Sergio smiled to the radio host turning to face him as his suited associates silently fanned out to cover a number of potential exits.
The Strex employee was young - perhaps no more than thirty. Cecil had glimpsed the fellow now and again hanging about the studio. He had introduced himself when he first arrived, but had not breathed a word to Cecil personally since that time. Now he was every inch of him smiles and charm, though the broadcaster could detect something poisonous beneath the skin.
"Working late this evening? That’s very admirable. StrexCorp likes to see a healthy work ethic in its employees."
Stepping into the booth, Sergio’s smile broadened, eyes locking with Cecil’s. There was something…wrong in his gaze, though. Some predatory intention that was unmistakable behind oddly dilated pupils.
"What do you say to a little break, Cecil? Care to join me for a bit?"
He couldn’t fathom what it was, that look. But it was not right. It was levels of wrongness and danger that he hadn’t encountered since the last time the break room refrigerator was cleaned out.
It made Cecil altogether nervous and uneasy, and he cleared his throat, violet eyes darting from one suit to the next. Their pattern was not lost on him, though he did wonder what they wanted. But that look… that look wasn’t the only thing not sitting well with the broadcaster. It was the man’s resemblance to someone else. Someone he loved very much and desperately wanted to get home to.
Best play it cool. Act casual.
"While I do appreciate your accolades on my work ethic, and your offer, I was actually just finishing up. It’s late, after all, and I’m sure even you would like to head home for the night."
Just let me go. Let this be something that I tell Carlos and he tells me it wouldn’t do to be so paranoid, things are awful enough without my imagination running away with me.
I want to be home. I want to be home having a late dinner of leftover takeout and a movie we both fall asleep watching, which is alright because we’ve seen it dozens of times before.
I want to be home.
"So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be heading out now…"
"I really must insist," Sergio said, taking a step forward. "You know, for the time I’ve been here, I have had the inexcusable bad manners of not getting to know you better. Keeping in mind the crucial part you have to play in spreading our message to the masses and educating them on StrexCorp and our role in the growth and development of this town, it has been a…dare I say, irresponsible breach of both personal and professional etiquette on my part to not address you more directly. The only thing to do now is remedy that immediately.”
Taking another step forward, he bent slightly at the waist, almost as if giving a half bow, smiling like a cat looking at a particularly plump and toothsome canary.
"Join me for a drink, perhaps? There’s so much I’d like to discuss; work-related and otherwise."
His eyes ran down the length of Cecil’s arms, still grinning.
"Your tattoos, for example. I’ve never seen anything like them. The artist who administered them, however, is singularly talented. Although I suppose she’d have to be to make them move like that. Such a dear lady. We were just having a little chat about it before she closed up her parlor."
Straightening, he affected an exaggerated look of sheepishness.
"I confess I have completely forgotten her name. Smiling God preserve me; I’m just the spirit of discourtesy lately. Would you be so kind as to remind me?”
Ohhhh no. He wasn’t falling for that one again. He may make mistakes from time to time, some that may even make those around him facepalm, but he learned. Didn’t repeat them. At least he tried not to.
His teeth grit, though. His eyes narrow, the patterns on his arms moving about in agitation. What had he done with Cerise? The monster had better not have hurt her.
"She doesn’t make them do anything. They do it on their own. They move how they feel when they feel like. … A concept I’m sure you don’t know a thing about."
…oh no. Damnable tongue. He couldn’t bite it for long. Not when it came to Strex, it seemed. Way to go, Palmer. Capital job.
He backs up another step, only to find the wall. Double damn. But… what could this man, who somehow reminded him both of his beloved and a venomous serpent at the same time, physically do to him? Why was he so full of dread? This was way past the required amount of dread mandated by City Council.
"…Sir, with all due respect… I just want to go home."
Please. Just let me go.