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What a Wonderful World
Chris and Safi
DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
14 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 763
Points: 4,773.64€
#1
It had been the week from hell.

It was almost over. Just get through today, get through today and he could have a day off. Just one; it wasn’t like they were going to let him take Monday off because he was working on Saturday, but still! It was almost over and then he could just… Die on Sunday, all day Sunday, and maybe get a semblance of peace while he just lay in bed and listen to Jonah beep and chirp at him all day.

Yeah, right.

Still, he had to get through the day.

Tuesday had been straight up miserable. Tuesdays were supposed to be the best days! He had gotten to work far earlier than everyone else, knowing he looked like hell, dragging his feet and trying to hide as much as he could. His first order of business? Get Safi Wassem that damned invitation for today’s party. Because yeah, he had told the man he would do that. And so he had, writing it up himself in his usual nearly-calligraphic handwriting he always used for things like that, and had set the little thing in it’s silver envelope with purple ink on Safi’s desk, adjusting it so it was perfectly parallel with the edge of the desk because… Because if he were going to do it, it was going to be damned perfect!

And then he had locked himself in Susan’s office (because she was on vacation and she had the blackout blinds in her office and he had her spare key so he could water her peace lily, and no one would go looking for him in here!) with his tablet and had sat on the internet for what felt like hours.

Safi wasn’t married.

His Facebook page (dammit Belle for even reminding him that the man had one, because those workout videos were just… It wasn’t fair that Safi had things like that marked for public consumption! It had taken him way too long to stop watching those things!) showed that he was ‘single’. Christian had taken over a quarter of an hour to get his blush back under control when he’d seen that. Sure, you could lie with your Facebook relationship status. You could, it wasn’t binding, but… Safi seemed like the sort of person who would be honest about it. Chris.. Chris trusted Safi. Mostly. Oh, not enough to start talking about his magic, or to start spilling his other secrets, but enough that if Safi marked that he was single on Facebook, he wasn’t lying about it. Maybe he was divorced, or separated, or maybe he hadn’t been married to Sarah’s mother. Those were all options!

But Safi had never said he was any of those things, and that.. Had been confusing as hell.

Chris had spent all week avoiding the bodyguard as much as possible.

He had also spent the week running on a combination of caffeine, adrenaline, and sheer willpower, because sleep was, as his colleagues so often rolled their eyes at him for saying, for the weak. He just had to get through the party Saturday, and then he could rest. Even if he couldn’t sleep, he could relax and lie in bed.

Christian arrived at the party early. He set his gift, and pulled out an extra one he’d gotten to be from Safi and set it off to the side, sort of hiding it under the table. He could let Safi sign the little card he’d put with it for Camila once the other man had gotten there and put it on the table with the others himself. Christian had gotten the girl a necklace and earring set complete with tiara. Nothing horribly expensive, but something befitting the event nonetheless. She might be a brat, and he might dislike spending time with her, but it was her birthday, and she had ogled the set when they’d been shopping before. Her favorites: soft, quiet lightly colored amethysts (that near perfectly matched the lavender she had picked for the party) and diamond. Neither were naturally occurring stones, he couldn’t afford that, but she’d liked the set anyway, and he’d snuck back to buy it for her. The gift that should be from Safi was a matching bracelet. She should like it.

That done, Chris had moved around the ballroom that they’d rented out, getting everything set up just so, knowing from his time with her what Camila would prefer and what she would expect, and moving to both meet and exceed expectations.

He had told Safi this wasn’t his best work, and it wasn’t (he’d done better even recently) but it was still better than most people could have pulled off working with a difficult personality like the fifteen year old girl. Christian wasn’t proud, not really, but he was confident of what he’d managed to accomplish here.

Once the guests started piling in he shifted to the back of the room, organizing the workers, the only way you’d know he wasn’t another guest was the fact that his outfit matched the party’s colors just a little too perfectly, his suit silvery gray, his shirt a soft lavender with a tie that had a little of both colors. He wasn't as flamboyantly dressed as he sometimes came to the offices, this was.. Softer… But it still suited him. He owned the colors, even if he wished the shirt was just a shade or two darker.

The giant cake that dominated the desert table was in the same colors, covered in fondant and little shiny gems that resembled diamonds and amethysts that all matched the theme. He had managed quite well, he thought, standing in the corner quietly, watching as Camila’s guests and Lexcorp VP’s filtered into the room. The youths getting sparkling apple cider, the adults carrying flutes of champagne.
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DC-TV-1

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#2
It was ...interesting to say the least to be intentionally avoided. That the guy sent mixed signals was an understatement; the perfectly calligraphed invitation seemed to imply that his company was desired.

Expect that the blant avoidance seemed to imply that he DIDN'T want to see him. Hell he'd even been avoiding his office so Safi couldn't find him!

Regardless he was here, and dressed to match in his own little self amused way. After all listening to the little man rant about the color scheme had sent him digging into his closet to find the perfect shirt and tie combo.

One he hoped would annoy the little man with how well he pulled it off.

“So do I leave this on the table or give it directly to the birthday girl?” He'd slid up next to Chris, noting the dark circles and bright manic eyes.

The gift in his hands fit neatly into his palm, “I already spoke with Gabriella-” he grinned wickedly, “delightful woman, wonderful dancer.” He added.
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DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
14 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 763
Points: 4,773.64€
#3
Christian hadn’t just hidden from Safi. He had hidden from everyone as much as possible. Oh, he picked up the phone whenever it rang, dealt with every request anyone sent his way, picked up his mail promptly. There was no question that the man was at work, and hard at work, but he was just… Never in his own office. Never seen flitting about the halls like he usually was.

Of course, Chris was also kept plenty busy. Last minute party details had to be set, all the little things that led up to the party itself, not to mention all of the other projects he had his fingers in. Just this and that, mostly, but it kept him working.

The thing was, other than watching him come into work earlier than usual in the mornings, and leave far later than most of the PA pool, few people really saw Christian all week. But he was especially careful about not running into Safi. The man had all but undressed him, after admitting he didn’t like Chris and… And everything else. All of that whole… Mess on Monday. During the day and after, and…

It was humiliating.

Christian didn’t bark orders. A lot of PA’s did that; they took out their frustrations on the people under them. Christian made requests, not orders, smiled frequently, and thanked people for doing as they were asked. He was more than polite, he meant it. He had turned to sign an invoice, nodding to the woman who had offered him the clipboard, and then motioned for where the dinner trays were set to go. That was when Safi approached and asked him what to do with his gift, startling the PA. Badly. ”There’s a table… I… Uh, oh right. Table.”

Why couldn’t he just not trip over his tongue around the guy?? Maybe because he knew that Safi didn’t like him, that he offended Safi, maybe just by existing… He’d just… Hell. It was paid for, he’d just attached the stupid bracelet to his gift box. What the heck, Camila would like it, and maybe, just maybe, she’d be less… Herself… Around him for the rest of the day once she opened her gifts. ”Here.” He lead Safi to the table that was starting to become more a mountain of gifts, reaching under to pull the small box out he’d tucked away and slipping it into the neat bow with the rest of his, tugging the little card out and pocketing it. ”Anywhere on the table is fine. She’ll open gifts once everyone is here. It’s supposed to be a whole to-do with it.” He rolled his eyes, then nodded to someone who smiled and gave him a small wave, wearing a large, if not entirely genuine, grin as he did so.

Gabriella Espinosa… Delightful? ”Oh really?” There was a tired quality to the PA that he didn’t normally possess, but the false smile he wore never wavered; he could do this. He just had to get through a few hours of party, and then he could go home and curl up in bed. Or fall into a very large cup of coffee and the new box of spare parts he’d ordered from eBay. It had arrived yesterday, and that had been the highlight of his week so far.

His side still hurt, but it was a dull, throbbing ache rather than the searing burn it had been on Monday. ”I told you you wouldn’t want to come for work. Dancing, and people being nice to you. Much better than being ordered around and glared at, hm?”
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DC-TV-1

245 Posts
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Kel

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#4
...he never felt as ignored while being spoken too in his life.

Well that was a apparently a skill the little man had master was the cut direct.

“Right.” The playfulness dropped out of his voice, leaving a distinct chill in reaction.

“If I was here for work you'd be my superior and order me into a corner to more easily avoid.” He commented bitingly, the gift jangled ominously as it was unceremoniously dropped onto the table.

“Clearly I misunderstood the intent of your invite, I apologize for inconveniencing you at work.” Nodding briskly and feeling ridiculous for dressing up just in the hope for a look from the smaller man.

Instead he understood at last that he was simply trying to be polite...and Safi kept reading too much into it.

“I'll get someone to send over a coffee.” He said after a deep breath, he saw the signs of fatigue, heard the rants, he knew this was draining him.

Hell the last thing he needed was safi distracting him. “I'll see you on Monday..ok?” His smile was small but there, a hand dropped down to grip his shoulder gently. “Get some sleep when this is done hey’la?” He moved to leave.
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DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
14 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 763
Points: 4,773.64€
#5
”Right.”

It was the sharpness in the tone that had Christian’s head jerking up and around to look at Safi. His eyes were wide, exhausted, but wide open as he looked over at the other man. And then the man called Christian out on how he had avoided him during the week and Christian flinched bodily. It was the first time in a week that he’d done so, and his ribs protested, making the smaller man wince. Just another couple of weeks and they should be all healed up, but right now, they were still sore, if not as painful as they’d been on Monday. Still, flinching like that hurt, and would for a little while yet.

He was already a bit more pale than usual; Christian wasn’t a pasty man, not really, but today he was just a bit… Off. And now, he was more so. ”I…” he frowned, ”I didn’t want you to have to work today,” his voice was soft, almost pleading, ”You wouldn’t have been able to have had any fun.”

Chris noticed the colors Safi was wearing, and picked at his own tie. Safi had wanted a look? Oh, he had it, because the man was… He was pretty. Not that Chris could say it like that! You tell a guy he’s pretty and they take it all the wrong way. Handsome, charming, devilish, you used words like those, but the first word to Christian’s mind was pretty. He blushed, which only made it more obvious that the man hadn’t been sleeping much recently, that he was paler than usual.

Safi was going to just… Leave. Chris didn’t want that! He didn’t… He might not be comfortable meeting the man’s eyes, but that didn’t mean he wanted him to go... He reached even as Safi was turning to leave, his touch light and timid, ”Please…” He was going to embarrass himself, but right now? Fine. What would be the worst that could happen? He’d get a ‘talking to’ by Espinosa, the...delightful...woman for whom he had done all of this work for. They wouldn’t fire him, not over an extracurricular assignment like this. Important for the woman, yes, and if it went well it could open doors for him, sure, but if he failed it wasn’t going to ruin his career, just the next few months of his life. He could deal. ”The intent of the invitation was to let you come and enjoy yourself. And… Maybe… Just a little…” his voice grew faint, ”To prove I can do something right... well...good.” Even it if was just throwing a girl’s birthday party. Even if it was just that. He didn’t mess everything up.

”I really don’t want more coffee.” The words were murmured, almost reluctantly, ”I really just want a glass of really cold water and to sit down. But if she sees me sitting…” which ‘she’ he was referring to, mother or daughter, he didn’t really indicate, ”It’ll just be a disaster, and I’d prefer to avoid it.” He glanced up at Safi shyly, ”I’m sorry I avoided you… I just…” He swallowed, hard, his cheeks still flushed, even if the blush had mellowed somewhat, leaving him with color in his face, but nothing that might draw the eye of anyone else, ”Please don’t go… It would be nice to have at least one person I actually like enjoy what I’ve done here.”

And he was blushing. Again. Thank god Camila wasn’t nearby, she’d be cackling at him right now.. ”I promise… I know I mess everything up… But this… I can do this.” Distracted? Thoroughly. Did Chris seem to even acknowledge that there were other people, not all that far away? Not really, though his voice was soft, that was less caution and so much more that he was desperately trying to keep from just begging outrightly.
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DC-TV-1

245 Posts
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#6
Flinching back.

Yeah that was a great reaction that didn't make him feel like a bullying ass.

At all.

He just wanted to tell the kid to, stop, it was ok. Safi wasn't pissed at him he just wanted to know how the crazy man’s head worked!

“Fun?” The incredulousness was thick enough to walk on. “You think I came to have fun at a teenage girls birthday party??.” Safi hissed, keeping his voice low, pitched for the other man alone.

“I came for you!” Wow. That sounded far far more either creepy stalker or hopeless romantic. Neither label Safi was comfortable assuming.

Good? What the hell did he mean by that? “You mean the party? Of course it's good you've done the work on it.” He agreed matter of factly.

Was he really so insecure? Apparently yes. Which was..odd. He was competent, or he wouldn't still be working at Lexcorp.

Sure both of them might be in the ‘lackey’ niche but that was only in comparison to people like Mercy.

Who was actually a cyborg/android...person..thing.

“I know you can.” Safi had the strong impression that even for something as...well hated as this party, Chris would pass out before failing to make it work.

“Here. Go. Sit. Get that water. I'll distract her and the smaller one.” He flashed a blindingly white smile.
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DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
14 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 763
Points: 4,773.64€
#7
Okay, so maybe he shouldn’t have locked himself in Suzie… Susan’s… Office so much this week. But after Monday night he had been pretty sure that he would never, ever be able to look Safi in the eye again. Ever. The man had undressed him and put him in bed! That was… That was pretty damn humiliating! And the fact of the matter was that Safi had left feeling offended again, and that only made it all worse, and now here he was today, making sure that Christian remembered exactly just how bad he’d botched his second chance at trying to get the man to like him even a little bit.

He had no idea what he’d done to deserve karma like this. Was it because he’d tried to get Belle to move to Central City? He really didn’t know!

When Safi repeated the word ‘fun’ after Chris, the man’s head nodded so quickly it may have fallen off if not for the fact it was indeed still attached to his shoulders by way of his neck. And then Safi hissed at him about it being a party for a teenage girl, and Chris shifted, head dropping so that he could stare at the floor as his shoulders hunched a bit. Chris didn’t answer. He had things for the adults to do; the children had been the priority, granted, but Chris had made damn well sure that the girl’s mother’s guests were entertained. And while Safi wasn’t here for Gabriella Espinosa, he was an adult guest.

”I came for you!”

Well, that definitely got Christian’s attention immediately; his head snapped back up almost painfully fast, frowning slightly as he looked at Safi. That… Was not meant the way it sounded, Chris was nearly certain of it. The way Chris looked at Safi now, it was a slightly guarded look on his face… He knew he had made himself vulnerable here, knew that he was acting like a fool, but damn it, every time he tried to be careful the man grew offended, and Chris was trying so desperately hard not to do that again!

”Yes, the party. The not-fun party.” Chris sighed, looking around briefly before returning his attention entirely back to Safi, ”I did the work. That doesn’t mean it is what I wanted it to be.” he huffed the words, sounding just a bit more like he was complaining about Camila being difficult again. ”And it definitely doesn’t mean it’s good.” Chris had done a good job with what he had to work with, of course, but while he usually had plenty of confidence in his ability to make things work regardless of the challenge presented to him, today he was struggling to find that in himself. He’d made do, but he wasn’t entirely certain that Safi would agree with him. But then again, Safi managed to make him feel like a tongue-tied fifteen year old boy trying to tell Susie Perkins that she was awfully pretty. Which… Yes, made him damn insecure in himself! At work, prior to this week anyway, Chris was always confident, he knew he was good at his job, but right now… Right now he wanted to make sure that this man here knew that he wasn’t a complete mess up.

Really, Safi had a good idea of just how invested Christian was in his job. He had slept precious little this week, making sure everything was ready for the party today, that things would be perfect, on time, and in the right places. It was one of the reasons that he was capable of closing the deals he could, why he was often left in charge of the difficult assignments. Because Chris would make it work. He could be depended on. He prided himself in that, in the fact that he could manage challenges that so many of the others in the PA pool just couldn’t handle.

When Safi agreed that he knew that Chris could pull off a party like this, Christian seemed to relax just a little bit. He held himself a bit more erect. Safi smiled and told him he would distract the ladies Espinosa and Chris frowned slightly, ”You won’t leave, right?”
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DC-TV-1

245 Posts
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#8
In Safi’s book being put to bed drunk was less humiliating and more …well a thing that happened. Hell he'd been the one sloppy drunk himself more than once.

So yes while he'd have preferred to be undressing the smaller man in bed with radically different motives he didn't hold it against him in the slightest.

“So? You did the work but was not the final boss.” Safi looked around really seeing the event. “What I see is a smoothly running event, no major meltdowns or snags that you haven't caught and dealt with. So-” safi shrugged one shoulder. “I say that's well done.”

“Sit. Drink. Maybe have some of the beef rolls I saw.” Safi took his elbow leading him descreetly to a out of view alcove.

“I can't leave.” He answered a twinkle in his eye; “I have to distract the ladies long enough for you to recharge.” Safi made a show of fixing his tie and shooting his cuffs. “It's a hard job. But someone's got to be charming between us.” he winked before he strode off to monopolize the Espinoza women.
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DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
14 Threads
Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
Sexual Orientation: Pan-Romantic
Nyte

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#9
Safi might have had nights where he’d been sloppy drunk, and in reality, so did Christian, but the thing was, he never had company on those nights. It was one thing to let yourself be lost in a bottle for a few hours when you were home alone, with robots as your only company, and another thing entirely to be undressed and put to bed by a guest.

He had dozed after Safi had left, but he hadn’t slept all that much, not Monday night, or any of the rest of the nights that week. The party was looming and there was plenty to finish, and Chris refused to have this damn birthday party be the first failure on his rather impressive list of projects.

”So,” Chris said with a quiet sigh, ”It could have been better. And in the end, I’m the one everyone is going to hold accountable.” He shifted again, holding himself straighter, looking just a little more like his usual self as he looked Safi in the eye with just a glint of professional pride, ”Of course there’s no meltdowns or snags. I’m not a novice.” Then again, even as a novice, he hadn’t had any actual failures. That was why he’d been able to move up through the ranks of the company so quickly. Christian could always be depended to get the job done, and do it well.

Sit and drink. Eat? Chris made a tiny face of disapproval at the idea but, really, he knew it might help settle his stomach. His diet had been primarily liquid the last 24 hours, after all. Primarily coffee that was dark as sin and bitter to boot. Way too bitter. He preferred it sweet… He didn’t fight as Safi led him into one of the little alcoves, obviously meant for the employees for their breaks and to hide the necessities of the party without taking away from the fantasy of it.

Can’t leave. It wasn’t exactly what Chris wanted to hear, but it would do. He couldn’t leave, and he was going to distract the harpy and the demoness for a little while so Chris could eat and drink something, and let his ribs have a bit of a rest.

But someone’s got to be charming between us.”

Chris smiled, it was a small, but honest smile that spilled warmth from his eyes as he looked at Safi, ”Well, you have that in spades. Besides, you’re the prettier one, and that’s what both of them appreciate more than anything you'll say, silly as that is. Just don’t let them know that you realize that they’re such shallow creatures.” he chuckled just a little bit at Safi’s preening, shaking his head and swatting at his hands, ”Stop it, you’re perfect, go. Just.. Come back, too.”
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DC-TV-1

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#10
“Pretty?” Safi blinked. He wasn't sure he'd ever been called pretty in any language; handsome, rugged, cut even but not pretty. “I think you are the pretty one here-” safi bit. Back the endearment his mouth automatically formed.

That was… all inappropriate.

“Perfect?” Safi smirked, catching the thread and running with it.

“Well since you say so. Must be off to share the perfection with the undeserving elite.”


He managed to keep their attention for almost an hour, problem was that the elder AND younger Espinoza were starting to get more handsy with intent than he was comfortable with.

From either.

Thankfully the cake cutting allowed him to make a discreet clean exit, now he just needed to...wander? He supposed out of sight till the little man either wanted to find him or the party wore down.
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DC-DCTVU-1

271 Posts
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Age:29
Job: PA/Magician
Ship Status: Single with Complications
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Nyte

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#11
Had he said pretty? A quick blink, and Chris realized that yes, he had said that Safi was pretty. Out loud. Where Safi could hear. That had him blushing a little bit; men did not like to be called pretty. But that was the word that Chris thought of when he tried to describe Safi; even when he’d talked to his sister, he’d used that word. And Belle had corrected him, using the word ‘dashing’. Somehow he was pretty sure if he used that word he’d only blush harder. ”Trust me, neither of them are impressed.”

Chris’ flush darkened when Safi called him out on the comment about being perfect, but he didn’t admit to anything. Instead, he just smiled thinly to Safi, ”Camila will be thrilled to see you wearing her colors.” Safi’s confidence earned him another, much more genuine, smile from Christian, ”Thank you. Don’t let them keep you forever, because they will, they’ll try, anyway.” Chris sighed quietly, ”I’m sorry you’re dealing with this on your day off.”

Chris felt bad. Today should be Safi’s day off, and here he was, all but working (and not even doing the job he was hired to do) because of him.

And he knew exactly how handsy the ladies Espinosa could get.

Gabriella Espinosa was less annoying than her daughter, though. She could get touchy, but she wasn’t all that interested in him. He wasn’t her..type. Camila, however, had decided that Christian’s bubbly personality was adorable. He had made it clear to Safi that he didn’t like the girl, but that wouldn’t appear to run both ways.

An hour after Safi had disappeared, Christian had been back on his feet for twenty minutes, looking significantly better than he had when Safi had first approached him. Tired still, yes, but no longer looking like he felt ill, and the smile he wore was much less forced. The announcement for the cake cutting came a quarter of an hour before the actual event. Chris was spending the time making sure things were ready, and then had gone to see if Safi had survived the pair of Espinosa women.

His plan was interrupted by a cheerful? (it was cheerful, but it was loud and painful too) screech of ”Chrissy!” from the fifteen year old Camila. Christian cringed at the name, but turned, plastering a smile on his face, ”Miss Camila--” the ‘oomph’ was barely audible as the girl slammed into Chris, arms around his torso in a hug that was much, much too tight, and lasted a little bit too long. Damn but it hurt, too, the hug, because his ribs were still so sore, but Camila didn’t know, couldn’t know, and thus hugged him for all she was worth.

She didn’t linger too long; she only had a few minutes before they needed her to be at the cake. A few words were exchanged, and the girl flounced off, leaving Christian standing very still as he tried to catch his breath before turning to head back to where he had thought he saw Safi disappear after he had been able to escape the two ladies.
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DC-TV-1

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#12
Safi wasn't hiding; really. Just...it had been a while since he'd fought an octopus, a friendly friendly octopus.

So while he was definitely not hiding behind the canapés, Safi was keeping his head down, watching for the bouncy little man with far more interest than he was comfortable acknowledging.

Sharp eyes tracked his movements as the little man spotted him, making a beeline to Safi’s pseudo hiding spot. “So what else needs doing tonight?” He asked genially handing over the plate of finger foods he'd been assembling, snagging a clean one to re-start for himself.

“Any other matrons you need distracted by my perfect prettiness?”
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DC-DCTVU-1

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#13
Friendly octopi aside, the party was a success, which was also a relief. Camila could have really caused Christian more than a little discomfort over the next few months if she decided she hated everything he had done here. Because Gabriella would listen to her daughter and have Chris held accountable for the debacle. But Camila had seemed to be nothing less than delighted at everything. Not that she hadn’t had a say in all of it, but, well… She was spoiled rotten.

The hugging was just… Christian enjoyed affection, he did, but Camila Espinosa made it… Uncomfortable. He was nearly twice her age, and frankly, the girl didn’t just hug him, she damn well snuggled him. It was just… Not how you treated someone who was working for you. Inappropriate. Entirely inappropriate.

Chris might be tired today, but he was still his usual self, the bounce was back in his step, and the smile he was wearing wasn’t the same forced one from earlier. He actually looked happy.

The smile grew just a fraction when he ‘found’ Safi hiding at one of the food tables, right about where Chris had thought he’d seen the other man disappearing to before. And if he were a little bit too aware of Safi's location? Sue him. He was allowed to have a crush! ”Oh, not much. She’ll be opening her presents after they’re all done eating the cake, but that’s really just for family and her friends. There’ll be music, and…” Chris shrugged, his shoulders sagging after just for a moment, not in any unpleasantness, but rather in relief, ”Mostly now it’s just watching to put out any fires before they start smoking.”

He took the plate from Safi hesitantly, but after half a moment just stayed quiet and gave the other man a thankful smile.

”Oh god I hope not.” This time, it wasn’t just a smile, but a smirk, ”You can only use the same trick so many times. Let’s keep your charming self as a secret weapon, shall we?”
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#14
“Sounds like a plan.” Tiny stuffed tomatoes vanished, popped one at a time into his mouth between words.

“I do work best with the aspect of surprise.” He winked. Well hell look at that a whole minute of conversation about not fondant and he hadn't made the other man flush or almost cry.

Win!

...it was kinda sad that that was now considered a win.

Casting about for a safe topic to continue their conversation with Safi gestured to the buffet “this you too? Because really good.”
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#15
The smile Chris wore was easier; this was his element really, this was what he was damn good at, where he was comfortable and felt reasonably confident. Parties, planning them, making them work, he could do. There were other things, too, a PA’s job was to take care of whatever they were requested to do by those they were assisting, but events were a specialty.

”Oh, they certainly seemed to like you.” There was a touch of sympathy in Chris’ tone, a ‘Sorry but better you than me’ quality to it. He’d dealt with the pair of ladies for weeks now, and while he hadn’t grown comfortable with their rather hands-on approach to dealing with him, he had learned how to keep himself silent on the matter until he was well away from them. Later, he could complain. For now, he had to keep up appearances. He shook his head, ”Well…” the wink took him off guard, and he blinked at it, smiling, and if he was blushing just a tiny bit, well, he didn’t mind, it didn’t stop him from carrying on! ”I appreciate it, you know. The break. I think they enjoyed keeping me running all week with last minute details.” And changes. And additional changes, and additions… It had been a busy week.

Looking to the table when Safi motioned to it, Chris shrugged, ”I… Didn’t make it, if that’s what you’re asking…” it was almost a question, and he tipped his head to the side slightly, looking up at Safi before continuing, ”Miss Camila had a few demands, and of course she picked out the cake, but other than that she actually gave me free reign with the food and beverages.” Really good. The smile Chris beamed at the other man was one of pride and joy, ”Thank you. I hope they like it as much as you do.” Chris was far more chipper now than he had been before. A short time of sitting down, some food, and a couple of glasses of water had done wonders.
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#16
“Good news is I'm used to it. What with being the perfect specimen of prettiness.” He quipped.

Oh good he hadn't unintentionally started round-who-the-hell-knew and offended him about the food. Even as the little man hesitated over his answer Safi mentally steamed himself against the upcoming tirade, on how it was picked by Camilla or how she insisted tomatoes were a vegetable. Or something.

“I really hope you didn't. That would be above and beyond. The call of duty. But nice picks, tasty." Safi took a bite of some kind of savory beef thing.
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#17
The perfect specimen of prettiness.

Oh God help him, he was blushing again.

He really should know better by now than to use that damn word around other men. Women? Hell, women would call anyone pretty, man or woman, and it didn’t have to be an insult. But a man? A man would take that sort of (imagined) slight to the grave. Christian tried to laugh it off, and if it came out a little bit...giggly...well, he wasn’t sure there was anything that he could do about it. ”Oh yes, able to charm harpies and bratty teenagers alike.” The words were spoken as though he weren’t blushing, trying to ignore the way his face burned from it.

Chris munched on the food; he didn’t eat all that much, but he wasn’t afraid to pick a few things here and there, either. No, the hostesses were thoroughly distracted by cake, this was his chance to take care of his own stomach for a minute. And maybe try to calm his nerves.

”It was brought to my attention,” his eyes went to the teenager, ”That Miss Camila had a favorite catering company.” Seriously. She was fifteen how the hell did she have a favorite catering company?! ”I ordered from them, naturally. But they aren’t bad, actually. I was pleasantly surprised.” The appetizers were...good. ”She was thrilled with the surprise.” It was his job to make sure that everything today was as smooth and perfect as he could make it, and, well, he was very good at his job.

He was quiet a moment, and then he added guilelessly, ”I’m glad you like it.”
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#18
Safi wasn't actually taking it as an insult; he absolutely was taking it as a compliment, a weird one that was deserving to be brought up again and again. Running the joke to the ground.

“She's not that bad.” Safi defended the girl mildly. “She's a kid. And getting to play adult. Can you blame her for going overboard?”

It was good food.

Safi’s ears perked up as the music cued up, “You owe me a dance.” Safi tugged the smaller man onto the floor. “You do dance don't you?” He grinned down at him.
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#19
Weird. Well christian was weird. He could accept that. Chris had definitely meant it as a compliment, though he was questioning using the word 'pretty * ever again. Ever.

He blushed, but he refused to let how even his ears and down his neck was too warm bother him. Safi didn't seem angry. That was good. Yes, focus on that.

Chris blinked, then frowned. "You haven't spent much time with her." There was a flatness to him when he spoke, a discomfort in him. He grumped, huffing quietly, "That.. Isn't the problem...". Letting his breath out in a sigh, chris shook his head, "She's never been told no. That isn't her fault. But she needs to learn... More appropriate behavior." Yes, the girl was a brat. But that wasn't Christian's entire problem. Ah, well. It was over.

He really was glad Safi liked the food. Chris had chosen all of it with care, not for himself, but with the guests in mind. Safi was a guest. His guest. Huh.

"You owe me a dance."

A... Dance? "I do?" Chris blinked, emotions crossing his face, but not staying. The blush, however, stayed, and chris looked at Safi shyly, nodding slowly." I... I can dance, yes.." He could, too. It was just that chris rarely had the opportunity.

Tonight, it seemed, he'd get a chance to. He didn't hesitate, following Safi onto the floor with a smile. If Safi said Chris owed him a dance, well then. Chris would deliver. With enthusiasm.
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#20
“Sure.” He agreed easily, both to the qualifier that he hadn't known her long enough and that she needed to learn how to act when things didn't go her way.

Ahh there were the confusing signals again. Safi had honestly for a second there expected the other man to turn him down, or go off on how it wasn't appropriate to dance at work. Or that Ed Sheeran killed his puppy.

or something.

But no. With tentative hope Safi wondered if he'd gotten past the panicked reactionary babble and was actually a more..well reserved man underneath?

Either way their first dance was accompanied by the opening beats of ‘Shape of You.’

Safi actually was an excellent dancer, and he automatically took the lead.
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