Alpha City Ones convention center was definitely impressive. It could hold any size and type of party and cater to any level of taste. Tonights affair was catering to people with lots of money so everything was designed to impress and appeal to those with deep pocket. Aries gawked at the extravagance of his surroundings. Servers carried champagne and unrecognizable appetizers, musicians played classical instruments on a stage, Ice sculptures adorned the tables and all manner of fantastical food was being paraded about. To Aries, cloth napkins were often considered fancy so he was incredibly impressed.
He thanked whoever listened that Mrs. Hain was with him to do all the talking. She was able to get them to their table while Aries tripped on his words and he felt like such an idiot. So frustrated was he that he almost forgot to pull out her chair like a gentleman.
You dont need to be nervous, Aries, Mrs. Hain consoled him.
I know. Im just really worried about embarrassing myself or the company, Mrs. Hain
The waiters and servers will take care of everything, just watch it all happen around you and relax. Enjoy yourself,
The tigress had a reassuring smile filled with kindness and confidence. It made the giant ram feel better. The expression of confusion and surprise on Aries face when the waiter took his napkin and placed it in his lap was priceless but Mrs. Hains giggle was polite and did not hurt his feelings. The evening was tense. Most of Aries energy was spent trying to be polite and do things correctly. He was surprised at the first course with the tiny portion of food and gave the server a look as if to say are you kidding me? However, the courses kept coming, seemingly without end. The food was good but a little too exotic for the ram to enjoy as he had no clue what he might be eating.
Aries, are you enjoying your dinner? Mrs. Hain asked and realized that he had said very little for the entire dinner.
Yeah, its great! Just wish I knew what it was,
Well, the meal will be over soon and then there will be the ceremonies where they collect donations and a social mixer with drinks and dancing after that so it wont be too much longer now,
Dancing? Mrs. Hain, Im sorry but I dont think Ill be able to dance,
Thats fine, She added a smile and a reassuring hand on Aries forearm. I usually dont dance at these things either,
Aries let out a sigh of relief and began to relax a little. The final course of dessert came and since he quickly recognized it as a slice of cake, it was gone in an instant. He allowed himself to look about the room at the other guests and noticed that they were alone at their table while everyone else had at least four or more at theirs.
Why are we all alone here? Shouldnt at least two others be sitting here with us?
Yes, Aries. Normally, that is the case and Im afraid that it is my fault.
What do you mean? the rams face was suddenly full of concern for his employer.
Well, I have a bit of a reputation. You see, five years ago I sat with three heads of very promising companies at one of these dinners. We talked and had a lovely evening and over the next few months, New Dawn acquired their companies through a variety of means.
Now Aries stared at the tigress with wide eyes. Im not sure I understand.
I didnt do anything illegal, I just listened to what they said about their companies and became interested. Just business really but it has given me a reputation and made me somewhat of an outcast socially with the business elite of Alpha City,
Aries noted how she did not seem sad by this in any way. Mrs. Hain maintained her cool ladylike demeanor but Aries felt kind of bad for her as if she should be having more fun at this party as well. Across the room, he spotted Kurt and Diana from before. Diana was talking up a storm to a group of people very interested in whatever she had to say but Kurt looked a little lonely though he managed a slight polite smile.
Hey! Theres Kurt and Diana, lets join them! Mrs. Hain did not have time to react or protest as helped her out of her chair very gentlemanly and then scooped up their entire table, candles and everything, in one hand and both chairs in the other. From there, he walked across the room as if it meant nothing. To him, it didnt. It was like pulling a couple tables together at a steakhouse but all eyes were wide and fixed on him. Even the bands eyes bulged and they cast several glances at each other. Mrs. Hain paused for a second then smiled and walked proudly behind her escort.
Kurt! Mind if we join you? Aries stood towering above him with table and chairs in hand and a smile on his face. The skunks mouth hung open in disbelief for a brief period before he smiled and welcomed them.
Sure! Uh, why not? Please join us, Kurt got up to help Aries put the table and chairs together with theirs. Dinah gaze shot daggers at Kurt but the staff quickly followed his lead and helped reset the table and seat everyone. Kurt seemed a lot happier and struck up a conversation with Aries about very simple guy things such as sports and recreation. Aries was finally starting to enjoy himself. However, the person at their table with the greatest feeling of delight was Mrs. Hain and she wasnt saying anything. There was a wide, cold smile on her face filled with amusement as her mind worked at great speed. Aries little stunt with the table was totally innocent but it had an incredible effect on everyone there. They were all looking at him and talking in whispers. She could see how many were smiling at him now where before he was ignored. Taking the table across the room was a simple thing but something they would never have done. They saw it as an audacious act, something a celebrity who knew he was important enough to get away with it would do and they somehow liked him better for it. It was a fantastic exercise for public relations and her company and it had cost her nothing but the price of his tux. She almost began to purr as she thought of how this night could be turned to her companys advantage. Mrs. Hain took out her blackberry and sent a personal email to Mr. Ramas.
You were right, Aries is perfect for this without even trying.
A message from Ramas computer came back within a few seconds.
I know. Its what I do. :)
Soon enough, several people of status came over and introduced themselves to Aries and Mrs Hain. They thanked him for his service to the city or just complimented him in general. Mrs. Hain was polite though she knew they were there to see Aries and not her. She continued to talk and listen to everything they said and made a mental note of everything, every accidentally dropped bit of information and every potential advantage was cataloged away for future use. It was turning into the most lovely evening after all and it had barely begun.
End Part 6