(If you missed Chapter 1, be sure to read it first.)
Among the Bushes
Things are About to Get Spicey
Caroline’s mouth dropped open. This revelation about her gardener's identity did explain why he was wearing an ill fitting suit, but she had so many more questions.
She had never been a fan of the president, but his spokesman was another story. Ever since the early days of the administration, Caroline had felt a certain affinity for Sean Spicer. In fact, she had found him inexplicably attractive, even though she normally didn't go for the angry, doughy type. And now he was standing here in her yard! Caroline decided to take advantage of the situation.
“You look really hot,” Caroline heard herself saying. Then she quickly added, “You're sweaty. I mean—it looks like you could use some shade.”
What was happening to her? She was not the type to get flustered around men. Who knew Sean Spicer could have that affect on someone? Caroline took a deep breath to help regain her composure.
“Would you like to come inside to cool off for a few minutes? I have LaCroix,” she offered.
“That would be phenomenal,” Sean said, wiping away some sweat and possibly another tear.
Caroline led Sean into her house, unsure she was doing the right thing. Even if he was a former White House Communications Director, he was still a common gardener at the moment and she wasn't comfortable having the hired help inside her house. But then she glanced over her shoulder and saw his endearingly confused expression and her knees went wobbly. “Pull yourself together, Caroline!” she silently chided herself.
“The bar is this way,” Caroline said, walking through the kitchen, into the hallway, then up a few steps to the open bar area above the living room.
“You have a beautiful house,” Sean said, looking around.
“I do okay for myself,” Caroline said coyly.
“What do you do for a living?” he asked.
“What flavor LaCroix would you like? Or I have other things, if you'd like something…harder.” Caroline raised her eyebrows.
“No, LaCroix is good! No drinking on the job! Do you have lime?” he asked.
“Of course,” Caroline sighed. She turned to her mini fridge, took out a can of lime LaCroix, and handed it to Sean, letting her hand linger a bit longer than she should have.
“I like your fridge” he said, prying the can from her hand. Caroline made a mental note to keep an eye on her appliances.
Sean opened the can and took a sip, then looked out the large picture window on the other side of the room.
“That was my first attempt at an elephant” he said, nodding toward the window.
“Really? You'd never done that before? That’s amazing!” Caroline said. “My only concern is that the bushes are so much smaller now.”
“No, they're bigger,” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“The bushes are bigger than they were before.”
“How can they be bigger when you've just trimmed them to make an elephant?”
“Trust me, they just are,” he said. “Period. They only look smaller because of the covering I put down to protect the grass.”
Caroline narrowed her eyes. She felt like she had heard this argument before. She was about to press him on it, but then he loosened his tie a bit and she got weak-kneed again.
“So, tell me, Sean,” she said, leaning onto the bar next to him, “Do you like working with...bushes?”
“Well, it’s better than working with Clintons!” Sean Spicer started laughing uncontrollably.
Caroline signed again and rolled her eyes. How could someone so cute be so dense?
Just when she thought he would never take a hint, Sean calmed down, took another sip of LaCroix and asked, “Would you want to go to dinner sometime?”
Caroline blinked. Was Sean Spicer really asking her out on a date?
“I'd love to,” she said, “but I thought you're not allowed to have dinner with any women other than your wife.”
“No, that's Mike Pence,” he said. “People sometimes get us confused because we have the same neck and glare.”
“Oh, right.” Caroline did have trouble keeping track of the angry white men in the current administration. “But won't your wife be upset anyway?”
“I'm not married,” he said, swigging some more LaCroix.
“But I thought—”
“Just a story I made up and put in my official White House bio when Kellyanne Conway got too handsy.”
“Exactly,” Sean said, noticing the horrified expression on her face. “Look, I need to go. I have to get the lawn equipment back by 5:00. But are we on for dinner? Tonight?”