037. - Lucien
Selene urged me to go home and then Gabriel called telling me the same thing. For today there was nothing to do for the Copperman-case. I have yet to reassign it, but it's basically waiting for their counter offer before we know what has to be done. That makes for the rare occasion that I actually go home somewhat on time. I forgot how busy traffic can be and it takes me longer than necessary to get through the drive, giving me far too much time to think. My head has been nothing but turning for days on end. Luckily tomorrow's friday and my business is required elsewhere and Gabriel is coming over this weekend for some much welcome distraction.
It's not until I step into the elevator that I realise Emma might still be occupying my apartment. I told her it was okay - and it is - but it does throw me off a little bit. In the past weeks I've become accustomed to coming home alone. The elevator, that comes out in my hallway, dings open and I'm immediately greeted by an array of smells. I follow my nose into the kitchen, tossing my suit jacket and briefcase on the bench that I specifically placed for that in the hallway. In the kitchen it's first of all a mess, which stands out because I rarely use the kitchen. Second of all there's a table set for two, with Emma standing next to it.
"Good evening to you, too." I say, obviously confused. Emma is smiling nervously. "What's all this?"
"Dinner." Emma replies matter of factly. I tip my head in amusement. "To thank you." She quickly follows. "For... yesterday. And for letting me stay."
With a chuckle I look around. "You know, buying me flowers would have been easier."
"I'm sorry!" She laughs, clearly still nervous. She's wearing a dress that I haven't seen before, so she's probably been shopping. I'm glad to see she kept busy. "I didn't know where anything was and I was ambitious and things just got a little... out of hand." She shrugs sheepishly.
"It's okay. We'll clean up afterwards." I sit down and she offers me a glass of wine, which I happily take. She serves the first course with a flourish; bruschetta. The entire dinner seems Italian, which is just fine with me.
"You really went all out, huh?" I ask as she sits down. She shrugs again.
"It kept me busy. Besides, the kitchen looked so sterile I wanted to make it look used."
"That was a correct observation." I sip my wine. "I don't cook a lot. Don't like cooking for myself."
"What were you planning on eating, then?" She looks at me over the edge of her glass. The circles underneath her eyes are still there, but her eyes themselves seem to be a little brighter.
"Italian." I say with a shrug. "Just... not as fancy. Flat and round, with an obscene amount of cheese on it, delivered to my doorstep."
"Pizza?" She laughs. "I didn't expect something so... mundane."
"I'm a normal guy, Emma." I dig into my bruschetta, which is absolutely amazing. "I like normal things and pizza might be one of my favourite foods."
"I didn't mean to..." The sentence trails of. I shake my head.
"I know, don't worry. Just letting you know there's some normalcy to me. How are you feeling today?"
"Weird." She admits with a sigh. "Callum keeps trying to contact me, wondering where I am. He went down to Kenna's, even... That's nuts, right?"
Because my mouth is full, I just nod.
"It's going to take some getting used to, which is pretty normal I guess." She shrugs, then suddenly looks a little anxious. "Is he able to walk through security here? Seeing you two are friends and all..."
I shake my head. "I briefed them this morning that he's no longer welcome on my property unless they call me first. Though I think this will be the last place he'll look for you."
After that, we move on to lighter conversation. She serves the main course, which is a stunning truffle pasta that I could eat buckets off, but annoyingly enough she made just enough to give each of us a serving and a half.
"You need to save room for dessert!" She says cheerfully.
"Don't tell me you also made dessert?" I ask, genuinely inquiring. "Christ, woman! Are you available for hire?"
She laughs, pouring me another glass of wine. "Of course I made dessert. Dinner's not complete without it."
With the tiramisu served, the conversation lands on the Copperman-case. I suppose it was unavoidable; Emma poured her heart and soul into this case for weeks on end. "Is it salvageable?"
"I honestly don't know." I admit truthfully, even though I haven't said that to anyone else. "We have to wait for their counter offer, but I don't think it's going to be feasible for us to take that. He didn't say it, but when I called Mr. Copperman this afternoon it seemed like he's already preparing for jail."
Emma looks uncomfortable. "I really fucked up, huh?"
"Yeah, you did. But there's no use dwelling on it: what's done is done and it's our job to make the best of it. Besides, I wouldn't be surprised if the mighty Jacques du Castellon is going to swoop in and take it." Just thinking about that causes me to take a deep drink of wine.
"Yeah, my dad." I don't try and hide my dismay. "Aside from the fact he thinks I fucked up, this is exactly the kind of case he can become a hero on. Let's just top talking about it." I wave it away, not wanting to think about my father. Or the case. Or work in general. I find myself wanting to get to know Emma, because I don''t think we've ever been as kind to each other as we are now. "Where did you learn to cook like this?"
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