Suzaku nervously ruffled as he tried to make himself comfortable in the leather seat. Across from him his superior had already made herself at home. Her purse claiming a seat of its own, she sat, quietly flipping through the mock-up and writing notes here and there with a flourish and an expression of disdain distorting her pretty face. Glancing out the window, he blinked at the lights twinkling at him from all around them. Never before had he so much as dreamed of stepping into a private jet. Given, it was the company’s, but all the same: it was too beautiful to call a machine, with its enormous seats and tables and sofas and just… It was almost enough to make him forget about the tight pit of “Am I doing this right?” that always seemed to infect him from 7AM to 10PM every Sunday through Saturday.
“Would you like anything to drink?”
He looked up at the smiling stewardess, surprised to hear an offer.
“No, thank you.” He smiled nervously. “I’m okay.”
She nodded as if she understood his plight. Turning around, she disappeared before returning with a cup of coffee. He was about to protest, saying that he really was alright, when she placed it in front of his boss who hadn’t so much as returned the greeting of the crew. He supposed that she had flown so often that the staff already knew what to get without having to be asked, which only seemed natural; pissing off the editor-in-chief seemed to be akin to asking for a severance package. One always had to be on the tips of one’s toes with the Ice Queen around.
Which was also why Suzaku burnt his hand as he hurriedly reached for the coffee. Better his hand than her lap. Biting his tongue, he carefully placed the cup down once they had leveled in the air. Shaking his hand, he carefully stood up to hobble his way to the bathroom, when he heard: “Whatever our plans are for the next three days–”
Standing like a fool with a partially burnt hand, he answered without a moment’s hesitance. He’d spent so much time working on the itinerary and perfecting it, he’d memorized it and was able to recite it without so much as a pause between her question and his answer – even when he completely misheard the question.
“A driver will take us to the Dukes Mayfair, where a Duchess suite has been arranged for you. After an hour and a half of rest, we’ll go to your lunch appointment with-”
“–I want you to cancel them all.”
She looked up, obviously irritated. “I’ve come 3 days early for a reason. I’m not going to work during those 3 days. I have other plans.”
“But the lunch… Her Royal Highness specifically asked to meet with you.”
“And so what? Do I look British to you? Was I the one who took it upon himself to make this plan and that without so much as referring to me first? I don’t care what you tell her, just cancel it. I’m having lunch with someone else. And you can cancel that hotel reservation while you’re at it.”
Slowly sitting down, Suzaku clasped his hands together. It seemed to him that he was more upset about snubbing a real-life princess than she was even though it was her name and reputation that would be sullied. He sighed. But what could he possibly do? He was just a mere pawn, an instrument to carry out her will. C.C. must be fully aware of what implications cancellation must hold. He could only hope that whoever it was that she was having lunch with was that important to warrant such damage – though in retrospect, he wondered why he had ever felt confused as to why she was acting so recklessly.
“Suzaku.” The Englishman smiled at him. “Thank you for coming. It must have been exhausting to have to fly here so suddenly, but I’m sure you understand why the urgency was necessary.”
He watched as the Duke – as he later found out – turned to the woman beside him and kissed her before helping her into the car, holding her hand high so that a diamond blinded him with its mischievous wink. Blinking in its wake, he stared after them.