Summary: Interoffice dating is never ideal. Usually it's avoided at all costs. Tristan isn't going to let that stop him. When he sees Cameron it's love at first sight. He's gorgeous, intelligent, perfect and... oblivious. That's okay. Tristan just has to clue him in to how epic they can be. He's seen too many romantic comedies to fail at this.
Nothing More Awesome Than This
[ Part i ]
So it's like this.
Tristan is satisfied with his job. He isn't immensely overjoyed with it but it could be worse. He's not let's say, flipping burgers or making clown balloons. Or even selling his body like the transvestite hookers that gathered outside his apartment building in the early hours before dawn.
He's the personal assistant to a regional manager at a computer software company. It's a steady nine to five and the paycheck alone is enough to drool over. It's enough for him to splurge on the 400 dollar Gucci shoes he was currently sporting, at least. So the money's good.
It's just – He hadn't meant for his life to end up here, working at a desk confirming the weekly schedule and simultaneously editing Powerpoint slides that had to be integrated into tomorrow's ten o'clock committee presentation. Nope. Definitely not.
Tristan went to a pretty nice college and had a degree that sat in a plaque in his living room and everything. It had his full name in loopy cursive Tristan Alexander Marini and it's oh, so pretty. It's just that he always thought he would go into the world and make a difference, a name for himself. He'd gone into college reeking of hopes and dreams and hornyness... one of three was definitely cured. The other two. Not so much.
The thing was most of his resentment should have died after his fourth year anniversary with the company. Technically, he wasn't even supposed to be here that long. After graduation and months of job hunting, practically whoring his resume out Tristan had taken the first job that had given him a callback. And he had been here ever since.
He'd always meant to look for another job but again there was the siren call of the paycheck, health insurance and paid vacation. Four years flew by and here he still was, doing the same job, content but not happy, and wishing he was anywhere but here. Although the closet full of fashionable, yet professional clothes and designer footwear that while pricey looked awesome and were insanely comfortable was a nice bonus.
Tristan frowned as he skimmed over an unreadable set of figures on the form. He rubbed his fingertips against his bottom lip trying to make sense of the number jumble. It was useless to figure out just like his apparent lack of life ambition. He ran a finger down the columns until he found the name of the person who filled out the spreadsheet. His finger landed on the name Cameron Turner.
He may not be all that happy with his job but no one could knock the fact he was damn good at it. Tristan forwarded the phones to voicemail and smoothed down his tie and jacket, and then made his way down to Development. He ran a hand through his black hair, smiling at passing co-workers as he strolled through the hallway.
Development was filled with two types of software designers. There was the nerdy, socially awkward guys who were super thin and couldn't string together a coherent sentence without falling back on science-techno babble that went over everyone's head. And there was the second type filled with overweight smartasses who came to work on casual Friday's with too tight sweatpants and hoodies.
Tristan figured he was looking for either the beanpole-thin shy guy or a fat older man. It was a tossup, really. He rounded the pit of cubicles and walked past a row of offices, ticking off the names on the doors until he found one with an adhered metallic plate with CAMERON TURNER branded across it.
Tristan knocked and a muffled come in was heard before he opened the door and his whole life changed in that moment.
The sun shined through the window just right highlighting the man sitting behind the desk. Light brown hair was short and messy that go with a perfect face that's beautiful like the light at the end of a tunnel. And those lips, dear God, Tristan could write an Ode on those lips alone. Blue eyes, so piercingly blue and just unnaturally bright, looked up from a computer monitor.
Tristan swallowed hard as the extremely hot, perfect guy began to frown at him as he stood frozen in the doorway. He cut his eyes away and bit the inside of his lip to make sure he wasn't gaping like an idiot.
"Can I help you?" asked the hot guy, Cameron, confused.
Tristan made a noise that sounded like a cat meowing or dying. "Hot. I mean... I mean, you're hot. Christ." He swore blushing under the power of those clear blue eyes. "I meant, I'm hot. Are you hot?"
Cameron slowly shook his head and then said cautiously, "I can turn the air conditioner to a lower setting or something?"
"No, I'm fine," Tristan muttered his cheeks probably stained a permanent red by now.
He was being polite but Tristan could tell Cameron was confused, and honestly he was probably thinking some not so great thoughts about Tristan's IQ. Which in his defense is slightly above average, and really, it's not his fault that someone this hot is legally allowed out into the world. It's like waving heroin in front of a druggie. Seriously, not cool.
Flustered at Cameron's raised eyebrows due to his prolonged silence, Tristan cleared his throat and said, "I'm here from management. I'm Mr. Carter's assistant..." At this point he noticed it was best not to look directly into Cameron's eyes or his brain went left. "Yesterday you filled out a 445-t. And, uh, there's not any serious problems, but there's errors that need to be corrected, so you'll have to fill out a whole new form."
Cameron ran a hand over the back of his neck. A sheepish and tiny smile that was partly shy crept over his face. "Damn Vista. It's the dash-r's, huh, am I right?"
At this point Cameron could have said he traveled back in time and was his own grandpa, and seriously, Tristan would have believed him. As he stepped closer to the desk and laid the new forms on top for Cameron, he couldn't help but notice how much better he looked up close. Blue eyes flicked up to him, bemused and nervous, as Cameron noticed the resumed staring.
"I can send these up when I'm done," said Cameron, blinking as Tristan sat down in the chair across the desk.
Tristan nodded and said quickly, "I'll just wait here for them. I'm in no rush."
Cameron's nod was decidedly hesitant. In fact he looked downright nervous about being alone any longer in the same room as Tristan. Seriously, what was up with that? Everyone knew that Tristan is one of the most well liked guys in the office. You could always find him laughing with a group of people and he was the life of the party when they all went out to the bars after work. On a normal day he was smooth as silk and dare he say, charming. This was a fluke. That's right, a fluke, caused by a sudden and random amount of hotness that was so far off the friggin' scale that it was unprecedented. So if this was anyone's fault it was Cameron's. He had no right to be so good looking.
Tristan cleared his throat. "So you've worked here long?"
And that right there was so not meant to be a come on, but he couldn't help the husky timbre that slipped into his voice at the end.
"I started almost a year ago and a half ago," Cameron answered, looking startled at the sudden conversation that filled the perpetual silence.
"Shut up!" replied Tristan instantly and with so much vehemence it surprised them both. He cleared his throat, feeling a blush working its way back up his neck. "I mean... Are you sure?"
Why haven't we met? You light up the room. I swear you're brighter than them all is what he wanted to follow that question up with, but he didn't think it was appropriate so early on in their courtship.
Cameron nodded cagily. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be sure?
"Just surprised I haven't seen you around," Tristan muttered, feeling unbelievably lame and so middle school-ish. He might as well started pulling pigtails and writing do you like me, check yes or no notes.
And with that the room was plunged back into silence. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He kicked himself mentally, appalled at his utter dorkishness. He looked around the room searching for something, anything that would give him an insight or a window into Cameron. He felt like the Mentalist with how quickly his eyes darted around, taking in everything like it's a freaking clue, all the while feeling more and more like Inspector freakin' Gadget.
There were no picture frames on the desk and there wasn't a ring on his finger, so he wasn't a family man. That was a plus. Wasn't a measure of sexuality but it was a good indicator. Tristan licked his lips, tracing his stare over to the wall behind the desk. There was a framed bachelor's degree from the University of Texas. Good school.
He studied Cameron's profile as the man bent over the form, pen quickly filling in the blank columns. Tristan figured he must be tall. With a muscled frame like that Cameron had to be close to his own 6'2 height. Probably a little shorter, maybe a solid six foot even. His head would fit right into the nook of his neck and shoulder and it would take only the barest head tilt for them to kiss.
"Are you okay?" asked Cameron warily.
Tristan wiped the silly grin from his face, caught. "Fine. Totally, awesome. Do you like dogs?"
Cameron watched him for a long, long moment. "Yeah..."
"How about kids?" Tristan found himself blurting out, inwardly cringing as the last syllable flew from his mouth.
The pen froze then was dropped from still fingers. Cameron looked up with his unnatural blue eyes watching him with open dismay and bewilderment. It was so strong it was almost like a physical force.
"That... Are you always this random, man?" Cameron asked after first trailing off then starting back up with a measured, even tone.
He was doing this thing with his perfect pouty lips, where he's biting the lower one worrying it between his teeth. It shouldn't be, but it's one of the sexiest things Tristan's seen in a long, long time. Tristan swallowed, shrugging.
The look that was aimed at him is weighing. If Cameron didn't think Tristan was part of some company remedial program then it would be a miracle. Tristan closed his eyes and wanted the floor to just open him up. There had to be a special level of Hell already prepared for him. There his past exes and all the people he'd ever wronged in life would be a witness to his eternal humiliation.
So wrapped up in his self degradation Tristan failed to realize that Cameron had come across the desk and tapped him on the shoulder. Tristan didn't acknowledge Cameron trying to get his attention and his stare hadn't made its way up from the floor. His sight was filled with shoes that stole his breath.
"Westwood," Tristan murmured. "Your shoes, they're Vivienne Westwood."
Cameron frowned. "Is that a problem?"
Tristan shook his head, dazed. No. That wasn't a problem at all. That was a complete opposite of problem. This was amazing and synergy and rainbows and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Fuck a joint checking account. The might of their combined shoe collection would move mountains or make an angel weep. His skin tingled in a totally good way.
He took the offered forms that Cameron practically shoved into his hands. He didn't care. He was on a high. There was nothing that could wipe the grin from his face.
Tristan stood up and extended his hand to shake. "Thanks for filling these out so quickly. I appreciate it."
There, he managed to say that in a normal and articulate manner, smile on his face and completely lacking any trace of earlier spaz. If Cameron was surprised he didn't show it, although he did smile back. And smile he did. It was like the sun coming out from behind a cloudbank.
Cameron breached the distance and shook his hand. His eyes crinkled a bit at the corners and his whole face transformed with that wide, genuine smile. It was like Christmas morning.
"I never got your name," said Cameron.
Nodding, Cameron repeated the name to himself, "Tristan." He looked up all blue eyes and broad smile. "You already know I'm Cameron. I'll see you around."
There was something about the way Cameron repeated his name, almost as if he was memorizing it for another purpose all for his own. He didn't even blink when Tristan's fingers slowly disengaged from their handshake, turning the simple action into an almost caress. This was a freaking moment that they write about and fill the dreams of women everywhere.
He went back around his desk and Tristan booked it out of the office before he did something stupid like went down on one knee and proposed. This is their song and right now he was the only one hearing it, but the thing was, it was too epic for him alone.
Tristan leaned against the elevator doors with a sappy smile on his face, mentally reviewing the last twenty minutes. He had just met the man he was going to spend the rest of life with. He just had to clue Cameron in on that.
He whipped out his cell phone right before the doors opened, sending off the fastest text in the world before he lost reception in the lift. He glanced at his watch. He was done for the most part on the project's he left behind. Mr. Carter wouldn't mind that much if he skipped off to lunch.
This was an emergency.
The frantic text message Tristan sent off like it's his last on Earth. It may or may not be a little overdramatic.
The cafeteria in the office building was nice and all, but times like this called for a certain scene. This was why he was currently parked at a table two blocks from the office at a café, clutching a caramel macchiato and a honey bun the size of his fist. His height definitely gave him an advantage sometimes, and this was one of them. He easily made out his friends over the dining patrons' heads and flagged them down.
Alexis slid into the chair to his left all long legs and absolutely gorgeous. You can take the girl out of modeling, but you couldn't ever take the model out of the girl. Thank you, Tyra Banks. Tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear she refrained from grimacing at the way Mark practically slouched in his chair, legs open and body turned at an angle that was only comfortable if you were a guy. Or Mark.
"And the holy trinity has convened," said Tristan grinning, using their nickname earned from co-workers.
They picked it up a few years back since separately they all worked in different departments. Alexis worked in accounting and hopefully was to become director of the department pretty soon if rumors were to be believed. Mark was the head IT representative. And Tristan was the boss's right hand, so people often referred to their friendship as the holy trinity, or an unholy alliance if they were being ugly.
"So what was up with that text?" asked Alexis, sipping at the water Tristan graciously pre-ordered for them. "All it said was Avengers assemble."
Mark snorted. "You forget about the extra lame exclamation marks attached to the end of that. I think there were like four of them." He narrowed his eyes at Tristan. "This is one of your gay emergencies, isn't it? You totally promised I didn't have to hear anymore of them, ever, like as in forever. Remember?"
"If you didn't get it in writing, it didn't happen," said Tristan, shrugging. He grinned and took a deep breath. "I'm totally calling in every favor I've ever earned from you lazy fuckers."
Alexis exchanged a glance with Mark and rolled her eyes, "This should be good."
Tristan decided to ignore that, continuing on, "I'm going to need your help..." He smiled brightly. "I've met someone."
"I'm sensing more to this story," said Alexis, suspiciously.
Mark grinned. "It's a hooker, right? You were sighing wistfully at the cover of Pretty Woman at Blockbuster the other day. Did you make that happen? Are you tapping some potentially underage ass? High five, man!"
Tristan tilted his head watching his friend with open curiosity. The sad thing is that Mark was completely serious. That was just Mark for you. People considered him a douche bag. And they were right. But underneath that douche-y exterior, far underneath, was a damn good friend with unwavering loyalty.
Alexis tore her disgusted stare away from Mark. "So who's the mystery man?"
"We work with him," said Tristan. "That's the thing. I need you guys to do a little digging around for me. See if you can find out anything about him. His name's Cameron Turner."
Noticing Tristan's pointed look, Mark's stare settled into a glare, "Just because I'm in IT doesn't mean I'm going into his files. That's like, unethical and illegal and all kinds of wrong."
Alexis stared at him incredulous. "You just went into my files yesterday."
"You wouldn't tell me your real age," Mark scoffed. He turned to Tristan. "Why can't you just use your awesome assistant powers and magic it, like you do everything else."
Tristan leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. "I would feel guilty later on when we're married knowing that I, you know, stalked him or whatever. Plus that totally comes back to bite the guy in the ass in all those romcom movies."
Mark narrowed his eyes. "Fine. If I do this all bets are off. I want no more part in any of your little gay emergencies. I mean it. This is the last time."
"Sure, you're off the hook," Tristan beamed.
He met eyes with Alexis and they shared a look. This was more or less how it went down the last time Tristan had promised the very same thing. Like he said earlier if Mark didn't get it in writing then it didn't happen. Judging by the smug smile on his face it looked like he'd already forgotten that bit.
"Is this the same Cameron Turner who works in Development?" asked Alexis, thoughtfully.
Tristan spun around, pining her with a wide eyed look. "You know him?"
Alexis blinked. "Not really. I've seen him around a few times. He's friends with Justin who works security at the front desk. I invited him out to the bars a few times when he first started, but he always said no. He pretty much keeps to himself I think."
"See, see," smiled Tristan, practically bouncing in his seat. "This is why I keep you guys around. Now your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to flirt some information out of Justin." He gestured at her blouse. "Loosen up the top. Show some cleavage." He paused, tilting his head as he considered her. "I guess I should ask if that's cool with you?"
"I'm surprisingly okay with that." The top buttons came undone in a flash, and she leaned back in her chair showing ample bits of skin and a tiny smirk.
She was awesome. He wasn't the only one who thought so. Mark's eyes zeroed in on her chest in a stare so heated it was probably scalding.
Alexis snapped her fingers in front of his face and said flatly, "I will end you."
Mark shrugged, tossing her a wink. "Your loss. I'm kind of a big deal."
"There's not enough penicillin in the world," she replied, shortly.
The waitress came back to the table and they ordered a pastry like Tristan, since that was kind of what the place was known for. Ten minutes later, Mark waved his fudge covered fork at Tristan saying, "How come we have to do all your dirty work? It's not like you're ugly or whatever. You've got that whole tall, dark and handsome thing working. Your bedroom brown eyes have the girls in Payroll weak in the knees."
Tristan cocked his head. "I think that's the gayest thing I've ever heard you say."
"Ha fucking ha," said Mark, rolling his eyes. "I could be getting gangbanged by the entire starting offense of the Dallas Cowboys and still not be as gay as you."
Alexis placed her fork on the edge of her barely touched plate of pie. "There goes my appetite." She raised an eyebrow and grudgingly admitted, "Crassness aside. You usually flash those dimples and have boys falling at your feet. Let's see there was Bobby, Jackson, Finn, Ryan—"
"Hey, you're making me out to be some kind of a slut," protested Tristan, frowning. And really he wasn't.
Alexis shook her head. "I know you're not. I just don't understand why you're so gun shy all of a sudden. It's unlike you to not just flirt your ass off and go with it."
"I don't know," Tristan replied distantly. "He's different I guess... I liked those guys but it felt, temporary or something, I never thought about a commitment. With Cameron..."
It was love at first sight he barely refrained from saying. If they heard that then sure they'd be sympathetic, but that kind of material would have been enough to tease him with for months to come.
"I want it to be something more," he settled for saying.
Her eyes softened. "This is going to end in happily ever after, damn it. I'm totally on board. Let's meet for drinks after work and figure out a game plan or something."
Tristan smiled blindingly, relieved. "I'm down with that."
Mark perked up. "Someone say drinks? Count me in."
"Of course," Alexis said, dryly. "Sorry to disappoint but there won't be a keg. I know that's your drink of choice when you troll frat parties for girls."
He sighed exasperated. "Will you let that go? Brandilyn was a nice chick."
"Who couldn't hang out with us because she had midterms the next morning," Alexis clarified.
Tristan frowned. "I'm still not sure if she was even twenty one."
"She was legal and that's all that matters," Mark said defensively.
"So says the predator," Alexis said under her breath.
Mark slapped down a ten on the table and made a big show of looking at his watch. "Well would you look at that. It's time to go be productive members of society again."
Tristan grinned. "So me and Alexis are going back to work, I'm guessing you're going back to your office to beat off to questionable websites using company computers."
"You know him so well," Alexis laughed, reaching across to high five him.
Mark shrugged, unconcerned. "You guys have got to learn to let stuff go. It was only the one time."
And really, it was more than the one time. But if Mark wanted to pretend then they could too. Walking into Mark's office and catching him with his pants around his ankles was a sight that needed to be forgotten. Mark mimed a masturbatory motion and made a show of wiping his hand on Alexis' arm. Her pretend anger buckled under the force of his green eyes that went comically wide like an overgrown puppy. It was these moments where they all just clicked that Tristan was truly grateful for such a pair of great friends.
Placed on Tristan's back by Mark. He doesn't notice it for another two hours after lunch.
Tristan looked at the foot-long list of arrangements just completed for tomorrow's committee meeting and sighed. Damn. That had taken him most of the day to get through. To be fair he did also reply to 42 emails in his inbox, answer the phones, and wade through the six inch stack of slides next to his computer.
The door next to his desk opened and Mr. Carter walked out of his office. There was nothing small about Jack Carter. Six-five, broad shoulders, a college athlete's figure getting a little soft around the middle. His hair was perfectly black with gray creeping at the temples, and his eyes were gray like the early morning fog. He looked like a Hollywood villain until he smiled, and then he looked more like a leading man.
"Mr. Carter I just want to remind you before I leave that you've got the committee meeting tomorrow," said Tristan, looking down at the schedule on his iPhone. "The spreadsheets, portfolios, and slide materials will be setup in Conference Room B by ten AM. The expense reports will be in tomorrow too, and I'll forward your calls before I leave. Do you need me to do anything else?"
Mr. Carter shook his head, his smile turning fond. "You really are too good to me, Tristan. And for the last time call me Jack."
The southern boy in him squirmed at the thought. "My mama would kill me if she found out I was so informal with my boss."
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her," replied Mr. Carter, winking. "Get on out of here. It's past five. I'll see you in the morning."
"Have a good evening, sir."
Tristan gathered up his stuff as he backed up his phone on the office terminal. He hit the power button on the computer and grabbed his blazer just as his phone finished its backup with a happy little beep. It was eerily quiet as he made his way to the elevators. He glanced at his watch. It was five minutes past six. He had about two hours till he had to meet Alexis and Mark at Lotus for a round. That left him plenty of time to go home, shower, change and grab a bite to eat.
He stepped into the parking garage balancing his phone and briefcase all in one hand, while using the other to fish into his pocket for his car keys. A shouting of Tristan's name ricocheted through the air and his head shot up in surprise. The distraction and sudden movement served to send his briefcase and phone fumbling from his hands. The phone hit the ground with a cringe inducing clatter of plastic smacking concrete. Shit. If he had to get another new phone it would suck to the nth degree of suckage.
"Oh, shit," said the voice that called his name, closer this time. "I'm sorry, man. Here."
A breath sucked out of him as Cameron hurried to his side and scooped up his phone. Tristan barely managed to catch his breath as the man looked up from inspecting the phone for any damages.
"It looks okay. No lasting damage anyway," said Cameron with a sheepish smile, his cheeks colored the slightest bit red. It was endearing. "I'm really sorry."
Tristan took the phone, barely looking it over and shrugged. "S'okay. It's my own fault for acting like the virgin in a horror movie."
Cameron snorted, his eyes brightening. "Hey, I got the memo about the meeting tomorrow. I guess since you're Mr. Carter's assistant you'll be there?"
"Yeah I'll be there to help out and take notes," said Tristan, surprised but pleased at this bit of information. Surprised that Cameron would attend the meeting and pleased that he cared that Tristan would be there too.
"So I guess I'll see you tomorrow?" asked Cameron hesitantly.
Tristan nodded. "It's a date!"
They both paused. Cameron watched him with a raised eyebrow. Tristan felt his neck go hot as a blush threatened to tattoo his skin a permanent shade of cherry red. He willed time to rewindrewindrewind as he mustered a weak, if not shaky smile.
Finally Cameron cracked a smile and said, "All those department heads. Too bad I'm not into gangbangs on the first date."
At Tristan's stunned expression, Cameron exploded with laughter. If his smile was something special, his laughter was kind of magical. It was deep and loud and long and it made Tristan's treacherous heart do flips and kicks like he was a friggin' schoolgirl. If he was captured before, he was done in for sure now, because Cameron was funny as well as really, really ridiculously good looking.
Cameron smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow, buddy. Take care."
"Bye," said Tristan, or well, more like sighed as he stared after the man.
His eyes followed that ass as it disappeared around a corner. Only then it became possible to form a coherent thought. Tristan shook his head as he walked on cloud nine to his car, thoughtlessly unlocking the door with the key alarm.
Thanks for reading this. I wanted to write a story that's different from stuff I usually write and this is the result. This was will be an office romantic comedy. As from what you've read, Tristan has fallen for Cameron at first sight, and now he has to convince the other man he feels the same way. The story is exactly that. They won't instantly get together. Along the way expect hilarious mishaps, miscommunication, snarky yet lovable Mark, Alexis being awesome, oblivious Cameron, and Tristan harboring a big gay crush.
Feedback is appreciated and you can send it here firstname.lastname@example.org and this story isn't my main story, so sorry, but I'll try and priority update if lots of people have shown interest.