Closing Facebook was a reflex she’d honed so well that Shari had shared her office for two years without ever knowing how much time Laura spent on it. She looked up to see a man wearing a shirt with a logo she didn’t recognise, holding something that didn’t make sense.
“For me?” asked Laura.
“If you’re Laura Smith, yeah,” said the delivery man.
Laura focused on what he was holding. A cluster of what looked like red, white and blue knitted tubes was poking out of a paper cone. Laura couldn’t work out what it was supposed to be.
“Is that a bouquet of socks?” asked Shari.
Sharing an office with someone who was always quicker off the mark could be irritating, but sometimes it came in handy.
“Looks like it.” The delivery man shrugged. “Don’t ask me. They say deliver, I deliver. Need you to sign for it.”
Laura took the bouquet and signed, aware of the questions simmering behind Shari’s expression.
As soon as the delivery man left, Shari was at Laura’s side. This was why Laura was so good at closing Facebook.
“You’re a dark horse, Laura Smith,” said Shari. “Who’s sending you bouquets? Have you got a new boyfriend you haven’t told me about?”
“No.” Laura turned the bouquet over. “And I’ve never dated anyone who would send a bouquet of socks. There’s no card or anything. Who could it have come from?”
“You’ve got a secret admirer.” Shari was actually wringing her hands in delight.
“What sort of secret admirer sends bouquets of socks?”
“I know who it is!”
“It must be Duncan. You know, the payroll manager. I’ve seen the way he looks at you.”
“He does? I mean… who’s Duncan?”
Of course Laura knew who Duncan was. Every woman in the company with a pulse knew who Duncan was. But if she admitted knowing who he was to Shari, she’s never hear the end of it.
Shari nudged her. “Lucky girl, I envy you.”
Laura felt her face warming. “I Guess socks are more original than flowers. He must be an interesting guy…”
“No, it can’t be him,” said Shari. “He’s seeing Mhairi in accounts, so he wouldn’t be playing this sort of game at work.”
“Oh.” Laura wished she didn’t feel quite so deflated.
“What about Slayer from IT support? He’s always looking for an excuse to fiddle with your computer.”
“Oh god, that creep.” Laura shuddered. It was true, Slayer was always hanging around. “And the sort of loser who calls himself Slayer would think it’s cute to send socks instead of flowers.”
“Yeah, he’s a muppet,” said Shari. “Wonder what he’s going to do next. This looks like stage one of a plan with a stage two.”
“Oh no. Don’t you leave this office. He’ll be up here in a minute, probably thinking I’ll drop my knickers on the spot.”
Knuckles rapped on the door.
Laura cringed. “You get it. Stay between me and him.”
Shari opened the door, but it wasn’t Slayer.
It was the delivery man. “Sorry about this. That package was for a Laura Smith two floors up. Someone sent me to the wrong office.”
Laura breathed a sigh of relief. Not Slayer then. Relief was replaced by disappointment as the delivery man carried the bouquet out of the door. No one had ever done anything as interesting and mysterious as sending her a bouquet of socks.
Shari looked as if she was ready to burst with excitement. “So who’s sending Laura a bouquet of socks?”