From behind a thick file he’d read through twice Eames waited for Arthur to check his wristwatch, again. He’d been at it all morning – distracted, tracking time, sneaking glances at Eames.
Bloody hell, was Arthur blushing?
Eames’ imagination was running wild: Was it a new lover? Plans for a noon tryst? Fetish gear beneath his trim kit? Squashing his stomach-roiling jealousy, Eames noted that Arthur wasn’t looking aroused just…anticipatory.
Anticipatory and suddenly, incongruously, nervous.
Swiveling his chair around, Arthur addressed a floor tile mid-way between them. “I’m…um, I’m taking off in a few minutes.”
Fuck, it was a nooner. Bugger all.
“Oh, right. Well, enjoy.” Eames hated himself, hated the world.
“I thought…I mean, I wondered,” Arthur looked up at Eames. “I’m going to a matinee of The Muppet movie. Would you like to join me?”
“The Muppets?” Eames asked rather stupidly.
“Never mind.” Arthur hand-waved, radiating a false nonchalance so brittle it hurt.
“Yes!” Eames blurted suavely, “Yes, I’d love to.”
“Will you hold my hand during the scary bits?”
“It’s The Muppets, Eames.”
“Gonzo makes me nervous,” he confessed.
“I’ll hold your hand if you’ll buy the popcorn,” Arthur bargained, “extra butter.”