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You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. ❄

p r o t e a

[s y m b o l i s e s   c o u r a g e   a n d   t r a n s f o r m a  t i o n ]

Aster and I were standing in front of Hiddle publications. Aster worked there on the creative writing team and she specialised in poetry (and big surprise horticultural books and stories for children). Her work was never published because her boss was , as we know a perv.

"I don't think I should do that." She looked tired, unsure and nervous.

"And what he did was something he should have done?"

As she knew that I heard all her talk with her mother, I dragged her here to yell at her boss and let girls in the company know what kind of man he was. She didn't argue with me but her behaviour around me was different. She easily blushed now, she avoided my touch and seldom met my gaze.

I wonder what brought that own besides the fact that I brazenly told her I came to the shop because I cared for her.

"Come on Aster. You can do this. You have to do this." I encouraged her.

She closed her eyes and took deep breathes as if gathering some courage.

"Okay, so I will just go in...and...and what will I do? No, no, Kyler I can't do this." She was in denial panic mode.

Suddenly I gripped her shoulder and made her look at me.

"Aster Walsh, you listen to me carefully. You are the strongest person I have ever seen, you have fallen, hurt yourself, broken but you are still here, smiling, teaching me about flowers and looking as beautiful as always. So you need to go in there and let that man know that he can't just crush woman like that, okay?"

Wow, I just made a great speech.

She gulped and looked at me with a new found but very little confidence. And she blushed.

As much as it amused me to see her blush, it fascinated me even more. But why did she blush this time?

Suddenly she straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath.

"Let's do this."

And she walked inside the huge publishing company.

Her strides were long and confident or maybe she wanted to get over with all this as fast as possible. I had to jog to keep up with her. Reaching up to the seventh floor, she knocked at the glass door of Mr. Zachary Hiddle. The place was bustling with many employees and general people and I realised anyone could walk over if they wanted to find a job or wants to get a book published.

"Come in." A gruff voice called out.

She walked in looking a little pale. To say Hiddle was shocked to see her was an understatement.

"Aster." He got up and walked towards her slowly.

He didn't even notice me and eyed her in a perverted manner. Before I could act on my anger , she stepped closer and the room resonated with the sound of a tight slap. I have seen her angry, I have seen her sad but never did I think that she was...violent. But she slapped him hard enough to leave a mark on his face.

Her palm was now clenched in a fist and she was shaking with anger.

As soon as Zachary was over with shock, his eyes flashed with anger.

"You bitch. You haven't learnt a lesson yet."

"Touch her and I will break all the bones in your body. Trust me I can do that, I am black belt in karate." My tone was harsh, threatening and cold.

He frowned in confusion and backed off.

"Apologise, give me my last month's salary which you stole and give me a shining recommendation," Aster said in a fierce tone that I have never seen her use.

Zachary blinked in surprise and looked from me to Aster.

"If you are thinking why you should do that. I will let you know. I will charge you for sexual assault , defamation, stealing my work, not giving me money for the job done. You do know that will destroy the company and your reputation. And here my rich friend, CEO of Holt Dreamweaver will help me out." She had a sly smile on her face.

She was not the gentle and aching Aster, she was dangerous, strong and tiny bit evil Aster. In that moment I realised, she was both beautiful and sexy.

Needless to say, we got an apology, glowing recommendation letter and some money.

"Since I got my delayed paycheck, I will treat you." She smiled at me too happy with what she just did.

"Why me?"

"Because if it hadn't been for you, I would have never done anything crazy like this. Now with this letter, I can even get a new job at a different publishing house." She laughed her musical tinkling laughter.

"Tomorrow, dinner then?" I asked her not sure what I was doing.

It was not a date, she just wanted to pay her gratitude towards me but i was happy nevertheless.

She nodded her consent to the time.

"Buy me flowers." She said with a wider smile and I just stared at her in surprise and in awe.

God, her smile was dazzling and yet so serene. It felt as if my day just brightened up with her smile that reached up to her eyes.

"What flowers?" I was in a trance right then.

Her hands lifted and pointed to a flower in a flower shop, bigger than Aphrodite.

"Protea." She put a name to the flower.

"And why are we buying it?"

"Because it symbolises courage and transformation." She was proud of what she did and also relieved.

I think I just healed one of her scars.

The flower defined her today and I bought it for her.

As I looked around the shop I thought there are so many big and better flower shops in the town but one I walked into was a small, lesser known one. Why?

And then I saw the woman always in pain smile gleefully at the flowers in her hand and I got my answer. 

❄    ❄    ❄

HAHA! These two kicked some ass in this one. It was fun to right and I hope you guys like it as well. Any questions, queries, weird theories, feel free to share awesome readers.

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