Location: Paradox Nightclub • Date: June 2003
Time of Day: Midnight • Weather: Overcast

Jude would soon be a married man. Even months after their engagement, months into the intricate planning of their wedding a part of him couldn't believe it. He was marrying his best friend, a woman he adored, but not a woman he loved. Not in the way he had loved the others.

A marriage for love was out of the question for him. He had understood that at quite a young age. He couldn't remember the exact moment the realization had hit him, but he was fairly certain one of his father's close-minded remarks had been at its helm.

Jude's friends were organizing a stag party for him, but that wouldn't come until next weekend. Tonight was different. Tonight was Jude's own celebration dedicated to one of his last few nights of freedom. Already inebriated, Jude was looking at the sea of dancing bodies trying to find someone who would be willing to celebrate with him.
Sen hadn't the slightest clue over how he had ended up in the Paradox Nightclub of all places. The night had started on a solemn note. A few tumblers of whiskey and a mild blues record followed by several bottles of red wine with a few work mates. Now Sen found himself in the middle of the dance floor cradling a pint of lager in one hand and his humility in another.

This really wasn't his scene, Sen thought to himself as bodies curbed around him in a disorderly shuffle to whatever techno music the DJ was blaring. His head was already spinning from Merlin knew how many standard drinks and the compact nature of the dance floor wasn't helping with his coordination. A dancing witch suddenly bumped into him carelessly which sent his precious pint flying. The beer glass crashed to the floor theatrically, spraying the shoes of those around it and in particular, a wizard who happened to be standing there.

"I guess there goes my beer...Sorry mate," croaked Sen as he watched a bussie run over to the pile of broken glass and promptly clean it up with a single spell. "Its bloody packed in here, isn't it?"

Played By: melmaid
"Caref-," Jude warned as he witnessed the incident and anticipated the damages. Though he attempted to tiptoe around the liquid he felt a few splashes on his ankle and some dampness on his toes.

"Don't worry about it," Jude dismissed with a carefree smile. Dulled with alcohol determined to enjoy himself Jude would not let a paltry matter bother him. "In fact let me buy you another," he invited as he leaned closer to the man to make sure he would be heard over the music.
Sen wasn't sure whether he had heard properly. He blinked incredulously. "You want to buy me a drink?" The man found himself saying, taking great measures not to slur his speech. "I feel like I'm the one who has to buy you a drink, mate. After all, I'm the one who spilt mine all over you."

Played By: melmaid
"If you insist," Jude acquiesced with a clever grin.

The other man seemed younger, though in the club's fractioned lighting these estimates were not always reliable. He was handsome, though these standards tended to fluctuate depending on how much Jude had consumed.

A nightclub like this one was not ideal, it left Jude with a lot of assessment work, but hopefully, he had found someone willing to give into his pleasurable weakness.
A less inebriated Sen would have punctually bought the lad a drink and be on his lonely way but alcohol-induced or not, Sen was actually feeling the need to socialise. At least with someone who had no idea who he was anyway. He didn't know where his friends were, but Sen was quite certain that they would not miss him.

He offered the other patron an unruly grin before gesturing towards the bar. "Sure, my treat. Whats your poison then?"

Played By: melmaid
"Old fashioned," Jude indicated as he made his way towards the crowded bar. Insinuating himself between patrons he eventually managed to reach the reprobate oasis. Between the barflies, the curious and other pleasure seekers there was barely enough space for the two of them.

"You come here often?" He asked, acutely aware of his lack of originality.
"Alright! An old fashioned and a rum and coke, please" Sen told a middle-aged bartender who looked like he was more or less wondering why he had decided to become a bartender in the first place.

The drinks arrived quickly. Sen raised his glass to his newfound companion, briefly wondering whether the mans question was out of politeness or perhaps something more.

"Hardly ever, I was dragged here against my will" said the Eurasian wizard with a wry smirk. "What about you?"

Played By: melmaid
He clinked his glass against his companion's. "Thank you," he said before he took a long sip.

"Rarely," Jude admitted with a shy smile. He usually met with men in clubs dedicated to their clientele. Whether looking for a challenge or an excuse for failure, Jude had selected this club for tonight.

"Who dragged you against your will? Shall I fend them off?" He suggested while looking around for a group who might be looking at them with any sort of interest.
The rum and coke hit all the right notes as Sen downed his drink in one swell movement. He set the empty glass down on the bar and beckoned the bartender for another, ignoring the disapproving glances that were thrown from worker to patron. It was incredibly rare for Sen to be in a mood for partying as opposed to his long and lonesome whiskey-induced nights at home. He wanted to make the most of it, even if it meant talking to strangers.

"I don't even know where they are anymore," Sen admitted as he tapped his fingers impatiently against the linoleum of the bar while the bartender made his drink. "Off dancing or something." The drink finally arrived only to be consumed once more with carnal speed.

He made a point of looking Jude up and down when he suggested fending them off. "I don't dance, of course."

Played By: melmaid
Not following suit to his companion's keen pace, Jude enjoyed a modest sip of his drink. Had the man given him a once-over? Perhaps Jude had chosen well.

"I enjoy dancing, I find that it can be liberating," he explained before he took another sip. "Sometimes you just need to find the right partner." With a subtle movement of the tongue, he tasted the remnants of Old fashioned. "If not dance what should we do to make the night memorable?"
Despite all the liquid he had consumed, Sen still felt uncomfortably parched. He gulped down his rum and coke greedily, hoping to quench his arid state. It didn't work, but now his throat was burning pleasantly.

"Why are you trying to make this night memorable?" Sen interrogated as his glazed vision hurled over towards the man. He peered at the stranger with acute curiousity.

Played By: melmaid
Would sharing his status hinder his goal or would it merely clarify his intent? "It's my last weekend of freedom. I am getting married next Saturday," he shared without his habitual shame. The knowledge that he was giving in to his weaknesses for one last time before renouncing them for veiled his guilt.

"Maybe it's not about how it will be made special, maybe it's about who," Jude added shifting slightly as to place himself between his companion and the bar. Back against the hard wooden structure, he looked at the other man trying to assess how he was reacting to their proximity.
"Congratulations," came Sen's automatic response. Sen didn't think much of marriage, and what he did think of it was hardly positive. Still, offering good wishes seemed the courteous thing to do.

In Sen's dissipated mind he was keenly oblivious to the other mans motives, but had he been more sober, the way that Jude stood so close to him would have set off a yellow light. In the moment Sen mistook the other wizards behaviour for convenience. It was garishly loud in the club and the music roared inconspicuously at any attempts at a mild conversation.

"How long have you guys been together?"

Played By: melmaid
"We..." He started before a slight chuckle interrupted intercepted the rest of his sentence. The absurdity of the situation was verging on unbearable. Not only was the man oblivious to Jude's signals, but he was also asking questions about the bride to be.

"She's my best friend. We have known each other for more than a decade." And it was as he spoke of her that the guilt attempted to grapple him. While their marriage was one of convenience and Lidia had explained more than once that he was free to appease certain urges elsewhere, Jude wanted to remain virtuous out of respect for her.