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A Perfect Bloom 30 – Alex Ankarr
Oh God, and now Linnet is squealing. “Oh, my God, it’s Sam,” she’s squealing. Just as if she thinks he maybe hasn’t noticed. “He wrote it for you! He’s a musician! That makes him a rock-star and you a groupie, which I think effectively re-balances the power imbalance in this relationship and…” She pauses. She pauses because the silence has been filled with music again.
This time, it isn’t Sam playing. (Cory is going to assume that it was Sam playing, not a friend of his or some other thing. Maybe because every nice boy does dream of being picked out of the crowd, by a gorgeous rock-star. Come on, every single one of them. Cory is no different, on that score.) Now, it’s a recognisable old soul track, sweet and smoochy and lovelorn. It’s one of Cory’s favourites. Not that Sam could have known that. (Sam doesn’t know that, surely, does he? How much research has he done on this mission, anyway?)
And Linnet is swooning. How has Cory never realised, that she has this much romance in her dark, black-hearted, toxic little soul? She’s really, truly swooning, from where she’s swaying in the middle of the room, with her eyes closed and a dreamy little smile on her pointed pixie face. “Oh Cory,” she croons, delighted. “He’s made you a mix-tape. A mix-tape. The complete last word in romance. Flowers, cake, poems – you can stuff ’em all. Mix-tapes are what say true love, and how about it, and get your panties off. Mix-tapes are what’s goin’ down here, honey.”
Cory eyes her narrowly. “I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much,” he says, walking towards her. She’s too obliviously enchanted to notice, until he’s got a good grip of her, and begins to frog-march her out of the office. “Hey! No!” she squeals. “I want to listen to the rest of it! I have – I have important, urgent work to do! That means I need to stay here and listen!”
“Well, I’m giving you the morning off,” Cory says firmly. “Go have breakfast. Take a walk in the grounds. Get your nails done. I need a little alone time.”
And, despite Linnet’s protests, he gets exactly that. He shuts the office door on her, with the greatest satisfaction. It isn’t often he wins a dispute with Linnet, but it’s not as if he isn’t capable of it, not when it’s important. Not when he puts his mind to it.
© 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.