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A Perfect Bloom 19 – Alex Ankarr
It’s not as if Cory expects to receive another blossom, on the Wednesday. After all, a single incident doesn’t amount to a pattern. Even two doesn’t count, according to the vague detective story maxim that he can’t quite remember at the moment, not if he was pushed to it.
And he didn’t receive one on the Tuesday, after all. No. That was the cake. The two incidents might be completely unrelated. …Well, maybe.
Of course, that’s assuming that he’s even right in the first place, in fingering Sam as the likeliest suspect for a bloom-stealer and an illicit present giver. (Can the rose even be termed a present, Cory wonders, considering that the entire production and products and saleable goods of the company, every line and every invention and every IP patent and trademark, can be said to be Cory’s property, in essence. And that, no matter how it might be tied up in trusts and limited companies and separate organisations, really, what it boils down to is that Rocque Industries belongs to Cory Rocque.
He doesn’t really care. These are still probably – easily – the most romantic gestures anyone’s ever made to him. Even if laced with a little bit of a smirk. And now that he’s actually had a chance to sit down and chat a little with Sam – however shyly – he knows that that smirk is most probably welded to Sam’s face, can’t be gotten off.
What he does receive this Wednesday morning, in the mail delivered to his desk by Linnet, and along with all of the regular business mail fodder that he scans and diverts or dumps in the trash-can, is a poem.
A poem. Fuck, is he officially being courted here? Cory feels a flush colonize his cheeks with military ambition, and perhaps his hands aren’t quite steady as he holds the thick coarse-grained cream paper, slightly inexpertly calligraphed with a sonnet. Well, it’s not written – as in composed – by Sam, that much is what first springs swift to Cory’s eye.
(Yes, he’s assuming it’s from Sam. Yes, he could be wrong. But two anonymous suitors, in the one week, seems a bit of an unlikely stretch, to Cory. He knows perfectly well that he’s attractive enough – in a way – quite apart from being loaded, young-ish, single and eligible. People have admired his pretty eyes and nice, if shortish musculature, before now. He’s not a blushing virgin. He might blush, quite often, at least, but he’s not a virgin, anyhow. But two secret admirers? He doesn’t think so. That would be pushing it a bit, just in terms of freak coincidences.)
It’s Shakespeare, then – one of the sonnets, a hackneyed but perfectly respectable choice. If it was something less universally known, then he might think that Sam was hoping to get away with illegitimately passing it off as his own work. But no, not possibly in this case. He thinks that Sam is only making a pretty present of it – and has clearly taken some care with his choice of paper and his penmanship.
© 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.