin, a decent associate of Gordon, and Base left town a few days ago, so Gordon couldn’t get in touch with him, and he no longer used the number Gordon had in his phone. On the other hand, everyone else seemed to stay out of touch, and he couldn’t even rely on Glen Richards, because he no longer lives in the country.

On his way home that day, he thought that everyone he encountered, just wanted to play games, and as Gordon drifted into the territory he lived, thought, why not fill Dane’s space with a pinball game room, and candy store attached? “Duh,” he would say to his brother if he remembers too. Gordon thought that they could install soda machines, and sell fun tee-shirts, in a place where people could play games, and win prizes, and as he drove, he went a step further with his thoughts. Why not attach a store of comic books, and a candy store on that opposite side of the plaza? When Gordon pulled up to the mansion, Dane and Meridian were driving off, going to take in a new movie.

If Millicent was with Gordon, they would have coupled well. Gordon honked his horn, and signaled Dane to stop, and saw the excitement in his eyes. Gordon tried to speak before he rolled his car window down fully, and Dane pulled next to him, and didn’t know what to expect, but hoped for the best.

“Why not open a pinball game room with a comic book, and candy store attached?”It all seemed fine to Meridian, and Dane, as well, and by the looks on their faces Gordon saw them see him having very many possibilities as he blurted out his ideas.

“I could finance the three spots until they pay off.” Gordon made a ta-da, motion with his hands.

They liked the idea, and the cute show. Dane asked Gordon to start working on it, and it was, no twist of Gordon’s arm.

“It sounds good,” Dane said after glancing at Meridian.

“Hey,”he noticed, “Where are you guys going?”

“To the movies,” Meridian answered.

“You coming?” Gordon was out all day, was a little done, and explained that he just wanted to relax, and collect his thoughts before he phoned Millicent.

“Nah. I’m cool, thanks.”

“Hey. What made you think of that?”

He looked at Dane somberly, smiled, and then said, “Joker’s man. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”

“As with,” Dane replied, causing Gordon a laughing smirk. Dane won’t let him live the scene with Beryl down. From all the clowns Gordon met that day, it’s a wonder he didn’t suggest opening a room the shape of a box. Out of that box, it would be full of the clown’s that popped out that afternoon. Gordon threw up a peace sign, and then pumped his fist. In general, Gordon was in good spirits, and then both cars rode off. That day for Gordon turned out to be a series of events.

His associates acted as if imbeciles, why he could not shoot the breeze, and all in all, Millicent’s parents wanted to see more of Gordon, and for that matter, their daughter too. Although she lived in the guesthouse, the Mon Cheri’ was leery of Millicent’s judgments. Her comings, and goings naturally alarmed them, but with Gordon, they might seem to give him a chance. By reputation, he’s one of the smartest, and most wealthiest kids in the Sultry Lands, and they wanted to know if perhaps they may have been a little overbearing about Millicent’s whereabouts. The Mon Cheri’ thought it nice, Gordon visiting for an occasional supper, yet didn’t want Millicent feeling obligated to him.

They wondered what he was really like because of his family’s wealth, and before sitting at dinner in the Mon Cheri’ home, Gordon admitted he needed to get out of the house more. What he didn’t say, while they kept their daughter tied up, was that he had been banging the housekeeper, getting primed for Millicent in the future. Gordon knew he could get what he wanted out of Beryl at any time, but chose to stop messing with her, because loose lips sink ships. Gordon doubted Beryl could remember half the things she said, or did on a daily basis, and had fun with him while it lasted.

She approached Gordon when he got home again, and when he was at Millicent’s, an imbecile associate phoned her, and that day turned classical. Gordon handled the situation for her, and later settled himself home, phoned Millicent, and thanked her for the nice dinner, a wonderful time, and with grinding thoughts, they conversed. Millicent spoke with Gordon, who throbbed her heart, from the privacy of the guest house, and talked for hours they wished each other good night. Especially after that day, Gordon felt that Millicent could really be his girl. With a good night for sleeping, he drifted off into what he thought was a most pleasant dream, but back in her chamber.

Beryl couldn’t sleep, and went for a snack. She could not help herself, knocked on Gordon’s door, he said to enter, saw her, and was not in the mood for funny stuff. Beryl said she could not sleep, and oddly, wanted to know if she could watch the television, he left it on, and meanwhile, Millicent was adrift. Before she slept, MIllicent thought of the handsome way Gordon cleaned up. At dinner at her parents’, his appearance was sharper than when they met at Dane’s wedding. His mustache was on point, and his beard tailored too. Millicent wore stylish clothing, and shoes, but at dinner, thinking of her beauty, Gordon wanted to sleep by her nights.

“Sure. But I won’t be much company. Don’t mind me if I drift off to sleep,” he said, with apprehension of Beryl. She was a sad story in her own writing, and out of line, but since Enid retired early, and Vernon lied, said he had a cold, Beryl wanted company, soon advanced Gordon, and he did not refuse her. He just considered her in his sleep, and woke with her exhausted, all the while fantasizing about Millicent, spending one way or another with Beryl’s mouth upon him. Gordon loved Millicent. He would be a gentle giant with her, and take his time, because he cared, while Beryl ended up in his bed, unfucked. In his sleep, Gordon had relations with her.

He woke with pleasure a couple hours later, and again, asked her to leave. Beryl valued her work relationship, and did go, but the night was too young for her, so she felt dissatisfied, left Gordon’s chambers, and sauntered away. Exclusively, every other Friday night, Gordon and Millicent met at poetry readings, with wine and acquaintances, began to make friends, and the psychedelic lighting gave its atmosphere a modern ambiance bizarre. The young people enjoyed their time, and didn’t do anything Beryl would do. She, starting to realize she wasn’t the center of anyone’s universe, as Millicent and Gordon were, who tried to stay mellow of their feelings towards each other, getting closer.

Sometimes they met at the library, and spent the day together in her studies. The holiday’s were around the corner, and romance teased the air. The Mon Cheri’ only wanted to get to know the man who seemed to have their daughter so happy. Since she’s of age, Millicent was in more control over her life. They actually thought firstly, if they actually go out, or is Gordon Miller harboring their daughter. Was it sex? Dinner went very well for Gordon, and he told Meridian, Enid, and Dane the Mon Cheri’ had a good home, and perfect place for their perfect daughter. She was amiss, and it seemed to Gordon that just as he had, Millicent grew up with her heart’s desires.

The Mon Cheri’ thought it good if Gordon picked Millicent up for their dates. They wanted him to spend more time with her at their home, what better way to get to know each other? He took their request as a compliment, and would be certain to do so. Dinner with the Mon Cheri’, and Millicent went as well as Meridian, and Dane suspected. Gordon was apologetic to the Mon Cherie’ towards their needs, admitting their concerns, foremost why he was sure to arrive. He had nothing to worry about.

“It’s true. I have summoned Millicent’s friendship more than I seized, and I don’t want to make any excuses. It’s just that I conduct my brother’s, and my businesses from home.”

To the Mon Cheri’, Gordon spoke sincerely, and said, “Thank goodness for Millicent. She’s taken me out of the same old thing a number of times, and believe me, I’m grateful. The town has changed since I left over six years ago, and it seems good friends are hard to come by.” Millicent’s parent’s liked Gordon, and agreed with him when he explained how he never met anyone he had so much in common with, and how time flew when they’re out.

“And so, with that, I apologize.” Gordon made the Mon Cheri’ requests clear, that more of his presence is simple, and that he would love to visit them, and Millicent there.

He’d plan his days accordingly and so, his reply was satisfactory to the handsome couple as they sat for a delicious dinner. That evening, as beautiful as Millicent was, Gordon felt an urgency to take possession of her, and she could feel it. She too, had gone through a barrage of negativity in people, and Gordon wanted to be for her, embraced her, and the warmth from deep in between them flowed, and they fit as if playtime in recess, and she knew. Gordon would be serious about his young lady, and love, Millicent. Although she held much grace, sophistication, she read comic books, and had innocent dates of play. Replacing French kissing, heaving heart’s, and body parts, could not tell a lie.

They would love, need, and cherish each other from that day, and the silent moment in the quiet, not pry them apart. Gordon cared for Millicent, and after that night, they drowned themselves in business, and between them got catchier, and their ideals solidified, connecting on a deeper level, and sulking into warm loving embraces. At the end of long weary days, their feelings were real. They were eager to experience a better way together, were close, put their heads, and lips together, and meditated. Since that evening at the Mon Cheri’ dinner, everyone had gotten along greatly. Gordon spent a comfortable time with the Mon Cheri’ that evening, who were cool, nice people.

It was late for Millicent, so Gordon went with her to say his good night to the Mon Cheri’, and walked Millicent across the property to the guest house, and just in case her parents could somehow spot them, if even for a moment, they sat outside. They sat outside on her patio bistro on the swing, and just talked, and he asked if Millicent was doing anything after worship services on the following day, wondering what she’d like to do. Gordon , and thanked Millicent as well, for a deliciously tasteful, and lovely evening. Gordon pulled Millicent close, kissed again, but deeply, and differently.

He looked at Millicent’s with a great intent, squeezed her hands, warmed them, and stared at her prettiness up close that night, breaking the surface of their sensuality. Millicent could tell that her parents liked Gordon as much as she, who was receptive to his assertions of her that evening, and not the first time he tried to get to her, but that time, she didn’t politely shying away, and accepted how smitten he was with her, very seriously. Gordon did not take no for an answer, and very well kissed Millicent like she was his. He wanted her, was deeply sincere in gesture, and romantically diligent in his embrace. He was not kidding, and that night changed how they would forever be to one another.

In the heat of passion, they were someone they would truly enjoy for the first time, if not a lifetime. Gordon, and Millicent showed their true colors as man, and woman, not as boy and girl, and had to take a step back. As if magic in the air, or pixie dust, that romantically deep, personal kiss goodnight came with hopes and dreams of every night, with closer, and happier tomorrows. Even as season’s changed, Meridian, and Dane worked hard, while the town became full of excitement. Dane’s project went up well, and fast. They hired many people to get the job finished, and started receiving retail, and Gordon had a lot of control of the businesses.

He contributed much to the plaza’s success, having it open the first of the autumn season. Meridian’s art gallery in the d’Anise Square, was glassed, expansive, and took up most of the plaza loft. It was illuminated, and her inventory was high, locked in the store’s vault, and upon opening, will hand gifts, and the brochures of the works she has in store. Meridian will feature Millicent’s handmade suede, leather, and hemp made dolls, and named the exhibit, Dolls of the World. Meridian graduated her work studies with honors, and made herself, and everyone proud. Millicent had more studying to go, concentrated diligently, but on the inside, felt Gordon was all she needed.

Before the opening, they watched people drive up to the many stores, peeking excitedly through the windows, and at her home office, Meridian was amused, what she didn’t know of the manor. Enid praised Meridian for zealously working towards the success of la Boutique, when she looked at all the sketches, and became excited. Dane loved all the positive energy around him, especially at home. Enid watched as their mansion home went through stages of reconstruction, and decor. One moonlit night, on the deck of their abode, Meridian imagined Dane’s story growing up. She pictured him running a muck through the mansion and its grounds, as well as Denim, and Gordon. She was right.

They loved flying airplanes, kites, playing football, wrestling, riding their bicycles, swimming, had many friends, enjoyed the outdoors, and Denim became a man while Dane was a boy, and none of the rooms of the manor were off limits. Meridian took in a breath of fresh air, and hugged herself, answered her fabulous husband’s loving call, who never told her what old uncle Nathan did with his last wishes, although love was certainly in the making, even though Dane still had no heir. Meridian never dreamed life could be so beautiful, and good. She hadn’t forgotten Bethany, or Darren, or arriving to the sultry lands, just over two years ago, finding a life for herself.

By her parents' graciousness, and a loving great grandmother she never knew, now Meridan was already married to one of the richest men in the country, Meridian was safe, and loved by someone who was more than enough. Life went all around Meridian, she let go, and loved as well. She made life happy for herself, the world around her, now Dane. Her antique pieces sold for more than fair prices, in the display cases from India. That autumn, the grand opening of the plaza will be phenomenal. Meridian’s art gallery featured her mother’s portraits, and artwork, not for sale, and all of the d’Anise’ works were important. Enid’s la Boutique was trendy.

The morning after Thanksgiving they did well, as well as all throughout the plaza. Business boomed, and Meridian, and Millicent developed a friendship that would last long between them. Suddenly, Millicent’s doll collection, and Afghans became high in demand. Overseas as well, Millicent’s afghan projects sold well, and she is working on patenting patterns for reproduction. Enid hired part-time help to keep la Boutique merchandised, as per consultants, and so far, everything ran smoothly, and Gordon had again changed before everyone’s eyes. Dane, and Meridian for six months kept an eye on Miss Enid. She’d come together, as they worked closely with Ruben.

He made sure there wouldn’t be any lumps, or bumps, and behind the scenes of the wrought iron laced plaza, square, Bernadette, and Phillip Mon Cheri’ joined the d’Anise in toast to the success of the town, and that day, many people received many leads to businesses, and all who were employed at the plaza, came ready, focused, and anxious to work. Gordon was no nonsense, but friendly, pleased with the turn out, and never forgot to hug Millicent who stood by his side.

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