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Pamela and Boleyn were now in Toronto at the retreat, so I knew it wasn’t for their benefit. I thoroughly believed that we had sorted through our secrecy issues, but something was up with him. I could just smell it.

I tried to quell my worries and jumped in the shower, dressed in the cutest grey knitted sweater mini-dress and tights, did my hair and slapped on my make-up.

Just as I was applying the last coat of mascara, my bedroom door opened and in he walked – the reason for my existence (and recent splurge at Victoria’s Secret), dressed in jeans, a white muscle T-shirt, jeans and white beanie hat with Tink, who I assumed had let him into the condo.

Tink walked to where I sat, leaving Tudor to stand back at the door and sang, “Happy birthday, my pork-flavoured soul-mate!” as he handed me a large birthday bag with my name written in pink glitter glue across the front.

I opened the bag and pulled out the present – it was heavy and long. I raised a suspicious eyebrow imagining a black mambo Dildo or something worse and he rolled his eyes.

“Just open it!”

I tore off the paper and read the homemade label,

‘Aged Virgin Sunflower Oil’

I bit my lip in wonder... what the hell?

I heard a snicker and looked up to my obviously tickled best friend who was laughing, holding his belly.

“I don’t get it?” I stated looking first at Tink and then at Tudor who was wearing a similar expression of confusion.

Tink placed his hands on his hips sporting a seriously ticked-off look upon his heavily made-up face. “You don’t get it? You don't get it? I don’t get it! Everyone keeps harping on at you about sunflowers and sunshine and any other sun-related shit, and quite frankly I wanna put those comments where the Sun. Don’t. Shine! Our condo looks like a fookin’ farmers field half the time and my allergies’ are at an all-time high! My eyes are red and itchy twenty-four-seven, I’m wheezing like a chubster on a treadmill, but does anyone care, no, because Tash is bright and warm and we need reminding of it every bloody second of every bloody day! So there you have it, my contribution to the friggin’ Wilbur Sunflower Movement!”

I held in my giggle at Tinks outburst. Tudor across the room, hung his head, knowing full well it was to him whom Tink was referring.

I moved us on quickly. “Okay… thanks, chuck. I’ll use this for our Sunday morning fry-ups!”

He nodded smugly and with that made his exit from the room. “I’ll see you later, sausage when you have birthday f**ked your man!” he said slapping Tudor on the back in encouragement before he firmly closed the door leaving me with my man.

I rose from the chair and made my way across to where Tude stood. With each step my heart began to beat faster from both apprehension and the fact that I was nearly hyperventilating at how handsome he looked.

When I was mere steps from him he sprung forward and lifted me up, spinning me around. “Happy Birthday, Sunshine!” he sang.

I giggled at his playful mood and wrapped my hands around his neck, kissing his cheek. “Someone’s feeling happy,” I teased.

The smile on his face was blinding. “Mmm-hmm. I come bearing gifts.” He released me to the floor and gestured for me to sit on the bed. I did so, just enjoying this side of Tudor’s personality.

“Okay, just before we begin,” he said and captured my face in his hands moving in for a not-so-innocent-kiss. He pulled back, causing me to huff in disappointment. “I missed you last night, gorgeous, too God-damned much. I can no longer sleep without you beside me.”

I blushed. “Me too, babes.”

He clapped his hands together. “Okay. Presents.” He walked back to a bag he had placed down on the floor. “First...” He pulled out a box and I gasped when I saw the name Tiffany & co.

He handed me the large blue box seeming a little embarrassed. “I feel a bit of a dick now, after what Tink has just said but, here.” I took it from him and opened the lid, holding my breath.

I drew back in shock. Inside, on a white silk pillow, was the most breathtaking pendant I had ever seen. The necklace cord was made of thick white gold and hanging from it was a diamond-encrusted sunflower – yellow diamond for the petals and garnet and onyx for the centre. My hands began to shake as I tried to take it out.

Tudor moved them aside and pulled it from its silk cushion. “Here, let me.”

I dropped the delicate chain into his outstretched hands, and he opened the clasp and placed it around my neck. I took Tudor’s face and kissed him slowly. “I love it, babes.”

He brushed the tip of my nose with his lips. “Open it.”


He released a chuckle. “It’s a locket, open it up.”

I fiddled with the clasp, hidden behind the delicate yellow diamond leaves, and I lifted the top to reveal a photo of Tudor and me. I turned the locket to study the picture and turned to him in surprise.

He shrugged. “My mother took it at our house that night we had dinner. I didn’t know she even had it until I bought this for you. She thought it would look nice inside. She wanted me to see how I was with you, how I looked at you and how everyone else can see how you’ve changed me. I thought it was a perfect fit.”

It was perfect. In the picture, I was on Tudor’s lap and our heads were touching, smiling contentedly, caught just after a kiss. I had always thought Tudor was ridiculously out of my league, but looking at that picture of us, at the couple in love, I thought we looked perfect – maybe he was right after all.

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