9 Fading Zen

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Eleven-'o-clock and Louis felt jittery.

I just need caffeine. I'm fine.

He left his office in search of Blake and instead bumped into Kara.

"Mr. Tomlinson! I'm so sorry! I am so clumsy and careless! Are you alright? I heard about your hand..." Kara rambled running her hands through her short hair.

Smiling but looking over her shoulder for a certain blue-eyed blonde, he blandly responded. "It's Louis. And yes, I'm alright. Thank you for asking." He set a hand on her shoulder to move her to the side.

"Wait! Mr. Tom- Louis." Louis turned his attention towards her. "I was actually just coming to drop this off for you. I just- well, my mom taught me lots about homeopathic remedies, and I thought this could help you." She held a jar of indistinguishable ingredients mixed together. "It's extracts from onion, vinegar, essential oils, and crushed tea leaves. It should help your hand heal quicker."

He raised an eyebrow, but accepted the gift nonetheless. "Thank you." He smiled at her. "Oh, and also, I know it's short notice, but I've had a bit of an opening in my schedule for tonight. Would you be interested in staying back and seeing more of what I do for payroll and receiving?"

Kara nodded her head furiously, "I would be most honored to be graced with your presence and knowledge this evening! Shall I just come into your office at five then?"

"Yes, yes, that will be fine. And I'm sorry, but if you'll excuse me." Louis started down the hall again. He turned a corner when he felt another body collide into his own.

For the love of-

"Hey! So sorry! Didn't mean to run into you."

Louis was very aware that Blake was holding tightly onto one of his arms from their near crash. "No worries. Let's go, shall we?" He immediately put distance between himself and Blake.

Deciding to drive Blake to a nice Mexican restaurant, they arrived and got a table for two. Louis kept the conversation light, but noticed that Blake kept asking more and more personal questions, which Louis did his best to answer without sounding to vague or giving away too much information.

"So Louis, what did you do before you worked at Serenity?" Blake was stirring his lime water with his straw in-between taking bites of his burrito.

Louis awkwardly scratched the back of his head. "Uh, I just took some time off of school to travel a bit and just kind of relax. Have you ever traveled?"

A flash of sadness went across Blake's face. "No. The furthest I've traveled is just up to Washington. Where did you go? And how long were you gone for? Did you just go by yourself?"

Holy fuck. Fire hose of questions. Be tactful Louis.

"Uh, I went to Thailand for a bit with my mentor. Anyway, did you do an apprenticeship after school? And do you plan on staying in Arizona?" Louis poked around at his food. His burrito was quite greasy, and he wasn't one much for unnecessary fat.

Okay good. Get the focus off myself.

"Thailand?! Is that where all the pictures were taken that are in your massage room? And was that your mentor then? He's quite attractive you know. You're quite lucky! I got an old guy for my mentor. I plan on going wherever my partner wants to move to." Blake smiled at Louis.

Ignore the first part and, oh good! He has a partner already. People go on about their significant other for days, so let's go there.

"Oh, you have a partner? That's wonderful! I always thought you were single. So is there anywhere in particular that you two have in mind?"

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