There she was. A big beautiful affini just out in the open. She was hanging out by the fountain alone. The town center had a crowd but she was by herself. I was too.
In my hands was a letter I spent all night working on. A letter for her. For Stellaria Maedis, Second Bloom. I had been crushing on her since uh… always. Let's go with always. Her form was lithe like an elf and as elegant as a fae. Her little white flowers were so soft and round and cute.
I had been, uh, following her for a long time. My mind was a bit fuzzy on the details, but today was the day to confess. After all, the calendar declared that it was Valentine's day. Sure there was that whole time dilation thing, and the fact that this world didn't have the same length of day or year as the terran standard, but that stuff didn't matter. It was Valentine's day and I was going to confess… as soon as I worked up the nerve to do it.
A vine tapped me on the shoulder and almost made me scream. Instead, I jumped and turned to find another hot affini towering over me. "Are you lost, little one? Should I help you find your owner?"
"Pfft, I don't have an owner." Yet.
The affini had a playful smile. "I see. In that case, petal, would you like to accompany me on a date?"
A very unflattering noise of astonishment came out of my mouth. "Uh, oh, um like, wait really?" I looked over the affini and well another big sexy plant lady was here. Wow, was I really this desperate for sexy affini?
"Really. My name's Ionopsis Zebrina, Third Bloom she/it. Can I ask what the name of the lovely sophont before me is?" Ah!!!!! This affini was smooth. Too smooth and gosh I didn't want to turn her down but also I wanted to be with Stellaria.
"I uh, I'm Violet She/Her, and I'm like waiting for uh a date?" Violet why did you ask that as a question? Now it'll know you made that up. Sorta.
The affini of soft lavender flowers eyed me hungrily. "Well, perhaps I can keep a beautiful young woman company while she waits for her date?" Her vine then slithered around and tapped my hand causing it to let go of the letter. "And perhaps you shouldn't hold onto your love letter tight enough to wrinkle it."
My face was hotter than the daystar. "sdkajbhflasdkjbhglaksjblaksjbgak;lsj"
"Do you make those cute noises for every affini, or just me?"
I buried my face in my hands and let out a high pitched note. This was a dangerously forward affini. How was I supposed to confess my love when Iono could pick me up and I don't think I'd ever ask to be put down? "I-Uh, Eep." The letter. "Can I have that b-back? Please?"
It placed the letter back in my hand and its vines moved my grip to hold it but not too tight. "Of course Violet. So while you wait on the love of your life, might I give you another?"
My hands flapped and the letter got taken again. At this rate, Iono was going to make me do a full musical scale of flustered noises. I took a moment to calm down again. "L-Letter?"
"I'll hold onto this for you, so you don't have to worry about ruining it before your Valentine shows up." Ah!!! It stole my letter and was now holding it hostage for a date!
"fkjdsfklj" Muffled screams vented the overwhelming blush. A moment was needed for me to regain composure… as much as that was possible. "I uh, waiting um like uh." My eyes searched for Stellaria and found her leaving the square!!!!!
The extra flirty affini looked between me and her. "Oh, you're interested in her? She is quite beautiful, perhaps I'll ask her out too. I do have this love letter after all."
"Stooop! Please." This affini was breaking me. How could the Accord have ever hoped to stand against these bullies?
"Alright but only because this very adorable sophont begged me too." She almost had me believe her before Iono added. "Has anyone ever told you you'd make a wonderful pet?"
I slammed my head against her leg repeatedly. The vines were too soft to knock the flustered out of myself.
The affini then picked me up without asking first. "Your other date is getting away, love. Let's go follow her and when you work up your little nerve we can ask her out."
"Are there any rules in love that say this can't be a joint effort?" This affini kept making everything harder!!!
In a very small voice with a noticeable pout I said, "No."
"Exactly." With that I was carried in the arms of this strange lavender flowered affini after the love of my life. Wait, is that too strong to say for someone I've never spoken to? Anyway, Stellaria went by a tea shop next. "So my cute little sophont, how did she catch your eye?"
"Uh…" Dirt! I actually couldn't remember. I mean, I've always liked her but my memories were fuzzy feeling. "I don't know?" Glancing at Iono made me confused cause it had this knowing smile and I didn't like that. We just met, how would Iono know about me?
A passing affini stopped to gawk at me. Seriously, why do affini keep talking to me? "Oh you're floret is so pretty, can I pet her?"
The traitorous flirt said, "Of course, she's a little shy, but very docile."
The stranger reached out and placed a hand on my head. The pets were really nice. "Aww, who's a good girl?"
"Me! I'm a good girl!" I chirped… uh wait, why did I do that? I should have asked the nice stranger to stop with the lovely pets, but I couldn't. Ugh what was wrong with me?
"My little violet's starting to get a little overwhelmed." Iono defended me. Also, what was with this my little violet stuff? The affini withdrew their hand and wandered off.
I huffed, "Can you not let strangers pet me? Also, I'm not a floret."
"Not yet! But you have a beautiful affini to court don't you? As for the petting, can you honestly tell me you didn't enjoy it?" It really needed to stop. How was I supposed to accomplish anything in a perpetual state of flustered mess?
I refused to answer, and instead refocused on the whole point of me coming out today. Stellaria was being beautiful again. Also, she was leaving the tea shop to go somewhere else! My stead wasn't moving. "Iono, she's getting away!"
A hand ruffled my hair. "You never answered my questions, little violet."
"Oh my stars! Okay, yes, I want to be her pet, and yes I liked the affini petting me. Follow her please????" I begged the teasing flirt.
The lavender affini then pursued at a reasonable pace. We thankfully caught up as my crush collected a few things from a stand for fresh produce. Hmmm. Affini don't eat… oh no. She couldn't have had someone in mind. I checked and she definitely didn't have a floret. Did she have a sophont she was going to ask out?
A vine brushed the side of my face. "Petal, what's wrong?"
"S-She's not supposed to have a floret, b-but she's getting food for someone. W-What if she already has someone?" I was on the verge of tears.
"Little violets shouldn't worry about who Stellaria is buying food for. Little violets should be happy~" Iono had a strange tone of voice saying that…
Huh, I was feeling down for no reason. Weird. Anyway, I had a lovely affini to seduce. Hmmm. "D-Do you think now would be a good time? Uh, actually definitely wait longer. Now's no good."
"Are you sure, my beloved little violet? I could carry you right up to her and you can give Stellaria your letter~" Iono was serious. Playful but serious. Oh stars it was too soon.
"Sure, very sure. Too soon."
It gave me a pat on the head. "Just don't wait too long, petal. You don't want to miss this opportunity entirely do you?"
"N-No." Iono had a point. I had to do this today or it would be too awkward to do it again.
The affini carrying me continued onwards in our weird spying mission. Stellaria was getting bread from my favorite bakery! It'd be like so natural to just uh be there and coincidentally run into her. I just had to ask Iono… Nope.
"Don't the terrans have a phrase about shyness and violets? It seems very accurate for this little sophont in my arms."
I had a finger scratching my cheek. "Well uh, yea. A friend uh gave me the name when I was like transitioning cause I was like shy and stuff."
The lavender affini gave me another knowing smile. "They must have been a close friend to be naming you."
"Yea, she or it was… huh." I couldn't remember who my friend was. I could have sworn it was someone really important to me.
"It must have been a wonderful and close friend of yours."
"Uh huh…" I bapped the affini on the nose. "Stellaria's leaving."
Iono chuckled and pulled me into a tight hug. "I have eyes, my little violet. And they also see a very adorable and huggable sophont right here in my arms. Perhaps she'd like a snack from that bakery to give her the energy to ask out her crush?"
I made a "djfslfjs" noise while the lavender affini approached the bakery Stellaria just left. They had little heart-shaped cookies for the holiday too.
"I'd love to have two of these for my little one." Aaaah!! She kept talking like I was her floret. I can't let Iono do this when I'm around Stellaria, she might get the wrong impression and not become my owner.
"Of course, she looks so lovely with those rosy cheeks." The baker laughed. He was making fun of my blush! Mean.
"That she does, I'd let you pet her but we're in a bit of a hurry." Thankfully my stead took us away before I lit her on fire with my cheeks. She flipped me onto my back and held up one of the heart cookies to me. I felt a touch to my jaw and I opened it for the cookie, and another touch under the chin had me take a bite. Something tickled my throat and I swallowed the treat.
Iono repeated it a few times and then again with the other cookie. "Don't tell Stellaria I let you have those okay? They'll be our little secret."
I got really confused as to why I'd be telling her about eating two cookies… uh being fed two cookies. Wow, I really can't let her know something as awkward as being fed food. "I-I won't tell."
A vine stroked my hair. "That's my good girl."
Oh stars, ahhh!! Ionopsis couldn't just say things like that. W-What if I fell in love with this relentlessly teasing affini? Dirt, did I have a crush on Iono too? What was even happening to me?!
"Oh is someone catching feelings for me?" Ahh!!! How did it know?!!
"N-N-" A vine silenced me.
Iono looked down on me with a teasing grin. "Before you answer, here's a little letter of my own, just for you." Another vine held out an envelope ornately decorated with hearts and a floral design. There was a little heart sticker sealing it and I delicately used my nails to try and not tear the really pretty envelope.
Dear beloved beautiful little shy violet,
If I had a heart, you've long since stolen it.
With all the love in the stars,
Okay, that was really sweet. I hugged the letter. To think the flirtiest affini on the planet happened to crush on me… Wait, this couldn't be a coincidence if it had a letter already made for me. Oh my stars, Iono is the first sophont to ever have a crush on me! Ah!!! I can't say no to her.
"This is a really nice letter."
A peek up at the affini showed radiant golden eyes staring down on me. "I'm glad you love it, little one. As the saying goes, would you be my valentine?"
The beautiful flirty plant kissed me causing the whole universe to stop in one blissful moment of passion. I nearly passed out. "Remember to breathe little one."
I refocused on my breathing… I forgot to breathe. Wow. That was something. To think I just got my first kiss, and it was from- My eyes looked up and I melted. Ahh!!! This plant was too much.
"Well, now that you're mine, we can go get Stellaria together." Iono's grin grew a bit bigger. "Oh did I just make the little violet go non-verbal?"
My eyes blinked. Wow uh I did go nonverbal. I nodded.
The smirking affini then added. "Or rather, I perhaps stole the voice of a little sophont. Be careful little one or I might steal your name too~" Iono winked.
My name… uh what was my name. Dirt, how did it steal my name? I looked back at the card. It called me a beloved beautiful little shy violet, but there was no name there. The affini stole the name my precious friend gave me. I pouted.
"What an adorable face my violet is making. You truly are very beautiful, I'm lucky to have such a wonderful valentine." Now the affini was rubbing it in. "Don't worry petal, we're still following your other crush. See?" It shifted me to look up and in the distance was Stellaria setting up a picnic with an oversized blanket and picnic basket.
Right. Her, my actual love who'd never steal my name. At least, my letter still had my name on it so she'd know who I was. Yea, it was pretty great I had words written down. I guess the letter was for not talking. A sigh escaped my lips.
We were moving. Iono was approaching her… I wasn't ready for this! I tried making hand gestures to dissuade the tricksy affini but she just grinned and carried me along anyway. Ah!!!! This was going to go horribly. I couldn't talk, or remember my name, and this flirty affini stole my letter and was going to hit on Stellaria too.
The moment my crush looked our way, I moved to bury myself in Iono's vines. A little cubby hole opened up and I curled up in the affini's chest near its core. A safe soft warm comfy spot. Perfect to be nonverbal and hide from my crush in.
Stellaria’s voice struck a chord in my heart. "Is the little violet being shy again?" Wait what?! Since when did she know about me? Dirt. Did Iono know and text her about me?
"She is." Then it switched to speaking affini and after exchanging words they both laughed. Stars were they laughing at me? A few vines tickled me and a hushed whisper said, "Let me know when you're ready to come out and give her the letter little one. I know she'll love it." I-I guess that tracked if they both knew each other.
Iono gently pet me with small vines, while the two of them spoke in affini. I would have probably gotten more worked up if I didn't feel so very safe in the cubby. A familiar comfort. A girl could fall asleep in here. A girl did fall asleep in here.
"Little one, you've napped for a while." Iono gently roused me. "There's little snacks for you and we still need to give her that letter."
Right the letter. Oh I feel talky again. "C-Can I have my name back?"
There was a playful rustling of the affini. "Only, if you come out, little violet."
"O-Okay." Vines parted and I crawled out into Ionopsis's lap.
Stellaria was looking at me with purple and green eyes. "I'm so glad you've come out to join us, little violet."
I looked down and nodded. A vine slipped my wrinkled letter back into my hands. "I-I-I uh, I made you this letter…" With shaky hands I handed it over to her.
She gently opened the letter and read it. "Awww, that's so sweet! Of course, I'll be your valentine. That is if you'll be mine."
A smile threatened to consume my face. "Y-Yes please!"
She took me from Iono's lap and pulled me into a big hug. "You are simply too adorable." Stellaria kissed the top of my head and my thoughts stalled. Ahh!!!!! Big plampt likes me!!!!!
"Now Ionopsis, please give our little violet her memories back." Wait what?
Stellaria released me and turned me around to stare into Iono's eyes. "Now our darling little flower, your Mistresses want their floret back~"
Floret, floret, floret, floret, floret… My eyes fluttered a bit. Oh my stars. "Mx Zebrina! That was so mean! You made me forget you two."
Miss Maedis looked down on me. "So does my little violet remember her name and who she is?"
I nodded. "I'm Violet Maedis-Zebrina, First Floret!" I had my name back. Not just my first name but my full name! I was a floret of two wonderful and dorky affini and I loved them soooooo much.
Miss Maedis still had a hold on me and started feeding me the picnic food… Dirt, she had been buying food for me that whole time! Wait… Mx Zebrina gave me extra cookies. Hmmm. I did promise it not to tell, but also it was really mean with the whole memory erasure thing… A promise is a promise.
I just let Mistress Maedis feed me all the delicious food she made me and then I got curled up in a nest of interwoven vines. "Now my little violet, here's my own little letter for you." A white and gold gilded envelope opened to a letter with a flower pressing of one of her white flowers.
Dear my wonderful sweet blooming violet,
Each and every day I get to wake up with you next to me is another perfect day in this wonderful universe. You are the light of my life, making my flowers bloom forever more. My precious floret, I love you so very very very very very much. You are, and will always be, mine(and Ionopsis's). Happy Valentine's day my little violet.
With your owner’s eternal love,
P.S. we'll make tonight extra fun <3
I felt each of them place a flower in my hair, tucked right behind either ear. I loved them both soo much. How I got the two most wonderful Mistresses in the stars was truly a Valentine's day miracle. After all, that was how I first asked to be theirs.