Part I: “How do I say ‘Fuck You’ in flower?”
Waverly Earp loved learning about the hidden meanings behind flowers.
She loved that each one stood for something different. The peony could mean bashfulness and compassion, while the sunflower symbolized pure thoughts and devotion. An anthurium symbolized hospitality, and a bouvardia indicated enthusiasm and a zest for life.
So it was no surprise that Waverly loved her job.
She was head florist at Shorty’s Flower Shop, putting her in the perfect position to use her flower powers for good, helping the people of Purgatory with all of their floral needs. But she was also subjected to the eclectic floral tastes of her fellow townspeople. In all of her years working at Shorty’s, Waverly had fulfilled some peculiar orders. She was totally convinced she had seen it all, the craziest and wackiest flower arrangements Purgatory could come up with.
That is until one Friday afternoon, when a beautiful, fiery-haired Sheriff’s Deputy stormed into her shop.
The Officer yanked the front door open and barreled through it, shattering the silence that had previously existed in the flower shop. The door unceremoniously slammed shut behind her as she approached the counter with long, confident strides.
Before Waverly could greet her, let alone replace her shocked expression with a friendly smile, the woman removed her Stetson, slapped a $20 dollar bill on the counter and said, “How do I say ‘Fuck You’ in flower?”
The florist couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up in her chest and escaped into the shop. It was official: this was the craziest request she had ever heard.
Despite her amusement, Waverly quickly noticed that the Officer was not sharing in the hilarity of the situation. Instead, the redhead’s eyes had narrowed, mouth forming into a tight grimace, scowl aimed the florist behind the counter.
Waverly’s laughter awkwardly died down, plunging the two women into an uncomfortable silence. After a few moments, the florist broke the tense air between them, hoping this was just some prank taken a tad too far. “I’m so sorry, I must have misheard you, Officer…” Waverly trailed off, inviting the woman to introduce herself.
The redhead stuck out her hand and offered, “I’m Nicole, uhh I mean Officer Haught. And no Ma’am, you didn’t hear me wrong.”
Waverly eyed the offered hand hesitantly and crossed her arms over her chest, still unsure if this Officer Haught was seriously asking for a ‘Fuck You’ flower.
When the brunette didn’t take her offered hand, the Officer let it drift awkwardly down to rest on top of the counter. Nicole realized she was going to need more than just a wild entrance and some money to persuade the florist to help her out. She needed to resort to her secret weapon: her dimples.
Shooting a grin at the woman behind the counter, Nicole made sure those bad boys were on full display. “I know it’s an odd request Miss…” the Officer said, one eyebrow raised, waiting for Waverly to jump in.
After a few beats, the florist shook her head, visibly breaking out of her daze. Damn, dimples.
“Umm, sorry. Earp. Waverly Earp,” the brunette clarified.
Lifting her hand from the counter, Nicole offered it once more to the other woman. “It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you, Waverly Earp.”
With a small smile, the florist took the Officer’s hand in a surprisingly strong grip. After a few shakes, the two women failed to break the contact, both getting lost in moment, in the sparks evoked by the simple touch.
Suddenly realizing it had gone on for a beat too long to be considered appropriate, Nicole quickly dropped the brunette’s hand and cleared her throat.
“Well Miss Earp, this request may seem strange to you. But trust me, it’s important. I really need it,” the Officer promised.
The florist tilted her head to the side, trying to tamper down her curiosity. But after a few moments, Waverly caved.
Nicole’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Why what?”
“Why do you need it?”
The Officer froze, eyes widening comically. Nicole should have known the florist would be curious, asking for a ‘Fuck You’ flower was not an everyday request. She should have come prepared for this. But no, her emotions had gotten the better of her, driving her to the door of the flower shop with no preparation or having thought this through.
Add in the fact that the florist standing in front of her was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen, and Nicole was woefully underprepared to explain herself.
“Umm...well I uhh…” the Officer stammered, willing her brain to think of anything mildly creative.
Sensing the redhead’s discomfort, Waverly rushed to apologize.
“Shoot, I’m sorry, I-I’ve overstepped. You don’t owe me an explanation. You are totally entitled to your flowers, no questions asked! It’s just…sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me,” Waverly sighed, with a small shrug of her shoulders.
For some reason, the florist’s self-deprecatory tone gave Nicole pause. She didn’t know who told this woman that her curiosity was something to be ashamed of, but they had done her a great disservice. Shaking her head, the Officer decided to come clean with the beautiful brunette.
“Waverly, there is no need to apologize! I mean if you’re going to help me, you might as well know why,” Nicole reasoned, lowering her gaze to the counter.
Alright, here goes nothing.
“The thing is...I’m gay,” the redhead began, risking a glance up at Waverly. She was looking for any sign of judgment or discomfort in the eyes of the florist. The last thing she wanted to do was make the brunette uncomfortable. But seeing nothing but mild surprise and curiosity, Nicole ventured on, eyes darting around the shop, before settling back on the florist.
“And I’m brand new in Purgatory, so I know how this goes. It’s the same story every time…there’s the same small-minded people in small-minded towns…”
As she trailed off, the redhead noticed that Waverly’s expression had hardened and her shoulders had tensed. Taking a moment to think over what she said, the Officer suddenly realized how accusatory she must have sounded. Quickly backtracking, she rushed to apologize.
“Wait, shit, that came out wrong! I didn’t mean to imply that you are like that. It’s just...in my experience that’s how small towns can be. I’ve come across my fair share of unwelcoming and judgmental people. But I didn’t mean to make you think I was saying those things about you,” Nicole stressed, hoping Waverly could hear the sincerity in her voice, see the apology in her eyes.
While the florist physically relaxed, her expression remained guarded. Realizing she would need to say more, Nicole added, “You’re actually one of the few people here I feel comfortable around. And I know I literally just walked into your shop not a few minutes ago, but…there’s just something about you, Waverly Earp.”
Waverly raised her brow, amusement and surprise written on her face. And still, the Officer continued, seemingly unable to stop her rambling. Damn pretty girls.
“I think…I think it might be your eyes. They are kind and warm. Safe. You don’t seem like the kind of person who would judge me for who I am,” Nicole finished quietly, gaze dropping.
Waverly’s expression softened and she felt a blush heat her cheeks at the Officer’s words. She silently took in the woman standing in front of her. She noticed that Nicole’s eyes were downcast, focused intently on her shoes. She was also gripping the counter with both hands, knuckles white.
Little did the brunette know it had more to do with the butterflies in the Officer’s stomach after having said those things out loud to Waverly, and less to do with her anxiety over the florist’s reaction.
Thinking it was the latter, the florist reached across the counter to lay her hand atop one of Nicole’s. Waverly ignored the surge of excitement that flooded through her system as her fingers remained touching the Officer’s hand.
On the flip side, Nicole’s gaze was focused on where Waverly’s hand had come to rest on hers. This was the second time in a matter of minutes that the florist had touched her. And try as she might, the redhead couldn’t ignore the butterflies that erupted in her stomach at the gesture.
She raised her gaze to meet Waverly’s kind eyes, seeing the same warmth and acceptance she had seen before. “Umm…sorry about that, sometimes I say things before my brain can really catch up. Plus, in my defense, I can’t exactly be held accountable for what I say around a beautiful woman,” Nicole apologized, winking at the florist.
Fighting off another blush, Waverly squeezed the Officer’s hand and gave her a warm smile. “Don’t worry about it, Officer Haught.”
Gaining confidence from Waverly’s reaction, the redhead smiled and then spoke again, this time in an attempt to get them back on track. “Anyways back to the whole flower thing. So I just started here as a Sheriff’s Deputy…clearly” Nicole said, gesturing to her uniform with a dimpled smirk, prompting a small giggle from the brunette.
“And…well, one of my new co-workers isn’t the most accepting. Don’t get me wrong, all of the guys are great and don’t treat me any different. But the ummm…the other woman in the Department...I guess has made it her personal mission to make me feel uncomfortable about the fact that I’m attracted to women. She’s always making these comments behind my back to the other Officers and tends to use some very...how should I say this…unsavory and unprofessional language around me,” the redhead explained, smile falling from her face, a pained grimace taking its place.
While the Officer spoke, Waverly had been trying to remain calm. She had even taken her hand off Nicole’s in an attempt to hide the fact that it was shaking in anger.
She knew this town could be stuck in its ways and a little backwards at times. But she never expected anyone she knew to treat Nicole like this. She was mad. No, she was more than mad. She was furious. And to make matters worse? Waverly knew exactly whom the redhead was talking about.
“Stephanie? Stephanie Jones?” the florist said, seething.
Blinking in confusion, Nicole replied, “Umm, yes?”
“That bitch!” Waverly roared, beginning to pace behind the counter, gesturing wildly with her arms as she continued her outburst.
“That two-faced, no-good, pain-in-everyone’s-ass, has been the boil on this town’s backside since high school. You’d think getting a job in law enforcement would have given her some kind of basic human decency. But noooooo! She’s apparently a raging homophobe who is NEVER allowed to set foot in this shop ever again,” the brunette fumed, her rant coming to an end with a dramatic stomp of her foot.
The Officer stood there, mouth agape, clearly in shock. She never expected a complete stranger to react like that, let alone defend her against a local girl. Her face must have betrayed her thoughts, because the brunette immediately backed down from her tirade. Deflated, she moved around the counter to stand in front of Nicole.
“I’m sorry, Officer Haught. I don’t quite know what came over me. I usually never raise my voice...it’s just...I don’t have any patience for people like that, who go out of their way to hurt someone,” Waverly admitted.
Noticing Nicole still looked down, the florist rushed to make her feel better. “And besides, that girl deserves a hell of a lot more than some ‘Fuck You’ flower arrangement if you ask me.”
Earning a small huff of laughter in response, Waverly beamed. Almost unconsciously, the brunette had moved her hand up to gently grip the Officer’s forearm.
“Thank you Waverly, I…I really appreciate that. And maybe she does, but if I tried to fight every small-minded bigot I came across, I would never stop. It wouldn’t help if I fought with every person who ever judged me, or threw some slur at me. I…I have to pick my battles,” Nicole responded with a small shrug.
Waverly’s grip tightened on the other woman’s arm, compassion shinning bright in her hazel eyes.
The Officer continued. “So I guess since I realized I couldn’t fight her and risk losing my job, I thought I would do something a bit more subtle, but that had the same effect…”
“Like sending a ‘Fuck You’ flower arrangement?” Waverly giggled, raising her eyebrow in amusement.
“Something like that,” the redhead chirped in reply, her dimples on full display.
“Well as the town’s resident florist and a fellow Stephanie Jones-hater, I believe it’s my duty to help you, Officer Haught,” the brunette mused, letting her words take on a flirtatious tone as she smiled up at Nicole.
Before the Officer could notice the flush creeping up Waverly’s neck, the florist spun on her heel and returned to her place behind the counter. While both women felt disappointment at their sudden lack of contact, they tried not to show it.
“Sooo…back to your request. There isn’t actually a flower that directly means ‘Fuck You’ or anything to that effect. But I think I could come up with a combination of some flowers that gets pretty darn close!” Waverly said, busying herself with the catalogue sitting on the counter.
“I’ll bet you can, Miss Earp. I bet you can do anything you set that beautiful mind of yours to,” Nicole drawled, grinning at the now flustered florist.
Not quite knowing how to brazenly respond, Waverly reverted back to business, a light blush dusting her cheeks.
“Well umm right, let’s see...there are geraniums which are often associated with stupidity. And there’s foxgloves which represent insincerity. Oh!” Waverly exclaimed, quickly searching through the catalogue. Reaching her desired page, she continued animatedly, “I just got a shipment of yellow carnations. These bad boys are used to express the feeling ‘You have disappointed me’. I also think some hydrangeas, which mean heartlessness, would really pack a punch. Finally, to complete your arrangement, I have some orange lilies. They represent hatred. So what do you think?” the florist concluded proudly.
Nicole tilted her head, completely in awe of the woman standing in front of her. Her knowledge of floral meanings was not only astounding, but also extremely sexy.
“It sounds perfect, Waves,” the Officer replied, letting the wonder she felt seep into her voice.
She failed to notice her use of such a casual nickname for the florist. But Waverly did, and tried to hide the sudden surge of excitement that coursed through her at hearing Nicole use it. But try as she might, the brunette couldn’t hold back her grin that stretched from ear to ear at the Officer’s answer. “Great! I will get started on your order form, Officer Haught.”
“Please, call me Nicole. Anyone subjected to my sob story and my odd floral revenge plan can call me by my first name,” Nicole said, shooting a dimpled grin at the woman in front of her.
The blush returned to Waverly’s cheeks as she attempted to focus on the order form in front of her. Waverly was comfortable with order forms. She was comfortable with flowers and their meanings. She was even comfortable with arranging them. But this attraction she had to the redheaded Officer? Totally amazeballs, but totally unchartered territory.
“Well then, Nicole,” Waverly said, “your order form is all set. I just need you to fill out this section with some personal information.”
“Anything for you, Waverly Earp,” the redhead replied with a wink.
Waverly passed the form to Nicole, their fingers brushing against each other as the Officer took the pen and paper.
Filling out the boxes for her name and address, the Officer felt Waverly’s eyes on her, and risked a quick glance up. Seeing the florist’s hazel eyes focused on her, Nicole dropped her gaze back to the paper in front of her. Fleetingly flustered by the florist’s stare, she quickly moved through the sections. Seemingly complete, Nicole handed the form back to the brunette. With the paper now in her hands, Waverly glanced down and noticed that the redhead had left the phone number box blank.
“Umm, Nicole? You forgot to give me your number. Well not me, the store. Yeah, the store needs your number so we can, uh, call you when your order is ready,” Waverly stammered, her nerves getting the better of her.
“My apologies, Ma’am. I guess just wanted to hear you ask me for my number,” Nicole said, corners of her mouth upturned.
Feeling a little brazen, Waverly replied coyly, “Well if that’s the case, then Nicole, could I get your number?”
Nicole tapped her finger to her chin, pretending to think long and hard about the answer to that question. “Hmmm…yes you can, but only if you promise to call, and not just when my order’s ready,” the Officer smoothly shot back.
“I…I promise,” Waverly responded breathily, leaning her forearms on the counter top, bringing herself nearer to the Officer.
Nicole mirrored her actions, leaning closer to the florist. She was momentarily distracted by their proximity. The redhead was close enough to see the golden flecks buried in Waverly’s striking hazel eyes. In that moment, she was sure she could spend a lifetime staring into those eyes, without ever getting to the bottom of their depths, without ever solving the mysteries hidden within. In that moment, she was also sure those hazel eyes had dropped to look at her lips before darting back up to meet her gaze.
“Well in that case, I look forward to your call, Miss Earp,” Nicole hummed, placing a slightly wrinkled business card on the countertop.
With that, the Officer stepped back and replaced her Stetson on her head. With one last dimpled grin and a wink for the beautiful florist, Nicole strode confidently out of the flower shop.
Not 20 minutes before she had gone in there, guns-a-blazing, feeling more out of place than she had in awhile. But now? Now, Nicole felt lighter, happier. She knew she would be forever grateful for the ‘Fuck You’ flower arrangement for bringing Waverly Earp into her life.
Flowers in the 'Fuck You' flower arrangement and their meanings:
Source of photo: http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/red-hot-and-pink-geraniums/
Source of photo: https://www.americanmeadows.com/perennials/foxglove/foxglove-candy-mountain
-Yellow carnations: 'You have disappointed me'
Source of photo: https://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/perennials/dianthus.html
Source of photo: http://www.midwestliving.com/garden/flowers/new-hydrangeas-for-the-midwest/
-Orange lilies: Hatred
Source of photo: https://nicolelouis.deviantart.com/art/Orange-Lilies-379185434