A Perfect Bloom 30 – Alex Ankarr

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A Perfect Bloom 30 – Alex Ankarr

Oh God, and now Linnet is squealing. “Oh, my God, it’s Sam,” she’s squealing. Just as if she thinks he maybe hasn’t noticed. “He wrote it for you! He’s a musician! That makes him a rock-star and you a groupie, which I think effectively re-balances the power imbalance in this relationship and…” She pauses. She pauses because the silence has been filled with music again.

This time, it isn’t Sam playing. (Cory is going to assume that it was Sam playing, not a friend of his or some other thing. Maybe because every nice boy does dream of being picked out of the crowd, by a gorgeous rock-star. Come on, every single one of them. Cory is no different, on that score.) Now, it’s a recognisable old soul track, sweet and smoochy and lovelorn. It’s one of Cory’s favourites. Not that Sam could have known that. (Sam doesn’t know that, surely, does he? How much research has he done on this mission, anyway?)

And Linnet is swooning. How has Cory never realised, that she has this much romance in her dark, black-hearted, toxic little soul? She’s really, truly swooning, from where she’s swaying in the middle of the room, with her eyes closed and a dreamy little smile on her pointed pixie face. “Oh Cory,” she croons, delighted. “He’s made you a mix-tape. A mix-tape. The complete last word in romance. Flowers, cake, poems – you can stuff ’em all. Mix-tapes are what say true love, and how about it, and get your panties off. Mix-tapes are what’s goin’ down here, honey.”

Cory eyes her narrowly. “I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much,” he says, walking towards her. She’s too obliviously enchanted to notice, until he’s got a good grip of her, and begins to frog-march her out of the office. “Hey! No!” she squeals. “I want to listen to the rest of it! I have – I have important, urgent work to do! That means I need to stay here and listen!”

“Well, I’m giving you the morning off,” Cory says firmly. “Go have breakfast. Take a walk in the grounds. Get your nails done. I need a little alone time.”

And, despite Linnet’s protests, he gets exactly that. He shuts the office door on her, with the greatest satisfaction. It isn’t often he wins a dispute with Linnet, but it’s not as if he isn’t capable of it, not when it’s important. Not when he puts his mind to it.

 

 

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: Bonita Suraputra (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21185968@N00/3428731883/in/photolist-6dZ9wX-6e1HhW) via a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode), book cover modifications made.

A Spell For Destruction – Gay Magician Romance

Pell is a powerful Magician, financially successful, with a rewarding life. He doesn’t think about or pine for his old human boyfriend, Stephen. Honestly. So when Stephen hires him to scan and vouch for his new fiancee, it’s no big deal. Just Magical business as usual. Right?

 

A Perfect Bloom 29 – Alex Ankarr

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Download complete ebook for FREE! at https://www.books2read.com/u/brg91A

A Perfect Bloom 29 – Alex Ankarr

“Oh, come on,” Linnet protests. “Aren’t you dying to see what love-token he’s cooked up for you this time?” She’s drumming her pretty pink-polished nails on the smooth cedar of his desk, and there’s a pretty pink flush on her cheeks too. She’s clearly as eager as she’s making him out to be.

“What are you insinuating?” Cory asks innocently. “It could be from anyone. You don’t know…” Then he relents, at her irritable groan. “Yes, all right, Linnet. I am – quite keen – to take a look at the innards of this thing. As you know perfectly well. But I can’t just…” And he’s about to make all kinds of reasonable objections, about scans and viruses and such. But it’s a suck on his attention that’s not all that great an idea. Because it distracts him enough that it leaves Linnet free to jab and punch the little gift-box out of his hand, whip the stick-drive out of it, and run around the desk to stick it in the appropriate port on his hard-drive.

“Linnet!” he protests. Because protesting is all that’s left to him. The box has already popped up on his hi-powered bit of tech, asking what he wants to do with the new hardware. Linnet’s prodding at ‘play’ so hard she nearly pushes his laptop off the desk.

“What?” she asks scornfully, looking up. “Cory, this guy is gone on you, and I can see it even if you’re too damn cautious and careful to want to accept it. Yet. Me! The greatest cynic the world has ever known, bar none, none, I tell you! If I think he’s legit, then I do think you can give the cynicism a bit of a break… Oh, and here we go,” she announces. And she lifts her hands into the air, and slowly dances away from him, circling, pirouetting. Her rhythms are wild, she’s entranced, spooked, enchanted.

It’s because music is stealing out into the air of the executive office. That’s what’s on the drive. Cory draws his brows together, and struggles to identify the tune, but he can’t. It’s a Spanish guitar instrumental, slowly picked out, a little uneven, perhaps not completely expert. It’s charmingly played, though, and the notes are pretty, haunting, a minor key thrumming its way through the heart. After too short a time it comes to an end, and there’s a little echoey pause, that suggests it perhaps wasn’t recorded on top-notch equipment. Then a voice leans into the mic. “A rose, for Cory,” it says. It’s deep, ish, a little cracked, the timbre not smooth. It’s distinctive.

It’s Sam.

 

 

 

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: Bonita Suraputra (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21185968@N00/3428731883/in/photolist-6dZ9wX-6e1HhW) via a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode), book cover modifications made.

A Perfect Bloom 28 – Alex Ankarr

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Download complete ebook for FREE! at https://www.books2read.com/u/brg91A

A Perfect Bloom 28 – Alex Ankarr

THURSDAY

On the Thursday, it’s music.

Cory would be lying if he claimed that he isn’t on the alert, looking for anything that might be in disguise, that might be another – well – courtship gift is the phrase that springs to mind, when he gets in to work. It has to be admitted that he even walks a circuitous route through the company grounds, on his way in and up to his office suite. But he doesn’t spot anything of interest on the way – neither Sam, nor anything that might be lurking pertaining to Sam, destined for Cory.

Nothing. Can Cory be blamed if, by the time he shoves open his office door, his shoulders are slumped, and he’s wondering if this day will present him with any delightful and alarming surprises, or if it’s just going to be, well, another working day. (He never used to mind a day being just another working day. Not before this last Monday).

But he tenses up a bit, as he pushes the door open, because you never know. Perhaps he’s not being so very foolish after all. Monday a rose – Tuesday, candy – Wednesday, a poem. If you take it as a pattern, then… it doesn’t mean a thing. Maybe Sam was just having a bit of fun, whatever Linnet thinks. This is what he reminds himself.

But Cory feels stupidly glad, when he sees the small gift-wrapped parcel, residing like a set jewel in a ring, in the middle of his desk. Pretty bows and everything, it has, the works.

And if he hurries his step, rushes over to the middle of the room, in fact, then well, it’s not as if he has anyone to witness it. (Yet. Linnet is due in very shortly indeed.)

In fact, she’s due in quicker than he realises. Or at least, damn her, she’s conscientious – or curious – enough, to be a little bit early, almost as early as he is himself. (So he was eager to get into work this morning. Sue him! He has reasons.) She’s early enough that she catches him opening up the parcel. And he’s too intent upon it to hear her stealthy entry into the office, is too focused upon carefully undoing the knots and curls and ribbons, sliding open the gift paper without tearing it. It’s ridiculous, how careful he is. The boy he was two decades back, who would have ripped open the paper on any present and discarded the box as he grabbed at the gift, wouldn’t have believed this, if he could have seen it.

Inside the gift box, it’s a little stick-drive. And Cory picks it up and looks at it thoughtfully. He’s longing to just plug it into his computer and find out what message Sam has for him. Surely it’s from Sam, though there was no tag attached, no note. But Linnet right there with him, clapping her hands and, God, yes, squealing – that’s a bit of an inhibition. And also, his own IT department would have his hide, if he used a bit of hardware on the system that hasn’t been swept clean for bugs and viruses before use. With good reason, and yet…

 

 

 

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: Bonita Suraputra (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21185968@N00/3428731883/in/photolist-6dZ9wX-6e1HhW) via a Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode), book cover modifications made.

Sexy Spirits – Gay Paranormal Romance!

Jude and Danny are rival ghost-hunters with a case in common when they’re hired to work together by the same firm. Danny’s fleeing family troubles, and Jude’s recovering from a poltergeist trauma in adolescence and a nasty case of PTSD: but they both have business in mind, when they have to take on a sexy spirit. Well, business and pleasure, both…