The return of Greg The Florist.
Greg sighed, then quickly plastered the smile back on his face as Mrs Hildebrand turned back to him, and pointed to the first bouquet again.
"Yes, I think that scheme, but without the lilies. Perhaps the Camellia instead – the white ones."
"Yes, of course," Greg was willing to agree to anything. The woman had taken forever to decide on the bouquets, and he still had a lot of work to do on flowers for a wedding the next day.
"Or perhaps…" she began.
Greg rolled his eyes, and when the phone rang he leapt at the chance to get away.
"Terribly sorry," he said, smiling, and headed to the desk to answer the call.
"Hello, Back to the Fuschia'," he answered, watching as Mrs Hildebrand made yet another circuit of the small shop.
"Oh, hi. Is that, um, is that Greg?" the voice on the other end asked.
"Yeah, speaking," he said, praying she wouldn't pick the Jasmine flowers.
"Hi. It's John. From the other day, I don't know if you..."
Greg's entire attention shifted dramatically, and he smiled. "Yeah, John, hey. Glad you called."
There was a pause on the line. "Really?" John asked.
"Absolutely. Look, are you free tonight? Well, this evening. I mean, well, now, really – I don't suppose you are, are you?"
There was another pause, and Greg shook his head at himself. 'Way to go. Play it cool. Fantastic, Gregory. Idiot.'
"Um, I am, actually, yeah. Should I…shall I come to the shop?"
Greg tucked the phone inbetween his shoulder and ear, clasped his hands together and sent a quick message of thanks to which deity might be listening. "That would be…fantastic. I'll be here."
It was only about half an hour later – Mrs Hildebrand thankfully having made a decision and left – that the bell over the door rang again.
John stepped inside, an uncertain smile on his face.
Greg beamed. "You have no idea how pleased I am to see you," he said.
John's own smile widened.
"Now, you can tell me I'm a total piss-taker, but…would you like an afternoon seeing if you like the job? I mean, I'll pay you…I just…well, you would be my fucking saviour, I'm telling you."
John nodded, rolled up his sleeves and walked over to the counter. "Tell me what you want me to do."
Greg paused for a moment, thoughts crowding into his head. Most of them x-rated.
"Uh…just…watch me, and see how you get on."
Two hours, four mugs of tea and a lot of laughter later, there were two trays filled with corsages, boutonniers and table centres, all ready for the wedding the next day.
Greg looked John in the eye.
"Thank you. Thank you so much. I seriously would have been sunk without your help. Now, the very least I can do is buy you dinner and a pint down the road at The Cock Inn. If you're up for it, of course."
John smiled, and said…
(Back home - again - soon, Danger. Anything we need?)