Balls in a Vice Ch. 01by_contortionist_©
My name is Alex Givet, I'm 23 with only a mother and a sister left, I have my Masters and just graduated a few months ago. I was born and raised in Chicago, taught to treat everyone equally and with respect. Too bad that once someone loses my respect they get the mean side of me, but we'll come to that later. Unfortunately not everyone was raised with the same morals as me. But you'll see, I don't care what you think, I'm going to do what I love most; Men.
I'm also a designer.
No not that kind of designer you stereotypical idiots. I'm an architect.
I graduated from university a mere three months ago and was on the job market for only two before a French company; Holstrum Engineering, snatched me up from North America and threw me in my very own design suite where I had 30 other architects, engineers, designers and marketing employees to collaborate with.
Mission? To design the new stadium for the 2012 Olympics in Paris.
Paris had some of the most amazing structural and architectural design known to the world, let alone Europe, and making the new stadium was not only an honour, but one of the biggest challenges any one of us would ever face.
Now I had just arrived in France two days before and knew no one from my team or even in the country. So on Monday arriving at Holstrum Lieu with a briefcase full of designs and a stomach full of butterflies I swore to myself to be normal, this was a fresh start and already life was looking up.
I got of the old service elevator and marvled at the flat that lay before me; it was windows for three of the four walls, the wide open space before me was only broken by large wooden pillars, all surrounded by tilted drawing tables or filing cabinates. Everything was either painted white, brass or made of wood, the oak flooring matched the support beams and even some of the tables, very modern/minimalist. In the far corner were long couches and fur rugs facing the windows, upon them I guessed, was my team, laughing and drinking coffee or tea as they caught up, suprisingly the main language in the conversations were english.
When the service elevators doors ground shut the twenty-five odd people turned to look at me, many with smiles. I adjusted my tie.
"Hi!" A lot of them chorused, one man walked foreward, his hands fluttering about his chest in a very... flaming, way.
"He-llo Gorgeous! I'm Tyler Quinn. What's your name?" He asked as he took my briefcase and set it beside the largest table in the middle of the room, where I had stopped walking.
"I'm Alex Givet." I introduced myself with a small wave as Quinn, as he preferred to be called, led me back to the group, standing me in front of the couches in center display.
"Ohh the boss!" an incredibly curvy black woman said with a faint South African accent, "Et un Frenchie aussi!" A few chorused oohs and ahhs but I had to cut in;
"Actually I'm not French, although I do speak it. I'm from Chicago." I let them gossip about that a little bit before also adding; "I'm also not 'the boss', I'm merely the team leader, no reason to treat me specially. Just call me Alex folks." I could noticably pick out the few that relaxed when I said that, and that was what I needed, if we were going to be a team, we all needed to be comfortable with one another. In a show that this was supposed to be relaxing and open I leaned back casually as people started introducing themselves, took off my tie and unbuttoned the first button of my light blue shirt. I got a lot of smiles.
"Is everyone here?" I asked after a few minutes of trying to learn everyones names. A couple more people walked in as I was still repeating them.
"We're waiting on two more people," Gabrielle, the striking African woman from earlier, answered. As she spoke though we heard the service elevator come to a halt on our floor, everyone looked expectantly towards the doors as they opened.
A man and a woman walked out, laughing loudly with each other as they made their way towards the group. When I saw the woman I almost had a stroke, quickly I tried to asses her companion and then was very sure I was experiencing a near-death experience.
"Lexy!" The woman screamed when she saw me, using the old nick-name she had given me in high-school. It was Dara, Dara Pierce. She ran towards me and soon had me enveloped in such a tight hug I had to concentrate on breathing, which thankfully took my attention away from the man she had come in with.
"Dara what the hell are you doing here?!" I was able to articulate, holding her at arms length. Now you have to understand I love Dara to pieces; if I had been straight we would have been married with children by now, I just never thought I would ever, ever see her agian after I graduated!
"I'm here to oversee your designs! I'm the director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies!"
Okay I had to scream with her for that, gay or not. Dara had created more than her fair share of celebrity productions and now had finally moved onto something huge.
I turned to introduce her to my team and when she was involved with answering a few personal questions with my team I looked back up and my eyes connected with the man she had brought along.
His family owned the marketing company that had donated their top people to my team, he was to be the marketing leader, and me the engineering leader, which meant we would be spending a lot of time together. Let me explain a few things;
He was another high-school acquaintance. Robert had been the high-school quarterback, the lead bass in our choir, the richest kid and the one with the most girlfriends "under his belt", if you catch my meaning, my very literal meaning.
He was also my first kiss.