Chris had worried about working alongside Daisy after their scuffle regarding his trip to her parent’s house. However, the rest of the day went by great, and he enjoyed working with her; he did the heavy lifting, literally, moving boxes and helping to straighten up the storeroom. He enjoyed spending the time with her, and they had an ease about them that felt like what he had been missing. It was evident that Daisy knew the wedding business and knew the product in her store. He was just concerned with the fact that the traffic in the store was quite light, and he couldn’t help but wonder how in the world she was able to stay in business. She had a full inventory, and he knew these dresses could not be cheap, so how in the world did she stay afloat? He wanted to ask her, but things were good for them right now, and he was not about to rock the boat.
He also wanted to talk to her about the things he learned from Melody and her parents; how she had been hurt and gave up her dreams of her MBA. How she was so worried that she would never find true love and built a wall around her heart. And how she felt the only way to have romance was to own a bridal store and live vicariously through others. She wanted a Prince Charming and didn’t think they existed; almost the same way he wanted a Disney Princess and didn’t believe that they existed either.
He was lost in his thoughts when his cell began buzzing in his pocket. He pulled it out and saw the caller ID, his brother Scott was calling. “Hey man, what’s up?”
“Are you working things out with the wife?”
Chris looked over to see that Daisy was intently working on dressing a mannequin in a new designer gown so she was not paying him any attention. “Well I’m trying, that’s for sure. I negated the annulment reason to start with so she is going to have to go back to the drawing board on that one. Somehow, I think she already has, though.”
“Oh, you showed her who’s in charge! Wow, I knew you had that in you big brother. Proud of you for that!”
“Shut up! I just need to get back to the place we were before the realization we got married. Things were good when we got to Vegas and even before then. We used to talk, I miss the conversations we had when I was on the press tour. I want the Daisy back that wasn’t so fucking worried she would be outed as my wife.”
“You need to tell her that. What are you two doing right now?”
“I’m helping her move things around in the bridal shop. I owe her, she sprung me out of jail.”
“What? You got arrested? Wait until TMZ gets a hold of that! What did you get arrested for, public intoxication, public indecency?”
“Failure to use a turn signal.”
Scott was laughing so hard he began to cry, full out began to choke as well, “Please tell me you are kidding? Who arrested you, Barney Fife?”
“Worse, Daisy’s ex-boyfriend.”
“Oh that is beautiful, did he know you two are married? Please say he did.”
“Oh, he did because I have a big mouth. He followed me all day waiting for me to do the slightest thing wrong and when I did, he hauled me off to jail. I had to have my wife save me, it was beautiful, though. I have to tell you, she is sexy when she is angry.”
“Give her a hug for me and I seriously hope you two can work it out,” Scott was preparing to say his goodbyes when a thought crossed his mind, “Hey, Chris, before I hang up, are you going to drop your little marriage bomb on mom? I mean, don’t you think she’d like to know that she missed your big day?”
“Yeah, I need to tell her, but I want to know what is going to happen here first. Although I better tell her before the tabloids do, I’ll give her a call. Talk to you later,” Chris hung up the phone and shoved it back into his jeans pocket. As he did, he felt Daisy’s arms wrap around his waist, and her head rest in the middle of his back. “Hey, you okay?”
“Who were you talking to?”
“Scott,” he twisted around so he could give her a proper hug and then kissed the top of her head, “He says hello and wanted me to give you a hug. He also wanted to know how things were going.”
“I take it he asked if you were going to tell your mom about our little wedding mishap?”
“He did ask if I was going to tell mom, yes. I admitted I need to do that, but I said I should wait until you, and I talk and work a few things out first.”
Daisy had to admit that right now she didn’t want to move, Chris had his arm around her, and she felt safe and secure in his embrace. She was lost in the moment when the bell rang to indicate someone had come into the store. She quickly removed herself and straightened herself up and went to greet her client while Chris excused himself to the back room. He wanted to try and avoid being recognized if at all possible.
The client apologized profusely for coming in at the last minute, but she needed to pick up her invitation order that had come in. Daisy went into the back to retrieve the order and helped the young woman get the boxes out to her car; this also provided the ability to lock the front door when she came back in. Once the door was locked, she practically sprinted to the back of the shop to see if Chris was ready to leave.
“I guess we aren’t going to have that new hire orientation?” He asked.
“No, but maybe we can do that at home,” she said with a smile, “I just want to get out of here.”
Chris agreed he was ready, and Daisy took him to retrieve the rental car; she waited for him and allowed him to follow her back to the house. Once she was in the house she tried to forage around the kitchen for something to eat; there wasn’t much to choose from. They agreed that ordering a pizza would make sense and give them an opportunity to talk while they waited for the delivery.
While Daisy ordered, Chris got a beer from the refrigerator and went into the living room. He walked around, looking at the photos on the wall and the books on her shelves; trying to get a feel for what made Daisy tick. Her books were an assorted collection of romance, history, and murder mysteries. Same went from her DVD collection, although he did notice that the Marvel movies held a special place in the collection. He also noticed she had quite the collection of Chris Evans movies.
“Daisy, you got a thing for this Chris Evans guy? You seem to have all of his movies and some of these suck!”
“Yeah, some of them are dreadful, but he is kinda pretty to look at it so I can get past the fact that they are shitty movies,” she said laughing.
He took a drink of his beer, “So, which movie to you like?”
“Well, all of the Captain America movies of course.”
“No, non-Cap movies, which do you like?” He was quite serious.
“I like ‘What’s Your Number’ and ‘Before We Go’ because I always thought that you were probably like Colin and Nick. I know your mom said in an interview you are like Jensen. But, I bet you are a little of all of your characters – although I don’t know about Curtis because I can’t get through Snowpiercer.”
“Fair enough, and yeah, I guess I am a little like each one of them,” he said as he sat down and got comfortable on the couch. She joined him, deciding to lay down, resting her head in his lap. “You don’t mind do you?” She asked innocently.
“No, you’re fine, babe,” he responded as he gently stroked her hair. He thought that maybe this would be an excellent opportunity to start that conversation Scott had encouraged. “I know I am risking the peace we have right now, but I think we need to have a serious discussion.” He could sense her body tense, “Before the discovery that we had, um, gotten married in Vegas, wouldn’t you say that we had a pretty good relationship thing going?”
Daisy was quiet for a moment, staring straight ahead and holding her breath before letting it out and responding, “Yeah, it was nice.” She wanted to say more, but couldn’t. She wanted to admit that he was right, that their relationship had been comfortable and for two people from two completely different backgrounds, their relationship was amazingly easy and uncomplicated.
“It was nice, comfortable even. The calls and texts were uncomplicated, and we were relaxed with one another. And Vegas, well that was extremely enjoyable, and I don’t want to take any part of it back. My shy little Daisy came out of her shell, and it was beautiful; you surprised me in so many ways, and I loved it,” he paused to give himself a minute before continuing, “I miss all of that Daisy. Since we found out that we are married, you’ve been concerned with people finding out about us and you’ve pushed yourself away from me. I miss you, I want the woman I fell madly in love with to come back to me.”
Daisy let his words sink in for a minute, and as she was preparing to respond to him, the doorbell rang to indicate the pizza had arrived. She sat up and looked at him, “Sorry, I’ll be right back.”
She ran to the door and paid for the pizza and took it into the dining room, she got plates and napkins and started to turn to head toward the living room to get Chris when she ran right into him. “Hey, I was coming to get you, thought maybe we could finish our discussion over dinner?” She asked hopefully.
“Daisy, I know this isn’t something you are really ready to talk about. I could tell in your body language when I brought it up. Go ahead and eat without me, I’m going to take a shower and go to bed,” He leaned forward and kissed her forehead and turned to walk toward the bedroom.
Daisy was stunned, she had not expected that. But he was right, she didn’t want to talk about it; she didn’t know how to respond to him. She couldn’t just turn off her fear of the outside world, and until he mentioned it in the shop, she had not even given any consideration to him telling his family. And now she had to worry about the reaction of his mother! Lisa Evans is wildly protective of her son, and they are very close. She watched the bedroom door close, and she immediately ran over to her purse and grabbed her cell, hitting the icon to direct dial Melody.
“Why in the world are you calling me when you have a hot husband at home?”
“How did you know he’s in town?”
“Um, well, I might have had him in the café this morning,” Melody admitted, “He came in for breakfast, and we chatted. You know Daisy, he is so much better looking in person than he is in the movies. I mean seriously woman, the news is going to travel fast that he’s around.”
“How many people have you told?”
“Not a soul, I swear. No one in the café recognized him either, which is surprising. But if he goes out at all tomorrow, he might not be so lucky.”
“That isn’t why I am calling you, and we can discuss that later, but I have a bigger concern right now!”
“Ok, chicken little, what is it this time?”
“He hasn’t told his mom about us, I mean nothing about us, she doesn’t even know about us dating much less that we are married.”
“Ok, and this is a bad thing because?”
“Chris tells his mom everything, and she has no clue about us.”
“Daisy, you weren’t really open with your parents remember? You backed into telling them about your marriage because your mom saw the certificate on the counter when she stopped by during your freak out. If it hadn’t been for that, you wouldn’t have told them.”
“Yeah, but Chris tells his mom everything, and I mean everything and he hasn’t told her a thing about us. I don’t think he even told her we were dating – the only one in the family that knows anything is Scott. That can’t be good, right?”
“Would you quit inventing shit to worry about?” Melody took a deep breath before continuing, this was going to be tough to get through, “Daisy, I’m going to be the friend you need right now instead of the friend you want. You need to get off of your ass and make a decision about what you want to do. You tell me you love the man, but you keep worrying about his fans, or his mom, or your parents, or some other shit that will come down the pike versus just living in the moment and being with him. Hang up the damn phone and go be with him.”
“I can’t, he’s taking a shower which is why I called you.”
“Well from what you’ve told me, the shower never stopped you before. Go seduce your husband and make this work or tell Violet to do the divorce, send him packing with that beautiful ring and don’t look back. And for God sake never watch another Chris Evans movie again.”
“Thanks, Melody,” Daisy murmured and disconnected the call. She sat her phone on the dining room table and then walked toward the bedroom door, turning the knob quietly she entered the room and could hear the shower still running in the bathroom. She closed the bedroom door behind her and proceeded over to the dresser to change. She figured she wouldn’t join him in the shower, but she could at least join him for bed.
The sad thing was that Daisy knew that Chris and Melody were both right, she let one piece of paper change the entire dynamics of a relationship. She was being true to him and to herself when she admitted that she loved him; that had not changed. As she was changing into her lace tank top and matching shorts she heard the water stop. She moved to pull back the sheets on the bed, and her heart was racing, she knew he would be entering the bedroom at any moment. As she settled onto the bed, sitting with her legs crossed, her heart did stop – he walked into the room wearing plaid pajama bottoms and no shirt. Water droplets were trickling down his chest and then tracing the path of his abs, and he was towel drying his hair. He stopped when he looked up and noticed her sitting there, “I didn’t expect you to come to bed so early.” He walked around the end of the bed and sat down; he didn’t comment on how she was dressed or that she was apparently staring at him.”
“Yeah, well I lost my appetite as well, and I owed you an opportunity to finish our discussion,” she offered as a response.
“So you’ve been waiting for me in here? Why didn’t you just join me in the shower?”
“I didn’t think there would be much discussion if I were to join you there.”
“And you think there will be much discussion here with you dressed like that?”
“There can be as little or as much conversation as you want,” she said with a wink. “Look, I realize I am confusing, and I get it. I do love you, God help me, I do. There are things about this relationship and this marriage that bother me and I don’t know how to express them and I am not sure you would understand if I did. And I risk you thinking I am a fool either way.”
“You keep shutting me out Daisy, and while I enjoy a good fight, I am starting to wonder just what I am fighting for.”