A Perfect Bloom 22 – Alex Ankarr
And Cory can hear very well for himself, how unpleasantly bitter and negative he sounds with his diatribe. It’s not as if he likes it himself. But he’s had a couple of disagreeable pseudo-romantic experiences, in his past history. Any rich guy has. It tends to embitter you. Even Adam, who makes six figures a year as a consulting company lawyer, was, he suspects, not entirely… unaffected, or impartial, when it came to Cory’s inherited fortune. He thinks it helped, as far as their getting together in the first place was concerned. And then, Cory’s lack of deep and abiding interest in money for its own sake, as opposed to building up and protecting the company his family created, was maybe the death knell to their subdued squib of a romance.
And it’s not as if this looks good, on the surface, this thing with Sam. Maybe Cory’s just protecting himself, not getting his hopes up.
He expects the protest and mockery, from Linnet, to be immediate and derisive. She may not take him quite seriously, but she is a good friend, and often-times his greatest champion, a tough and protective supporter. Now, though, she’s just watching him, chewing on her lower lip, rocking back and forth on the stiletto heel of her shoe.
Cory is a bit offended by her lack of protest, actually. After a moment he risks a look upward at her – she has about an inch on him, in her highest heels. And she grins, because she’s caught him doing it. “Is that what you really think?” she asks, and then just leaves it at that. Which is pretty concise, for Linnet.
Cory is apparently too-visibly pondering an answer, because it provokes Linnet into a peal of laughter. “Or do you just want to tout it as a possibility, and then be talked out of it?” she asks, mercifully making his internal indecision explicit.
Cory nods, because she lets it hang, and isn’t going to let him get away with no response.
Linnet looks up at him with her face coyly down-turned, from up under lashes that are groomed and delicately lashed. “Want to know what I think? No frills, for real?” she asks.
“I suppose so,” Cory says doubtfully. Maybe it’s best to get it all in one go, both barrels at the one time. Even if he might need emergency medical treatment for wounded feelings and hurty emotions, afterwards.
Linnet nods, approves. “I think you don’t really think that,” she says, leaning up against the green-tinged toughened glass. “And nor do I. But I’ve got reasons. When I see someone come sniffing around here, around you – mister boss-man – I don’t mess about. I do my research. Even if I don’t think I really need to. (Never liked Adam, you remember that?) And you’ve been watching Sam, when you’ve had the chance. But I’ve been watching him watching you, when you haven’t spotted him. He’s been very careful at it. But not enough to get past me.”
© 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.
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