Worth the Risk - Party Twin x Blake Rules of Engagement Fanfic.
[A little note: I’m a big fan of Party Twin x Blake, and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a fanfiction for them. I’m also going to try another first - writing in second person narrative. Not sure how I feel about it, I’ve never done this before and I usually find it kind of awkward. Maybe this’ll be a good first? Thoughts? Comments? Critisms? Let me know what you think!]
[Summary: Another late night cleaning up after everyone else leaves reminds Party Twin of some unresolved feelings and memories with her boss. It doesn’t help when she realizes he feels the same].
You look up just in time to see the last of your fellow employees trickling out of the kitchen. You catch Carter’s grin just before he shrugs off his vest and tucks it under his arm.
It’s almost closing time and everyone else nearly out of here. But you volunteered to stay behind and help clean up. You’ve tried to convince yourself that your intentions had nothing to do with the fact that Blake usually stays here pretty late.
“A bunch of us are going back to that nightclub we went to a couple nights ago.“ He says this expectantly. “I know you said you’re staying late, but I’m here to change your mind.” He brushes the side of your arm with intimate familiarity. He’s hoping you’ll change your mind because of the amount of fun you both had last time.
But you won’t change your mind and you aren’t in the mood. You glance down at his hand until he drops it.
You’re too preoccupied with other things. Things you can’t dust off like the dirt and grime under your fingernails from washing dishes.
You look up, giving him an apologetic smile. You’re used to partying and forgetting about the world around you. But you can’t do it tonight. You keep hoping to see Blake pop out of his office before you leave. He’s been in there all day.“You go ahead. I’ve still got some stuff I have to finish up here.”
It’s barely a feasible excuse but he doesn’t press it. He looks disappointed until he quickly masks it with another easy smile. Carter knows how to keep things light. “Alright, another time then.” He playfully bumps shoulders with you as he passes by, “Just try not to work too hard alright? Or I’ll forget how much fun you are.” He winks at you before grabbing his coat.
You try not to second guess yourself as you watch him go. His words makes you feel guilty. Have you really changed that much? You can’t shake the guilt off because this isn’t the first time you’ve brushed Carter off. You’ve done it a couple times. Why can’t I just go out and forget?
You toy with the idea and try to shake off your inner turmoil. It churns at the idea but it’s something you used to never hesitate at. You like partying, and you like Carter. But things aren’t the same anymore. Things changed. Eventually, you know you can’t pretend it didn’t happen.
Maybe you can try it again. Seeing Carter the way he stills sees you. Maybe if you get drunk enough, it won’t matter what Blake’s doing anymore. Maybe you can dull the ache long enough not to care. You reach for your phone, intending to call Carter until you see Blake making his way into the kitchen with Mira at his heels.
They’re laughing about something and you instantly feel a stab of jealously.
Your jealously is misplaced but you still can’t help it. You’re pretty sure nothing’s going on between them but the rest of your body reacts differently. You shoulders stiffen as you secretly watch them. He looks relaxed and comfortable; in a way he never is with you. You try to appear nonchalant when they finally notice you.
“Jess,” You hear the surprise in Blake’s voice. “I thought you’d join the rest of the crew.” He clears his throat awkwardly. “I had no idea you were staying behind.”
Mira’s already stepping past you, ignoring your prescence completely as she grabs her things.
“I thought I’d stick around just in case you needed any help.” You’ve rehearsed this line a couple times in your head, but you can hear how nervous you sound. You try to play it off of course. You’re not the kind of person to get nervous. “Cleaning up I mean.” You add quickly, in case it wasn’t clear already.
“Well, thank you.” His eyes flicker in surprise again but you can hear how grateful he sounds by the way his voice drops. He appreciates your support.
His eyes linger on you a split second longer than necessary before you look away. By the time Mira slinks her way back here, you almost forget that you’re holding a dish rag inside your hand.
“Don’t forget what we talked about.” Mira tells Blake with a wan smile. “There’s some other ideas I’d like to run by you before we taste test them. ”
Blake nods at her solemnly. “I won’t. You’ve definitely given me a lot to think about.” He rubs his chin thoughtfully, “See you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight.” She doesn’t say goodnight to you however. She never says goodnight to you.
“’Night to you too Mira!” You say a little bit brighter than necessary. It’s all forced of course. There’s just something about her that doesn’t rub you the right way.
She stops for a second, her face turning into a half scowl before she says the words haughtily back to you and leaves.
Ugh. Whatever. Your half-attempts at being nice always seem to backfire. The two of you have never gotten along, but you can at least begrudgingly admire her tastes in cuisine. Hell, if you’re being honest with yourself - you kind of respect her.
You sigh, fighting the urge to roll your eyes. “She totally hates me.” You grumble, earning a wry smile from Blake.
“No, she doesn’t.” At your snort he adds, “Really.” He insists, “You’re just competition to her.”
“Really? Competition?” You echo. The idea strikes you as ludicrous. You’ve never gotten that impression. Usually, Mira’s too busy barking orders and trying to change menu ideas to think about other people. You’re convinced that he’s saying this to make you feel better.
“Besides, she just doesn’t know you the way I do.” He adds.
A smile pokes out from the corner of your mouth. “Not a lot of people here know me the way you do. “ You tease before you can stop yourself. You freeze when you realize that you’ve said the words out loud.
Almost unwillingly, your mind drifts towards that night.
When your eyes sweeps his again, you can see a faint blush on his cheeks and you know he’s thinking about it too. He looks away and changes the subject. “Anyway we should probably finish up here.” He says without looking back at you. “I wouldn’t want to keep you.“
I wouldn’t mind if you did. You think these words but don’t say them out loud. A part of you wants to, it craves the excitement of pushing his buttons. But the other part of you knows better. It knows that once you cross that line again - there’s no coming back. And this time you’re both sober.
You help him put the dry dishes away from off their racks. There’s a lot of them and the process is slow but it’s nice to have this companionable silence. It doesn’t feel strange at all and you’re happy that you can still work with him without it being weird. Soon, your focus shifts to staring. You can’t help it, there’s not much else to do. Every so often you can’t help but peek at him.
His brows are creased in concentration, and his eyes look as if they’re a million miles away.
What’re you thinking? You want to say these words out loud, but you don’t. You’re not ready to break the silence.
When your attention swerves back to the dishes, you start to realize your mistake. Every time he moves past you, you’re aware of it. The slightest of movements causes some kind of reaction. Your body quivers in quiet anticipation even though the smarter part of you know that nothing will happen.
Blake’s a buttoned up sort of man. The kind of man that it takes a few drinks or a deep conversation to get anywhere. The kind of man that prides hard-work over having a good time. He’s responsible, dependable and everything you thought you’d never be attracted to.
Your nana would’ve liked him. She would’ve said he was good for you.
You’re not even sure why you’re so keenly aware of every movement he makes. You catch your breath when he brushes by you again. It’s so unnerving the kind of effect he has on you. Your hands shake a little as you place another dish back, sneaking another glance at him.
A stab of irritation hits you.
He looks so composed, so unaware of what he’s doing to you. He doesn’t seem to be even a little fazed by the close promixity.
Your irritation turns into quiet anger. How can he be so calm all the time? You think miserably to yourself. It’s not fair when it’s one sided.
You’re determined to break that cool exterior of his and before you know it - you’re purposely stepping into him, making as much contact as humanly possible. You innocently try to play it off, blaming your tired hands as he raises eyebrows but secretly you think he probably knows better.
Eventually, it’s not so innocent anymore. Your movements are getting slower - more even paced and you take every opportunity to be closer. You see a flicker of something in his eyes that makes your next move clumsy. You curse yourself as it happens; the plates in your hand titter and plummet.
You lose your balance and embarrassingly stumble as the plates go flying. You’re pretty sure you’re going to fall until you feel his sturdy arms catch you. They’re so strong and warm that you can’t help but shudder. Your mind immediately flickers to the night you both spent together - from the pieces you could remember. You flush in delight.
You force yourself not to stay there, instead you draw your attention to the intensity of his dark eyes. Always so serious, always so couretous. You want to keep pusing his buttons, to see how far you can go before he’s driven mad by it. You jut your chin out and don’t break eye contact. You can feel your heart hammering inside your chest and for a second you’re worried he can hear it too.
He doesn’t let go once you’re on sure footing again. In fact, his eyes start to change, and looks almost torn from where you’re standing. As if he wasn’t quite sure what to do next.
The words are so insistent inside your head, so strong that it surprises you. You don’t act on it because you want him to make the first move. You want him to be the one to take the chance for a change. You bite your bottom lip, and the gestures immediately draws his attention to your mouth.
You see something flash inside his eyes - unabashed passion you can dimly remember. The last thought you have are the scattered dishes around you as his lips crash against yours. You can feel the frustration in his kisses and the need as his tongue plunges through the barrier of your lips.
Sparks seem to fly as his expert lips draw a gasp from you. You feel yourself sinking into him, your arms looping themselves around his neck. It feels like the most natural thing in the world. You kiss him urgently, as desire pools at your stomach and his hips presses into yours until your backed into the kitchen counter.
His arms are insistent, deftly sliding underneath your uniform until he makes contact with your skin. His kisses become more insistent and you feel light-headed as he guides your hands further down. You’re not aware at first that the moaning sounds are coming from you until he pulls away.
He’s breathing heavily, raking his hands through his hair. His jaw is set like steel and he takes a few cautious steps back as if he needed it to clear his head. “Jess…” He says your name like an almost anguished groan. “What’re you doing to me?” He half-mumbles the words as he rubs his temples.
You drop a meaningful look towards the obvious bulge inside his pants. “What do you think?” You can’t help but smirk as he blushes, flustered by your quick response.
“It was a rhetorical question.” He says, looking away to clear his throat.
You want to touch him again, to feel his lips against yours but his eyes aren’t passionate anymore. They’re distant and careful. “We can’t do this.” The words are tight and they hurt.
They knock the wind right out of you and you swallow back the sudden lump inside your throat. “I know.” They’re your words, coming from out of your mouth - but they sound hollow. You don’t want to stop, not until he’s lying underneath you in tangled sheets.
The realization rattles you and this time you’re the one backing away. “You’re right.” You say, not really believing your own words. As much as you wanted to - you know you can’t.
He’s searching your eyes but you’re not sure what he’s looking for. Doesn’t he want you to agree with him? To pretend that there’s nothing between the two of you?
You stiffen your shoulders before you mumble an excuse to get past him. What were you thinking anyway? It’s silly for you to ever entertain the thought, that somehow this can all work out.
You stop short.
Except it’s the first time you’ve ever felt like this. Felt something so strong that you’re not sure what to do next. You thought after a couple days of avoiding each other it would pass but it hasn’t. Sure there’s been other guys, there’s always been other guys. But none of them has ever challenged you the way he does. Or push you to be better. You whirl on your heels, placing your hands on your hips. “No.” You say stubbornly.
His eyes widen, but he doesn’t make any move to stop you once you get closer. “No?” He echoes.
“No.” You shake your head firmly. “You don’t get to shut me out.” You say, without breaking eye contact.
You can’t help but reach out to him as you talk. You touch his hand, and think about how different it is from yours. You’ve never worked anywhere long enough for it leave a mark; so yours are soft and tender compared to his - a little rough and coarse ones. It’s probably because of all his hard-work, and you’re pretty sure it’s his drive that makes him sucessful at nearly everything he does.
You stare at them and remember how gentle they were; once you think of them touching you. When they skimmed every part of you. “You don’t get to push me away, not after everything.” You mutter softly.
His eyes are wary again but there’s something else too. You’re not sure what it is and you try to convince yourself that maybe he’s having second thoughts. “It’s just easier this way.” He mutters, pulling his hand away. “Pretending that night never happened pretending that this -” he gestures between you and him. “this could never go anywhere.” He exhales deeply, “You know how much this means to me.” His teeth visibly clenches, “My work means everything to me, and I’m not going to jeopardize that, not for anything.” For the first time you seen a hint of desperation inside his eyes - like he wants you to push him away. “Not for anyone.”
You flinch at his words.
“And especially not over my own family.”
But you shake your head. You’ve gotten past the harsh exterior he’ s shown everyone else. You’ve seen too much. You know that he’s just trying to push you away, and you don’t want him to.
Maybe a month ago you’d have believed that. Maybe a month ago, you’d have let him. But you’ve gotten to know him. You’ve seen some of the good and some of the bad. None of it made you want to run away. You want to know him better, to know more about his family he often talks about back home. The dad he always gushes about, the mother that did her best to take care of them - you want to know everything. “Tell me you you don’t care about me.” You jerk your chin forward stubbornly. “Tell me you don’t care.” Your words are brave but inwardly you’re afraid he’s going to pull away.
He doesn’t respond at first. He just keeps staring at you. You can almost see the wheels turning inside his head. “Jess…”
“That’s what I thought.” You say triumphantly, seeing defeat sink into his eyes.
“What do you want from me?” He sounds aggravated and jerks his eyes away. “We can’t…” He says the words slowly as if he’s trying to convince himself. “I can’t risk it.” His words are hoarse and almost break your will.
You wait till he looks at you again before you speak. “You’re worth the risk.” You mumble softly, letting it sink in that this is what you wanted. Letting him know that you weren’t running away. Whatever happens by the end of the summer, at least you could leave knowing you won’t regret this. “You’re worth the risk and I’m not letting this go until you know how I feel - ”
The rest of your sentence is cut off by his lips gingerly touching yours, tasting you before turning into something more. Something that went beyond your constant teasing. He kisses you with force, a kind of complexitity that you’ve never felt before.
“I care about you.” He whispers against your lips, like a hidden secret you think you weren’t ever going to hear. You almost smile as you kiss him back, elated that you can finally be honest with each other.
Everything else in the world, recedes and shrinks by comparison.