2. Just like Elizabeth Taylor.

The book I was reading was dreadful. Just reading it made me want to throw up. But I had to read it, if I didn't it would hurt Mrs. Katz's feelings and I simply couldn't hurt a little old lady.

Just because I owned a little flower shop did not mean I was romantic and had a need to read really bad historical romances. This was one was called, Plank of Passion. I rolled my eyes. Oh I got it, because it was about pirates…. You know, walk the plank… Lame. Tucking my feet under me I rested my back against the park bench. Sundays… I loved Sundays; a day just for myself. Sure it was cold but I just loved Central Park in the fall. It was like a dream.

I had to concentrate on the book. Mrs. Katz would always come into the store and ask for the millionth time if I'd finished her newest book. I was starting to run out of excuses. So I decided to pick the book up and give it a shot. Stupid idea.

How many times could a person use the word thrusting in one paragraph? Um…. Nine? Yes, nine times. There has to be a better word for thrusting.

As I raked my brain for a verb a small giggle made me look up. Standing in front of me was a little girl with dark orange hair. "You have very pretty hair. It's like mine but lighter." She said very confidently.

I smiled at her cute face. "It's called strawberry blonde."

"I love strawberries. But if I eat too many my tummy hurts. Do you like my dress?" She asked twirling around. The dress matched her pretty rimmed hat. "My mommy made it. Sometimes it takes her a long time, and she yells, 'Look at my callused fingers!' What does callused mean?"

"Rough and thick." I looked around for her mother or anybody who looked like they were missing a child. "Where's your mommy?"

She climbed onto the bench and swung her legs off the side. "She's at work. She works in a big building on the very top floor. Sometimes she lets me come with her and I can see all the tall buildings and sometimes Lucy let's me have a lollipop. She sits behind a big desk and the phone is always ringing. She must have a headache all the time. My mommy gets them when I scream. I can scream really loud, do you want to hear it?"

Um…. "No, I believe you. Who is watching you?"

"You are watching me."

"Who was watching you before?"

"Melody was."

"Great we're making progress. Who is Melody?"

"She's my babysitter, but I'm not a baby."

"No you're not. Do you know where Melody is?"

She shook her head then smiled widely. "There she is!" She screamed and pointed to the left.

At the sound of her little voice the girl named Melody spun around. "Oh thank God!" She ran over and picked the girl right up. "You scared me to death!" She said plopping down on the bench next to me. "I just need a minute to restart my heart." She placed the girl next to her. "Thanks for catching her."

Her hair was probably the same color as the sun. It was so bright and so curly it made me think like Shirley Temple. "I didn't do much catching." I admitted.

"She's pretty wild sometimes." She sighed. "Thanks anyway. I love your hair."

I touched the ends. "Oh really? It's way to long. I need a haircut."

"Go to the Salon on Fifth Avenue. It's called Snips. Tell them Melody sent you and you'll probably get a discount. I'm Melody by the way." She said holding out her hand. I shook it.

"I'm Sybil!" The girl shouted and grinned. "I can spell it! S-Y-B-I-L."

Melody laughed. "She's been doing that all day. Got to run, it's lunch time!" She said jumping up and grabbing Sybil's hand. Turing, they both waved, leaving me with a smile on my face.


So, another night with Vincent and another four thousand, typical. Every time he called I tried to think of an excuse, but in the end I always gave in. You're probably thinking I'm passive and I have no self-respect. But really, I just like sex.

Not in that crazy Samantha Jones kind of way.

No strings attached sex is so simple and easy. Nothing wrong with that… it's just the whole money part. Maybe I am passive… Or maybe I like money. Whatever.

I was cold, and that was mostly because I wasn't wearing a coat. Why wasn't I wearing a coat? Well, I took a cab, so I figured I wouldn't need it. So instead of having Mr. Palm call me a cab I thought I'd just catch one on my way home. So far, no cab. This is New-freaking York; you'd think there would be at least one freaking cab free.

So I wrapped my arms around myself cursing my kick ass red dress and heels. That was a problem with Vincent. He liked when I dressed up just to see him. That was a pain in the ass. Think about it; get dressed up only to take it off? Stupid if you ask me.

I hate November, I thought bitterly. The wind picked up and I braced myself against it. At least there was hot chocolate at home.

At some point between Vincent's place and mine my heel snapped right off. I let out a weird squeak and stumbled forward. Damn shoe. I looked down and blew my bangs out of my eyes. When I picked up the heel I had to frown. They were Italian… All girls have a soft side for pretty European heels.

"Oh hey," Someone said right next to me. My heart literally jolted in my chest. I spun around ready to hit anybody with my broken shoe.

It was him… He was standing there in a tux. Yes, a tux. God, what was his name? Carl? He looked different. Completely different. He actually had a face under all those bruises and cuts. They'd healed since last time I saw him. His weird hair was actually somewhat tamed. The tuxedo was a surprise, I mean the last time I saw him he was lying in a gutter. I guess the only thing missing now was a top hat. "Wait…" I said holding up my hand and trying to remember his name. "Cole like coleslaw, right?"

"Just Cole is fine."

"Are you following me?"

He raised an eyebrow. "Why would I follow you?"

"I don't know, are you?"

"No. And if I was, why would I do it looking like a penguin waiter?"

"Good point."

He waited a minute. "Are you following me?"

It was my turn to raise an eyebrow. "Why would I follow you?"

He smiled. "This conversation is going in a circle. What happened to your shoe?"

"It broke, obviously."

"Well they can only hold so much weight."

My eyes narrowed and went cold. "Are you insinuating something?"

He shrugged. "Just stating a fact."

Annoyed I handed him my shoe, which he took absently while I took off the other. "I'll have you know," I said while whacking my unbroken heel against a lamppost a few times until it snapped off. "that I am the perfect weight for my height." I snatched my other shoe from him and slipped them back on. I went down about an inch.

"Would that be before or after you broke your shoes?" He smirked.

"Are you always so snide?" I said slinging my purse over my shoulder.

"I'm not sure. Maybe."

Rolling my eyes I began to walk away. He felt the need to walk along side of me. "It's cold." He said after a moment of silence. "You don't have a coat."

"That's right." I said sharply as we rounded a corner. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him shrug out of his fancy jacket and hold it out for me. "I'm not cold."

"You're shivering."

I groaned. "I still don't want your jacket."

"Why not? Your cold, I have this jacket. It'd be ridiculous not to wear it."

I stopped and turned to him. Letting out a huff I pushed my hair out of my face. "If I wear your jacket then you'll be cold."

"Naw, I have this funny Pinocchio vest." He said tugging on the black vest.

"It's called a jacquard vest."

He looked amused. "I wont remember that in five minutes. So are you going to take it?"

"What?"

He rolled his eyes. "The jacket."

"No." I spun on my heelless shoe and marched away. His legs were longer so it didn't take any effort for him to catch up.

"Are you usually this stubborn?" He asked.

"I don't know, it depends."

"On what?"

Jeez, what was his deal? "Look, can you leave me alone? I don't want, nor need your company or your jacket."

He shrugged. "Suit yourself."

I waited for him to walk away, but he didn't. He simply threw his jacket over his shoulder and dug his hands into his pockets. I kept walking and he kept walking, it was very weird. "What?"

He looked over at me. "What?"

"I thought you were going to leave me alone."

"I am, but I have to walk this way." He said pointing down the street. "I live in this direction."

For Christ's sake. Huffing I wrapped my arms around myself. "Fine."

There was some more awkward silence. I think he even was uncomfortable so he asked, "Why are you all dressed up?"

I thought about telling him to screw off but that seemed childish and stupid. "I…"was getting paid for sex. "was on a date."

He nodded. "Same."

"How'd it go?"

"Not well since I'm going home alone." My eyebrow shot up, which made him laugh. "No, it was a fake date."

"A fake date?"

"Yeah this friend of mine, she had this fancy party to launch her new dresses or whatever. She's a designer." He looked over at me then pulled his jacket off his shoulder and draped it over mine. I pretended not to care. "So she called me, completely hysterical and in tears telling me I needed to be her date tonight. Apparently it's horribly un-cool to go to your own party alone."

"It is."

"So after moaning about how I'd rather stay home and watch a Clint Eastwood marathon all night I let her dress me up and cart me around a party."

"How nice of you."

He shrugged his shoulders. "Wasn't too bad, until I ate snail by accident."

"Ew…"

"Exactly what I was thinking. I thought it was… something else. How was your date?"

I shrugged just the same as him. "Fine."

"Fine?"

"Fine."

"Okay then." I put my arms through the sleeves of his jacket and wrapped it tightly around myself. "You still haven't told me your name."

"Why do you need to know my name so bad?"

"Why not? Is it really bad, like Gertrude or something."

I smiled. "No it's not bad."

"Are you really going to make me guess. At least tell me it's not something with 'lyn at the end. I have a hard time with those girls." He sighed.

"Charlie." I said rolling my eyes.

"Hmm?"

"My name is Charlie."

He considered it a moment. "Um… that's a boy's name. No wait, that's a five-year-old with red hair and freckles kind of name."

"Sorry."

"Is that sort for something? Don't say Charles."

"Charlotte."

He smiled. "Much better. So, Charlotte-"

"It's Charlie." I said cutting him off.

"Come on, I can't call you Charlie."

Rolling my eyes again I asked, "Why not?"

"How does this sound, Charlie is really gorgeous in a red dress." He made a thinking face. "Nope doesn't sound as good as Charlotte."

My cheeks burned and I bit the inside of my cheek. "You think I'm really gorgeous in a red dress?"

He shrugged, and I found myself liking the way he rolled his shoulders. "I have eyes, don't I?" I was trying not to smile. No one had ever called me gorgeous before. "What's your favorite color, Charlie?"

"My favorite color?" I was still trying clear my head. "Purple."

"Like your eyes." He added.

I looked up. "My eyes?"

"You're eyes are violet."

"They're blue."

"They're violet."

I've had this argument with people. It was easier jus to say my eyes are blue. "Well, I guess you could say that."

"I could, and I am. Just like Elizabeth Taylor."

My mother used to call me Elizabeth Taylor when I was younger. Sometimes I wondered why she didn't name me after her. "They're blue."

With a roll of his eyes, he simply let it go. "Purple…" He seemed to consider it. "Lilacs are purple aren't they?"

"And pink and white." I didn't add that they were my favorite flower.

"Do you have them in your flower shop?"

"Um… no. They only come out for a few weeks in spring and they die very quickly. It's harder to keep them."

"How could I get my hands on some?" He asked while he fished around in his pocket, and then pulled out a cigarette. "Do you mind?" He asked before he lit it.

I shook my head. "It's your funeral."

"I've heard that before." He chuckled then blew smoke out of his mouth. "Where do I get some lilacs?" He asked again.

"I could order them for you." Why did I say that? "Why do you need lilacs?"

"Why do you need to know?" He threw back with a smirk. "So can you do that, order them?"

"Yeah, I guess. It'll cost you."

"Doesn't everything?"

"Yeah… I need your number."

He flashed that smile. "I suppose you do. Got a pen?"

I fished around in my purse for a pen. God knows I had everything else. "I have… lipstick." I said pulling it out.

He laughed and took it. "You have everything in your bag but a pen, that's funny." He let his cigarette hang between his lips as he grabbed my arm. His hands were rough and firm. I started to wonder what he did to get them that way. The lipstick felt sticky as he wrote his number on my arm. "You should write that down before it smudges." He said handing me back my tube.

"Don't worry this stuff lasts eight hours." I said looking up at him. He was looking down, waiting for something. I blinked. "What?"

"You live here." He said nodding towards my building.

I spun around and realized he was right. "Oh, yes." I said blinking at the small building with wide windows. "I do live here. Where do you live? You said it was in this direction."

He nodded. "Yeah, I live in Soho."

"That's… far."

"Yeah, it is."

"You're going to walk there?"

He shook his head. "No, I was going to take a cab."

"Good luck with that." I mumbled. "You didn't have to walk with me."

He smiled. "You weren't too unpleasant. At least I got your name and a bunch of flowers out of the ordeal."

I only nodded and turned to walk up the stairs. I remembered his jacket and took it off. "I really wasn't that cold." I lied and handed it to him.

"Just say thank you."

Rolling my eyes I smiled a little. "Yeah, thanks. Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Charlie." He said as he walked away.

Even though I couldn't see it, I just knew he was smirking as he walked down the street and around the corner.


Hey, thanks for the reviews. I didn't think I'd get so many for the first chapter. Um... here's the next chapter. I'm really tired and there's school tomorrow :( So I'm off to bed.

Oh yeah, happy new years to everyone. Thanks to Jessica for the quick betaing, I know you barely had time. Appreciate it.

Also people sent me some songs so I made a playlist and you can find it on my profile, if anyone is interested.

-Penny