Pete runs his hands over his face, the heels of his palms pressing firmly into his eyes to the point that spots of colors bloomed behind his eyelids. Shit, how could have forgotten? Leaning back in the chair behind his desk he groans loudly before looked down at the heavy white envelope lying innocently against the dark wood of his desk, the contents of the envelope, a crisp, white with gold accent cardstock invitation, resting on top of it, the lettering on the invitation embossed and elegant that screamed ‘rich’, ‘fancy’, and ‘high class’ (Pete scoffs at the thought, because he’s far from the typical visual meanings of those words).
He lets out another noise as he buries his head into his arms, acting more like a toddler than the CEO of a record label. But Pete couldn’t really help it…he just hated the Gala.
He doesn’t know how much time has passed before Joe strides into his office without so much of even a knock, eyes looking a little blazed even as he whistles a jaunty tune, a stack of papers under his arms. Pete doesn’t even look up, this voice muffled by his arms.
“You know, knocking is seen as a common courtesy…Might also save your ‘innocent eyes’ from watching Patrick and I make out…” But Joe is pretty much in an I-don’t-give-a-fuck-right-now mood so he simply shrugs, retorting “Usually, but Patrick’s not here and you don’t have your tongue shoved down his throat, so I’d say my virtue is pretty much intact today.” Pete scoffs before picking up his head as Joe places the stack of papers in front of him. “Anyways, here’s the new venue contracts we’re looking into for some upcoming shows you were asking for, and this,” Joe magically whips out a tablet from under his arm, an intricate brightly colored graph of data on the screen, “Are the new merch-sales from the Clandestine floor, we’re looking pretty good.”
Pete takes the tablet, looking over the in data on the screen. “Keep it up, I’ll make sure I go down there personally and thank John and the rest of them for the hard work. Looks like we’ll double sales in the next six months.”
“Yup, maybe even triple. We might need to start looking into hiring more hands to help out in the future, but John and the crew are sailing like no one’s business.”
“They have it covered,” Pete agrees, but makes a mental note in his already jammed mental planner to keep an eye on it. As he hands the tablet back over to Joe, the younger man’s curiosity getting the best of him at the sight the invitation the desk.
“Is that for the Snob Ball?” Joe points out, falling into one of the chair in front of Pete’s desk, limbs thrown haphazardly, tablet in his lap. Pete groans again, inspecting the invitation once more, jeez. Why did Joe have to remind him…
“Yeah, I need to RSVP, I have to show face,” he grumbles, “Not that I want to.” He leans back heavily into the soft leather of his chair. He raises a dark brow, an idea spinning in his head. “You and Andy want to represent for me?”
Joe lets out a loud laugh. “Ha! Hell no, man. Been there, done that.”
“I’ll make it worth you’re wild…” Pete teases with a hint of begging.
“Nope! Not even if you give a raise and a year supply of weed. That’s your thing dude,” Joe says easily. “When do you need to RSVP by?”
Pete sighs, defeated, “Friday…I can’t go by myself, man, I’ll be fucking miserable, and all it is a bunch of cocky assholes who try to out buy each other!”
“You’ve got two days…and yeah, I get ya, when me and Andy went for you, we were bored out of our minds…” Pete whines like a child once more, head falling onto his desk. Joe, forever a lovable piece of shit, even when blazed, Pete always knew he was, simply snickered before a thought hit him.
“Hey, why don’t you take Patrick?”
Pete’s head shot up from its pace on the table at the suggestion. Why the fuck hadn’t he thought of that? But then again, he didn’t want to expose Patrick to all the snobby people who looked down on Pete like he was dirt because he wasn’t considered a “real” label…Pete always hated when others underestimated his hard work, and the hard work done by everyone who was involved in keeping DCD2 together.
“I don’t know, Joe. You know what it’s like….I kind of don’t want to put him through that…”
“But you have to admit that it’s been getting better over the years.” Pete did have to admit that it was true, it had gotten better, or rather, more bearable over the years, and most of the time, he had only gone by himself, maybe once or twice with Joe and Andy.
And for a moment, Pete cursed Joe’s high-as-a-fucking-kite-wisdom, and entertained the idea, possibly thinking about bringing it up at dinner. “Yeah," he sighed tiredly, "Maybe I’ll run it by him tonight…” Pete thinks out loud, not sounding all too thrilled.
“You never know, bro...anyways,” Joe stands, stretching. “I’mma go see if Jenna has any munchies or if I can steal some of Andy’s trail mix…if you need me, I’ll be…somewhere,” he gestures lazily with one hand, tablet in the other.
Pete tries not to laugh, but his grin doesn’t fade from his face. “Okay JoeTroh, and try not to hit the pipe too hard.”
“Nah, just had a rough night, jittery as hell. Andy already gave me a lecture. See ya!” and with another wave, the his curly haired friend closes the office door with a soft click, leaving Pete alone in his spacious office, alone to his thoughts, his work, and his dilemma…
“Hi! Welcome to Coffee for Closers!” Hayley greets as she places fresh pastries in the show-case, when the bell on top of the front door rings, signaling customers. Patrick calls out a name for the drink he just made, before making his way over to the register, adjusting the fedora on his head. “Hey, there, what can I make for you?” He asks easily with a smile.
It’s been a steady flow today, nothing too hectic, but enough to keep the busy; it’s December, after all, and nothing is better than hot chocolate or a hot peppermint mocha to warm up. The board is still up, since it’s Patrick’s shift, Hayley’s stick-figure rendition of him gracing the backboard, and his recommendation of White Hot Chocolate has been really popular today, much to his surprise.
“Okay, so I have a large White Hot Chocolate with a pump of caramel and whipped cream, and two cake pops…that’ll be $4.75…”
As the customer hands over her credit card, a curious expression comes to her face. “Hey…you’re the one that was taking the phone numbers months ago right? Because the board?”
Patrick’s cheeks flush as he swipes the card, “Yeah…,” he chuckles, “That was me…” He prints out a receipt and hands her card and the paper to her. The customer smiles as she takes the card from the barista.
“Well, I’m glad it ended up working out,” she winked as she mentioned to the board, which sat innocently besides the cashier. Beside Hayley’s stick figure, Patrick had written his name on the space that read, “Today Your Barista(s):” and the two facts he had scribbled on the board made him, and several other long time customers, smile.
- Found his boyfriend because of this stupid board
2. And his co-workers won’t let him forget it….EVER (it was their fault, anyways)
Then under the “For Your Drink Today, I Recommend:”
White Hot Chocolate =) because sometimes *regular* hot chocolate can be overrated jk
Patrick nodded his thanks with a grin and started working heating up milk for the drinks, thinking about the last four month’s that he’s been with Pete, days spent in his office watching him work from the corner of his eye as he sat on the loveseat procrastinating on his own college papers, to nights out and evenings in with pizza, beer (or wine if Pete was feeling extra ‘romantic’), and listening to records or watching TV. It was simple, and sweet, and frankly, it was them. Patrick reassured the CEO that for all the barista’s sass and attitude, he was far from high-maintenance, contrary to popular (Brendon's) belief.
“I just want to make you happy-” Pete had told him one night when he had hinted, just the slightest, that he wouldn't mind helping Patrick pay off his student loans.
“You make me happy, you idiot…Money isn’t everything to me, you know that," he had shot back, not intentionally coming off as offended. Patrick wasn't a damsel in distress, and the last thing he wanted to be was a pity case, or a Sugar Baby that Pete could throw his money at. (As it turns out, Pete come's from a wealthy background, his dad being a lawyer and his mom being a reknown Dean at UC, but prefers to earn his own income).
“I know, I know! I just…I’m going to sound stupid, but I want to take care of you, so, like, you don’t have to worry about anything.”
“I know we’ve been dating for less than half a year, but, like…uhh…I just-fuck I don’t even know where I’m going with this…” Pete had sounded frustrated, pulling slightly at his short hair before the strawberry blonde came and rested a hand over his, the other resting on Pete’s shoulder.
“I love you.” And that was the first time he had ever uttered those words to Pete, because Patrick didn’t throw the word ‘love’ around carelessly, but with Pete…it felt right. “I love you, Pete, but I’m a big boy, I can take care of myself…I appreciate it though, I really do.” He added as sincerely as he could have. Patrick remembers watching the way Pete’s eyes widen, and then his face soften as the barista’s hand found its way to his cheek, as he kissed his lips sweetly.
“I love you, too, Patrick.”
Patrick finished the order, bags two cake pops and hands them to the customer, waving goodbye as Hayley tapped his shoulder. “Break time! And quit daydreaming about your hunk of a boyfriend, you’re gonna burn yourself on the steamer” she grins playfully, sticking her tongue out.
“Oh shut up.” There’s no malice in his voice, but just a smile and a roll of the eyes. Hayley giggles, her fire red bun moving with her as she skips a little to the register, and takes over as he heads to the back. He leaves his apron on as he drops onto the lumpy sofa as he pulls out his phone, hoping, that with a 15 minute break and a miracle, he can finally pass this stupidly stubborn level in Candy Crush.
Before he could tap on the app, his phone buzzes and a message from Pete pops onto his screen.
hey u, still on 4 dinner?
yeah, my shift ends at 6, where?
From Pete :
casa de pete…or apt…lol im cooking 2nite
Oh god, please don’t burn down the apt, I just helped u move into it a month ago…
BABE!!! Im offended!!! (tongue emoji)
lol just saying! Jk
yeeeaaaah….suuure…lol i’ll c u l8r. love you
Love you, too jerk.
but im ur jerk <3 (wink emoji)
The blue-hazel eyed barista rolled his eyes and continued to his Candy Crush, smiling as he did, because, well, Pete wasn’t wrong after all; Pete was his jerk, and Patrick couldn’t be happier.