"You've bought me a bracelet," Cobb says, looking down at the gift in his hands.
Saito remains impassive and unrevealing, his face purposefully controlled. "You prefer silver to gold," he states. He knows; he's observed. "Go ahead. Put it on."
"I appreciate it and all, but I'm not sure I follow what's going on here," Cobb says. He looks down at the jewellery box in his hands once more, and Saito rests and watches him. By this point, of course, he should have cut all contact with him. The job with Fischer is completed. They have both fulfilled their sides of the bargain. Nothing ought to remain.
And yet -
Here he is, buying gifts for a man who confuses him.
"You're buying me gifts now?"
"I wasn't sure what would be appropriate," Saito confesses. He offers an apologetic smile, and pauses for a beat to allow Cobb's confusion to deepen. "I have never tried to woo a man before. My previous experience has been purely with women."
His smile deepens as he watches Cobb's eyes widen in muted shock - yet it can't come wholly as a surprise. Saito is a busy man with a business to run, yet for the last month he has been here and nowhere else. He has spent time here, hours and days, and for him time is far more valuable than millions. He has less of it.
"Wait, am I understanding this right?" Cobb asks, with a shake of his head like he is trying to jerk himself out of a dream. Saito wouldn't be surprised to find him spinning that top at the next available opportunity. He wouldn't have thought this to be so unlikely.
"I am trying to court you, Mr Cobb," Saito clarifies. If he's honest, he would admit that he is rather enjoying tormenting him like this - but he is rarely honest. "I don't think I'm doing a rather good job of it, yet."
Cobb looks down at the bracelet, staring at it as if it might provide him with answers. It glints mutely in the sunlight.
"Come out with me tonight," Saito asks, watching every slight movement in front of him. "I want to take you to a restaurant I know in Morroco. I do, after all, have an airline at my disposal."
He sees the twitch at the corner of Cobb's mouth, showing that he wants to smile but isn't sure if he dares to do so. "Why me?" Cobb asks. "I don't get it."
That much is clear in everything from the way that Cobb walks to how he chooses to enter a room. He seems oblivious to his innate appeal, able to walk through life as if the sight of him isn't enough to turn heads. A pity, but also an appealing quality.
"We're old men in young bodies," Saito says - because he remembers it well, that long life in Limbo. Sometimes he thinks that he must have left most of himself behind in that limitless place. He thinks that, maybe, he didn't come back whole. "You understand what it is to be lost in eternity. I think that very few would."
"That doesn't have to translate to- this." Cobb's hands gesture fruitlessly between them. Watching their movement, Saito's mind can't help but flash to thoughts of what he might like to allow those hands to do to him, how they might feel against his skin, or how Cobb might struggle against him if he pinned his wrists down against a soft, plush mattress. He licks his lips and forces sweet thoughts away. "You could just want to be friends."
"Would you like me to say that I find you very appealing?" Saito offers. "I do, of course. I'd like to keep you."
Cobb coughs, clearing his throat as if there is something stuck there. It makes Saito warm to his topic.
"I am a possessive man, Mr Cobb. I'm used to owning whatever I want."
"And you want to - 'own' me?"
"Yes." Saito makes no attempt to hide it. "You're something special, and I would like to treat you that way. You and your children would be well provided for. You gave your share of the extraction fee to Yusuf. Your savings will not cover your expenses indefinitely, and you will require financial assistance. I would like to help."
"You make it sound like a business proposal."
"I'm aware that I lack poetry. I'm a businessman, not a playwright." Yet he can see that he has Cobb's attention now, his eyes wide and blue. "I'll confess that I spend more time thinking of the physical side of life with you than the financial one. Perhaps it's a sign that I'm losing my touch."
"What are you-"
"I'd like to fuck you." Sitting outside together, the sun shines on their conversation. There are birds nearby. He feels as if he might be spoiling the atmosphere, but he sees Cobb swallow. "And more besides. If it goes according to plan, we'll have more than enough time to explore each other's quirks. I have quite a taste for bondage; your wrists would look wonderful in cuffs, don't you think?"
Cobb blinks at him, and Saito observes the heaviness of his breathing. He feels him trapped in the palm of his hand, and he leaves the bracelet with him as he stands up; he discreetly adjusts the erection in his trousers, but Cobb's eyes track him the entire way. "I'll see you for dinner tonight," he says - there is no question. He has him hooked. He sees Cobb nod and leaves in satisfaction, the silver of Cobb's jewellery glinting in the sun.