2 A Chance Meeting

The Castle in the Sky overlooked the city high up on a mountaintop. A party had been going on for hours and would continue late into the night. Dancing was inside the grand hall and flowed outside, where twinkle lights hung high around the courtyard.

Arryn stood outside in a corner, smoking, and avoiding people. His gaze scanned those dancing in the courtyard and gathered around the bar waiting for drinks. Blowing a stream of smoke from his lips, Arryn shook his head knowingly at his friend and Cousin, Gerald. Gerald smiled brightly and approached Arryn, attempting to hide away from others.

It had been snowing on and off, making the staff hurry and set up more outdoor heaters around the courtyard. While there was also drinking and dancing inside the venue, the courtyard had been decorated for the holidays. There were exquisite ancient statues and a few relics on display that would be auctioned off the following week.

Dignitaries and other notable persons were present and admiring the display outside. Arryn disliked dealing with pretentious clients. He knew they didn value the history of these items. They only wanted the prestige of owning them, trying to impress their friends and colleagues.

”Always the wallflower, Arryn. ” Gerald laughed sardonically, patting Arryn firmly on the shoulder, ”when will you stop moping in the corners and live a little again? ”

Arryn smirked, putting his cigarette out with his foot, ”who says I am not living life? I am here, aren I? ”

”Begrudgingly, might I add. ” Gerald smiled, ”and I can help wonder what changed your mind to appear. ”

Arryn smirked, ”Business, of course. ”

Gerald rolled his eyes, waving over the waiter nearby with glasses of champagne, ”have a drink with me. ”

The waiter nodded and headed over, carrying the tray of glasses filled with champagne. He was slim and young with dark, wavey hair that reached his shoulders. His heart nearly stopped when he noticed the club owner signaling him over.

Castor was helping his friend, whom he had known most of his life. He was talked into taking Ryans place for the night. Ryans Aunt and Uncle owned the catering service providing food and beverages for tonights festivities. Ryan claimed that something urgent came up that he needed to take care of. Castor had no experience in the catering business, but the money Ryan offered was too hard to resist.

Castor straightened his shoulders and walked over to Gerald and Arryn to offer the champagne. Gerald grabbed two glasses and handed one over to Arryn, who nodded and thanked the waiter. Gerald dismissed Castor and returned to his conversation with Arryn.

Noticing the shy waiter, Arryn winked and smiled at him as he took a drink, ”Thank you. ”

Gerald noticed Arryn watching the waiter walk away and saw the wink, ”Were you just flirting? ”

”What? No, of course not; I was being polite. ” Arryn tried to convince Gerald.

”Sure, just being polite. He is handsome; I can see why you.. ”

Arryn jabbed Gerald with his elbow, ”Enough, Gerry. ”

Gerald chuckled to himself, ”If you say so. ” Raising his glass, ”Sláinte! ”

”Sláinte! ” Arryn smirked.

”Oh, I am needed, ” Gerald noticed someone waving him over, ”Please enjoy the party. ” He said as he walked away.

Arryn nodded and looked around the room. He had so many people that he wanted to avoid small talk and socializing with a few who were eyeing him, hoping to catch his attention.

Karla noticing Arryn alone, approached him, ”Fancy seeing you here, Director, ” She smiled coyly.

”Changed flights too? ” Arryn asked rhetorically, ”My Mum mentioned it to me when she called earlier. ”

”Oh, yes, of course. ” Karla grinned, ”umm have you danced yet? ”

”I don dance, Dr. Junge, ” Arryn said dismissively, drinking the champagne.

”I see… uh… Director, ” Karla stumbled on her words and felt awkward, ”I am sorry for bringing that up. ”

”I appreciate that, Dr. Junge. I look forward to working with you in Cairo. ” Arryn quickly changed the subject.

”Yes, I am looking forward to that meeting too. ” Karla smiled nervously, ”Oh did you see Director Alden tonight? He seemed to be in a hurry. ”

Arryn eyed Karla for a moment, thinking, ”No, I haven , Dr. Junge; my cousin has kept me occupied. ”

Karla nodded, ”hmmm, I just wonder what came up that he had to go. ”

Arryn wanted to get away and just have a cigarette alone, ”I assure you that whatever Director Alden was doing, it wasn any of ones business. Anything work-related, we would have been notified. ”

”Of course, Director; umm, I see someone I need to talk to, ” Karla said, turning to walk away.

Arryn nodded and saw others wanting to approach him. Noticing the time and wanting to get away from everyone, Arryn found his way outback.

The cool night air was refreshing to him and was helping calm his nerves. Appreciating the quiet, Arryn lit a cigarette and sat on a bench under the awning that kept the snow away. Hearing the door open behind him, Arryn turned to see one of the servers he had noticed before stepping out.

Castor froze up when he saw Arryn sitting there.

Flashing Castor a smile, Arryn flicked off the ash at the end of his cigarette.

Meeting Castors eyes, ”Pardon me, I didn mean to scare you. I really shouldn be back here. I can go. ”

Startled, Castor recognized Arryn from the party, ”Oh no…no, please. I just wanted a quick break, ” averting his eyes, ”I… I.. can find somewhere else…. ”

Ignoring his normal urge to get away, Arryn shook his head and signaled the young waiter to sit beside him, ”Please, sit. Its been a long night on your feet. ”

Castor nodded and sat beside Arryn, not wanting to leave, ”Thank you. Im not used to being on my feet like this; I am doing a friend a favor by covering his shift. ”

”Oh, I usually never make it out to these events either. My Cousin convinced me to come since I was in town. ” taking another drag, Arryn turned his head away to keep the smoke out of Castors face. ”Oh, forgive me, would you like a smoke?

Castor did want one, ”Oh, no, thank you, Im still working, and its not allowed. ”

”Shame on me, ” Arryn quickly put out his cigarette and offered his hand, ”Im Arryn. ”

Castor felt his nerves calm and shook Arryns hand, ”Oh my, Yes, Im Castor. Sorry that I didn mention my name sooner. ”

Arryn realized the moment their hands touched that Castor was part celestial.

Arryn smiled, feeling something he hadn in ages. He was at ease around someone who wasn family. There was something very genuine about the young man beside him. Also, Arryn found him very handsome. Gerald was right Arryn did find this waiter attractive.

Castor relaxed a little and smiled in return. There was something about Arryn that put Castor at ease. He noticed Arryns silver eyes, and his hair was pulled back into a braid running down his back like a glacier ice-blue river. There was definitely something different about Arryn, and he felt drawn in.

Without thought, Arryn reached into his grey wool coat for a cigarette. Bringing it to his lips, Arryn realized what he was doing. Feeling very awkward at the moment, sheepishly grinning, Arryn slid it back into his coat pocket for later.

Hoping to repair the moment, Arryn said, ”Since I rarely make it to these things, do you often step in to help and work these ones? ”

Shaking his head, ”This is my first and last one. ”

Arryn furrowed his brow. ”Is there something wrong with working here? ”

Momentarily confused, Castor chuckled softly. ”No, no, Its not like that. Im just filling in for a friend tonight. Ive never waited anywhere before, and Im not so sure Im any good at it. ”

Nodding, Arryn felt he could relate to the young man. It had been forever since he had met anyone on his own. Plus, they did not know he was the only child of the founders of Trans World Collections.

”Im usually away on business and am here very briefly. Tomorrow night I head out again, and I am not sure for how long. ”

”I am interning while I finish my masters and will hopefully continue when I begin working on my doctorate. Im hoping the job becomes permanent. Then I may get to travel this world. ” smiled Castor.

Arryn admired Castors goals, ”I don want to make any assumptions, but I would like to spend more time with you. ” Arryn paused, letting his knee touch Cass leg, ”What are you doing after this? Want to go somewhere else, perhaps for drinks? ” Arryn surprised himself when he asked Castor out, but it felt good.

Castor momentarily closed his eyes, thinking, ”Im free. Sure, do you have someplace in mind? ”

Arryn leaned in, and Castor noticed and moved closer, feeling Arryns breath on his cheek. ”I do; how about the hotel I am staying at? We could have drinks and continue …. ”

Castor felt his heart pounding, and Arryn moved in for a kiss when he went to answer. He was firm and brief, grazing his hand alongside Castors face, ”I hope I wasn too forward? ”

Castor smiled and answered by kissing Arryn deeply in return.

”I didn drive myself here. Would it be ok… ”

Arryn waved off Castors question cutting in with an answer, ”Of course, we can take my car. I brought mine so that I could leave early. ” Arryn chuckled under his breath.

”I don like crowds either. No judgment from me. ” Castor smiled, finding it easy to volunteer info about himself with Arryn.

”When can you leave? ” Arryn asked and then realized that he may sound too eager just then. ”I mean, I can hang out until you are off, whenever that is. ”

”Oh! I would have to stick around for cleanup, but that was because my ride was staying that late. My shift is done in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. ” Castor realized the time and stood up to head back inside.

Arryn finally lit the cigarette he had taken back out and fiddled with his hand, ”Meet me at the car garage by the Valet. ”

Castor looked back, smiling, ”Sure! Will see you there in a few. ” With that, Castor headed inside to finish up his shift.

Back inside, Castor wondered if he had the courage to go out tonight with Arryn. Castor touched his lips, remembering the kiss. He had never done anything like this.

His friends at the university would be shocked. However, it was a Friday night, and he didn have any plans but to study tomorrow. So, he could stay out late, he rationalized.

Come to think of it; Castor knew nothing about this Arryn with hypnotic eyes and long hair. He seemed to see this places owner, but Arryn looked somewhat out of place.

Arryn had many eyes on him as he strolled across the venue to the bar. Castor trying not to be too distracted, moved around the room with a tray of drinks. He couldn believe that he had just kissed someone. Someone he just met. This was crazy. It was exciting. It felt so unreal but so right.

Arryn ordered a glass of water at the bar and tipped the bartender with a $100 note. The bartender thanked Arryn profusely as Arryn smiled back at the young man serving drinks. Arryn nearly choked on his water when he felt a firm hand smack his back.

Leaning into Arryns ear, Gerald kept his hand on his Cousins back, ”There you are! I was hoping to introduce you to a few people. ”

Arryn shook his head, annoyed, and tried to shrug Gerald off. ”Of course, you do… and you know that I will decline. ”

Sighing heavily, ignoring Arryns annoyance, ”When will you socialize and hang out with others? ”

Leaning close to his Cousins face, Arryn whispered, ”Its none of your business. You can stop trying to set me up with someone. ”

Chuckles and pats Arryns back, ”Ok… ok…. No more. ”

”I wish I could believe you, Gerry, ” Arryn smirked, setting down his glass. ”I am out of here. ”

Gerald cringed at being called Gerry, ”Fine; I will text you later. ”

Walking away, Arryn waved behind himself dismissively at Gerald. Castor had noticed the brief interaction Arryn had with the owner. He had never seen the owner behave so casually with anyone. Nor had Castor noticed anyone being so relaxed around Arryn as the owner was. Not sure what kind of relationship those two have, Castor felt a bit of jealousy. He wanted to know Arryn so intimately.

This last hour and a half seemed to drag on much longer. Arryn tried to be polite as people passed by him, wanting to make small talk. Oh, how Arryn despised small talk. He kept looking at his watch, hoping it was time to go.

Castor finished up his shift and changed his clothes in the staff restrooms. He looked in the mirror, feeling disheveled and nervous. Running his hand through his hair, Castor mustered up the courage to go and meet Arryn.

Avoiding being stopped by anyone for small talk, Arryn went to retrieve his coat. He was relieved that there wasn a line of people there and could get his jacket and then head to the garage and wait for someone to bring him his car.

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