"What about this one?"
The costume he held up consisted of scraps of fake suede, brightly dyed feathers and beads -- and not much of any of them. 'Skimpy' was perhaps an adequate description, Wufei decided, checking the colors against his skin tone in the mirror. At least this one didn't make him look washed-out like that pink antebellum dress had -- not that he'd ever be caught dead (in public) wearing such a thing. Modesty may be lacking, but he still had a sense of dignity. But the suggestion was worthwhile, if only to see the expression on Treize's face.
A smirk. no, *leer*, as the ginger-haired man held up the costume's mate, singing softly. "I've got spurs, that jingle jangle jingle." Then he abruptly sniffed, wrinkling his nose, as if taking his first good look at the get-up. "No good. Too Village People." Both costumes were tossed on the pile of rejects.
Wufei gave an exaggerated sigh, glaring at the nearly depopulated costume rack. "Perhaps you should have decided sooner, about going to the party..." An annual extravaganza, the Romafeller, Inc. Halloween Midnight Masquerade.
"Oh, I decided a while back, but this is the first opportunity I had to get off work at a *normal* time for shopping. You know R&D is slammed, with the new product line going into production next year."
Continuing to paw through the gaudy fabrics, the dark youth nodded, convinced. His lover *had* been working a lot of overtime lately...
"Are you sure you want to go?" Treize pleaded, abandoning his search. "It's all such a big fuss for one lousy night, and the music will probably be too loud and the food terrible. We could always have our own *private* dress-up party, at home..." Sapphire narrowed to lazy slits -- he thought he was so charming when he gave that look -- and Treize waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Okay, he *was* charming when he gave that look. Absolutely, positively... almost irresistible. Stern, Wufei scowled, because if he didn't he was liable to break down and give in. "No!" The word was punctuated with a flash of pink and lavender and sparkle, as he waved the magic wand -- the one went with the fairy princess costume he happened to be holding -- at his recalcitrant lover. "With so much work, it's getting to the point that I hardly see you anymore. I'm not going to pass up the chance to have you to myself for an entire evening." Even if ironically it was spent at a company party.
Well, he'd had to try... "Then what shall we do about costumes? There's nothing here we like, and I doubt so late another store would have a better selection." Hesitant, he resubmitted the suggestion of homemade outfits. "You always look marvelous wrapped in a bed-sheet."
"Wonderful. I'd be the world's first ghost draped in paisley silk Ralph Lauren."
"Toga?" Treize supplied helpfully.
Wufei made retching sounds. "I'd have frat-party nightmares for months. Look, we're just going to have t- What are those?" He nearly pounced on a store clerk, trudging towards the rack with an armful of cloth. "Returns. You know, party canceled, break up with your date the day before, that sort of thing..." She dumped the armload down and wandered off, loudly smacking her gum.
"You were saying...?" Grinning predatorially, Treize extracted two hangars from the mess, holding them up.
Wufei's eyes widened. /Perfect!/ "Oh, Grandmother..." he purred, slinking over to Treize. "What a great, big, cock you have!"
If possible, Treize's grin widened, and he growled softly, "The better to fuck you with, my dear..."
"What do you mean, you're not coming home tonight?!?"
Treize winced, withdrawing the phone from his ear enough so that distance muted Wufei's cry to a tolerable decibel level. "I'm sorry, really sorry, but something has come up."
/Yeah, 'something' is always coming up./ Wufei wasn't jealous by nature, but... In this instance he couldn't help but wonder if 'something' didn't happen to be one Mr. Zechs Merquise. Almost a month ago the junior marketing exec had joined Romafeller's payroll, supposedly hand-picked by President Dermail himself to handle advertising for the new line of luxury personal hygiene products. A job which put him in extreme close contact with Treize. The ginger-haired man even admitted that a lot of his late nights were spent with Zechs, mulling over consumer preference data or making last-minute tweaks to their marketing strategy.
Even that wouldn't have been enough for concern, except that Wufei had *met* Zechs once, at a luncheon. The wretched man had the sort of Nordic good-looks that demanded -- and received -- absolute attention wherever he went. Standing next to the impeccable Armani-clad blonde had made Wufei feel small and bland in comparison.
"Wufei...? Are you still there?" Treize had reached the end or a rambling explanation and apology, and expected some form of response.
"Uh, yeah. Just thinking..."
Treize tried again. "As I said, I don't have time to go home and change, but I'd rather thought something like this might come up, so I brought my costume with me, to be on the safe side." A static sound, like a hand held over the receiver, and muffled conversation. Treize was chuckling softly when he came back on. "Zechs reminds me that the bathrooms are the favorite spot for prank ambushes, so I'll change in my office, and wait for you in the lobby so you don't have to deal with security. See you around eight?"
"Yeah, eight..." Lacking conviction. "See you then." /Merquise again... He didn't need to rub it in./
"Eight," Treize repeated. "Till then, love."
But the line was already dead.
Working late, a private office in the relatively quiet research wing, and the company of one flirtatious, admittedly attractive blonde. It was enough to drive a jealous lover insane, and one more confident than Wufei to the edge. The slight man took to pacing to ease his nerves but it had the opposite effect, winding him more tense. /Treize says he loves me, and I believe him. I *trust* him./ And yet...
Wufei had been in bad relationships before. In fact, Treize had captured him on the rebound of the devastating discovery of Duo's infidelity. The suave ginger-haired gentleman had swept him off his feet, bundled him in warmth and comfort and soothed his hurts. And the sex was *fantastic*. It was... perfect. Almost too good to be true, and certainly too good to last. So, when Wufei's heart voiced its secret grievances and fears, his brain unfortunately listened.
The phone again, first number in the speed-dial directory.
"Treize...? It's Wufei.... Fine. Or, not so fine, actually. I think I'm coming down with a cold, and I'm going to skip the party.... No, no... You need to go anyway, don't you? Mingle with the investors and all that. I know it's expected of you.... Yes, I'm sure. I'll be fine. Just don't have too much fun without me.... I love you too."
The little red riding hood get-up was entirely unsuitable. For starters, Treize would recognize it. And he needed a costume that would cover his face... It was a relief to have a plan finally, to use action to combat the edgy feeling he'd been living with for the past few weeks.
/I'll just sit in the shadows and watch -- nothing more. Just watch, and see how the evening goes./
Oh, he had faith, but it was nice occasionally to have one's faith backed up with good solid evidence. He would watch Treize carefully, and Zechs critically, for signs of... Oh, gods he knew the signs! But he'd been too blind, too naive to notice with Duo.
Chang Wufei was not a man to make the same mistake twice.
/Please, Treize... Don't prove me wrong./
Bangles adjusted, veil in place, the lithe harem-girl slipped in through the massive glass doors, flashing the guest-badge Treize had left for her -- him to the security guards. He'd had to run to another store for the costume, too afraid his lover would recognize one of the many he'd modeled at the shop near their house. The line there had been horrendous, the drugstore not much better, where he'd picked up a kohl-stick for his eyes and a small bottle of outrageous perfume to mask his usual sandalwood scent. Not that he planned on getting close enough for Treize to smell him...
The last step had been a taxi -- he daren't drive his car -- and Wufei was at the party a little after 7:00. Things weren't in full swing yet, the music still damper and muted, not the pulse-jarring raucous he suspected would claim the dance floor later. The bar was incredibly active though, and Wufei snagged himself a Zombie, strong and citrus-y the way he liked, and headed for an unclaimed Shadowy Corner to skulk. And wait.
And wait... Two hours and as many drinks into the party, and he *still* hadn't seen Treize. Or Zechs for that matter. He had no idea what costume his rival might be wearing, but a six-foot man with long blonde hair was rather difficult to overlook.
Hadn't seen... /Oh, gods! They're probably off somewhere right now, screwing each other's brains out, while I've been wasting my time defending myself from drunken salarymen with straying hands who can't tell a hot onna from a man in a skirt!/ Dismayed, Wufei felt the sudden overwhelming need to vacate the party, to get outside, away from the noise and the staleness. He needed to clear his head and rethink his plan.
Unfortunately his escape lay across the dance floor. A deep breath, and Wufei plunged into the press of bodies, slowly working his way through the crowd, until unexpectedly his path was blocked. By a tallish man in a full-body wolf suit. "Say, handsome... Where are you going in such a hurry?"
The words were slurred, likely due to a combination of suffocating mask and too much booze. With quickening heart Wufei stared at the mask's cartoonish grin, felt his stomach clench when he noticed the goofy red bow-tie Treize insisted on wearing, because he thought it 'made' the costume. /Shit! Shitshitshit! I am *so* busted!/ This close, Treize couldn't *not* recognise him.
He stammered, the words coming with painful reluctance. "I- I was just l leaving." If he averted his eyes, would that help? Was it already too late?
"Some fresh air? Good idea." The mask continued to smile blandly. The *voice* practically rumbled with anticipative pleasure. "I think I'll join you." And before Wufei could escape a furry arm slid round his waist, the 'wolf' directing them both through the crowd.
/He's going to yell. Treize *never* yells, but he's going to yell and he doesn't want to humiliate himself publicly. He's going to yell about how I don't trust him, and it's all over, I just know it is. I am such an IDIOT for coming here tonight!/ Wufei meekly allowed himself to be led, averting his eyes demurely.
They never made it outside, the taller man quickly tugging Wufei from the hallway into a conveniently dark and deserted stairwell. The door closing softly behind rang hollow, harsh. Wufei jumped, backing into a corner. "I can explain!" Or rather, he could lie, as soon as he thought up a convincing one.
"Explain about what, handsome? The only thing I want to know is why a luscious guy like yourself is unattached and lonely this wild evening. I thought you might like some company, and wanted to offer mine." The wolf sauntered closer, a suggestive swing to his hips.
No- He couldn't... In the dark a sable flash, Wufei's eyes widening in horror. /He doesn't recognise me! And sweet gods, he's coming on to me!/
"What, wolf got your tongue?" The tall figure leaned, a hand now resting on Wufei's hip, the other braced on the wall by his ear. A question, unspoken but subtly obvious. Treize's trademark style, suave and direct.
/I can't believe this!!! A stranger at party, someone he met not five minutes ago, and he's already trying to get into my pants!/ Beneath the filmy veil Wufei licked his lips, and swallowed hard, squirming. "I- No. I just-"
The unsavory portion of his brain chose that unfortunate moment to voice its rather strong opinion on the matter. /Oh, admit it! You wanted to know if he's faithful, and now is your chance to find out. Best chance you'll ever have. Come on, you don't want to learn later -- the hard way, like with Duo -- when you catch him in someone else's arms.../
He didn't want to know; he had to know. Would Treize actually go through with it?
An abrupt change in demeanor, new confidence, a sly look from Wufei, as he walked teasing fingers up the wolf-man's arm. "Now that you mention, I *have* been kinda lonely, since my date stood me up."
"Oh, really?" The man's hand caressed now, reaching behind to knead at Wufei's ass, drawing their bodies together until his erection pressed insistently against Wufei's hip. "I'm rather lonely myself. Perhaps we can provide each other some mutually enjoyable... companionship." He reached for the collar of his suit, fumbling with the velcro.
"Wait-" Wufei's fingers on his halted them. "Leave it on." Unsteady breath, he fought down panic, waiting for response. He couldn't do it, if the mask came off. Hell, it would be over as soon as he removed his veil.
"*With* the costumes?" A pause, considering. "Kinky..." Mark of approval given, he ground his thigh into Wufei's groin.
Moaning, softly drawn. Treize always knew just how to touch him, to drive him absolutely wild. Wufei wrapped a slim leg up and over the other's hips, melding their groins further together. If their relationship was going down, as certainly seemed likely at this point, it might as well end in a blaze of glory... Theoretically, it was still possible that Treize might back down, but he discovered his traitorous body hoped firmly otherwise. "Oh, yes... Touch me there..."