"Told you that dress would look stunning on you." Cosmo set down the mixed drink in front of the woman who had ordered, leaning against the bar to slide it closer. "Every head in the room turned when you walked in."
"Yours included?" she asked with a wink, leaving red lipstick behind on the rim of the glass.
"You've got my eyes on you now, don't you?" Cosmo responded, flashing her a slightly crooked smile that was often described as deceptively charming. Tapping his hand on the surface of the bar, he shifted away, in order to go get the order of the man sitting a couple spots away that had been staring down his every movement. He made sure to give a sincere apology and received a request for quote, Sex on the Beach with a Cosmopolitan, end quote. "Coming right up, Sugar."
A compliment followed him as he went to grab the necessary liquors. Working the bar and making drinks was what Cosmo enjoyed most. Conversation came easy to him, engaging with the customers made the time pass quick and the tip jar strain to contain itself. Nights that Cosmo had the cocktail shaker in his hands were usually the nights that happened to be the busiest and the nights that put the most coin into the business. He was just doing his part to keep them running smoothly, which usually wasn't a problem unless Chocolate came popping in to distract Merlot.
Cosmo bounced between his customers, delivering drinks and dropping compliments, leaning over the bar when a couple requested a selfie with him and their drinks. He laughed when he got a kiss on both cheeks, one from each of them, pulling back with a playful scold.
When the end of his shift arrived, Cosmo had collected a stack of napkins from customers, as was usual, all of which he had set to the side because for some reason people always got upset if he threw them away in their presence. In the meantime, he was chatting it up with a gentleman, while holding the hand of a lady. Said gentleman had been going on about a new restaurant on the other side of town which he was of the opinion that "Cosmo would simply adore" while said lady had been showing off some wonderfully intricate nail art she had reportedly had done that afternoon in the theme of all the thirsty boys who worked the bar. She had made sure to point out that Cosmo's design was on her left ring finger.
"Beautiful, have you shown the others? What a way to accentuate your already lovely hands." Cosmo smiled, pulling back slowly when Bourbon came over and nudged him in the side. "Yeah?"
Bourbon jerked his head toward the door, sliding in close, voice dropped low to keep his words private. "Maybe ya wanna let go, huh?"
Cosmo looked toward the door. The cool expression he had worn most of the night was overtaken, instead he lit up with a smile. He gave her woman a quick and delicate squeeze of the hand in apology before releasing her, waving to Cranberry.
His boyfriend had ducked in through the door, hanging back. Force of habit. Cranberry had a way of commanding the attention in the room. Mostly, it was due to his height but Cosmo suspected that the fluffy blond-pink lion mane of his was at fault as well. It was, after all, one of the first things that had caught Cosmo's attention. He had wanted to fluff his hands through it.
Cranberry maneuvered around the tall bar tables, taking his time to turn between the narrow spaces. Merlot had once referred to Cranberry as a bull in a china shop. Cosmo personally agreed, because empirical evidence had proven that bulls were extremely nimble and light-footed inside china shops, despite their size and reputation. Just like his Cranmuffin.
The two customers Cosmo had been tending to seemed put off by Cranberry sliding into the seat between them, even with his polite nods. The man sat up, tugging on the collar of the suit Cosmo had previously called sharp, while the woman tapped her manicured nails over the counter.
Cranberry glanced from one to the other, and then to the stack of napkins resting by Cosmo's elbow. "Those yours?"
"People have been giving them to me all night," Cosmo replied, shrugging his shoulders. "Again."
Smiling, Cranberry grabbed a clean one for himself, taking a pen out of his pocket. Cosmo leaned in, watching Cranberry write his number down onto it. Except Cosmo already had Cranberry's number. Home, cell, work, all on speed-dial and all memorized.
Cranberry finished off the zero at the end by making it into a heart. He slid the napkin to Cosmo. "That's for you."
Those were the exact words that someone else had said to him that night. Cosmo picked up the napkin and stared at it. Cranberry kept smiling, quiet, waiting. It clicked. "Ohhhh, like that?" He received a nod in response. Cranberry had told him that his chatty nature had a way of giving people the impression that he was flirting. Even when he wasn't. He definitely wasn't. He had just been complimenting suit linings, because it honestly was a very fine one, and the hand holding was because– okay, he saw it now.
Clearing his throat, Cosmo gave his best smile to his two final customers, beginning an apology only to be waved off. The man picked up his drink, excusing himself in favor of escorting the woman from the bar to another table. They both still left tips.
"I wasn't–" Cosmo started but Cranberry shook his head, dismissing it.
And that was another reason why Cosmo adored Cranberry. Because he genuinely understood it as a simple part of Cosmo's nature and never judged him for it. Cranberry had said he liked Cosmo's perceived flirtatious habits, that it came to be a personal slice of self-pride. Cosmo had people falling for his charms left and right yet he never wanted for anything more than their life together.
Cosmo made a show of throwing the stack of napkins in the trash. He kept Cranberry's though, folding it up and tucking it into his vest pocket. "Definitely calling you tonight. And yes, I mean it in that way. The romantic way. Or the– no, that's not smooth, wait, let me try that again…"
It came out even sloppier the second time. He somehow always managed to mess it up when he was actually trying. Cranberry looked happy all the same.