Author: Sophie PM
SLASH-AU. Running away from home, leaving behind his family, his identity and starting a new life had been the easy part. Escaping the man he was betrothed to was proving to be more difficult. @ NaNoWriMo story @Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Chapters: 24 - Words: 46,700 - Reviews: 74 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 62 - Updated: 04-15-11 - Published: 11-04-05 - id: 2041920
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Kedaka-sama is here."
Julian glanced up from the drink he was pouring and at the manager. It was a Saturday night, and the Black Pond Bar as busy as it ever got. Now was not a good time for Kedaka-sama to arrive. Kedaka-sama insisted on personal attention by the staff, and as the owner, he got what he wanted.
That didn't make life easier on Julian and Manager however. Kedaka-sama was particular in the attention he received when he came into his bar. If the private room was not empty, it needed to be. Whatever food or drinks he wanted were to be prepared or fetched immediately. And if Julian was on shift, he was the one to serve everything.
It was one of Kedaka-sama's eccentricities. There were many, but everyone just kind of turned a blind eye to that. That's why Manager was moving behind the bar without any other explanation. They both knew how this worked. Julian was to stop what he was doing, and hurry to the back room. Manager would step in and cover the bar for however long was necessary.
Julian looked back to what he was doing. Mr. Sakamoto was slightly red in the face, and smiling lazily at Julian. He and his business partner Mr. Herrmann were celebrating a big deal they'd just landed with a couple of drinks and a lot of friendly conversation. They were both regulars of the bar, and on familiar terms with Julian. They liked to tell him about the latest gossip at work in a kind of semi- compatriotic, semi-paternal tone, like he was a favored nephew they were explaining the business to.
Julian smiled back at Mr. Sakamoto and finished mixing the man's drink. "Here you go. Sorry about that. You'll have to excuse me, please, gentlemen. Duty calls."
Mr. Herrmann caught on quickly and glanced at Manager. "Come on, can't he stay a little while longer? We were having fun."
Julian smirked. They most certainly were and he doubted that his absence would make much of a difference. They deserved to celebrate, however. They had worked hard on that deal and Julian was pleased for them. It was nice to finally reach a goal. It made all the hard work even more precious.
Manager shook his head. "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but it is unavoidable. You will have to accept me as a substitute, I'm afraid."
Mr. Herrmann sighed dramatically as Mr. Sakamoto took a large gulp from his new drink. "You can't blame us for preferring Julian here's company. A little bit of youth after working all day is refreshing."
Julian blushed slightly, but continued to smile. It was nice to know that he appreciate because he was young and not in spite of it. But there was work to do, and Kedaka-sama was already waiting. "Please excuse me, sirs," Julian said quietly, then slipped away as discreetly as he could.
Black Pond was a modest bar as far as size went. On a quiet night it would have been quiet easy to talk from across the room without having to raise your voice. It was designed to cater to an exclusive, wealthy crowd, and did so admirably well. Everything was made of the finest quality available, from the wood of the tables, to the glasses used, to the plush dark blue carpet under foot. There was a distinct Japanese theme to the decor, which only made sense since Kedaka-sama was from a traditional Japanese family. Julian could appreciate it too, in a kind of distant way. His parents had been the same way, traditional Japanese everything. None of his family had lived in Japan for generations, but that hadn't stopped his parents, or their parents. Though somehow it wasn't as annoying here at the Black Pond. Maybe it was because it was his parents that weren't there.
Julian smiled to himself as he walked to the back of the bar. There was one door there, unmarked except for the tall, board-shoulder man in a suit that stood in front of it. Kenta.
Julian flashed him his brightest smile. "Evening, Mr. Kenta. How's it been?"
Kenta nodded at him, a slight smile tugging at his lips. "I'm fine, thank you, Julian-sama. I trust you are well."
"Always am," Julian replied. Kenta was a decent guy. He was one of Kedaka-sama's assistants. One of the large, imposing assistant that seemed to always be with Kedaka-sama. But he was a friendly guy, much better than the other one, Seiji. Seiji wouldn't even look at Julian. He just opened the door without a word. Kenta at least was willing to trade polite greetings.
"Kedaka-sama is inside." Kenta told him, opening the door for him.
Julian smiled in thanks and walked through with a little wave. Kedaka-sama had the lights on in the private room brighter than the rest of the bar, and Julian squinted slightly as he walked through. It was so Kedaka-sama could work on whatever business he had brought with him. Sure enough, there Kedaka-sama was, sitting on the farthest cushion, his papers spread out across the low table.
Typical. Kedaka-sama couldn't just come for a drink or dinner. He had to bring work with him.
"Good evening, Kedaka-sama!" Julian said, announcing his presence. He bowed politely, and waited to be recognized before moving closer.
Kedaka-sama only waved a hand in response.
Julian stepped closer and bowed again. "It is a pleasure to see you again, sir. May I offer you a refreshment?"
Julian nodded. "Anything else, sir?"
"Have you eaten?"
Julian looked up. Kedaka-sama was still studying his papers, even making notes on one. "No, sir."
"Then have someone sent out for something."
Julian smiled, feeling warm and grateful. Kedaka did this sometimes. When he felt like company, he'd have Julian send someone out for food for two, from wherever Julian wanted. Then Julian would sit at the table with Kedaka-sama, eat, and even talk quietly if he liked. Kedaka-sma would just ignore him if he found Julian annoying. But often he just let Julian talk. And sometimes, occasionally, he'd say something himself.
The warm feeling ran from his cheeks to his finger tips and lower. He didn't understand why Kedaka-sama would want his company, but he was going to enjoy it. This was different from Mr. Sakamoto and Mr. Herrmann's friendliness. Customers like them were naturally friendly with everyone. Kedaka-sama rarely talked to anyone, much less a lowly bartender.
"Thank you, Kedaka-sama."
Julian backed out of the room. Kenta smiled at him as he came out, and Julian smiled back broadly.