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A Perfect Bloom 18 – Alex Ankarr
So he swings on by the parking lot, nodding at the pleasant-mannered security guy who smiles at him with slightly puzzled deference. Is he normally here at this time of day? No. Is he usually giving his vintage Italian performance car a careful once-over? No… But then, there isn’t, normally, anything to see. Now he’s received the hint, and now he’s looking, and now… It’s on the hood, tied to one of the windscreen wipers. A little cream gift box, tied up with red tape. If Cory casts a shifty look about him before detaching and opening it… Well, he may be a little embarrassed. And certainly a bit stirred up about it.
It’s a cupcake. A very fancy, designer-y one, beautifully made. But something about it also screams ‘home-made’ – a slight unevenness, an artisanal lack of preoccupation with perfection, in favour of real excellence. It isn’t pink, or flashy, or obviously romantic – it’s something spicy, with a kick to the scent, and topped with dark chocolate. The only romantic hint to it is a tiny white chocolate heart, squished onto one corner of the dark icing.
Cory rather hurriedly exits the parking zone, and he’s blushing as he licks icing from his fingers. It’s delicious.
There’s no note, any more than there was with the bloom. He doesn’t spend an awful lot of time wondering who it’s from, though.
Maybe partially because he fields a call, once he gets back into the office, from Adam. Adam, his ex-boyfriend, and a lawyer who’s a legal advisor to the Rocque company on international trade issues. He’s conscious, as he makes an appointment with Adam for the Thursday coming, to discuss moving into new markets, how Adam would disapprove of the icing on his fingers, and the extra sugar and innutritious sweetness in his diet, and of his crush on a blue-collar new recruit. (Adam is a bit of a snob, it has to be admitted.) But then, Adam pretty much disapproved of Cory himself, even while they were together – too soft, too credulous, too clingy, too open and trusting… Cory was always, always, too much something or other for Adam, never quite coming up to the mark of Adam’s expectations.
Probably a good thing Adam dumped him at New Year, then. He’d definitely disapprove of Sam.
© 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.