The Genevieve in question hadn't even noticed the person standing beside her. The chocolate cupcake had captured her attention too, and it wasn't until someone voiced her name that she bothered to glance at the man next to her.
The hand holding onto the dessert stopped its venture just outside Genevieve's mouth, for she had become preoccupied in eyeing the breath-taking individual. She didn't even notice how that went both ways. Her eyes were too busy drinking in the view before her.
Alec's ensemble was entirely black. His dress shoes, slacks, tuxedo, and even the inner shirt was black. If that wasn't enough, he managed to add his own casual touch to the outfit. There was no bow or bowtie present on his neck, instead, a button or two were popped open from the top of the dress shirt. One of his hands were stuffed into a pocket of his pants, and the other one was clutching an edge of the table.
"Who are you?"
Genevieve knew damn well who he was, but her awe-struck state prevented her from thinking properly. Her question was more on the rhetorical side, and it could easily be mistaken for a compliment.
Her stare traveled upwards to settle atop his head, and somehow, her amazement increased by a tenfold. Alec's dark brown hair was styled backwards, except for a strand or two that rebelled the hairstyle and lay against his forehead.
He looked deadly. Deadly handsome. The way he watched her intently wasn't helping her case either, and the only thing that could upgrade his already striking appearance was a smile. That was yet to be seen, since an impassive look covered his face like usual.
Alec was the first one to snap out of his stupor. He straightened himself up and turned away from the table to face her completely. Genevieve's wandering gaze was quite noticeable and he wanted to taunt her about it, but he didn't.
He reached out to grab the cupcake from her delicate grip, that had loosened considerably, and he popped the thing into his mouth without a second thought. However, his gaze of admiration on Genevieve never moved away during the entire time. It seemed as though his eyes couldn't get enough of her.
"The one and only." He finally responded, and she aligned herself with reality upon hearing his voice. At this point, Genevieve didn't mind the fact that he was devouring something she claimed first. She watched the way his jaw moved with every chew, before her gaze travelled back to his eyes.
Genevieve rearranged her posture as well. In an attempt to cover up how she was previously ogling him, she cleared her throat. Her hand dropped to her side and the look of astonishment on her face got subdued by a large amount. Yet, it still lingered there.
"Are you happy now?" She sneered as she glanced down at her outfit.
"I'm dressed for the occasion."
'Oh, you have no idea how happy I am', he thought to himself.
"Mmm... no, I'm not. You look absolutely repulsive." He remarked, but his tone sounded too much of a deadpan. Alec could barely suppress a grin at his obvious lie, and he felt that calling her anything besides ravishing should be a crime.
"Then tell me why you were foaming at the mouth just earlier."
"Oh, so I was foaming?"
Alec huffed a small chuckle. The cocky smile he had been stifling finally pulled through, and Genevieve could have sworn that her breathing stopped when it did. He was distracting, dangerously so, and she tried her best to focus on his insult so as to not catch any unwanted feelings.
"I stand by what I said." The need to see her riled up state appeared out of nowhere, and Alec set an objective to provoke it out of her. What he didn't know, was that Genevieve had caught on. She was far from oblivious to his tactics and wasn't planning on giving him the satisfaction.
"Your mouth flew open when you saw me, Alec. It even caught some flies." An expression mirroring his face formed on her countenance, and she folded her arms. Alec on the other hand was faintly surprised at how she didn't mind the 'insult'.
"That was because my eyes couldn't believe the horrifying sight. Don't confuse amazement with disgust." He murmured while he inched closer to her, as if the proximity could somehow add importance to his words. It did manage to disrupt her breathing yet again, but her body language and expression remained unaffected. Same goes for her mindset.
"That's rich coming from someone who put Gollum to shame."
Alec's eyebrows shot up at the retort. He eyed her face for nothing more than a second, before he threw his head backwards to let out a genuine laugh. As much as he was aware of the fact that she looked stunning, he also knew that he himself didn't look too bad. Resembling an ugly mythical creature was out of the question.
There was nothing more pleasing to hear than the sound of his guffaw, and Genevieve was willing to bet her soul on that. It occurred to her that this was the first time she heard a real laugh from him, and it added to her speechlessness. As if on instinct, she widened her grin to make sure her awe wasn't seeping through.
Genevieve still couldn't believe this was the same man who despised her existence just weeks ago.
A bright white smile adorned Alec's lips even as he tipped his head back down to look at her, and he leaned in again to resume the previous nearness.
"I dare you to say that again." He challenged darkly. His eyes narrowed slightly to try to intimidate her, but Genevieve was a metal shield. No one, and absolutely no one could intimidate her. Not even the most gorgeous of men.
"You look like Gollum's twin brother."
She knew that if she stayed around Alec for any longer, a significant compliment regarding his attire would slip from her. Not that it was a problem, but she simply did not want to fuel his ego.
After the false comment, Genevieve immediately walked away from him. She was doing just fine until after a few steps, when another one of his explosive laughs erupted from behind and made her stomach perform somersaults. She closed her eyes momentarily to regain herself, because she had developed the strong itch to turn around and see his beaming expression.
And she should have turned around. Even though the rare smile remained on Alec's face, a hollow feeling bubbled up in his chest when he didn't get a last opportunity to admire her.
"So you're just a policewoman?"
Genevieve's cheeks began to ache due to her half-hearted smile, and at one point she considered letting her distaste shine through. She didn't miss how the woman named Lily, put an underlying emphasis on 'just' to invalidate her job.
"And what do you do?" She questioned in return, before taking a sip from the glass of champagne in her hand.
Genevieve was standing in a small social circle with a couple, and another woman. One of them had beckoned her over so they'd get to know the new face. It was assumed that she was a trophy wife just like all the other women in this soirée, but they were let down when she explained that she had an actual job.
The husband jumped in before his wife could give an answer to the inquiry.
"I don't think there's the need to have her work when I'm there." He stated just as the two looked at each other lovingly, and Genevieve narrowly pushed down the urge to gag.
"I'd bring the world to her feet. She doesn't even have to lift a finger."
The officer didn't reply. She didn't even acknowledge his response, since her question was aimed at the wife and not the husband who talked over his significant other. Her gaze was locked directly onto the judgmental woman, who had indirectly undermined her position as a police officer.
"So you do nothing." Genevieve took another swig of the fizzy drink, and the scowl that formed on the man's face was more than satisfying. That was bound to sour his mood. He was ignored and undoubtedly got his pride hurt.
"You're a housewife then. Nice." She muttered flatly, though the friendly smile on her face remained.
Genevieve still wasn't done with her, though.
"No, wait." She said out of the blue when Lily had opened her mouth to talk.
"Housewives work really hard too. And since you don't lift a finger, you're..."
Genevieve knew very well how to deal with women like her. Self-absorbed women who were shielded from the harsh reality by walls of their husbands' mansions. It made them unaware of all the actual hard work that goes into earning money, which irked her beyond belief. On top of that, they thought they had the right to judge other people.
"You're just there." Genevieve concluded with a polite smile, and the hand holding her glass moved up so she could take another sip. The other woman beside her coughed to mask a giggle that escaped, which in turn fueled Genevieve's smile. It was good to know that someone else shared her sense of humor.
"Good evening, ladies. And gentleman."
An ugly quarrel between the female officer and the couple was stopped short before it could even begin. Genevieve watched as Thomas Tryker joined their circle and clamped a hand on the man's shoulder in a greeting. As if on cue, the man's anger dissipated, only to be replaced by something else entirely.
'Oh, so he worships Thomas.'
"Good to see you, Jake."
"Likewise, Mr. Tryker. Congratulations on becoming our very own mayor. I just know, that you'll be the best one we've had so far."
"Thank you, I hope to live up to your expectations."
'Called it', she thought to herself.
Thomas was standing opposite to Genevieve, which gave her an opportunity to eye him from up close. Though he was a middle aged man, she noticed how he had this grace to him. He had a perfect posture and a fit form, as well as an aura of authority that surrounded him like a mist. If one didn't pay attention to the several white hairs amongst a few black ones on his head, they'd think that he was ten years younger than his actual age.
The new mayor shifted his attention towards the other two women, and to each he gave a friendly nod as a greeting. Then, his eyes landed on Genevieve. Unfamiliarity flashed across his face before he quickly covered it up with a gentle smile.
"And who are you, dear?"
"Genevieve. Officer Genevieve."
Thomas extended a hand in her direction, and she clasped hers in to reciprocate the handshake. But she wished she hadn't. His next words gave rise to a collection of not too distant memories, which started to play in her head repeatedly like a broken audio clip.
Suddenly, every letter she had received from Shadow made sense.
"A pleasure to meet you, my darling."