Daisy tossed and turned until she finally fell asleep. She awoke in the middle of the night and decided that she should go home, after all, she would have to go to work, and there was no way she could go in wearing the same clothes from the day before. So she snuck down the stairs trying to be as quiet as possible and out of the house; it was a little after 4 am when she started the car and pulled out of the drive. She was lucky that she wasn’t hungover and didn’t have a headache from all the wine she had with dinner. While she might not be hungover she certainly still had her anger; the anger at her mother for telling her dad about the wedding and the fact that they were both ganging up on her to stay married to Chris.
She realized on the drive home that her phone was still off. Well, technically the phone was not off, it was just that the volume was all the way down so it activated the do not disturb feature meaning it would not ring or vibrate. When she pulled into the driveway, she removed the feature, turned up the volume and checked the missed calls and texts. She had missed 4 calls from Chris, not bad since she had the phone off all day. She had missed one call from Violet, damn the one call she really needed to have taken. When she checked her text messages, she had 3 missed texts from Chris and 2 from Scott. She also had a text that just came in from her father asking if she had arrived home safely since she snuck out of the house.
She sent a quick reply to her dad to let him know she was safe, but she didn’t elaborate and wasn’t overly polite. She didn’t bother to read the texts from Scott or Chris; figuring she could guess the subject of their messages without reading them. She would probably read them later and maybe give Scott a call. The last time she had talked to him, she was freaking out because she realized she was married. It might be nice just to call him and actually catch up with what was going on in his world. She would definitely call Violet later, this was something she could not let linger.
She cursed as she got out of the car and made her way to the door, she had not expected to be coming home in the wee hours of the morning so she had not left the porch light on. She had to struggle to get the door open, fighting to figure out where the key went. Once open and inside, she shut the door and locked it and made a mad dash for her room. She had, at least, two hours to catch some additional sleep and was not going to waste it.
~ * ~
Daisy was in the middle of a dream when she heard the ringing of her phone, she jolted out of bed and grabbed for it. It was as she swiped to answer it that she realized it was 7 am, and she had overslept. She was in such a panic over the time that she did not even pay attention to the caller ID and who was calling.
“Hello,” her voice still heavy with sleep.
“Morning Daisy, did I wake you? I am so sorry, I thought you would have been up. I can call you later.”
Daisy sat up straight, “Violet! Sorry, no, I just haven’t had a chance to use my voice yet this morning so I still sound kind of froggy. I’m really sorry I missed your call yesterday, I was so busy in the store, and then I had dinner with my parents. I was going to give you a call a little later today.”
“Oh, no worries. I knew I was calling you late yesterday, and there was a chance I wouldn’t get you,” Violet took a moment before continuing. “Would it be alright if I stopped by the store to meet with you today? I know that the store isn’t the most private but I also know it will be hard for you to come to my office. I just want to go over some of the specifics of your situation and talk about how we can proceed. And I have the details on the different options, such as annulment or divorce.”
“Um, yeah, meeting at the store would be okay. The shop shouldn’t be that busy today so we could have some quiet time. Is there a particular time you were thinking of stopping by?
“Well, I have a meeting that starts in about an hour and will last for about two, then I will head out your way. I’ve got a clear calendar this afternoon so I am all yours.”
“Oh, wow…um…okay, if you are sure that won’t cause a problem with your other clients.”
“No, it won’t be an issue and to be honest, I can use a break from the office. Plus, you are a client, so I am making time for you, it is just a rare opportunity for me to make a house call.” Violet took a moment to let her words hang in the air before she continued, “Daisy, I just need to ask this before I drive out there. Have you actually given this a lot of thought? I mean you found out on Monday that you were married, and you called me right away. Is there any chance that a relationship would work between the two of you? Are you sure this is the path you want to go down?”
Daisy didn’t answer right away, her heart and her head were again arguing over this. Finally, in a soft whisper, she said, “I’m sure.”
“Okay, forgive me but I had to ask. This is never an easy process no matter the circumstances and I needed to be sure you were ready and willing to go through with it all.”
“I feel like I am prepared for this, but I am not so sure that Chris is. He doesn’t want to talk about it and so I try to avoid talking to him at all. This isn’t going to be easy, and I can only hope I am strong enough to get through it.”
“What do your parents say about it? Are they supporting you?”
“No, they want me to stay married,” she admitted.
“Oh, I see. Well, we can discuss this in detail when I get there.”
The phone call concluded, and Daisy began to frantically get ready, she took a quick shower and then sped into town to open the shop. She was so thankful that none of the deputies were on patrol this morning because she knew that she could not afford to waste time getting a ticket. Today was the first time in the last three years that the shop opened at the time posted on the door and not a minute before.
Daisy was able to get some of her bookkeeping duties out of the way early. She didn’t want to be in the middle of doing her books when her lawyer arrived. In the midst of just doing odds and ends in the shop, Violet Morgan walked in the front door, her arrival announced by the ringing of the butler bell. Violet was a tall, attractive blonde. She kept her hair cut to shoulder length, and she wore glasses that framed her face beautifully. With her height and her commanding walk, she gave you the impression that you did not want to mess with her. Daisy and Violet had been the best of friends through high school, but when they graduated, Violet had gone away to college. Daisy had gone nearby, and the two had grown apart. Daisy had gone farther away to business school and get her MBA, but when she dropped out and came back home, she had a hard time reaching out to her friends right away because she felt like a failure. Violet, on the other hand, had gone away to college and to law school and vowed not to settle in their small town.
When she graduated law school, Violet was offered a position with a corporate law firm in the city and jumped at the opportunity. After doing corporate law for a few years, she realized that she hated the hours and the constant travel. She was asked to handle the divorce for a friend at the law firm and found that not only did she have a knack for it but she could make good money. Her sharp tongue and quick wit went a lot farther in divorce proceedings than they did in the boardroom, too. So, she left and started her own firm and had been handling divorces and family law for the last couple of years.
Violet looked around the shop, taking in everything that Daisy had built. “Wow, Daisy, this store is great. Sorry that I spend all my time and effort to tear apart everything you work so hard to put together.”
“Eh, at least, I’m not a dating service. The women who get divorced can always come back and buy a dress again if they want to give love another chance.”
Just like Daisy had expected, the store was quiet, and she was thankful for that. Daisy invited Violet back to the counter and offered her one of the stools. Violet thanked her and took the seat directly across from her, opened her bag and removed a folder, placing it on the counter. “Ok, I know you were questioning whether it would be faster to do an annulment or a divorce. So, I looked into it and found that we don’t have to worry about waiting times for either one. So, we can draw up the papers, whichever one you want to do, have you sign them and send them to him to sign.”
“An annulment means it will be off the records and will be as if we were never married, right?”
“That’s correct. They both do the same thing but if you want to wipe it from your record the annulment is the way to go. But Daisy, to do that you have to meet several conditions. I have a list, and we need to discuss these, if you don’t meet all of the stipulations, then we have no choice but to go the route of divorce.”
“Ok, I want to review the list, I am sure there is something that will fit our circumstance.”
“Can I ask why you are so adamant that this goes away and for it to be like it never happened? You willingly went to Vegas with him, right? Do you have feelings for him?”
“His fans don’t need to know about this – I am scared right now that someone in the clerk’s office will tip off the tabloids that we got married. His movie is being released this week, and a lot is riding on this. He just had an interview where he talked about he has to be careful in his personal life that he doesn’t do something to mess up the façade of Captain America.”
“And you think getting married is something that will ruin the Captain America image? Exactly how is that?”
“That he ran off to Vegas and married a girl that he didn’t know for very long and only met at the movie premiere for this movie; don’t you think that is something that would tarnish his image?”
“No, I believe that you are overreacting, but that is my high-level view of this. You ignored my question, though. Do you have feelings for him?”
Daisy stood up and began to pace behind the counter, “Yeah, I do, and that is why this is hard. I have been ignoring him and not talking to him, and it is killing me because I am in love with him. I just don’t want to be married to him right now, this just awful timing.”
“So, you don’t want to stay married in the hopes that your relationship will natural progress to this?”
“No, because we’ve been dating for a month, and I don’t know how long it will take to work to that place, and I can’t keep him tied to me that long and that will just make a divorce harder. How much will this cost me? I probably should have asked you that to begin with.”
“Normally, for a no-fault divorce, I charge $800. Since we are friends, I will do it for half. Plus, I have to say the situation is unique, and this will be my first celebrity divorce, so this is going to be a little unusual.”
“Violet, he is going to fight it every step, I know it.”
“Ok, I’m prepared if you are. Let’s look at this list of annulment reasons and see what route we need to go down,” Violet said as she slid the page across the counter.
Daisy began to read the list of reasons and a smile spread across her face as she saw a reason that caught her eye. “Violet, you said you would do it for half-price, but I would be willing to pay full price if you would be prepared to do something for me,” Daisy said with a mischevious grin and tiny touch of evil in her eye.
“What exactly do you have in mind?” Violet had to admit that her interest was piqued.
Daisy outlined what she wanted to do, and Violet had to admit that while it was evil, she thought it was quite hysterical. Especially since Chris was being quite difficult when it came to discussions about the marriage and how to dissolve it. She agreed to do it and would have the paperwork drawn up.
“Hold on, Violet you need his address right?”
“Yes, I need to know where to send the papers, and I need to reference it in the document.”
“Ok, hold on a second,” Daisy pulled out her cell phone and began to type out a text message. Within a moment or two, she had an address to give to Violet. “Here you go, this is the address for his house in the Hollywood Hills.”
“Where did you get the address?”
“From his brother, Scott. I told him I needed to send him some stuff, I just didn’t say what. Scott is a good guy, and I don’t think he would mislead me, at least not yet. After this packet is delivered, that might change.”
Violet made a few notes in the folder and then closed it and packed up her bag, as she stood she spoke, “I’m going to go back to the office and get these done. If I can wrap them up in time, I will get them sent out tonight, if not they will go out tomorrow. I just hope you are ready to deal with his wrath when he gets them.”