“Okay, well,” said Vivian as she closed her laptop. “I’m going to let you keep going with this, but only since you seem to have a plan. Honestly, I don’t know about it, but you usually know what you’re doing with it so….” she trailed off. He did have a way of knowing the right way to spin a story in the end, but it’s difficult to see his methods usually.
“I have a lot of ideas,” confessed Gabe, sitting further back in his chair. Stories were a comfortable ground for him, and it helped that after the last three hours of constant banter he had loosened up. “I have the general plan for this story, but not the details, I’m just working those as I go.”
Vivian tried not to huff. She understood this was his process and that he excelled at it, but that didn’t mean that she had to like it. “Do you have a concrete plan with this dialogue, or are you just winging it and hoping for the best?”
Gabe gave her a real grin, one of the few. “I have a plan,” was all he said.
Counting to ten, Vivian took a breath. “Okay.” She lounged back and resolved to let it go. He knew what he was doing. “So how’s about lunch?” she asked, looking at the clock on the wall.
Gabe’s grin had diminished back to his usual shy smile. “I should get back and start unpacking the kitchen,” he said apologetically.
“Still unpacking?” she asked. “You should get some help with that, can you ask anyone?”
He shook his head, “I don’t really know anybody here.” He ducked his face a little, scrunching in on himself a bit more. Vivian immediately regretted bringing it up. Gabe was adorably shy, but it made it so difficult for him to meet new people, and moving to a new area was already difficult for him.
“Would you like me and Ryan to help?” she offered, already knowing the answer.
“No, thank you though,” he said as he glanced up at her. “I’m sorry, I just need a place that is all mine, you know?”
Vivian nodded, looking at Gabe as he struggled not to shrink in on himself. Outside the world of books this man was so cripplingly shy, even with her. She frowned slightly, Gabe had been her personal ‘project’ for a while now, and even with all the progress she’s made, he still has so long to go. Shaking her head, she stood up and stretched, feeling her joints pop a little.
“Well, walk me out anyway,” she said to him as he glanced up at her. He stood then and shifted a little as his legs adjusted to moving after a couple hours of sitting still. She grabbed her suit jacket and slung it over her shoulders before stepping back into her heels. As long as she was behind her desk she avoided cramming her feet into the gorgeous stilettos. Beautiful to look at, horrible to wear. Turning to Gabe he was wrapping the long blue scarf around his neck, coat already in place.
“How are the wedding plans going?” he asked as she grabbed her laptop to stuff into her work bag. She glanced over her shoulder as he gestured to the pink and gray swatches of fabric sticking out of her purse.
“Alright,” she said. “Ryan wants a small event, I’d rather it be a little larger so I can try to invite some more of my friends, but then it’s going to cost at least double.” She zipped up her work bag and snagged her purse then turned to Gabe who was already holding the door open for her. “Thanks,” she said as she passed through into the hallway.
Gabe let her lock up and walked down the hall with her to the elevators. “Why does the price double?”
She pressed the button, “Well, more people, bigger venue.” She frowned with distaste. “We love the idea of an outdoor wedding but we need an indoor area to dance and eat.” She stepped into the little silver box when the doors dinged open, letting Gabe press the first floor button. “So we need someplace that has a good outdoor area and a space big enough inside to host everyone to eat, dance, and all that.”
Gabe’s brow furrowed in thought, staring at their warped metal reflections in the door. “Well, that’s a pain,” he replied. “If you need any help feel free to ask,” he said, smiling kindly down at her. “I’m at your service.”
She smiled up at his kind face. “Thanks,” she replied. Stepping through the elevator doors to the front entry of the office building she worked in, she listened as her heels clacked the on the floor. Approaching the glass doors letting in the weak fall sunlight she hesitated, bracing herself for the chill.
Gabe opened the door for her, gesturing for her to go ahead. “Thank you again,” she said, ducking her head against the chill.
“Hey Viv,” said Gabe as he fell in step beside her. “I have an idea for a venue.”
Her head snapped towards him. His shoulders were slumped around him as he walked, looking defensive and small. “Where?” she asked as she watched his reactions.
“Well, if you’d like, I have a lot of space at the new house,” he said hesitantly, glancing at her as if she’d growl. “I mean, if you need outdoor space, there’s plenty, and it’s really pretty. And I know my house isn’t that big, but it has a really big kitchen and the back patio is really big if you’d like to use a tent to turn it into a dance floor. I mean, I know it isn’t ideal, but there’s a lot of space and if you’d like you can use it...if you want.” He glanced nervously at her.
The thought turned over in her mind. Gabe just offered up his new house, the one she helped him find. That was a big thing for him to do, especially since he had such a hard time with strangers. She grinned at him just for offering. “Do you mean it?” she asked him as they approached her car.
He scratched his neck nervously, “Yeah, I mean, you don’t have to if you don’t want to…” he faded out.
She smiled at his awkward kindness. “Do you think Ryan and I could talk about it?” she asked.
“Of course,” he nodded, happy to give her time and him space, backing away.
She unlocked her car with the fob and threw her two bags into the back seat, already littered with a few odd clothes, an umbrella, and a few other bags. Turning back to Gabe she wanted to hug him, but as usual checked the impulse. “I’ll call you later, okay?” she said as she opened the door to her car. He nodded and angled his body towards the direction they came, obviously heading towards where he parked. “Bye then,” she said awkwardly before swinging down into the low car.
Before shutting the door she called to his retreating figure, “Text me when you get home, I worry about you, Dimwit!” She smiled to herself as she watched him shrug his shoulders before disappearing around the corner. Slamming the door shut and turning the engine on to start blowing some hot air, she fished her cell out of her pocket.
-I think we found a venue-