The air was warm and muggy from the tendrils of steam that rose like exotic dancers atop the waters.  Movement was minimal and conversation was even less. 

 “The best sex I ever had…” the companionable silence that filled the room was broken by a laconic drawl.  No additional details were provided.  The speaker allowed the room to lapse into silence once more.

 “Okay, I’ll bite,” one of her companions said after a few moments of waiting in vain.  “The best sex you ever had…”

 Sabrina DeLane willingly complied.  “Was with a butler to the Queen of England.”  She lazily raised her head from the pillowed edge of the Jacuzzi and gazed around the room at her friends.  “Believe me, you don’t know what satisfaction is until you’ve been with a man whose entire existence is designed around providing satisfaction for others.”  She grinned saucily.  “He gave new meaning to the phrase ‘The butler did it.’.”

 “Dara, why do you always play straight man for her?” Faith Ward complained.  “You know ‘Bri will always come up with some outrageous story!”

 “So, you don’t really know the Queen of England?”   Keesha Ward sat in the corner with a large white towel modestly covering her body.  She was nowhere near as comfortable as the founding members of ‘The Conclave’.  Faith and Sabrina sat naked in the heated Jacuzzi, while Doctor Ellen Burgess lay on her stomach – naked – and soaked up the moist heat oozing up through the wooden platform.

 Alexis Davis spoke up from her place on the steamy platform.  She, too, was draped with a large white towel; but the lawyer’s body slouched comfortably against the warm stone wall.  “Oh, no,” she declared.  “That part of the story is true.  As well as her rendezvous with the butler, no doubt,” Alexis smirked and added beneath her breath.  “Nikolas and Andresj’ have often been guests of the Windsors since they were little boys.”

 “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to hearing things like that,” a soft, shy voice commented.

 “You had better, Princess Cassadine.”  Sabrina playfully reminded Alexandra DiMera.  “Your children will have similar stories to tell their friends.”

 A knock at the door interrupted the group’s gentle teasing.  A uniformed deliveryman stepped halfway inside the door to the sauna.  All around the room grins appeared as they watched the man desperately attempt to keep his gaze up at the ceiling.  Ellen Burgess casually pulled her towel over her and took charge.

 “How can we help you?” she asked the uncomfortable man.

 “I have a delivery for Emily Quartermaine.”  He produced a beautiful bouquet of flowers, complete with a little white card.


Ellen bit back a grin at the man’s unease.  “Well,” she commanded, “go and give them to her.  She’s right over there.”

The deliveryman almost ran across the room to hand the flowers to Emily.  And just as quickly he made his exit.  “I suppose it’s a good thing he didn’t wait for his tip,” Sabrina joked.  She looked pointedly at the group.  “None of us are exactly in a position to give him anything.”  Her head quickly swung around and she glared playfully at Faith.  “And don’t you dare say anything about me and positions.”

Faith just made a face and hunched her shoulders.  “So,” she turned her attention to Emily, “is there something we should know, little cousin?  Is there a reason you’re getting flowers the day before Mother’s Day?”

The young woman hastily shoved the little white card back into its envelope.  “N-no!” she stammered.  “These are just-”

“Leave her alone,” Dara ordered softly.  “Just because you, Sabrina and Ellen tell all your business to anyone who will listen doesn’t mean everyone has to.”   Dara met the eyes of the three women she’d named.  Like her, they’d observed the uncomfortable, secretive expression on Emily’s face.   It was obvious that the young woman preferred to keep the sender of the flowers a secret. 

“I-I’m just going to bring these into the next room.”  Emily took her bouquet and hurried from the room.

The original members of the conclave felt protective of the other women.  Keesha, Emily, Alexis and Alexandra were not as wise to the ways of the world and men as they were.  By silent agreement, Sabrina, Dara, Ellen and Faith decided to find out just whom the flowers were from.

“You guys…”  Emily stuck her head right back into the steam room.  “There is a room full of flowers out here.  They must have delivered them while we were inside.”

Curiosity sent the women spilling into the outer room.  They hastily slipped into the robes hanging by the door and poured out of the steam room.  Just as Emily had claimed, the room was filled with bouquets of fragrant smelling blooms.  One by one, the women of the conclave claimed their offerings until none were left.

Keesha Ward stood awkwardly among the other women.  All the floral arrangements had been claimed and none had been for her.  But as the other conclave members began to notice Keesha’s lack of flowers, the door swung open.

**If you'd like to see the stories of the other women's bouquets, click on the cards***