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A Perfect Bloom 16 – Alex Ankarr
“Arh, he’s a real good lad,” Mr Siles agrees, nodding. “And very keen on the roses,” he adds, with a rather sharp nod at Sam. Who chooses for some reason to flush up again, and to begin tidying away bowls of water and bandages with a bowed head, and a look on his face like a boy who’s been caught out up to mischief and told off. “But I came to tell you, Mr Rocque,” Mr Siles adds, turning back to him once more, “that you’re wanted by your assistant, by Linnet. I expect you must have mislaid your phone, and the intercom here in the glasshouses is having a service and switched off at the moment.”
And when Cory feels around in his breast pockets, his trouser pockets, anywhere he might expect to locate his phone, it’s perfectly true. He’s put it down somewhere – just the way that Linnet is always telling him off about – and not picked it up again, damn it. He could borrow a phone, or use the land-line in the office and call her. But as it happens, he’s glad enough to get out of there. He’s feeling quite flushed and quite daft, and as if he’s no doubt betrayed his adolescent crush in a dozen different ways.
“I’ll leave you in peace,” he says, theoretically to Mr Siles, although in practice it’s Sam’s eyes he’s meeting, and Sam he’s actually speaking to. And he’s at the door before Mr Siles can even so much as respond. But it’s Sam who has the first word in, in bidding him goodbye, managing to get there before Cory shuts the door and is heading for the safety of the hills, or at least the safety of his own office.
“Good-bye, Mr Rocque,” is all he says, and it’s an innocuous enough farewell, when Cory manages to meet his eyes. He gets a firm grip on the door-handle, suddenly longing to get out of there and stop looking like such a fool.
But he can’t quite let that mode of address slide by him, all the same. In the space of fifteen minutes, he’s pretty sure that they’ve come far enough that they can’t possibly still be on the kind of terms where ‘sir’ and ‘mister’ would be appropriate forms of address. In fact he can’t just walk away and allow that to stand, not now. So he pauses and hesitates, in the doorway, aware that not only Sam, but also Mr Siles, is watching him as he does so.
© 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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