Monday, September 24, 2012

The Orchid Lover, Camille’s Truth 09-24-2012 The Story continues….

Days later, Desmond had been deeply hurt by the arrival of the vase of flowers for Camille. He’d anguished for days thinking about it. But now he had to let it go.

A day ago he and Camille had talked about what happened. He had listened attentively as she told him her story. Carefully he’d watched her eyes. They’d told him all he needed to know.

In addition to that, a passing remark made by his housekeeper Consuelo, had helped him make up his mind and quick. From her he had learned two things that eased his conscious. One was that her cousin Larentia; had been overhead by Consuelo on the phone talking about seeing Camille with Delmar the whole time. She had even laughed that she heard her cousin tell Delmar she was in love with Desmond.

Desmond had been furious when he heard what Larentia had said. He felt this way because Larentia had not said one word in her cousin’s defense to him.

Secondly Consuelo had mentioned that Camille had been thinking about going home. And that wasn’t what he wanted. To him this was Camille’s home as well as his. At the moment Consuelo told him. He’d made up his mind and forgiven Camille. Now he just needed to make sure she knew that he felt that way.

Anxiously he waited for Camille to come to the conservatory.

Carefully he tended to his new orchids. He smiled with his thoughts. The orchids weren’t new at all. In fact the flowering orchids were two years old. Many of the business trips he had made were for developing and growing his own orchids.

He’d learned the asymbiotic germination or flasking method on one of trips to nursery he owned in Maui Hawaii. During his learning experience he had kept extensive records on growing orchids. It had taken him twelve months to get his first pods to ripen. But they did. After that it had taken just under another year to get his plants to bloom. The last two years he’d spent learning his craft had been well worth it as he looked at the flowering exotic orchids all around him.

The one he stood in front of was blooming beautifully. It was from the Cattleya hybrid species. The flower’s petal segments were broad, well formed and very fragrant. The healthy petals outer rim was a waxy white color that mellowed into to a light pink color with a vivid deep magenta lip. It was his pride and joy. It was his prize. He’d even given the prized orchid a name, Camille’s Truth.

Looking at the beautiful orchid he knew it would be just the thing to let Camille know how much she meant to him.




Camille sighed heavily making her way to the conservatory. Her feet felt like anchors as the heels of her shoes softly clipped as she walked.

Days before she had tried to explain to Desmond about what had happen the day she had seen Delmar Devereaux. It had happened over a month before.


Her thought drifted to that day...The pictures were clear in her mind.


Innocently she had occupied her cousin Larentia Acca Batiste to the Farmers Market in San Juan Bautista. Little did she know it was the Annual BBQ Rib Cook-off and Classic Car Show Festival?

Main Street in San Juan Bautista had been lined with vendor tents of various sizes as far as the eye could see. Parked up and down Main Street end to end was some of the most beautifully restored, mint condition, classic old cars of every make you could think of.

Main Street was alive with locals and tourist enjoying the day.

Her cousin Larentia had seen a hat she liked at one of the vendor tents. The hat vendor had been crowded with regulars and tourist vying to make a purchase.

Hovering people loudly chattered and haggard over items, the noise in the tent seemed to grow louder. Camille thought she’d found a hat she like. She picked it up and examined. Then someone lit a cigarette. The smell overtook the air. Camille felt like she was suffocating. She became so overwhelmed that she went to put the hat down. Annoyingly a shopper grabbed the hat out of her hands. Rather than get into an altercation with the woman she decided to leave the vender’s tent for some much needed air.

Stepping out of the vendor’s tent she took in a deep breath and walked down the side walk a few steps. Suddenly she collided with someone.

“Are you hurt?” A man’s deep voice asked as his hand grasped her arms steadying her. He pulled her against his chest.

She recognized the voice. She looked up into familiar slanted black eyes under winged brows. “Delmar Devereaux,” she said drawing in a deep breath. “What are you doing here?”

A smile curved the corners of his mouth. “Well I’ll be Camille Baptiste,” Delmar smiled wickedly. He looked longingly at her lips. He wanted to taste them. Christ she felt good in his arms. He took a deep breath. Her perfume was intoxicating. He felt like he just took a drug.

“Well Camille I’m not going to lie. You do feel good in my arms.”

Unsure of herself she pushed. “Please let me go Delmar.”

“No….I….I mean sure. If you promise to go somewhere we can talk,” Delmar said.

The gravity in his voice startled her. “No,” she whispered “Now answer my question what are you doing here Delmar?” She asked wrenching out of his grasp.

“I’m here for the Classic Car Show. I’m here showing off my mint conditioned, fully restored 1934 black, convertible Pierce Arrow. You remember it don’t you?

“Oh, yes I remember your baby.”

“Well baby is parked right there,” he pointed across the street. And my other baby is right in front of my eyes, he thought. He cleared his throat. “Please come go over with me and have at look for old times’ sake,” his eyes pleaded.

It was a reasonable request she thought. Plus they were out in public. She nodded. And together they walked over.

They reached the car and he casually said. “I’m so glad I ran into you. There is so much I want to say Camille. I heard you were seeing that guy Desmond Garcia. He’s a very lucky man,” he said as his eyes roamed up and down her body.

Once upon a time Camille cared about what Delmar thought. She felt the best thing to do now was to stay silent and just ignore him and his roaming eyes.

Delmar ran his hand across his chin. He continued. “I’ve got to say this. Once I heard you were with him it made me think. You know, I never realized how much I took you for granted. Did you know I never told you how much you mean to me,” his words were laced with a deep sadness as he looked at her.

His hand reached out and touched her hair. “My lovely Camille I’m so sorry for all that I did to you.”

Camille recoiled at his touch. Delmar’s smooth words were just that. Smooth words that held no meaning.

“I got to get going. My cousin will be looking for me,” Camille said.

“No, wait. Hear me out Camille. I have a proposition for you,” Delmar said running his hand across his pencil-thin moustache. “I want you to marry me. I’ll do right by you. I’ll give you everything you ever wanted,” he paused. “And I’ll stop seeing other women. I’ll be faithful. I swear it.”

Camille stared back at him dazed. She studied him as the afternoon sunshine caressed his face. Some people were full of lies. Some people were full of secrets. Some people were mean and spiteful. Delmar Devereaux was a man capable of being all those things.

“No, I’m sorry Delmar. I can’t. You see I’m in love with Desmond Garcia. But thank you for apologizing. For you I know that took a lot of effort,” she said softly before turning and walking away.

Delmar Devereaux smoothed his moustache and watched her leave. His thoughts raced. He’d think of something. All he needed was for that something to reach the person he wanted it to, Desmond Garcia. Let’s see if your intended would still want you after I’m done with you. He thought as he smugly smiled watching her walk back across the street.







Slowly Camille’s thoughts returned to the present as she lingered at the door of Desmond’s conservatory watching him enjoy his orchids. She realized now Delmar Devereaux had purposefully bumped into her that day she and Larentia went to the Farmers Market in San Juan Bautista.

Quickly she shook out her thoughts and entered the conservatory.

“Camille?” Desmond called out. His brows rose as he looked up. He smiled softly. “Oh good you’re here. Please close the door and the drapes so that we can’t be disturbed.”

Resigned Camille obeyed and closed the door tightly behind her. She walked over and pulled the cord. The drapes closed quickly. She turned and strode closer into the room. She swallowed nervously. Desmond voice seemed so calm. She wondered if he hated her. Her life was such a mess she thought.

“Camille you look so sad. Come and sit down. I want to talk to you,” Desmond said. “Come I have a present for you.”

She managed a smile. “A present for me…But?”

His dark eyes were smiling. As he pulled her close to him. His hand reached out and touched her face. “I’m not angry at you my love. I want you to know that I trust you and I believe you. The journey of love we have been on together these past four weeks have been the most blissful time for me. I don’t want it to end,” he said kissing her tenderly on the forehead. “I hope this present shows you how much you mean to me,” he pointed. “This orchid here is named in your honor. It’s called Camille’s Truth.”

“Oh Desmond it’s beautiful.”

“Do you forgive me for ever doubting your love for me Camille?”

She looked into his eyes. “Desmond you know I do.”

Desmond smiled and took her hand. He placed a small box in it. He closed his fingers around hers.

Camille looked into his dark eyes.

“Go on open it,” he smiled.

Anxiously she opened the black velvet box. Inside the letters said Tiffany? Camille opened the box and she was speechless. A platinum five carat pear cut diamond solitaire stared back at her.

“Are you happy with the ring my love?” Desmond asked.

“Oh yes….Yes…Yes….Yes Desmond. I am,” she said breathless.

Then Desmond did the strangest thing. He turned around and in a loud clear voice he yelled at the closed door.

“Larentia! Did you catch what your cousin just said?” Desmond’s booming voice commandingly asked. “You may as well open the door. I know you are out there.”

Slowly the door to Desmond’s conservatory opened and Larentia stepped inside. She looked flushed and anxious. “I wasn’t eavesdropping,” she said softly and quietly with contempt in her voice.

“Eavesdropping? Larentia you? I never accused you of such a thing,” Desmond said giving her a piercing stare. “Please come in and hear the news. Your cousin Camille has just agreed to be my wife. Isn’t that wonder news?” Desmond didn’t wait for her to answer. “We should celebrate tonight, all three of us. Where should we go?”

It was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

“Oh I can’t go anywhere tonight,” Larentia nervously said. I…I…err,” she stammered. “A friend called. She ah….Had some really bad news and I promised I’d go and cheer her up. I have to leave right away.”

Desmond gazed at her comprehendingly. “What a shame. I take your friend may need you to stay with her? How long do you think you be staying there?”

Larentia frowned. “I don’t know?”

Desmond’s eyes flashed dangerously. “I take it then Larentia you don’t have a regular residence?”

He felt Camille flinch in his embrace. He quickly gazed between the two cousins and knew he spoke the truth. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Camille held a love for her cousin that was faithful.

He turned his attention back to Larentia. His eyes soften as he looked at her. He knew he spoke the truth. The girl was homeless.

“I’m not an unkind man Larentia. You are welcome to stay here as long as Camille wants you too. But please remember to respect the privacy of me and my future wife,”he said.

“Thank you Camille…..And Desmond,” Larentia said as she slowly lowered her head. Quickly she turned and left the room.

Stay tuned…….To be continued…

Monday, September 17, 2012

Posted on 09-16-2012 The Orchid Lover, Spoiling the Morning Breakfast…


To Camille’s astonishment, four weeks had passed quietly. Now her cousin Larentia Acca Batiste was as familiar in the rambling old hacienda as she was. 

The two cousins looked at each other over coffee that morning.
     Larentia was the first to speak. “Now admit it cousin you are happy I’m here?”

“Yes, I have to admit having you around has been fun,” Camille said rising to walk over to the buffet hutch to refill her plate.  “The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection this morning. I believe I’ll just have a little more.”

Larentia shrugged and sighed deeply. “I’ve been here four weeks now and I’m a little bored. Nothing fun ever happens around her. Everything is just so ordinary,” she sighed heavily.

Suddenly the door of the dining room swung open. Desmond Garcia walked in carrying flowers. His face was flushed. He was breathing hard.

“Oh my goodness those are beautiful,” Camille exclaimed taking a half step backward. She turned around and resumed what she was doing.

“Who sent them?” Larentia asked.

“Why Desmond did of course,” Camille excitedly said without looking up.

Desmond’s strained voice rose into the air. “No I didn’t.”

Camille twirled around abruptly. “You didn’t?” She asked with deep concern.

She looked up at Desmond. He stared back at her.

The room felt uncomfortable.

“Well? He said.

“Desmond I don’t understand. You’re standing their holding what looks like about four dozen red roses in an elegant crystal vase and you didn’t send them. They can’t be for me.”

“But they are for you. The card says so. Read it,” Desmond commanded.

Camille looked again at Desmond’s face before reaching for the card. She opened it slowly.

“My Dearest Camille, Passion is loves most powerful force in the whole universe. But I’ve told you that many times before. I don’t regret your coming to see me four weeks ago and I hope you don’t either. I know you were upset when you did. But what happened between us was meant to happen.

This won’t be my last message. I fight for what I want and Camille I want you.

   These roses are a symbol of how much you mean to me. Our romance is everlasting. For it will never know an ending. Honestly I don’t know what you see in Desmond Garcia. But I’m waiting whenever you need me. I’m here for you. Yours truly with all my love. Delmar Devereaux.”

Camille looked between Desmond and her cousin Larentia.

Desmond turned away. But not before Camille saw pain and betrayal raging in his face.

“Desmond!” Camille called out sharply. “We need to talk.”

At the sound of her voice Desmond stiffens slightly. He dropped the vase of roses. They went crashing to the floor. “No! Not right now. Not right now. I can’t,” he choked out leaving the room.

“For Christ sake, Desmond this is not what it looks like,” Camille pleaded.

Stay tuned…….To be continued…


Saturday, September 8, 2012

09-08-2012 The Orchid Lover, Cousin Larentia

A week later, storm clouds slowly rolled across the steel grey sky as rain turned into a drizzle.
The rain had Camille dressed in jeans and a soft ivory off the shoulder Marilyn Monroe sweater that accented her curves.
She lingered in Desmond’s conservatory enjoying his recent shipment of exotic orchids he’d received from the nursery in Maui.
“Excuse me Miss Camille,” the humble-looking housekeeper’s voice sliced the air.
“Hi Consuelo,” she smiled, and thought that sometimes when the light hits Consuelo just right she looked like an angel brought to real life.
Consuelo hesitated checking over her shoulder. She’d left the young woman in the foyer. But thought she’d heard her following her.
“What is it?”
Consuelo closed the distance between them. “There is a woman here; she says she’s your cousin. And she said that your mother sent her to check on you,” Consuelo said humbly.
“Really,” Camille nodded.
Consuelo moved closer and whispered. “She insists that I prepare one of the guest bedrooms for her,” she paused. “She said her name is……”
“God woman you’re slow.” The voice came sharp and distinct. “Just tell her it’s me her cousin Larentia”.
From the doorway Larentia looked back at her cousin with a shifty grin. “I could have made my own introductions by now. In fact looks like I just did.”
Camille winced at the sound of her cousin’s voice. She almost choked getting her name out. “Larentia!”
Larentia Acca Baptiste stood half drenched staring back at her cousin. “Hey cousin, aren’t you glad to see me? I’d give you a hug but I’m soaked. I want to dry off and take a hot bath. Therefore I need my own room right now.”
“Larentia, how did you know I was here?”
“Oh you know how your mother is. I dropped by to see her. I asked her about you. She buttoned up real fast. So then I just asked her how bingo was treating her lately and she started talking about bingo. You know how she does,” she paused and walked a few steps checking out the place. “So, I sweetened the pot with a few dollars so that she could go and the next thing I knew she opened up and told me you where here. So the next thing I knew I suggested I should come down and check on you.”
Camille swallowed hard. Her cousin looked like the cat that drank all the milk from the other cats and still wasn’t satisfied. She knew her cousin had twisted up her story. She probably gave her mother a bribe just to make her talk.
Larentia Acca Baptistewas a smooth, confident and assured as any narcissistic could be. She had smoldering good looks and slanted almond shaped eyes with thick lashes. She had the kind of eyes that could give a man a look that couldn’t be ignored.
For as long as Camille could remember her cousin occupied the same address in her mind. She lived on the corner of self and fish for as long as she could remember. Larentia had one care in the world. And that was pleasing herself.
“Larentia you are welcome to dry off. But…...”
Larentia interrupted. “Good, I’ll go and find a room I want. I need to have a hot bath and warm my bones. You know me,” she shrugged. “In a house as big as this I know there must be a dinner hour?”
“Yes, Consuelo can have something fixed for you. But tonight dinner is delayed. I’m waiting dinner for Desmond,” Camille said, regretting her words as soon as they passed her lips.
Larentia grinned. “Oh I don’t mind waiting to meet the man of the house.”
Camille’s face suddenly turned grim.
“Come along Consuelo,” Larentia commanded heading back the way she came.
Out of the corner of her eye, Camille watched Consuelo look at her. She stood tall and straight. And then she turned her eyes and stared at the door Larentia walked through.
Consuelo shrugged. “I can tell that one brings a bad storm wherever she goes,” she let her gaze met Camille. “But don’t worry I will be watchful.”


After dinner Camille sat at the baby grand piano by the large bay window. She smiled happily. Her cousin Larentia had to leave dinner early. Somehow there had been a mishap at dinner. The glass of red wine Larentia was drinking spilled all over her.
Larentia gazed up in disbelief when it happened. She couldn’t believe it had been done by her own hand. The white dress she was wearing when it happened looked like it had been ruined. And she had to miss dinner.
She let her fingers play with a cord. Her thoughts played upon her. She thought Larentia’s eyes had looked spellbound. She had spilled the wine on herself.
Camille started playing “As time goes by.”
Desmond studied her and thought how beautiful she looked. Immediately Desmond got up from his chair and strolled over and joined her.
She noticed he looked tired. She smiled. “Sorry you never got to tell me about your day. I know you must be tired from your drive down from San Francisco,” Camille said rubbing his shoulder.
“Keep that up and I might think you’re trying to seduce me,” he said.
Camille paused.
“No don’t stop. I like it very much,” Desmond said turning to look her in the eyes. He ran his fingers along her chin. “I was hoping we could turn in early,” he said running his hand down her shoulder.
Camille felt warm from his touch. She swallowed hard and took his hand.
Desmond smiled. “Then tomorrow hopefully your cousin will be rested and ready to leave. We will call your mother and tell her everything is fine and we don’t need Larentia staying with us. I’m not saying she’s not welcome here but”,he hesitated and leaned in close. “But I like being alone together just the two of us.”
“Me too,” she said closing her eyes. I mean I like our being alone together,” she said letting him kiss her.
Desmond’s hands were busy pushing aside her clothes.

From the shadows of the doorway Larentia watched Camille and Desmond making love. An unpleasant expression crossed her features. She moved further back into the shadows. “My stupid cousin, you are giving yourself to him like a slut. You’re not good enough for him. But don’t you worry my little precious. I’m not leaving. Not tomorrow or ever,” she whispered under her breath.

Stay tuned…….To be continued…

Saturday, September 1, 2012

09-01-2012 The Orchid Lover – Desmond Garcia, The Very Tall Man - The Saga Continues...

09-01-2012  The Orchid Lover – Desmond Garcia, The Very Tall Man - The Saga Continues...  

Three weeks had passed since Desmond had suggested she accompany him to his estate for a vacation.  The fresh air had cleared her thoughts. In her wildest dreams, Camille could never have envisioned a bad dream that transported her through time. She slowly shook her head and realized maybe Desmond Garcia had been right. She’d just had a bad dream. 

Silently she walked down the corridor of the old hacienda. The home was huge. The estate had passed down to Desmond Garcia from his grandmother, Maria Theresa Diaz Galindo San Juan Bautista.  Desmond could trace his mixed ancestry background to direct descendants of the early California settlers from what is today Mexico. He was proud of his mixed ancestry, the Spanish, Native American, African American and Creole background that made him.

The huge estate sat on several acres hidden in a valley high above the hills of San Juan Bautista California. It was a beautiful hacienda styled home complete with compound walls, court yards, gardens, pools, and a private estate runway.

Once she’d reached the hallway leading to the in-door garden room. She stopped and closed her eyes and breathed deeply. The fragrant sweet heavenly scent of the Bourbon Rose kissed her nostrils. She took another breath and the pungent dried tea smell of the Asian Tea Rose greeted her. She opened her eyes and walked a few steps, admiring the elegant, grand, old-world loveliness of the big house.  The doorway of the glass conservatory was just to her right. Pausing, she stood unseen and studied him.  

Desmond Garcia was a very tall man. He was lean, with skin the color of honey. He stood amid a forest of potted plants. He wore a faded denim shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His blue jeans held deep neat creases. He had a handsome face with a small scar about his left eye that made him look like a warrior prince come to life from a fairy tale.  

He turned and resumed his task. Carefully he repotted one of his plants, babies as he called them. He lifted the pot and moved carefully.   She watched as he moved to the table containing his other prize babies, his other old-world roses and put the pot down. He looked admiringly at his other roses.  Noisette roses, Bourbon roses, Marchessa Boccella roses, and the grand rose herself, the Duchess de Brabant sat in majesty splendor, as Desmond went about his tasks. 

Silently Camille watched him. His flushed face made his high cheek bones enhanced and his deep coffee brown eyes glittered like crystals.

Those eyes could look right though to your soul, she thought.

“Camille my love,” Desmond said with his back turned to her. “Are you going to come in and join me? Or continue to stare at me from the doorway,” his voice said smoothly. “If you want to continue to stare at me, can I take my clothes off? I’m sure I’d look way better to you than my roses.”

Desmond turned and pinned her with one of his mesmerizing gazes.

Camille stood frozen on the spot. Her breath caught in her throat from the look he gave her. Passionate heat swept through her. She knew what that look meant.

Desmond smiled, breaking the spell.

“You sir are wicked,” she sucked in a deep breath.  “I know your ulterior motives,” she smiled allowing herself to relax as she moved closer into the room. “If you get naked I’m sure you would expect me to do the same. And I’m not sure the plant police would be happy about what would happen next,” she said her eyes shining with mischief.

Desmond chuckled softly and closed the distance between them.  “Yes but wouldn’t it be worth it. You’re learning about my talents and wonders in the conservatory. And our maybe getting caught, if there were plant police,” he hesitated. “I mean just the idea of getting caught making love to you here among the roses would be a memory worth having, wouldn’t it?”

Camille was stunned speechless as her brain thought about the images. She swallowed hard and stared back at him.

He grinned and leaned closer enclosing her body with his.


“What is it my dear?”

“I feel a little chilly, is there a window open?” she softly asked.

Desmond smiled. “I will warm you,” he said kissing her hard.

Stay tuned…….To be continued…