CP bachelor AU: part 10
They’re filming the penultimate episode when Erasmus throws a huge, shining spanner into the neat mechanism of Laurent’s show.
This close to the end, the on-camera small talk is finally giving way to more serious discussions about compatibility. Damen is meant to spend this afternoon asking each suitor in turn where they see themselves in five years, and what they really want out of life.
Erasmus is first; he sits on the edge of the couch, set at an angle to the leather armchair where Damen is enthroned, and twists his hands together. He hasn’t looked this visibly nervous in a while. Damen has obviously noticed it too, because he bats a few sillier questions at Erasmus instead of plunging straight into the heavy topics. He has an instinct for people that makes Laurent wonder what kind of easily-swayed idiot Theomedes must be, not to see how wired Damen is for leadership.
When Damen poses the in-five-years question, Erasmus runs a tongue over his lips and colour fills his cheeks. He’s the only suitor who hasn’t yet kissed Damen at least once on camera, and Laurent approved of that on the basis that it maintained tension, but now would be a good time for a kiss if one is going to happen.
Laurent moves his eyes away from Damen’s mouth.
Erasmus says, still blushing, “This is hard to say. I think you’re incredible, Damen. Really. But–”
But?? rings in Laurent’s head like a struck bell.