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The Gardens II
Published Jun 26, 2020

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Sansa: Oh no!
Nic: You! How did you get in here?
Sansa: Me? I work here! What are YOU doing here?
Nic: I live here.
Sansa: That's impossible. I work for Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan.
Nic: Correction. You work for Mr. Sullivan. The real Mrs. Sullivan died a long time time.
Sansa: But're......
NIc: Dominic Wright-Sullivan. But I use my mother's maiden name. It's her family my father lives off of.
Sansa: I can't believe it. I don't believe it.
Sansa: I was sure I would never see you again.
Nic (sarcastically): Well look how lucky you are.
Sansa: This must be a bad dream. Yes, it is. I am going to wake up soon from it. (patting her chest)
Nic: Then how are we both in it?
Sansa: I think I'm going to be sick.
NIc grabbed her arm as her knees began to give out on her. He gently held her up. But as she realized he was touching her arm, she took her it from his hold.
Nic: Relax. I just don't want you to fall and blame it on me. Sit down at least.
She slowly walked to the chair next to her. She was still in disbelief.
Nic: So you're Ms. Ina's niece? She told me you would be coming to stay for a while. I never bothered to remember your name.
Sansa: Why am I not surprised.
Nic: What about you? You didn't know I lived here.
Sansa: They call me Mr. Dominic here and NIc Wright out there. How am I supposed to know?
Nic laughed to himself.
Sansa: It's not funny.
Nic: You know. My jaw still hurts (rubbing his cheek)
Sansa: I slapped the other one. And you deserved it.
Nic: How do you think my parents would feel to know you struck me?
Sansa: You wouldn't.
Nic: I don't know. Depends.
Nic: Your aunt would be so shocked to know what you did. You know my evil stepmother has just been trying to fire her for a long time now. What you did would be just what she needs.
Sansa shrunk in her seat.
Nic (laughing): I'm only kidding. I would never do that to Seraphina.
Sansa: You really are cruel.
Nic stopped laughing as he looked back at her face. There was something different this time in her eyes. Something he never noticed before. It was no longer fun teasing her. He felt his throat tighten. He cleared it and dismissed her.
Simon: So you had an opportunity to get the ultimate revenge on the girl and you're not doing it?
Lee: I think she slapped some sense into him.
Simon: That or he might just like her.
Nic: I don't like her. She's common.
Lee: But she has spirit. And for the first time, someone stood up to you. I think you might like her.
Nic: I do not. I told you, she's common.
Simon: Common or not. I think this girl is getting to you.
Nic: Shut up Si or I'll make you leave.
Nic retreated to his room.
Lee: He likes her.
Simon: Yep!
For the days that followed, Sansa tried her best to avoid Nic. She kept her schedule busy. Mornings working at the estate, then off to classes. In the afternoon she stayed in the library or took extra studio time at the Hawthorne building. And when she returned home, she was ready to finish her workload before going to her room.
Deep down, she was anticipating the ball to drop and for her to get fired for hitting Nic. She hated that she never knew he was Dominic.
Melany: Would you have still hit him?
Sansa: I think I would have hesitated a little. I was so angry. I can't believe I let someone make me so angry.
Melany: Well at least you were able to retake the exam and pass.
Sansa: No thanks to him. I heard someone spoke on my behalf and the board let me retake it.
Melany: Who do you think did it?
Sansa: Lee of course. He IS President of the board. He's so sweet. Unlike that Nic.
Melany: Speaking of. There is your white knight now.
Sansa: If only it was just him.
Melany: Well why don't you go tell him thank you.
Sansa: I can't. Not while Nic's around.
Melany: Well maybe Lee will say something to you if we walk past him.
Sansa: I don't know.
Melany: Come on.
They sauntered toward F3. Sansa tried to resist looking in his direction but she couldn't help herself. She heard Lee laugh and took a tiny look in his direction. His smile made her smile as well.
Sansa (to herself): He's so cute.
Both girls giggled as they continued to walk past the group.
Nic: Did you see that?
Simon: What?
Nic: Sansa...smiled at me.
Simon: Man whatever.
Nic: Seriously. She did. I mean, I know I look good but I didn't think she liked me at all after the other day. Let alone smile at me. What do you think that means?

Lee: I keep forgetting our friend is not that in tune with the ladies.
Simon: Well, I don't speak young woman. But with all women, I think that is a sign that she might just like you after all. Maybe she's forgiven you for what you did. Maybe she's trying to get your attention.
Nic: You really think so?
Lee: Only one way to find out.
Simon: Party
Lee: Party
Lee: SANSA!!!
Lee waved as he finally caught up to the two ladies.

Lee: I've been looking for you.
Sansa was trying to play it cool in front of her crush.
Lee: So the F3 is planning a pool party this weekend. Want to come?
She looked over to Melany.
Lee: You can bring your friend as well.
Sansa: Who all will be there?
Lee: Well F3 of course. And just a few friends.
Sansa: I don't know if I'm considered a friend of F3.
Lee: Well I think I can call you a friend of mine. So come.
Sansa: Okay. I will.
Lee: Great! 3'o clock.
4'o clock

Nic: I thought you said she was coming.
Lee: She said she was. Maybe she changed her mind. Did you see her leave when you left?
Nic: To be honest I never see her at the house. It's like she's avoiding me.
Melany: There you are! I've heard of being fashionably late but over an hour of having your friend wait is just plain rude.
Sansa: Sorry. I've been here for at least 30minutes. I was just nervous.
Melany: Of what?
Sansa: I don't know. Do I look right? What if I say the wrong thing to Lee.
Melany: Don't worry about them. Let's just have fun.
Sansa: I was never a social person at school. I don't know how to be in front of large crowds of people. Especially half-naked.
Melany: Oh please girl. C'mon. You're with me. Luckily I know everyone at this party.

Sansa followed Melany to the far end of the waters. Melany knew everyone and made it easy for Sansa to talk to people. It was amazing that most of the people there had already heard of Sansa even though she only knew who half of them were from school. Lee: I can't believe you had me invite her only to NOT speak to her the entire time she was there.
Nic: There were too many people around. Every time I looked up some dude was talking to her.
Simon: I think they were talking to her friend, Melany.
Nic: Whatever. It was just too crowded.
Simon: Just admit it. This girl is out of your league.
Nic: I've dated females prettier than her.
Lee: And shallow, and arrogant, and just plain dumb. Sansa is obviously different. She doesn't scare easily. And she's not afraid to tell you off. I think that's why you like her. You know she's different.
Nic: If I want to talk to her I will. It's easy. I've asked girls out all the time. She's just like all the rest.
Simon: I don't think so.
Sansa sat in her room reading after a long day at work. The Mrs. was preparing for another dinner with the "Who's Who" of Garden Bay. The staff was working extra hard this week to make everything perfect for this weekend.
Nic quietly walked to the servant's wing of the house. He found the last door at the end of the hallway and knew it was hers. He straightened himself up.
Nic (to himself): Get it together. She's just like every other girl.
But when he raised his hand to knock on the door he couldn't do it. He tried again. Only this time he heard someone around the corner. He shuffled to the corner to hide. When he saw everything was clear he took another sigh of relief.
Nic: I'll wait.
For days Sansa stood outside Lee's private studio in Hawthorne Hall. She had put several scenarios together of how she would "just so happen" to bump into him. His room was top floor and she would act as though she was lost. She practiced while standing outside the room.
Sansa: Oh hi! That was you? no no that won't work.
Lee meanwhile had no idea what was waiting for him outside the doors. He practiced for hours on end sometimes into the night.
Sansa wondered if he ever took a break. She sat patiently along the stairwell waiting for him to come out. But she was never able to talk to him because she had to get back to the Sullivan estate for work.
Sansa was at the end of her work schedule when she noticed the doors open to a room she had never noticed. She didn't remember ever seeing this room when her Aunt Ina gave her the tour. And she never cleaned this room as well. It was a beautifully decorated space and very different from the rest of the house. On the farthest side was a connecting room with a piano in it. She sat the piano and ran her fingers gently over the wood. It was old and had never been touched at least not in a long time. A small pile of sheet music laid on top of it. She could tell that the music was unfinished and also old as well. She took one last look around before placing her fingers on the beginning keys. And with a deep breath, she began to follow the notes written on the paper. Sansa was soon able to follow along with the notes. It was a beautiful melody. And where she could not make out the writing she made up the missing note in her head. There was no telling how long she played but she was happy sitting there. She was lost in the music. She was so much that she hadn't noticed someone else was in the room. Nic heard the music from his room upstairs and quickly came down to see for himself.
Nic: What are you doing?
His voice startled her.
Sansa: Oh. I'm sorry. The door was open so.....
Nic: So you just walked in here and decided to play?
Sansa: I couldn't help it. I didn't know this was your room too.
Nic: It was my mother's. And the only room in the house that I won't let that woman touch and redecorate. It's off-limits to everyone.
Sansa: I didn't know. I'm sorry. I'll leave.
Nic: You play nice.
Sansa: Excuse me?
Nic: I play nice.
She was just as surprised by his words than when he walked into the room.
Sansa: Thank you?
Nic: You don't have to be surprised.
Sansa: I'm not. it's just that -
Nic: Meet me at Bay Square at 5 pm tomorrow.
Sansa: Excuse me?
Nic: Why do you keep saying that? You meet me at Bay square at 5 pm tomorrow.

Before she could say another word he left out the room.
Melany: Wait a minute! Did he ask you out?
Sansa: I guess. Well, I don't know. I've never been asked out before. I spent most of my time in books that there was no time for dating.
Melany: I can't believe he asked you out! But if he did, then why are you here. It's already 6.
Sansa: As I said, I'm not going. It's probably one of his tricks again. I'll show up and there will be people laughing at me or something like cruel like that. I'm not falling for it.
Melany: Are you sure? It sounds like he asked you on a date to me.
Sansa: Don't be silly.
Melany: I'm just asking. What if he wasn't joking? What if he truly asked you out? Then it looks like you stood him up.
Sansa: I haven't stood anyone up because there is no date. You should have been there. He didn't even ask me. He just spouted a place and time and told me to be there. That doesn't necessarily spell out DATE.
Melany: Maybe that's NIc talk. Guys don't always know what to say to a lady.
Sansa: I don't care. If he wanted to ask me on a date he would, but he didn't. It's too late even if I wanted to go. Now if you don't mind, I'd rather just focus on eating dinner and not think about Dominic Wright.
Melany: Okay, okay. Suit yourself.
It was hard to concentrate while out with Melany. She kept thinking about her words and if she did stand him up. It ended up being the worse meal she ate. Not because the food was bad, but the guilt felt in the pit of her stomach made it hard to enjoy it. Nic stood looking at his watch. Everything at the square was now closed. He had been standing around waiting for Sansa for hours. It was getting colder soon but he refused to leave. Sansa passed the square on her way home. She didn't normally go that route but she was still curious to see what scheme he had planned. She talked herself through the walk to Square only to be shocked when she saw Nic still there. It's been hours. There is no way he could have been here the whole time.
The filling in her stomach rose again. She could easily turn around and act as though she never saw him. But then that would be a new guilt settling on her. She took a deep breath.
Sansa: Hi.
Nic was silent
Nic: You're late.
Sansa: I lost track of time?
Nic: Are you trying to joke?
The tension was interrupted by the sound of his stomach growling.
Sansa: You didn't eat.
Nic: I wanted to with you.
After going to the nearby vendor, the two sat at the tables in the Square.
Sansa: Sorry you have to settle on the hot dog stand. Everything is closed.
Nic: They weren't at 5 .
Sansa: Why didn't you leave?
Nic: I was worried you'd think I stood you up. So I stayed. And then I grew worried that something happened to you, so I stayed longer. They said you had already left the house before I did. And you don't have a phone.
Sansa: So you were serious when you asked me to meet you here?
Nic: Are you really asking me that now?
Sansa: Well why did you? Why would you ask me out? We barely talk.
Nic: I'm not going to sit and answer a dumb question like that.
Sansa: Don't call me dumb.
Nic: I didn't call you dumb. I said your question was dumb.
Nic: There are many females at this school that would love to be where you are right now. I have the means to make the unknown, known. Do you know how many likes I get from just posting "Good Morning"? I can give you a car, a wardrobe allowance and when necessary you can accompany me to all the clubs and social events of high society. You will be Instachat, Simbook, and Switter famous.
And here you are acting foolish.
Sansa: I have never felt so cheapened in my life. Is that all you think I am.
Nic: You want jewelry too?
Sansa: Oh my goodness! You are not even human. You know nothing about women. Or at least good ones. I don't know why you think money and fame are all we think about, but you're wrong. You are not just a jerk. You're a rich, spoiled jerk.
Nic: I'm the jerk? But you were the one that stood me up. I've been out here for hours waiting on you.
Sansa: You didn't have to!
Nic: Well now I know next time!
Sansa: There won't be a next time! Cause you're not even the type of guy I would go out with.
Nic: I don't even know why I wasted my time. You're just a silly girl anyway.
Sansa: Jerk!
Nic: Dumb!
Both: FINE!!! Both of them raised from the table and walked in opposite directions to the estate.
Sansa was seething as she walked the longer route to the house. But the closer she walked home, the less mad she felt. The guilt began to settle again. It was her fault for letting him sit there for hours. And if she didn't want to go she should have just told me so. She hated that Melany was right.
Lee: So that's it. You argued and then walked away.
Nic: I can't believe I thought a girl like that was suitable for me. I've had models! And she had the nerve to try to talk to me the other day. I brushed her off. I don't have time for childish games. I'm over it.
Lee: So does this mean you're not interested in her anymore.
Nic: Why?
Lee: I was thinking of maybe asking her out.
Nic: For what?
Lee: For me of course.
Nic: Wait. Are you saying you're interested in her?
Lee: More of intrigued. It's amazing how this one meager girl has gotten to you so much. If she has such an effect on you, just imagine what it would be like for me.
Nic stopped playing. He paused the game and left the room for a few moments.
Lee: Where'd you go?
Nic: It's no harm in giving her a moment to explain herself. She wants to meet me tomorrow.
Lee: So does this mean she's not available?
Nic: It just means you'll have to wait a little longer.
Lee (laughing to himself): Yeah. Right.
Sansa: I didn't think you would actually come after our argument.
NIc: I didn't think you would want to talk to me.
Sansa: I wanted to apologize. For everything. I should have met you the other day. And if I didn't, I should have told you beforehand. I hurt your feelings and instead of thinking about that, I let your words anger me.
Nic: Well, to be honest. I can admit I should not have lost my temper. I've been told I have a short fuse. And if we want to take it one step farther. I'm sorry for the pranks and getting you in trouble with your midterm.
Sansa: That's still a soft spot.
Nic: But I heard you got to retake it....and passed.
Sansa: Yeah. In fact, the professor loved the piece.
NIc: Maybe you can play it for me one day.
Sansa: Maybe.
An unfamiliar feeling came over Sansa when she saw Dominic's smile. It wasn't his usual smile. This one was warm and kind.
It only took a few moments before the two of them began talking like old friends. He asked most of the questions and listened closely. She talked about her life in Idaho. Growing up on her great-uncle's farm.
Nic: So you've always been a hard worker. How did you have time to play the piano?
Sansa: Self-taught. My uncle always had music playing in the house. Since I spent most of my time in the library I began to read books. And BAM! I started playing and singing.
Nic: You sing too?
Sansa: It's not my strength. Not like the piano. What about you? Do you have any hidden talents?
Nic: My mother thought it would be best if I learned music. I wasn't good at school and it kept me focused. She was right. Music calms me, put me in a place where I feel peaceful like there is nothing else in the world but me and the melody.
Sansa: I feel the same way. What do you play?
Nic: My favorite is the guitar.
Sansa pointed to the sign.
Sansa: It's open mic night.
Nic: I don't really like playing in crowds. It's mainly for my own enjoyment.
Sansa: Are you scared of a challenge? Does the great Dominic Wright-Sulivan have a flaw?
Nic: Tell you what. I'll play you for it. Pick any game. If I win, you go on a date with me. If you win, I play.
Sansa looked around the bar.
Sansa: You're on.
They walked over to the dartboard.
Sansa: I played this a lot with my uncle. I'm pretty good.
Nic: Really.
Sansa: Best 2 out of 3.
Nic: I think that's reasonable.
They were down to the last game and Sansa was a few points behind. Both of them were highly competitive and refused to lose. He smiled as he concentrated on the board.
Sansa: It's okay to lose to a girl.
Nic smiled again.
Announcer: Up next, D. Wright.
Sansa stood front and center clapping and laughing as Nic walked to the mic and grabbed the guitar that was on the side. It took him a moment to get it tuned to his liking. He closed his eyes. Before that day, he had only played in front of his best friends and his mother. Crowds made him nervous. Luckily the bar was not full. He looked up and saw Sansa smiling back at him. She gave him a reassuring nod.
She recognized the song he was playing. It was Lee's song. There was a small difference in the tempo but she knew it. All those days she spent standing outside his studio she memorized every note. It was his song. Just as he played visions of Lee returned to her again. She couldn't help it. She stood next to him and began reciting one of her poems over the music. They caught the attention of the attendants at the bar and when they were finished the small crowd cheered.
Sansa: See it wasn't so bad.
Nic: I guess not.

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socajade VIPAug 23, 2020


Bo0GeRBELLJul 17, 2020

Awesome as always! I have a feeling I know where this is going... but I'd really like her to date Lee... at least for a little while. \:wub\:

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