20th November.

Clover O' Malley smiled as she settled into her black, leather office chair, right behind her overtly large desk. She'd had a fantastic morning; a nice, unbroken sleep, hearty breakfast followed by one of the most delicious cups of coffee that had ever been made and her hair had been perfect all day - bouncy and thick -, her skin was positively glowing and she was fifteen minutes early for work. Ah, bliss. She pressed the 'on' button on her computer and sat back, steaming hot cup of coffee between her hands. She smiled and waved a hand as the staff began to roll into the slightyl chilly office. Over the eleven - and a quarter - months that she had been working there, Clover had become bosom friends with all of her co-workers, usually being the one they came to in their times of need. There was Alyssa, the unlucky-in-love, efficient girl who had only come in to do a week of work experience and ended up becoming a permanent fixture; David, her slightly cantankerous, witty friend, superb in his use of the one liner; Julie and Robert mostly kept to themselves, the quiet, reserved ones. Now Greg Hadley, on the other hand, was a different matter. Clover was a bright, gregarious girl of twenty-six and a half, while Greg was nearly six months younger than her, with a certain quality of immaturity and frivolousness that endeared him greatly to Clover. Twelve months beforehand, Clover had been miserable, lonely and unemployed. And then her friend's boyfriend's sister had quit her job as a receptionist in the local estate agency. Happy days for Clover; she roamed into the office of Henry R. Jenkins and worked her charm on him. A week later, she began work. The pay was good, the hours were fair, and the people seemed delightful enough. Being a natural chatterbox that loved gossip, Clover adapted perfectly with Greg. They shared several identical opinions; but in other ways, they were chalk and cheese, oil and water.

Clover's problems only began when she started seeing Greg in a whole new light. It occurred one evening, perhaps three months earlier, just before she and Greg left the office, when she had tripped up over her left foot and crashed into the locker. Greg's eyes had widened - not even tempted to laugh - and rushed over to her, a hand placed gently over the small of her back, his eye contact not once breaking, and then he'd pulled her into a hug, sending shivers throughout Clover. Since then, she was sure that she was absolutely, inconceivably, head-over-heels, supremely in love with him. Either that, or it was just a minor crush. Given the way her hand trembled, indiscreetly, she figured that it wasn't the latter. Greg was always the first to roll in.

"Hey! Clover!" Uh-oh. Greg, with his dark, almost overly styled hair, flashed her a cheesy smile and managed a quick wave as he sauntered up to her desk.

As always, the familiar trembling returned with a vengeance. Clover smiled and stood up, handing him a small bundle of notes. "Hello, Greg." Clover had been blessed with a rare, deep voice for a female, husky and slightly haunting and, of course, majorly attractive.

"Ooh." Greg eyed up a folded-up A4 sheet with a mischievous glance, before his eyes settled on Clover. It seemed that she wasn't the only one that enjoyed their time together. He thought Clover was fabulous; she was voluptuous, only five inches shorter than him with auburn hair that shone a deep, rusty red in the light, one side of her forehead taken up by a fringe that fell directly into her left eye. Everything about her was natural and incredible; her smile, her laugh, her sense of humour, the way she spoke, her infallible femininity, amongst other things, none of which he was counting, of course. "May I say you're looking fine this evening..."

Oh, Greg. Always the charmer. With some of the things he came away with, Clover figured he had always harbored hidden depths, romantic ones, at that. Still, she had to try her best not to publicise her now violently red ears, and her shaky-knees. "This I know. But it's always nice to hear."

Greg glanced at her coffee cup with interest and nodded. "This my stuff?"

"Nope. Some other stuff, bought it for a dollar in that place across the street. Pretty nasty, actually." Clover frowned into the cup and set it down beside her mouse. Greg tutted.

"How many times, Clover, do I have to remind you that you have my full permission-"

"To purloin your stash at any time, I know. I know. If I want some, Greg, I'll ask you. Thank you." Clover sighed and smiled to the new girl that had just appeared in front of her, handing over some notes and files. She turned back to Greg and bit her lip. "Can I help you, by the way? Or are you gonna block my desk all morning?"

Greg thought for a second, eyebrows raised. Then he shrugged. "Consider me gone." And then he was, literally and all too soon, gone in the flash of an eye off to his desk, which she could almost see from her station. Clover grinned to herself and then shook her head. Soon enough everyone rolled in one by one, came up to the desk, their usual civil-selves and took their notes and messages, not really engaging in any meaningful conversation.

Clover typed away and answered the phone for three hours straight, as she did every morning, almost like clockwork. Then she took her break, again, as she always did.

XOX

When she arrived back at her desk, Clover immediately knew something was up. She had two younger sisters; she knew when people had been through her things. She plopped down onto the seat, tapped her fingers against the desk and bit her lip. Aha...Eureka...? It was a post-it note, right there, stuck onto her keyboard. Clover picked it up and surveyed it.

Want: 1; Need. 2; Longing. 3; To Lack. 4; To Want. 5; To Desire.

What? What did it mean? Clover, completely perplexed, wasn't sure what to do, nor was she sure about why it had landed on her desk. It was odd, and it was freaky, but she chose to ignore it, crumpling it up and flinging it into the wastebasket. It was only forty minutes later that she frantically dashed down under the desk, rummaged around in the bin and un-crumpled it just so as she could re-read it. Was it a hidden message? Who or what did this person want? Who...

Clover gasped, quietly. It was a love-note. It had to be. Silently, she gushed to herself. She'd never had anyone courting or pursuing her before. Frankly, she loved it. It was exciting. It was fun. Then she looked up to see Alyssa giving her a perplexed look. Oh! She'd been sitting on the ground, grinning at the notelet. Quickly, she scrambled up to her feet and tucked a loose strand of currently-dark-brown hair behind an ear. "Hey, Alyssa!"

"Hi, uh, Clover...everything okay?" Ayssa shot her an amused look and eyed up the offending Post-It with caution.

Clover nodded, eagerly. "Yes. Definitely. Everything's great..."

Alyssa arched an eyebrow, but didn't push any further with the conversation. "Uh, okay...have you got any messages for me?"

Clover glanced in her notebook. "Uh...yes. Juliet Cramer wants you to call her on this," she ripped out a tiny fragment of paper and handed it to her. "Number here and Richard, um...Jackson? Yeah, he says he's worried about you. You're not answering your cell, Alyssa...bad times." She tilted her head to the side and lowered her bottom lip.

Alyssa swallowed and smiled, nervously. Lately, her personal life had been on the up, and she hadn't wanted to jinx it. A simple, "Okay, thanks." would suffice for now.

Just as the younger girl was about to walk away, Clover halted her. "Hey, 'Lyssa?"

"Yeah?" The aforementioned swivelled round.

Clover glanced down at the message...she raised her eyebrow, biting the inside of her cheek. Alyssa would more than likely laugh about the note...nobody really did things like that these days, and did Clover really want word getting out that she had a stalker? "Oh...nothing. Nevermind. See you." With that, Sara shot her another bemused look and walked off. Clover looked once more at the note and, after pondering whether she should crumple it up again, folded it neatly and shoved it into her drawer.

XOX

In the remaining four days, Clover had received five more yellow Post-It notes, all hidden in her drawer, all containing random words that somehow ended up meaning the one thing; Desire. Someone desired her. But the words seemed to be getting much more serious. It started from want, to need, desire, passion, adoration and so forth. Clover, too, had gone from being flattered, flustered and now she was slightly freaked out about the whole thing. The notes all seemed to appear, magically, when she came back from her break. Clover had been trying her best to investigate, but it only ended up leaving her frustrated and at a dead-end. She just wished she knew who was sending her these notes.

Clover opened the door to her apartment and sighed. She quickly sauntered in and shut it behind her, knowing that she would immediately be greeted by Houdini, the cat, as she was every evening before her dinner. Or was it breakfast?

"Hey, Hoodie." She bent down and petted the pleasantly-plump, all-grey beast that happened to resemble a teddy-bear more than a cat, with an unfortunate crumpled ear. The cat purred as it rubbed itself against Clover's leg. "Whoa, hey, hair, Houdini, don't get it on my trousers. Not until I get changed. Good boy." She ambled past the cat, into the living room where she flicked her TV on for background noise, and walked into her bedroom, dumping her handbag on the floor beside her bedside cabinet before she flopped down onto the edge of the double-sized bed and kicked her shoes off. Then came the trousers, and the blouse. She pulled on a loose, white tank-top and a pair of baggy, black bottoms, topping it off with bright pink, leopard-print slippers. She removed her eyeliner, tied her hair up in a tight clasp and headed towards the kitchen where she quickly produced a tin of cat-food and plopped it into a bowl for Houdini, rubbing a finger behind his ear as she made to stand up. She washed her hands, threw a ready-made macaroni n' cheese dinner into the microwave and leant against the counter. It was then that a question popped into her head:

Who on God's green earth would desire her? She had just spent ten, dull, menial minutes of her life feeding herself and her cat and now she looked as though she had been dragged through a thorny-bush, backwards, so it was a perfectly legitimate question. The microwave pinged and not even two minutes later, Clover was on her couch, blanket wrapped around her lower half, watching some random infomercial.

Half an hour after that, she gave in and fell asleep, Houdini lying on her stomach, remote clutched in her hand in the most desirable manner possible.

XOX

Greg rolled into the office at his usual time, bantered with several co-workers, waiting patiently for twelve-thirty-seven. At twelve-thirty-seven, every day, Clover O' Malley went on a break. At twelve-thirty-eight, Greg snuck away from his desk and left a post-it note somewhere that he knew she would find it. Tonight, he would leave it poking out from under her keyboard. He knew she had been going crazy, interrogating everyone that had the indecency and the audacity to lurk around her desk. He was smart. He stayed away, only ever bumping in to her in the break room, or the locker room. Thankfully, or rather, unfortunately, she hadn't suspected him. He was going to give it a few more days and then he'd start setting little traps for her. Oh, yes, he was a genius. He walked back to his desk and watched as Clover sat down at her desk and arched her eyebrow before she picked up the note.

It had been a daring move, especially for a boy who had once been crippled by his overwhelming shyness, but the book he'd been reading said that the results would be well worth it.

Oh, Greg hoped. He really, really hoped.

XOX

"Adam Jones called, he wants you to call him back immediately, Sarah Llewellyn - I think she might be British, by the way - says she has some information regarding a case from three years ago that you and your team didn't bother your asses about...her words, not mine, and, uh, could I speak with you, privately, please? It'll only take a moment." Clover was stood in front of Henry Jenkin's desk, hovering over it with some suspicious notes in her hand. Henry, a man of 56, sunniest disposition known to man, was already reading through his own messages, of which there were far too many for a boss, in his opinion.

Henry glanced up and removed his glasses. "Of course, Clover. Take a seat."

Clover sat, reluctantly, and tapped the offending post-it notes against the table. She cleared her throat. "Well...these here things," She handed him the notes and folded her arms. "Have been the bane of my existence for, uh, about two weeks now, and, frankly, they're kinda starting to get to me. I don't know who is sending them to me, but they always appear after I've taken my break." Clover sighed, heavily, after saying everything in one, hurried sentence without a breath.

The boss glanced through the notes, one eyebrow raised. He was stone-cold silent for a few moments before he brought his index finger up to his lip, thinking deeply. Clover frowned to herself. How long did the man need before he could say something to her? All she wanted was a tiny bit of reassurance. Finally, he spoke. "You have no idea who might be sending these to you?"

Oh, good Lord. "No, Sir. I haven't a clue."

Henry pursed his lips. "Hm."

Oh, this was no use, Clover decided. She stood up and picked up her notes. "But I'm sure there isn't anything to worry about. Probably just someone or other playing a trick on me. You know how they get, cooped up all day." She shook her head, nervously backing out of the room. Mr. Jenkins only nodded.

"You could be right, Clover...but if this thing persists, you come get me, okay?" Henry was almost like her father in the way he protected his staff, his little family away from home. She momentarily wondered about his wife and kids.. She nodded and started out of the door and back to her desk. Of course there was a new note. There just had to be! She flopped down on her chair and read it slowly.

'Go to the break room. Look under the coffee machine.'

So she did. She shot right back up out of her chair, not even caring if the phone rang constantly whilst she was gone, and found herself in the break room a few moments later. As she ran over to the coffee machine, she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Only the note under the coffee machine, exactly were Mr. Post-It Note-Guy had told her to look. It was a number, presumably his, and a hurriedly scribbled down, 'Call Me'. Clover arched her eyebrow, stuffed the note into the her pocket and made a mental note to ring the number later on from a phone that most definitely didn't belong to her.

XOX

Greg paced the car park outside, on the verge of losing his cool; he shouldn't have done that. He'd probably both scared Clover half to death and committed a felony all at once, and he really wished that he hadn't. He leant against his car and sighed, heavily. He was beginning to think that the book had lied to him, in a major way. He should probably come clean, give up while he was still ahead. He'd seen Clover angry before; maybe less than half-a-dozen times...but it wasn't very pleasant. She'd slammed things, scowled and then smacked her hand against her forehead and told Greg that she was very busy and could he please, please, come back when she wasn't as annoyed. He stood up and sauntered over to the door, about to open it when his cell-phone rang.

XOX

"Hello?" Clover swallowed. She definitely knew that voice. Even though it was one word, she knew it. But she wasn't going to reply. "Hello?" The voice extended his 'o', and she knew that she had definitely heard it before. Somewhere. It was the cleaner...no, it wasn't, it was...no, no use. She didn't have enough evidence to back it up. "Uh, is this Clover O' Malley?" Was that...Greg Hadley? He cleared his throat. "If it is, I'm sorry for the notes...it was just a-a...minor...shortage in brain power and thinking...and I'm sorry if I offended you..." There was a pause. "Look, if you want to talk, I'll be in the locker room. For ten minutes. If you want to talk. If you, don't, that's fine, great, but...okay. I'm going now. Bye..."

He hung up, and Clover smiled to herself, knowing exactly what she had to do.

XOX

Greg pouted slightly as he flicked through some God-awful women's magazine that he'd found in the locker room. Each time he heard footsteps that could only belong to a female wearing high-heeled shoes, as Clover always did, he almost jumped up out of the chair only to find extreme disappointment. He scanned an article to do with the ongoing battle for women to become a size zero – Greg thought this was twaddle, women were supposed to have meat on them...it just added something extra and nice to hold onto - , when he was cut off once more by the heels. This time, he didn't bother going to check. He didn't get up and he didn't really care who it was.

"Hi, Greg." Clover was leaning against a locker, arms folded, one foot entangled with the other, very light smile across her full lips. Greg swivelled round in his seat, hair a mess from being nervously tousled too much, eyebrows raised and mouth contorted into an 'O' of shock. Clover untangled each of her limbs and slowly crossed the room to sit in front of him, lifting one leg over the bench and plopping herself down onto it.

"Hey, Clover...so...you got my notes, huh?" Greg smiled, deciding that he'd be better to try and charm her as opposed to groveling. Did girls even like groveling anymore?

Clover tilted her head, thoughtfully. "Yes, I did, Mr. Hadley. They were kinda..."

"Cool? Effective?" Greg smiled, his mouth leaning more to one side than to other. Clover fought not to laugh at him. She had to admit it, even though she wasn't expecting it, she was more than pleased that it was the slightly geeky boy in front of her that had sent her the notes in lieu of anyone else in the building. Ecstastical, even. Enraptured. All good things, starting with 'E'.

"A mix, I'd say, between genius and risque." She examined the bench between her legs, one finger trailing over the edge of it, just missing the gorgeous smile attached to Greg's face. "So..." Clover had only just noticed her heart suddenly beating at five-thousand miles per hour. "You, um, want me?"

Greg's smile faltered. He considered this for a few moments. Yes, he did want Clover. But probably not in the way she thought. He wanted her for more than one night...he wanted her for years, not hours. He held up one defensive hand, indignantly. "No, Clover-"

"It's okay, Greg. I get it. You like me, I like you..." Clover grinned, wildly. She scooted forward a couple more inches, leaving barely a foot of distance between herself and Greg. "If you want me..." She picked Greg's hand up from where it had been perched on his knee an examined it, running a random index finger over it. "I guess...you've got me." Her eyes settled on his and, for a split-second - in which Greg almost collapsed from the pleasure of Clover's touch and her gaze -, she considered kissing him. But then she smirked, scooted back and stood up, kicking one leg up and over the bench, coming to meet the other one.

"But, you said..." Greg was dumbfounded. Honestly, he'd never had a more perplexing day in his life. First, Clover hadn't reacted badly to his madness and secondly, she had told him he could have her...and now she stands up? What a confusing, but incredible, creature.

Clover placed a hand on her hip and bit her lower lip. "But...you're gonna have to take me out first. Breakfast? Or coffee? Your choice...actually," She considered something for a second before she held her index finger up. "I have to feed my cat, but...I'm free any other night..." She started for the door, until Greg finally got off his ass and caught up with her. He placed a hand on her arm and made sure she was looking at him.

"Whoa, up, there...you mean...you'll go out with me?" His eyebrows shot up. Clover nodded. "And you're not mad at me for stalking you?" A smile and a shake of the head.

"No. And stop acting like you're so surprised. It's not winning you any points." Clover folded her arms, mockingly, and leant forward, planting a single, feather-light kiss to his cheek. Currently, at that very nanosecond, Greg couldn't win any more points in her estimation. "I'll see you, Greg." She winked at him and turned on her heel, out of the door. Greg sighed, contentedly, and walked up to the door, punching the air with a silent 'yes!'.

Like Mick Jagger had once said, you can't always get what you want.

But Greg did. And so did Clover.

XXXX