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A Perfect Bloom 2 – Alex Ankarr
It would help if Linnet wasn’t still looming quietly, standing with a pert smirk by his desk, and commenting by saying nothing at all. After a moment or two Cory gives in, and lifts his head to look at her. Wearily, he lifts it. “Yes, Linnet?” he asks her. “Anything I can do for you? Just let me know. And good morning again, by the way,” he adds, unarguably snarky. Good God, she does take advantage of their friendship, past the limits, sometimes.
This is what she takes as her cue to perch her splendid – if he was so inclined – ass, on the corner of his desk, and settle herself in for a comfy chat. Oh God.
And Cory groans – because it’s 8.03 a.m. on a Monday morning, and already they’re onto the first emotional drama of the week, and well past the point where subtlety is going to do him any good. This makes Linnet laugh, because she’s a cruel, unnatural, evil woman who should be personally proscribed by law – her very existence. She reaches over to pat his knee, without womanly sympathy and discretion. “Come on,” she urges him. “Stop pretending you haven’t noticed. Tell me what you think of your beautiful present.” She takes the rose out of its vase, lifts it into the air in front of her face to admire it the better, then sniffs at it theatrically. “Oh, it’s lovely, isn’t it, Cory?” she says, with a wicked, dreamy smile.
It is very lovely. “Yes, I suppose so,” he says. It’s grudging. He can’t very well deny it, say it’s pig-ugly. It’s a bloom out of the company’s own greenhouses, for a start. They may be multi-divisional and pan-national, at this point, but they started off as a seed company in this very county, with very humble beginnings, and the horticulture branch is still dear to everyone’s heart. Not least his, as the current head of the family business. And he bends his head, when she holds it out for him to sniff at, and sniffs obligingly because it’s easier to go along with her. “Mmm, very sweet,” he says. Because maybe it’ll get rid of the pesky woman quicker.
“Nearly as pretty as the man himself, isn’t it?” she asks, with her blue eyes wide, so wide, and so innocent with it. It’s highly misleading, is what Cory thinks.
© 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.