My first thought is that it's Ezio; the dark hair, the olive skin, in my mind it makes perfect sense. After my second thought being that it is, in fact, not my ex-boyfriend who outed me for all the world to find, I notice how close he is to Emma. And how she is leaning as far away from him as her chair will allow. It seems that my little detour to the bathroom gave more room for problems than I expected. The man is lounging in the chair I was just in like he's been here all night, the chair turned towards her and scooted almost as close to her as it could go. There's a crooked grin on his features that Eschieve would call 'a failed attempt at a smirk'. I assess from a distance for a second, guessing that he's going to leave any moment now. No doubt Emma has told him about me to fight off his advances. It's clear he doesn't care though: his head tips and his brow furrows in that typical 'oh sweetie' kind of way. He shows no signs of leaving.
With the two cocktails still in hand I approach the table. He doesn't seem to notice, and I nearly drop the glasses when he reaches out and caresses her cheek with the back of his hand. Emma smacks his hand away just as I put the glasses on the table, and that's when he finally looks up, but possibly only because I obnoxiously lean down between them to reach the table and to create distance between them. There's no regret or apology, just pure resentment for me interrupting his flirting attempts. Emma's expression is nothing but shock, which kindles a special kind of rage deep within me. 
"Can I help you?" It takes me a lot of effort to keep my voice even. 
"No, thank you. I'll tip you later." He says with a heavy accent. "Wait, maybe a bowl of strawberries? I can feed them to the pretty lady sitting here with me." The disgusting sly grin is back and he puts his hand on Emma's knee.
Emma, on her term, seems frozen in place, just staring him down, though he willfully ignores that. It only pisses me off more. 
"I'm not a waiter." I point out. "This is the only time I'm going to ask you nicely: please move away from my girlfriend." 
He looks me up and down, scoffing. But then it turns back into that smile. "Just go get the fruit for me, why don't you? You don't want me talking to your boss now, do you? I'll get you fired." As he speaks, his hand slowly creeps up Emma's leg. This time she jerks her leg away and shoves her chair backwards; it seems more than a reflex than anything else. It does create an opening for me to stand between them, shielding Emma behind me. Our new friend clearly doesn't appreciate that, since he stands up and steps so close to me our chests are basically touching. He is, quite literally, nothing short of a beast. I'm by no means a short man, but still he towers above me and judging by what is seen through his tight shirt, hitting the gym is his favourite hobby. For the first time in my life I thank Aleran for his relentless bullying, because that's the only reason I don't back down. 
"Back off, buddy." The man says in a low voice. "You abandoned her, and I've taken your place. If she hadn't wanted it, she would have told me off." 
"She has been, you've just been ignoring it!" I spit back, acting tougher than I feel. Truth be told, I'm not sure how I'm going to win this; if he decides to start throwing punches, I'm done for. With Aleran I'd just make a run for it, but obviously that's out of the question now that it's not myself I'm protecting, but Emma. He's just ignoring anything I say, knowing he has the upper hand, so talking isn't going to win this either. 
So instead, in a desperate attempt to de-escalate the situation, I use a piece of advice that Gabriel has given me years ago and that I've always disregarded as completely useless. I channel my best impression of him, softening my facial features and laying a hand flat on the man's stomach. It works immediately: he jerks away from me, giving me a look of horror. "What are you doing?!"
"Well, it's rather obvious I'd say." I offer him a sultry smile worthy of an 80s edition of Playboy. "I'm not mad that you're hitting on her, I'm jealous. She always gets all the attention from all these handsome strangers, I want some too!" 
He looks absolutely disgusted, snapping something in Portuguese that I don't understand, and than takes off still rambling to himself. I hear him say bicha, which I recognise as a slur. It only means that Gabriel's advice worked an absolute charm. 
If you want to get rid of someone, act the most gay you possibly could. 
I can't dwell on it, though; I spin around and kneel down at Emma's chair. She looks pale and stricken, but then her eyes find mine and her body relaxes a little. 
"Did he hurt you?" I ask, trying to sound calm. She shakes her head. 
"No. Just… wouldn’t leave." Her voice is shaky.
"Let's get out of here." I toss some cash on the table that pays for the bill nearly thrice, but I don’t care. The car isn't far off, luckily, and I'm more than happy to leave the village behind. After maybe five minutes, Emma covers her face with her hands. 
"I can't believe I froze up like that." She mutters. "I can't believe I let that happen!"
I want to take her hand like I almost always do when driving, but this is a stick shift car and with the rough terrain, I'm barely able to let go of the stick. "Em, it's not your fault. He caught you off guard." 
"I know, but still! I could have gotten up, could've gone looking for you. I could have done so many things and I did none of them!"
"He was twice your size. He chose to ignore you, and me just the same. There wasn't…" I catch myself. I know nothing of what she's feeling. I'm not a woman, I've never found myself in any sort of situation like this. Sure, I've been harassed by fans in aggressive ways, but I never really felt unsafe. I'm reminded of the one time Eschieve came home, before we were close, and she looked at me with tears in her eyes before telling me what happened. I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing, and she just locked herself in her room. I glance at Emma, her face still hidden behind her hands. "I'm sorry that happened to you." I say eventually, because I don't know what to say to make it better. There might not be anything. It makes me feel a little helpless, and for some reason also a little guilty. "I'm… Just tell me what you need from me, okay? I'll try my best to make it happen."

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