For some reason the afterparty (after the pubcrawl which was after the gala in the theatre) was held in Feri’s rooms. The hotel suit’s living room was not large; it was difficult to seat everybody even with the younger people’s willingness to sit on the floor. After a couple of hours and a few bottles of various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (which Marika mixed with the greatest skill to something wonderfully smooth) most of the people decided to retire to their own rooms and Feri was left only with the main actors.
"Do you want another?" Ottó asked in a gruff voice, holding up a bottle of pálinka for inspection. There was barely anything in it but it was still too much for one shot.
"Sure, why not," Feri replied after a moment of consideration. "I’ll have a killer headache either way; so I might as well."
Imola had switched to sparkling water a while ago – knowing better than to keep pace with the men’s liver – but Ákos and Peti were holding up their own glasses in a mute request.
Ottó poured out the last of the bottle then lifted it with a wry smile. "Cheers."
"For our Maestro" Peti added with a wink and Feri huffed before lifting his own glass in acceptance. Really, kids these days… They slammed the drink back and it burnt familiarly and brought a few tears forth. Feri considered the amount of drink he had during the day and decided that he was drunk enough for what he wanted to say. He stood up from the armchair he had reserved for himself at the beginning of the night.
"Look, I think you all heard it already, especially as I had the speech prepared for the gala, but thank you. This play wouldn’t have worked without you, all of you, and this goes especially to you, my darlings." Feri’s hand made a vague gesture to include all of them. "So thank you."
There was a stunned silence for a few moments. Then Ottó shook his head and stepped close to Feri to pat him on the back. "Thanks, Maestro," he said, his voice for once lacking the irony. "And good night. I need to sleep." With the addendum he waved to the rest of them and opened the room to the corridor.
Peti stood up as well with a small laugh. "I might follow Ottó’s lead this once and go. I have a date with my hot tub."
Feri offered his hand and they shook hands before he was left with Ákos and Imola. "Shouldn’t you two go to bed as well?" he asked.
For some unfathomable reason Imola blushed and hid her face against Ákos’s shoulder, whispering something to her fiancé. The grin on Ákos’s face promised something other than sleep once they found their way into a bed and Feri felt something that could have been envy if he were ever bothered to examine it.
"Maestro," Ákos said, standing up from the floor and pulled Imola up as well. "we were just thinking the same." Feri offered him his hand, too, but Ákos pulled him into a hug that was a touch more friendly than Feri had counted on. And it went on longer than normal. And Imola joined in as well. Feri swallowed and tried to pull back, to have room to turn his head and look into their eyes. Imola made a soft noise as Feri’s shoulder brushed against her breasts but it wasn’t a negative at all. Feri swallowed once more and watched as a smirk changed Ákos’s handsome face into something wicked.
"What do you say, Maestro? About going to bed?" Ákos asked. It was subtle like a brick to the head and it stunned Feri just like one. So, instead of answering he pressed his lips against Ákos’s mouth and hoped for the best.