#16987
Awkward pause. Why was it so awkward? Deep down, way, way down there, Tim knew why. He knew why it felt awkward for him, at least. He tried to tell himself that there was nothing wrong with having a tiny inkling of attraction for the young Senate Page. It was wrong, for many reasons, least of all because he was married. Happily. Or something.

He saw where her eyes wandered, to the dance floor, and remembered the last significant moment they shared together at the wedding. She had asked him to dance and he, having not been drunk enough to not care about what present company would think, declined. He had regretted it.

He downed the last bit of his drink.

"I believe I owe you a dance," he set his empty glass on the bar and held out his hand.

At worst, people were going to think he was just another one of those men that saw the the young women as objects to be ogled at. He could live with that.
#16991
Was he really asking her? And why did she want him to?

Were her cheeks pink? She might have been blushing. Blushing was stupid, like something from teen magazines. She fought off the feeling by giving him a sort of smirk, a look of disbelief. The senator was asking her to dance.

She finished her own drink, then took his hand.

"Good," Jennifer remarked, her nervous smirk turning in to a stronger grin as she grew more confident. Maybe it was the warmth of his hand in hers, or the fact that anyone at all was giving her attention. Not that she was that kind of girl. But it was still nice.

"I was afraid you'd forgotten."
#17103
"Of course not," Tim replied without missing a beat. There should have been a beat though.

He led her to the edge of the dance floor and assumed the position of slow-dancing-with-someone-that-you-are-not-romantically-involved-with. He was not the best dancer, or the worst, but he even knew the distance he had put between them was a bit ridiculous. He amended that quickly.

"I'm just going to apologize in advanced for stepping on your feet. It always happens at least once."
#17191
"It's okay," Jennifer laughed. Why was she still blushing? Did he notice?

"I never made it through the whole debutante thing, so my dancing is kind of a disaster. I find it helps if you watch the person you're with though instead of your feet. I mean, that's... you know, what my dance instructor told me."

Did she really want him watching her? That was an idiotic thing to suggest.

"You're not so bad, though. At dancing."
#18184
He should not enjoy the way she was blushing or the way she spoke her mind and then tried to cover her tracks because of how it sounded. Tim could not be sure that she had a crush on him but he felt like she did. He wanted her to? He would never admit he had one on her too, but he did.

"Ah, this does seem to be helping," he replied as focused his gaze on her and not his feet. He was not sure it was making him a better dancer but the view was certainly better.
#18242
Why was he looking at her like that?

She was crazy, right? She expected him to look her way, but not to look at her like.. like that. Whatever that was. She liked it, though. Why did she like it? He was just a co-worker. A senator. Her superior. And he was married.

"What?" Jennifer finally managed, a slight betrayal of her intoxication in her voice.
#18258
Tim laughed. It was a big laugh. If he'd had less drinks and was with anyone else he would not be laughing at all, but he was with her. Jennifer. She was something else. Something he had not expected.

"Nothing," he said with a shake of his head. The song was finishing up and moving on to the Electric Slide. Tim was disappointed. He would have liked another slow dance.
#18261
She wanted another one, too, but she said nothing of the sort. Instead Jennifer chose to smile and take the senator by the hand, urging him to fall in line next to her. The dance was stupid, but it was fun. It was a classic, a tradition, and it led into the Macarena and some line dance one of the southern senators had requested and the next thing she knew Jennifer was showing off the dancing skills she had learned back home at barn parties.

And then she was worn out and laughing and brushing her hair out of her face.

"I might go out for some air," Jennifer remarked, trying to catch her breath. "Some real fresh air, I mean. Not whatever this charm is."
#18792
Tim was having such a blast that he had not realized just how many songs they had danced to or how late it was getting. He just knew he could stay there all night. All day tomorrow. This was the best time he'd ever had at this party and he'd been to it more times than he could count.

He did not want it to end.

Which is why he jumped at the change to grab a bit of fresh air with Jennifer. He led her out of the building onto the streets of DC. The sun was setting now. He was supposed to be home hours ago. He doubted Denise even noticed.

"Are you enjoying the party now?" he asked, recalling that earlier in the evening she had seemed less than thrilled about it.
#18849
"I was," Jennifer laughed, letting her hair down so that she could attempt to get it in order somewhat. There was probably no helping it without a charm, but there were ordinaries around now. She didn't want to risk getting caught.

"I mean, I am. We're just not there anymore, so..."

She trailed off, glancing up at him.

What even was this? She needed to just walk away, not stand there and gaze at the senator with a shy smile.

She was such an idiot. Maybe there were job openings at the Smithsonian.
#19254
"We could go back," Tim offered. She was having fun. He was having fun. Why ruin a good thing?

A thought crossed his mind. A thought he definitely should not be having and one he certainly could not act on.

"Or we could go to my place."

Somewhere in the distance he swore he could hear the sound of his entire career imploding.
#19470
Or we could...

What? No. What?!

He was supposed to be one of the nice ones, she thought. One of the people who actually cared about their job, their constituents, their families. At the same time... his wife sounded like a total snooze fest. And he'd been holding her very close while they danced... and he didn't say going to his place had to mean anything... it could have been just a drink...

And she really did need another drink.

Mostly because she was already smiling, and a giggle was escaping her lips before she could stop it.

"Is it far?"

What was she doing?
#19511
Tim knew it was a bad idea and yet he was still doing it.

"Just a few blocks to the south, above that sushi restaurant that caught on fire a few months back."

Right there he'd had a chance to change his mind. To stop this from going where ever it was going. Even if nothing happened, which nothing would, it didn't look good. And he knew how people were. It was never the older Senator with the power to blame, but always the young intern, office clerk, page, who started it.

He started walking in the direction of his studio. This was a bad idea and he was still doing it.
#19534
She was walking with him, making her way down the street with him, listening to her heart beat in her ears when they weren't talking or laughing. And then they were at the torched sushi restaurant, and Jennifer was sobering up.

Was this the part where she turned around and went home?

"We should have stopped for some wine," Jennifer laughed, a smile playing at her lips.

Maybe she hadn't sobered up as much as she'd thought.
#19637
"Do I look like a man that doesn't keep a well stocked wine rack?" Tim replied with a look of faked offense. They really should probably not have any more to drink. He shouldn't even be indulging himself in this at all. He shouldn't even be thinking about doing it. He was married. Anyway you looked at it, even if nothing happened - which it wasn't going to - married people did not flirt with younger coworkers and invite them to their extra apartment they kept for work.

"It's getting late. If you need to go home, you can. I won't hold it against you."

He was trying to navigate the waters. He wanted to give them both an out if they needed it. He wanted to make sure she didn't feel like she had to be here because he had suggested it.