Foto bij 015. - Lucien

We blink, and the end of the vacation is upon is. All of us would like to stretch out further, but it's impossible to do so. Gabriel has several events lines up, the girls will fly to Dubai for a shoot for a big brand and Matthew and I have to get back to work. I shudder at the thought; four days after arriving back home, I will leave it again for a semi-permanent residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a move of my own choice, but still I can't say I'm too excited about it. I'm a creature of habit and for the past twenty-six years my habit has been Paris.
"Don't be so doom and gloom, Lucifer." Matthew chides me. "The world isn't ending."
"Isn't it?" I take a sip of whiskey.
"No, it's not. Scotland isn't all bad. A bit rainy, maybe, but Edinburgh is gorgeous and the parties..." He makes the gesture of a chef's kiss. "The parties are sublime."
"Plus that you get to spend a lot of time with your new best friend." Gabriel says. He's lying upside down on the couch while scrolling through his phone. "Doesn't he live in Edinburgh as well?"
"Works for my father's firm, even."
"Wait, really?" Gabriel looks up. "So you'll be his boss?"
I shrug. "In some way. I'm not technically leading -"
"Yeah, yeah." He waves my excuse away. "You're still the son of the owner, though. Your name is on that building. Well, not actually, but in theory it is!"
"Do you have something against Callum?" I ask, only half joking.
"No. Well, not really, anyway. It's just..." He thinks, then shrugs. "Remember when Kenna asked if you truly thought you were better than everyone else? He thinks the same thing, just about himself. But it's more than that. Something's off about the guy."
"Your paranoid is shining through, Brie." Matthew says, which Gabriel answers by tossing a pillow at his head.
"I'll have you know I have impecable intuition."
"Like with that guy at the Trevi fountain yesterday?" Matthew smirks.
"I said intuition. My gaydar is more broken than my straigtness."
To my surprise, a flirty aura has come to life between these two. I'm not sure how serious it is, but I don't intend to find out. "Alright then!" I interject. "Last night, so time for the best party yet."
Gabriel finally moves to sit right side up again, though he immediately swings his legs over the side of the couch. I swear I have never seen that man sit decently. "You got our names on that list, right?"

There's exclusive clubs, and there's this one. The VIP-area is even more so, which is exactly where we'll be spending most of our time. The bouncer waves us in no trouble and immediately, Liliana and Audrey disappear to the dancefloor, dragging Gabriel with them. The minute Matthew and I step into the VIP-area, we are offered a line of coke. We exchange a look. In the end I decline and I see that Matthew is very, very tempted, but then refuses.
"Not my usual club." He explains. "Don't know the people, don't know what might happen if things go bad."
"Hey man, no need to explain anything to me." I grin, ordering us both two shots of vodka. "I get it. Besides, early flight tomorrow. Nothing's worse than flying with a drug-hangover."
We clink our glasses together and quickly down both the shots, when I hear my name in that annoyingly butchered way; the English way, in which they change the E to an A and then proceed to pronounce the N. I turn around, seeing a widely grinning Callum.
"It seems we can't get rid of each other these days!" He says cheerfully. "Though I figure I shouldn't be surprised to find you here!"
"Gotta go out with a bang, don't we?" I grin, waving for another two shots for - now - the three of us. "Can't come to Rome and skip this place!"
"Absolutely right! Suppose you don't need any favours to get in?"
"Yet another thing I surpass you in, friend." I say with a wink. "Though you earned your way in, no doubt. I heard all the stories of you in the courtroom."
He waves the comment off. "Tsk, no work talk, Lucien. Plenty of that when you come join us in Edinburgh!"
"Where's your girlfriend?" Matthew suddenly asks and by the glint in his eyes it's solely to annoy me. My friends take great amusion from the fact that Emma seems to hate me and that I don't like her any better. "Or did you already replace her for a newer model?"
Callum's eyes narrow ever so slightly, but then he laughs. "I don't plan on replacing anytime soon. She's having a smoke, no doubt she'll be back soon."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that if Lucien is here, now." Matthew takes one of the shot the moment they are served. "Those two might eat each other if we don't keep an eye of them."
I roll my eyes. "I have been nothing but civil to her, thank you."
Both Matthew and Callum burst out laughing. "Oh, don't fool yourself, Lucifer!" Matthew hiccups. "You are the embodiment of charisma, but all of that goes straight out the window when that girl is in a five meter radius of you. You can't stand her and you're terrible at hiding it."
I clench my jaw. "Fine. But she's not exactly given me reason to try and be kind, she's hated me since the moment she laid eyes on me."
Callum has a shit-eating grin on his face and no amount of shots will make it bareable; I try anyway, by taking the two waiting for me. "Not to worry, friend." he says smoothly. "Just because one girl doesn't swoon over the sight of you, doesn't mean the world is coming to an end. It just means that this one actually has some brains in her."
I bite back a snide comment that has no other intent than to hurt Callum or Emma, or even both. I'm not here to fight, or get worked up about who does and doesn't like me. Emma and I don't like each other. Even the VIP-space is big enough to avoid each other all night.
The edges of the room are starting to get fuzzy, meaning the vodka is doing its job. Matthew suddenly changes his tone, probably noticing a shift in my demeanor. He's an expert in noticing things like that, often before I notice it myself. "Come on," he grabs my arm. "Let's find the others. No doubt Gabriel wants to show off his dancing skills and I don't want to miss that."
I let him pull me away, grinning at Callum and saying we'll see each other again to share another drink, to celebrate a new partnership that starts a little less than a week from now.

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