'I never would have thought of you as a chicken shit, boss.' Reno laughed.
Rufus turned to stare at his bodyguard. 'A chicken shit, Reno? Where did you get that from?'
'You've been checking that girl out for the past hour and a half and you haven't even made one effort to go and talk to her.'
'Which girl are you referring to?' Rufus asked innocently. 'There are several good looking women in attendance this evening. Please do be more specific.'
Rude chuckled and Reno grinned. 'The girl that's standing in front of that awful looking picture. She's been looking at it for about 10 minutes and so have you. Or so you would like to claim anyway.'
'I am looking at the artwork Reno.' Rufus defended.
'Right...' Reno smirked, 'and I hate drinking.'
'I am, Reno.' Rufus re-affirmed, a slight edge to his voice. 'I've been wondering how something that awful ended up in a museum. Someone with that little talent shouldn't have his painting so prominently displayed.'
'Yeah, sure. Whatever you say Rufus. Then how do you explain your eyes checking her out? The painting is four feet off the floor, but your eyes are about two feet under that.' Reno smiled then added as an afterthought. 'She does have nice legs though, doesn't she?'
'Yeah, they are aren't they.' Rufus replied before he even realized what he said. Shaking his head and ignoring Reno's ever growing grin, he continued. 'How would you know what my eyes are looking at? I'm simply wondering how she can walk in those heels without getting sore. That's all. Nothing more.'
'It's my job to see everything, boss.' Reno quipped. 'Just go say hi to the girl already.'
'I have no desire to speak to that woman, Reno.' Rufus replied, trying to maintain his dignity. 'I simply find her good looking.'
'Gotcha!' Reno beamed. 'Either you go talk to her or I will. I think she's pretty hot myself; I could stand having a date with that hottie.'
'She's not your type, Reno.'
'And how would you know?'
'She looks like she has common sense and self-respect. I highly doubt one night stands are something she would consider.'
Rude chuckled again, making Reno turn to him in mock hurt. 'So that's what you all think of me huh? Fine then. I'll go talk to her and be the perfect gentleman. Excuse me.'
Before he could go and speak to her, a hand was on his shoulder stopping him. He watched the blond haired President walking up to the young lady and begin talking with her and he couldn't help but grin at the owner of the hand still on his shoulder.
'I knew that would get him to move.'
'You are such an ass, Reno.' Rude stated.
'Why's that? I got him to talk to a girl! Who would have thought that Rufus Shinra, the man who has given a speech to thousands of people at a time would be nervous to talk to one girl!?'
Rude shrugged and along with Reno, turned his attention to the President and watched him speaking to the girl.
'It is quite the interesting painting, isn't it?' Rufus began, hoping that she would actually talk to him.
She slowly turned towards the voice, smiling at the comment. 'I don't know if "interesting" is the word I'd use for it.' She laughed, 'I was thinking more like "someone got paid for doing this awful thing." Honestly, a three year old could have done a better job then this.'
'I was thinking the same thing; I'm sure I could find a few finger paintings that I did as a child that the museum could put up. I'm pretty sure they're better then this one.'
The girl smiled and laughed at the comparison. 'My little brother did something like this at school the other day. The theme was "make the worst painting, ever." He won second place; maybe this painting belonged to the person that came in first.'
Rufus couldn't help but laugh. 'That's probably it. Maybe they're trying to give starving artists a chance and getting the public's opinions on their artwork.'
'Well,' the girl mumbled, 'if they're paintings are anything like this one, I can understand why they're starving.'
Rufus chuckled and pointed to another painting. 'Have you looked at that one yet?'
The girl shook her head. 'No, hopefully it'll be nicer then this one.' She said as she walked towards it, silently asking the blond to follow. When they stopped in front of the painting, she turned to him and smiled sheepishly. 'I'm very sorry, we've been talking all this time and yet I haven't given you my name. I'm Amber.'
She doesn't mind that I followed her. Rufus smiled to himself. Maybe for once Reno was right about something...that's impressive.
'It's nice to meet you Amber. I'm Rufus.'
Amber smiled, 'I know. But it is nice to meet the man behind the man that's always on tv. It really is nice to meet you.' Ah crap Amber mused, I don't mean that in a "I want to woo you because you're rich...it really is nice to meet you! You're so much nicer then I thought you'd be and you're so much cuter in person...
'Likewise.' He smiled. 'I seem to recognize you from somewhere as well although I can't place where.'
Oh thank the planet he recognizes me! Maybe he won't try to run thinking I only want money... 'My father is the President of the Bank of Midgar...well of Edge now as well as the one in Junon. I'm the vice-president, so that's probably where you've seen me.'
'Ah yes, now it rings a few bells. I'm sorry for not recognizing you earlier.'
'That's fine.' She smiled, sincerely, 'So what do you think of this painting?' she began, curious to hear his opinion. 'Better then the first one?'
'Ahh...would you look at that?' Reno said, wiping away an invisible tear. 'Our little guy is growing up!'
'Reno, what the hell are in those smokes? He's just talking to a girl. Get a grip already.' Rude chided.
'What? Did you ever think he'd grow balls to talk to a girl?'
'Well, no...but you're going a little overboard here. The guy just never saw a girl that interested him before.'
'Yeah, and he was about to just let her go without talking to her! I'm telling ya,' he said taking a glass of wine from a passing server, 'he better thank me for making him grow balls. This one is a keeper.'
'And you're so sure of this why?' Rude asked, thoroughly intrigued.
'Because they've had a steady conversation since he went to see her 20 minutes ago.' Reno noted. 'No weird moments, no moments where they looked like they were uncomfortable with each other, nothing. Plus, she made him laugh, twice! And he made her laugh...women love guys that can make them laugh. I'm telling ya, this is the girl for him. But' Reno continued, turning to his partner. 'If she's only being nice for his money I'll have to take her out. No hard feelings of course.'
'Of course.' Rude retorted.
'So you'd let her use him then?'
'No. I'd probably snap her neck if she did.'
'That's the spirit partner!' The red-head smiled, slapping his friend on the back. 'She won't know what hit her.'
Rude turned his attention from Reno back to Rufus and the young lady. They appeared to be ready to head their seperate ways. Noticing this, Rude nudged Reno who then noticed it as well.
'Damnit, he has to ask her out! I know he hasn't, he's still looking too nervous. C'mon!' Reno said while gesturing towards Rufus. 'Ask her out already!'
Rufus was facing both Reno and Rude as he was saying his goodbyes to Amber. He caught their gestures and understood what they meant, and was trying to build up the nerve to ask.
'I had a fun time going over the paintings with you.' Amber said softly, 'I hope I didn't bore you with my opinions of them. I know I can start talking about something and keep rambling forever.' Shut up! she thought to herself. You're rambling and making yourself look like an idiot! You're nervous; you're just hoping he asks you out...you know girls can ask guys out too...
'I enjoyed myself as well.' Rufus replied. 'It certainly made the evening go by faster. And don't worry, you didn't ramble, I found it quite interesting.' She wasn't the one babbling, you were! Stop talking and maybe she won't take you for an idiot.
Rufus looked up and saw the two Turks pointing to Amber, telling him to ask her out. With a small sigh, he mustered up all the courage he had in order to ask his question. You can talk to a boardroom full of multi-millionaires but you can't ask one woman on a date? Man you're pathetic...really man...pathetic...
'Amber, if you're not busy...' Rufus began, 'that is, if you're not heading out for any meetings and the like during the next few days...well, I was wondering if perhaps you'd like to accompany me to dinner sometime this week?'
Amber stood there, too shocked and happy to reply. He asked me out! The hot blond asked me out!! She then noticed the look on his face.
'Look, forget I asked.' he said, trying to hide his embarrasment, 'I'm sorry for putting you on the spot like that, it was very innapropriate.'
NO! That's not it! I really want to go on a date with you! She then mentally slapped herself in the head. Don't think it! Say it! You've got him thinking that you don't like him!
'Oh, no!' she quickly replied, putting a hand on his arm. 'I'm sorry for the silence, I was just a little giddy for a moment.' Really great answer there Ams... 'Yes, I would be happy to go to dinner with you sometime this week. Is there any day that you can't make it?'
please don't say Friday, please don't say Friday...
Rufus let out a breath that he never realized that he was holding. 'Any day is fine with me. I can reschedule any dinner meetings that I may happen to have this week. You pick the day and I'll handle the rest.'
'How about Friday evening?' She asked hopeful that he'll accept.
Rufus smiled. 'That sounds good to me, at about 6 pm. Where shall I pick you up?'
This is the point in time where you give him your address and phone number...you've done this before...it's not that hard my dear. 'Oh yes! I'm sorry, it slipped my mind.' She pulled out a business card and wrote her address and personal cell phone number on the back. Ask him for his number too in case you have to call him!
'Would it be asking too much for your phone number too? I highly doubt something will happen, and I sincerely wish nothing does, but just in case.'
Just great; it will be a great way for her to cancel the date now...oh well. 'Of course. I should have thought of that myself.' He took out a business card of his own and wrote his personal cell phone number along with his email address. 'In case I don't get your message by phone, you can send it by email.'
Amber smiled up at the blond, blushing slightly. 'Well, I'll be seeing you Friday at 6 then.'
'Yes, you will. It was nice meeting you.'
'Nice meeting you, too.'
Their departure left them feeling more awkward then their initial meeting. They each returned to their respective sides of the hall, where both parties where drililng them for information. Hoping that the other wasn't watching, they both turned their heads in the direction of the other, quickly turning away when they noticed the other looking.
'So! I told you it would go well!' Reno said slapping him on the back. 'Did you get a date out of it? Or did she say no? You looked like she said no there for a second. You almost had that "chocobo caught in the headlights" look to you.'
'It's because she decided to take her time in answering my question about the date, Reno.' Rufus stated, 'But yes, I have a date next Friday, unless something comes up on our schedules that we can't change.'
'Schedule? What does she do?' Reno asked. Perfect way to find out if she's after his money...
'Amber is the vice-president of the banks of Edge and Junon. Her father is the President.'
Rude quirked his eyebrow and Reno whistled appreciatingly. 'Well, at least she's not flirting with you for money; she would have more then enough of that stuff.'
'So...what are the plans on your date? I'll be happy to set things up for you and guard you on the date.'
Rufus glared at the red-head. 'That will not be necessary, Reno. While I appreciate you making me talk to her, I don't need anything wild on our first date. Dinner and a play will be good enough for now.'
'A play?' Reno grimaced. 'You young kids today have no concept of a fun date...'