The next two hours were agonizingly long for Aries. He could pace in between fittings done by the tailor or raid the vending machine for something to eat but his mind was filled with worry and doubt about the evening. Aries knew he was not the most cultured and refined person by far and his general demeanor and upbringing had been somewhat rustic. He was comfortable with that but did not want to embarrass himself, his teammates or the company he worked for at what was to be a very formal and public event. His main source of distraction came from frequent text messages sent from Virgo reminding him of some other point of etiquette she might have missed.
His phone buzzed again and he read the new message, use you knife and make normal size bites of food. That was actually a good one and the giant ram was glad Virgo thought of it. Aries had often questioned the need of a knife for most of his meals. He thought back to the time when he invited some of the team to dinner and the look on Virgos face when he took half a head of lettuce, dipped it in salad dressing and stuck the whole mess neatly into his mouth. She was somewhat aghast to say the least and he could only imagine similar reactions from the people tonight.
The small ferret Mr. Elton cleared his throat to signal Aries who walked over and assumed the arms-out position again so he could be measured again.
No need anymore for that. Your tuxedo is done, including the shirt. You can go ahead and get dressed. The ferrets brown and white face was dead-pan as ever so Aries acquiesced and began putting on his new clothes. The process was somewhat awkward as Aries had to be lead through many steps on things such as how to wear a cumberbund and the application of things such as cufflinks and studs. Havent you ever been to a wedding or a funeral or something more formal? Even a prom? the small ferret asked with a look of wonder on his face. Aries was sure he was blushing and felt embarrassed. He often told his coworkers that he grew up in Alpha City but that was not entirely true. Alpha City was, like many major cities, actually made of smaller cities connecting to one major cities as a nexus. Alpha City One was the largest city but there were several smaller ones each with their own number. His was Alpha City Nine and it was somewhat off the beaten path. Aries shook his head as if to agree that he must be some bumpkin oaf and did his best to continue getting dressed.
When he was done, Aries had to admit that the look was pretty good. His red mask from his regular costume seemed out of place but overall he looked good dressed up. Mr. Elton also took care to run a comb through his mop of hair and give him a spritz of cologne. Aries stared into a tall mirror and liked what he saw. He turned a bit to see the back and smiled and was enjoying himself he had to admit.
STOP RIGHT THERE! Mr. Eltons voice shouted out and Aries froze. The rams mind raced to figure out what it was he might be about to do then he realized that in his moment of vanity he was about to do a macho, body-building pose in front of the mirror. It was a pose where one leans over and curls his arms underneath to show his biceps and chest; a move that would have certainly torn the tuxedo into a million pieces. Mr. Elton pushed him back with a stern look None of that while you are wearing one of my suits! It is a fine garment not a wrestling singlet! he said in his small voice. Aries said nothing and was actually relieved that he was stopped in time.
So, Mr. Elton what do I owe you for this? Aries asked while searching for his wallet. He was sure this was going to set him back a bit. Still, New Dawn payed him better than he had ever been paid in his life. He just honestly had not idea what a new tux and a tailor that did housecalls would cost.
No charge to you Mr. Aries. Mrs. Natalia Hain has taken care of the payment, with that said, the ferret added a yellow carnation to Aries coat pocket and began folding up all of his gear. Aries was about to thank him when his phone buzzed again. It was another text message from Virgo.
Dont do any strong-guy tricks like the eyelid-walnut thing, Virgos message read. Aries thought that one was a bit out of line as his trick where he cracks a walnut with just his eyelids closing together was something special only done for close friends and family not for a fancy business dinner. The phone buzzed again and Aries was a little perturbed this time.
Jeez, Virgos messages are starting to sound like my mom, he said to himself but the message was not from Virgo. It was one of his bosses Mrs. Natalia Hain telling him that he would be picked up within the half-hour and to meet her in the parking garage. Aries stood staring at the phone while Mr. Elton continued packing his things in the background. The grey-horned giant concentrated on gathering his nerves and wits.
Okay, Kel. You can do this. Just play it cool and get through this evening. No pressure, Aries murmured to himself. Mr. Elton wheeled his large trunk of tools and material in front of him and out the door oblivious to Aries conversation with himself.
Good evening Mr. Aries. Dont screw up tonight, the ferret said without even turning around.
Thanks a lot pal, Aries replied with a look of sarcasm and disbelief on his face.
End Part 3