A Valentine's Day Mystery Title: A Valentine's Day Mystery
Author: DebC
E-mail: debchilson@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-something
Keywords: Miranda, Valentine's Day Challenge
Disclaimers: "Mysterious Ways" is the property of Binder, O'Fallon and Lions Gate. I don't own much, so please don't sue me. Summary: Miranda's Valentine's Day misadventures.

"A Valentine's Day Mystery"

The alarm clock sprang to life the instant the numbers rolled from 6:59 to 7:00 AM, blaring rock and roll into every corner of the sleep-silent bedroom. The sole occupant of the room swung her arm outward and slapped the snooze button with a solid whack of her hand. Then she pulled herself sleepily out of bed.

After a brief shower and a breakfast consisting of toast and orange juice, the young woman stood in front of her closet, trying to decide what to wear. What she finally came up with was a pair of black jeans with a maroon colored shirt and a black lace vest. Stylish yet sensible black boots adorned her feet. Grabbing her leather jacket and the stack of books she needed to take with her, she headed for the door.

Pulling open the door, she was forced to jump back as a plain white box nearly hit her. It was a florist's box; the ones they used for flowers. She opened it and was surprised to find a dozen long stemmed red roses.

The small card said only "Miranda."

~*~*~*~

After dropping the roses in a pitcher full of water and making a mental note to buy a vase, Miranda finally made it to the parking lot. There she was met by another surprise.

Strapped to the seat of her motorcycle was a plush children's toy-a stuffed green frog holding a red heart and wearing a motorcycle helmet. The heart proclaimed, "my heart leaps for you!"

"O-kay," Miranda muttered, depositing the frog into her bag along with her textbooks.

~*~*~*~

Miranda slipped into the classroom seconds before Professor Waldo arrived. She made her way to her usual seat and sat down. She promptly stood back up in a motion reminiscent of a jack-in-the-box.

There on the seat of her chair is a crumpled box of chocolates. Behind her, Miranda hears a few people tee-hee as she self-consciously picks up the candy and sits back down.

~*~*~*~

After class, Miranda snatches up the box of candy and heads out the door. She makes her way across campus to the anthropology department. She walks in a hurried shuffle, clutching the candy and her books to her chest. The bag slung over her shoulder houses a few more books, some recording equipment for Declan, and a green stuffed frog carrying a red heart. The frog peaks out of the overstuffed bag.

Miranda enters the building and heads down the hall to Declan's office, only to stop halfway when she sees Declan talking to one of his students. Normally she wouldn't think twice of this, but in this case the scene made her stop.

The student with Declan is Warren.

Miranda hadn't seen him Warren since their one-and-only date. It had been a disaster. Now, however, she wondered if Warren hadn't sent her these gifts. Could he be her secret admirer?

"Hey, Miranda!" Declan beamed when he saw her, oblivious to the uncomfortable look on Warren's face. "Happy Valentine's Day!"

"Yeah, you too," Miranda said in a friendly but blunt way. Then she turned to face Warren.

"Ummm… Hi, Miranda," the young man said.

She held the chocolates out to him. "Do you know anything about this?" she asked curtly. Warren started at her blankly. Miranda opened her book bag and pulled out the frog.

"Cute frog," Declan interjected, looking confused but sensing the tension between his assistant and the student before them.

Miranda ignored him. "This?" she demanded of Warren. This time Warren shook his head. "What about the roses?"

"Wait a minute!" Declan exclaimed. "What roses?"

"Someone left a dozen roses outside my door this morning," Miranda explained. "I nearly tripped over them." Then she explained how she found the frog on her motorcycle and the candy in the seat of her "spot" in class.

"And you think Warren left them for you?" was Declan's incredulous response. "Dude!" Warren exclaimed in shock. "It wasn't me! I can't afford to buy Professor Dunn's text book, let alone a dozen roses!" The young man chose that moment to walk off.

Miranda looked bewildered. She was certain Warren had been behind the anonymous gifts. "But if he did send me, who did?" she asked.

"Who knows?" said Declan. He looks at the card attached to the chocolate box. On it is a cryptically simple message:

To Miranda Love, your admirer from afar