Augustine eyed his assistant warily as she moved around his office watering the plants. For some reason he couldn't really place (but was no doubt due to his nervousness) he had the sneaking suspicion she was on to him. Not that there was any way she could know. He'd gone to such great lengths to keep it a secret, even going so far as to recruit her mother into demanding Serena come home for a visit so he could do the buying without fear of her accidentally catching him. Yet despite this his eyes kept darting to the bottom left drawer of his desk and he barely suppressed the urge to flinch whenever she glanced his way.

Serena finished with the plants and turned to him. He'd just managed to reel in his focus back to the work in front of him and so her voice caught him by surprise. "I'm done here, so I'll be heading out. We're still on for dinner tonight, right?" Augustine was so tightly wound he couldn't help but jump a bit at suddenly being addressed. He tried to cover it up with a cough but he could tell by the way Serena's eyes narrowed slightly that it was not very effective. "Ah, of course ma chère! I'll pick you up at 7!" His voice sounded too strained for the normalness of the conversation. Serena nodded slowly, her brows pinching together slightly in worry but he smiled genuinely enough to convince her he was fine.

The second he was sure she was gone (and he was too panicked to not go to the window and make sure she'd left the building) he dove for the drawer he'd been glancing at all day and pulled out the object that had him so thoroughly on edge. The little velvet box was far too innocuous looking to be holding all of his hopes and dreams for the future. He flipped it open and stared at the contents. He'd had such a trial deciding on the ring and he'd even consulted her mother in hopes of ensuring it was to Serena's tastes, an act which had no doubt put him in Grace's eternal good graces. He'd debated back and forth with himself whether to go with the traditional diamond or something more colorful. But after a lot of thinking (and far more internet searches than he was proud of) he'd decided a diamond was the right choice. The few he had actually talked to about his plans had reassured him that choosing it based on the fact that one of the meanings of the name Serena was "clarity" was in fact very romantic and not completely asinine. He still wasn't sure if he believed them.

He closed the box and dropped it into the breast pocket of his lab coat, too anxious now to trust the desk drawer with it any longer. The weight of it sat there over his heart as a near constant reminder for the rest of the day, which he found both bemusing and fitting. He closed the lab as early as he could reasonably justify and spent far too long debating with himself on his attire. He ended up being ready almost an hour before he needed to leave and he spent that time pacing about his apartment, double checking his reservation multiple times, and practicing his lines. He left promptly at 6:30, as ready as he'd ever be. All that was left to do was ask.