Slowly she pulled out the card. On the front was a cartoon guy with a smirk on his face. The message said Hey, Valentine, we need to talk. Holding her breath, she opened the card. The inside showed the same guy in bed. Above him was the question Your pillow or mine? The card was signed as before, Your Secret Valentine.
The first valentine had been vaguely sexual, but this one was more explicit. Looking at it, she felt warm and disoriented, as if she’d had two shots of brandy on an empty stomach. Maybe William had a split personality that allowed him to seem like a slightly boring nerd on the outside, but inside he was a mass of raging hormones.
The image of William’s raging hormones wasn’t entirely unpleasant, and that scared her. She’d told him that his campaign wouldn’t work, and she intended to keep that promise. If this valentine had her thinking of William lounging against the bar looking semi-sexy, instead of William coming up the stairs wearing a hat with earflaps and looking totally nerdy, then she was in trouble.
The phone rang, and she picked it up while still staring at the valentine. “Dr. Tredway’s office. How can I help you?”
“Amanda, it’s William.”
The sound of his voice made her tummy quiver. Uh-oh. “William, I want you to stop this, and I want you to stop it right now!” She slammed down the phone and started ripping the valentine to shreds.
As the remains fell to her desk in a flurry of torn card stock and red envelope pieces, the phone rang again. She grabbed the receiver. “Dr. Tredway’s office. Can I help you now?” She groaned. “I mean, how can I help you?” She must be really rattled if she couldn’t even manage her standard phone greeting.
“It’s William, and don’t hang up on me. I have a stock recommendation for Gloria.”
“Oh.” Her face grew hot. “Is that why you called just now?”
“Oh. Sorry about that. I was…upset.”
“You sound upset. Is this still about last night?”
“Of course not.” She took a deep breath and tried to compose herself. “It’s about your latest valentine. William, you have to stop sending them.”
“You got another one?”
“Don’t toy with me, William, or Will, as your friend Justin calls you. We both know what’s going on here, and it’s not funny.”
“How can I convince you that I’m not the one sending those? And speaking of likely suspects, after spending a couple of hours at Geekland, I don’t know why I’m even in the running. There are at least three guys there who have a major crush on you. I think you need to start reading them the riot act instead of picking on me.”
“They don’t know where I work. You do.”
William sighed. “If you won’t believe me, then we need to run a test. Is the signature in cursive or printed?”
“You should know, since you wrote it.”
“Amanda, for God’s sake, give me the benefit of the doubt!”
For the first time, a crack appeared in her certainty. She’d been so convinced that he was the sneaky valentine sender, but what if she was wrong? How embarrassing. “The signature was printed,” she said.
“And what, exactly, does it say?”
“Your secret valentine.”
“Then here’s what I’ll do. I’ll print that same thing on a sheet of paper and you can compare my writing to what you have on the card. To save time, I’ll fax it over.”
Amanda surveyed the confetti on her desk and doubted she could reconstruct it into anything recognizable. “I threw away the first card, and I just finished destroying the new one.”
“I see. You really don’t like getting these valentines, do you?”
“No. Keep that in mind.”