Tick tock, tick tock.
Scott Ryder looked up to the wall clock placed between the door to the temporary kitchen and the elevator, it was already past nine in the morning, work was going smooth as usual but the young man couldn't help but feel a bit anxious watching the clock tick by.
He suddenly hears the quiet ding from the elevator from afar, he inhaled sharply and his gaze immediately casted to the elevator doors open to a tall figure walking out and entering the office.
Scott swallowed hard when he hears footsteps walk past his cubicle, he spared a glance to the handsome side profile of Reyes Vidal passing by. Scott swore he could hear his heart beating in his ears, following with the heat gathered in his face.
He subconsciously gripped his fists for some reason as the older man passed his cubicle with his usual scowl and hard eyes cast on the papers holding, the man didn't even have to look up to where he was going, it's like he knew the layout of the office by heart.
Scott could smell the cologne the he was wearing as he passes by.
God, he's so beautiful.
Scott didn't realize he kept his gaze following Reyes until he was leaning out of his chair, the next thing he knew he slipped out of his chair and his face was planted into the floor with a loud thud.
"Fuuuck. " He cursed, the throbbing pain in his head, he was definitely going to get a nasty bruise from that. He immediately stood up from his shaky legs, placing his chair back in its place before plopping down on it.
"Scott, are you okay, man?" Scott heard Liam call for him from behind his cubicle, he quickly brushed off the shame, he could feel all of his co-workers watching him. He turned his back to Liam, who was equally amused and concerned for his friend's unlucky face plant.
"Y-Yeah. I'm fine." No, not really.
He was just glad Reyes didn't see him do that.
Not like he would admit that he fell his face first on the dirty floor while he was too busy creepily oogling over Reyes Vidal.
The next time Scott saw Reyes again was that afternoon, the man passed by his cubicle the same route without a single care in the world and exited the office building like he owned the place.
Scott exhaled the breath he didn't realize he held for so long, his heart couldn't stop beating out of his chest. Followed by a frustrated grunt, he rubbed his face in exhaustion.
What am I doing?
He asked himself that again once the image of Reyes Vidal popped into mind again. He can hear his heart jumping out of his chest, he’s got it really bad.
Scott almost jumped out of his seat, an imaginable squawk came out of his lips. He seethed through his teeth in embarrassment. He tried to play it off cool, pretending like he didn’t embarrass himself any further today. He gulped and looked over to the familiar face of Cora Harper and Liam Kosta.
“Woah, you okay? Your face is super red.” Cora asked in mild concern. Meanwhile Liam was in the back, snickering.
“Y-Yeah, I’m good.” His voice was shaky. He coughed. “What’s up?”
“We just wanted to ask you if you wanted to come with us for lunch.”
Scott can’t possibly go out now, not when he’s so flustered like this. What if Reyes comes back? What if he sees him?
Scott mentally groaned at the thought of it. He can’t think about that now. He didn’t consider himself a coward — one might argue that he’s just… procrastinating, in terms. He’s become a master of avoiding and weaselling away from problems. He was just fearing for the worst. Thinking of the outcomes that could possibly happen, for example, slipping words as he introduces himself to Reyes, or even saying something really stupid.
“Maybe next time, I’m not really that hungry anyways.” He smoothly replied, trying to conceal the anxiety creeping on his expression.
“Alriiiight .” Liam snickered. “If you change your mind, call us.” Liam had a stupid smile on his face that made Scott wonder how much he knew of his small crush on Reyes Vidal.
Scott watched as his two co-workers walk away from his cubicle, he sighed, rubbing his face into his hands. Groaning quietly, he needed to keep himself together.
From the day Scott Ryder started in Collective Co., he could have not prepared himself the sheer attractiveness of Reyes Vidal. He wasn’t the only one, of course. He wasn’t surprised from the amount of his fellow female (and male) co-workers in his workplace oogling over the man.
(Of course, he couldn’t blame them, he was one of them)
He wasn’t sure of the man’s position, either he was a normal employee or someone higher up. He seemed like an important person to the company, other than just arriving to the office like he owned it and catching everyone’s attention in the building. Scott literally didn’t know much about the man, other than that his name is Reyes Vidal and he works here. That was literally it.
But, was he expecting for this man to be the most drop dead gorgeous man Scott has ever since in his life?
And here he was, Scott Ryder, 22 years old and already regretting every single thing he’s ever done in his life.
Scott just sighed deeply as he reached for his coffee, taking a sip of it. His face scrunched up when he realized the coffee was already cold, he left it to cool off too long. Putting back the cup of the cold, bitter coffee, Scott went back to laptop and decidedly back to work.
"I really think you should try talking to him, Scotty."
Scott groaned what it felt like the ninth time today, he almost dunked his face into his own plate.
"It's easy for you to say!" Scott exclaimed, frustratingly stabbing the chicken pot pie with his fork. He watched as his sister rolled his eyes at him across the table from him.
"Look, you never know what might happen! I say this is the perfect opportunity to get to know someone new, Scott!" Sara sighed, cutting into her dinner gracefully, unlike her brother.
Scott whined in humiliation, only God knows how he's just so embarrassed to even glance over Reyes Vidal — let alone talk to him. How Sara manages to talk to Suvi is beyond his knowledge.
Scott didn't know how he got here. No , Scott knows exactly how he got here. The young man just needed some advice from his dear sister and Sara was more than happy to invite his brother to her house for dinner. But now, Scott was starting to regret it.
"But… he's so intimidating, fancy and really, really attractive. And I'm just—"
"What? A coward?" Sara looked at him deadpanned, like he was an idiot.
(Well, he kinda is.)
Scott rolled his eyes this time, putting a hard glare to his sister. He could feel the heat reaching to the tips of his ears. They're both acting as if they're still seventeen years old again, it's like they never changed.
"Come on, Scotty! I tried to hook you up with Gil and you said no, it's like you want to avoid men all your life." Sara pointed him using her fork, before shoving the chicken pot pie into her mouth.
"Maybe I'm not ready."
"Maybe you're just too scared."
"..'M not.." Scott muttered with his mouth full of food as he looked down to his dinner plate.
"Don't talk with your mouth full." Sara chided him, throwing her own glare at her brother.
Suddenly another figure came into view, exiting the kitchen with drinks in both of her hands and placing it on the table.
"You two are a bunch, maybe leave the arguments off the dinner table for later, would ya?" Suvi looked at both of the twins pointedly, with her thick Scottish accent and her red hair tied into a small bun.
"Sorry, Suvi." Scott rubbed the back of his neck embarrassingly as he shared chagrined looks with his sister.
"Sorry, honey." Sara turned away from his brother and looked up to her fiancée with molten-honeyed eyes, like she was hanging Suvi up to the brightest stars. Suvi's expression softened to her lover, she smiled brightly and kissed the other woman on her cheek.
Scott looked at them both with exasperation.
(And maybe just a little bit of envy.)
"If this young man is as charming as you say he is, Scott, then you should try talking to him." Suvi said softly, smiling to him as she pulled a chair next to Sara. Encouragingly, Sara looked at her and back to her brother with a 'see, I told you! ' look on her face.
Scott winced slightly. "I-It's not that, it's just—" He put down his utensils to explain with his hands. "I'm terrified I'll say something really stupid, and I don't exactly have any experience with these kinda things, you know?"
"And now's your chance to try!" Sara exclaimed as she helped her fiancée to grab a serving of the chicken pot pie.
Scott said nothing this time, trying to avoid thinking about dating , or guys , or… Reyes in the mean time. He looked down to his half finished plate and decided to finish it, even though his stomach was groaning in response.
Sara, immediately noticing her brother in a sudden mood change, reached for his brother's hand across the table — trying to encourage him. Or lighten him up. "Just keep the thought in mind, okay?"
The young man glanced back to his sister and sighed, nodded. He didn't want to make Sara worry. So he quickly changed the subject.
"So, have you guys set on a wedding date yet?" Scott asked, watching as his sister's eyes lit up and a smile appeared on her face.
"We have, actually. We still haven't given much thought about the venue though, still working on that." Sara snickered as the redhead next to her giggled.
As Sara started excitedly went on about her wedding, she picked up her dishes to the kitchen, Scott stood up from his chair to help his sister with the dirty plates.
"You sure you'll be okay?"
Scott smiled, nodding to his sister. "I will."
Sara sighed as she immediately wrapped her arms around her brother tightly. She muffled her words into his blazer. "Take care of yourself, Scotty. I worry about you."
Scott rolled his eyes playfully, quickly hugging his sister back. His heart clenched a bit, his sister was always the worrier. "I'm fine."
He hears Sara sigh deeply and her usual hunched body seemed to relax a bit. She pulled away from the embrace and squeezed her brother's arm affectionately. "Be careful on your way home, little bro."
The younger man groaned. She was never going to let this go. "By one minute."
They both shared a few laughs, reliving those days where they were both teenagers, the infamous Ryder twins causing trouble always whether they were at school or at home. They always drove Alec insane.
Soon when those laughs died down, Scott was left with a bittersweet smile. He watched as Sara wore the same exact smile.
"I'll see you later, big sis."
That made Sara grin genuinely, the wide grin shaped the apple of her cheeks perfectly.
"Bye, Scotty. Love you."
Scott tightened the told on his work bag, smiling to his sister. "Love you too, Sara." The younger man walked out of his sister's house with a wave, before heading down the steep stairs of the porch. The steps of his shoes on the pavement were loud in his ears, he kept on walking until he reached the subway station.
It was a cold night in Manhattan, he could feel the tips of his fingers numb due to cold weather, his warm breath turning into smoke in the air. He went home that night with a sour taste in his mouth.
Visiting his sister was always a treat, Suvi always made good food, Sara was always good for a laugh.
It wasn't that he didn't like visiting his sister. It was the deep feeling in the bottom of his heart that envied the life that sister had.
Ever since Ellen passed away, Scott and Sara had always been there for each other ever since high school. The two troublemakers always had been stuck together, through thick and thin, through every detention, through Sara's first break up, even through their dad's death.
Sara was always the good Ryder and she was much closer to their father than Scott ever was.
Ever since Sara got engaged to her 5-year long girlfriend, Suvi Anwar, now fiancée, and moved in with her — Scott was left alone with his own devices. He was a lone wolf, adapting to the reality that he can't always depend on his big sister.
His sister, of course always, always contacted Scott everyday. She always asked how he was, how his day went and how was work going. She was worried how New York City life was adapting to her little brother, she even tried to hook up Scott with a guy he didn't even know to 'keep you less lonely ', she claimed.
Scott appreciated it, really. He really did. But at the same time, he couldn't help but think that his sister should just focus on her life instead of his. She had a wedding to think about, for crying out loud.
Scott's mind flashback to Sara looking at Suvi with big ol' heart eyes — both very sweet and gaggingly disgusting. He exasperatedly sighed at the thought of it and secretly was envious of it.
God, he really was envious of how happy his sister looked.
He wanted romance, he wanted the first dates, the shy kisses, the long-lasting relationships, the trust and love, the rings, the marriage, everything.
Call him hopeless romantic but Scott craved it. He does nothing but sit on his ass, watching rom-coms on Netflix every weekend in his apartment, wishing that he would get his own love story as well. Whether it be he sweeps a girl of his dreams off her feet… or a handsome prince to sweep him off his feet.
But the moment his sister set him up on a blind date with some stranger? He takes the first door out of there.
Scott was just… too scared. He never really had the proper experience of flirting or taking the first step to talk to attractive men and women. Sara certainly had a way with people, considering how long she was in a relationship with Suvi.
Scott mentally groaned. He really didn't want to think about this right now.
The moment Scott arrived at his apartment building, he was practically dragging his feet across the pavement at this point. He was punching the the elevator button with his half-lidded eyes, his head hurt too much for him to focus what button he actually pushed.
The moment he entered the elevator, he was ready to sag down against the walls and take a nap right there. But he held himself up, pressing his desired floor button and waited as the elevator brought him to his destination.
A quiet ding breaks him out of his thoughts and he walked out of the elevator with an exhausted exhale, he fished for his keys in his pockets as he walked towards to his door — finally hearing a jingle of his keys and unlocked the door.
Scott tiredly dragged his feet across the floor, practically throwing his work shoes and sloppily taking off his jacket and socks. He was greeted to the dark, cold quasi-apartment.
Home, sweet home.
He turned on the lights and the heater, hoping to warm up his small home as he plopped his bag on the couch, loosening his tie at the same time.
It wasn't much but it was enough for Scott's budget, he had a kitchen, a living room with a TV and couch, a bathroom and a room with a bed all to himself. And it was close to his workplace, means less the hassle to worry about getting late to work.
He immediately walked towards to his room, changed out of his work attire and hung them neatly into his wardrobe, he immediately plopped down onto his bed — a sudden wave of relief in his body as he felt the softness of his bed against his back.
The young man's head was still occupied with thoughts of his sister and her advice.
And Reyes Vidal.
Scott closed his eyes and regretted the moment that name popped up into his head.
He's reminded of that perfect tanned skin, the dark black hair slicked back, those gorgeous golden eyes, (Scott's an absolute sucker for cute guys with pretty eyes) and his suit perfectly suited for that lean body.
"Ugh…" Scott grumbled under his breath, feeling heat creeping up to his cheeks again and his heart skipped a beat. His sister's words rang in his head like an echo.
Maybe… he should talk to him? Introduce himself?
"Maybe." Scott muttered, shrugging to himself. Still unsure if he wanted to do that.
He tucked himself into his sheets, feeling the heater doing it's job as it warmed him up in the cold bed. He could hear the noise of cars honking afar outside his apartment — the distant sound of New York in it's nightlife.
The next thing Scott knew, his eyes threatening to close as sleep consumed him and he slowly, slowly drifted away into dreamland with Reyes the last thing on his mind.
Scott barely even moved when the loud ringtone of his phone was ringing in his quiet room.
Beep, beep, beep.
Scott shifted in his sleep, squinting his eyes when he opened them to the bright sunlight entering his room through the window. He groaned in annoyance when he feels the vibration of his phone waking him up, disturbing his slumber.
Scott searched for his phone on the bed and didn't even bother to see was the caller ID before picking it up, pressing the phone onto his ear. He greeted his caller with a hoarse voice.
"... 'Ello.." He yawned.
"Scott? Where the hell are you? "
Scott grunted, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "... Liam?"
He hears a curse and a heavy sigh through the call, the British accent was familiar. "Yes, this is Liam. Did you just wake up? Jesus Christ."
Scott rubbed his eyes tiredly. "What is it?"
"God save me, Scott Ryder. You better get your ass here before Harper kicks your ass on the way to your apartment right now."
Scott took a moment to process those words before springing up awake, immediately alerted. His eyes opened wide awake now. "Holy fuck."
The younger man checked at the clock next to him — it was 9:14 in the morning.
"For fuck's sakes." Scott immediately kicked off the sheets, ending the call and threw the phone away carelessly on the bed, he's sure Liam probably didn't mind, knowing the fact that he is going to get his ass kicked by Cora by the time he arrives at the office.
Scott speeds through his shower, clothes and breakfast, basically running back and forth through his apartment. He half-assed through his damp hair, still fresh from the shower. He raked his fingers through his hair, trying to touch up his hair into something decent before smoothing out the wrinkles on his clothes and tightening up the tie on his collar.
He grabbed his bag, shoes and rushed out the door as quickly as he can. He bailed the elevator and decided to take the stairs.
(He thanked the Gods that his floor was only just level three or he would be sweating the whole way down the stairs.)
The young man ran out of the building before taking a sprint through the busy streets, trying to get through the crowd of busy New Yorkers getting to work. He bumped in a few people, he didn't even have the time to turn around and apologise to them.
The moment he passes his favourite coffee shop, he stops in his tracks and groans inwardly. He immediately turned around and entered the café.
"Scott, where are you?!"
"I hear you, I hear you. Don't yell in my ear—" Scott grumbled, as he struggled to hold his hot coffee cup in his hand. He holds the phone up to his ear and winced as Cora kept on yelling at him through the call.
"Do you know what time it is? "
"I know. I'm at the stairs. Don't worry—" Scott didn't have the time to finish his sentence before he hung up on Cora. He would apologise to her later, right now he just needs to get to his office.
He was finally at his office building, thank God. He basically rushed through his order of coffee at the café, but it didn't matter — he got his coffee. He will probably never hear the end of it from Cora once she hears Scott stopped by to get coffee while he was later than he already was. He shoved his phone into his pocket before arriving to his office floor.
He speed walked through the hallway, greeting a few co-workers as he passed by. He was walking as fast as he could to his destination, whirling into a corner and suddenly as Scott made a left turn, he rammed into an unfortunate stranger.
Scott's immediate reflexes was to avoid the figure but it was too late, the cup of hot coffee he'd been carrying had been knocked out of his hand as he bumped into the stranger and fell butt first to the ground.
Scott's heart stopped for a moment as he didn't even had the time to register the pain in his butt when he saw black liquid of coffee spilled all over the floor and all over the stranger's shoes and dress pants.
For a split second, his first instincts was readied himself to get yelled at before he looked up to the stranger he bumped into — and unfortunately spilled hot coffee all over.