"I do not know what this is."
Winter frowned at the glass rose that had appeared in his office mail cube; behind him, Latricia laughed.
"It's a rose. It's not going to bite you."
"It must be a mistake." His frown deepened; being laughed at by his sisters was one thing, but he didn't like it when his co-workers did it.
"Honey, it's a blue rose with frosted tips. If that's not for you, somebody's trying to send Cathy Rodin a really mean message."
At that, he couldn't help but smile a little. "A frosty flower." It would be accurate for Cathy, but... "This is the third thing in two weeks, Latricia. I sincerely doubt that they were all for Cathy."
"The little tree thing, right? Yeah, that was probably you. And the gift card to the café down the road? Cathy's a Starbucks girl."
"I do not think the Library is doing a 'Secret Santa' sort of thing," he offered, hoping that was it. Sometimes people, uncomfortable around him - Autumn would laugh at him for that, Of course you make people uncomfortable. You're so stiff I could use you as a straight edge. - left him out of company social events.
But Latricia was laughing again. "Not in September, nobody's that crazy. Honey, you have yourself a secret admirer." She looked at the frosty rose. "And a rather perspicacious one at that."
Winter studied the flower, too, feeling more lost than he was comfortable with. "People don't like me like that, Latricia. People hardly like me at all."
She shook her head and patted his shoulder. "Honey, you need to look at books less and people more. You're missing things in plain sight."