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Behind the Music: Ace

 
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wonderlandfill
Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:17 am    Post subject: Behind the Music: Ace Reply with quote

((Everything here is co-written with Sin Incarnate))

Holiday Cheerful
circa December, 2017

Dubbed, ironically, as "Schlub" by a few of the Rhy'Din denizens, and boasted himself with no lack of sarcasm, he decided to intermingle with the masses tonight. Branching out instead of congregating to the main, predictable, point of Rhy'Din where it seemed to be a habitual routine. He found a uniquely styled pub that didn't smother him with modernized neon lights and impale his ears with Today's Pop Hits.

If there was one thing he admired of this city, it was the incongruous collaboration of modern and old, molded into one.

Enjoying the cool, fresh air outside before returning inward, his shoulders were set against the warped, old wood of the building. Tailored in a suit of decadence, it gave no hint of its reason for wear. He could very well have stepped out of a meeting with a client, or attended a funeral of the upper class. Either way, he wore it like his own second skin. Unbuttoned, his black suit jacket gave view to the crisp white shirt and silk, delicately designed crimson tie that laid flat against his chest. His slacks were of the kind of comfortable fabric that screamed money and logic, to be worn through the daily grind without hitch or discomfort. His silver-grey hair was off-color to the brown of his neatly trimmed beard stubble that covered the secrecy of a square, sharp jaw.

Scissored between two fingers was a cigarette out of idle boredom, the same expression plastered on his face perpetually, periodically drawn from. A tap of the filter here, a glance of his eyes there, as if he was simply a part of the scenery. Expensive backdrop.

Inappropriately dressed for the weather, Meadow stalked in on the towering stiletto points of a pair of ludicrously expensive silver heels. The thin, elegant straps that criss-crossed the top of her foot and spiraled along breakably delicate ankles were encrusted with a subtle flash of crystalline rhinestone, catching what dim lights the ambiance afforded in the occasional twinkle of interest. Her dress was stereotypically tight, figure hugging like a second skin, black against the California gold flesh she took some strides to maintain. A coat in lavish faux fur hung open, its blood red silk lining serving as the perfect backdrop for her shapely silhouette, showcasing a body made by good genetics, personal trainers and methamphetamines.

Her makeup carried the subtle shimmer of festive holiday glitter -- proof positive that she was on her way to, or back from -- some upscale holiday soiree. Grey eyes like the midnight sky pregnant with a promise of imminent snowfall scanned the quiet place's interior with interest, a sleek cell phone cradled in the outstretched sprawl of her right hand fingers. She seemed to be checking something on the screen against the club's interior, but whatever she was looking for, she appeared not to have found. With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, she made her way deeper inside, towards the bar.

Every so often, he'd watch the movement of those scattered about. A flash of interest here, an inconspicuously curious glance there. None of which lasted more than a few moments before any spark was lost by the subzero temperatures of his irises. His chest expanded, then deflated, in a heavy sigh as he considered abandoning the spot, to move on.

The brief glimmer of rhinestone, a flash of blood red set against black - two of his three favorite colors - drew his attention. Eyes squinted through the filmed veil of smoke, the killing blow to the disappearing white paper of his cigarette bled into filter. Jaw set, muscle shifting beneath the neat stubble, his back slid away from the wood showcasing as his leaning post. Interest pointed to the bar and a spike of Wrath had him casually dropping the spent filter into someone's drink upon the way, sprouting an angry look up at him he hardly noticed. "That was my drink, ****."

His lips twitched, nearly a smirk that didn't quite meet its mark. "If that's what you'd like to call it," he murmured, dismissively, as he drew closer then fixed himself against the edge of the bar.

Bending to embrace a lean of propped elbows on its surface, he tapped a ringed middle finger to the bar with a pointed look to the tender. "An Old Fashioned, please," he smiled, straight dull teeth that were white as a commercial smile. "And any drink she desires, put it on my tab," he requested, with a nod to the faux fur clad Californian as she reached the bar.

It was only then that he turned, draping himself over the edge of the bar with an expectant raise of brow, waiting. Challenging her tastes. Tempting her to humor him.

She'd overheard his directions for the bartender, that Californian, a scowl of disinterest just barely held back in her teeth. Typical... Meadow was all set to reject the friendly-ish intended advance with a feral flash of her own Crest kid (veneered) pearly whites when she really took a look at the man who was doing the offering.

She wasn't shy or subtle about it, the way she paused just a foot from the bar, one long bronzed leg ahead of the other in the act of advancing towards a vacant stool. Reddened lips pursed as her gaze travelled the length of his lazily-draped frame from head to toe and back again, taking in the details --expensive cloth, tailor made cut, well groomed facial hair, silver gray coif that marked him as both moneyed and mature-- and she swallowed the biting remark whole.

The smile she gave him instead was deferential, flattered. "Why thank you, handsome." Her gaze easing past him to the bartender, she hesitated only a moment before giving her reply.

"I want the bourbon and the smoked orange, but not the sugar or the bitters." She wanted the same drink as him, but more complicated. Of course.

Her gaze reverting to the man who was buying, one perfectly manicured brow lifted higher than the other. "To whom do I owe the pleasure?"

His chin lifted, watching the shift of her expressions as she rethought any possible remarks. His lips spread as she drank him in like fine wine, and there was no shame nor subtlety to the way he offered her the same respects. Instead of a profile view, he could inspect her head on, from the crystalline rhinestones on her strappy heels to the sunkissed tan of her legs, the figure hugging dress that he seemed to linger on for a moment - indecisive on whether he liked it or not.

It wasn't overly showy, or suggestive, a balanced amount of provocation that left little to the imagination, but didn't smother it either. Up further, to the faux fur that while fake was no hint of cheap. Her Crest kid smile that had become amiable, instead of defensive. His brows lifted to the complicated order she made, and his Wall Street smile broadened with approval whether she wanted it or not. "You heard her," he side stage told the tender, not once pulling his eyes away from the girl who seemed to have his undivided attention. "Ace," he told her, simply. "And what would be the name to match such a ravishing creature?" His smile was coy, playful among the maturity of his appearance.

"Ace? Really?" Her gunmetal grey eyes sparkled with mirth; it was the most Hollywood name she'd heard since, well, since she'd left Hollywood. Lipsticked lips parting in a smile, Meadow didn't quite laugh, but it was a near thing. "Nice."

Tipping her head towards him, she nodded at the bartender. "See? He gets it," she said by way of explanation. Stepping closer to him, she gave him his answer, "Meadow Starling," the syllables rolling off her tongue like honey.

It was one of those names; you either immediately knew who she was, or you didn't. Famous more for her daddy's guitar skills and her supermodel mama's looks than anything she herself had yet accomplished, Meadow turned her back to him, then glanced over the smooth rise of one shoulder in his direction. "Help me with my coat, Ace?"

His brows rose to her amusement in his name, soaring nearly to his hairline. "Yes, really," he laughed, shifting in his propped lean. "Sure, it's not my given name, but it'll do just fine," he snickered. His eyes followed her, and he didn't seem to move from his lax position when she stepped closer, sporting a casual disposition in the affair.

At least until her name was mentioned and his attentions seemed to zero in on her even more. Eyes so dark they may as well be black, incapable at the best of times of being deciphered between iris and pupil unless caught in the right lighting, fixed on her now. "Starling...?" He eyed her more scrupulously. "Your father wouldn't happen to be a musician?" He inquired, just a second before she asked for his aid. Smiling amiably, he finally drew himself out of his lean with the languid motions of grace.

"Who am I to say no?" He purred, cutting distance to feel his radiant presence behind her, but not too close to breach the lines of acquaintances, his fingers hooked into the collar of her coat, dusting exceedingly heated fingers and warmed silver of rings absorbed with body heat over the slender slope of her shoulders as he fluidly eased the fur from her frame.

"Oh, so you've heard of us." Meadow laughed pleasantly, her shoulders rolling underneath his warm touch, rising to the contact.

"A time or two.... Ms. Twitter extraordinaire," he chuckled, his smile coy in it's admittance to maybe having come across her feeds. Which, really, was all it was. Who was "in" lately, who was "out". If it was a trend, he at least brushed the surface, dived in deeper should his interests afford him to linger on it until he inevitably got bored. It was a perpetual curse of his, boredom.

"Yes. Four paternity tests, a lawsuit, and one spectacularly gaudy wedding later...yes." This was a woman who had grown up on the cover of TMZ, a strange witches' brew of Hollyweird plastic and genuine artifact. So much false front perfection overlaid seeds of genuine brilliance, celluloid and concert cello coexisting uncomfortably in the body of a bombshell with an Elvis rocker sneer.

"Well that's a headline story, isn't it?" He snickered, and he hadn't missed the way she'd risen to his contact, making sure to casually offer a brush of his fingers down her arm in the removal of the jacket until it was gone as casually as it'd come. Offhand, as if it hadn't happened at all, subtle enough to be taken as an accident.

Freeing one arm and then the other, she turned to face him, offering to reclaim the coat with outstretched fingers. "Thank you," she said again, polite almost to a fault. All those cotillion classes showing up again, and nevermind that she had come here to score drugs. Looking him over anew, a brow arched curiously. "You are overdressed for this establishment, I think, but I approve. Should I know you?"

His eyes found hers when she faced him, taking in the delicate features of Trouble wrapped in a youthful package that just skimmed by to pass. "You're welcome, doll." Polite, but not quite so formal as he could be at times while he returned the jacket to its owner.

Their drinks came one, then the other, slid along the side of the bar closest to them. "Thank you," a dismissal of gratitude as he reached and collected his glass with the clamor of metal rings to glass when he lifted it. He peered down to his attire, a questionable brow lifting as his gazed ticked back to her. "Well... someone has to advocate class," he told her incredulously. "It's a slowly diminishing industry," he frowned, quite serious on the matter before he smiled at her question.

"Austin Kelly," he told her more directly, "unlikely you know of me. Just a Wall Street investment broker moonlighting as a collections' agent, sweetheart. But should you know me?" His smile was a blended cocktail of sins, with no one too dominant over the other but working together in blissful harmony. He tipped his drink to her with a finger lifted to point in her direction. "That's a matter I'll let you decide for yourself..."
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ah, so you're a money man," said Meadow, leaning across the bar in a way that was almost suggestive as she reached for her custom cocktail, bringing it to her lips for a taste. "Mm. Well done." She said to the bartender, and it stood for thank you as she stretched herself tall again, high on her spiked heels, cradling the glass in the narrow splay of one set of fingers.

The nails were elegantly manicured, black with silver tips and a thin white line that separated each contrasting color. On her ring fingers at the outer edge, there was a single red rhinestone secured in the paint, they caught the light with a soft flash as she brought the drink to her mouth. "Austin Kelly, now there's a sexy name," she went on, and she wasn't shy about looking him over again. "You make class look good, Austin," she acknowledged with a smile. "I think..." she drew the syllable out, considering it, delaying the moment of gratification when her sentence would be pronounced, her verdict delivered. "I think you just might be someone I should know."

She didn't quite specify how --or how long -- she intended to know him.

"Among many things, but yes," he laughed easily, shamelessly, if not proudly, to the accusation. He finally brought his Old Fashioned to his lips, taking only a sip with the scrutinizing expression on his face of a man with high standards, of refusal to settle for less. His eyes narrowed as the small amount of liquid rolled over his tongue, hinted by his shift in jaw before he gave a weak approving nod. "Acceptable," he murmured, taking another heavier sip of his drink.

"Not defined by your station in life," commented the girl with a nod of approval. "Good."

"They don't have a definition for me, doll," he chuckled, his tone less arrogant and more factual as... he wasn't exactly wrong. Though her seeming to have approval of him brought one lid down in a wink, noting it. Welcoming it.

His eyes flicked to her when she approved of her beverage choice, satisfied with the tender's mixing abilities. His smile was one of a man whose ego was stroked as she claimed his name was sexy, only pushing it further to comment on his class. "Flattery... will get you many places with me, Starling," he chuckled darkly.

His head tilted as if before the jury, standing strong at the stand and awaiting his verdict until it was given. He was absolutely one who smiled at being proved guilty in this situation, though. "I might, hm? If that's the case," his free hand extended to her, palm turning in offer with the outstretch of his fingers. His eyes remained on her, her face, her eyes. "I can honestly say it's a pleasure to meet you, Meadow." As if there was any doubt, as if it was a rare compliment to come. She was special. He let her believe it by his tones, his smile. The way he indulged in his gazes.

Holding her drink, she watched him as he tested his own, giving a little smile at how particular he was proving to be. The man had standards, much like herself (Though to be fair, Meadow had a bad habit of throwing her 'standards' out the nearest window when there were illicit substances involved). That was a point in his favor, too.

A quiet laugh rolled over ruby red lips, but she put her hand in his when it was offered. Inclining her head in a nod of acknowledgment, her smile had a sharp edge to it. "Likewise, Austin Ace Kelly."

His fingers collected hers when she gave him the benefit, there was no kidding that he was an old fashioned man. Even as he lifted her slender hand, lowering his head to brush lips and stubble across her knuckle. It was a brief contact, almost forgotten in the times and over as quickly as it started as he released her hand with the lift of his head. "So what's Hollywood glam doing here in Rhy'Din?" He raised a brow, feigning a teasing pout. "I can't assume it's for the sunny beaches and warm weather..." he chuckled, considering the frigid temperature drops as of late. Glancing behind him to ensure seating was there, he returned his eyes to her as he folded himself onto a stool, lifting his drink for a languid sip a moment later.

The gesture was gallant. Sexist, maybe, but also sexy, and for Meadow at least, the two tended to cancel each other out. A smile brushing her lips, she brought her glass up for another sip. "Charming."

Turning to lay her coat across an adjacent stool, she perched herself on the opposite one, her knees bent so that one of hers was perilously close to touching one of his. More bourbon brought in for consumption, she dabbed the tip of one pinkie finger carefully at the corner of her mouth so as not to smudge her lipstick. Setting the drink aside, she raked her fingers through long chestnut waves.

"Wanted to see myself in an all new set of tabloids, naturally," came the answer to his question, her tone playful, her grey eyes luminous with humor. "Why settle for just one-world famous when there's all this out here?" The way she lifted and spread one set of fingers seemed to encompass the bar, but also Rhy'Din itself. "I mean. We don't call it Hollyweird for nothin', but... this whole place is kinda next level, don't you think?"

There was a tilt of her head as she studied him. "What about you? What brings Wall Street to the great beyond?"

Unfortunately, a lot of old timey gestures and acts that might have once seemed polite tended to be sexist. For Ace, it was less the point of the gesture. The excessively heated imprint of his lips would likely linger on her knuckles, even a few minutes after his lips had left her skin. His eyes flicked down to the knee that was dreadfully close, and it would only take a small breaching shift of his leg to close the distance. Yet he refrained from the temptation just in time to catch the delicate way she avoided smudging her lipstick, a slow smirk curving until it was eradicated by a sip of his drink. Holding the liquor in his mouth, a tip of his glass with a muffled chuckle, then a swallow.

"Naturally," as if that was what every Hollywood debutante could ever want. His expression was feigned stern and dreadfully serious. "Do not settle for anything," he told her before the twinkling glimmer in subzero eyes gave him away. Setting aside his drink, he pulled the lip of his suit jacket open, slipping a ring and gold watch clad hand inside to retrieve a tin from the inside pocket. The box seemed to be a simple, yet expensive in its authenticity, until a small button at its base was pressed. The circular window of thin metal slid away, a loaded spring carefully relinquished the finger of a cigarette. Tin brought to his lips, he caught the filter of the ridiculously priced Insignia cigarette between them and eased it out.

The enabler turned the tin toward her in offer, cigarette bobbing between his lips with each syllable still articulately well practiced as he spoke. "It's Wall Street. As much as I love New York, you can't find a satyr casually dancing on top of a bar on Wall Street." Lips contorted into a smile around the filter, teeth snagging it, then released when it could be held by lips once more. "Eventually, the soul requires more adventure than the mundane, and if you're lucky enough to find it... it would be unforgivable to dismiss the opportunity."

"Into satyrs are you?" His actions so far, the way he looked her over in that dress --and let's face it, it was a dress custom designed to draw that kind of gaze--all signs pointed to him being straight or at least flexible. But she'd run into all types in her life so far, and she'd learned that it was pretty much always important to check. Just in case.

His explanation drew a laugh, though, a feminine sound too high to be a chuckle, too low to qualify as a giggle. Meadow watched him with his cigarette case, her expression duly impressed with its sleek design. When it was offered out to her, she selected the cigarette that stood poised and ready for the taking, drawing her fingertips over the expensive paper cylinder once before she fit it between her lips. Staining the filter immediately in scarlet paint, marking it as her own. "Thank you."

His laughter was deep, hollow in his chest as he shook his head. "Not in any significant way, no. However, they can play a mean flute," his brows danced in her direction, which probably didn't help in the dilemma she was having on the topic of sexuality. There was a pleased quirk to the corner of his mouth when she accepted his enabling offer, the case set aside and placed on top of the bar close to his drink before he was dipping into his jacket a second time. Zippo retrieved, it was the same expensive trinket as the tin, were it not for the material it was made of.

The elegant cursive scrawl of his name across the lighter cap was just a glimpse as a practiced sweep of his thumb in quick succession; decapped, flint wheel struck with the ignition of fluid before it was held out to her, offering the flame to her cherry. When hers was lit, he'd light his own. A snap of the Zippo cap with the same thumb, it was cast aside like the cigarette tin before the filter was snagged between scissored fingers. Intake of breath drew a greedy amount of smoke into his lungs, filter removed before his tongue swept over his lips to wet them, moisture having been absorbed from the paper cloak of his filter. "You're welcome," he smiled, a wicked thing playing on his lips before he scooped up his glass with the same hand.

Catching her hair in one hand, Meadow leaned forward at the waist to direct her cigarette into the flame. If it gave him an eyeful of youthful cleavage possibly made perkier than nature had expressly intended with the strict application of a very good bra, well, so much the better.

Lips pursed around the cancer stick, she sucked in, the temporary hollowing of her cheeks throwing high cheekbones into razor blade sharp relief. Sucking once and then again to make sure it was lit, Meadow settled back onto her stool, her gaze lifting to his face.

"So what are you doing here specifically, tonight?"

The ample cleavage wasn't ignored, though it was subtly admired from where he sat. He didn't make it obvious, but if caught, he wasn't shy, and he didn't act like he wasn't. He took responsibility for it graciously, perhaps even with a smile that was equally shameless.

She asked, he sighed. His eyes drifted away from her to sweep the room, a poised and pronounced scowl that matched the disappointed growl on his lips like the prick of thorns on a handsome face. "I came because it aesthetically pleased me. I didn't account that those who may appreciate it as well... may not be quite so... lively." His eyes darted back to her, narrowing slowly as if she was a piece of a puzzle that didn't fit. "Though... you seem lively enough.." There was a twitch of his lips, a smile he was restraining with the raised posture of his brow. "I'm going to bounce that ball back into your court, doll. Why are you here, tonight?" It seemed more liable to find him here than her.

Twisting her body towards the bar, her knee did brush his. She glanced down at fingers still warm from where he'd touched them as she leaned across the bar to snag an ashtray, dragging it closer with a fingertip hooked into its lip. She ashed once, imagining she could still see the outline of his lips on her knuckles, and she fit the cancer stick into one of the grooved slots of the old, oversized ceramic piece as she turned back to him.

Snagging her glass, she sipped from its rim, savoring the way the sharp sweetness of the sugared whisky paired with the bitter acid of the smoked orange. She didn't have a full on old fashioned because of the extra calories in it, but this was a pretty close substitute. "I was supposed to be meeting my dealer." She eyed him with faux suspicion, suddenly. "That's not you, is it?"
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His eyes slid to the spot that their knees made contact, briefly as it may have been, behind the rim of his stout glass. Rolling his Old Fashioned over his tongue, he sighed at its savory taste before he set it aside to indulge diligently on his cigarette. A stretch of his arm and tip of his torso helped him reach the ashtray she'd slid over, index finger tapping the building column of grey skeletal remnants from it. His eyes bore into her for that suspicion induced question and a sly, sulfuric smile spread across his face with the slow straightening of his lean.

"Who's to say it isn't?" His brows lifted, head tilting before he chuckled. "I suppose that would depend on what you're looking for. I'm a dabbler, a dealer, of many things." His brows etched higher on his forehead, Hellfire spun eyes widening just a smidgeon. "After all, I am a money man." Sarcasm dripped like hemlock, masked by the honey sweet sound that pooled and poured off his lips.

"In my experience, most dealers aren't this..." Attractive. Handsome. Successful. "...well put together." Meadow gestured towards him with a ripple of her fingers and another very quick up-and-down glance; encompassing his expensive suit, his well groomed beard, and everything. "But I suppose there are more things to get people hooked on than just drugs, even the designer ones." She took another sip of her whisky, running her tongue thoughtfully over her teeth. "Particularly here."

Reaching for the cigarette so recently abandoned, Meadow ashed it carefully before she brought its carmine-stained filter to her lips. Inhaling in a slow, deliberate fashion, she filled her lungs with smoke and then exhaled again with the same gravitas. "Come to think of it, I suppose you can probably cure anything that ails you here, too. Feels like literally anything is possible in a place like this, no?"

He couldn't help the lift of his brow as she made her point. Looking down at himself, his eyes drifted up and locked onto her with that quizzical expression. "There are many kinds of dealers, doll. I'm not just some street urchin peddling drugs to pay the rent," he snickered, shaking his head. "My deals are more..." He tilted his head from one side to the other. "A hobby, and as I've said," he smiled, one that could seem innocent at the first glance, but might be hiding sharp teeth behind it. "I dabble in many things." He punctuated his statement with a slow sip of his Old Fashioned, tipping some to lean his ribcage against the edge of the bar.

His other hand lifted to inhale a lungful of smoke, stubbled cheeks hollowing with the effort before giving a brief glance around to her question. "I suppose you could. I'm sure there's some spell, some potion, someone that could cure the presumed incurable diseases and ailments you'd find on Earth..." He sighed, then circled his eyes back to her. "Anything is generally possible," he tilted his head slowly with a dip of his brows. "If you know where to look to find the solution."

She leaned in reflexively, without entirely intending to, waiting for him to explain just what his deals were about. The air between them was thick with anticipation, but it sliced in half when he finished with the word 'hobby'. Laughing under her breath, Meadow shook her head and then reached for her cigarette, freeing it from its confinement with a quick tap before she brought it to her lips. "Mm. So now I have to ask the obvious... what is it that you dabble in?"

Exhaling smoke, it wreathed dark waves in a halo of lazy tendrils, an angel out past curfew with her harp slipping. Watching Austin as he spoke, she crossed long, sun kissed legs at the knee, but angled the slope of her body towards him, an invitation with strings attached, perhaps. "If you know where to look," she agreed, "and if you can afford it."

He'd caught the way she'd leaned in, and it stirred amusement in those dark eyes as he watched her...then didn't give her the punchline she was seeking. That didn't seem to stop her from inquiring, however. He couldn't suppress the snicker that pooled from his lips. "I suppose it would be easier to question what I didn't dabble in," he teased, twisting his torso with a stretch to ash more of his cigarette into the tray before settling back. "If it's a vice, I'm sure I've got my fingers dipped in some way or another," he flashed a billion dollar smile, letting her make her assumptions. "It's all about the contacts, is it not?" His brows lifted, his lips engulfing the filter of his cigarette to take the final drag to kill it. Inhaling sharply between his teeth, he stretched to jab the cigarette out into the tray.

He'd settled just in time for her lean, but it wasn't one he shied away from him. Instead, his head tilted some as his posture shifted with his own lean forward. His forearm caught for balance on an elevated knee perched by an expensive, leather shoe on the rung of his stool. Idly, his thumbs turned priceless circlet jewelry on his fingers, and there was a flicker of Hellfire induced amusement in her words. "I'm particularly skilled in the former, and to question the latter would mean you haven't been paying attention," he purred, his head tilting as his elbow bent to reach a lone tendril that had fallen in her lean, watching the silken hair as he brushed it over her shoulder. He was careless in the way his too-warm fingers brushed her shoulder with the gesture before his eyes turned to hers. "The real question is... what are you looking for, Starling?"

The girl was slower with her cigarette than he, dragging on it again as he extinguished his own. "Hollywood one-oh-one," she commented with a smile that was red like wine, like garnets, like blood. "Nothing matters nearly so much as who you know, not even money."

Oh, she'd been paying attention. His comment brought the lift of perfectly sculpted brows, a subtle tilt of her head and the even more subtle up-curve of one corner of her mouth in a show of amusement. Her face turned ever so slightly into the brush of his fingers as they re-secured long, lush locks of rich mahogany luster, spreading the warmth of his touch along the corner of her jaw as well as her shoulder. "Thank you, I needed that," she said in a soft tone. The flirtation between them had taken a clearly defined turn, and though it might not have been subtle it was quite tasteful.

"What am I looking for? Mm...Something worth looking for." That same shoulder, still prickly with the curious heat that lingered in his wake, rolled in a thoughtful shrug. She smiled. "I'm afraid I am every inch the cliche, Austin Kelly. Pretty, rich, well connected---and bored."

His smile was white, but there was no purity behind it. It didn't seem any less dazzling, however. "Now, that is surely one thing we can particularly agree on." He lifted his drink in emphasis, some form of cheers, before taking a swallow of his Old Fashioned, swiping away the remnants with a devilishly long tongue before it disappeared behind the gates of secretively smiling lips.

"I have my uses," he chuckled softly, when she thanked him. His hand fell away from her shoulder, returning to its post on his knee while he waited. Eyes dark enough to drown in settled on her, intent without so much a heavy stare as it was casually interested. His brows ticked, and he was somewhere on the spectrum of amused and confused. "Aren't we all..?" He chuckled, "though I suppose some might have taller standards than others..."

He shrugged. She spoke of cliches, and he looked her over, as if trying to plug the pieces of her words into the fabric of her making. To see if it fit, and he wasn't denying any of them. His eyes returned to hers when she spoke the last, and there was a drastic frown painted among the neatly trimmed beard as he straightened his posture. "Do I not entertain you, doll?" He teased, and though there was almost a pout on the bottom swell of his lips, his eyes twinkled with the kind of mischief that would put imps to shame.

His smile followed a second later, and then he was knocking back his drink and rising to his feet. "I don't do cliches, doll. And neither should you," he lifted a brow at her as he reached into his suit jacket pocket for a money clip, sliding a couple larger bills out before easing them over the bar. "If you care to break the cycle... you're welcome to leave with me," he raised a brow at her, putting the stray items into their respective places from the bar - his tin and lighter.

What Meadow was looking for was both really simple and really breathtakingly difficult to attain: she wanted stimulation, inspiration, interest. Born with everything and satisfied with none of it, she found herself craving the different, the unusual, the rare. Allowing her to move to Rhy'Din had possibly been a really bad idea.

His reaction brought a laugh to her lips as she put out her own cigarette at last. Somewhere between a frown and a pout, his expression was entirely false, but also entirely endearing. "You know better," she chided him dryly with a smooth rise of her brows, lifting the glass of bourbon to her lips. She finished it in three swallows and set the glass aside. The whisky squeezed like fingers at her throat and burned like fire in her chest, but then, there'd been a point to prove, had there not?

She was slower on the rise as he gathered his belongings, toned netherlimbs uncrossing in a slow, deliberate shift before she placed first one red-bottomed shoe on the floor and then the other. Dipping one finger into her mostly empty glass as she stood, Meadow caught one of the orange slices that remained there and dragged it free, slipping it into her mouth. The curiously bitter, booze soaked flavor prickled on her tongue in a way she found pleasant.

"...If you think that's all that I am, then you haven't been paying attention, Ace." Lifting eyes that were nearly the same silver grey as his hair to his face, she stepped into his space, not quite touching but nearly so, so close she imagined she could feel that strange heat radiating off of him, and then she reached around him for her coat.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not far from him, bred into wealth and renown. He bore a title that gave him everything, yet nothing satisfied. He was insatiable for what he couldn't find, and the perpetually bored combination could prove to be dangerous. But a little danger never stopped either of them...

That mischief bled into his smile, and there was no lacking of confidence in his tone that bordered on arrogance. "I do." A simple statement that spoke worlds. He knew his worth. He couldn't be told differently.

He watched her get ready as he idly, slowly, smoothed his suit over from his posture-lacking leisure on the stool. It was within that time that she'd risen, then drew his attention with words that tickled a particular portion of him. A slice of the Seven. His smile was elegant, amused, pleased, as she stepped into his personal space. Breaching the aura of warmth he wore like a projection.

She showed no reserve, and he took that as an invitation to breach her own. Bending down some, refraining from any direct touch as his liquor soaked breath of bitter citrus and high-priced whiskey could tickle her lips, mingling with the heat of fireplaces on cold winter nights. "See, that's exactly what I wanted to hear," he whispered to her, Hellfire lapping at the outlined circles of irises before he was slithering out from her reach, and the outstretched arm reaching for her coat.

"One thing you'll learn about me, darling," he told her with a quarter turn of his frame to give her a more pointed look as he picked up the jacket she was reaching for, looking at her as he found the collar and spread it out, giving her access to slide her arms through. "I'm always paying attention."

Entire worlds may have separated them, but their experiences were the same on different scales, and those experiences had brought each of them here. Different stratospheres, but parallel. Meadow held his gaze, grey eyes as opaque and impenetrable as the storm clouds they called to mind, and though her full lips may have parted subtly at his proximity, in no other way did she react until he stepped away. If he was looking for someone to play chicken with, he'd chosen an excellent opponent.

Smiling as he stepped away, that smile was practiced, and perfect. It covered the strange flip in her belly, the way the little hairs lifting along the back of her neck rose in unfamiliar warning. If she had any inkling that she was outmatched, she was careful not to let it show. Or maybe she just didn't care. "Good," was the only answer she gave him as she stepped closer again, this time to thread one arm into the coat he held out for her. Executing the partial turn it took to fit the other one in as well, she let him help her finish putting it on.

He was a man who enjoyed his games. Be it poker, chess, or chicken, to simply name a few. She had that flame of attitude that afforded the challenge. His hands had readied the coat, and there was a coy smile on his lips for the single syllable response. She eased into the first sleeve gracefully, and he aided her with the second. Slipping the hole in the fabric over her hand, he lifted the coat to her shoulders with a step closer for the effort. Keeping that sliver of distance, he shared his heat with her only in the deliberate, delicate little brushes of fingers that could be played off as incidental if she didn't know any better. The heated brush of collar bone, of the soft slope of her neck before they fell away, leaving the imprint of his touch that was gone as quickly as it had come.

"Now, the true question is... what kind of entertainment do you desire tonight?" He looked down at her, though his tone was sultry, like Egyptian silk, his eyes spoke of endless possibilities.

Her body responded to the warmth of his touch on its own, her skin warm and tingling where his fingers had strayed. Clearing her throat inaudibly, she lifted her hands, threading them underneath the heavy canopy of her hair to pull it free of the coat's neckline. Letting it spill in silky layers down her back like some kind of shampoo commercial, Meadow tossed her head once to make sure none of it remained trapped. She took a step forward and pivoted, turning to face him once more.

Meeting his decadent gaze, her lips twitched in a smile as her brows lifted. "The best kind?"

His eyes lowered when she spun around, one brow lifting at the expression on her face. His lips spread in a slow smile, etching wide before he allowed a chuckle to slip through. "That could be left up to interpretation..." As if he was being difficult, then, "so I interpret it being... virtually anything with me involved." His Pride shined through, and whether it was a jest or not, a wink was relayed before he turned halfway from her, insinuating the door that he tipped his head towards, holding out his hand. "I'm sure I could come up with something..." His smile became a wicked thing then, full of promise and sinful thoughts. Looking to the door, he teased, "or I'll simply undress..."

Her laughter carried all the way into the sparkle of grey eyes like mirrors, like ancient silver coins. The smile that rimmed red lips showed amusement with just a hint of omg, really? skepticism. He'd really just said that, all completely deadpan on the delivery, hadn't he?

Shaking her head, the smile lingered even as she looked away from him, following his gaze to the door just after that wink landed. Her perfectly shaped brows lifted when the hand that had been grazing her in the most fleeting, barely there touches throughout their short exchange so far was suddenly outstretched for the taking. Meadow stared at it like she half expected him to snatch it away if she reached for him.

After only a half second's hesitation, she took it, sliding her fingers into his as polished nails skimmed the fire-warmed flesh. "You could also come up with something while you undress..."

He'd said it with no hint of remorse or shame, and it was difficult to discern whether or not he was kidding. Was he really that arrogant? He didn't clue her in. There might've been a fleeting moment he considered it, but alas, his hand remained as she took it. Her nails tickled his skin, and the abrupt eruption of chuckling that rose up from his chest came with the remark from Meadow. "Do I look a Chippendale stripper to you?" He teased, projecting the first thought that came to mind as he shook his head, then gave her a narrowed look. "...Don't answer that," he muttered. He took the lead to the door.

"A really expensive one?" she ventured helpfully, the mellow tone of her laughter matching his deeper baritone. "I wasn't necessarily suggesting that--though I must confess I'm now highly interested in seeing what you do with it--" she was teasing him back now, her grey eyes flashing with mischief. Her hand folded into his, she moved readily at his prompting, neither needing to be restrained nor dragged. "I was just thinking that most planned activities are more fun if you're naked, so... coming up with a way to entertain me and undressing aren't necessarily mutually exclusive..."

"Naturally," he jested. "If I'm to be a Chippendale dancer, it's going to have to be high class." He lifted his chin in a dramatized show of snootiness. "I won't settle for less than upscale politicians, celebrities and maybe Oprah.." The last muttered in a squint. Why Oprah? Who knows. His squint relaxed as he shifted his eyes to her on their way to the door. One brow perked. "It'll take immense amounts of liquor, and unsavory favors to get a lapdance out of me." It was... only partially a joke.

His lips broke into a smirk as he reached forward, pulling open the front door and holding it. He'd wait until she moved through before he'd follow, his hand slipping out of hers in the maneuver. "Unless these planned activities involve getting undressed... then they could most certainly be simultaneous, especially if both parties are undressing..." He seemed supremely surprised, if not misinformed, but he chuckled.

Ace let the door close behind them as he stepped out onto the street after her, casting a look to the crimson and black Bugatti Veyron. "Unless, of course... you'd rather a different kind of fix," his smile was devilish, even as he gestured to the expensive sports car. "You did come here looking for a dealer of sorts, didn't you?" His brows lifted with the inquiry.

"Oh, of course," Meadow agreed, her blood red lips pulled back in a smile. "I would expect no less." She laughed at his antics as they walked to the exit. "Oprah? I mean, I could probably get Daddy to call her..." she mused thoughtfully, her grey eyes flashing. "What kind of unsavory favors are we talking here? Is this like... raunchy sex acts, or taking a cab in New York, level unsavory?"

Stepping out the door with a nod of thanks, she drew her coat more completely around her body. "Like I said," she resumed when he'd joined her. "All activities are better naked. There's poker, and naked poker. Dancing...and naked dancing. Twister... and naked Twister." Her smile was enigmatic, her eyes glinting in pretended dare. Would she be getting naked, too? She certainly wasn't afraid to, if that's what he was asking. Her chin lifted in kind. Challenge accepted.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Nice," Casting her gaze over the pretty car, she nodded her approval, only to glance at him sidelong again, suspicious once more. "...You're not overcompensating, are you?" The words were tongue in cheek, as was the way she narrowed her eyes at him as though to check. "I did," she agreed. "And again, who's to say these ideas of yours are mutually exclusive? Surely there's room to satisfy more than one fix at a time." Ah, hedonism, thy mortal name is Hollywood.

There was a firm nod of his head, as if he would've been disappointed should she expect any less of him. "I mean, I've always been curious as to how generous she really is..." He narrowed his eyes, as if this was something he'd thought a lot about. Perhaps he had. His eyes turned back to her when she inquired of the level. His brows rose incredulously, abyssal depths widening in feigned horror. "Oh, no, no, darling... Raunchy sex acts in a New York cab. I come at an exponentially high price," he shook his head at her. He had to hide his smirk as he stepped out onto the street.

"Strip poker... The ultimate game of undressing," he muttered, as if it was a possibility. "Well... if there's going to be writhing bodies to music, naturally it's better naked.." He chuckled, just to give her a hard stare then. "Naked... Twister.." He blinked, looking ahead as if haunted. How have I not tried that yet? ...She was making him feel old. You youngins and your naked board games... No, but really. How?! He'd played a stupid amount of strip poker, though. He looked back at her just in time to catch that challenging look, and the sweep of his brow might just be daring enough.

He shrugged, less asking for approval - he knew it was a beautiful car, you didn't have to tell him! - and more giving her the option of getting into a warmer environment. Though her talk of overcompensation had him blinking slowly before he tilted his head and then, laughed. "Would you like to know?" he raised a brow, giving her no validation to her inquiry as he rifled his pocket for the keys. Amusement was evidence on his face when she made her point, though.

"I was thinking of satisfying a multitude of fixes at once... Why pace ourselves?" He teased, starting for the car and stepping past her close enough that his heated scent of fine whiskey, expensive cigarettes, and a hearth on a cold winter's night could encroach on her personal bubble before he started for the car. He pressed the button on the key chain that had the lights flashing twice with a dual beep to unlock it, and he was on his way to the passenger door, opening it as he looked over his shoulder. "Unless you have something more pressing... like bedtime..." He narrowed his eyes on her, that soft flicker of Hellfire dancing in pools of black. His smile was born of sulfur.

Everyone needs a rich pretty it girl's approval. Just ask her.

"Guess that means we're going to New York," she hummed in a low voice. Meeting his temporarily blank stare, the woman in several thousand dollars' worth of high fashion designer couture lifted her brows in amused surprise. "You've never played naked Twister? Tsk tsk, Austin. I'm beginning to wonder if they even know how to have fun in New York." She shook her head wistfully, like he'd made some scandalous social faux pas. "Clearly we need to add that to your repertoire."

The man asked her if she wanted to know, and again, her laughter filled the space between them. "I'm getting into your car, I expect to find out here soon enough." She said it evenly, boldly, with absolutely no trace of hesitation or reticence. "The more fixes the better." He brushed past her and she inhaled the scent of him, expertly mascara'd lashes quivering once, her lips pursing together before she stepped closer, into the open space he'd created with the door. Her brows rose and fell in tandem with her faux-furred shoulders. "Bedtime's definitely on the agenda." She slipped gracefully into the seat.

"Just like that, hm?" There was an amused dance of a smirk painted on his lips. "It has been a little while since I've visited home..." His use of the word home was flaky at best. Was it NYC or Hell..? Close enough, either way. He reeled his head back slightly as she scolded him for his lack of knowledge on naked Twister. "Excuse me for spending more time playing Naked Chess," he jested with a defensive snicker. Though he was fighting a smirk, finding amusement that he was being scolded by Hollywood's Latest Generation. "Clearly. I guess you'll simply have to show me." He lifted his brows, his tone even as if he'd simply suggested they go out for coffee.

"You expect? Is that the prerequisite? Getting into strange men's cars?" He teased her with a delightful spill of deep laughter. Her audacity seemed to tickle just the right spots in him as the corners of his mouth hooked upward. "Amen," he purred his agreement, ironically, to more fixes as he'd brushed past. He watched her approach, at first over his shoulder, then kept his eyes trained on the way she moved. She slipped into the car with that last call statement, and all he could do was smile as his eyes closed briefly, chuckling under his breath. Her quickness of quips seemed to please him greatly as he closed the door once her legs were clear.

Rounding the car, he slipped into the driver's seat languidly. A sweep of door, a graceful maneuver into the seat, and the door was closed by the time his feet were planted. "How does a party sound to you?" He inquired casually, sliding the key into the ignition before bringing the soft purr of the engine to life. Dark eyes shadowed further by the dimly lit vehicle, what might've looked like him taking a look at her chest, wasn't quite as simple as that. Though he let it seem that way before his eyes lifted to hers, a smile wreaking havoc on his face. It was not, in fact, for her chest, but what the delicate etching of flavors that danced over his senses told him.

"Naked Chess requires too much sitting around thinking. Naked Twister, by contrast, is more about... proving your determination to win, and your flexibility." She looked him over thoughtfully, as she had several times already. "Sure, I can show you." The way she paused was deliberate, for effect. "If you think you've got the moves to play with me."

Her brows lifted as she came closer, moving into his personal space as she approached the open door. "Isn't it? Most of the men whose cars I've been in seem to think so." She smoothed the folds of her fuzzy coat down over bare thighs as she took her seat, examining the sleek interior once the door was closed.

Austin took the seat next to her, and she twisted her body towards him. She did take his searching look as a cleavage check, but she didn't mind it regardless. "A party?" Amusement played in the corners of her mouth, but she nodded. "I just came from one, but I do love a good party."

"What's wrong with that?" He raised a brow at her. "Maybe I enjoy a little strategy with my foreplay," he smirked, and it was a secretive curve of his mouth.

"Trust me, Twister has plenty of strategy to it," came the retort, confident.

"Until proven, I can only take your word for it." He slid her a look that said he didn't believe it. Or maybe he was just baiting a game of Naked Twister. Either was likely. Or both.

Though the words determination to win drew his attention, and he chuckled at talk of flexibility. He graced her with the same once over, like he was considering how flexible she could be. Oh, but then she challenged him directly. His brows soared as he tilted his shoulders for a more direct look at her. "If I think... oh, you are playing with fire," he laughed jubilantly as he shook his head.

He didn't move or fold beneath her approach. "I do my best not to assume. Who's to say I'm not simply looking for a wholesome time?" He frowned, but it was a grand effort. Even he couldn't take the idea seriously.

There was contrast in the mention of a party to his previous words. Her amusement mirrored his own, though likely for different reasons. "Good, I have a nose for finding them." From his tone and choice of words, he didn't have any particular one planned. But there was tugging like strings to his very core in multiple directions, depending on the flavor. Like a marionette, he moved the gear shift into Drive and pulled away from the curb. "But first," he frowned, glancing down. "... I need to change." Yes, he was completely serious.

"Am I?" Answering his comment in a nonchalant tone, she turned grey eyes that slanted subtly up at the corners in a way that was reminiscent of cats, or at least, Egyptian drawings of cats, towards him, wide and luminous in the street light. She smiled. "Good. I've always liked fire."

"Yes," he answered bluntly, just as blasé as she. Though she summoned a soft, almost devilish chuckle from him. "I'd hope so.. or we'd never get along." His nose crinkled to that statement.

Meadow tilted her head as he spoke, glancing at him sidelong. She didn't bother with a seat belt, though her hand smoothed gently over the dash in front of her. "Oh, so we're going to crash a party, then? Even better." The girl laughed, suddenly, strangely grateful for the fact that her dealer had flaked on her. What an unusual night this was turning out to be. Fingers itched to reach for her phone, to write a Tweet about it, but what would she even say? Met this hot investment banker. We're crashing a party together. Life is so weird. ...Come to think of it, that's exactly what she would say. Fishing the device from her pocket, her painted nails glinted in the neon lights that reflected along either side of the car, her fingers gliding over the phone's surface, recording the thought.

She looked up as she hit send, brows rising. "You have to change?" Lips quirked in a smile, and she made a show of glancing over her own shoulder. "You got a closet in your trunk, or are we talking midnight shopping spree?"
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He never used a seatbelt, and in every vehicle he owned, the insufferable reminder was removed. He couldn't stand a machine trying to tell him what to do. His smile spread wide with a nod of his head. "When you're not throwing a party yourself, steal one." Or something like that. His eyes pulled away from the windshield to see her on the phone, and had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. "....You're Tweeting about this, aren't you?" An almost rhetorical accusation, considering he could see the reflection of her screen in the window over her shoulder. He saw that blue bird! J'accuse!

Snickering, he had pulled the car into a U-turn, gunning it down the street. He blinked over at her, as if it was obvious. A glance down to his wardrobe, then to her, then the road. "I'm dressed for Wall Street, not a party," he pointed out. Though the idea of a midnight shopping spree amused him greatly. "No, but there is one at my hotel," he snickered. "Unless you're looking to change yourself... I wouldn't be opposed to some late night splurging," cutting her a wry smirk from his seat, his brows bounced twice at her. She was giving him damn ideas!

Without a trace of shame, she nodded. "Of course I am." Navigating through her phone to the camera, she twisted in the seat to put herself nearer to him, then lifted the device to take a selfie. "Pics or it didn't happen, right?" Laughter rolled off her tongue as she checked the image, to make sure that they both looked good enough in it. Satisfied, she was naturally paying more attention to the way she looked than the way he did, so if there was anything strange in the image of his eyes, she didn't notice. Pressing the home button, she left the phone in her lap.

"I mean. I already came from one party..." but she wasn't opposed to spending a little late night money, either. A perfectly manicured brow lifted. "Do you think I should change?"

Considering this latest shift in the plans, the young glitterati girl found herself laughing again. "...'Course, if you were just looking for a good excuse to get me to your hotel room..." She shrugged. "You could have just said that, too. "

"I suppose --" Pause. Picture time. This wasn't his first time, clearly. He even pulled off his best Blue Steel for the occasion that was almost handsomely silly. Then he continued with his eyes to the road. "--That's how the saying goes. Though I like Vegas better," he muttered under his breath as he drove. If he cared, it didn't show. Though the strange glimmer in his eyes that couldn't quite be called Red-Eye was there, he figured most would chalk it up to that.

"Naturally, because you're a party animal," he teased with a slight smirk and roll of his eyes until they circled around to her. He gave her as much of a studious look as he could manage behind the wheel, and there were a couple ricochet looks between her and the road before he lifted his chin. "I suppose you'll do as arm candy.." It was almost painful how much restraint it took not to laugh, or even crack a smile.

Then he looked almost offended when he gazed back at her. As if he absolutely couldn't believe she'd assume such a thing...

"What makes you think I don't intend to take you to my hotel before and after the party?" He asked incredulously, with a scoff. "So take your pick." Yes, he was leaving this up to her. Either way, the high end shops and the ritzy hotel were in the same direction. It was just a matter of which destination he stopped at first.

"I think even Vegas has succumbed to the mighty twin powers of Insta and Snap," said Meadow dryly, smirking right back at him when he rolled his eyes. "Party animal?" It was her turn to roll her eyes then, skeptical. "Party monster, maybe." The correction was tongue in cheek, her smile coy. A single brow lifted, not quite incredulous but close. "If you're sure I'll do, Austin... wouldn't want to embarrass you at this party we're not actually invited to..."

She turned away from him, looking out the window at the city as it passed by, so utterly alien from home. It hid the smile that had spread her painted red lips wide in a grin -- sometimes even bored Hollywood starlets couldn't quite believe their luck. When she was sure her expression was composed, Meadow turned towards him anew. "Well, in that case... why don't we do it all? Hit the hotel for you, the stores for me... see where we end up after that?"

"Vegas and everywhere else," he scoffed. The sound was cut short by her correction and he gave her a look of disbelief. "What is it?... Pics or it didn't happen?" he mocked her slightly. Basically, he didn't believe her until she proved it. Animal was a step... but monster? That was quite the title. His growing smirk was wry as he pulled his eyes back to the road, "I'm somewhat positive," he shrugged one shoulder. "Embarrass? Good luck... if you reach the point of embarrassment, I'll just toss you to the wolves." He teased her with a low chuckle. Would he really..?

While she was turned away from him, he focused on the road and racing them closer to his hotel. The first destination of the evening. It was his profile she turned to, and he kept his eyes steady on the windshield as he turned a corner onto the street that housed the ritzy establishment he was staying in. It was her suggestion that drew his eyes finally, one brow slowly lifting at the same pace as the corner of his mouth. "Well, look at you... Just covering all your bases..." He hummed, lifting his chin before it turned forward again. "Seems like we have a game plan for the evening." Or at least the start of one.

"Well it hasn't happened yet," she quipped back at him, her voice laden with unspoken promises, her smile Cheshire cat wide, Mona Lisa enigmatic. "I'm the kind of girl who likes to do it all," she agreed a moment later, her smirk shameless as she drew a finger lightly over the gear shift. If there was a double entendre there, it was entirely on purpose. "The night is young, and so am I, no?"

"You should be careful who you say that to, darling," the corner of his mouth twitched with a rather serious - but too serious to be taken as such - expression. "Some might have a rather expansive spectrum." He snickered, catching a glance to her finger on the gear shift on his sweep back to the road. He hadn't missed it. "There is no doubt about that." He snickered.

"I'll keep that in mind," she said breezily, in a tone that clearly indicated she wouldn't.

Just a few buildings more in passing, the Bugatti pulled into the underground lot of the hotel, down the ramp. Parking in its designated space, he killed the engine with a turn of wrist before he cut her a slight smirk, then pushed out of the car without a word, climbing to his feet and closing the door behind him. He didn't think it was necessary to voice where they were.

Keys in hand, he moved around the front of the car to open her door, closing and locking it behind her with a couple echoing beeps and start for the elevator.

The sleek car pulled into a parking space of a hotel she recognized, one she'd stayed in herself before dear Daddy had secured her a penthouse apartment of her own. "Nice," she commented on the location, and she made no effort to get out of her seat until he'd opened the door for her because despite her proclivities, she had both class and manners. "Thank you," she said breezily as he handed her out of the sexy sports car, rising to a full standing as she smoothed down the hem of her dress, or at least made an attempt at it. Her stride carried her smoothly to the elevator in his wake, as confident on her towering heels now as she had been three hours and half a dozen drinks ago.

She seemed familiar with the hotel, but he didn't question it. "You're welcome," he smiled, feigning surprise that she seemed to actually have manners. In his defense, she was young. Generations seemed to have lost those along the way, something you may catch him ranting about - only making him sound like a terribly old man. Or as Kami would say, dinosaur.

Ace's steps weren't brisk but casual, as he made his way to the elevator with Meadow in tow. Stopping at the door, he pressed a button to send the elevator down to them. Just enough time to look over to her, quirk a brow and inquire, "do you have any requests for stores you like?" Before any answer could be had, the elevator chimed and the metal doors opened to grant them entry. He stepped inside, turning to rest his back against the side wall closest to the button display, he waited for her to step inside before he pressed the button for the top floor, lighting that circular number like the angel of a Christmas tree gone dark. It was then that he'd look to her, perking that brow in silent question.

Following him to the elevator, she stepped inside when its sleek doors pulled back to admit them. A smile curled over deep red lips at his question, and she turned at an angle towards him to maintain their conversation. "Well, definitely not anything that's usually open twenty four hours..." She qualified, suddenly having a hilarious image of the two of them prowling around a Walmart or something, looking for some haute couture. "I'm sure your concierge will have some good suggestions for us, especially if Ted's working tonight."
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hold that dastardly tongue! You would never catch Ace within a hundred feet of Walmart! That place was Hell. He'd tell you, and he has something to compare it to. "You'd be surprised. After all, I can be very persuasive," there was a twitch to the corner of his mouth. "I'm not opposed to being an inconvenience," he teased, those Hellbound eyes turning toward her with an impish smirk. Though her mention of a particular name had one brow lifting as the gut wrenching feel of the elevator's movements made his stomach drop to his feet in an almost pleasant way. "So you have been here before? Perhaps frequently, if you know names." He eyed her speculatively as the numbers soared, counting up to their arrival at the top floor.

It wasn't overly long before they arrived. As if on cue, his lean against the wall straightened as he smoothed the front of his suit with his palm, just a heartbeat before the chime announced their arrival. The slick metallic sound of the doors opening had him looking to her, gesturing with his hand. "After you," a proper gentleman.

"Mhm. This is where I stayed for awhile when I first got here, before my place was ready," she answered him, explaining her familiarity with the location. It was, after all, arguably the best hotel in town, and certainly one of the most expensive. "Ted's my favorite of the concierge staff -- he's the most motivated to deliver, if you know what I mean," she said with a sly smile, her silver grey eyes cutting in his direction. Meadow was a woman who was accustomed to getting her way, but even she could occasionally appreciate the zealous enthusiasm of an eager puppy who wanted to go the extra mile. "Also seems to have the most weight with the local shopkeepers."

Apparently midnight shopping was something she'd done before.

The elevator ride was short, sure, but just long enough that it gave her time to imagine a few fun ways they could inconvenience each other. The smile that rode her ruby red lips was chock full of impure thoughts of all the best kinds as she inclined her head towards him when the doors opened, and she stepped out ahead of him into the executive suite foyer.

He couldn't help the arch of brow when she said that, and the sweep of eyes said he was re-assessing any assumption made earlier. But none of it was voiced, and he didn't seem interested in speaking his mind just then. At least until she spoke of Ted, and he couldn't help the deep rumble of laughter that rose. "Most motivated? I can't possibly imagine you had anything to do with that," he eyed her. She was a pretty girl, and seemed rather persuasive herself. With an attitude to bring men to their knees, and a flippant air about her that spoke of hardly trying. "I'm sure he would love to hear from you again," he teased, cutting her a devilish smile.

It was a mirror reflection of sin that adorned his face, the subtle hook of his lips that was both knowing and inquiring. He could already sense her sins like a wash of perfume that trailed her with every movement, every sway of her hips, every step that left an imprint on the cool granite floors of the foyer. He slipped out of the elevator after her. The penthouse was a wash of white and elegant lines of black with blotches of red in a various items, or paintings. Every room seemed to have a different pattern, with exception to the bedroom. "Would you like a drink?" He inquired, already working on loosening his tie and removing the suit jacket on his way into the foyer.

"Who me?" She turned on one red-soled heel to look up at him, her perfectly painted brows lifted in an expression of shocked surprise. It dissolved a moment later, her ever so innocent guise falling away as a knowing grin replaced it. Yes, me. "It's distinctly possible," she said of Ted. "I'm a generous girl when the mood strikes me."

Turning away from him again, the sway in her hips was at least a little bit deliberate as she stalked deeper into the foyer. She knew the rooms, intimately. There was no need to reach for a light switch as she moved deeper into the living room area, crossing the plush carpet almost immediately towards the baby grand piano off to the corner. Drawn inexorably towards it like a moth to flame, like she already knew it would be there. "Please." Another drink would be divine. How many had it been? Meadow didn't know or care, the swirl of colors that seeped along her skull was pretty, pleasant. "Do you play?"

"I'd tell you the rhyme, but I won't waste your time," he snickered. "Yes, you," he said bluntly with a purely accusatory look that he didn't try to dim. It was sharp as the hook to the corner of his mouth. But she was on board with the accusation, and even proved him right with the look she gave him. It brought more depth to his smirk. "Oh? And just what mood are you in now?" He inquired with a nonchalant quirk of his brow.

He'd made quick work of removing the upper half of his clothing. The jacket, the tie, the crisp white button up shirt. He carelessly draped the garments over the arm of a close by chair, and his eyes studiously followed her. She was aware of the surroundings enough to know how to maneuver around furniture, to the piano she seemed to have been seeking as if she knew it would be there. It made him lift his chin, watching the way she moved under the filter of city lights coming in through the floor to ceiling windows. "Very well. Any preference, or dealer's choice?" He chuckled, turning away from her as he walked fluidly toward the liquor hutch in that room. There was a bar elsewhere, but this was the most accessible for the moment.

It was already stocked with the majority of his preferences. Fine liquors that ranged from scotch to gin to vodka. Instead of making himself an Old Fashioned like his palate almost always demanded, he took the simpler route. Skipping the sugar and bitters, he poured a stout glass of bourbon whiskey and overlooked the rind of citrus. Her question had his head turning to look over at her, briefly and considering, before he turned back to the hutch. "I do. Among others. Piano and cello are my favorites," he admitted.

"Mm..." Meadow pretended to think about it, tapping one well manicured fingertip against the plush swell of a full lower lip. "Right now I'm feeling... somewhat generous," she flashed him a smirk from her perch at the edge of the piano. "But I could definitely be persuaded to be more generous..." Her smirk was full of half-formed promises as she tucked a loose strand of silky sepia behind the shell of one diamond-studded ear.

"Whatever you're having is fine, so long as it doesn't have too much sugar in it," her answer came a moment later, though most of her focus was on the Baby Grand. She'd lifted the fall board back out of the way, revealing the keys underneath, her fingers moving almost lovingly over the alternating black and ivory. Lifting her gaze to Austin, her grey eyes lingered there, taking in the sight of his newly exposed torso, moving over the covering of tattoos in an unhurried study. Hm. Good quality, well tailored clothes and a body like that? Maybe she'd have to thank the no-show dealer for this turn of good fortune. Smiling at him in a way that made no bones about the fact that she liked what she saw, Meadow nodded. "I'm classically trained on both, and half a dozen other things besides."
"Somewhat, hm?" He mused, pearly white teeth peeking out behind his scruffy smile. "Lucky for me, I have quite the knack for persuasions," he chuckled, cutting her a dark side glance accentuated by the soft curve of his lips. He'd finished with his own drink, nodding slowly once she said what she wanted. Simple, it would do. Fingers catching the edge of another stout glass on a shelf of the hutch, he flipped it to its bottom and poured her a drink the same as his, refilling his own at the same time.

Bourbon whiskey of expensive taste, as if he knew any differently. Feeling eyes on him, his head turned to catch her studious look that had his brows ticking with amusement at her. "Don't worry, darling. This isn't a museum, you can look and touch here," he teased her, turning away from the hutch with both glasses in hand as he made his way to the piano where she sat. "Ambitious? Or is it a part of the prerequisite to the life of having musicians as parents?" He questioned, a smile on his face as he passed off her drink before he took a seat himself beside her on the piano bench.

"Oh good," she commented, tilting her head to glance up at him again, a knowing smirk painting features that were just a little too finely crafted for the expression. She was delicate angles and perfect lighting, but she was also pyramid belts and ripped up fishnets, and something of the miscreant showed through even her most expensive finery. "I've always been one for the hands on experience," her words came at a murmur as one fingertip traced the black a-flat key just above middle c and pressed down. It sounded a sonorous, solemn note that spoke of tragedy or haunted houses, but it made her smile.

"Some of both," she answered his question as he approached. "Mom grew up with practically nothing, so ... I it was kind of a mission of hers to make sure I did all the things she'd wanted to. Dance, theater, music, languages... you name it." Fanning her fingers out, she played a minor chord, first detailing each note on its own and then depressing all three of them at once. It was the sound of a dramatic moment on the silver screen: the moment you see the killer's shoes peeking out from underneath the bedroom curtains. "But from there I wanted to learn everything else, too," she smirked, "Mother wasn't so excited when I demanded drum lessons."

Taking the glass when it was offered, she gave him a nod of thanks, dragging her eyes away from the keys long enough to glance him over again when he sat on the other side of the bench. "Want to play something together?" she asked, and it was difficult to say whether she'd intended it to be suggestive. Maybe Meadow found music itself suggestive.
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wonderlandfill
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 01 Jul 2017
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2006.18 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I have no doubt about that," he admitted softly, watching the particular keys she chose. The contrast within herself, and her upbringing, she was a geode in the making. A perception, perhaps deceiving on the outside, with the rough and raw inside that portrayed more colors than she showed - intentional or not. It was simply a matter of cutting through the layers of society and parental expectation to reach her core. To find the quartz within. The haunting note struck his ears with a note of melancholy, leaving a bittersweet taste on his tongue that had nothing to do with the liquor in his hand. "Mn," he hummed in appreciation for what she'd chosen, that seemed only too fitting for the moment, and for the story she shared.

He listened intently, his head tipping. "Setting aside what others have expected or wanted from you... you seem to have a craving for knowledge. For getting the most out of life you can sink your claws and teeth into," he smiled, eyes closing briefly to the notes that he felt in his core. The harmonious vibration in his stomach, a note you could feel. "But there is a difference between learning and experiencing?" Perhaps a line not often spoken from the Devil. "No amount of books and lessons can prepare you for some things you run into," he chuckled lowly.

He'd taken his seat, lifting his glass to wet his tongue with the liquor that saturated and burned it. Nearly black eyes shifted to her at the question, a lift of his chin in contemplation like there was a hidden meaning behind her words. She seemed to like her mystery, her double meanings, the concept that what seems to be may not be. His lips twitched for that, and he reached to set his glass on top of the piano, his free hand dancing over the white and black keys on his side. "Do you have preference?" A twinkle of challenge in his eyes, his brows ticked. "Don't say, show. I'll take your lead this time," his eyes sparkled. Leaving fate in her hands, leaving him to catch up and fall to the feet of mystery.

"Am I really so transparent?" Asked the girl who wasn't transparent at all, tilting her head to glance up at him beside her. Her smile hinted at those teeth and claws, at a feral jungle animal who already knows how to spring the lock on its gilded cage. "I find most things I run into aren't especially prepared for me, turns out," she answered him in a silky singsong that was part playful challenge, part honest admission. Dozens had fallen into the vast divide between the idea of Meadow Starling and her multifaceted reality.

Bringing his glass to her lips, she sipped from its rim, the fingers of her nearer hand still stroking the expensive ivory keys like some kind of long lost lover. She pressed another flat note, the D this time, as she contemplated what to play. A soft laugh spilled from lips like wine when he challenged her in kind. "I like the way you say that, Austin, this time, like there's definitely going to be some future time, like... you're a man who ever actually gives up the upper hand, even for a second."

Even so, she met him on his level, spilling more expensive liquor into her mouth before she, too, set the glass aside. Long, aristocratic looking fingers flexed and then found their way over the keys, confident and unfaltering as she launched into a melancholy piece of her own composition.

The breach of a smile on his face was easy, inspired by her question. "Hardly, I'm just... intuitive. Or I can simply relate," he admitted with a roll of his shoulder. Dark eyes slid to her with amusement, that devilish smile lingering on his face. "If that's the case... they're hardly worth wasting time on, right? I've learned to never censor or lessen yourself, take me as I am," he hummed, and only wished that could be more true. Taking him as he was however... wasn't quite so easy, and only a few could manage.

"I don't," he told her bluntly. "To give up the upper hand is to leave an opening. So count yourself lucky, darling. The upper hand is yours for the evening. Use it wisely," he spilled loose a distant thunder roll of laughter that quaked from deep within his belly, though with the smile he left her with, it was hard to tell if he was joking or not. "Who knows? I may just like giving it up to you," he raised a brow before he skirted the keys like the curves of a woman, appreciative, admiring, tentative and hardly demure.

He simply waited, set to take her lead. When she kick started the melancholy anthem, his eyes rolled closed and it was none of his recognition. Unheard, unfamiliar, but music to study with a keen ear. The cut of his smile was softer, more slack than tight, and his fingers danced over the keys on his end until he found the ones he was seeking. Countering her melancholy tone with a twinkling of lighter notes to make the melancholy ones sound almost haunting in their nature, light to darkness. The music box pitch to her deeper bass notes, the seasoning to her main course that added just a little more flavor without ruining the underlying harmony. His eyes opened when he got into the flow of the music, letting the feel move from his toes to his fingertips, fluid and gentle in its composition. "This is lovely, is it yours?" He asked softly, like speaking in a library. Too quiet to disturb.

"I still don't believe you," her voice was a cheerful, upbeat singsong that said she wasn't mad about it. "Nobody who tells you they're giving you the upper hand actually ever is." Her gaze cut sidelong at him, and there was a knowing twinkle in that pearly gray skyscape, like this was a secret they were sharing.

The composition she'd chosen, she dropped down an octave, to give him room for whatever he might do with the upper scales. The deeper tones gave it a sonorous, haunting edge, painting the vivid picture of an ancient Victorian house, weathered and withering with age, its long and dusty hallways strewn with cobwebs and ominous shadows. Ace's additions to the piece filled in the ghost that occupied that crumbling space, perhaps doomed to repeat the same tragic tableau over and over for all eternity. Meadow's eyes had closed as each piece of the story gave the other more depth, more context, and a soft, utterly unstructured smile had caught in the corners of her mouth.

Peeling her lashes apart when he spoke, she glanced over at him again, nodding.

The corner of his mouth twitched, a soft tell poised on his lips. "You're intuitive as well, I see..." He hummed, and his eyes flicked to meet hers. Twilight rolling over a grey, cloudy sky, with the occasional glimmer of the blood moon's light flickering, sharing their secrets with her.

Meadow's notes of the haunted home, and his airy apparition wandering the halls, they harmonized without flaw. He caught the nod of her head, bringing a smile to his face that was both appreciative and as raw as their music. Among the cobwebs and ominous shadows, his right hand reached for the further, lighter notes to add wind chimes tinkling in their breezy sway outside, echoing through the vacant halls in their dim sighs. They played through the story's night until sunrise, where the dust settled and the shadows were snuffed out by light filtering through the windows. The end of the ominous night, but foretelling - a warning - of darkness to return.

There, his fingers slid from the smooth surface of keys in a languid decline, his chest expanding and falling in a contented sigh. "It's been years since I've played like that," he murmured, almost nostalgic and cumbersome on the exhale. "Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with me."

It was just the way he saw it, as he did all music. Whether she could relate to the house's vacant halls as he had, the tragic, ghostly apparition stalking through shadows to replay its fate in broken repeat. He'd felt it in his core, deep within where morning's rays couldn't soothe, though it was a lovely notion nonetheless. His hand reached for his abandoned glass, finishing it with the backward tilt of his head before letting the piano's surface claim its hollow structure once more.

Narrowing his eyes as he looked ahead, his lacking concept of time seemed to have made itself known to him again. "... Wasn't there... something... we were going to do?" After playing such a piece, he could hardly remember why they'd come back here, what the plan of the evening was. It had distracted him completely.
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