Petal hears the sound of a photo being taken. The sound of her photo being taken, and even knowing that it was her Mistress doing it, she couldn’t help but feel a twinge at the sound.
"Absolutely perfect~. I think I might even get it framed~."
Petal still wasn't sure how she felt about her appearance, but her Mistress said it was perfect, so it must be fine. Right?
"Hmmm… yes, Hesplex definitely need to see this."
"Uh… what's Hesplex?"
"Hm? Oh, just some old friends of mine. Ilex has a particular fondness for seeing terrans with this kind of expression. Although I suppose you're not quite a terran. It's still adorable though, especially on a face as cute as yours~."
"Um…" Delphinium is going to send somebody she doesn't even know a picture of her?
"Aw, Petal, what's wrong?" And now she was going to upset her Mistress! Her first day, and she was already going to ruin everything.
"Um… sending pictures?"
"Well of course I'm going to send people pictures of you, my Petal. Like I told you last night, we affini like to show off, and what better to show off than our most precious possessions, our florets?"
"Y-you want to show me off?"
"How could I not~? You and Millie both~." There's a sharp intake of air into Delphinium. "you're going to look so good together! I can get you matching outfits, and everything!"
"Um…" Petal can't help but smile at how excited Delphinium is being.
"Oh, I'm sorry for getting ahead of myself, my dear, it's just… this is my first time having connivent florets, and I'm just looking forward to actually having you, to owning you~." Petal's heart flutters. She probably isn't supposed to find that endearing, but it's her Mistress, and she's trying to leave her thoughts of independence behind.
"Me too, Mistress! And, and… if you want to show me off, then… please do!"
"You say that as though you ever had a choice in the matter, my dear~."
Petal thinks for a moment and then shakes her head. "I'm not trying to give you permission, I'm… I'm asking you to. Please?"
"Asking me to, hm?"
"I'll beg, if you want me to~." Stars, Petal can hardly believe how pathetically desperate she sounds, and how much she loves it.
"Perhaps later, my dearest. Right now it's time for breakfast~."
Petal is lifted from the couch and deposited at the table next to Millie. Again, there's cutlery in front of both of them, Millie's turned to face away from her. Delphinium settles across the table from them, placing down some plates of… pancakes? With ice cream?
Delphinium picks up Millie's cutlery, and starts to feed her. Petal blushes, as she picks up her cutlery, and turns it to face Delphinium.
"Not hungry, my dear~?" Oh, right. Of course she was going to be like that. Well, two can play at that game.
"Please, Mistress? Can you feed me?" The game, of course, being ‘make Petal beg’.
"Oh, are you worried you'll make a mess?"
"No, Mistress, I just…"
"I want to feel powerless, and doted on, and loved, and-"
There's a tap, and her mouth pops open, to be immediately filled with delicious food.
While Delphinium feeds her florets, she regales the two of them with stories of Hesplex, and their adorable cotyledon floret, Dawn. Before long, the tablet comes out, and Dawn is just as adorable as promised. More adorable, even.
When Delphinium finally finishes feeding them, and Petal finally feels like she's allowed to control her own body, she says the two words that have been rattling around her head ever since she first saw a picture of the cotyledon: "Dawn cute!"
Delphinium smirks down at Petal. "She is. Very cute, in fact. I'll let Hesplex know you said so. Although, and you're not to tell any of them this, but I happen to think that the two of you are even cuter~. Now, we've got a busy day ahead of us, so we'll only have time for a quick bath."
"But… we had baths last night?"
"You say that as if it's any reason not to get you back in there this morning~." Millie giggles, and Petal blushes, as Delphinium's vines reach out to pick them up.
It turns out that Delphinium’s plans involved meeting with Verne and Attatex again. Which was good, because it meant that Petal had the chance to apologise for how things went last night, but also not good, because it meant that she had to apologise for how things went last night. It was probably for the best that Petal didn’t realise that she was meeting them until Delphinium was sitting down at a table with them, settling Petal down from where she was being carried into her lap. Millie, who had been walking with them, rather than being carried, quickly clambers up onto Delphinium’s lap to join Petal.
Millie quickly leans over to where Attatex is sitting next to it’s affini, and strokes it behind an antenna. “Hey Atty, how you doin’~?”
I am quite well, thank yoU.
Petal smiles at the florets’ antics. Her fellow florets’ antics. That was definitely going to take some getting used to.
“Miss Petal, it’s good to see you again. I hope you’re well, after what happened last time?”
“Yeah, I, uh… I’m sor-” Petal is shushed by a vine.
“Now now, Petal, it’s not your place to apologise for your behaviour any more. It is up to me if and when an apology will be necessary, and if it is, it would be my place to apologise. You are my responsibility, after all~.” Delphinium cuts in, possessive and reassuring in the same breath, it’s completely unfair.
“I- um… yes, Mistress.”
“Good girl~.” Delphinium strokes Petal’s hair. It’s still not fair, but Petal doesn’t want it to be.
“So then, I take it that you made your decision after all, miss Petal?”
“M… my decision?”
“To volunteer for domestication?”
“Oh… I mean, kinda? It wasn’t so much… volunteering for domestication, as… giving myself to Mistress, but… yeah. That.”
“You seem much happier with the situation, at least. Either way, I assume that this is why Delphi wanted me to bring all this paperwork down from the clerk’s office.” Vernonia extends a vine carrying a thick stack of paper, before setting it down on the table in front of Petal and Delphinium.
Petal glanced at the top page. It was a domestication contract. For Petal. Not just that, it was a domestication contract, for Petal Vinia, Fourth Floret. All it needed was a signature. Her signature. If she just wrote her name on that tiny little line there, she’d be Delphinium’s, forever. Her new name. Her real name. The name that was only made of what Delphinium had given her.
Petal hears a gentle click, as a pen is put down on the table in front of her.
“Of course, my dear, there’s a lot of other paperwork that’s here for you to sign, but if you were to just sign that, then I’d be free to take care of all the rest of it for you. In fact, if you sign that, I’ll have to take care of the rest of it for you. It won’t even matter if you sign anything, except for how cute it would be~.”
Petal reaches out a hand to pick up the pen, but her hand stops as her fingers brush against it. Something about this doesn’t feel… right.
“Um… Mistress?” Petal tilts her head, all the way back, to look up into her Mistress’s eyes.
“If, um… if I hadn’t crossed the… the thing off, how would you have made me?”
“Oh, well, my darling, I’d probably have taken a bundle of very thin vines, and wrapped it around your arm, probably starting from about the shoulder, and carefully wrapping it around all of your fingers so that I’d have complete control over everything it did.” Petal can almost imagine what it would feel like. Tendrils of her Mistress creeping down, to control her every last movement.
“And, um… what then?”
“Well, my dear, I’d simply have moved your arm to pick up the pen, and made your hand write whatever I needed it to.”
“Yes, my dear?”
“Could you… um…”
“Could you do that… for… for this?”
“No, my darling floret, I cannot.”
Delphinium’s eyes surge with gold, and a smirk grows on her face. “I already did~.”
“Y-you?” Petal looks down. At her arm, wrapped in tiny vines, all the way down to the tips of her fingers. She tries to twitch a finger, then flex her hand, then move any part of her arm. Nothing happens. She stops struggling, and her arm is moved to carefully put the pen back down on the table. The vines stay, though.
Petal tears her eyes off her puppeteered arm, and looks at the domestication contract. Her domestication contract. She starts at the top, and skims her way down over it again, until she’s stuck staring at the signature Delphinium had used her hand to write.
Petal Vinia, Fourth Floret
It’s beautiful. Smooth, and flowing, and so so much better than Petal could have done without help. It’s perfect. “Thank you, Mistress.”
“And now that you’re legally my floret, not my ward, and I won’t need to fill out any extra paperwork, or find an excuse to justify this…” Petal feels a stinging in her thigh, and then a throb, and then an overwhelming sense of elation. She’d be screaming for joy, but her body just- can’t make it happen. It can’t make anything happen. She’s frozen, and everywhere that she can feel Delphinium’s vines touch her explodes into sense-pleasure. And Delphinium is touching her everywhere, wrapping her up tightly in Her vines. Pulling Petal into an endless abyss of transcendental joy.