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Captivated by the CEO: A Harlequin AU

Eduardo Saverin thought he was a gentleman.

He had never been the type to have one-night stands, and his sexual escapades, such as they were, had all been in private places after dates, and he always, always kept his personal life separate from work.

But then he walked into a charity party one night in November.

At first, everything seemed to be going perfectly normally; he made small talk with a few of his father’s co-workers (and his own), he got introduced to a few new people and handed out his business card, and he had a drink—just one—from the bar.

As he was drinking it, he let his eyes scan the room, looking for people he might know whom he wouldn’t want to offend by accidentally ignoring. What he wasn’t looking for was a curly-haired man of average height, standing in the corner and looking uncomfortable.

Once he saw the man, though, Eduardo couldn’t take his eyes off him. He ordered a second drink just to have an excuse to stay at the bar and let his eyes rest casually on the mysterious man, whose intelligent features and sharp eyes were positively enthralling. It felt oddly like he was drawn to the man, and the only thing more tempting than just watching him shamelessly was the idea of walking across the room to speak to him.

Despite his curiosity, Eduardo lingered at the bar a while longer. The other man, though, seemed to be watching him as well. Several times, he was sure they had almost made eye contact, but every time he saw the man’s eyes moving toward him, he wrenched his away to stare intently at his now-empty drink.

But his eyes were always pulled out of the drink and back to the mystery man, and eventually he let them linger too long and their eyes met across the room.

Eduardo felt his heart clench like someone had just wrapped a hand tight around it.

The draw was simply too much for him, and he crossed the room, trying to look nonchalant and probably failing miserably.

“Hi,” he said simply to the mystery man.

“Hi,” the other replied, and then, “You’ve been watching me.”

“Yeah,” Eduardo admitted. “But you’ve been watching me, too.”

“That’s true,” the man said, and then paused for a moment. “I’m Mark,” he added.

“I’m Eduardo,” he answered in kind.

Mark stuck his hand out and Eduardo reached to shake it, and it was like a spark jolted through his entire body. He suddenly, desperately didn’t want to let go of Mark’s hand.

He managed to force his fingers away from Mark’s, because just clinging to the hand would have been strange and impolite, and to Eduardo’s great pleasure, Mark seemed as disappointed at the loss of contact as he himself was. Schooling his face (and his emotions), Eduardo said, “So, what are you doing here?”

“I have to come for my job,” Mark said cryptically.

“Oh, me too,” Eduardo answered. “Um,” he began, but then he trailed off.

Mark bit his lip and looked at him seriously. “Do you want to go—talk outside?” he asked, seeming mildly discomfited. “It’s kind of noisy in here.”

Eduardo had a suddenly flash of hope that they would be doing something more than merely talking. “I’d love to,” he said, placing a hand briefly against the small of Mark’s back to guide him away from the wall. It felt simultaneously too forward and just perfect.

Outside of the chatter-filled room, the hallway was comfortingly silent, and the two of them walked towards a shadowed corner that held a small bench. “So,” Eduardo said, trying to fill the silence, “What is your job?”

“Oh,” Mark answered. “I work for Facebook.”

“Cool,” Eduardo started to say, but then Mark leaned up suddenly and kissed him.

He was too taken aback to respond immediately, and then Mark pulled away and looked at him quizzically. “Was that okay?” he asked.

Eduardo thought of watching Mark from across the room, and the spark he felt when they first touched, and how he never used to do this, and the sharp, piercing blue of Mark’s eyes.

“Yeah,” he said, pushing Mark into the darkest part of the corner, “That was okay.”

When Mark’s back hit the wall, Eduardo leaned down and kissed him, sealing their lips together and threading his fingers through the curls at the back of Mark’s neck. He felt Mark’s arms around his back, drawing him closer, and Mark’s tongue against his lips. Caving to the soft pressure, Eduardo opened his mouth and felt Mark shudder slightly when their tongues finally touched.

One of them murmured, “I never do this,” and Eduardo was pretty sure it was him, but he was honestly more focused on pulling Mark’s hips closer against his and kissing down his neck. The next noise, a soft and shaky moan, definitely came from Mark, though.

The next movement, Mark squirming against the wall, finally slotted their hips together and Eduardo felt the stiffness of Mark’s erection against his thigh. He pushed even closer against Mark, heard him whisper “I never do this either,” against the shell of his ear, and then felt Mark fumble with his belt, his fingers brushing sloppily over the crotch of Eduardo’s pants.

Oh,” Eduardo hissed, resisting the urge to grind against Mark. Instead, he unwound his hand from Mark’s hair and used it to trail down his chest, flicking buttons open and running the pads off his fingers across Mark’s skin.

It was kind of intoxicating, to touch the warm flesh of Mark’s chest, and Eduardo pressed their mouths back together to try and keep himself from being completely overcome. Mark had successfully gotten his belt undone one-handed—the other was being used to scrape fingernails against the back of Eduardo’s neck—and had moved on to twisting at the button of his slacks.

Hit by a quick flash of nervousness, Eduardo glanced over his shoulder at the still-deserted hallway. “We’re alone,” he whispered.

“Good,” Mark answered, and then deftly unzipped Eduardo’s fly to palm him through his boxers.

Eduardo’s hips stuttered forward, seeking more pressure from Mark’s hand, which curled around him as best it could in response.

Slightly dazed, Eduardo tried to fumbled Mark’s pants open to return the favor, a motion rewarded by a soft keening against his lips and a tightening of the hand around his dick. The friction of his cotton boxers between Mark’s hand and his skin was somewhere between arousing and uncomfortable, but trending strongly towards the former. He gasped a little when Mark finally slid his hand in for direct contact, and Mark returned that gasp when Eduardo successfully undid his pants.

They jerked each other off quickly, exchanging sloppy kisses until Eduardo felt Mark tense against the wall and looked down just in time to see his face as he came. As he did, Mark’s hand tightened around Eduardo. He buried his head in Mark’s shoulder as he came, and pressed a kiss to his neck.

“I should be getting back,” Mark said softly, glancing at his watch.

“Yeah,” Eduardo agreed, “Me too. But we should probably clean up first.”

“Oh, right,” Mark said.

They walked awkwardly to the bathroom, and neither of them spoke while they wiped themselves up quickly. But before Eduardo could slip away, Mark grabbed him by the wrist, looked him dead in the eye, and pressed a quick, hard kiss to the corner of his mouth.

“I like you,” he said before he scurried out of the bathroom, leaving Eduardo to stand with his back against the paper towel dispenser feeling dumbstruck.

It wasn’t until several hours later, when Eduardo was slipping into his bed, that he realized he didn’t know anything about Mark except his first name.




The mystery of who Mark might be tormented Eduardo for the next weeks. He considered turning to google for help, but he figured that there were just too many Marks for it to be practical. Of course, not knowing meant that the curiosity nagged at him his every waking moment—and sometimes in his dreams.

A few times, he woke up almost able to smell Mark on the pillow next to him before he remembered that he’d only seen Mark once and they’d certainly never been to each other’s houses. It was strange, he knew, to be so fixated on Mark, but it wasn’t really distracting him from his job as a venture capitalist, so he decided to just let it be.

And then, barely even two weeks after their first meeting, Eduardo found himself seated next to Mark at a dinner celebrating “the up-and-comers of Silicon Valley.”

He eyed the place card of the seat next to him, emblazoned "Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook," but no information about his actual job. During the lapse between his arrival—early—and Mark's—late—he wondered at least four times whether this was the Mark, as in the man spending his nights traipsing through Eduardo's dreams.

It was.

"Hi," Mark whispered to him as he slipped into the seat ten minutes after the speaker had begun. "I didn't know you were going to be here."

"I could say the same about you," Eduardo whispered back.

Mark smiled at him, part smirk and part dimpled grin. His blue eyes gleamed sharper than Eduardo had ever seen them do, and Mark said, "Yeah, I have to come to a lot of these."

"Me too," Eduardo tells him, gesturing to his own place card, which announced in bold letters the name of his firm.

"Oh, you're a VC?" Mark asked.

"That's my job," Eduardo said, maybe a little more drily than he intended, as Mark raised his eyebrows and asked what he did for fun.

"Meteorology is really interesting," he found himself blurting out. "And math. I really liked pure math when I was in school."

"I'm a programmer," Mark said. "I mean, not really so much anymore, but that's what I think of myself as."

Eduardo nodded. "I understand. Do you mostly do administrative work now?" he asked.

"Yeah," Mark said, unsurprisingly a little bitter. "I really wish I had more time to do creative programming."

The man sitting on Eduardo's other side chose that moment to elbow him and hiss, "Can you two be quiet? Some of us came here to listen, not flirt."

Mark and Eduardo both snickered a little at that, justified as the man was.

"We should ditch during the applause for this guy," Mark said, right in Eduardo's ear—and Eduardo, for all he knew that staying would be great exposure for him, nodded quickly.

Of course, the wait for the man whose name Eduardo had already forgotten to finish babbling about the importance of technology to the society of the future seemed interminable. “Why are they bothering to lecture us about this?” he whispered in Mark’s ear. “If we didn’t know this stuff already, we wouldn’t have been invited to this dinner.”

Mark’s answering smirk was as satisfying to Eduardo as a successful business deal, which was probably all kinds of wrong for his priorities, but he didn’t much care. “It’s probably because the people who actually need to hear this don’t want to list,” he whispered back, his breath warm on Eduardo’s ear.

Finally, the speaker finished, and during the perfunctory applause, Mark wound his hand around Eduardo’s wrist and they slunk toward the door. Eduardo was fairly confident that everyone was watching them, but he found he didn’t care all that much.

The moment they were in the empty hallway, Mark pushed him against the wall and kissed him, more sweet than sensual. Eduardo rested his hands on Mark’s hips and pulled him close, enjoying the feel of the shorter man’s body pressed lightly against his. Pulling back, he breathed “I missed you” against Mark’s lips.

After a pause, he added, “That’s really weird, isn’t it?”

Mark laughed a little and answered, “Yeah, but I missed you, too.”

Jerking his head towards the door he saw, Eduardo changed the subject. “We should go outside so we don’t get busted for ditching.”

“Oh, good idea,” Mark said. “My PR guy was sitting in the back of the room and he’ll yell at me for not sticking around.”

As they slipped through the double doors into the garden outside, Eduardo let the back of his hand brush against Mark’s, enjoying the tingling sensation of touching him. When Mark turned his hand around to lace their fingers, he let himself smile broadly and learn down to press a quick kiss to Mark’s temple.




The next day, Eduardo’s phone rang while he was in the shower, so, naturally, he didn’t hear it. He noticed the flashing screen as he was toweling his hair off, and played the message despite being generally convinced that it was a wrong number.

Hello, Eduardo, he heard. It’s Mark. Um, Mark Zuckerberg. I found your number, um, online, and I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner sometimes. With me, I mean. I’m sure you have dinner regularly. So just give me a call if you’re interested, because I’d really like to see you again.

With embarrassing enthusiasm, Eduardo snatched his phone up from where he’d left it on the dresser and tapped frantically at the screen until he could call Mark back. He tapped his foot, twitchy with impatience, as he listened to the ringing.

“Hello?” Mark said on the other end.

“Hi,” Eduardo answered. “This is Eduardo.”

“Oh,” Mark said. “I was just about to leave you another message because I forgot to give you my number.”

Eduardo frowned a little, suddenly vaguely embarrassed. “I just got it from my phone.”

“Yeah, right, you can do that.” Mark sounded a little flustered, which Eduardo found unreasonably endearing.

“I would love to have dinner with you,” he blurted out.

“When are you free?” Mark asked. If Eduardo had to guess, he would have guessed that Mark was smiling and blushing.

Eduardo reached for his calendar as quickly as he could and flipped through the pages almost frantically. “What about this Thursday?” he suggested.

“Yeah, definitely,” Mark said. “I, uh, should probably talk to my assistant and make sure there isn’t anything I’ve forgotten about, but I’ll email you.”

Frowning slightly, Eduardo began to say “Wait, how do you have—” and then he remembered. “You have my email because you were cyber-stalking me, right,” he said, and Mark laughed.

“When you say it like that, I sound creepy!” he protested.

“How do I know you aren’t creepy?” Eduardo shot back, laughing as well.

“Let me take you out to dinner this weekend, and I’ll prove it to you,” Mark said, his smirk audible.

“If you are a serial killer or something,” Eduardo countered, “I’ll just have walked straight into your arms.”

“Well, yes, there is that,” Mark deadpanned. “It seems to work out in my favor no matter what.”




For the next few days, Eduardo tried his hardest to keep from counting the seconds until he was going to see Mark again. His work, usually fascinating, seemed achingly dull and he found himself spacing out several times a day, remembering Mark's smile as they wandered through the garden or his laughter into the phone or the quick press of his lips before they headed back into the dinner only a few nights earlier.

It probably didn't help that things at work had been slow for a while, Eduardo thought on Wednesday afternoon. He had spent the better part of the day emailing Dustin and resisting the temptation to google Mark, who was being decidedly closemouthed about what exactly his job was at Facebook. But Eduardo figured it would be both more fun and more satisfying to get that tidbit from the man himself than from some online bio (or, god forbid, a Wikipedia page).

Saturday came quickly enough, and with it came Eduardo's now entirely expected pre-date jitters, and then the anxious phone call he always ended up making to, or getting from, if he was delusional enough to text first, Dustin.

"You have a date!" Dustin crowed into the phone as soon as Eduardo picked up. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"I was hoping to avoid this exact conversation," Eduardo said flatly, but he was grinning.

"What's his name?" Dustin asked eagerly, completely ignoring the subtly dissuasion.

"Mark," Eduardo said. It was a game by now, Dustin digging for the scoop on Eduardo's dates and Eduardo volunteering nothing, leaving the former to turn helplessly to google and its wealth of knowledge—which, often as not, turned out to be about the wrong person entirely. But Eduardo was pretty sure that googling 'Mark Zuckerberg' wasn't going to turn up anyone but his Mark Zuckerberg, so he added, "And I'm not telling you his last name."

"Why not?" Dustin whined, clearly annoyed to be bereft of his evening's entertainment.

"At least, not yet," Eduardo finished.

"Oh fine," Dustin said. "Hold out on me. See if I care."

Eduardo laughed.

"You're such a jerk, Saverin," Dustin teased. "What do you need my help with, anyway?"

“I’m just nervous,” Eduardo confessed. “I really like Mark and I don’t want to screw this up.”

“Oh wow,” Dustin said. “Okay, the first thing you should do is not put so much pressure on yourself. It’s just a date.”

Eduardo had to fight with himself for a moment to keep from snapping that it wasn’t just a date, because in all honesty, it was just a date. His and Mark’s first date, to be specific.

The idea made him slightly giddy with excitement. He tried to keep it from carrying over into his voice as he said, “Yeah. Thanks, Dustin. I needed someone to tell me that.”

“You always do,” Dustin answered wryly.

He thought about the handful of dates he’d been on over the years since he moved to California from New York, and the even fewer dates he’d been on in college (and the zero dates in high school, not that he knew Dustin then), and how it felt like he called Dustin, nervous, before every first date, needing to be talked down from his worrying.

In his ear, he heard Dustin laugh. “I can feel you overthinking everything even through the phone, Eduardo.”

Biting back a smile, Eduardo answered. “You know me so well.”

“Go get ready for your awesome date,” Dustin said. “I’m hanging up on you now.”

Eduardo tossed the phone onto his bed and flopped facedown next to it. He only had a few minutes left to get ready before Mark was going to pick him up, and something akin to excitement was bubbling up in his stomach, overwhelming his earlier anxiety. It was enough to get him up off the bed and into clothes—khakis and a blazer—that he hoped would be appropriate, regardless of where they ended up going for dinner.

Just as he finished checking his hair (and thanking god that Dustin wasn’t around to mock him for it), there was a shrill, grating ringing that he recognized as someone buzzing his apartment. He practically flew across the living room, just to press the speaker button and stutter out a breathless “Hello?” into it.

“Hi,” a voice that he would have bet his job was Mark said. “It’s Mark.”

“Hi,” Eduardo chirped. “Just a sec, let me buzz you in.”

By the time Mark knocked against the front door of his apartment, Eduardo’s palms were slightly sweaty, and he was determinedly not pacing. He did, however, jump slightly at the knock before he scrambled to the door.

Standing in front of him was Mark, wearing a blue button-down shirt that made his piercing eyes stand out even more sharply, and Eduardo has to swallow a small gasp. He hadn’t ever seen Mark look quite as striking as he did there in the doorway, and it was a lot for him to process.

“Hi,” he said dumbly.

“You said that already,” Mark answered with a grin.

Then he leaned up and pressed a quick kiss to Eduardo’s mouth. “And hi,” he said.




Dinner turned into a three-hour affair, not because the restaurant was excessively upscale or crowded, but because he simply didn’t want to stop talking to Mark—and, from what he could tell, Mark felt the same way.

Mark—well, he wasn’t exactly quiet, per se, but he didn’t say unnecessary things, either.

Eduardo found he kind of liked it, the lack of pressure to respond to everything with a triviality. It helped that Mark seemed to avoid excessively trivial conversation, too.

He was never quite rude, though Eduardo got the impression that it was a near thing. There was a brusqueness to him in moments that made it clear he was working at not being completely flippant about Eduardo’s life.

It was a strange combination of off-putting and endearing, seeing him make such an effort. Eduardo found himself touched that Mark cared enough to be evidently biting back anything really offensive (though it did make him curious as to the nature of the comments).

And then the conversation turned to math, which had been Eduardo’s favorite subject in school. He confessed that he would have been a math major if it weren’t for his father’s intervention, and Mark’s gaze had suddenly sharpened.

Having all the intensity of Mark’s mind turned on him was almost heady, and Eduardo found himself remembering being pressed up against him in the hallway the first time they met. That, too, was a little heady. Or maybe a lot heady, if Eduardo was honest with himself.

There was a brief lull in the conversation, and then Mark said, “You changed your major because your father didn’t want you studying math?”

Eduardo nodded, trying not to let the words sting him too deeply, and Mark continued, “I’m sorry he wouldn’t let you pursue your own interests.”

Shrugging, he said, “Economics wasn’t so different from math, and he was definitely right that I’m more employable this way. It’s not a big deal.” And Eduardo meant it; he liked the financial stability that two years of investment work in New York and a well-paid job in California brought him. And he liked his job, helping people make their projects—their dreams—succeed.

So it was easy enough to shrug off Mark’s perplexed expression and say, “Hey, it all ended up with me sitting here, so I’m not complaining,” which he did.

At this, Mark grinned. “I’m not either.”




That night, when Mark dropped him off, he pressed a lingering kiss to Eduardo’s lips, which turned into two kisses, and then three, and Eduardo sucking down the side of Mark’s neck and trying to work his top button undone. Mark’s arms curled around his shoulders as best they could and pulled him closer, nearly dragging Eduardo out of his seat onto the gearshift.

Not that he cared much.

Instead of actively trying to keep himself from being pinned uncomfortably, he just raised his mouth back to Mark’s and kissed him again.

Eduardo didn’t manage to pry his mouth away from Mark’s until he felt his muscles seizing up from being contorted at strange angles and, even then, he was reluctant to do it. He kept being drawn back in for just another kiss, or Mark would trail his fingers down Eduardo’s neck and the temptation to stay for just a few minutes would become stronger than he could resist. But he did eventually pull back all the way into his own seat and say, “I should go inside.”

Mark looked like he was about to start pouting, which was a level of cute Eduardo wasn’t at all equipped to deal with, so he cut that off quickly. “Tonight was amazing, in case you couldn’t tell from the way I just stuck my tongue down your throat, and we should absolutely do it again, but I have work tomorrow morning.”

“Oh,” Mark said, markedly less hurt. “I had a good time,” he added, and Eduardo felt himself grin.

“How about next week?” Eduardo asked.

“Yeah, definitely,” Mark answered. “I’ll call you.”

Giving Mark one last kiss—and actually keeping it short this time—Eduardo crawled out of the car and headed into his building.

Once he was into his apartment, he stripped down to his boxers quickly and flopped onto his bed, memories of the evening still running through his mind ceaselessly. He thought of Mark’s smile, and his voice, and his sharp intelligence, and his piercing eyes, and the ease with which he made Eduardo smile.

He fell asleep to the memories—

—and awoke to the shrill sound of his alarm.

His hand flailed about wildly until he managed to turn it off, and then he reached for his Blackberry to check his email. The first three were from amazon.com, and the fourth was from his mother. But the fifth was from his boss, sent late the previous night. And it was worrying, because it told him that he could take a personal day, because they hadn’t secured the client they had hoped to, so it was going to be slow.

It’s—worrying, to say the least.

Venture capitalism wasn’t exactly the most stable employment he could possibly have—though in all honesty, he was glad to have gotten out of Wall Street work before things got too awful, not that he’d ever tell his father that. Nonetheless, it had always had the potential to go very far downhill very quickly, and he worried that might be what was happening. Not having clients was never a sign of anything good.

If nothing else, he thought dryly, it meant he could sleep in.

Eduardo pulled the covers over his head to block out the sunlight that was beginning to filter in around the shades and went back to sleep, his phone still in his hand.

A few hours later, he woke to it vibrating against his side, tucked halfway under his hip and the top flashing at him. He pulled it towards his face, squinting to try and read the screen. 1 message, it said. Eduardo opened his text messages without paying much attention, rubbing his eyes with one hand as he did so.

last night was fun, he read.

It probably shouldn’t have made his stomach swoop quite the way it did, to know that Mark also had fun on their date, because they’d only been on one date and talked a few times and that wasn’t a sound basis for love or anything—this was a crush at best, he told himself. But then, they’d had sex in a hallway, and Eduardo was pretty sure that striving for dignity after that was a lost cause.

So he had a pretty serious crush.

On Mark Zuckerberg, the less helpful part of his brain reminded him.

Mark had slipped that into the conversation early on during their dinner—by the way, he’d said, I own facebook—like it was no big deal. Eduardo got the feeling that, more than anything, he wanted it not to be a big deal, so he tried to play it off.

(He already knew, of course, but he hadn’t said it because, again, he was pretty sure Mark didn’t want to make a big deal of it.)

But curled up in bed with nothing to do but think, he struggled to be so blasé about dating a billionaire. Or just going on one date with a billionaire; he didn’t want to presume there would be more dates just because Mark said he had a good time. It was a good sign, though, and Eduardo wasn’t going to be able to keep from hoping now. Instead, he grinned and buried his face in the pillow, feeling entirely too giddy for both his age and for the hour.

I had a good time too, he typed, hitting send before he could chicken out horribly and get too self-conscious to reply in kind.

Briefly, he wondered about Mark’s text, because, for all that their acquaintance was limited, Eduardo had gotten the vibe that he was fairly reserved—maybe to the point of being uncomfortable sharing his emotions at all.

But he had sent the text and Eduardo was lying in bed grinning like a giant idiot about it, so it probably wasn’t worth stressing about.

Instead, Eduardo decided to put his unexpected day off to good use, doing—well, doing something.

Of course, he can think of an entirely-too-long list of things he ought to do; his father would tell him to study up on the stock market and new business techniques, he could go work out, or sort through those last few boxes from when he moved from New York, or maybe try to find a job that his father would actually approve of so that he wouldn’t have to endure tense phone calls once a week.

None of that sounded particularly appealing, though.

He kind of wanted to curl up and read a book or maybe succumb to extreme nerdiness and just watch the Weather Channel all day.




The next day was Saturday, and Eduardo had only three things planned: do laundry, hope his father kept any phone calls short, and let Dustin drag him to some—thing that evening.

Actually, Dustin was flopped on his couch by 2 in the afternoon, begging in his over-the-top way for Eduardo to change the channel—

“Wardooooo,” he whined, “We watched the Weather Channel constantly for almost four years. It’s my turn to pick!”

“Dustin,” Eduardo answered flatly, not looking away from the piles of laundry he was folding, “You’re sitting on my couch, eating my chips, and watching my TV. How much say do you think you have in this?”

—and trying to explain how exactly he knew the guy hosting they party they were going to that night.

“Look, I met him a few weeks ago at a [PLAUSIBLE REASON FOR CHRIS AND NOT-A-PROGRAMMER-DUSTIN TO MEET], and we’ve been talking a bit,” Dustin said. Eduardo was pretty sure he was leaving out every single detail of any possible interest from that story, but Dustin was the most talkative when left to stew in silence, so he didn’t answer.

The pause before Dustin blabbed the rest of the story was maybe, maybe forty-five seconds.

Maybe.

“Fine,” Dustin continued, “He’s really cute, okay?”

“And the truth comes out,” Eduardo said, laughing.

“Shut up,” Dustin said, throwing one of the sofa cushions toward Eduardo’s head. “Like you haven’t been mooning over the mysterious Mark for weeks now.”







Eduardo's phone rang entirely too early. He flailed about with one arm, trying to locate it on the nightstand and silence the blasting ringer, but was hindered by the starfish-like figure draped halfway over him and nuzzling at his shoulder. The temptation to ignore the phone call and curl back up against Mark was strong, but then Eduardo managed to grasp the phone and noticed the caller.

After scrambling out of bed as fast ad he could without waking Mark, he nearly sprinted to his small balcony and closed the door behind him.

"Hello, Pai," he said into the phone, trying desperately to sound like he hadn't just woken up.

"Hello, Eduardo," his father replied. "Did you just wake up? It is nearly nine o'clock for you."

"I was out late," Eduardo said, forcing the defensiveness out of his voice. "But that doesn't matter; I should have been up earlier."

There was no reply from the other end, just a sigh.

"How are you?" Eduardo asked, hoping to keep the conversation off his own life for as long as possible.

"I am well enough," his father said grandly. "But tell me about you. Are you still working at that venture capitalist firm?" The words were just on the wrong side of scornful.

"It's a good job," Eduardo protested, more weakly than he would really have liked. "It pays me well, and I get to work with great entrepreneurs."

"You should be creating things yourself," his father said, "not just helping other people with their ideas. And if you can't do that, you should come home and join my business so that it can stay in the family when I retire."

Eduardo glanced back into his comfortable apartment full of happy memories and warm furnishings, a stark contrast to the sleek and Spartan home he'd grown up in. As he let his eyes slide across the bedroom, they landed on Mark, still sound asleep and twisted in the sheets. What his father would say …

"I'm really happy in Palo Alto, Pai," he said into the phone. "I have great friends here, and I like my job. I don't want to leave."

His father huffed audibly. "I feel there is something you are not telling me, Eduardo. You can have friends and a good job anywhere; why will you not come back to Florida?"

He paused, letting Eduardo stew for a few seconds before he continued. "Is there a girl you have neglected to mention?"

Mark rolled over in the bed, towards the spot Eduardo had occupied until his phone rang. "No," he said softly, grimacing at the half-truth, "There's no girl."

“If you really can’t stand to leave your friends,” his father said, “You should at least get a job where you can create something of your own.

Eduardo bit back his redundant protest that he liked his job; it would just have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, he said “I need to go, Pai.”

His father snorted a little, clearly skeptical. “I will talk to you later, Eduardo.”

“Goodbye,” he said, hurried.

Hanging up, Eduardo slipped back into the bedroom, just in time to see Mark opening his eyes.

“Good morning,” he said, waiting patiently for Mark’s brain to engage fully.







“Oh god,” Eduardo gasped as Mark pressed him against the door of the stall. “We really shouldn’t be doing this,” he forced out.

“Yeah,” Mark said, breathless. “I’m pretty sure it violates the terms of your contract as CFO.” Mark ran his hand down Eduardo’s chest, flicking at the buttons of his shirt and fumbling with his belt. When his palm brushed lightly across Eduardo’s crotch, Eduardo bit his lip to keep from keening.

“Don’t stop,” he heard himself hiss. 



And my outline, for anyone actually curious about the rest of the plot:


  • Then Eduardo’s father starts pestering him to get a job with more ~room for advancement/renown/where he creates his own things
    • There’s a job opening at Facebook (CFO?) that Eduardo’s father is encouraging him to take but Eduardo (obviously) can’t work for his boyfriend
    • Except he hasn’t mentioned to his father that he’s gay because his father is kind of homophobic
      • He knows that his mother suspects but has never confirmed it to her
    • Mark is not the type of person to tell lies about himself, so he doesn’t understand why Eduardo hasn’t just come out to his father and damn the consequences
    • Fights, fights, etc
  • Eduardo’s VC firm goes under (lol economy etc)
    • Makes him seriously consider fb job because doesn’t have enough of a savings buffer to be unemployed (student loans etc)
  • When Eduardo finally does come out, despite his mother’s support, his father disinherits him
    • This leads to Mark being all “Whatever I have enough money for both of us”
    • And then Eduardo has a fit of needing to be independent because the idea of relying completely on someone else doesn’t appeal to him and actually scares him a bit à Breakup?
      • Maybe this causes him to take the fb job because he and Mark are broken up anyway
      • And then they angst a lot about how they have all these feelings they’re not dealing with
        • And have highly inappropriate CEO-CFO sex in the bathroom
  • SOMEHOW THEY WORK THINGS OUT
    • Maybe Eduardo gets written back into his father’s will because the latter sees reason?
    • He gets offered a different job that he actually likes better so he doesn’t have to work at FB and quits that job
      • Maybe something to do with meteorology AND investment (investor in Storm Chasers!)
        • Mark gets mad that everyone at dinner parties thinks Eduardo’s job is cooler and gets all “I invented poking!”
    • And then everyone lives happily ever after

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daisysusan

April 2013

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