“Good morning my darling.”
Sophia slowly opened her eyes. In the dim light she could make out the basic layout of the room, one which she was completely unfamiliar with. Where was she? She wasn’t sure, but the voice was soothing and she decided to trust it. “Good morning, I guess? Where am I?” The doubt was obvious in her voice.
Petunia Violacea, Fourth Bloom felt a rush of joy in her core as they heard their floret’s voice again for the first time since she got her implant. “You’re in my hab darling. Our hab I should say, as you’ll be living here too. Take your time waking up, as you’re only just coming down from a week long xeno drug high.” Petunia gently wrapped some vines around Sophia and walked to the kitchen to make breakfast. Sophia let it all happen. First of all, she was too dazed to attempt any coherent thought. Secondly, she’d never had much to say about her life anyway, though in her current state, she was currently unable to recall such memories.
By the time Petunia finished preparing breakfast, Sophia had finally fully woken up. Petunia carried her over to the dinner table and after placing breakfast — crumpets with raspberry jam — on the table, they sat Sophia in one of the chairs. They then positioned themself across from her. “I know you may have a lot of questions, and I’m happy to answer all of them after I feed you breakfast. Does that sound good to you?” Sophia nodded.
When she wanted to start eating, she noticed with surprise that the cutlery was on the wrong side of the table. She looked up at the Affini across from her, the confusion showing on her face. “This is where I feed you petal. Small steps. Just follow my instructions.” Petunia softly tapped Sophia on the front of her chin, instructing her to open her mouth, before offering a piece of food. Then they tapped under the chin, followed by two vines massaging her cheeks to guide her through the movements of chewing her food. Finally they slid their vines from her cheeks down the front of her neck, indicating she should swallow. Even though the girl hadn’t had any floret training yet, she perfectly followed the instructions. Petunia continued repeating the steps, occasionally offering Sophia a sip of juice between bites.
“That was yummy,” Sophia exclaimed, once she realised that the last of the food had been eaten. “Thank you! M-Mixtress..?”
“Very good little girl! As promised, I’ll now answer all your questions, but let’s start with what you remember before this morning.”
“I, uhm… I volunteered, didn’t I?” Sophia thought for a few moments, then her facial expression turned painful. “I think I wanted the abuse to end. Is that correct?”
“That’s right indeed, little flower. You came to us three weeks ago, saying that you were tired of people abusing your willingness to help. You said you wanted it to end and to be able to rest.” Honestly, the girl was so gullible, it was a miracle that she’d even made it to the domestication centre, given how apprehensive most terrans still were towards the Affini. “We can help with those memories if you want, either through therapy or by removing them altogether.” The girl nodded in understanding. “What else do you remember?”
Sophia thought for a moment. “Did I request to be kept on drugs until after I got my implant?” From the girl’s biorhythm, Petunia could tell that she was surprised by that. “Wait, I’m your floret now, aren’t I? What’s my new name?” Her body slumped, betraying her insecurity and possibly shame, but soon she sat up again and looked up at her owner expectantly.
Petunia failed to suppress her glee at seeing her floret’s puppy eyes. They just had to wrap their vines around the adorable sophont and hold her. “Let’s get a bit more comfortable.” They picked up their floret, cleared the table and moved to their bedroom, where they detangled their form and spread out on the soil, just enough form remaining to keep holding their floret.
“Yes, my dear. You are my floret. Your full name is now Sophia Violacea, Second Floret. It’s perfectly understandable that you didn’t remember.”
“Oh, I love that name! Thank you Mixtress! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Had they not been holding the girl like they did, Petunia was sure she would have jumped at least twice her height in excitement. “Does that really mean that I won’t ever have to worry again??!!”
“That’s right, my darling. It is my job to take care of you, to provide for you and to make sure that you can be the best version of you.”
“And, uhm.. What is my job Mixtress?”
“You, my darling, don’t get to have a job. You’ve worked hard enough. From now on, you only get to have a purpose.”
Sophia wiggled in excitement in her owner’s vines. “What will be my purpose Mixtress??”
“Your purpose, my pet, is to be cute and adorable and to accept all the love and affection I give you.”