Yusef escorted Zaara into Russel's sitting room. He wore an elegant dark suit and Zaara a comfortable sleeveless dress of a turquoise blue shade. Russel came over to meet them and shook their hands.
"Yusef, Zaara, glad you could make it."
"Thanks for the invitation". Zaara flushed. She was unused to attending a social function with a man, even if the man in question was a friend and colleague.
"I invited some police officers too including Sherrif Hawkins and Chief Deputy Blackburn." Russel gestured to Tanya and Jack. "Well, you both have fun". He wandered off.
Zaara just stood there. Yusef nudged her. "Come on."
They walked round, making conversation with the other agents, introducing themselves to those who did not know them. To Zaara's embarassment, one or two preople assumed she and Yusef were a couple. Yusef was not at all unfazed by this and went along with it.
"Sorry about that" he whispered when they had a moment alone. "I didn't want to cause a scene and it seemed rude to correct them".
She looked up at him. "It's fine." She hesitated. "You weren't angry were you?"
Yusef leaned closer to her. "I'm flattered" he whispered.
They turned and watched Jack and Tanya dancing.
"Would you care to dance Zaara?"
Zaara took Yusef's hand and allowed him to lead her into an open space. A Fred Astaire song; Heaven, I'm in heaven" rang out as they twirled.
At last the evening wore to a close and Yusef drove Zaara home.
"I had a wonderful time Yusef."
"I'm glad you could come. I told you that you would enjoy it."
"You're right. It's good to escape from reality once in a while."
They both stood in awkward silence.
"Well, I'll see you tomorrow". Yusef kissed Zaara on the cheek. Zaara turned her head and leaned in to kiss him on the lips. Yusef hesitated. "Zaara..."
"Yes, I'm sure". She looked right at him.
She leaned in and he responded.