Spoilers: Up to S2 “As Fate Would Have It”
Summary: A late ficathon fulfilling present for rodlox. April/Jordan sort of UST.
A/N: Betaread by the lovely fififolle.
April Evaline Skouris didn't consider herself lucky, with the exception of the help from her niece Maia – which hadn't exactly turned out great either in the end, even if it had seemed pretty awesome to start with – but she really couldn't believe her luck today. She'd seen him twice in a matter of days! Maybe it offset his bad luck, though she really hoped he wouldn't die like Maia had predicted, after all she'd managed to save her customer, Billy, from his obviously not so certain death. Jordan Collier definitely didn't seem to believe in the vision, the gala was going full steam ahead with decorations being put up downstairs.
What struck her about him was he was so tall. He fit the triad description of tall, dark and handsome perfectly. And he was rich to boot, which was a lot nicer a prospect than past boyfriends who'd often free-loaded off her meagre earnings – it made him independent, suave and... so tall, not lanky, but tall in the kind of way that totally suited him. She was probably swooning, it was pretty much likely she was doing that, but it didn't matter too much – there wasn't an abundance of people around to be embarrassed in front of. Just Jordan Collier, with her, in an enclosed space, for an indefinite amount of time.
"Of all the people I could've been stuck in an elevator with..."
He smiles, a little confused by her exclamation or her lack of real explanation for it. Not to mention she has a horrible habit of trailing off when she ought to say more. It goes hand in hand with her other bad habit of saying far too much and sticking her foot firmly in her mouth. Comparatively this habit is less troublesome so she should be grateful she's avoided the worse option.
“I just mean, there's so many people here that it's quite something to be stuck in an elevator with THE 4400 figurehead. I would have thought you'd be too busy...”
“Too busy to get stuck in an elevator, or too busy attempting to not be assassinated to make an appearance at my own center?” he replies with an amused quirk to his voice.
The minute the words are out of her mouth she had realised her mistake, but it's too late now and all she can do is try to make up for it... though all she succeeds in doing is stumbling about verbally, spluttering about more ill-thought out nonsense.
“Well, surely you've got things to do, people to see. The gala. And...and... the minute you get stuck someone would know and come to the rescue, right? What about your security guards?”
“Maintenance will sort it out in due time. I hire only the best people at the center, they'd do the same no matter who was in the elevator. As for my security, I'm not concerned enough yet to have guards ghosting me, but my people know where I am.”
“Huh, I suppose that's nice to know.”
“For example, I'm sure they even know who I'm stuck in this elevator with.”
“Are there cameras in here?” She cringed at the possibility that a troupe of bored security guards might have seen, and heard, her feeble attempt to chat up their boss. Maybe her luck wasn't so good after all.
“Does it matter if there are, Ms. Skouris?”
“I suppose not. I just thought we were alone, you know actually alone, as in with some sense of privacy”... and no embarrassment.
“I'm sure once this is all over that might be possible once more, though my work for the Center is rarely done, hence I'm rarely truly alone, whatever the security situation.”
“That's a little sad.”
“Not at all. My work has its perks, I assure you.”
“Like fancy galas?”
“I do get to attend plenty of social events, yes,” there was a possibly unsure pause - a crack in his otherwise assured conversational skills that made her feel a little better – before he continued on thoughtfully, “Speaking of which, does your niece plan on attending tomorrow?”
“Not that I'm aware.”
Damn, for a minute there her brain had filtered out niece and rather too optimistically let her dream for a second he was asking her! She hated it when that sort of thing happened, but couldn't really let it put a kink in their now flowing conversation, so she continued on in the same vein, sticking to what he actually appeared interested in.
“I don't think Di's too keen for her to, because of the...thing they think is gonna happen. Too dangerous.”
Foot in mouth! Foot in mouth, April! She could feel the blush rising to her cheeks, a nervous and slightly guilty smile forming on her lips as she realised what a blunder she'd made mentioning the one topic that was best avoided. There she was getting too keen to keep on talking to him and she'd kept on talking far longer than her thoughts had extended. There'd better not be cameras. It wasn't like he'd answered that question directly.
“In that case I'll not have the pleasure of seeing you again, unless you're interested in attending the Center.”
The mention of herself and “pleasure of seeing you again” appearing in the same sentence caught her off guard. And Jordan Collier was looking at her. Leaning in his tall but suave way against the elevator rails and looking at her, as if he was particularly interested in what she'd say next and not just in the 'I'm a respected leader who must always sound interested' way. She'd managed to impress herself with how well she'd done this time, despite her many verbal faux pas, either that or she'd have to recognise that Jordan considered enthusiasm that tended to lead to quirkiness endearing. Of course the problem was her only possible answer couldn't really assist her here, there wasn't any chance she'd be welcome at the 4400 Center any time too soon. The exception to that was the gala which she intended to blag her way into with the pretence she'd accompany Maia instead of Diana, having already got the ticket; the single obstacle was how to get in without said child attached as the guest list expected, but she'd come to that issue tomorrow.
“Not really, it's a bit out of my financial means but I'll be around in Seattle for a while yet,” she said, trying to be casual about it, leaning back on the elevator rails herself and glancing up hopefully – whilst secretly being anything but – at the floor indicator. Somehow that must've jinxed as they started to rise up again.
His almost teasing reply, and the last thing he said to her, was “As do I hope to be alive for a while yet.”
And that was the end of April's unexpected encounter. She'd only come in for the free introduction session because the sales guy looked cute, in the wholesome, much more sensible choice for a boyfriend style, and instead fate had delivered her a real man. Shame it was probably also going to take him away pretty soon. Still, she could always hope, she'd gotten good at that, and hedging your bets on Jordan Collier seemed far more sound than any of her past choices.