They walked over, and Sepalika could see him react the way she had expected it. Daniel lifted his head and took a deep breath. She smiled to herself and felt a thrill rush through her.
“Can you smell that?”
He nodded with wide eyes. “It’s such an intoxicating scent, so…I don’t know, intense and sweet, mysterious and confident.”
Now her eyes widened, and a shiver of pleasure ran down her spine.
“This is my namesake,” she said, and her voice was hardly more than a whisper.”
He turned to stare at her then back at the flower-laden tree exuding such potent magic.
“May I introduce you to the redolent sepalika flower, commonly called night jasmine or coral jasmine, and sometimes confused with Queen of the Night. This tree’s flowers bloom only after dark, enchanting throughout the night. Shortly after dawn they’ll start wilting, and by morning you’ll have a patch of earth decked out in fallen, faded flowers.”
Daniel walked over to the tree as if in trance. He plucked one of the small white flowers and inhaled its powerful but not overpowering scent.
“They’re not just beautiful,” she continued. “People believe they’ll help you sleep soundly and dream sweetly. They are dried and stuffed into pillows for that purpose. Experts in native medicine claim it can help children with constipation.”
“Fascinating,” he murmured and walked back to her, stopping right in front of her so she had to crane her neck to peer into his deep, now surprisingly dark eyes.
“You know, this flower isn’t always praised for its beauty. Some people aren’t too fond of it because it looks bare and barren, common and even sort of forlorn during daytime. They dub it the ‘tree of sorrow’, but every night the fragrant flowers cause even the most sorrowful people to smile and appreciate.”
“There’s a whole story and lesson lingering there,” Daniel said, whispering too. “Looks like they’re much more than fragrant…just like you’re much more than what meets the eye.”
He leaned in and lifted his hand as if he wanted to stick the flower into her hair.