Here we go. This is really short and boring but the next chapter should be really interesting.
Danny started down the stairs with his suite case thudding behind him. The reception line was waiting by the door. "Well…"
Vlad took Danny's luggage for him to put it with his own in the car. Danny went down the line hugging his mother. "I'll call before our plane takes off."
"Thank you for coming," Maddie said.
"Thank you for being so understanding. I know it was hard," Danny replied.
"We'll always love you," Maddie stated. "Have a good time in China."
"Bye, Jazz." Danny hugged her too.
"I better see you soon, little brother," she threatened.
"Of course I've got to meet this boy of yours."
"Boy, what boy?" Jack asked.
Danny moved to stand in front of him. "Thanks, Dad."
"Have a good flight," Jack offered with a bone crushing hug.
Vlad came back in. "Thank you for having us."
"Anytime," Maddie answered.
"Alright, bye, everyone!" Danny waved while walking out the door. Vlad walked behind him, his hand moving subtly to the small of Danny's back.
He stepped forward and opened the door of the black town car for the brunette before walking around the back to his own. "This is a nice car," Danny remarked. "What's the occasion?"
"Just thought with my fortune exposed calling a cab would be unnecessary."
Danny hummed. "I missed black leather seats." He sank further into the seat.
Vlad smiled. "Never realize what you have until it's gone."
"Oh so true." Danny moved closer. He laid his head on Vlad's shoulder. "Thank you for coming with me."
Vlad smiled down at him. "Of course, Daniel."
The car was comfortably quiet a few seconds before Vlad engaged a new conversation. "Can I ask you something?"
"Well, it's more for your approval than anything."
"Sure we can have sex back here," Danny said smiling. He sat up and tuned to face the other man. "Doubt that's really what you want to ask."
Vlad laughed. "If only it were that easy. Daniel, I was thinking of running for mayor."
"Our little slice of Wisconsin. Only if you are alright with it."
"You mean, only if I'm alright with becoming the mayor's loyal, upstanding, quietly present housewife."
Vlad nodded. "Precisely."
"I don't know why you're asking for my permission. Haven't you began to align the proper measures?" Danny asked.
"Nothing that can't be backed out of," Vlad stated.
"Can you imagine, Vlad Masters, not keeping his word. It'd be a down right disappointment."
"Thank you, Daniel." Vlad leaned across the seat to kiss Danny's cheek.
"Yeah, yeah," Danny supplied with an eye roll. "You do realize that this changes the I owe you occasion onto you."
"Or we can call it even," Vlad proposed.
"Oh, no, we are not." Danny insisted shaking his head. "I am going to have to be there for every press conference, every meet and greet, every political picture taking, and campaign running. I am going to have to listen and obey everything some PR manager has to input and repress my general public indecencies which include but are not limited to: sex in a bathroom, sex in a restaurant booth, sex on an airplane, sex in the governor's mansion, sex in the limo, sex in the hotel pool, and a feel up in the park. Is that not in the fine print?"
"And we will both have to watch our alcohol consumption," Vlad added.
Danny sighed. "You sure you want to do this?"
"Well then, hope I'm a better actor than that photographer gave me credit for."
"I'm not saying this is going to be easy. In fact it will probably be the opposite. Let's just make sure the only thing my competition can mudsling is my sexuality."
Danny blew out a long breath ending in pursed lips. He thought a second before responding. "You are pretty gay."
Vlad laughed a little and shook his head.
"Now find me a Starbucks!"
"There's one by the airport," Vlad told him.
"So what are you going to do about the company?" Danny asked.
"Calvin will see to it," Vlad shared.
"But Damon has been working for you for years, shouldn't he get it?"
"You really think Gray can handle it?"
"I think he wouldn't drive it into the ground or go power hungry and make you file a lawsuit to get it back," Danny reasoned.
"But he's a lab technician, he wouldn't know the first thing about running a multi-billion dollar company," Vlad continued to argue.
"Then you can just do the I owe you favor on your own," Danny crossed his arms conclusively.
"That's preposterous, then I would just be- Daniel, if you are going to withhold sex then just say you are going to withhold sex."
"I'm attempting to clean up my act for your campaign, Mr. Mayor."
"That has a lovely ring to it," Vlad said rather dreamily.
"You're so egocentric." Danny smacked his arm.
"Fine," Vlad began, "if Damon Gray will have it, the job is his."
"Daniel, it's the day after Christmas-" he started to protest.
"Call him right now or you will be doing a strip tease in your own hotel room on New Years Eve."
"Fine," Vlad retrieved his cell phone from the inner pocket of his jacket. "Do you know how many people I have to contact to get his home number?"
"Shut up and do it."
Vlad sighed and gave Danny a look that seemed to say, "happy?" while putting his phone on speaker.
"Vlad? Why on Earth are you calling me? Did something happen in the lab? There wasn't an explosion was there? I know I shouldn't of left that disgruntled girl to guard it. We're working on an ion that can-"
"Nicolai, I just need the codes," Vlad interrupted.
"Oh, why didn't you say so? You know I designed the system myself. It's bulletproof not a single hacker can get into and I know I used to be one. Did I ever tell you that story? You know I started with small things like the FBI data base and then-"
"The codes, Nicolai."
"Oh sure, sure, the first is 1357 and the second 2468. Great isn't it? So easy no one would ever guess. I made the whole system myself. Designed it using this new-"
"Thank you, goodbye." Vlad quickly hung up.
Danny laughed. "You hired him."
"I thought anyone that long winded had to know something… My mistake." He selected a new number.
"Hello, Masters Incorporated, how may I help you?"
"Who am I speaking to?"
"This is Desiree Gilpin, the front desk receptionist."
"Desiree, how is it you drew the short straw to work on a vacation day?"
"That's exactly it, sir, I drew the short straw. Now how can I assist you? I'm afraid all the offices are empty at this time but if you'd wish for some basic information I might be able to help."
"That would be wonderful. I am looking for a phone number of one of your employees."
"I'm sorry, sir, but I can't give out that information."
"No? Not even if I was Vlad Masters himself?"
Danny rolled his eyes, mouthing, "Stop flirting with the receptionist!"
To which Vlad mouthed back, "I'm not flirting with the receptionist!"
"Well that depends are you Vlad Masters?"
"In fact I am him."
"Well then, Vlad Masters would know the correct codes for finding such a number."
"Indeed I do," Vlad said. "Can you connect me to Nicolai's office?"
"Actually I do believe someone is in. One moment."
The line filled with classical music.
"You were to flirting with her." Danny accused.
"I was not. I was being charming. There is a difference."
"Hello, Nicolai Technus's office," a bored sounding voice spoke. "The name's Ember and I don't want to be here, what do you want?"
"The number for one of the lab employees."
"Yeah sure, hold on." There was a loud sound of chair wheels on tiled floor. "Code?"
"Who ever came up with this was a genius," she said sarcastically. "Name?"
"Home or cell?"
"Whatever," she said before hanging up.
Vlad turned to Danny. "See."
"It wasn't that bad, call him."
Vlad did as he was told. Dialing the number that was just shared with him.
"Hello, Gray residence, happy holidays."
"Hello, this is Vlad Masters, is Damon there."
Danny could almost feel the room on the other end stop. The boss calling and asking for his employee in the middle of an economic recession. Danny wished he could see their faces.
"Hello, Mr. Gray, I have some surprising news for you."
Danny smiled at the nerves in just the man's tone.
"Also a bit of a favor to ask."
"It seems as though I've reached a bit of a, well, conflict with the company. You see I have some different directions to peruse and with a company like Masters constantly needing supervision I couldn't possibly do both. So I'm looking for a temporary replacement."
The line was incredibly quiet.
"Hello?" Vlad asked.
"Y-yes. I'm here. I just- Are you asking me to-"
"Take over for me as head of the company, yes."
"This is unbelievable. I can't possibly- I don't know anything about running a business."
"You are allowed to decline. Though you will receive all the benefits of the one signing the checks, as well as the committee board watching after you."
"I- Of course I'll take it."
"Excellent. Someone will contact you after the holidays with the details. Enjoy your time with your family."
"Thank you. Thank you so much."
"Thank you for taking the burden off my shoulders. Have a happy holiday."
"I certainly will, good-bye."
"Good-bye." Vlad finished the conversation and ended the call with a long sigh. "Being pleasant that long is so taxing.
"Really? I kind of like your 'charming' attitude. I haven't been on the receiving end since I moved in."
"Not true. I'm nice to you all the time. And because I want to be," Vlad corrected.
"Because it gets you sex," Danny pointed.
"It's been man's motivation for years." He stated.
Danny rolled his eyes. "You were still flirting with that receptionist."
"I was not. Hadn't you just said I was so obviously gay. Why would I flirt with a woman? Let alone why would I flirt with anyone if I have you?"
"Your jealousy is unbecoming."
"I'm not jealous." Danny crossed his arms, sinking into the seat like a temperamental child.
Vlad leaned towards him. "Green is not your color."
"Just let me know when we're somewhere that makes coffee."
"Are you planning on replacing alcohol with coffee?"
The next sound was the separate pings of cell phone keyboards.