Balls in a Vice Ch. 03by_contortionist_©
Moneen, sitting to my left, nudged me lightly, only then did I realize the table was waiting for me to commence the design process. I shook my head and started laying out details that Paris felt necessary to the arena as my group took out their sketch pads and began roughing out some images.
Leaving them I rolled up my sleeves and began walking around the tables, sitting in for a few minutes on each discussion going on. The engineering team was having a little trouble deciding which material would be best so I suggested they wait until they see some of the designs until they choose, hoping that would make it easier for them.
The marketing team was having a great time, their ideas didn't stop flowing for the duration that I sat there, each one better then the last. They even suggested a radical idea of hanging the Olympic flag from the Eiffel Tower, moreso jokingly but when they looked at me for confirmation I held up my hands;
"Don't do it on my account! Why not ask the president first?" they laughed and went back to talking when I felt those cold eyes on me again.
Breathing deeply I reminded myself that I had promised to be myself. And I was a strong-willed, outgoing guy, it was time for action.
I walked over to Robert and put a hand on the back of his chair, leaning my hip on the table beside him. He looked from where my hip rested, (instantly making me a little to warm for my liking), letting his gaze linger over my torso as his sight made it's way up to my face. When his eyes rested on my neck and collarbone for a little to long and I saw his tongue dart out and wet his lips I cleared my throat to get his attention.
"So what brought you to my design studio Rob?" I asked, using the name he had asked me to use with him when we were together, specifically when we were making love. I was hoping to make him feel as uncomfortable as his presence was making me.
"Well you know my company--" he had started in a condescending tone so I cut him off;
"I know that Rob, why are you here? Any associate could have filled in for this position, but the VP of the company sitting here in front of me? Seems like a little much." I joked around, not intending on making him laugh at all. Crossing my arms I watched him exhale roughly.
"The Olympics is 'a little much' for a company like ours." he said quietly after taking in a large breath, his eyes clouding over a little, which what I wasn't sure; anger? frustration? fatigue?
"Yet, I don't recall you being at the 2010 Winter Olympics," I leaned down a little and whispered, glad his table was still engrossed in their discussion, making it look like we were just having a small conference between us.
"I was busy then." he looked at me to drop the subject as he stood to go get a coffee from the machine in the other corner. Hah! I was just getting started.
"How is the wife anyways?" I asked following casually.
"Divorced." he grumbled, taking a paper cup and opening two sugar packs into it. "But you already knew that."
"Mmm, I thought I had heard something of the sort, just thought I'd clear it up. So now to the real reason you're here." I demanded, opening a tea bag and dropping it into a hot cup of water.
"To make sure you don't fuck up." My jaw dropped and I looked over at him with wide eyes. He was looking straight ahead, around the room and the team assembled. Only when I saw that small shift of his eyes to gauge my reaction did I know he had made a joke. Robert Leeves had made a joke.
"Insulting little fucker," I chuckled and looked back down at what I was doing. Rob just smiled, laughter in his voice as he stated;
"I thought you were going to have a conniption for a second there."
"I think I did, but lord knows you've made me have enough of those I'm fair sure I've grown immune." I turned to look across the room as well, watching as my team worked hard. I glanced at my watch before leaving Robert at the drink table and saying to the room;
"That's good for now guys, il est midi maintenant et je sais que vous êtes tout affamé, so go get some lunch and be back around 1:30." My French wasn't great but I was pretty sure I had said they all must be hungry seeing as it was noon... at least I hoped I had.
Watching people crowd onto the elevator I started wandering around the room looking at the ideas and designs on the tables, nodding at some and raising my eyebrows at others. Some didn't even deserve consideration.
I was in the middle of picking up two, placing them back to back and holding them to the sunlight streaming through the window, comparing the designs and seeing if they could work together when Robert came up behind me. He stood directly behind me, close enough that I could feel the edge of his suit jacket brush against my back as he reached over my shoulder, took the top page and flipped it around, replacing it in my hands. His breath was hot against my neck and shoulder as he said;
"It fits better now, and is more visually appealing. If you raised the backdrop it could be a great design."
"Sorry, but who's the Architect major here?" I joked, turning my head to look at him over my shoulder, our bodies incredibly close now.
"Excuse me," he held up his hands and backed up a few steps, a small smile playing over his thin lips. "I was just going to the deli downstairs to pick up a sandwich. You want anything?"
"Um, just a bagel thanks," I took out my wallet and pulled out a 20 franc note, handing it to him before returning to the designs I had been holding up. When I heard the stairwell door close I turned to look in the direction he had left, smiling when I noticed he had left the note on my table.