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A Perfect Bloom 5 – Alex Ankarr
“Didn’t you?” she asks innocently. “I seem to remember… yeah, Rocque Corp deciding to take on a half dozen ex-cons from a rehabilitation charity, as a publicity gesture. And you walking in on the selection interviews… What were you looking for? Remind me, huh?”
Cory is subdued. He doesn’t much like to remember just how casual that day was. “Some background info for the Docherty deal,” he says. “I think. Nothing important, anyhow.”
“And then what happened?” Linnet muses, with one perfectly manicured fingernail teasing at her pointed little chin. Just as if she can’t quite remember. Which is rubbish. Linnet has a mind like a machine, and there’s nothing she forgets, ever. And most particularly when it’s something that she can torture Cory with later. For employee and employer, they’re pretty good friends, not that this always works out to Cory’s benefit. As is being demonstrated now. “Ooooh, yes,” she says, faking sudden memory renewal. “You took a personal interest in the outcome of the selection stages, didn’t you? Funny, that, isn’t it. Wasn’t it Sam who was being interviewed when you walked in on the meeting?” Boy, she does a really good innocent face, considering she’s a devil from hell.
But Cory just leans against the edge of the window, making an adolescently sarcastic face at her, then reverting to watching Sam over in the distance, again. “I wonder if he’d have been picked, if it wasn’t for you taking a hand in the matter and re-organising fate?” Linnet wonders, in a little girl’s voice. “I don’t think he’d quite made the cut, not until then… not with the history of adolescent and young adult petty crime, that he had. And not much in the way of references, although you can understand it, given that and his being brought up in care and foster homes. But the head gardener is apparently really pleased with him. He’s making amazing progress, a real natural, Siles says, and doing well on his college day-release too. Talented.”
Linnet watches Cory now, and her face is a little kinder, a little less teasing. She sees how he plucks the bloom out of the vase and faffs with it, his pretty mouth pursing and pressing a bit, like he might say all sorts of things, but can’t quite get himself to that point.
© 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.
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