Anna tipped her head, left then right. The really-quite-large, red satin, heartshaped box and vase of red roses did not resolve into anything other than a large, red, heartshaped box and vase of red roses. She looked at the card again.
It still read, simply, "Darren."
She crossed her arms and stared at the box again. Clearly, something was not what it appeared to be, but she couldn't figure out whether it was the gift or the card. She was, however, confident that Darren would never send her a commercial Valentine's package of flowers and chocolates. Good ones, at that.
Perhaps she should start trying to figure out who would have sent her a Valentine in Darren's name. She tapped the florist's card against her elbow and considered the possibilities here at the theater, assuming that the sender would want to witness her reaction. Geoffrey probably hadn't noticed it was February yet, much less that there was anything going on between herself and Darren. Maria knew, of course, but she was always fairly loud in her disdain for the holiday, so it was a weird gesture or joke for her to make. Maybe Ellen had ordered them for Anna when she'd placed her own order for flowers from Geoffrey? It was the sort of randomly extravagant gesture Ellen might make, but Anna couldn't figure out why she'd let Darren take full credit. Perhaps Ellen would stop by and drop dramatic hints later, though.
"Oh, good, they've arrived," Darren said as he swept in. "I asked that they be delivered in the morning, but you never really know. Customer service these days is not what it used to be." Anna couldn't help but admire his bespoke red velvet suit... thing with contrasting scarf. She really was unfortunately head over heels for him. The suit was distracting enough that it took her a moment to realize what he'd just admitted to.
"Wait, you really sent these? You?"
He blinked at her. "Of course. They're practically postmodern. The performance of romance as an act of conspicuous consumption."
Oh. That made sense, in a Darren-ish way. Not that it mattered, really, since she'd get to admire the flowers and eat the chocolates just as much as she would have had they been sincere.
His lips brushed her cheek, and the flat corner of something pushed against her hand. "Here's your real Valentine," he murmured, in a voice designed not to carry for once. She took it from him, and he smiled his small, shy, real smile before retreating to his office, leaving her with a small, restrained, and obviously handmade card.
She read it, beamed, and set it halfway behind her monitor where no one but Anna herself was likely to spot it -- especially with the ostentatious display on the counter. Heaven forbid anyone suspect Darren of expressing a true sentiment, after all.