Intimate Flowers, Part One

  • Posted on December 8, 2017 at 11:31 am

By Christene

{ This story was originally posted at the now-defunct Sisters in Love }

Carmen could have been anything she wanted to be. It was written in the stars just as clearly as it sparkled inside her confident brown eyes. The thing that had called to her so persuasively had been law. When most little girls played with dolls, Carmen toted her father’s old briefcase from room to room, pretending that she was on the verge of cracking her next big case.

Unlike many dreamy young girls, she didn’t imagine herself hearing the cheers of an audience after a stunning performance in her breakout role. She was the little girl who fantasized about cheers of a different variety. The applause came after she had saved her client with dramatically convincing flair.

The clarity with which Carmen envisioned that future meant that it had no choice but to become a reality. Whatever Carmen focused her attentions on did not stand a chance. It was just in her nature to obtain whatever she desired. After all, she was the passionate daughter of a Mexican father and a Spanish mother.

“Fire,” her father had always told her, “runs in your blood.” Perhaps it was true, because it would seem that throughout Carmen’s life, that fire, that passion she had for things scorched everything she threw herself into.

At thirty-two, Carmen Cruz was leaps and bounds ahead of where so many others in her law firm had been at that age. It was a fact that was earning her top dollar, but more importantly, it was earning her quite the reputation as a legal powerhouse.

*****

The beautiful lawyer reviewed the document spread out before her. She did not notice the way that the incline of her head had caused her long brown hair to spill around her focused face. In the afternoon light, her dark olive skin was sultry and warm. Within the grips of summer, it glowed with a captivating warmth like a rich cinnamon or smooth caramel.

Slowly, she closed the file then rose from behind the large desk in her corner office. Behind her, the views of California were something to be envied. Normally, Carmen might enjoy taking the opportunity to revel in the omnipotent view, but she had something far more pressing on her mind.

A memory came rushing in to blind her of her surroundings.

“I’m tired, Carmen,” her girlfriend sighed.

“Of what?” Carmen asked in confusion. The way Meredith refused to meet her eyes told her all she needed to know.

“Of us,” she thought bleakly.

“I don’t understand,” Carmen said, again finding her voice. “Don’t I treat you well?”

“Of course, you do,” Meredith sighed again. “But that’s not what I meant.”

“Then what?” Carmen felt herself reeling. Of course, she knew that they’d had their problems, but what couple didn’t? Were those problems really worth ending a three-year relationship over?

Meredith lowered her eyes to the floor. “I’m not sure what it is. I just know that something isn’t right here. We aren’t right.” It came as a bitter realization, making her voice wobble. “Sometimes I just feel like your heart is somewhere else.”

It had been those last words that lingered with Carmen most. She returned to the moment with a slight jolt. With a faraway expression, she gathered her things. If her heart was not with Meredith, then where was it? she wondered.

She suddenly slammed her hands against the surface of her desk. The intensity of that gesture snapped her out of these thoughts. She was about to attempt patching things up with Meredith. She couldn’t possibly hope to do that if her mind wasn’t in it.

“Snap out of it, Carmen,” she grumbled to herself.

The lawyer gathered the last of her things before she left her office.

As she entered the office area just outside of her own, she smiled graciously to her secretary, who was also wrapping up her day on this early Friday afternoon. The glint in the woman’s eyes said that she was all too happy to enjoy the half-day that Carmen had given her.

Jennifer quickly offered her boss the airline tickets she’d asked for, as well as the information on her romantic week on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. “Have a wonderful vacation, Ms. Cruz,” the receptionist said warmly.

Carmen smiled with a friendly wave. “You too, Jennifer,” she said.

“And good luck,” Jennifer called after Carmen just before the woman in black slipped out the door.

Jennifer stared after her for a lengthy moment. She had worked with Carmen since she had joined the firm. She respected her. Truth be told, she liked her — and how often can a person actually say that about their boss? But she had noticed a change in Carmen within the last few weeks. The dark-haired lawyer seemed sad. Of course on the few occasions Jennifer had attempted to bring it up, Carmen had merely flashed her trademark smile while assuring her that everything was perfectly fine.

Jennifer wondered if she could believe Carmen’s smile. She sighed, then set the phones to roll over to voice-mail, completely unaware that just then an important phone call had come in.

*****

“Carmen, it’s me.” Sigh. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking — God, I hate doing this on your voice-mail, but your cell is turned off or something. Look, if we can’t bring some life back into this relationship, it’s over. I just don’t have it in me to keep going like this. I’ll be waiting at my condo tonight. If you don’t show, then I’ll know we’re through.”

*****

Carmen slipped from behind the wheel of her sleek convertible. The black car was so much like the suit adorning her hourglass figure. She had a certain standard she enjoyed. The successful attorney reveled in the finer things in life, settled for nothing less. It was a fact that presented itself in every aspect of her person. From designer suits to expensive cars, it was all part of her plan. It was what made Carmen’s passionate brown eyes burn with a zeal for life. Anything less simply would not be permitted. It didn’t fit into her mapped-out world.

She sighed, closing her car door with a bit of a slam. Carmen ran her fingers through her long dark hair. My plans, she thought sadly. The truth was that lately her plans didn’t seem to be going as she would hope. That was the reason she was here now. She was attempting to salvage the relationship which was three years into its painful demise. If this didn’t work, she didn’t see any other way than to just end it and put it out of its misery.

It wasn’t as if Meredith was a bad woman. She wasn’t at all. In fact, Meredith was wonderful. She was romantic. She was beautiful. She was intelligent. She was all the things that people looked for in a partner. Carmen just wasn’t sure if Meredith was all the things that she wanted in a partner. Somehow they had begun to drift apart before either of them had realized it.

The sensual Latina sauntered away from her car, absently clicking the alarm. She heard it give a chirped goodbye. Her heels made crisp sounds against the pavement as she drew closer to the florist’s door. She extended a delicate hand, but stopped when a young man hurried to catch the door for her.

She surveyed him for a moment from behind her dark sunglasses before her full lips broke into a slow-forming smile. Carmen dipped her head in thanks, then entered the floral shop while the young man released the door and left, feeling a bit spellbound.

Standing in the heart of the shop, she was overcome by its aromatic scent. She reached up her hand, slowly removing her glasses. Her intense eyes scoured the horizon, taking in the vibrant flowers. Her head tilted in quiet observation. She slowly folded her glasses within her right hand then tucked them into her small purse.

As Carmen drew nearer to an exotic bouquet of black tulips, she smiled. Her sister loved Queen of the Nights.

“May I help you?” a woman asked as she sidled up to Carmen. Her youthful face was hopeful.

Carmen turned her head toward the woman and flashed her an alluring smile. “Yes,” she said. Her voice was rich, like the warm coloring of her skin. “I need a bouquet of your most beautiful red and orange roses,” she instructed gently.

The young woman smiled knowingly. “Ah, a fiery bouquet,” she said.

Carmen nodded, pleased that the florist understood her desire for a passionate message. She had to attempt to infuse her relationship with the heat that it had teemed with in the beginning. Her hope was that this romantic rendezvous would be the start of many more to come.

The florist turned, making her way toward the register at the front of the store. “Can I get you anything else?”

Carmen felt a tugging at something deep inside her. She paused, then looked once more to the wistfully romantic tulips. Something in their beauty reminded her of her sister. She felt a pang in her chest.

Alejandra was another aspect of her life that did not seem to be going well. Her sister was her best friend and soon, she would be leaving California to begin nurturing her career on the east coast.

Carmen was naturally happy for her sister’s success, but she hated the thought of Alejandra being so far away. With those thoughts swirling throughout her mind, her decision was made.

“Yes, actually,” she said. “I would also like a bouquet of Queen of the Night tulips with lavender roses.”

The florist regarded Carmen with a gentle air. She smiled softly. “An excellent choice,” she said. “Is there a special occasion?”

Carmen could only smile. It was a wry smile as if she alone held the secrets to the mysteries of the world. Her brown eyes stared through the thickness of her lashes before she broke their spell upon the blushing florist.

Daintily, Carmen’s fingers perused the small cards on display. She clasped hold of a very simple card with a flowing script saying, I need you. It seemed a bit modest, but it couldn’t possibly be more true to her feelings. For a fleeting moment, she wondered: Or is it?

That feeling of doubt was squashed beneath her clarity while regarding the next card. Missing you. There was so much she wished to tell Alejandra, but no card could ever convey what her sister would be able to read so clearly in her eyes. Alejandra could always tell what hidden truths existed just beneath the surface when so many others fell victim to Carmen’s smile.

Carmen gave the florist her information, then instructed the deliveries to be made at both her girlfriend’s condo and her sister’s house.

“Here you go,” the florist said. She offered up a pen. “For your cards.”

Carmen accepted the pen, then set it to expressing what she felt.

Beneath I need you, she wrote every sensually erotic longing she possessed for her lover. She struggled to fit the messages onto both the front and back of the small mauve card. She ended with instructions for Meredith to meet her at the airport and, finally, the time of their flight. Gently, Carmen pushed the card to the side.

She stared down at the pale peach card reading, Missing you, and sighed heavily. She wanted to say, Don’t go! She wanted to beg for Alejandra to stay, but how could she do that? How could she put her own wants above those of her sister?

Carmen swallowed hard at the lump in her throat, then wrote what she thought she ought to say as the older sister, what she thought she should say as a best friend. With those thoughts swirling through her mind, she wrote:

I will miss you more than I can say, but I know that this is for the best and I support your decision completely… just as I have always supported everything you do. I love you and good luck.

The message caused a slight shiver to flicker down her spine. It sounded so unnatural. This wasn’t how she interacted with her sister, Ally. She quickly pushed that card away as well, unable to look at it any longer.

“We’ll get these right out to Ms. Cruz and Ms. Connelly,” the florist promised, smiling as she took the cards and their matching envelopes. The mauve and peach colors were going to go brilliantly with the bouquet selections Ms Cruz had ordered.

Carmen retrieved her sunglasses from her purse, then frowned as she began looking for her cell phone. “Where is it?” she muttered. She sighed, realizing that she didn’t have time for backtracking her steps. She would simply have to call Jennifer later and have the woman look for her phone at the office on Monday.

Surely, she thought, I must have left it there.

Carmen left the floral shop with her mind lost in a thoughtful haze. She didn’t seem to pay much attention to the errands she had to run in preparation for her trip, and it was well into late afternoon when she arrived home. She entered her loft with a chaotic mind. Still, it wasn’t Meredith that she found her thoughts drifting toward. It was Alejandra.

Why? she wondered.

She moved into her bathroom, shedding her clothes. The air felt good against her bare skin.

She reached for the faucet, then turned on the water. Suddenly the loud hiss of water stung at the air.

As Carmen stared into the mirror, her pensive expression began to grow softer and softer until it was veiled by steam. With the light hitting the mirror just right, she could have been another person. She stared at the reflection in a sort of faraway gaze. She didn’t even realize that she’d lifted her hand, not until it was stroking her breast. She gasped sharply, feeling her finger and thumb pinch a nipple.

She purred loudly. Her hand clutched tightly to the counter-top while her other continued to manipulate her aching nipple.

Carmen released her throbbing nipple. She slid her hand down her side and over her full hip. Her thighs opened for her. Slowly, her hand slipped between her legs.

Dark eyes burned toward the mirror as she gazed more heavily at the ‘other’ woman. Carmen could see herself pushing into her. In her mind, the moan she heard was not her own. It was the other woman’s. She took ‘her’ faster and deeper, needing to feel her climax run down to her wrist.

A cry ripped past her lips. When it bounced off the walls to impact brutally against her, Carmen trembled.

“Alejandra!”

*****

Carmen buttoned her fitted blue jeans with trembling hands. The sound of that lustful cry still echoed in her ears. She pulled her black tank top over her head while logic began to explain away what her emotions were beginning to cling to.

You were thinking a lot about your sister all day, she thought. That’s the reason you said her name. You were still dwelling on her move, that’s all.

She stared into her mirror. The eyes staring back at her defiantly voiced that they were far from convinced. She ran her fingers through her long hair before leaving the bathroom.

It was early evening when she lightly jogged down her stairs. She picked up her suitcase which was waiting in the foyer, and left her loft.

In an uncharacteristically silent drive, during which no music played and no cell phone rang, Carmen needed time to think. She wondered whether the card saying Come away with me would be received by a willing heart. She wondered if it was too late. Most importantly, she wondered why she couldn’t make herself care more. The possible end to her relationship with Meredith seemed a very distant second to the ache she felt at the thought of losing Alejandra to distance.

Carmen arrived at her sister’s house before she was even aware of having driven there. Her brown eyes welled with tears as she took note of the ‘for sale’ sign perched on the meticulously manicured lawn.

While the engine grew silent beneath the hood, Carmen sat quietly taking in her sister’s beautiful home. She wondered if she should go in, or simply start the car and drive away.

The front door opened to reveal the seductive silhouette of the house’s owner. With Alejandra waiting in the door, Carmen was robbed of her last option to quickly leave.

Slowly, the silhouette changed as the woman began to leave the threshold. She walked around the front of the car, revealing her athletic body in a flash of white and pale blue. She stopped, leaning close to the driver’s side door. Her face was beautiful, radiant within the night. Her olive skin glowed as her sister’s did, but unlike Carmen’s it was a much paler shade. She didn’t worship the sun the same way that her older sister did. Her long dark hair was black like her mother’s. Her lips were full and supple. They could often form into the same bewitching smile her sister possessed, but for Alejandra, her smile spoke of a certain shy air while Carmen never failed to convey confidence.

“Do you always linger outside women’s houses?” Alejandra asked softly, but with a smile.

Carmen huffed a laugh. “Only the beautiful ones,” she joked.

Alejandra’s face warmed with the onset of a slow-forming blush. She dipped her hands into her sister’s convertible, then tugged gently at her arms. The silent insistence urged her sister to come inside. She smiled as Carmen nodded in assent, then began slipping out of her car.

Carmen closed the door behind her absently. She watched Alejandra for a lengthy moment, simply taking her in.

Alejandra wore a fitted white tank that showcased her wiles. A flash of her lower back could be seen as the top ended. From her shapely hips, a pair of light blue silk pants glistened like ice. She walked barefoot into her home, tucking a thick strand of her hair behind her ear.

Carmen followed her sister into the house. She let the door close behind her. Moving more into her sister’s beautiful home, she found Alejandra waiting on the couch in the living room. She stopped when she saw the gorgeous arrangement sitting as the proud focal point of the room.

“They’re beautiful,” Alejandra sighed dreamily. She looked to her sister just as the woman stooped over the back of the couch to tenderly kiss her lips.

“You’re beautiful,” Carmen said. She felt the onset of butterflies fluttering throughout her chest. Why had they come? She had kissed Alejandra before. They were raised in a very physical and affectionate family. She decided not to dwell on it as she walked around the couch to sit with her sister.

“I haven’t read the card yet,” Alejandra said. “I wanted to wait for you to call or come over.”

Carmen smiled, though she was a thousand miles away from the moment.

Alejandra’s eyes widened in remembrance. “Oh that reminds me!” She hopped up from the couch, then moved toward the bar separating the kitchen from the large living room. Her hand clasped her sister’s cell phone before she walked back to the couch. “Here,” she said, “you left this.”

Carmen laughed ruefully and shook her head. “I was wondering what I’d done with it.” She took the phone, then set it to rest on the coffee table.

Carmen lifted her eyes to the young woman still standing before her, the same beautiful young woman who was staring at her so intensely. “What?” she blushed. She wondered why she was blushing. She never blushed.

Alejandra slowly lowered to kneel before her sister. She sat back on her heels. Her eyes gazed adoringly into Carmen’s eyes while her lithe hands came to delicately rest against her knees. “What’s the matter?” she asked gently.

Turning her head, Carmen looked at anything but the eyes she felt watching over her so closely.

Alejandra rose up gracefully until she stood a little taller on her knees. Now that they were face to face, her gaze was felt more intensely. “Amor,” she whispered.

Carmen froze. She felt consumed by an urge to take Alejandra into her arms. It was both frightening and exciting in the same instant.

“I can feel that something is wrong,” Alejandra said quietly.

“I—I don’t want to talk about it,” Carmen stuttered. What is wrong with me? she wondered. Why was she suddenly acting so strangely? As she sighed, she realized that it wasn’t that she didn’t want to talk about it, so much as it was that she wasn’t sure what to say. Or what she was feeling. Whatever it was, it left her horribly confused. She was normally so certain, and now she wasn’t sure of anything.

“Okay.” Alejandra flinched slightly. She knew that she should not be hurt by her sister’s behavior. And yet, knowing that there was something her best friend could not talk with her about left her experiencing a dull ache in her heart. She looked around them, searching for a distraction. Her sultry eyes found the flowers proudly reigning within the room. “The flowers!” she said suddenly.

Carmen lifted her head with a confused look. “Hmm?”

“The flowers.” Alejandra uncoiled from her place at Carmen’s feet. She leaned over the aromatic bouquet. Her fingertips tenderly stroked a rose’s delicate beauty.

Carmen fell under the spell of the beautiful woman. She found herself unable to take her eyes off her sister then. She watched the way that the light shone in her black hair. She noted how her sister’s touch always seemed to be convey the utmost gentleness. Surely that had been the reason that Alejandra was such a skilled violinist. Her hands, after all, were the reason New York was calling so desperately. Carmen frowned, suddenly feeling very jealous of the city.

Alejandra lightly plucked the card from its perched home inside the flowers. She turned with a playful air and flashed a brilliant smile. “Here it is,” she said.

Carmen woke from her thoughts, only to feel her face blanch.

The smile upon Alejandra’s lips began to fade as she witnessed the horrifying way that Carmen paled. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Don’t read that card,” Carmen blurted.

“What?” Alejandra looked away from her sister to the mauve card inside her hand. “Why not?”

“It’s… it’s….” Carmen leapt to her feet. She struggled to take the card, but Alejandra extended her arm, keeping it away from her sister’s reach.

“It’s what?” Alejandra asked curiously. “Let me read it.”

“No!” Carmen protested. “That’s the wrong one.”

“What?”

“They sent you the wrong one!” Carmen fought to struggle the card away from her sister.

Caught in a tangle of legs and arms, they tumbled to the floor.

Laughing joyously, Alejandra’s eyes were alight with a smile. She gazed up at her sister, meeting her eyes. “It’s just a card, Carmen,” she said. “Let me read it.”

Carmen’s breathing quickened as she supported her weight in her arms. She lingered above her alluring sister, feeling how their bodies pressed together.

Alejandra never broke eye contact as she opened the envelope. When she had the card in hand, her eyes shifted to the text, written in her sister’s beautiful handwriting. She allowed her eyes to rove leisurely over the words. It was not long before her eyes began to burn with a depth Carmen had never seen and a sound escaped from the length of her elegant throat that made Carmen’s breath tremble.

“She’s very lucky,” Alejandra said in a throaty voice.

“Who?” Carmen whispered. She adjusted the weight of her body, but could not bring herself to move from atop her sister.

“Your girlfriend.”

Carmen suddenly remembered that she had to get to the airport. That was where she was supposed to meet Meredith. She had written the airport’s name and the time at the very end of the note. The note that was now in her sister’s hand.

“Oh God,” she groaned in realization.

“What?” Alejandra reached out her hand. Gently she stroked her sister’s soft cheek.

“If you got this card, then that must mean that Meredith got the one I was going to send you,” Carmen sighed.

“Was my card as beautiful as this?” Alejandra smiled.

Carmen favored Alejandra with a slow-forming smile that she only ever gave her lovers. That fact did not escape her, but she didn’t run away from it either. “Mmm, more,” she purred as her head turned to plant a soft kiss upon her sister’s wrist. Her bottom lip caught against her wrist while she realized that she was flirting with Alejandra.

Alejandra sat up slightly. She supported her weight with her elbows, her face drawing closer to Carmen’s. Her eyes lowered quickly to take in her sister’s mouth. She regarded it closely for an agonizing moment — wondering, although not for the first time what it would be like to kiss Carmen. She wanted to kiss her, just as she had seen Meredith kiss her. What would it be like? Would Carmen be soft or gentle? What would her kiss taste like? She shivered suddenly beneath her sister.

Carmen felt the tremble. It caused her heart to race.

“Did the card that Meredith got ask her to go on vacation with you?” Alejandra asked softly.

Carmen shook her head. She held her breath for an instant as Alejandra drew closer. She leaned into the cheek moving to smooth her own.

“Well, then…” Alejandra felt her heart pounding thunderously inside her chest. She was certain that the breasts pressed so deliciously to hers could feel it too. “Since I received the invitation, I think I ought to be the one to go away with you.”

Carmen’s eyes flashed. Her heart was racing. She wanted to have that week alone with Alejandra more than she had ever imagined possible. She felt butterflies the way a person feels butterflies when about to leave on their first romantic trip with a new lover. The very thought of it made her skin tingle.

“H-how quickly can you pack?” she asked in a throaty voice.

Alejandra’s eyes burned. “Help me?” she breathed. Her breath caught inside her throat as Carmen quickly nodded, then leaped to her feet.

Carmen reached out. When her trembling hands felt Alejandra’s shaking inside her grasp, the touch sent an electric jolt through her limbs. She held her sister’s hand in hers and led the way up the stairs to Alejandra’s master bedroom.

Continue on to Part Two

1 Comment on Intimate Flowers, Part One

  1. Myka says:

    Interesting ‘start’ chapter Christene… looking forward to the next :)

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