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A Perfect Bloom 40 – Alex Ankarr
Sam is up quite close at this point, although not looking directly into Cory’s eyes. His own eyes are cast down, and he’s not really making much effort not to smile at this point. His lashes cast shade on his cheeks, against a background of dark cypress foliage and up above, just the hinting beginnings of a rosy early sunset. It’s beautiful, the view. Not quite as beautiful as Sam, but still.
“Did you dance to it?” Sam’s voice is soft, now – and finally, he’s looking into Cory’s eyes. Seriously, and really wanting to know, Cory can tell.
Perhaps there’s a coy twist to Cory’s mouth, when he says, “Maybe I did. Or maybe not.” (He had).
“And today?” Sam asks. “What did you receive today?”
That’s the question, of course. “You’re assuming I did,” Cory says, slow. “One gift after another after another. It would be greedy to expect the stream of them to continue permanently. Wouldn’t it?”
Sam looks away, over the hedges, into the bright, pinkening sky. “Maybe someone just likes to please you.”
“Someone very sweet,” Cory says. He feels his throat thicken up, because this really is almost too sweet to be borne. It makes the muffin seem like plain bread. “In any case, today it seems the week of spoiling Cory Rocque has come to an end. And it may in fact be greedy of me… It very probably is. But even so, I can’t help wondering why.”
The rose he’s brought is hanging loosely in his hand, almost loosely enough to drop. And Sam’s eyes drift and follow it, briefly, before being trained firmly back up to Cory’s face again. Sam opens his mouth, and visibly deliberates before he speaks. And sighs, too. “Well,” he says. “Suppose they were from a person with a lot of very foolish ideas in his head.” Now his gaze wanders away, travelling out into the far distance, the sky and the valley, fields and motorways and tiny tiny sheep in the hills. “Someone trying to…” He hesitates. “Trying to get your attention, thinking it might lead somewhere.”
© 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.