Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jane Auten's Daisy of Love Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The gentlemen, ensconced in their dormitory rooms, dreamed of Daisy's ample charms. From figure-enhancing outfits of high leather boots, short petticoats and half-bodices to daringly provocative but of course modest and demure swimming attire, she was the inspiration for many a fantasy. Happily, each gentlemen had laid in a supply of creams and lotions to assist in their wondrous journey to Daisy's heart.

As lovely as the gentlemens' time had been, their focus was on Daisy, and on her true romantic intentions. To that end, troubled discussions had begun about one of their number. Brooklyn's status was still much in doubt, owing to the fact that he still had a girlfriend back in the old country. Or, perhaps, his girlfriend was an ex girlfriend. Regardless, the controversy was a distraction.

To Flex, 12 Pack said, "A gentleman would step down in the race for Daisy's affections." He said his words with downcast eyes and a heavy heart. 12 Pack was a true gentleman and wanted nothing more than for Daisy to find the right man for her. He believed himself to be that man, but if he was not, then he would accept her decision.

But he wanted her to have the most gentlemen to choose from. And he did not want to see any of the gentlemen leave under a cloud.

"What I cannot abide," 12 Pack continued, a newfound fire in his eyes, "is a man who lies to a woman. I become highly agitated in such situations."

"You are not alone in this feeling," Flex replied. "Every true gentleman feels exactly the same way."

Sinister found himself unable to contain his irritation: "I know that her manservant Mr. Rachtman sees through Brooklyn's schemes- what kind of man communicates with an ex-girlfriend while at a woman's estate? Why can't Daisy see through this man?"

Brooklyn awoke from a troubled sleep with an uneasy feeling. His conscience had been much bothered by Daisy's kindness of the previous evening. He found himself questioning whether he deserved to remain.

The feeling of unease at the estate was palpable, and no doubt added to Brooklyn's mental anguish. His desire was to find a true love, and hoped that dangerous happenings from his past would not sabotage his current endeavors.

The mood was lightened considerably by the appearance of a letter, written in Daisy's fine and delicate hand:

As you all know, I am made of most delicate material, and my heart needs protection. Mine has been a troubled life thus far, and to be honest, I expect my life to continue in this same, troubling manner. It's my sincere hope that a gentleman will come along and offer me protection from any advancing threat, whether from the elements, from unworthy male relatives seeking to displace me from my inheritance, or from firearms of some sort. Also, it's entirely possible I might suffer from exhaustion brought on by excessive drink.
I look forward to seeing you all soon,

This is the prize awaiting the winner of Daisy of Love.

The gentlemen signaled their approval by applause. Each of them loaded into the motorized Hummer vehicle and were taken to a place far from the estate, to a large field. Daisy and Mr. Rachtman met the gentlemen.

Daisy was a vision, smartly dressed in casual attire and a hat to keep her delicate alabaster-and-ink skin from the harming rays of the sun.

"Gentlemen!" Mr. Rachtman announced. "Today you will be divided into teams of four, and charged with delivering a most precious cargo to appointed destinations! That cargo is the mannikined representations of Daisy you see aligned before you. The destinations will be placed along the relay you see here in this field-"

Indeed the gentlemen surveyed the area and discovered the complicated relay maze that began with a limousine and red carpet, leading to a velvet rope. From the velvet rope, another team member would take "Daisy" to a stage door. Two other gentlemen would take her back from the stage door to the velvet rope and then to the limousine. The intention was that the "Daisy" would be so taken in a manner as to leave her fully protected from any hostile elements, be they natural or man-made.

"The team that brings back their 'Daisy' with the least damage, wins a most romantical date with their one true love!"

The gentlemen barely had time to voice their approval of this most delightful news when Mr. Rachtman continued:

"Beware, however, that you are not shot by the ball-paint gun wielding men who shall menace you at points all along the relay!"

Five bemasked men in black walked with a cruel and arrogant gait toward the unwitting gentlemen. Each was taken aback, feeling intimidation and no small amount of fear, despite themselves.

"I must let my ardor for Daisy inspire me!" they thought, seeking to tamp down their rising negative emotions.

The gentlemen then picked teams, schoolyard style. Brooklyn was chosen last, and begrudgingly so. None of the gentlemen considered Brooklyn a true and virtuous rival for Daisy's affections. Brooklyn found himself sympathetic to their plight.

As they donned their relay attire, Daisy eyed each of the men. Some appeared to her to have the disturbingly attractive look of a hardened prisoner, and she found her rapacious desires for them growing to what she feared was an unhealthy degree for a lady such as herself.

"Control yourself!" Daisy thought. "I am not a lady to be given over to such an open showing of emotion. I must show less sensibility than this!"

Under a hail of small balls of paint and small balls of pain, each of the gentlemen carried his "Daisy" across the field of battle. Screaming in pain and anger, and intimated frustration. These were gentlemen more suited to pursuits of a more gentlemanly or romantic nature, such as long walks on country estates, games of whist, and wooing. Never before had any of these gentlemen had to engage in such endeavors, and it showed. Some of the gentlemen even used their "Daisy" as a shield against the hail of paintballs that besieged them.

As difficult as was the endeavor, Daisy could not contain her pride in the efforts of the gathered gentlemen. For all their faults in pursuit of the relay, she could see that each of them had done his best to show her the true depths of his emotions for her in this most effective test of their love.

"Each of you did wonderfully to show how you would protect me from the difficulties of modern life," Daisy explained. "In the end, one team showed me just a bit more- the black team of Sinister, Chi-Chi, 12 Pack, and London!"

The gentlemen of the black team celebrated raucously, and the mood of everyone lightened considerably when Daisy revealed that the four-on-one date would take place on the morrow, for tonight she would be taking everyone out to a special dance!

But again, their revelry did not last long, for Brooklyn raised his hand and asked for everyone's kind attention.

"Daisy," he began, haltingly. "This is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to tell anyone. You are a beauty most rare and lovely. You are a wonderful kind spirit and have a soul like the soul of a green-eyed bird, soaring into the heavens. You see how you inspire in me poetry, and love. But alas, my heart belongs to another, and as I think on it, I've come to realize that to remain with you in the estate would be a disservice not only to you, but to these other gentlemen I've come to admire and respect."

Daisy was too flabbergasted to speak, for a moment. She stood in a daze, listening to the sound of her own heart as it fluttered softly, and then, slowly, broke.

Mr. Rachtman stepped forward. "Kind sir, I appreciate that you've offered us this honest assessment of your feelings. However, I must admit I find it a bit curious that you've chosen to explain this to us now, and not yesterday, or even before accepting Daisy's gracious offer to stay at her estate."

"I have made a mistake, and I again want to offer my condolences."

"Very well," Daisy said. "I wish you all the best in your future endeavors."

With that, Daisy took her place with the other gentlemen in the Hummer, leaving Brooklyn to wonder what might have been, if only his heart hadn't belonged to another. If only he could have forgotten her tender embrace...

Back at the estate, the men spent hours preparing their clothing and accoutrement for a wonderful evening with their beloved. Like the peacock dazzles with his elegant plumage, so too did the gentlemen seek to attract Daisy's attentions with the heavy applications of makeup, pomade, and clothing of the most modern of styles. The process of the creation of the gentlemanly look was a long and arduous, but ultimately deeply rewarding one.

Upon completion, the gentlemen looked even more elegant and lovely than before.

"No gentlemen have ever appeared so wonderful as you gentlemen do on this night," Daisy said.

This relatively meager display of interest from their beloved was enough to inspire the gentlemen to ever more bold displays of affection toward her, from long, lingering conversation escalating to romantic kisses of a most indiscreet nature.

"I love to have gentlemen fight over me," Daisy confided to herself. "Even as I chastise myself for my overt sensibility!"

Nevertheless, from the corner of her eye she noted that Fox, the most beautiful of all the gentlemen, stood away from the others, aloof, as he surveyed the scene.

"Fox," Daisy said, catching his attention. "Are you dissatisfied with the dance this evening?"

"Not at all," Fox said, taking a drink. "I am enjoying myself."

"Why then are you not demonstrating this?"

"Please do not concern yourself with my feelings. Tonight is your night, and you seem to be quite noticeably occupied with the attentions of all the other gentlemen."

She eyed him skeptically. "Do you not worry, sir, that your inattention to me this evening might be construed as a lack of interest?"

"How could you not be interested in me?" Fox asked, alarmed.

"This is 'Daisy of Love,' not 'Fox of Love,'" Daisy clarified.

"I should do well to remember that?" Fox asked, raising an eyebrow.

Daisy sighed. She was not sure exactly what to make of the aloof but undeniably attractive Fox. "You would indeed," she said, turning her back to him and returning to the other gentlemen.

Fox has a very high opinion of himself. Looking at this picture, I'm having a hard time understanding why. Maybe he's really smart or something.

Mr. Rachtman, worried about Cable Guy's chances with Daisy, advised him to be more demonstrative with his emotions. Cable Guy was not interested in such a thing.

Sinister, the winner of alone time with Daisy, waited patiently for her to return. She never did, leaving the club without returning to their private booth. This lack of attention was a most unladylike act, so out of character for Daisy that she herself actually took no notice of it.

Sinister looks like a creepy guy, but really he's sensitive. And by sensitive, I mean doormat.

Upon returning to the estate, the gentlemen engaged in good-natured shenanigans which took an unfortunate turn when Tool Box became inebriated.

"I fear that as a gentleman I must confide to you that I have yet to feel any real emotion for the lovely Daisy," he explained to Flex. "She is a most wonderful young woman, but I wonder if she and I are good for one another."

This is a most curious admission, Flex thought. I shall make sure that Daisy hears about this.

"I understand," Flex said.

"I appreciate your understanding," Tool Box said.

The next day, Daisy took the winning members of the black team for their four-on-one alone date. Her body already covered in lovely and very ladylike tattoos, she decided their time would involved body painting. This was a lovely excuse for Daisy to see the gentlemen in potentially scandalous states of undress, and to help the gentlemen remove some of the armor they've placed around themselves, owing to the years of unsatisfying romantic entanglements each has to deal with.

"I have been hurt," 12 Pack told her, as she gently stroked his chest with a paintbrush.

"You cannot let your hurt define you," Daisy explained, as they shared a tender embrace and a small peck on the cheek.

To Sinister, Daisy expressed her heartfelt regret over forgetting that she'd left him alone in the VIP area the night before. "Oopsies," she said.

"I appreciate the sincerity of your regret," Sinister said, smiling. "Whether you'd apologized or not, it is impossible for a man to remain angry with one so wonderful and delicate as you."

"Then let us embrace tenderly and kiss chastely."

They did.

"Your mere presence is making me very excited," Chi-Chi said. "You are wonderful." They kissed chastely.

Finally she was alone with London, and the two spent the time getting to know one another.

"I have made mistakes in my life," London explained. "My heart is wounded."

"But it's okay to make mistakes," Daisy explained, offering him the benefit of her own life experience. "It gives us room to grow."

They embraced tenderly and their soft kisses were chaste.

Oh, my, Daisy thought. Each of these gentlemen could be the one to offer me true love.

Later she entered the greatroom where the gentlemen were engaged in gentlemanly pursuits, discussing local politics and landholdings. Daisy entered the discussion until she was interrupted by the overtures of Cable Guy.

"Perhaps you'd like to have a word with me outside?" Daisy asked.

"Indeed that would be most agreeable," Cable Guy agreed.

Outside, the air was crisp and cool, the moon was high but faded against the smoke that wafted from the city below them. Cable Guy took a deep breath, as if to steel himself, and he began: "I am ordinarily a man not given over to demonstrations of love. I am, you might say, a shy man."

"I too am shy," Daisy confided. "This is a situation to which I am ill-suited."

"I agree."

"Then let that be the beginning of our connection," Daisy said.

"Your mind is as wonderful as your body," he said.

"I love your honesty."

From Tool Box she received a lap dance. Among his moves were the bump and grind and the robot.

"You're behaving in a manner most ungentlemanly!"

With Flex, Daisy could laugh, and did.

With Fox, Daisy was still a bit unsure.

There was much trepidation for all the gentlemen on the night of the elimination. Daisy passed out stars to each of her favorite gentlemen, with Flex receiving the first chain. The second went to the forgotten Sinister. Third went to London, the bad boy plagiarist. 6 Gauge, 12 Pack, Big Rig, Cage, Chi-Chi, and Fox got the next stars.

"But, Fox, I want to offer you this warning: I appreciate a man with confidence. I deplore a man with cockiness."

"I understand, gentle lady, and I assure you that I shall endeavor to show you the truth of who I really am."

Finally, Cable Guy and Tool Box remained. Tool Box was shocked- after his lap dance, how could she resist him? Cable Guy was nervous- after their heartfelt talk, how could she resist him?

The final star was not for Cable Guy. "You seem unable to take a risk, and I doubt your ability to keep up with me."

Cable Guy was too shy to win Daisy's heart. He said he could be there for her sometime on Tuesday between noon and four, but that was as specific as he was willing to get.

Flex spoke up: "Daisy, I worry for your heart. Tool Box does not have true feelings for you."

"Do you want to be here, Tool Box?" Daisy asked.

"I'm just not that person," Tool Box said. "I want you to know that you're a wonderful, delightful woman, but unfortunately I'm not looking for a wonderful, delightful woman. I am looking for a woman who is unladylike and promiscuous."

"Well, I appreciate your honesty. Please take your leave."

Tool Box could commit to a lapdance, but not to Daisy's heart. Too bad, he seemed like a real winner.

Daisy stood with dignity, betraying none of the deep emotions she felt, while Tool Box left the room. Finally, she was unable to prevent tears from coming.

"I hope you gentlemen will excuse me for a moment. My sensibilities are running high," she said, as she, too, left the room.

Despite myself, I cannot help but wonder if these gentlemen are really at the estate for me. The experience with Brooklyn had shaken her to her core. Could she really trust her own feelings? Could she trust theirs?

The gentlemen could be sure that Daisy's intentions were true, and the potential for heartbreak was very real.

Cable Guy pic source.
Tool Box pic source.
Fox pic source.
Sinister pic source.
Daisy de la Hoya pic source.

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