Heads turned as the quintessential cliché made his way across the shiny foyer floor. Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, the young man was oblivious to the men and women who stared at him appreciatively; oblivious to the eyes that ran down his jeans-clad legs and back up across his chest-hugging shirt. His attention was fixed solely on the woman whose arm was linked through his, his head bent down towards hers as they talked and laughed together.
"Are you sure you don't need me to come up with you, Noah? You know it's no hardship for me." The hint of laughter in the woman's voice told the dark-haired man exactly what she was thinking.
"That's okay, Rose," his voice was carefully serious, "at your age, you need to look after yourself. Can't have your blood pressure shooting through the roof now, can we?" He laughed as she snorted out a rude response and slapped him sharply on the arm she was holding.
"Go on with you, cheeky sod. I'm gonna outlive you all." Her voice was suddenly serious as they reached the elevator doors. "Okay, now, here we are. I'll be in the coffee shop across the way and I'll keep a watch out for you. You can always beep me if you need me." She let go of his arm and stepped away. "Alright?"
Running a hand through his short hair, Noah turned towards her and grinned disarmingly, unaware that his hair was now a spiky mess that still somehow added to his attractiveness.
"I'll be a half hour at the most, Rose. Reid just wants to talk to me about something. Go - make the most of a half hour without me. Just don't ogle too many hot doctors and get yourself arrested, hmmm?" He turned back to the elevators, ignoring her laughter, and reached out to find the button. He knew instinctively that she was still standing watching him, but he ignored her as he listened to the hum and whine of the approaching car. The ding of the bell heralded its arrival and he took a small step back, giving way to elevator etiquette that demanded exit before entrance. Once inside, he turned and faced the doors, his fingers reaching unerringly for the floor buttons.
"Go. Ogle!" The doors slid shut. Noah took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Alone at last, he thought, and then felt guilty for even thinking such a thing. Rose was a godsend and he knew he couldn't do without her. But sometimes...sometimes...he really wished that he could be truly alone. Shaking off this rare moment of melancholy, he mentally berated himself for such fanciful thoughts. His life was good and, God knows, he knew he had a lot to be thankful for. Dr Reid Oliver was one of those things and he was intrigued as to why he'd been called here by him today. He knew it was sure to be something interesting; Reid was not the sort to waste time on inconsequentials, that was for goddamn sure.
Deep in thought, Noah was pulled from his reverie by the jolt of the stopping elevator. The doors slid open and he stepped out into the carpeted hallway, turning to the right...and straight into an immovable object.
"What the fuck?" a very male voice bit out, as hands grabbed his forearms to steady him. Almost involuntarily, Noah found himself apologising, even though he wasn't at fault.
"I'm so sorry," he laughed shakily, suddenly aware of the close proximity of the male body attached to the warm hands that were still wrapped round his biceps. "I didn't realise there was anyone there. I..." He wasn't given the chance to finish, however, as he was released suddenly, almost pushed away.
"I'm not surprised you didn't see me!" the voice sneered, "what with those stupid fucking sunglasses you're wearing. It's not exactly sunny in here." The tone of his voice left Noah in no doubt as to how he felt about such an affectation. Shocked at the unexpected antagonistic attitude, he straightened and took a small step back, struggling to keep his composure.
"Well..." he replied quietly, refusing to be goaded by the man's confrontational manner, "I'm afraid taking the glasses off would make no difference. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for an appointment." Noah deliberately raised his wrist to feel the time on his Braille watch, confident that the man would get the visual message. Stepping carefully to the side, so as not to touch the man he knew still stood in his way, he took the first of the twenty-nine steps that would take him to Reid's office door. He didn't hurry, even though he could feel an edge of panic trying to push him forward, but spent the time breathing slowly in an attempt to maintain his calm composure. The last thing he wanted to do was lose his bearings whilst alone. Experience had taught him that panic in even the most mundane situation was not a good thing.
Upon reaching Reid's door, Noah didn't need a sixth sense to tell him that the stranger was still standing by the elevator watching him.