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A Perfect Bloom 4 – Alex Ankarr
Instead of making a big deal out of it, then, she looks back out the window, into the fresh summer breeze, and points over to the nor’west, a few hundred yards off. And Cory follows the direction of her finger with his gaze – really, he’s so helpless to do anything else at this point – and sees a ladder, propped up against the attractively mossy old red-brick wall of the tropical house, adjoining the most spectacularly baroque long hedge of the maze. Of course there’s a figure on the ladder, wielding a pair of shears with careful concentration. It’s a delicate job.
“Isn’t he beautiful?” Linnet says, solemnly.
And Cory snorts, because he has some self-respect. “As if you can tell at this distance!” he points out, quite reasonably. “He’s just a little stick figure over there! You can hardly recognise him!”
Maybe he’s pouting a bit. He has good reason.
“But you can recognise him enough to know who it is we’re talking about,” Linnet points out slyly.
It’s hard, very hard to fault her logic. So maybe Cory just pouts that bit more. That only gets him a dig in the ribs from Linnet’s elbow, though. Damn woman’s got no respect. He rolls his eyes, waggles his eyebrows that little bit.
“And he’s beautiful up close too, you already know that,” she argues, as one presenting an uncontested fact, one inviting counter-argument in the certainty of being able to knock it down immediately. Cory maintains a wise silence on the subject, since anything he has to say is only going to incriminate him. A lot. It doesn’t get him far, though, or at least it doesn’t get him out of trouble. “Otherwise you wouldn’t have hired him,” she adds, the wise sly thing.
“I didn’t…” Cory begins to protest. Because technically, he’s right, and she’s wrong. He didn’t hire Sam – for lo, that is the beautiful hedge-trimming distant guy’s name. But he lets the protest ebb out, because there’s more going on than the technical facts.
© 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.