Eli calmly sipped his cappuccino as he watched the impending drama outside the doors of Madre’s. There were five women, two older and three younger. He already guessed the young and petite blonde was the bride-to-be. He assumed the older woman who looked like her was her mother and the lady next to her was an aunt. The other two girls were either sisters or friends of the bride and Eli could already tell they were just as tired of the bride’s shit as the mother was.
There was no father in sight and Eli assumed the man was enjoying college football or hiding somewhere in a dive on the outskirts of town, leaving the mother to handle her daughter. Eli couldn’t blame him. He imagined the father was spending a small fortune for his daughter’s wedding and probably grumbled at all of the things he could’ve bought instead. Despite the fluctuating economy, expensive taste never went out of style.
“And I’m telling you for the last fucking time, this is my wedding and if I want orchids in my wedding during the summer, I’m going to have fucking orchids in my wedding during the summer!” The bride hissed to everyone.
“Oh boy,” Eli sipped his coffee.
Joey stood beside his younger brother and watched the drama unfold. Nicola was the face of Madre’s and Eli was the creative force behind the flower designs. Joey managed the shops along with his mother and brother, making all of the business decisions. He was very glad he put his MBA to use so he didn’t have to deal with the onslaught of fussy brides, bratty girls celebrating their quinceañeras, and over-zealous wedding planners trying to get thousand-dollar flower arrangements for a few hundred bucks. He loved to leave that mess in the hands of his brother and mother. “Watch out now. We got a bad-ass in our mix.”
“Wanna bet she was a sweet girl before she got engaged?” Eli asked.
“Before she got a ring on it and she turned into a bratty wench?” Joey smirked.
Moments later, the five women entered Madre’s and walked up to the counter. The nasty bride who just cursed out everyone just moments earlier, changed her tune the moment she was in the store and caught eyes with Eli. There was a reason why he handled the brides instead of his mother. All it took was a smile and a slight nod of his head to make the bride reconsider her wedding and plan a date with Eli instead.
“Welcome to Madre’s,” Eli smiled at the young blonde, “how can I serve you?”
The bride stopped in her tracks and took notice of Eli in front of her. His voice was husky and inviting, making the bride wonder in what manner she wanted Eli to serve her. He was tall, standing just slightly over six feet. Short dark hair was tussled. He was clean-shaven and his hazel eyes danced whenever he flashed his heart-stopping smile. A square jaw led to a chiseled jaw line that boasted of swag and intelligence. And that cologne he was wearing was sex in a bottle, making the bride inhale and exhale several times just to make sure she could remember the scent for her fiancée.
“Um, I…” She stopped momentarily to collect her thoughts. “I wanted to see if you would have any orchids available for a summer wedding?”
Eli drew back a sharp breath and lightly shook his head. “Unfortunately, orchids are out of season during the summer months. If you really want them, they would cost you a fortune. What’s your budget, sweetheart?”
“My budget?” The bride felt a little foggy and didn’t know her left from her right all of a sudden.
“Yes, your flower budget. What is it?” Eli smiled as he slightly tilted his head, making sure the bride knew the focus was solely on her and no one else.
“Um, it’s um…about a thousand.” The bride stammered.
“Hmm…” Eli thought about the possible arrangements he could do with such a small budget. “How big is your wedding?”
“About 250 guests.”
Eli did the mental math. “And that thousand-dollar figure, that includes everything?”
“Yep! Bouquets, corsages, loose petals for the aisle and flower girl, and centerpieces.” She smiled.
The bride didn’t want the impossible; she wanted a miracle. If there was one thing Eli could count on were the expensive tastes of women. Even the most humble of girls he had encountered had a princess complex the moment they began planning their wedding. Eli would be willing to budge a little, but there were going to be some changes made.
If the bride’s temper tantrum was any indication of what to expect, dealing with her was going to drive Eli to drink. “Okay, if you have a seat over there, I’ll be willing to discuss with you on some arrangements that would look great with your wedding,” he pointed over to a table. “Maria will be out with tea and pastries for you and your guests.”
The tea and pastries were an added touch suggested by Nicola. She knew when a woman was about to get married, she was on running on all cylinders and needed to calm down to make a rational decision about one of the most important items on her big day.
Eli went upstairs to the offices and retrieved his pen and notepad. “So what is she looking for?” Joey asked.
“A million-dollar arrangement on a thousand dollar budget.” Eli shrugged.
“In other words: same shit, different bride?” Joey smiled.
“Orchids during the summer,” Eli muttered, “get the hell out of here.”
“What about peonies and roses?” Joey asked. “Summery, romantic and every girl loves peonies and roses.”
“That’s what I’m about to suggest,” Eli took a swig of water, “and add in some hydrangeas.”
“I’ll let Jessica know to get out the dummy bouquets,” Joey suggested, “anything else?”
“How many freebies am I offering?”
“Hmm…” Joey put a hand to his mouth. “…let’s offer free rose petals and crown for the flower girl.”
“Smile a lot,” Joey suggested. “Make her wonder why she’s not marrying you.”
“Compliments?” Eli wondered.
“Few but sparingly. Compliment the wedding party. Tell them how beautiful they all are. Butter up the mother.” Joey got up and walked over to his brother. He put his hands on Eli’s shoulders and they touched heads, as if they were in a huddle. “Let’s go!”
“Let’s go!” Eli shouted.
It was the same game they had run at the flower shop for years. Prepping to meet with brides and other clientele was like preparing for the big game. They needed to focus, concentrate on scoring the right deal, block any offensive shots, and they’ll win the clientele. They were the perfect triple-threat combo – Joey being the brains, Eli being the brawn, and Nicola was the beauty.
More often than not, Nicola and Eli switched roles, depending on potential clientele. If the parents or event planners were running the show, Nicola handled them. If it was a situation involving the bride as Eli just witnessed moments earlier, it was his duty. It was during those times Eli wondered if his mother was punishing him for his childhood and teenage sins.
He walked back downstairs and was immediately graced with a different vibe. Gone was the tension. Replaced was the relaxation and smiles. His mother was on to something with the chamomile tea and tea cakes. “How are you ladies doing? Enjoying yourselves?”
The bride wiped her mouth with a napkin. “These are so delicious! Do you do catering as well?”
“Oh no, but we do have a list in case you need them.” Eli once again flashed his panty-dropping smile and sat down at the table with the bridal party. “So let’s talk flowers.”
An hour and much negotiation later, Eli and the bride came to a conclusion on her flowers. As suspected, she favored the peonies, roses and hydrangeas. The deal was sealed when he offered the free rose petals and crown for the flower girl. The bride had softened a great deal and seemed much more relaxed leaving the shop than she was when she entered.
The mother of the bride spoke to Eli privately, profusely thanking him for his patience with her daughter. One of the bride’s friends also spoke to Eli privately, slipping her number on a business card and offering to discuss other deals later. “Call me anytime,” she whispered in his ear.
Eli stood in the middle of the shop and watched the cars leave the parking lot. He breathed a sigh of relief and began to clean up the flowers. He loved his job and felt like he was giving back to the community. But for every frazzled bride he dealt with, there was always the horny single best friend trying to ride his jock.
Staying faithful wasn’t hard.
“Okay, I’m done here,” Eli instructed to the other girls working the shop, “everything should be cool for the rest of the day. Do I need stick around for anything?”
“Actually, you do!” Maria exclaimed. She was a young Puerto Rican woman in her twenties. She had shoulder-length auburn hair and a smile that seemed to compete with the sun. The rest of the Madre’s staff appeared from behind her and a couple were carrying a big cake. “Happy Birthday, Boss!”
Joey and the staff gathered around Eli and serenaded him with Happy Birthday. It was especially embarrassing to Eli since he didn’t like to make a big deal about his birthday. It wasn’t that he didn’t like to celebrate it because he did. He just preferred to be quiet about it.
He made a wish and blew out the candles. When he was younger, Eli would wish for money, jewelry, or even girls that he was enamored with. He believed in wishes because somehow between fate and God, he was always granted them. This year he wished for something different.
I wish to see if there’s more out there for me.
After a quiet dinner with his wife and son, Eli dropped his son at his mother’s home and went back home. He was watching SportsCenter in the living room when the TV suddenly turned off. “Oh Mr. President?” A sultry voice echoed in the living room. “I heard it was your birthday, Mr. President.”
Eli got comfortable on the sofa and loosened his tie a little. Now he understood the need for the suit and tie get-up his wife insisted on. He took a sip of his cognac and patiently waited for his wife’s appearance. Despite being together since their teenage years, the sex was still hot like it was back then. The main difference was Eli could last a lot longer in bed than his teenager self. Practice makes perfect, he smiled to himself.
“Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday, Mr President,” Faith D’Amato appeared in the hallway wearing a similar Marilyn Monroe ensemble and straddled her husband. “Happy Birthday to you.” She softly kissed him.
“I really love birthdays.” Eli smiled. “In fact, this is my favorite way to celebrate them.”
“I bet it is,” Faith winked, the amber in her brown eyes sparkling. “Whatever you want tonight, it’s on the menu.”
“Ooh…birthday sex,” Eli smiled. His hands caressed Faith’s bare arms while his cock twitched in his slacks. His wife always knew how to get him going without making too much of an effort. “I can have whatever I want?”
“You can have all three holes,” Faith said slowly, enunciating every word.
A low moan was lodged in Eli’s throat as he adjusted his position on the couch. Faith leaned in closer to him and softly kissed her husband’s neck, knowing that his spot. “What is that you want, Daddy?”
Eli flipped Faith onto her back and nestled in between her legs. He planted a series of haste kisses on her neck as she opened her thighs more to accommodate him. “I’m going to fuck you so hard you’re going to be speaking Greek,” he huskily moaned.
“Greek, huh?” Faith moaned. “That’s a new one.”
Eli sat back on his knees and began to undo his dress shirt before Faith stopped him. “It’s your birthday, Daddy. It’s time for me to do the work.” She motioned for him to get up and grabbed his hand. She led him to their bedroom and stripped his clothing. Eli worked out six days a week, insane about his fitness and wanting to keep up with his equally-fit brothers.
It didn’t bother Faith at all. Her fingers lightly danced all over her husband’s shredded body. Strong, muscular legs lead up to an impressive shaft and ripped abs. His pecs were Faith’s favorite body part, loving to flick her tongue over the brown nibs.
She pushed Eli on to the bed and removed her white halter dress. She started to remove the blonde wig when Eli stopped her. “No,” he winked at her, “leave the wig and the shoes on.”
Faith licked her lips and softly bit her lip. After being with Eli for so long – together for 12, married for six – the passion and excitement in the bedroom seemed to get better over time. He would give her a simple look or gesture to let her know he meant business and he was going to give it to her any way she could handle.
She removed her bra and thong underwear, discarding them to the side and climbed on the bed. She reached over and grabbed a pair of fuzzy handcuffs and secured Eli to the bed. “Just making sure you’re not going anywhere tonight,” she whispered in his ear.
“You’re killing me, Faye,” he moaned.
“Watch me work,” she winked at him. She slid her body down his, kissing his neck while her hands ran up and down his body, causing Eli to release several deep breaths in both anticipation and frustration. She knew when her hands wandered towards his shaft but didn’t touch, it did a number on him. “Daddy likes that?”
“Shit, Faye…” Eli hissed.
“Shhh…you keep talking like that and I’m going to get the gag ball out,” she warned him. She began kissing her husband’s body again, focusing on his nipples. A free hand worked the right one as she nibbled on the left. From there, she planted a trail of kisses down his mid-section and finally to the beginning of his pelvic bone. When she reached his shaft, it was bouncing in anticipation. “What do we have here?”
She kissed the inside of Eli’s thighs, intentionally not placing her mouth where he wanted it the most. Eli moved his hips upward, non-verbally telling his wife what he wanted her to do. No. she was going to tease him. She was going to lap her tongue against the inside of his thighs. She was going to breathe in his musky scent. She was going to place kisses around his shaft, but never venturing there.
Eli closed his eyes and heavily sighed. Faith always knew how to get him going. All she had to do was lick her lips and she knew he would be thinking about her full lips for the rest of the day. He loved to kiss them, feel them on his body, hear them part while she screamed his name over and over.
She finally placed her mouth on him and Eli thought he was going to explode. Her full lips gently sucked the bulbous head, her tongue swirling around the slit and tasting his pre-cum. Her mouth was so hot and delectable, her tongue hungrily swirling around his full length, taking him all the way in and out. The flicks, the licks, and the kisses she gave him were porn-star legendary and Eli only wished he wasn’t handcuffed.
She suckled on the swollen tip before she took the entire length of him inside of her mouth, causing her husband to lose control. He saw the stars, the moon, the earth, the sun, the universe. It was horrible he was tied up. Each flick of Faith’s tongue made him lunge forward. His chest rose up and down, trying to stave off the impending orgasm. No use. He tried to curl his toes and clench up his thigh muscles. That didn’t work.
A few more flicks of Faith’s magical tongue combined with the rapid-fire motion of her hand, and Eli shot all over her mouth and neck. “Fuck!” He gave a guttural groan and collapsed against the bed.
“That’s it, Daddy,” Faith purred as she milked his cock, “that’s it. I wanna taste your hot cum, baby.” She placed her mouth back on Eli again and deep throat him, swallowing everything he had to offer. She then moved her way back up to her husband, placing tender kisses on his washboard abs and finally to his neck, where she buried her face. “One hole down,” she nibbled on his ear, “two more to go.”
There wasn’t a doubt in Eli’s mind right there – or even ever – that his wife was worth the five-carat yellow canary diamond ring he upgraded her to on their anniversary. He only wished he got the ring for her sooner.