053. - Lucien
I'm not sure when the night ended; at some point, I found myself with Gabriel in the back of a taxi. I'm wasted, totally out of my mind drunk, but I can't remember the last time I had this much... fun. It was just like Emma promised it would be: no expectations, no reason to be someone I'm not. No one in that bar gave a single fuck who we were, except maybe the odd one that looked at us as we were there to rob them blind. Funny enough, they probably made that call because we looked so awfully different from the rest of us because even in 'not dressing up fancy' our outfits were probably worth more than all of the other customers' clothes combined. Mine especially - coming from a regular family, Gabriel did a better job at dressing casually.
But still it didn't matter. It was amazing watching Emma dance on that bar, it was yet another side of her I hadn't met before, and of course it was Gabriel who ended up dragging me up there, too. And it was fantastic. We bellowed along to 'I Gonna Be 500 Miles', in which I loved seeing the surprise on Kenna's face that I knew every single word to that song. Somehow (thanks to alcohol, probably) Kenna and I did a very dramatic duet of 'We Found Love', still on top of that damn bar, followed by Gabriel stealing her place so we can do 'Young At Heart' together. It's ridiculous and outrageous and I would do it all over again without a second hesitation.
I vaguely remember seeing the six on the clock when I finally collapse in my bed, though I can't be entirely sure. I'm just glad that, for a change, I have exactly nothing planned on this gloomy november Sunday.
It's nearing two am when I finally get myself out of bed, into the shower and then to the kitchen to make breakfast. Or lunch. Or whatever you want to call it. Halfway through scrambing the eggs Gabriel joins me, sitting down at the bar with a large glass of water. He's wearing sunglasses inside, which tells me plenty. I feel the same. I serve him a platter of eggs and bacon, which he thanks me for with a nod.
"So," He says when I sit down on the other side of the bar with him. "When are you going to ask her out?"
"Ask who out?" Did I hook up with someone last night? It's all a blur, but I'm pretty sure I would remember that...
"Emma." Her name comes out matter of factly, as if it could be no one else but her. I stare at him.
"Why on Earth would I ask out Emma?"
With his fork, Gabriel slides his glasses down to the tip of his nose. "Because you're head over heels in love with her, why else?"
I almost choke on my eggs. Generous as he is, Brie slides his glass over to me. I take a few sips, taking the time to make absolutely sure I heard him right. "I'm not in love with Emma. She works for me."
"I dunno man, if my boss looked at me like that I'd be filing a complaint with HR." He shoves another fork-full of eggs into his mouth.
I shake my head in disbelief. "I'm not in love with her. We're just becoming friends."
"Luce, you can't be serious. A blind man could see you're into her." He laughs. "It's so obvious."
I stare down at my eggs. Am I? No, no, I'm not. We're just becoming good friends, celebrating the same thing together. Without answering I go back to eating, making his expression soften.
"Shit, Luce. You seriously don't know you're mad for her, do you?"
I grit my teeth, but this is Gabriel we're talking to and he knows me better than anyone on this entire planet, so I shake my head. "You know I don't really... do emotions."
He puts his fork down, his face a lot more serious now. "How did you know with Liliana?"
Simply hearing her name sends a stake through my heart, but I bite through it. "I didn't. She asked me out, and that made me realize I had feelings for her."
"See, there ya go." He picked his fork back up and is waving it around now. "Emma is never going to ask you out, because like you said: you work together. More so, you're her boss. So she's never going to admit it unless you do so first."
"Gabriel, I don't have feelings for Emma!" I can't hide the irritation from my voice entirely. "And even if, we could never go out because I'm her boss and company policy forbids it. And that is assuming she has feelings for me, which I guarantee she doesn't."
With the sunglasses still on the tip of his nose, it's easy to see that Gabriel isn't buying any of this. "Sure she doesn't."
"Fine." I bite. "What makes you so sure, then?"
"You have a tell." His voice is surprisingly gentle. "Several. One of them is how much you let your guard down around her. I don't see last night's Lucien very often, even if you're off your rocker drunk. You're like that when you're with just me, but last night was so far away from our regular crowd I wouldn't be able to pull that off. She did though. Secondly, you could not stop looking at her. All night you would seek her out in the crowd and every time you found her, your eyes lit up. The last one is the most obvious though." My phone makes a bright sound and my heart jumps. "The last one I've been seeing whenever we've been together after that week Emma spent at your place. You set personalised sounds for the people you like best. That -" He nods towards my phone. "is Emma's."
"How did you..."
"Because you should see yourself when it goes off, Luce. Your eyes sparkle and you can't stop smiling. No one else does that to you. No one else but Emma."
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