Wrapping his hand tightly around his cup of iced coffee, Erik couldn't restrain his smile if he tried with all his might. Less than a day had passed since one of his greatest accomplishments had taken place and mulling over it, Erik could wait a few more days until he set his sights on returning to Wakanda. London wasn't actually bad for somewhere he was only visiting to steal from and despite the occasional looks, he could ignore them easily. Most of the people trying to work him out couldn't even garner a thought on the type of person he was.
It was almost halfway through the ninth hour of the day and all Erik wanted to do was sit where he was while grinning because of how good he felt. The artifacts they had stolen had vibranium in them. Well, the shared stolen piece had vibranium in it, but as well as the mask, Erik discreetly picked up a long, oval-pointed blade discreetly and pushed it into the back of his jeans, covered by his lengthy crisp white shirt. Ulysses agreed to split the money equally between himself and Erik but with such an opportunity there was no point in not having something for himself. The blade was worth mildly under what the other vibranium weapon was but even if he opted not to sell it, he could always kill T'Challa with it instead.
Taking a paced sip, a snicker slipped out at how well this had played in the Californian's favor. Sure, he had to put up with Ulysses' bullshit now and then but he was finally rid of most of his stress. Working with the South African overtime put him in a position where he could wear designer clothes as his sleeping attire and other than what he wore, Erik cared little about money. At some point, he would have to buy his own place to stay in but it wasn't about when he would have to acquire the funds for it but more so when he could be bothered to do so. For now, he was more than contempt with staying in the best hotels London had to offer, his current one not too far away from the coffee shop he was in.
Once Erik considered buying a palace in Wakanda he chuckled to himself and imagined the outrage of him moving in within walking space of the Golden Tribe's living space. Despite being so away in his thoughts the man wasn't so absent-minded that he couldn't spot someone's head turn as soon as he swiveled his own to casually look around the room. His iced beverage was running low, so he slowly stood up from his table to order another one and as he approached the barista, he noticed from the corner of his eye the lingering stare, again. There was no way in hell this man was a cop or someone chasing Erik. The plan had gone too smoothly for that.
"Hey, can I get another..." Trying to remain on track suddenly became more difficult for Erik. He looked over at the seemingly chilled man who was reading a newspaper and returned his eyes back to the barista after a few seconds, awkwardly rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand. "Sorry, can I get another one of these?"
Not much time passed until Erik was handed his second iced coffee and sticking the green straw between his lips felt more stressful than it should have. His eyes raised quickly to see the stranger observing him and now his cheeks were heating up with irritation as he clenched his jaw and exhaled deeply from his nostrils. Not many people managed to visibly annoy Erik and the fact that he was so obviously frustrated only riled him up more. But he wasn't going to cause a scene because of a few stares - at least the man staring at him wasn't white so it probably wasn't racially motivated. Then he wouldn't care about making a scene. He'd shoot the whole damn movie.
Ambling over to the man, he leaned on his palms against the oak table after placing his cup on the side of it and didn't even wait for him to look up from his newspaper.
"Can I help you?" Erik inquired with a low, pissed-off tone and narrowed eyes behind his golden-rimmed glasses. The man simply raised his eyes to face Erik and smiled.
"Nope, pretty sure I don't need it. It's just funny."
Erik had no clue as to what this man was getting at and felt his frustration elevate with every second that passed.
Oh, how badly Erik had wanted to include 'fucking' but he knew his voice would definitely raise if he did. The man looked at his iced coffee and back at him, something Erik noticed.
"Most people usually grab their fix of caffeine and dash, or they sit in and type some random shit up. I've never seen someone just sit there, giggling to themselves and stare into space as they drink their coffee."
Once he explained it, Erik scoffed and was clearly taken aback. There were many responses that Erik could have chosen to roll with but ironically only one came out.
"I don't giggle," Erik insisted. "I was smiling, maybe smirking. Wait, why am I explaining myself to you?"
He went to grab his coffee but couldn't even do so when the man opened his mouth again.
"Probably because I'm so charming, you couldn't stand your reputation being tarnished."
This time, Erik let out a surprised laugh and raised his eyebrows. Was this man being serious? If this was his game with other guys, Erik was more than grateful that there were more men out there for him to find in different circumstances. One thing he gave to the man was how confident he was, it almost reminded him of himself...shit. The mutual level of confidence was already discovered.
"Are you for real?" Erik asked. The man wasn't exactly ugly, his groomed beard helped take away from the shiner he had on his left eye as well as the bruising that leaked onto his jaw. Erik couldn't see the black eye due to his sunglasses, but he knew it was there. "Look, bruh, I'm guessing that shit didn't work on the last dude you talked but I don't fall for that shit."
The man smirked and broke his eyes from Erik to mentally congratulate him on the quip.
"Don't worry, this wasn't from me trying to hook up with someone," he defended, pointing at the bruising. "I deserved this one."
When his sentence turned to a murmur, Erik swallowed hardly and regretted making such a snide comment. The stranger was clearly affected by whatever game him the bruising and maybe this was his coping mechanism. Erik knew all about those, mostly the unhealthy ones. He chose to pull a seat from another table in front of him and sat on it while offering an apologetic smile.
"My bad bruh, I didn't mean to be an asshole. I'm Erik."
He extended his arm out to shake the man's hand and the man had no objections to doing so.
"Sam. And don't worry about it. I never mean to but it always happens anyway."
Erik bubbled out a laugh immediately and covered his mouth behind his closed fist as it developed into chuckles.
"I like that one," Erik admitted.
"Thank you," Sam replied with a smile. When Erik spoke, he caught a swift sight of two gold grills, accenting his bottom teeth. The man certainly held a unique image to him and as he took in some more iced coffee through his straw, Sam continued to observe him. The style of his dreads intrigued him and some of them were tied back whereas the majority rested comfortably over his head, against the left side of his forehead and swept a bit to the side. Before he could continue gazing, his phone buzzed and with one look at it, he murmured under his breath. "Shit."
Erik furrowed a brow and tried to catch a glimpse of the screen but Sam was quick to push it into the pocket of his black leather jacket.
"I gotta go. Business calls."
Of course. Just when Erik was beginning to warm up to him, he had to go. Shifting into his seat, he watched Sam stand up and rub his palms against his jacket and jeans to neaten himself up. If he was going to meet another guy, that would just be plain disrespectful. But something told Erik that he wasn't and his mouth raised happily, displaying those golden teeth once again.
"Sure thing. Do you come here often?"
"I, uh, kinda only got here a few days ago. Considering this is one of the only places I know of and I'm a devious coffee addict, I'm sure you can count on it. See you around, Erik."
"Until next time."
Watching Sam leave, Erik failed miserably in not turning around and watching him go, praying that he wouldn't turn around. His eyes trailed lower and only thing came to his mind. He wanted to believe that Sam's jeans complimented his ass generously, but something told him that it would look good in any pants. When Sam abruptly turned around and shot his eyebrows up to give him a teasing expression, Erik smirked and waited for him to leave the coffee shop. As soon as he did, Erik buried his head in his arms on the table and groaned as his cheeks scorched ferociously with embarrassment. All he wanted was to enjoy his iced coffee.