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A Perfect Bloom 1 – Alex Ankarr
There’s a single beautiful bloom in a bud-vase, set right in the middle of Cory’s desk, when he arrives at his office at the start of the working week. (Barring the special projects he took home with him over the weekend.) He can’t miss it. Linnet ensures his desk is cleared every night, his in-box emptied, his working area pristine and sparkling for the coming day.
And his eyes are fixed on it, even as he’s removing his overcoat, putting down the coffee he’s picked up along the way to the senior suite and the executive office, and running a finger through the small stack of interesting mail that Linnet has set off to one corner of the desk. He’s so transfixed, in fact, that he doesn’t even hear Linnet come in from the ensuite bathroom attached to the CEO’s office, and pad up quietly behind him.
“That new gardener has a crush on you-uu-uu,” is what she sings, high and sweet, into his ear. Makes him jump a damn mile, and he swivels around to eyeball her irritably.
“Good morning to you, Lin,” is what he actually says – a little bit sarcastic, perhaps, to his own assistant and close personal friend. But that’s justified. She’s such a meddler. Especially when it comes to his love-life, or the absence of it. Perpetually attempting to match-make for him. It doesn’t matter how often he tells her that he’s perfectly happy to be independent, and alone. And to go on one or two depressingly spark-free dates a month, and eat healthy meals for one, prepared by his personal chef. That’s when he isn’t attending friends’ dinner parties, and being charmed by their prodigious growing children, and feeling lonely, and depressed, and like he’s never going to find anyone for himself and…
Oh, oh dear, oh very much ooops. He calls a quick halt to that line of thought, and just throws her a disapproving look instead. He settles down at his desk, and pretends – now – that he doesn’t even notice the flower. A rose, it is, a tawny yellow with bright scarlet streaks. Not lonely on its stalk, but with a little foliage left adorning it, shiny and healthy dark-green. He doesn’t recognise the bud-vase. It’s new, along with the flower.
Along with the gardener.
And this is Linnet’s cue, to leave him in peace, to drink his coffee and check out his mail. But Linnet quite rarely does as she’s told, whether explicitly or by means of heavy hints. Hints, like his lack of eye contact, irritable sighing, and close attention to some charity invite that he tries to read three times, and just can’t concentrate on.
© 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.