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❀❀❀❀❀"Mrs. Phillips! Mrs. Phillips! Look at my painting!"
Her attention was diverted from her current task at hand to focus on the painting. A smile blossomed on her lips at the paint splatters that decorated the canvas, not much rhyme or reason to them other than just sheer enjoyment. This was her favorite time of the week when she'd allow the third graders freedom to whatever they pleased (within reason, of course) without curriculum. Sometimes she would challenge them with a theme or limit their mediums, but this particular Friday she decided to give complete and utter freedom. "That's beautiful, Gina," she complimented genuinely. "Let me show you a fun trick to do paint splatters..."
She scoured the classroom for a plastic spoon then returned to the curious child. Rose crouched to the same height so that she could dip the spoon into the purple paint. "Are you ready?" She asked, amping up young Gina's excitement, while she slowly pulled the spoon back and released it so that the paint slingshot straight onto the canvas. Sounds of awe were heard from both Gina and the growing crowd of students surrounding them. Soon, practically all were begging for their own plastic spoon to repeat the procedure. Rosalie laughed and went about supplying them the necessary tools. By the end of the day, when the bell rang and prompted the students to return to their homes for the weekend, there were at least a dozen canvases of just paint splattering! She had been so engulfed in watching and assisting her students that she forgot to leave time for clean-up, which meant she had her work cut out for her. It was well worth it, though.
Rose sat at her desk and fished out her cellphone to send a text to Declan: Going to be a little late. We made a mess lol see you soon! xoxo Even though it's been nearly six years since their marriage, she still felt a euphoric thrill rush through her every time she pulled up his text thread that read "HUSBAND<3" at the top. She still felt eager at the end of every day to return to his arms and see his smile, just as if they were falling in love all over again. Out of habit, she reached up to caress the tattoo just below her ear affectionately. Then, she set off to handle the mess.
It took her an hour to clean up and it required more effort than she anticipated. Perhaps the paint splattering with a spoon wasn't the grandest idea to teach young children since paint went all over. The newspapers she had laid down beforehand kept it off the floors, but not much else. By the time she was finished, it seemed the paint seemed to transfer onto her instead! Her hands and arms were colored rainbow and her apron was its own piece of art! None of it bothered her, however, since they were symbolic of the good times had. Rose took off her apron and tried to wash off as much paint from her hands as possible before locking up the classroom and headed home.
The drive was short and took mere minutes to return home. As Rose entered through the front door, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Her long hair was piled high into a messy bun and looked more disheveled in the aftermath of her cleaning efforts. And wait! Was that paint on her cheek?! Rose couldn't help but giggle that she hadn't noticed earlier and wondered briefly how she managed that. She would have tried to clean it off if not for the playfulness that arose out of curiosity for Declan's reaction.
"I'm home!" She sing-songed out, following the sounds she heard to locate him. "And, before you ask," she began with a smile as she rounded the corner to shoot him a coy and playful smile. "Yes, it was entirely my fault. And no, I don't regret it."
visions are seldom all they seem
Declan leaned back in his sturdy leather chair and propped his feet up on his desk, loosening the tie around his neck and running a hand over his face, then through his hair. It was Friday and he was beat. A typical work week was enough to take all the energy out of him, but Declan was fresh off a promotion and had been putting in the extra effort all week to prove that he deserved it. He did a lot of that – trying to prove himself. It was the reason he’d taken this job at a company rival to his father’s, he liked working in business, enjoyed the atmosphere and the thrill when things got exciting, but he didn’t want to be handed anything. His older brother had walked right out of graduate school into a Vice Presidency at their father’s company. Declan had started here as an intern.
From the moment he’d stepped onto Harvard’s campus, he’d wanted to do things his own way. With Rose’s support, he’d made it through four years there, then made the tough decision to leave his alma mater for the MBA program at Brown University. It had been a challenge for him, two grueling years of graduate school while their marriage was still so young, but Rose had been his rock. He smiled fondly at the photo of the two of them that graced his desk, where he could see it at all times, a tool for keeping him sane when he was feeling overwhelmed.
A glance at the clock told him that it was time for him to pack it in for the evening and head home. Tonight was date night, and they’d made plans for a lazy evening of takeout and movies. As he got the text explaining that Rose would be late, an idea popped into his head. Declan had always been fond of romantic gestures. They were a good way to keep the romance alive, and while he and his wife did a decent job of that all on their own, doing something grand was always a nice touch.
With that thought in mind, Declan gathered the papers he’d need over the weekend and tucked them into his briefcase, then took the elevator down to street level, where a town car waited for him. ”I’d to make a little detour on the way home, James.” he told his driver, a man who’d become a close friend after working for the Phillips family, then Declan and Rose for years. He rattled off the name of the specialty grocery store nearby and sat back as the car pulled from the curb, weaving through traffic to their destination.
He made quick work of shopping, equipped with all the supplies he needed and on his way home in a flash. Declan let himself into their spacious penthouse apartment and deposited his groceries on the counter of the kitchen, where he proceeded to go to work. Declan wasn’t much of a chef, far more skilled at making a reservation than anything else, but he’d been holding this one trick up his sleeve for a while now. The chef from a little French bistro they both loved had given him a private lesson on how to make Rose’s favorite French cuisine, and date night seemed the perfect time to show his cards by preparing the surprise dinner.
As he got close to finishing their dinner (thankfully with only minor missteps) Declan heard Rose come through the door, a soft smile spreading unbidden across his face at the sound of her voice. The smile spread to a beam as she turned the corner and he caught sight of her, the most gorgeous mess he’d ever seen. ”Welcome home.” he said happily, stepping closer to drop a chaste kiss on her lips before drawing back with a grin, ”it looks like you’ve had a messy day today.” he chuckled, ”Hopefully fun, yeah?” he asked, turning back to the stove where he cut the heat off and moved a pan to the counter.
”I hope you worked up an appetite.”
rosalie fleur castellane
❀❀❀❀❀Her smile was blinding as he greeted her and bent to deliver a kiss which she eagerly returned, nodding. "I did," she chimed, holding up her colored hands and arms for display with a follow-up giggle. "Perhaps a bit too much fun..." It was then that the most familiar of smells hit her and gave her pause. "Is that... gratin dauphinois?"
Her eyes widened as she stared at dish in wonder, moving closer to truly gawk at the creation. Her heart swelled nearly twice as large and her mind whirled with memories of Paris and the times spent at the French bistro, where she was more than thrilled to discover they made it. It was enough to make her eyes water in happiness that he went to such extent in order to make it. Rose bent close, fanning the steam towards her face to truly inhale the mouth-watering aroma, then let out a slow sigh. It smelled heavenly.
Rose turned to her husband, smile stretching from ear to ear, before wrapping her arms around his neck to draw him close. "J’en ai l’eau à la bouche," she murmured, wanting to truly amp up the French vibe in the household those she was well aware Declan's French was not up to par despite her slow teachings. "It makes my mouth water," she followed up with a loose English translation. Raising up on her toes, she pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. "Let me go clean up and then you have to tell me where you learned to make that..."
With a twinkle in her eye, she unwound her arms from him and made her way to their bedroom. Her stomach fluttered with nerves as she shut the door behind her and leaned back against it. After all these years, he still managed to surprise her and it glued her smile to her lips. However, tonight was different. It wasn't just another casual date night, though Declan believed it as such. Rose placed a hand on her stomach tenderly, her smile softening as she breathed out slowly. Tonight was going to be the night that she revealed to him that she was pregnant.
It was a discovery that she made earlier in the week and one that she has been sitting on to decide how to reveal it to Declan. They hadn't been necessarily trying for a child, but rather had long since accepted that soon it was bound to happen. At twenty-seven years old, Rose had long prepped herself for this very moment and she wanted the reveal to be special. Date night was the perfect time, she thought, because it was one of the more intimate moments where it seemed as if the world only included she and him. And now, they had one more to include as well...
She sighed out one last time before moving to the bathroom so that she could try to rinse off more of the paint stains in the sink, let her hair down to comb out the knots and remove her makeup. She then proceeded to change into comfortable sweatpants and a loose t-shirt. This was also another perk of date night, the fact that she could be in her lounge wear and still feel as pretty as a princess. Rose returned to join his side with smile intact as she tugged her long hair over one shoulder.
"Let date night commence," she announced chipperly.
declan isaiah phillips //
yes, fam. i went there.
visions are seldom all they seem