The day was here.
And so much sooner than he would ever be ready for. It was such an odd thing, this feeling he had been cultivating in himself, and he found it to be an interesting new kind of obstacle to deal with. He has always been that kind of idiot; the one that rushes head first into everything.
Especially if it was a new experience.
Something was so very different about what he was about to be apart of for the next week AND there wasn't any hope of turning back once he started. Elaine, Miss Dawn as the rest of the folk around the office knew her, had truly meant well in signing him up for this. She had never, EVER, lead him astray even in her most far fetched of ideas. This one, though, seemed one of her most abstract and he would be the only one to suffer should it be the one to finally fail. She had been so adamant
, though, that he needed to take this "trip" and try to find someone for himself. She went on and on about how he was spiraling and she didn't know what to do to help him. So, her solution was acquiring the tickets... on the company card, HIS company card, and shipping him on the proverbial love boat for a week.
He sat up in bed still in disbelief of what was about to happen. The room he had been in the past twelve or so hours had already been altered to fit the needs of several Zoom meetings with his coworkers. There was at least one extremely important meeting he had already missed in his travels, Elaine went as a proxy, and he would miss AT LEAST one other before he could make it back. Now was not a particularly good time for him to be missing meetings, either. There had been an attempted take over in the last year by another one of the countries top hardware producers and it had nearly been successful. The truth was that it had shaken some of the foundations of UltraLite and the future of the company was as uncertain as it had been since it's inception. All of this was one of the largest problems he had with taking the trip at all but Emily was one of his closest friends so he agreed to humor her as long as she would continue to act as his proxy.
He grumbled past the momentary grogginess he felt, he had always been something of a morning person, and started to get ready. He was so grateful for Elaine. The only way anything... of this nature would ever work for him would be if someone was behind him lining up all of the logistics. He had his friends had been able to get away for many, many weekends but he would just cram some shit in a bag and walk out the front door. It didn't take thought to have fun, especially in the right company. He wouldn't dare show up in his ratty weekend wear, as Elaina so lovingly put it, and she had made sure he never had the chance to do so even should he feel so inclined. She actually threated to burn his clothing and send him nude should he even try...
It took him a comically long time to decide which might be worse.
His second day in transit, after burning one day for good measure, he had checked through what she had packed him and her judgment had been more than sound. She had gone against some of what she had said she would do and packed him some slightly dressier wear but allot of what he saw among the luggage was casual to the t.
to the tee*
He lined up his luggage and called down to have someone take it to his taxi as it would be arriving soon. He would have gladly taken it himself, he was all about stimulating the economy but he hated being waited on, but he had to squeeze one more meeting in before the taxi came. A quick "call to arms" for some of his immediate partners. Now was a time the company was going to need to band together if they wanted to protect their current way of life. Most of them were at the top in their world and they were going to have to show just how badly they wanted it.
The meeting devolved into stores of "better times" a distinct sign he had bene in the industry too long and he was rescued by the phone in his room ringing. The taxi had arrived and his effects had been loaded. Oliver bid his comrades a hasty farewell then grabbed what few personal possessions he had left and hurried down to his last land bound ride of the week. The taxi driver was a kindly older man and was obviously paid well because he didn't utter a solitary syllable to Oliver on the ride to the dock. It was a dear silence leading up to this event that was having such an unpredicted effect on him. He would have never guessed that doing this would fill him with so much... anxiety. He wasn't even used to identifying that within himself; it had been quite some time.
He was able to send out a few "vital" emails and message Elaina before arrival.OLIVER
- Almost on the boat... thanks allot...ELAINA
- You'll thank me once it's all over. Please just try it, Ollie?OLIVER
- You know the only reason I'd ever do this is for you, yeah? My guts are in my throat right now...!ELAINA
- Aw! That's so sweet! Getting butterflies in your stomach on the first day? I should screenshot this for later.OLIVER
- So kind and caring you are... I'll message you once I get settled in. At least I can get some sleep. ELAINA
- Be safe~!
He thrust his phone in his pocket and shook his head a few times in mock severity. "...I'm not sure if I'm paying her too much or too little... little shit..."
He grinned and stepped out of the car. That grin was immediately wiped away as he was the boat and the line of people trying to board it. He knew he had a VIP pass and could simply walk aboard but he hadn't quite
understood the scope of what Elaine had gotten him in to until now.
This wasn't a weekend out with the boys... not even close.
His bags were immediately taken up to the ship and he walked wide eyed up the VIP path. He could hear a large variety of murmurs in the line leading to the ship and what the passengers talked about ran the gambit. What he could make out pertained to some of the VIPs being actually celebrities and that made his guts turn ever so slightly. Just because he had money didn't mean he had ever... EVER
rubbed elbows with celebrities. Where would he have found the time to even try? Now all he could think about was who had already arrived ahead of him. Would he know any of them? He spent basically zero time following what most would consider main stream celebrities and he doubted any of the ones he DID follow would be present. His mind began teeming with the possibilities and he walked, largely unnoticed, to the breath taking meeting area.
He was almost too preoccupied to see what was around him, almost. He grinned widely despite his nerves and took in the view a moment. Not long after he, and the other VIP members he had yet to identify, were addressed by some staff members he assumed were their hosts. As they spoke a waiter made his way swiftly up to Oliver and offered him something fluted and bubbly. He put up an absentminded hand and shook his head quickly."No... Thank you. May I have a water...?"
His voice was hoarse and it betrayed his composure. He didn't much get a chance to try and hide his slip up when one of the ladies present seemed to have taken a fall. Her retort was classic and he couldn't help but chuckle. It put him at ease, if only a very small bit, to see some kind of humor from the guests around him. He had been so relieved, and somewhat entertained, to see the spectacle that he had totally forgotten to properly freak the hell out about speed dating...SPEED DATING...!!!!
And instead opted to take a thorough look around at the other hopefuls that had decided to take the leap. His current company ran quite the spectrum and none too many of them were recognizable to hi,. thankfully, and then he saw Alex. Alexander Fucking Vandenberg...
Oliver had read everything the guy had written and followed every bread crumb he or his publishing house would drop to his fans. As it stood right now, Oliver would stab a stranger in the face to see Frontier 31. He had already planned to so some serious monetary flexing when the premier came close so he could see it as early as humanly possible. The dude was a legend in Oliver's world and he turned promptly away from everyone to hide the growing look of excitement on his face.
What was he here for again? It certainly wasn't to meet one of his all time favorite authors!
His water was brought to him promptly and he gulped it down a bit too fast.