Timber Crash trotted out from Heavy Hoof's farm and made his way into town, skipping with excitement every few steps. He made a beeline for Lucerne's Hay and Herbs, the best place for edible plants in Maneflow. He sometimes made trips into the forest for Lucerne, to gather wild herbs for her, since he was always happy to help other ponies out with plant matters. That was definitely the only reason he did it.
The bell above the door rang as Timber Crash stepped into the shop, and the green-coated earth pony behind the counter greeted him merrily. "Hello, Timber!" she called to him, smiling warmly. "Here for your usual order?"
Timber grinned stupidly at the one pony in Maneflow who could render him speechless. "Hi, Lucerne," he mumbled, his eyes following the curve of her mane as it blended from bright green to a dull yellow like grass in autumn. "I, um, er... no! I'm actually, um, shopping for a party this afternoon! You'll never guess who it's for!"
Lucerne tilted her head to one side and hazarded a guess. "Princess Luna?"
"Oh. Um. Yeah, Princess Luna." Idiot, everypony knows about that already! Don't try to be clever, it doesn't suit you! "So... we'd like to order all of your best hay. Do you have any of last week's clover left? And your best lucerne, of course! Nothing but the best for the Princess. And if you've got some garlic and oregano, and some apples and carrots, I can do that salad recipe everypony seems to like."
Lucerne scooped up a pencil from the counter with her tongue and held it in her mouth, taking down Timber's order. "Mmhm. Mmhm. Mmmhay."
"Anyway, everypony's invited to the party, so do you want to go with me?" he asked, but only on the inside of his head. What came out was: "Anyway, everypony's invited, so I hope you can make it! Bye!"
Lucerne gave him a wave and an amused smile as he slipped out the door and back towards the farm. Nice going, Logjam, he berated himself with his old nickname. Way to sweep her off her hooves. Regardless, there was preparation to be done for the afternoon's food. He was just going over the utensils he'd need for cooking for so many ponies when thunder crashed in the distance, accompanied by Luna's voice.
"What was that?" he asked himself as he ran towards the farm, hoping to rendezvous with the others. "There are no thunderstorms scheduled all week! And was that the Princess?" All thoughts of lucerne - and Lucerne - were pushed aside, his hackles rising in anticipation of something seriously amiss.