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A Perfect Bloom 31 – Alex Ankarr
This, this is important. And with the office to himself, Cory can relax. Relax, and concentrate, and sit down in his chair, to luxuriate in every single song that Sam has picked out. Especially for him.
Especially for him. Oh God. He really is in deep, with this.
He’s still on cloud nine, by late afternoon. Can’t seem to get himself down off it, all through tedious meetings and grinding research and a sandwich lunch and… Most of it barely registers. When he finally lets Linnet back into the office, she’s pretty indulgent – and for that, read radiantly pleased for him. At least, once he lets her listen to the mix all the way through.
Even the meeting with Adam can’t put a downer on his spirits, midway through the afternoon. However, he does at least insist on conducting what business they have while also taking a constitutional walk through the grounds and flower gardens of the company. Which serves a dual purpose wonderfully – enabling him to vastly improve the quality and enjoyment of their meeting, and also to give him the best chance possible of spotting and perhaps interacting with Sam. A word or two, a glance, a teasing reference to the stream of mysterious gifts he’s been receiving… It would be lovely. Especially if he could shake off Adam, before it happens.
As it happens, he doesn’t actually spot Sam at any point. That’s despite being continually on the lookout, and expending a lot more time and attention on that, than on focusing on the frankly not-riveting discourse that perpetually pours from Adam’s lips. But even so, it’s a lot nicer having a business meeting amidst green lawns and fragrant flowers. Cory resolves to make it a policy at least once or twice a week in future.
Even Adam – the sober-sides, grimly money-minded asshole that he can be – seems affected, a little bit, by the pleasantness of the environment. “You know, whoever you’ve got doing these gardens is doing a bloody good job, I have to admit,” he observes at one point, taking a good look around himself. And it’s even potent enough for him to go temporarily off-message – taking a quick shufty around, establishing that they’re unobserved, and catching at one of Cory’s hands when he’s unaware, admiring the water-lilies in the company pond.
“What – er,” is the sum total of Cory’s bewildered response. Which gets him a wolfy grin from Adam’s thin, handsome, usually bad-tempered face.
“You ever feel like re-visiting old times, lover?” he asks Cory briefly. He doesn’t really wait for an answer before pulling him into a very tight embrace and kissing him with more enthusiasm than he often showed back when they were actually together. It’s not that Cory struggles, exactly. He’s too startled for that, and it’s more of an enthusiastic error than an assault. He just doesn’t give Adam any encouragement or response, either, and after a moment or two Adam gets the message. He lets Cory go, and Cory totters maybe one step back. Adam’s face is a little rueful.
© 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.