The other patrons know better than to approach him.
Erik Lehnsherr isn’t known for his patience, least of all during business - and he certainly looks like he’s here for business tonight, standing by the bar and nursing a drink, dressed impeccably in his perfectly tailored suit, his disarmingly handsome face icily expressionless. Even the barkeep is wary, keeping one eye on Lehnsherr’s drink but otherwise making no move to attempt smalltalk even though Lehnsherr is a regular and has been for the past ten years.
Every time the door opens, all gazes in the room flicker between the newcomer and Lehnsherr, watching and waiting. Is this the man who dared make Lehnsherr wait? Is this the woman who’s left Lehnsherr hanging for almost an hour now?
Each time, Lehnsherr doesn’t even look up and a silent collective sigh of relief can almost be felt throughout the room. They all know it’s without hope, however. Sooner or later Lehnsherr’s mysterious partner will arrive, and no doubt they’ll all be wanting cover.
Lehnsherr checks his watch. Adjusts his cufflinks. Sips his drink. All casual, easy motions, performed with no hurry or change in expression. They do nothing to dispel the notion of underlying impatience, and what has to be underlying fury that the gestures must be hiding.
And then he looks up, straightening.
All eyes fly back to the door. It opens a second later, admitting a windswept and devilishly handsome man who strides in with a bounce in his step, as if unaware of the death sentence he’s stamped on his own forehead. His eyes light on Lehnsherr at once, who still looms imposingly at the bar, and a smile blooms on his face as he strides over.
Everyone watches while trying to seem like they aren’t. This is it. Lehnsherr will have the poor fool gutted.
"Sorry I’m late," he says, and he isn’t speaking loudly at all but in the anticipatory silence of the room he might as well be shouting. "That last Q and A ended up going a little longer than I expected. I’m glad I stayed, though, she brought up some excellent points on the new reform."
And then, to the muffled sound of several jaws dropping open, Lehnsherr smiles back. “Another quarter hour and I would’ve sent Azazel to find you,” he answers, but the words are warm and teasing, amusement glimmering like hidden gemstones in otherwise barren rock. “Luckily for you, I know your tendency to be…caught up in things.”
"Lucky me," the other man parrots dryly, but then leans up expectantly into Lehnsherr’s personal bubble of space and is granted a kiss; short and chaste, but there’s deeper emotion behind it if the way Lehnsherr’s fingers brush gently along the other man’s wrist means anything at all.
"Dinner’s waiting," Lehnsherr says when they part, and his hand drops next to rest at the small of the other man’s back, ushering him down along the bar and past their captive audience towards the private dining rooms in the back of the restaurant, safe from prying eyes.
Lucky him indeed is the opinion of everyone present once the two have vanished from view, for lucky is the only word to describe the only man in the city who can keep Erik Lehnsherr waiting, earn a smile for finally showing up, and live to tell the tale.