Author: SarryMatts PM
With his job and relationship on the line, Felix has his work cut out of him. Enter Max, his brother's pushy best friend and Felix can't figure out if he's a hindrance or his saviour. SLASHRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 22 - Words: 59,470 - Reviews: 330 - Favs: 315 - Follows: 186 - Updated: 03-05-12 - Published: 08-22-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2840902
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Finally something new. Hope you enjoy it.
No one should ever be woken up by an obnoxious ring tone before noon on a Sunday, especially when they'd gone to sleep at five and they were hung over.
"Answer it." Martin rumbled from beside him, shoving him towards the edge of the bed. "Now!"
Felix hit the floor with a thud, groaning as he woke properly, face first onto a wooden floor could do that to a person. He rubbed the side of his head dazedly, looking around at the scattered clothes for the location of the irritating ringing.
"Felix phone!" Martin was sitting up, also unable to hang onto the last threads of sleep.
"I don't know where it is." The younger muttered sleepily, covering his yawn with his hand and frowning when the ringing stopped, only to start again seconds later.
"It's in your coat pocket." Martin stepped over him with a scowl, like it was all his fault that he was being called repeatedly at stupid AM on a Sunday.
The phone rang off again and he sighed when it began yet again, reaching for the denim jacket that had been dropped by the door in the drunken scramble the night before.
"Hello?" He answered with a yawn, glaring at the number display on the clock as it mocked him with those horrible numbers. 07:21. Too early!
"I have been trying to get in contact with you all morning!" The far from dulcet tones of Olive Penning hit his ears.
"It's seven-twenty-one." He stated stupidly, his attention drawn to the sound of the shower.
Mmm…Martin in the shower.
"I am fully aware of the hour, Felix." The old woman snapped, the acid tone probably enough to melt him alive. She really reminded him of his mother most days. "I will be expecting you here in half an hour."
"But it's Sunday." He muttered, leaning to the side to watch Martin through the glass door of the shower.
"Why, yes it is."
He threw the phone at the bed when she hung up and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He was so temped to ignore the demanding woman and climb into the shower with Martin. He didn't though.
Instead, he brushed his teeth, idly watching Martin towel dry himself off. Neither of them said a word. The mornings were always awkward between them.
"That was Olive Penning. She's summoned me." Felix explained, following the blonde back into the bedroom and hoping that Martin would pull rank as his boss and tell him not to go to work on his day off. They had plans for dinner after all.
"Better get moving then." Martin suggested, completely uninterested, unfazed that their day was going to be ruined. "She's an important client."
Felix waited until Martin was gone before gathering up his folder, laptop and phone. He made a point of not thinking about the strange position he'd ended up in with Martin. Most of the time he had no idea whether he was coming or going with his boss.
"No. No thinking about it." He scolded, pulling onto the main road.
He was annoyed, Sunday was the only day he had off and Olive Penning had just ruined the first one he'd been able to spend with Martin in over a month. Then again, he was annoyed at Martin too, it would have been nice if he hadn't abandoned him to deal with the nightmare old woman alone so abruptly as well.
No. He was not going to dwell on Martin.
"I told you half an hour!" The harridan was actually waiting for him in the stupid cold wind, pouncing the second he climbed out of his battered old car.
"I live an hour from here." He replied absently, his attention fixed to what was no doubt the reason Olive was so frazzled.
The summer house. The beautiful, authentic, antique, Victorian, stained glass summer house. The centre piece of Jennifer Penning's wedding. There it was, with a tree through it. There was no way to describe the panic that was rising inside him. The old oak beams were cracked and splintered, the whole area was sprinkled with multicoloured glass and the old ceramic tiled floor was cracked.
"They claim that the tree was diseased." Olive Penning scowled at him, as if that was his fault too. "It gave way some time late last night."
It was some sort of omen. It had to be. Six weeks before the wedding and the location was in a crumbled mess. Two months wasn't enough time to re-plan a wedding with almost one thousand guests. He'd been pushing his luck by trying to arrange it in under a year in the first place.
"What?" He asked, sounding stupid yet again as he stared at her blankly. It really was like being around his mother, every time he opened his mouth he felt like he was a child saying the wrong thing.
"You are the wedding planner. Plan a back up." She ordered, haughty tone back and he stared at her blankly.
Plan a back up.
Was she joking?
She wasn't joking.
"I'm going to need some coffee." He sighed in defeat, mentally waving goodbye to every free moment he would have had over the two months and turning back to his car to retrieve his laptop.
It was going to be a long day.
"Oh mother how could you?"
The question came from Jennifer, the rather unfortunate bride. Felix looked up from the folder in front of him to give her a brief wave while he listened to the woman on the other end of the phone mutter to herself.
"How could I what?" Olive asked her daughter, her tone much less bossy and condescending when she wasn't talking to someone she considered to be 'The Help.'
"It's Sunday! Poor Felix probably had plans with his family or his girlfriend and here you are standing over him! Forcing him to work like some task master." Jennifer scolded, glaring at her mother.
After dealing with the difficult woman for so many months it was rather refreshing to watch someone else tell her off and talk to her the way she spoke to the rest of the world. If her expression was anything to go by, it wasn't a regular occurrence, even from Jennifer.
"Considering the amount I am paying, I see nothing wrong with it." Olive stated primly, waving a hand in dismissal. "Where is Collin?"
It was the first time Felix had ever met Jennifer's fiancé and he found himself gawping. He was in the army so spent a lot of time away but he took regular leave to spend time with his fiancé. He was perfect. Tall, blonde, blue eyes, muscles, strong jaw, physically fit and perfect lips. Perfect.
"So this is the wedding planner?" Collin eyed him, distain in his eyes and a slight curl of his lip as if he was trying not to sneer.
Okay. Not so perfect.
Luckily he was saved when the secretary on the phone started talking to him again.
"I'm so sorry sir, the earliest date we have available is August of next year. You can leave your name and contact details and I can contact you in the event of a cancellation." She paused for a moment. "I'll warn you though, the waiting list is quite long."
"Don't worry about it. Thank you for your help." He hung up with a sigh, crossing off the last venue on the list he and Olive had made. Thirty-seven venues. Not one of them could help. "No luck."
"Have you called everyone on that list today?" Jennifer demanded, her fighting spirit back again. She shoved Collin out of her way and snatched the list from the table. "What time did she call you?"
"Seven thirty." He shrugged, gently taking the list back from her and attaching it to the inside of the folder. "I got here an hour later."
"Why?" Collin asked, losing the battle and sneering at him. "I thought only women liked planning weddings."
"Collin be nice."
"Why?" Both Collin and Olive were baffled and Jennifer sighed, shooting him an apologetic look.
"It's okay Jen." Felix murmured, closing the folder. "I'm used to it. To be fair, this was an emergency and I didn't have plans."
"See." Olive sounded so smug, like suddenly it was justified that she'd ruined his day off and looked down her nose at him. "Right. What are you going to do abou-"
"Mother!" Jennifer closed the laptop with a loud snap, almost catching Felix's fingers. "He's been here for over five hours and I bet you haven't even offered him some food. Let him have the rest of his day off. You can take up all of his time tomorrow."
"He's just admitted he doesn't have plans." Collin stated, siding with Olive, who was clearly very happy to have him on her side. "It doesn't look like he's resolved any of our problems either."
"Honey you need more than Felix to resolve your problems." Jennifer sniped, furious at her fiancé. "You need a professional."
"Jennifer Patricia Penning! How dare you-"
"I'll come back tomorrow!" Felix blurted out quickly, wanting to head off the family fight. Collin looked ready to explode and Olive was giving Jennifer that pinched look that was usually a sign that a mum was going to start lecturing about manners. "I'll be here for noon, that way I can see if anyone in the office can call in any favours and get us a venue."
"Oh! Thank you."
He really liked Jennifer. She was so down to earth compared with Olive and the unpleasant Collin. She always made sure she was nice, gave him coffee, and she'd paid for him when Olive insisted they have a planning session in a restaurant that charged more for a bottle of wine than he paid for a month's rent.
Felix left, relief flooding him and quickly sent a text message to Martin, asking if he was still welcome to go around for dinner. Martin was a fantastic cook, and any chance he got he'd try to eat with him. Martin had made it very clear he'd rather chew off his own foot than eat anything that Felix had cooked again.
His phone buzzed as he started to drive off and he grabbed it, daring one quick glance down at the screen but his grin died when he saw the reply.
No explanation. No apology. Just one single word.
Just like that.
Felix slumped in his chair in disappointment and began the long drive home. It was probably the worst Sunday he'd had in a long time.
Sometimes an extra pair of arms would be useful. Every morning was a juggling act for him.
Four folders. Four coffees. His laptop bag. The office post. Two newspapers.
Folder number one went on Martin's empty desk, along with coffee number one; a large black coffee with two extra shots of espresso. Felix wasn't sure where Martin was but he was instantly worried, usually his boss was there first and stayed longer than any of them.
"Thank you petal." Elise didn't look up as he gave her folder number two and coffee number two; double cream caramel latte with four sugars. She opened the folder straight away and took a mouthful of coffee.
Coffee number three and the two newspapers went to Scott. Piss weak filter coffee with tonnes of milk and tonnes of sugar.
The third folder went to Kara. She snatched it straight away and started flicking through it, reaching for the phone with the hand that wasn't clutching her water bottle. Kara didn't drink caffeine. She was one of those health fanatics. Two hours in the gym every day. No alcohol, nothing with more than 0.1% fat content.
He sat down at his own desk with a yawn and opened the last folder. It was completely full of all of the arrangements and plans for the Archer-Penning wedding and he had no idea what to do. He was just a trainee, not that Olive was aware of that. No one else in the office would work for the old trout so Martin had dumped the account on him, telling him not to screw up.
"Does anyone have any favours they can pull in for me. I need a venue big enough for a thousand for September twelfth." He called out, figuring he may as well get it over with. They all turned to stare at him and Felix bit his lip at the amusement on their faces. "Yeah, I figured it was a bit of a long shot."
"Ask Martin when he gets in." Elisa suggested with a sympathetic smile when Scott snorted and Kara pulled a face.
He really didn't want to have to do that. It was bad enough that the three in their office knew about him and Martin, last thing he needed was abuse because they thought Martin was giving him hand outs. He slumped in his chair, looking towards the glass walled office Martin had in the corner.
Hopefully Martin would be in a better mood.
"Still hung over?" Martin greeted Elisa with a smirk when he swooped in and she gave him a tired look.
"Screw you." She gave him the finger, not even bothering to give him a real reply. "Oh, and be nice."
"To who?" Martin took off the designer sunglasses, revealing bright blue eyes.
He was in a really good mood. As in, so good that Felix had never seen him look so full of life. What had happened to lead to that? He swallowed when Scott glared at him.
"The runt needs a favour."
Good mood gone.
It was like that lately, one mention of Felix and Martin's eyes would dim and his smile would fade and he'd get this look on his face, like he'd rather Felix just wasn't there.
"Office." Martin gestured, walking towards his cubicle.
Felix scrambled after him, wishing that the other three weren't craning to get a good look. A feeling of dread was starting to fill him. He had a sneaking suspicion that his bad luck was going to stick for at least another day.
"One of the trees on the Penning Estate was diseased and it fell through the summer house." Felix explained reluctantly, biting his lip. "I can't find a replacement venue and they can't postpone the wedding because the groom is going to be serving in another country for a year starting January."
"Ah. How many does the venue need to hold?"
"No chance." Martin stated, leaning back in his huge office chair as he sipped the coffee and Felix bit his lip.
"So what do I do?"
"Convince them to postpone."
"Then you're going to have to pull off a miracle." Martin stated bluntly, sharp blue eyes holding Felix's. "If you lose the Penning account for the company then you're going to lose your job."
Felix was frozen. How could Martin do that to him? He liked his job and office hours were usually the only time he got to be in the same room as Martin without the two of them having half a bottle of whisky inside them.
"What are you waiting for?" Martin asked idly, staring at him and Felix licked his lips.
"You're going to fire me if I don't pull off a miracle?"
"But you…Martin we…"
"I can't give you preferential treatment Felix. You know that. If it was one of those three out there then I'd say exactly the same to them. If you want that miracle you're going to have to get a move on." Martin warned him and Felix had to bite his lip to stop the wetness in his eyes welling up.
"How am I supposed to pull it off?"
"For one thing, you don't start crying about it." The blonde man snorted and sipped his coffee again, tapping his pen on the glass desk. "I can help you out a little."
"Really?" See! There was the Martin that he liked.
"I'll let you concentrate on your miracle. We need a break from each other anyway." Martin stated casually and Felix almost fell over in shock. "If you pull off the miracle, then we can see where we stand."
Just like that.
First, nature ruins his first solo planned event. Then, less than forty-eight hours later Martin was putting his job and their relationship on the line and making him attempt to pull off a miracle. He wasn't sure how long he'd been standing there but he jumped when the phone rang.
"This call is important." Martin stated, gesturing to the door.