Written for Lyn Thorne-Alder in a fic
Vidrou, sa’Tree-Hugger – more commonly known as Vid or Viddie – hummed quietly as he inspected
his orchard. It was summer, which meant the seasons for peaches, plums and nectarines. Never mind that
their home in ex-Michigan was nowhere near the right climate. He might not be able to change the
weather, but he could change the trees. Combined with his diligent and affectionate
caretaking, this meant come midsummer, there were fresh peaches.
Aside from tending to the trees, gathering fruit for the next few days was Vid’s main purpose in being
out at the orchard this sunny afternoon. The basket slung over his shoulder was already half full,
bearing a mix of red plums and yellow peaches.
“Papa, papa, look!” Seven-year-old Tilden raced across the grass, ignorant of the scrapes and
dirt on his shins and elbows. He bounced to a stop in front of his father, proudly displaying a
nectarine. “I picked it myself, just like you showed me.”
Part of this
setting, but except for a couple unimportant references you don’t need to know about it.
I tossed yet another dozen red roses into the discard pile, flinging myself back into the pile of
cushions with a pained sigh. As much as the idea of a day entirely devoted to professions of
romantic inclinations appealed to me, the sheer quantities of trite poetry and overpriced roses had
led my enthusiasm to wear thin.
Now I must admit, I am quite fond of chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and being showered with gifts from
my devoted admirers. That was all well enough. The irritating part was how cheap they all
were! Oh, not in terms of cost; they were all quite evidently the most expensive roses and chocolates
they could lay their adoring hands upon. Which only served to emphasize their complete lack of
Although sometimes one of them did get things right. There was that one gentleman, David I think his
name was, who had a true eye for flowers. He hand-picked a half dozen musk roses in an absolutely
beautiful shade of pink and, I could tell, had lovingly arranged the bouquet himself with a few sprigs
of purple lilacs and delicate ferns. Now that had been a bouquet to be proud of, both in
giving and receiving.