"What's keeping Asher this long? Even Jean-Claude is ready," Anita remarked, to no one in particular.
Jason shrugged, opting for the safest response.
"Ma petite, there is still more than sufficient time. The play is to commence at half past seven, and currently it is only ... ten minutes to seven." Jean-Claude's voice lost a little of its certainty as he reached the end of the sentence.
"Traffic can be a real bitch in the part of town where the theater is," Jason supplied. "I'm just warning you."
Anita glared at both of them. "It was his idea to go and see some french play, rather than stay home and do something normal. The least he could do is make sure we're not going to be late."
"I'm sure that Asher wouldn't mind staying home for 'something normal'. And if I remember correctly, it was *you* who picked up his suggestion and encouraged him. You said it would be good for him to spend some time away from the Circus," Jean-Claude reminded her.
"I did," Anita acknowledged. "And I still think that. He's been living like some sort of hermit these past months. Like he's afraid to let people see him."
"I shall go and see if he needs my ... aid with something," Jean-Claude offered.
Anita nodded in approval.
Jean-Claude softly knocked on the door to Asher's quarters. As a muffled voice told him to 'enter', he opened the door.
Asher was standing in front of a full-length mirror. At the sound of Jean-Claude's footsteps, he turned his head.
"Anita has grown impatient with my prolonged absence and has sent you to check up on me," Asher guessed.
"Patience is not one of ma petite's virtues," Jean-Claude admitted. "But you must know that we will need to leave soon, if we are to arrive in time for the start of the play. In fact, it were best had we left a while ago, since Jason claims it will be hard to find a parking spot near the theater."
Asher sighed, turning around to allow Jean-Claude see him fully. He wore a suit of the same design as Jean-Claude's, the only difference being the color. Jean-Claude wore black, with a white shirt, whereas Asher wore a suit that was a shade lighter, of a deep grey.
"You look ... ravissant." Jean-Claude's gaze travelled slowly up and down Asher's body.
"You are attempting to use words of flattery to convince that people will not be put off when they see me," Asher accused him, though he appeared slightly pleased.
"It is not flattery. I am telling you nothing but the truth, mon ami. As you would see if you used your eyes when you looked into the mirror," Jean-Claude protested.
"Really? Don't lie to me, Jean-Claude. Do I truly look 'ravishable' to you?" Asher inquired. There was a gleam in his eyes, a certain challenge in the tone of his voice.
"Yes," Jean-Claude said firmly, taking one step forwards. "I do not know how often I must repeat this before you cease to disbelieve me, but I refuse to give up."
Asher cocked his head. " 'Actions speak louder than words'. Is that not what they say in this century?"
"Actions? Are those what you desire from me?" Jean-Claude took another step.
"Perhaps," Asher evaded. "It is possible that your actions might convince me of that which I cannot bring myself to believe solely because of your words."
Jean-Claude stood close enough to him now that their bodies almost touched. It was impossible to discern who moved first, whose lips first brushed past other lips, whose hands first reached out to bury themselves in silken locks ...
After what felt both like an eternity and a mere handful of seconds, the sound of someone coughing made the two vampires break apart. Anita and Jason were standing in the door-opening. Jean-Claude didn't have the slightest idea if they'd knocked first, and Asher and he had simply not heard it, or if Anita had simply opened the door.
Jason was grinning, while Anita wore a slight frown. "Is Asher ready to depart?" was all she asked though.
"You can ask me that myself, you know," Asher noted, sounding more teaseful than offended.
"He merely needed me ... to adjust his tie. We can leave whenever you're ready, ma petite," Jean-Claude assured Anita, making a slight bow.
"Are you sure you don't want to stay home after all?" Anita inquired.
"After getting all dressed up? Of course not!" Asher shook his head. "By all means, let us go and see a play about tragical romance and cruel fate."
" 'All dressed up'? Yeah, I can see that. Especially the tie. I bet you put a lot of work in getting that in just the right form," Jason snorted.
Asher stared at him unfriendly. Jean-Claude cleared his throat, while Anita seemed torn between amusement and annoyance.
"If we wish to prevent being tardy, I think it best to leave now," Jean-Claude proposed diplomatically.
"Let's," Anita agreed. "Before anyone else decides his non-existent tie needs adjusting."