The Heart Of The Greenman

 

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Prologue

    A long time ago, Gods and Goddesses lived among the humans before they became as they were. Gods from the biggest monotheistic religions, or gods from the smallest polytheistic religions, all of them had a choice of living up above humans to watch over them, or live among us to work with, and care with, humans. Those who chose to live with them, have the ability to sleep, eat, breathe, give birth, be born again, and die just like any other person. They know they are gods though, and so do the parents of the ones born. The ones who choose to live among us also have the ability to travel above and be with the other gods as well, even if it’s just to visit.

    Usually, romance between a god and a human is completely forbidden. It is one of the creeds that Gaea, the mother of all and every god, had set in place. Usually it was broken though, and the gods were killed and reborn when they were finally caught by the warriors who were sent to go after them.

    The gods who lived on the earth, were mainly the nature gods who lived humble lives and didn’t live close to society. But of course, that wasn’t the case for all of them. The gods and goddesses of love and fertility and hospitality all lived with people, often taken up jobs that associated with what they did. Match makers, midwives, doctors, whores, jobs that correlated with their affinity. Nature gods went for things with flowers or animals, and were the green thumbs people saw around them.

    As life seemed to advance to modern day, the nature gods seemed to be decreasing slowly one by one since humans were destroying the very nature they were trying to take care of. Some moved to the cities and begun the environmentalist groups, and scientists as well, trying to convince people naturally that they were killing the earth. No one wanted to listen though. The ones who could barely take any more of the abuse of the humans retreated to above so they wouldn’t get hurt anymore, especially the younger gods and goddesses.

    There are few humans who know of this, and those few keep silent, for if they tell of the gods among them, they have two fates. One, is asylum due to the lack of religion going around the world. The second, is death of knowing such deeds and spreading it around. Those who speak do go crazy one way or another, but how their minds process the afterthought is what harms them.

    Today, religion is a minor thing to a vast majority of people today. Some of the few who do have one, feel like they have to protect it. But others just leave it be and ignore it though. The smaller religions seem to be growing bigger, or the religions that were near dying out from being snuffed by bigger religions are making comebacks, mainly polytheistic religions that do honor the environment a bit more, which the nature gods appreciate when they watch the world, and make them feel a tad better despite how others still treat the world.

    There is one nature god that has stayed on the surface of earth longer than any others, never even returning to above to relax there. Not even for one day. He enjoys the nature that is still around, and even goes into cities where there are few plants about, but he still manages to find plants somewhere in the cities. He is a god of paganism, and one of the more well-known ones. He has various deceptions of him, but there is only one true story of who he is. Mainly, the stories of him say he is quite literally a man of green. Some of the stories that are told are very much true, but he doesn’t try to fix those stories that are wrong, because somewhere in the stories, they are technically right.

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Chapter 1

    Work is one of the last things anyone wants to be at usually these days. Mira wasn’t an exception. Working in business wasn’t always as glamourous as people made it seem. Sometimes you’d have to work five times as hard as any normal day. Sometimes you didn’t have much work at all. But this also didn’t apply for those who were working their way up in the food chain of work. The higher up in the chain, the more work you got.

    Mira stood by herself as she waited for the bus. She was going to the boss of a business partners home to see about them signing some documents for her company she worked for. The person lived on the outskirts of town. Because she was the lowest member, and the prettiest of the people near the top of the business, she was picked to deliver the documents. She currently had her long, brown, hair up in a bun, a couple pens holding it in place, showing her blue eyes to the world. Her lightly tanned skin was showing she’s someone who enjoyed the sun from time to time. Her grey pant suit just barely touching the ground compared to her heels, and she looks to her phone to look at the time. The bus was late. She taps her foot impatiently as she held a manila folder filled with papers. Currently, they wanted to have a hard copy of the paper, and the boss of the other firm refused to use a fax machine. Something about human interaction being very wonderful at times. Mira grumble at that thought she heard from one of her higher ups repeating his lines, and silently cheers when she finally sees the bus show up.

    She didn’t have a vehicle, so she unfortunately couldn’t drive there on her own, or she would have. And taxies in this area at the time were actually scarce. The ones she did see were already called and taken before she could get to them. She gets on the bus as the doors open for her, and she slips on inside quickly, taking a seat when she saw one available with no one in it at all. She sits near a window and takes a deep breath. She really didn’t like being close to much people she didn’t know. It made her paranoid. After a couple more stops along the way, more people started to file in on the bus. Someone sat next to her, and she holds her files and purse close to her, feeling uncomfortable as she pushes a loose strand of hair back behind her ear.

    The person who had sat next to her was an elderly man. He looks out the window at first, then to Mira next to him. He smiles a bit and chuckles. “You’re a pretty one…” He tells her as he nods. “As pretty as a flower, almost like my own daughter before she left to live with a junkie…”

    Mira blinks as she hears the man speak, and looks up to him slowly. “Um… I’m sorry…” Her voice was soft as she had a sore throat that day too, so fighting on delivering the files had been futile for her earlier as well. She smiles softly when she sees the old man smile to her and pats her knee in one of those grandparent ways that always seemed to comfort you.

    “It is quite alright… that was many years ago. You seem smart enough to not get into bad stuff… Even if you don’t know this geezer, can you promise me you won’t?” The look on his face made it near impossible for her to refuse, and she chuckles as she nods to him, making the old man smile as well. “That’s good! I hope we crash into each other on this bus again.” He was now humming a happy tune to himself as he looks to the isle. Someone else struck up a conversation with him.

    Mira was blushing as she hadn’t realized the mans presence made her feel comfortable for the first time in a while. She sighs and looks up to the electric sign near the door of the bus. It told what the next stop was. The next stop was hers. She sighs as she mentally prepares herself to start walking now. As they got closer to the stop, she stands up slowly, and the old man prepares himself to move, but he has to wait as the other riders are impatient and he is stuck there for a moment. He was apologizing for holding her up when he finally was able to get up, and Mira was telling him it was quite alright, not being bothered by it really. She makes her way down the isle of the seats, and steps off of the bus slowly.

    “Just a half mile down the road to the far right… I hope the walk isn’t bad…” She murmurs to herself as she steps off the bus. The seats at the bus stop was all filled with a variety of people of various looks, ages, statuses, and classes. She glances to them for a brief moment, seeing if any seems suspicious to her, but she continued on her way down the road. There actually had been one male who seemed interesting to her, rather than suspicious. She looks back to see if the guy was getting on the bus. To her surprise, she didn’t see him anymore. “He probably went on already…” She mutters softly to herself as she turns around. A few vehicles had driven past her, and she lazily watched them pass her by.

    After about a half hour, Mira finally found the house she was looking for, and walks up to the front gate. There was a box there and she presses the button quietly. Her feet were hurting as she walked more than she usually did in heels, and sighs to herself.

    “Hello? Who’s there?” The female voice over the intercom didn’t seem too enthusiastic about a visitor.

    “Mira Nollaig. From the Geniso company. I have the papers that Mister Fion wanted to sign in person.” She didn’t sound as enthusiastic as she hoped she should have been at first, but a click was heard and the gate opened slowly for her.

    “Come in and wait right by the door please. The door is unlocked.”

    Mira sighs as she quickly walks up the long pathway to the front door, and slowly opens the door, standing right in front of it, looking around cautiously. She holds the files to her chest and looks around. The room had black and white tiles on the floor and designs along the walls. Right in front of the door, there was a stairwell that let up to the next floor, and two hallways around it to a room behind the stairs. Right in front of each railing post, there was a tall vase of flowers that were a golden color, making the little area seem bright and cheery. She looks to the side to see a window and door next to her. She notices there was a guy outside walking about, then takes a deep breath as she goes back to waiting for someone to approach her.

    Suddenly, from around the corner of the hall, an elderly looking man, with silvery hair and a matching beard and mustache, came into Mira’s view. He seemed like he was healthier than his age showed he was though. “Ah! Of course! They send a pretty young thing to deliver copies. It’s good to have a youngster come in and talk business. Fresh ideas.” He says as he holds out his hand to her. Mira smiles and takes it. “I am Barnaby Fion, at your service.” He now bows, which causes Mira to giggle as she covers her mouth with the files, hiding her smile.

    “I am Mira Nolliag. Unfortunately, I was only sent here since I am the newest member of the upper department.” She was leaving out the part that she was also the prettiest female of there too.

    Mr. Fion nods and looks behind him just as she finishes speaking. “What do you say about…” He trails off as he was thinking about something, then looks to her again. “Would you care to join me for tea in my garden? I don’t get much company other than my workers I hire. And my children are rotten and decided they wanted to travel for a year without me.” He was trying to playfully cry, but the cry wasn’t coming out as he was laughing more at himself than anything. Mr. Fion was already working on leading her to the garden. “I can look at the documents much better out there over than in a library here… too stuffy and closed off, and it doesn’t smell nearly as good either.” He was nodding as he spoke, waving his hand that wasn’t leading her around as he spoke.

    Mira didn’t know how to react, but thought it would be in the best interest of the company to follow the man and humor him with company for a little while. She looks around the house, and notices something, as they neared the back of the house, the colors on the walls and number of flowers in each room started to grow immensely, brightening up each room more and more as they passed through them. Once outside in the backyard, all one would see was flowers of various colors and sizes. Her eyes grew wide as she looks about, barely able to believe that these were able to grow in the late summer, early autumn seasons.

    “Do you like it? My gardener is the best in the world, able to make flowers stay growing for a long amount of time, unfortunately, they’re going to die soon once it gets closer to winter… One by one…” He says as he seems to pout. Mira was in shock of this, and was following Mr. Fion willingly now. He leads her to a area where this are a couple wrought iron chairs with green cushions covering them, and a matching ottoman that was being used as a table. He looks to his watch, and smiles. “Tea will be out in precisely five minutes from now.”

    Mira smiles and nods to him slowly. “What kind of tea sir?”

    “Oh, my dear, the finest Earl Grey you can find!” He says and stands behind the chair for her to sit in it, holding out his hand to take the files from her, which she did give up to him. “I hope it wasn’t a trouble getting here?” He asks, looking up to see Mira shaking her head. “You’re quite quiet for someone who looks so young. Mind if I ask your age? I know it is rude, but you act as if you’re older.”

    “I’m… twenty-four…” Mira was a bit shocked by the comment, but she was assuming it was actually more a compliment than anything. She takes a deep breath, and nods slowly. “I actually get told that quite often, that I act older than I am.”

    Mr. Fion chuckles and nods to her. “Ah… Understandable… I’m sorry you get told that often. But it’s actually quite an admirable trait to have sometimes. Means you can be level headed.” Mira watches him as he speaks and looks over the documents, and takes a deep breath. “Waiting for tea is unsavory, maybe Miss Cadimo will bring us some water and crackers while we wait…” He seemed to be mumbling to himself now as he had slipped on some glasses and looks to the papers in his hands. He slowly nods as he thumbs through a couple pages, and looks up as a middle aged woman comes out.

    “I heard you were talking about me. Guess what? Your tea is done now.” She says as she has a tea pot on a cart with tea cups and various little snacks that are associated with tea. She sets out the tea cups for four people, and notices Mira is completely confused. “Oh, dear. Myself and Mr. Greenman both join Mr. Fion for tea. It’s quite refreshing really.”

    “Mr. Greenman?” Mira blinks.

    Mr. Fion blinks for a moment, then claps his hands. “My apologies! That is my gardener! His last name is Greenman. He is quite a charming fellow.” He chuckles as he looks around. “Speaking of him… Greenman should be here in just a few minutes anyways… Ah! There he is! On the lawnmower!” He says this as a man on a riding lawnmower comes around the corner of the house at the other end of the backyard. He drives on over till he gets to the patio, and turns it off.

    This man was taller than Mira, she could tell just by how he stood on the riding lawnmower, and walked over to them. He looks up and sees Mira sitting there, and he blinked. She saw him at the bus stop. This brown haired, grass green eyed man with a near perfect farmers’ tan was the interesting guy she saw on the bench. The guy chuckles as he walks over and nods his head to Mira. “Jack Greenman.” He tells her as he holds his hand out to shake hers. Mira smiles as she nods and goes to shake his outstretched hand, stopping till he realizes his glove was still on and quickly yanks it off of himself to properly shake her hand.

    “Mr Greenman, this is Miss Nollaig. She is an employee of the business that will be taking over half of my work, and I hope they continue to keep what I have started with keeping my company green…” Fion seems glum as he says his.

    Mr. Greenman quickly goes up to Mr. Fion, and puts a hand on his shoulder. “I don’t think they would dare make you upset over your company’s way of saving money. Especially since you already had the stuff installed.” He looks over to Mira, which causes her to raise an eyebrow.

    “Oh? Is that a hint to tell me to tell my higher ups to keep the eco-friendly resources I’ve read that the company has? I don’t see why they would tear it down as it does save more money, especially since you have solar panels.” She says as she gingerly crosses her legs at the ankles and takes her teacup after stirring in sugar and brings the tea to her lips. It had been ages since she had warm tea over bottled green tea or iced tea from a restaurant. She was now thinking of going back to drinking teas again.

    Mr. Fion was watching her, and smirks. “You… are a wise woman. And it surprises me that you’re not near the very top of your business already. Rather than the top of the middle.” Mira nearly burnt herself on the tea from that comment. She looks to him with wide eyes and waits to see how he’d react. Mr. Fion smiles to her. “You surprised? I’m familiar with everyone in that company. We’ve been partners for a long time; you should know that. These negotiations are nothing new. And I also have a liaison there as well. So please, you shouldn’t be surprised that I know that you are being considered for becoming a head of a design department.”

    “I am?!” She squeaks, putting down the tea on the table and leaning forward. Her feet had uncrossed, and she was ready to jump up.

    “You didn’t know? Oh! I’m sorry then, I suppose that that was a surprise. Don’t let anyone know that you know, or try to suck up. Sucking up will destroy your chances.” Mr. Fion grabbed himself a finger sandwich and stuffs it in his mouth quietly.

    Mira covers her mouth as she was hiding her smile. Her forget-me-not blue eyes sparkling as she was thinking of the possible promotion she was going to have soon. She didn’t get out of her trans till Mr. Fion had cleared his throat, surprising her. “Oh! Um, sorry… I didn’t mean to space out there. I’ve been dreaming about getting to the top since I started working there nearly five years ago. It’s a big thing to me.” She blushes and chuckles as she scratches her cheek slightly.

    Mr. Greenman seemed to be laughing now. Mira looks up, and raises an eyebrow, questioning him with her face. He now raises his hands as he smiles. “Sorry. You looked quite adorable there thinking, then getting flustered like so. Don’t get me wrong, now I’m proud of you myself. Five years and already getting ready to be near the top of the chain at a business? That is a big thing. But is it amazing for you?” He asks, making Mira slump her shoulders a bit. Who was this guy?

    “Jack… you know you don’t do that with people you don’t know. It makes them feel awkward.” Mr. Fion says, which makes Mr. Greenman blush and lean back now. Mira couldn’t help but notice that, but she keeps her own face indifferent for now, not wanting to give off any wrong signals to anyone here. “Miss Nolliag, I apologize for Mr. Greenman’s words. Occasionally he forgets society’s manners when he gets excited over things that pleases him. One of those things is obviously people getting happy over things.” The old man says with a smile. He grabs the papers and writes something on a few of them before stuffing them into the manila envelope again. “Here we are… all the documents are signed that needed to be. I’ll be looking forward to doing more business with you.” He says and hands it back.

    Mira blinks and looks down to the envelope that landed in her hands once more. “But sir… did you not read them all? There was about fifty pages worth of documentation there… and I... I don’t believe I noticed you reading them all.” She thought she had watched him reading the papers while they talked, but she was unsure now since she wasn’t supposed to read the documents herself. She looks up when Mr. Fion was laughing now.

    “I’m sorry, my dear.” He tells her while he wipes his eye a bit. “I read very fast. I tend to do it often on accident. But it also isn’t a new document though. I’ve had this brought to me before already.” He says and nods as he starts to stand up. “Do you need a ride back to work? Or home? I heard the bus is going to be late now since it’s five and it’s usually rush hour, yes?”

    “How did you know I came by bus…?” Mira was now stunned as she pushes a small strand of her hair behind her ear again. Mr. Greenman clears his throat and raises a finger to motion that he was the source of that information.

    “I came back here by car. I was waiting with another gardener at the bus stop who was afraid to be alone… I noticed you, and drove past you on my way back here as well and told him about a woman who was dressed like you walking in this direction…” He seemed to be nervous, and Mira suppresses a chuckle as she shakes her head. “I’m heading off here soon too. I can give you a lift if you like?”

    Mr. Fion smiles and claps his hands. Everyone look up at him as he broadens his smile. “I think you should ride with Mr. Greenman. He’s good company. And since we will be working together more, why not get acquainted to my other workers as well? I think it’s a splendid idea, don’t you?” He looks from Mr. Greenman, to Mira, and then nods. “Hurry up! Finish your tea boy! And go use the shower! Don’t need to smell bad with a lady in the car with you.

    Mira was blushing as he was fussing over the guy, and Miss Cadimo leans over. “We’ve been in negotiations with your company for a good few years now… I’m surprised Mr. Barnaby has finally accepted even letting go a portion of the company to you.” She says, but smiles and shrugs. “Maybe he sees something in you and hopes to see you here again?” The color in Mira’s cheeks had drained as she listened to the woman speak to her, and she ends up slowly nodding.

    “Well then… I guess I better not disappoint anyone!” She clenches her hand in a fist and smiles as she feels accomplished now. Mr. Fion and Mr. Greenman had stopped their arguing and were looking at Mira.

    “Why, that is a great resolve, Miss Nolliag. I hope you don’t either. Tell your boss to send you back here anytime he wishes, or to send you to my company, whichever I’m at when he wants to make more deals.” Mr. Fion says as he holds his hand out to her. Mira smiles as she stands up eagerly, and grasps his hand firmly. He smiles back at her as he nods again. “Do your best, miss.”

    Mr. Greenman had left the little soiree to clean himself up like Fion wanted him to, and was back about fifteen minutes later in a brown shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. “Apologies, if I knew I would be driving around a pretty lady, I would have dressed nicer beforehand.” He chuckles as he leads her to the driveway and to his car. He is the perfect gentleman, despite how he looks right then, and drives to the gate of the estate. “Where to? Your company? Your home if you tell me your address? Or someplace else?”

    Mira shakes her head. “I’d prefer to go back to my company Geni-”

    “Geniso Co. Yeah… almost worked there myself. I know where it’s at.” He tells her with a smile. The gates opened for him and he drives off, able to avoid major traffic majority of the way. “So… Miss Nolliag… I’m sorry for earlier, when I asked if being promoted was an amazing thing to you. I’ve just met a few people who got great jobs, but they weren’t happy about it and they passed on without being truly happy. You seem like you’re someone who needs happiness too.” He tells her as he nods again. “Also, you can call me Jack if you like. I don’t like being formal, but Mr. Fion insists on it.”

    Mira listens as she was sitting in his passenger seat of his car. “It’s alright… I personally think it is a good question to think of. To answer it for you… it would make me happy, but it would make me sad as well. I’d get more pay and could pay off loans and such, but I would get less time to be with people I love.” She pauses as she looks to him completely, rather than from the corner of her eye. “Mira.”

    Jack smirks as she tells him her first name, and nods to her. “Pretty name. Means ‘Ocean’ in Indian, and was the name of an old Indian princess as well… also part of Slovic names that mean ‘Peace’ and ‘World.’” He says, not taking his eyes off the road. He makes a face as they had gotten trapped in traffic now, and sighs. “Inevitable…” He mutters to himself. Mira blinks as she looks at him. How could he know something like that? She shakes her head slowly, and takes a deep breath. “I like studying things in other languages. And I like nature. And guessing how people are as well based on little information that they give.”

    “Oh? Then how am I then? Since you’re sounding cocky.” Mira glares at him now, but she looks forward again, twitching her lips as that little comment kind of struck a chord with her.

    “Well… you’re good with numbers. You knew the amount of papers even though you probably aren’t allowed to look at those documents. The position you’re in in your company, is also a kind of dead giveaway for that also, and you have a family member in the hospital. I’d say a parent, but grandparents can be loved as much and so that muddles up that a bit.” He stops and looks over to her. “Am I warm?” Mira was pouting as she looks out the window, nodding slowly. He smirks now and nods as he continues to think. “You’re materialistic as well, which is why money was a good thing for you with a promotion… and your feet probably hurt from all that walking from the bus stop to the house, should really get better shoes, and you work hard at whatever you do. Pretty simple person, and you don’t do much other than work and get little social communications. Most people at the company are like that, which is why Mr. Fion insists on people coming over to the company or his estate, so that people do have more social communication with him. Keeping a dead language alive, you know?”

    Mira looks back at him and shakes her head slowly in disbelief of his comments. “Really…? You get all that, from what you heard from me? And from watching me closely?” Jack was smug as he nods. “Wow… That’s… kind of cool. But, you have one thing wrong.” She smirks as she looks to him, making Jack raise an eyebrow and looks to her curiously. “I’m not materialistic. It’s for the hospital bills for my sister, and my student loans. As well to get myself into a better neighborhood.” She tells him and nods slowly, taking a deep breath as she looks to the window.

    Jack blinks and looks to her. “Damn… not as good as I was once before then.” He chuckles while he was able to go again, but only for a short distance. He didn’t even make it passed the light. He then blinks and points out the window to a shop that was wedged in between other shops. “I own that shop.” The sign above the door read ‘The Greenman’s Forest’ in a very forestry themed design. Mira chuckles as she sees the sign, and sees familiar pictures on the walls and door of the shop she had once seen in text books at school.

    “That’s a familiar face…” She murmurs.

    “It’s the Greenman God of nature. I thought it would be a nice run on names since my last name is Greenman as well. Legend has it, he still roams the earth and plants seeds about and has animals still following him about.”

    Mira looks over to Jack just as he starts to drive again, finally managing to get passed the light and pulled into a parking lot. It actually wasn’t far from her company, to Mr. Fion’s house. The route the bus had taken just made it seem farther than it should have been. Mira looks out the windshield at the company she worked for, and sighs. Jack parks close to the entrance, and looks up at the logo he almost had worked for before.

    “Guess have fun, and if there’s ever an opportunity to go back to the house, I would suggest to take it. Maybe Mr. Fion would show you around the garden.” He tells her as he looks to her now.

    Mira smiles as she slowly nods. “Maybe I will. Thanks.” She gets out of the vehicle and makes her way to the door. Jack watches her with a smirk as he stays in the car, only till she is inside the building and wasn’t going to be coming out for a few minutes, then drove off on his own.

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Chapter 2

    It had been about a month since Mira had made contact with Mr. Fion or anyone she met that day. Her work was keeping her busy, and she had yet to hear about her promotion, acting as if she didn’t know a single thing about it. One of her higher ups had come over to her, and smiles a bit. “Apparently, Mr. Fion took a great liking to you last month, Miss Nolliag.” He says as he taps on her desk a bit. “What is it you did to impress him so?”

    Mira blinks as she shakes her head. “To be quite honest, Mr. Ackal, sir, I just had tea with him and was polite. I even told him what I knew about his business that I had looked up on my own before I was even given the task of delivering the documents to him.” She was sincere, but her coworker didn’t believe her as he shakes his head. “It’s the truth! I know any other relations would be harmful to the business if I was to cut it off with him after a while. I’m at least smart enough to do that.”

    “At least you have that running for you.” He chuckles as he nods while pushing himself off of her desk and starts to walk away, but stops and quickly grabs a folder off of another person’s desk. “You’re not supposed to have these. Miss Nolliag was supposed to get ‘em.” He says as he walks back. As he hands her the envelope, he raises an eyebrow. “He requests that you call him up to be able to go to get a ride to his company to be able to talk out more business deals.” He says as there was a card with the company name and his number on it. He smirks as he nods and waits for her to take it from him. Mira does take the stuff, but is gentle about it as she reads the card quickly. She then nods as she puts it next to her on the desk.

    “I’m sure it’ll take me at least a couple hours after I’m off to finish these documents on my own.” She then was left alone, and works as quickly as she could. She actually got done an hour after her quitting time, and dials the number on the card. “Hello? This is Mira Nolliag.” She looks out the window to see the five o’clock traffic start to clear up. She worked your regular nine-to-five job if she didn’t work late.

    “Miss Nolliag? Oh! Hello! It’s me!” There was an older gentleman’s voice on the other end. Mr. Fion. “Ah, you are done with work, I presume? I’ll send someone over with a vehicle to pick you up. I’d like you to come in through a special way to my building.” He says and chuckles a bit to someone who was behind him. He then clears his throat and takes a deep breath. “Miss Nolliag, are you free later on this evening as well?”

    Mira can’t help but laugh at the old man’s comments. “Yes sir, I am free tonight. Are you wanting more tea with me in the evening?” She chuckles as she is gathering her things.

    “Oh, no. I was just wondering if you’d be open to more social communications in general.”

    “It would be splendid to spend the evening with you then, Mr. Fion. Can you tell me what vehicle to be waiting for?” Mira was trying to not laugh now as she was hearing him talk to himself about what vehicle to send her that she’d recognize before he just stopped in the middle of a sentence.

    “You’ll know when it gets there.” He says before hanging up without a goodbye. Mira blinks to the phone as she slowly moves it away from her ear and puts it on the receiver.

    “Well then… guess I’ll be waiting a bit…” She mutters to herself as she works on gathering her stuff together slowly. When she was finished, she works her way to the exit and takes a deep breath. She didn’t have to wait long after she managed to get out of the building and sees a vehicle pull up with a familiar face in the drivers’ seat. The window rolls down and the familiar green eyes look up at her as the man smirks.

    “So… Need a ride?” Jack chuckles to her as he unlocks the car and Mira faked laughed while going in and sitting in the passenger seat again. “Mr. Fion already told me where to go.” He chuckles as he starts to drive now. “How was your month?” He asks curiously.

    Mira laughs a bit. “You talk a lot… but my month was very boring since I last saw you. Going to Mr, Fion’s was the best thing that I had happen to me in ages.” She says as she chuckles. “Sad, right? This will be another good thing to happen in my life. More relaxation from work and nothingness at home.” Mira stretches a bit, leaving the documents on her lap as she sighs. She was wearing a pencil skirt suit, and inch heals to allow her feat to be comfortable. Jack was wearing a ratty shirt and ripped jeans. “How is it that Mr. Fion doesn’t want you dressing up?”

    “Easy, I work on the gardens and I don’t like wearing nice clothes when I do.” He says as he turns down a few roads. Mira notices something though, and he notices the look. “Mr. Fion couldn’t get ahold of you, so he told me to take you to here. You should really give him your cellphone so he can call you in case he decides to change plans on you. He is an old man who changes his mind often.” Mira pouts a bit as she looks over to him. “Well… I don’t use my cell for work… so I unfortunately don’t want to give it out to him, no matter how useful it is. I should really get myself a second one, shouldn’t I? Just straight work with it.” She sighs as she shakes her head some. Jack is laughing at her, and she looks over. What was funny about this?

    Jack glances to her and reaches into his pocket while he is driving, not taking his eyes off the road. He then hands her his phone, smirking. “How about give me your number then? Whenever you need a ride, I’ll pick you up, provided Mr. Fion, or my business, don’t get in the way.” He seems to have no issue with this, but Mira didn’t seem to convinced. “Come on! It’s not that bad! You seem like a good person who I would like to eventually become friends with. Does that count?” He asks her, and sure enough, she grabs the phone from his hand and turns it on, adding her number into his contacts.

    “At least you didn’t have a lock on it.” She chuckles while she hands him his phone once more. “You don’t seem to have a lot of contacts on here.”

    “Yeah… I don’t. I don’t keep friends long enough to keep them saved.”

    “Really? I would think you would have a lot of friends with how good looking you are!” Mira pauses, then slowly covers her mouth as she blushes. “Sorry… it’s the truth…” She says, only making Jack grin and nods slowly.

    Soon, the two are at the mansion. All Jack has to do is press a button on a remote, and the gate opens for his little beat up car. He goes straight down the driveway and parks it in front of a fancy convertible before he gets out of his car with her. She looks about the estate. It was a different time of day this time, so the look of the building looked a lot more different to her than it did last time.

    Jack is chuckling as he motions for her to follow him. “Come on, Mr. Fion is in his garden again.” He tells her as he starts to head to the front door, going right in as if it was no big deal. He leads her to the back of the house like she was lead before by Mr. Fion. The walls were all lit up with the wall lamps that were turned on this time around. Once they made it to the patio, Mr. Fion wasn’t anywhere to be seen. The table was set up for three people, but it looks like someone was trying to remove their stuff already. “Mr. Fion?” Jack calls out, motioning for Mira to go sit. “I’m going to go and find him.” He murmurs to himself as he starts to walk off inside the house, searching for him.

    Being left alone, made Mira sigh as she shakes her head. “Well then… Must be nice… living in a big home like this…” She murmurs as she lazily plops herself down into the chair, not caring too much about her posture since she was sure no one was going to come back that soon. “I wonder what these documents are about…” She looks to the front of the envelope to see the name of Mr. Fion on the front of it. She then shakes her head and puts it on the table across from her. After a few minutes, Mira hears scuffling on the other side of the door and quickly fixes herself to sit up right. Suddenly, Jack comes out from behind the door with a red face, and a nice suit on him. Mr, Fion was chuckling behind the door, and quickly closes it and gives Mira a thumbs up as he starts to back away. Jack slowly starts to walk forwards and sits down across from her at the table.

    “He… set us up on a date.” He chuckles softly to her, feeling nervous as he puts a finger in his collar and stretches it out nervously. Mira’s cheeks started to get red too after hearing that, and glances to the table. She grows wide eyed and quickly snatches the envelope and puts it on the other seat, out of both of their way.

    “Well… I suppose that’s nice of him… right? But I wish he would have asked…” She trails off as she sits up and realizes something. “I should have asked him why…”

    “Asked him why what?” Jack asks as he undoes the tie, absolutely hating it. He growls as it won’t come undone for him. Mira sighs as she shakes her head and stands up to go over to him.

    “Quit fussing…” She says as she reaches for the tie and loosens it for him. “You do look good in that suit. The tie seems too much though, like you’re a business partner or something… doesn’t seem your style.” She tells him in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

    “Oh? And what is my style?” He can’t help but smirk to her.

    Mira raises an eyebrow as she smirks. “Dirty gardener. Maybe if you take off the jacket…” She steps back, and he sighs as he does what she says, and she nods. “Much better with no tie and no jacket.” She chuckles as she goes to sit down, but Jack was eyeing her. “What?”

    “Take off yours as well.” Jack replies to her, smirking back as she looks up with wide eyes. “Scared?”

    “No! I’m not scared… I wasn’t expecting you to tell me to do that…” She grumbles as she aggressively shoves off her jacket and shakes her head. Showing him her blue frilly blouse that had been hidden by her jacket. She crosses her arms over her chest, and sighs as she looks to him. “See? Now we’re equal.” She chuckles softly.

    Jack was over at the other end of the table trying to not laugh at her as Mr. Fion came out with a cart of food and drinks. “Evening, you two…” He tells them as he lights the candle in between the two, making Mira hang her head. He notices the file for him, and grabs it quickly. “Thank you for bringing this, Miss Nolliag. And thank you for bringing her here, Mr. Greenman. I hope you two enjoy your evening. Food will be out in a bit, so enjoy some wine… I’m working on locating my record player, and a few records as well, so you two… enjoy yourselves. You work hard enough.” He says as he quickly leaves without letting them say something. Mira’s face was now red.

    Jack chuckles as he looks to her. “I can’t blame him… He likes to play matchmaker with everyone else. Guess we’re no exception.” He says while he pours himself a glass of wine. He raises an eyebrow to her as he prepares to pour her a glass, and she nods slowly. He smiles to her as he nods. “As you wish.” He puts the glass in front of her, and holds his up for a moment. “What do you say about humoring Mr. Fion and allowing him to continue this date, and then allow me to actually take you on one of my own dates?” He questions quietly.

    Mira looks up to him finally. She seemed a bit disturbed about something. “I… I haven’t been on a date in a while. I don’t know if I’m ready for one either…” She murmurs quietly. She was clearly distressed over this situation she was in. She was continuously gripping her hand and tangling her fingers up into one another as she sat there longer, attempting to hold back some tears that were threatening to fall.

    He frowns and nods as he stands up. “It’s alright. We can go for a walk through the garden then. It won’t be a date.” He says as he gingerly touches her arm and pulls her out of the seat. When she starts to cry, he rubs her back softly. “It’s alright.” He says as he looks to the door. Mr. Fion was in the doorway, confused as he watches them walk off, and Jack just shakes his head to him slightly. He brings her into the garden, as he grabs the candle, and walks forward with her through it. He didn’t want her to feel forced, so he was letting her lead the way. Jack watched as Mira sniffled and walked, making sure she didn’t trip over, or crash into, anything. He was staying silent as she was grieving, mourning, whatever it was that got her upset bigtime. He sighs deeply after a while, looking around them. He then lets out a chuckle and says, “Hey… these flowers… I planted them myself.” His green eyes glance to Mira now, who had finally dried what tears she had, and looked to the flowers.

    “They’re pretty… what are they?” She murmurs quietly. Her bloodshot eyes were fixed on the flowers now.

    “They’re called St. John's wort. They can cheer up people…” As Jack is talking about the flowers, he is gingerly touching their petals and softly smiles. “They usually work all the time, no matter what form they’re in. Tea, Oil, incense, meals themselves.” He chuckles now while he turns to Mira, who was staring up at him a bit confused at the affection he was showing the flowers. He then turns to her to place his hand on her shoulder. “I know I’m a stranger to you, but you are more than welcome to talk to me about anything… or visit my shop. I’ll be there tomorrow… I can go and talk to Mr. Fion right now, and ask him to let me take you home since you seem to have some old wounds that have yet to heal. Sound like a plan?” He asks her quietly, and gives her a soft smile when she nods. He leads her over to a bench that was near a hedge, and lets her sit, motioning for her to wait for him.

    Mira sits down and takes a deep breath as she hangs her head when he heads back to the house. “You’re smooth Mia… Real smooth. A hot guy was across from you in a date… and you had to blow it…” She was clearly talking to herself, but she was looking up to the moon as if she was talking to it instead. “Who are you kidding, girl? He’ll get bored of you after a while anyways… so shouldn’t get your hopes up… He’s just being nice since he’s the worker of the guy you’re doing business with. He’s just trying to score with his boss and is being very nice…” She stands up as she looks about, and starts to jog to find her way out of the garden. She manages to find her way back to the patio on her own in the matter of a minute, being she didn’t go too far with Jack. Her stuff was still on the chair, and she swallows her spit hard as she grabs her jacket, folding it over her arm as she slips inside the house quickly, and quietly, making her way out the front door. As she looks around, she sees that there are a few lights on the street, mainly by the driveways and walkways to houses. She jogs on down to the gate, and finds that it opens easily from the inside, allowing her to slip out and jog down the street.

    She makes it to the bus stop that was lit by a single street light, and looks around. Few people were on this road, making her feel nervous now. Speed walking down the road towards the direction of her house, she hears footsteps ahead of her. She keeps her head down as she huffs heavily, trying to catch her breath from her jogging. Clearly she was out of shape. Suddenly an arm reached out and grabbed her, pulling her to the side as a male, that she had never seen before, was in front of her face.

    “Hey pretty lady… you seem to have a pretty penny on you. Want to give it all up?” He asks her, pressing something to her stomach. “Or I can get something else out of you…” He let a finger reach around the object he pressed against her stomach, and lightly rubs a small circle there. His face was snickering as his gaze was cold, the complete opposite of Mr. Fions and Jacks. Mira shook as she stared up at the guy who was pinning her against a brick fence. They were out of a streetlight, so she wasn’t able to see clearly. Her only hope, was whatever the guy held on her, wasn’t a weapon that would draw blood without little force. “I think this body of yours would be just as fine of a consolation… don’t you thi-” Suddenly a fist had come flying from the side, and a new black figure was in her view instead.

    The shadow shook its hand, that punch having hurt him a bit as it was huffing. “Scum! You don’t touch a lady.” He pauses as he kicks something away from the other guy, making the metal on it scrape on the concrete ground. “Nor hold a gun on her either.” That voice was familiar to Mira. A pair of hands grabbed her shoulders as Mira lets up a loud, shaky, gasp. “Mira, it’s Jack.” The voice said.

    “Jack…?” She breathes. The shock of the other man had scared her into forgetting voices temporarily. Jack quickly picks her up bridal style, and starts to carry her away quickly. She looks up once they’re in a streetlight, and blushes as the face was indeed Jacks. Her blush went away quickly though; he was clearly upset about what he had intervened in. Mira looks away from him, biting the insides of her cheeks as she tried to think of something to say.

    “You’re not hurt, right?” His voice was low as he hisses under his breath to her. She lets up a soft yelp when Jack shifts her by lightly tossing her up an inch, and holds her better in his arms. He was heading back towards Mr. Fion’s house again. He wasn’t looking at her at all. Something about that was upsetting her. “Well?” He grumbles when she didn’t answer him.

    “I’m fine.” She says in a soft voice, looking away again as she felt upset with herself for trying to get away from the house on her own without anyone.

    “I’m taking you home in my car. You’re not going to object. Unless you want me to throw you back at the guy back there?”

    “N-n-no! Please! Don’t!” Mira found herself gripping his shirt and shaking again as she was looking up at him with horror. Jack looked down to her, and stopped as his upset expression shifted to a shocked one. He didn’t expect her to have suddenly scream at him like so. He moves to set her on her feet, and pulls her into a hug. “Please don’t…”

    Jack holds her tight. “I won’t.” He moves and notices that Mira was crying silently, and goes to wipe her tears with his thumb. Mira backs away, shaking her head. He holds up his hands and motions for her to let her walk on her own. “I won’t let him touch you again, or anyone else for the remainder of the night as I’m around you.” Mira slowly smiles, nodding to him as she hugs her arms a bit. She realized she had dropped her jacket back around the corner, and froze.

    “My wallet, keys, and phone…” Her head quickly turns to look at him. “They were in my jacket!” She was clearly panicking over them. He grabs her hand and drags her along as he starts to jog back to the spot where she was having an attempted mugging happen. Her jacket wasn’t there. Mira covers her mouth as she looks about. “N-n-no! I need that! My sister calls me before her surgeries! I can’t…” She puts her hand on her chest as she whines. “My ID was in the jacket too…” She hangs her head, already defeated as she leans against the wall behind her.

    Jack watches her, and shakes his head. “You need to have more confidence in those around you…” He says and pulls out his phone. He calls up someone, and looks towards the bus stop on the corner of the street. “Mr. Fion, do me a favor and drive my car down over to the bus stop quickly. I need to look for Miss Nolliags’ jacket. It has everything she needs in there.” He says as he listens for a bit. “Thanks.” The phone slips in his pocket as he keeps on looking, waiting till he saw his car pull up, and Mr. Fion parks next to the curb, rolling down the window. “Go get in the passenger seat. I’ll be back in just a few minutes to see if I can find it and everything in it.” He says, smiling as he lightly pushes her towards his car.

    She doesn’t fight being pushed towards the car, eager to get in. She looks up and Jack is suddenly gone. “Where…?”

    “He went searching for your jacket. In the meantime, I guess I should apologize. That boy is usually helpless when it comes to finding someone he likes. He told me about you after he came back from the bus stop the first time you came by, though, he didn’t know your name then. He thought you were beautiful, nearly a goddess. Wouldn’t shut up till I yelled at him to get to work.” Mr. Fion tells her with a smile. “I should have asked you first to see about going on a date with him first, rather than just jumping right in since you had seemed to like him as well…” He was murmuring now, making Mira look at him.

    “Sir,” She starts, slowly taking a deep breath. “I had been in a nearly seven-year long relationship before this. It has been hard on me because of how he treated me… He had been nice at first, but it went down the drain a year later.” She was looking at her hands in her lap in the dim glow of the dash. “I am now unsure about relationships… and still don’t feel ready to give my heart up so soon. But, if I’m being blunt, I’ll admit… I do feel an attraction to him.” She looks to Mr. Fion, who is smirking at her.

    A few seconds later, there was a knock at her window, and Mira jumped in surprise. She noticed it was Jack, and she quickly opens the door. He had her jacket in his hand. “My jacket!” She yells happily, and quickly takes it as she hugs him. “Thank you…” She says. She quickly sits in the car, leaning back to turn on the lights inside to quickly check the contents of her pockets. She takes a deep breath as she slumps her shoulders. “My work badge is missing…” She looks up to Jack, and he frowns.

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t find it. If I happen to, I’ll get it to you as quick as possible.” He nods as he walks over to the driver’s seat while she closes the door. “Can I have my car back now so I can drive her home?” He questions his boss. Mr. Fion is snickering, but shrugs his shoulders.

    “I suppose so. Be nice to her though, she’s had a rough night.” The old man was chuckling as he was already out and waving as he was working is way up the sidewalk to his street to walk to his house. Jack was chuckling as he slips into his seat, adjusting it to be comfortable for himself again.

    “Where to?” He asks her as he was getting ready to put the car in drive. Mira pulls up Maps on her phone and hands it to him. He takes it quietly, and reads the directions, chuckling softly. “I have a friend who lives near there.” He can’t help but say as he starts off to the place, knowing majority of the way there.

    Mira was quiet the whole ride, and Jack never said anything to break the silence, allowing the late-night talk show play softly on the radio. Of course, the show had to be on the topic of relationships that night. Mira was looking out the window quietly, feeling uneasy about it. After everything, she was now thinking of the one thing she hadn’t thought of in a couple of years. Being with someone. He pulled up to her townhouse after borrowing Maps on her phone again, and takes a deep breath. Her townhouse was smooshed in between two others, making very little yard space for either house, and they were all small two story homes too. They were all made of brick, looking quite bland as they blended with one another.

    “Sorry, about all that happened. Um…” He was playing with his steering wheel, avoiding looking at her.

    “Did you really call me a goddess?” As soon as her question came out, he looked to her. He was blushing deeply as he was in shock she knew. Mira chuckles a bit, and nods slowly. “First I’ve heard that…” She murmurs as she unbuckles her seatbelt. She gives him a goodbye nod, and exits his car, leaving him still stunned.

    Once she closes the door, Jack groans and leans his head forward, pressing his forehead against his horn, making it honk quickly. He jolted up and had his hands on the wheel, nervously smiling towards Mira as she looked back. “Fucking Cupid…” He hisses under his breath before he starts to pull away from the house. He knew where she lived now. Smirking, he reaches into his front pocket for the ID he had taken out of her jacket. He needed a reason to come back in the morning.

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