Special Delivery

by Jacintha Westlake
1299125472|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover (updated 1299126240|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover) | 0 comment(s)

IC Date: February 21th, 2011
This scene takes place on the Monday following the log entry A Flare for the Truth, in response to the Night Bytes entry Denial is Not Just a River in Egypt.

It occurs to me, as I stand before my desk and survey the elegant bouquet of orchids that arrived there while I was in the management meeting, that I should be grateful they arrived here at work and not at home. Because, really, if they'd arrived at my home, I doubt I'd be regarding them with anything akin to the veneer of calm I now make a conscious effort to project. And, indeed, until I read the card, I had no cause to feel otherwise. Curious, perhaps. And I was. Now?

Not so much.


“There be none of beauty's daughters with a magic like thee.”


The damnable creature.

It's foolish, really, to consider whether or not he's stalking me. After all, since Friday, I've had no doubt the game's afoot. And this is part of the game. A telling part, too, I might add. Unless more flowers show up — in which case I'll be certain he's actually stalking me and not just trying to distract me — he's effectively tossed the ball back into my court.

Mr. Alexander should be pleased, at any rate.

I slip the card into the pocket of my blazer — that doesn't need to be seen by prying eyes — pick the flowers up, and move them to the credenza against the inner wall. I'll grant the Vampire one thing: The flowers are lovely. Still, I can't help but wonder, does he know orchids are my favourite flowers or was it simply a lucky guess because he didn't want to send roses? So laden with meaning flowers are… but hardly anyone pays attention to that, any more.

The thought that he might, however, causes my brows to dip faintly.

As I turn away from the credenza to retreat once more to my desk, I can see Anna, the receptionist that sits in the space between my office and Mr. Alexander's, craning her neck to try to see in. I like Anna, actually. She's extremely efficient, thoroughly discrete, and a strong enough Talent to warrant the trust placed in her from a confidentiality point of view. I redirect my steps away from the desk toward the door, casually glyphing her a better view of the flowers, as well as a not-so-subtle query: Did she read the card?

The glyph she returns is a flash of the card with its neatly slanted writing. Yes. She read it. How else to know where it should be delivered?

~Who's Aidan, if I may ask?~ she sends lightly, now, as I emerge from my office.

~The restaurateur that was our host Friday night,~ I reply, sticking to that truth, rather than the more inconvenient and revealing one of the week before. ~I think he's trying to make nice with the hope of further business between us.~ Again, it's not a lie. It all depends on how you define 'business'. And 'making nice', for that matter.

~Business.~ The word is laden with Anna's amusement. She's not quite so strong a Talent as I, and doesn't usually push. But, we are friends, after a fashion — close colleagues, at any rate. She's not much younger than I, but we didn't grow up together, either. Not in the way Remy and I did.

Speaking of Remy…

~Business.~ I repeat firmly. ~And I'll take it as a kindness if you'll not mention the card. Better yet, bury any thought of it, entirely.~ A dry chuckle. ~Deep as you can.~ The last thing I need is Remy picking up on it.

Not, mind, that he won't likely make the logic leap, in any case. It's not as if I'm the type to go buy myself flowers, after all. Still. I don't need him needling me.

And you know he will.

Anna does acknowledge my request. And chances are good she'll even try to do as I ask. She's good like that. If nothing else, she can use it as leverage to wheedle a concession out of me later, and we both know it.

I'm about to return to my desk, once more, when Mr. Alexander emerges from his own office to join us.

~Ah. Just the two women I was hoping to see,~ he says, a jaunty spring in his step. I notice the smile he gives is particularly broad, and I can't help but feel it's directed more at me than Anna. In less than a heartbeat, he glyphs to both of us the success of his morning: Harrington, the gentleman Remy and I wooed at the Vampire's restaurant on Friday night, has promised him a substantial donation to the Foundation — particularly in return for anything that might aid the demure Miss Wyndham. That success, however, is overlaid with an image of a fashionable Spring fundraiser, sponsored by Harrington's company… but managed by the Foundation.

More specifically, managed by Anna and… me, as Mr. Alexander's personal representative.

~That's wonderful news, sir,~ Anna says, as if he hasn't just doubled each of our workloads with that single overlay of thoughts, emotions, and images.

~It is,~ I agree — not because of the workload, but because the donation will be greatly appreciated. Indeed, as I sift the glyph, I quickly understand that Harrington's commitment is entirely dependent on the success of the fundraiser. He'll match it, pound for pound, and foot the bill to boot. It's an impressive offer.

~You see why I need my best and brightest on this,~ Mr. Alexander's blue eyes meet mine, his gaze as direct as his thoughts. ~He particularly enjoyed Flare. I suggest, Jacintha, that you start there. For the catering.~

And with that one thought I know, he's fully aware of the card that hides in my pocket, and the flowers that sit on my credenza — not to mention the fact that orchids are, indeed, my favourites. And if he underpins that knowledge with the usual warmth of the fatherly attitude he has adopted with me since I was a child, well… I can't say I'm surprised.

Letting my lips pull slightly to one side in wry, good-humoured defeat, I give a simple nod.

~Flare it is, then.~


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