The girl at the front desk, whose name you found out to be Elizabeta Héderváry, invited you to go to lunch during her break in a few hours. You agreed since you wanted to make as many friends as possible in the office building.
Around lunch time, you dropped by the large building again and Elizabeta was waiting for you, smiling. Even though you hadn't known her that long, you two seemed to click and plus
you kind of wanted to know more about Gilbert.
"Hello," she said cheerfully when you approached. She had a bag tucked under her arm tightly, as if expecting someone to steal it. You were doing the same. If Gilbert was in the same ten mile radius of you, you decided, you would stay on your toes in terms of protection of your belongings, and possibly yourself from what Elizabeta was telling you as you waited to be brought drinks.
"He is a total pervert!" she said, the side of her head propped in her hand as her elbow rested on the table. "He's annoying, obnoxious, maddening, frustrating, irritating, and bothersome, not to mention"
"Elizabeta," you cut in, "I'm pretty sure you're just listing synonyms for annoying at this point."
She paused a moment, then laughed. "True, I am. But you'll find it to be true soon enough. I'm so sorry you'll have to work with him
and Francis too, no less!"
She sighed and shook her head as the waiter set down two tall glasses of icy water in front of the two of you. "Now, Francis is a, to sum it up in three words, horny bisexual molester. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being bi, it's just that with Francis
" Elizabeta leaned forward, as if telling a secret, "He will try to get into anyone's pants, and I mean anyone's. Doesn't matter what gender nor where they're from
well, I guess he prefers to go for the pretty people, so you'd better watch out."
You slightly blushed. "Has he tried to make a move on you before?" you inquired, moving the subject off of you as you grabbed the straw in your glass and took a sip.
Elizabeta laughed almost sadly. "Oh yes. Worst few weeks of my life. Then when I hit him with a frying pan and told him to step off, he started trying to get my boyfriend to sleep with him, which makes absolutely no sense. I mean, if he's in a relationship with me, one would assume he's straight. He said he wanted to 'lick his face'. Then I had to hit him with a skillet again."
You giggled, though you were slightly appalled. "Wait, let me get this straight: you hit the man with a frying pan...?"
"Pfft, oh yeah," Elizabeta said, waving her hand as if beating someone with cookware was an everyday thing that was totally normal. "If you're going to be working with Francis and Gilbert, I totally recommend carrying something around that will make a bruise. And don't worry," she said, seeing the alarmed look on your face, "Antonio will not mind a bit. Sure, they're his best friends, but everyone finds it funny. Plus, I've been hitting Gilbert with a frying pan since we started working together. We were friends before, I guess you could say
but I never used a frying pan. Usually I just beat the crap out of him with my fists."
You smiled a little uneasily as you glanced down at the menu. Suddenly, you heard Elizabeta groan.
"Speak of the devils
a kurva istenit
You looked up and saw her looking over your shoulder, an annoyed and almost pained look on her face. Slowly, you turned and followed her gaze. There were two men standing outside the café you presently were dining in. One you recognized immediatelywhat with the silver hair and red eyes, there was no mistaking. Duh. You'd met the man less than a few hours before and already, Gilbert was back in your life. You were trying to convince yourself you thought you didn't want to see him until the next day, but deep down, you knew. You absolutely wanted to see Gilbert right then. There was no mistaking it. You nearly had to grab the bottom of your chair to keep from standing up and walking outside.
Then, your eyes shifted to the man next to him. He, unlike his German companion, was a little better dressed. He wore a full three-piece dark grey suit with a red rose pinned to the chest pocket. You might have laughed if you had seen this on anyone else, but you had to mention the guy was kind of pulling it offof course, it also made him stand out very prominently.
He had long silky blonde hair that hung past his chin in waves and the stubble of an almost-beard. He daintily held a cigarette in one hand and had his other hand in his front pocket.
"Is that guy Francis?" you muttered to Elizabeta, who nodded grimly.
"I'm sorry to say
and even sorrier now because they are coming in here."
It was true. Francis flicked his cigarette to the side and stepped on it. Gilbert rolled his eyes and beckoned in an exaggerated manner. He began to turn towards the entrance so he was now facing the window
and you. He shot you that side grin of his and winked. Blushing furiouslygod, why did he make you do that?you whipped around and buried your face in the menu. Elizabeta was mumbling to herself and gripping her purse tightly.
"Well, you're going to have to work with them all week, so might as well meet them here in public with witnesses instead of in their office," said Elizabeta, forcing a smile.
This actually made you laugh a little, but your blush deepened. Last time you checked, you weren't much of a blusher. What the hell was going on with you? "That's kind of disturbing, Liza," you whispered, feeling a pair of crimson eyes on your back as the two men approached.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't mein Schätzlein," Gilbert said, grabbing your shoulders from behind. You jumped a little in your chair. He giggled in that odd way of hiskind of high-pitched and condescending all in a few chuckles. "What, you thought you could get away, Prinzessin? I told you I wasn't done with you," he said, patting your shoulder before walking around from behind your chair to stand at the head of your table. Francis stood slightly behind him, looking at
a little below your collarbone. Oh, that perv. Like you didn't notice.
Elizabeta was glowering at Gilbert with such annoyance; you could've sworn she was emitting visible waves of anger. "Get out of here, Gilbert, we don't want you here." She leaned over to see Francis around the nuisance blocking her view. "You either, Frenchy. Scram, the both of you."
Francis laughed in a way that made you nearly smirk before stopping yourself so as not to seem rude. It just sounded so
stereotypically French, you guess one could say. You hadn't realized he was actually French until he laughed. You thought calling him 'Frenchy' was a play on his name.
"Oh, cherie, we are not here to bother you," he said. Yup, he was definitely French. "You are old news
unless," he said, raising an eyebrow.
Elizabeta shuddered. "Oh my god, not in a million years Francis," she said, shaking her hands rapidly and waving her head back and forth.
Francis laughed again. "Fine, I'll wait for you to reconsider, cherie. But until then, like I was saying, you are old news." Francis turned back to you. "We are here for her," he said with emphasis, his eyes fixated on you. Crap. You held up your menu over your face, hoping they would go away. Or at least Francis should. Gilbert should stay.
NO! Not even Gilbert. Both of them should leave. Why would you want Gilbert to stay? You'd talked to the man for a couple of elevator rides and he set up a hug by stealing your belongings. He wasn't a good guy. Of course not
"So, ______, Gilbert told me you are an excellent hugger. Care to demonstrate for me?" Francis said, opening his arms. You scoffed disgustedly.
Gilbert pushed Francis in the chest. "Don't be stupid, Dummkopf, those hugs are special for me
You glanced over your menu at Elizabeta, pleading for help with your eyes. She knew it, and was giving you the message: DON'T ANSWER.
So, instead of making you look more vulnerable than you actually were by answering either yes or no, you cleared your throat and hailed the waiter. He came over, awkwardly standing next to the men that were disturbing you and Elizabeta. "I think we're ready to order," you said, putting down your menu. You weren't, but you could order any old thing at this point. You were hungry.
The waiter smiled trying his best to ignore Gilbert, who was shooting him glares. He didn't notice Francis staring at his butt and smacking his lips. No, the waiter simply opened the order pad in his hands and smiled. "What can I get you ladies?" He asked, holding a pencil to the paper. You were about to say something before your eyes slid to Francis, who was now pointing to the waiter's behind and mouthing, "that ass." You did your best not to laugh, not even smile. You would not give him that kind of satisfaction.
Elizabeta was asking the waiter whether he preferred one thing or another when you felt Gilbert, who had now sidled up behind your chair again, playing with you hair subtly enough so no one noticed. You wanted to reach up and smack his hand away, but the waiter turned to you now. You bit your lip. You'd blushed so much that day that your legs were going to fall asleep from the lack of blood in your lower body. Actually, you weren't sure if that was how it worked, but you knew that blood in your face was staining your skin red as you felt Gilbert's fingers tweaking your ear. What the hell was he doing? You supposed you could file for sexual harassment, if it came to that. The idea comforted you as you ordered a salad and the waiter nodded and walked off.
Once he was gone, you grabbed Gilbert's hand and tried to toss it away but he stopped it in midflight. "What is wrong with you?" You cried, trying to keep yourself from screaming. Your face was hot. He laughed.
"Come on, you knew you liked it."
"And at least he stayed away from your b"
"Shut up, Francis," Elizabeta said, putting money on the counter and getting up. "Come on, ______, we don't need to put up with these jerks." You were convincing yourself to agree, but something inside you knew you actually liked it. You liked the attention. Guys had never really ever noticed you before and all this attention from an attractive manuh, you meant two attractive men
yeah, Francis was pretty good looking too
Snap out of it, you thought as you quickly stood up, following Elizabeta's example as you placed some money on the counter for your unpaid meal. She was now walking around Francis, slapping his grabby hands away and beckoning for you to follow her. You stood, the chair pushing into Gilbert as you quickly tried to chase after Eliza. And of course, being the klutz you were, you managed to fall.
Even before you hit the floor, you pictured Gilbert swooping in and catching you elegantly, staring at you lovingly as rose petals fluttered around the two of you. In your mind's eye, he had large anime eyes and was sparkling. Prepared for this reality, you let yourself fall.
What the hell. Had you. Been thinking. Owwwww ow ow ow, you thought, rubbing the side of your head, biting your lip. You opened your eyes to see Francis leaned so close to you it freaked you out. Your legs shot up and nailed him right in the family jewels.
"SACRE BLEU!" he wailed, along with a few other things you presumed to be French swear words. Elizabeta was standing near you.
"_______, are you alright? That was quite a hard fall," she said, pushing Francis aside with her foot, as he was presently curled up and rolling back and forth whimpering in French. You looked to Gilbert. He was watching you. Nowhere near you. He hadn't leaned over to try to help you up, or give you CPR like Francis had been attempting to do. No, he just had a slight smirk on his face and looked like he was holding back laughter.
"Mein liebe, that was quite graceful," he said, wiping the side of his crimson eyes as if a tear were pricking it. You glared up at him as Elizabeta helped you up.
"Thanks a bunch for your help," you said sarcastically, trying to regain your dignity as you made your way out of the restaurant, a very confused waiter standing behind you with your orders.
"No problem!" Gilbert said, winking and saluting before whipping around and saying, "My good man, these lovely ladies have decided they needn't eat, so I will gladly take their meals. They already paid," he said, pointing to the counter.
"Just ignore him; I'll get him later," Elizabeta muttered as you pushed open the door of the café and stepped into the warm windy air outside.
" you said, rubbing the bump that was beginning to form on your head, "if he weren't so
damn hot I'd nail him right in the nards."
Elizabeta smiled as she helped dust you off. "That's his power, you know. I've known the guy since we were little, so I can see through the hot-goggles. I'm surprised you didn't have hot-goggles for Francis. That's how he gets most people to sleep with him, I suppose."
You would've laughed if you hadn't felt so dejected and
well, stupid. "It's not that I didn't have the hot goggles, it's just that he was so freaking close," you said, shrugging and putting your hands in your pockets.
Elizabeta laughed sweetly and a sudden look of mild surprise crossed over her face. "Oh, my boyfriend's here to pick me up. I will see you tomorrow at the office, _______. I had a nice time getting to know you. Sorry those idiots ruined it for us."
You shook your head nonchalantly, like you didn't mind paying for lunch for the two men who had been bothering you and not profiting slightly.
Elizabeta clambered into a car with a man in the driver's seat that you didn't get a good glimpse of, but she smiled and waved before the car, which had obviously been patched up several times with assorted metals and duct tape, rumbled off. Looked like either the guy couldn't afford a good car or he didn't believe in professional repair.
You watched the car disappear down the street amongst the traffic before you sighed and began to head home, you supposed. Being unemployed until tomorrow left you with nothing else to do for the rest of the day. Well, the unemployment part was a lie; you had little odd jobs here and there, but you didn't have to go to those until the next week, since you were on potential leave.
Another large gust of warm air hit your face as you pushed through people to get to your apartment. There must be a thunderstorm or something coming, because the air had that certain smell to it: an indescribable scent that promised satisfying downpours, dark skies, and a world so wet you would have a perfect excuse to stay inside the rest of the day.
Everyone on the streets must've realized the coming rainor maybe their lunch breaks were overbecause soon, the rush of people, crushing you shoulder to shoulder, began to thin out as each individual person made their way to his or her engagement of some sort. Soon, there was only you and a few other shmucks wandering around with nothing to do.
A rumble of thunder sounded behind you, but you made no initiative to pick up your pace. You enjoyed rain. You didn't know why, but storms had always been appealing. Except when the power went out in your cheap little apartment and that one tiny little crack in the corner of your room let in just enough rainwater to soak your pillow. Maybe that was why you didn't sprint down the sidewalk. You didn't really want to get back to that tiny place you called home, not just yet. And maybe there was something else slowing you down. You didn't know why, but something in your gut was telling you there was no need to get home just yet. And just as the first drops of rain began to drizzle down, like the prelude to a huge production, you figured out why.
"Bist du verrückt, Mädchen?"
This time, you didn't need to fight a blush when you turned to see Gilbert sprinting towards you, holding two plastic bags above his head. "What?" you asked, standing akimbo as the German skidded to a halt in front of you. "Me no speaky the German," you said shrugging.
Gilbert giggled like before. You denied yourself that it was cute. "I asked you if you're insane!" He said, extending his arms above his head, the bags bumping against them. "It's gonna rain like Christmas in Russia!"
Once again, you simply raised an eyebrow in question, implying you had no idea what the heck he was talking about. Gilbert made an exasperated noise in the back of his throat and rolled his eyes, dropping his arms heavily, setting the bags down and clasping his hands on your shoulders. "I mean it's going to be freaking crazy out here!" He said, slightly shaking you a bit. You grabbed his hands and moved them far off your body before dropping them.
"I don't really mind," you explained as if to a child, "and why do you even care?"
"Are you seriously mad about the whole tripping thing?" He asked, his hair starting to stick to his forehead as the rain picked up. You looked at your feet, but Gilbert just laughed. "Look, if you're really so fed up about it"
He leaned forward, placed his hands back on your shoulders and gave you a push.
Nothing romantic and beautiful played through your head this time, but more like an array of choice swear words, including the ones Elizabeta had used earlier. Before you hit the ground, however, strong arms caught you a few inches from the wet pavement. Your eyes, which had been tightly closed, tentatively opened to see Gilbert with a devilish smirk and one eyebrow raised as if to say "See? I'm awesome".
It wasn't exactly how you'd pictured itinstead of roses, there was rain. Instead of sparkles, Gilbert was dripping water. He didn't have giant anime eyes, but close enough. He didn't stare at you romantically, but had an expression of self-pride set on his pale features
You were slightly trembling, and Gilbert laughed as if you were some kind of wuss. You were centimeters away from smashing your head open and were being held by some dude you'd been lusting after for the past few hourswhy wouldn't you be shaking a bit?
"There, Schätzlein, trust me now?" He pulled you back up and released you, smiling with his eyes squinted shut. You wiped the rainwater off your face, thankful that you weren't wearing a white shirt; otherwise, the moment would've turned into a wet t-shirt contest.
Gilbert didn't wait for a response. He just picked up the plastic bags he'd set down and held them out to you. "Here, it's your lunch. I better get back to the office." He waved, giving you a cheeky little wave and chorusing in a high pitched voice, "auf wiedersehen~!" He then turned around and began sprinting towards the Carriedo building, arms flailing above his head as if that would keep the rain off. You were left standing, still kind of in a daze, clutching soaking bags of salad that was probably wet as well, staring after him and trying to keep your heartbeat at a normal pace.