Date Published: August 30, 2012
Meet Dawn, Brook, Cicely and Karen: four cousins raised under the Southern sun. Their grandmother called them orchids and taught them to be independent, intelligent, chaste and courageous. So why does Dawn depend on a drug dealer? Why can't Brook see that her husband is cheating on her? Why is Cicely so promiscuous? Why is Karen so afraid of rejection? But most importantly, why does Cicely hate Karen enough to want her DEAD?
"An Ode for Orchids" is the story of four beautiful young women who want to love and be loved. But will their love outlive the lies and abuse? Is their love strong enough to survive the hatred?
Cicely lived there as she rested next to Vincent Mann on sweat-dampened Egyptian cotton sheets.
She felt that way as Vincent Mann sexed her with animalistic passion.
Cicely’s promiscuity and pilfering of seeds that rightly belonged to Vincent Mann’s wife earned her that moniker. The theft was no accidental occurrence. She gave Vincent Mann the best of her loving because she wanted to own every ounce of him.
Cicely wore that name. She earned that name.
After collecting himself and gathering his strength, Vincent Mann sat up at the edge of the bed. He glanced back at his harlot, the woman that sexed him crazy. He sighed.
“You’re too much, Cicely Shaw. Too much for a man like me.”
“You bring it out of me. When I’m with you, I have no inhibitions. It’s like I become your personal porn star or something.”
Her lover found the strength necessary to pour a glass of wine. He motioned to Cicely to see if she would join him in the nectar of Dionysus. She declined even though it wasn’t her desire to do so. She very much wanted to sip a few glasses, let the buzz fill her head and make her more receptive for round three. But instinct had taken over. She had to make wiser decisions.
“He couldn’t possibly stay with his wife much longer,” Cicely whispered to herself as she closed her eyes. “Especially not now.”
Vincent Mann, fighting wobbly legs, returned to the bed puffing on a Cuban cigar. The stench from the cigar tickled and annoyed Cicely’s nostrils. She opened her eyes; her instinct kicking in immediately. She faked a cough and placed her hands over her mouth.
“What? The smoke bothering you?” He looked back at her. His tone implied that it shouldn’t bother her because it never bothered her before.
She sighed and pulled her locks to the side, tucking her hair behind her ear.
“Well, I was going to wait until dinner at The Zebra tomorrow evening, when the ambience would be perfect for my news. But I’ll tell you now.” She lifted herself so that she sat right behind her lover, her skin sticking to his. Then she whispered into his ear, “I’m pregnant.”
Vincent was frozen. “What?”
Cicely’s smile was wide. She knew that the news would stun him, bring him joy like never before, especially since his wife was going through menopause. Cicely was going to give him as many babies as he wanted. She was going to fill their mansion with love and laughter.
“We’re having a baby. A baby! Vincent?”
“We can’t have a baby,” he said bluntly.
His words stopped Cicely’s euphoria in its tracks.
“We cannot have a baby.”
He spoke to her calmly, without turning to face her. He took another long pull of his cigar and then littered the dimly lit room with gray plumes of smoke.
“Why not?” she asked softly. When he didn’t reply, she sat back, resting on her knees, her palms on her thighs. “We’re lovers. I love you. Why can’t we have a child? That’s what lovers do.”
Vincent took a sip of wine and then another long drag of his cigar. He turned to face Cicely, his face enfolded in a thick fog of cigar smoke.
“I’m married,” he said. “We cannot start a family until I have properly broken ties with my wife. You know that.”
Cicely hung her head and Vincent immediately placed his finger on her chin to bring her eyes back to his.
“Soon I’ll get a divorce and we can get married and start our own family. It is essential that we do things properly.”
Lifting himself from the bed and gradually finding his balance, he stood in front of Cicely. His eyes seemed to glow with a blood red aura as they peered through the smoke.
He said, “You have to take care of it, okay?” Then he walked to the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
Cicely died inside. She held her stomach and sobbed softly because of the emotionless manner in which Vincent dismissed her pregnancy. She desperately wanted to have a baby girl.
She thought she would make a good mommy. She would do things a lot differently than her mother did. She’d talk with her daughter about boys, giggle with her as her baby girl confessed her gigantic crush on the most popular boy in her class. She would also be there when that popular boy broke her daughter’s heart. She would be there, period.
Then Cicely thought about her busy schedule. She was a division leader, managing various projects and multiple budgets. She could not be the type of mother she wanted to be, not until she married Vincent. He was right. She had to take care of it.
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James Fant is an award winning author who lives in Charleston, SC. When he’s not reading everything from business management to mysteries or “entertaining” his family with piano solos and spoken word, James writes inspirational romance and suspense that warms the heart and hopefully makes readers laugh—in public.
The idea for An Ode for Orchids came from his appreciation of the enduring strength and tenacity of all of the women in his life: his hardworking mother, loving grandmother, strong sisters (related and non-related), no-nonsense aunties, and last but definitely not least, his beautiful wife.