Discerning Tastes

Participants:

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Scene Title Discerning Tastes
Synopsis In which Kain Zarek attempts to screw Flint Deckard and Nisa Kotecha. Only one of which he does with any margin of success.
Date January 27, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Kain's Penthouse

Right from the doorway the sheer size of this penthouse seems designed to impress. The walls and ceiling are painted in a soft eggshell white that seems to only enlarge the perception of the living space, with lightly-stained hardwood floors reflecting the daylight spilling through the partly closed blinds. Immediately across from the entrance is a raised living room with three shallow steps leading up to the carpeted landing it sits on. A plush white sofa covers one wall, with a long glass-topped table between it and a matching chaise lounge. The entire opposite wall to the side of the sofa is a gigantic window that affords a view of the nighttime skyline of New York. Sliding vertical blinds are drawn drawn closed, but twisted so they remain partly open, giving a slatted view of the New York skyline. Up against the window is a jet black leather sofa with a tall lamp with a ball-shaped shade.

Further into the penthouse, there is a large open kitchen that is in plain view of the sitting room, a black marble-topped island divides the kitchen from the main floor, and beyond the island more counterspace and brushed-metal faced kitchen appliances fill the walls. From here, a hallway can be seen that is lined with four doors; one leading to an office, two more to bedrooms, and another to a bathroom.


"You're more've a wine sorta' lady, right?"

If nothing else, Kain Zarek is a gracious host. He has to be, when calling his legal aid in the hours past six in the evening, when the winter sun has long since set to cast New York into darkness. But from this vantage point, from the rooftop on the fourty-second floor of Dorchester Towers, Kain Zarek's view of New York is anything but dark — an aerial view of glittering yellow in windows of buildings, the red of car tail-lights, and the white flicker of headlights. It is liek the stars in the sky, set to motion amidst snow and concrete, all visible from floor to ceiling windows.

"Me? Ah'm a whiskey kinda' feller." Having lost his tie somewhere in the apartment hours before his guest showed up, Kain's attire is a bit desheveled in appearance, far from the impression he gives both on and off business, in the fleeting time when his guest has seen him lately.

Circling around the bar in his kitchen, Kain carries a lowball glass of whiskey in one hand, and a long-stemmed glass of red wine in the other, "Now what Ah'm thinkin' a talkin' t'you about, ain't somethin' in th' ordinary realm a'mah business." Walking across the apartment, towards the sofa, Kain bends forward, one dark brow raises as he holds out the wine glass. "So, let's talk business, an' hopefully you won't think any wors'a me once we're done here."

Think worse of Kain Zarek? Perish the thought.

It is rare that a client sees Nisha Kotecha in jeans, but one sure-fire way to do it is to call her to a residence long after the offices of Cohen, Johnson, Blume, and Kotecha have closed. But even then the person making that phone call had best be a damned important client to warrant a "house call," as it were. Still, despite her form-fitting jeans and light blue button-up shirt she undoubtedly wore to work today with a blazer, Nisha looks as professional as she can, perched on her client's couch.

She watches him with a steady, critical eye as he pours the drinks, and the expression doesn't lift even when he nears her. She lifts a manicured hand to take the wine with a polite though slightly strained smile. He's on the clock, so it doesn't phase her much at this point what he does. It's Kain's money; let him do what he wishes with it.

"I'm sure it must be terribly important," Nisha comments almost idly as she feigns taking a sip of the wine, which is assuredly of very fine quality. It takes her a moment to formulate a response that can be construed as being directed at her client's last comment.

"Please, continue."

"Not really." Kain deadpans, sinking down onto the couch, leaning back against the cushions as he crosses one leg over the other, taking a sip of his whiskey. "There's somethin' lawyers and hookers got in common — they both charge by the hour." He smirks at his own crude joke, stubbled face contorting as his lips draw back into that expression. "You just got high rates, darlin'."

Swirling his glass around with a clunking clatter of the ice inside, Kain's eyes flick from his drink towards Nisha. "Alright, so here's the carrot on the stick. Ah've got some business goin' on with one'a your clients, James Muldoon." As he says the name, Kain's head tilts away from Nischa's direction, eyes going half lidded as he lazily stares at his whiskey.

"Part'a this business, it's gonna' involve… well, it boils down t'bookie work." There's a shallow nod accompanying the explanation, "Somethin' we're runnin' down on Staten Island. Now what Ah'm shootin' for, is t'cover mah ass legally should this really dirty laundry get aired, if'n y'get me?" Sipping his drink again between words, Kain motions with it towards Nisha again after he's finished. "The other issue, is Ah'm gonna be payin' you doubletime. Need t'cover mah ass, an' right now Ah'm sportin double the normal sets of cheeks." A poet, Kain is not.

A smile curls onto Nisha's face at Kain's words like a cat stretching in a growing beam of sunlight. She turns her head to watch him out of the corner of her eye, her arm laid across her knee and hand slowly swirling the glass of wine. She props the other arm on the arm of the couch, an index finger held vertically against her temple while she rubs her chin with a curled middle.

Of course she won't tell him the irony of the situation and that half of her work is more than likely already done for her. She won't even ask why it's taken him this long to get involved with this 'certain business opportunity' or to see representation concerning it. Nisha only smiles, and after a moment she lifts her glass to take a real sip from the wine, letting her eyes close as the distinct taste floats over her tongue. "It's not uncommon for men in such situations to want as much protection as possible, if they should find themselves in a less than comfortable situation," Nisha remarks with the rigid poise of her profession. "I'm perfectly capable of minding your affairs in this matter, given the appropriate information."

"Ain't gonna just be mah affairs, sunshine." Kain drains a thirds of his drink with his eyes closed, and as he brings the glass back from his lips his lanky legs unfold, and he leans forward, forearms resting across his knees, glass held with fingertips around the lip. "Like Ah' said, an extra pair a'cheeks." Dark brows raise at the statement, as if she were really supposed to defer some meaning from it. "Ah've got a business partner, ol' bastard named Flint Deckard. He's got a laundry list'a shit runnin' on him right now, an' the FBI's got some heat leveled at 'em too." Kain's head tilts to the side, stringy blonde bangs brushing across his forehead.

"What Ah' need you t'do," He motions up with his glass, "Is keep my associations with Flint out'a the legal eye. If the Rookery goes down, Flint Deckard's mah fall-guy, an' Ah want it t'seem like all'a it was his plan, which means when you represent him legally, should things go pear shaped, you represent him poorly."

There's a thin smile creeping across Kain's lips at this, and while Deckard has his uses, the greatest one is as a patsy. "Now Ah'm not too worried about Tweedle-Dum or Tweedle-Dee turnin' me in if their operation goes up in smoke, but Ah' am worried about Flint singin' like a songbird the moment someone twists his nips the wrong way." Settling his glass down on the table near the couch, Kain leans back against the cushions again, blue eyes finally drifting back to Nisha. "This somethin' you can do?"

"You realize that you're putting me at risk, asking for this?" That smile is gone from Nisha's face, replaced by a raised eyebrow and the faintest frown. She holds her glass between herself and Kain now, swishing its contents once more. "If I should have to represent this Deckard, and he goes before a judge…even assuming I stay within the boundaries of every word on the books, I could potentially lose my job." Partnerships are hard enough to come by, and even harder for a woman as young as Nisha in a field as competitive as hers.

As if the words containing such a personal fear and opinion were simply smoke, Nisha straightens and waves her free hand to dissipate them while they hang in the air. She stands and takes another sip of her wine, tucking her other hand in her pocket as she moves away from Kain and the couch, deep in thought. Deckard could be useful. She'd originally planned to use…but perhaps Kain has it right. "You needn't worry," she finally says, lips pursed as she studies the swirling wine. "Though it would be nice if your little goat were to learn how to avoid falling off the mountain."

Kain laughs, a rough and hoarse sound as he stares at his empty glass, then finds far more appealing targets of his attention as Nisha wanders away from the couch, blue eyes tracking her movement away. "He's a pretty dumb goat," he adds after the laugh, "But Ah'm payin' you well enough t'make the risks worth your while. Ah make enough here t'keep you on the payroll for a long time, not to mention supplimentary cash from th' Staten Island job." Kain too rises from the couch, leaving his glass behind as he lazily wanders along the same path Nisha had, moving to intercept the woman.

"Now, Ah' know that look." Kain's voice drops, quieting as he stops a few feet from her, eyes narrowing as his assessment of his lawyer turns a bit more critical and slightly less lecherous. "You got somethin' stirrin' in that noggin' a yours…" Kain pauses, raising his free hand to motion towards her head with one extended finger. "Wanna share?"

Nisha's next words ride out on a sigh, and she looks up at Kain as if she were incredibly bored all of a sudden. "Tell me, Mister Zarek, do you ever ask a chef how he prepares a certain dish?" Assuming that that answer will be enough to satisfy or at least thwart her client, Nisha returns her gaze to her wine, then takes another, longer sip from the glass.

"It's none of my business really," she continues, lifting her free hand to make a slightly shrugging, palm-up gesture of nonchalance, "but I do hope you have a good CPA on that payroll of yours. And a friendly girl from the Dagger."

"Can't blame a man for askin'." With a flash of a smile, Kain shrugs his shoulders and circles around Nisha, eyes drifting up and down her for a moment before he makes his way back to the bar. "Ah've got a pretty good accountant," he admits, fingers dancing across the top of bottles until he settles on the rum, pulling it up from amidst the othrs with a clink of glass. "Mah line'a legitimate work" if it can be called that "sorta' requires one."

Unstoppering the bottle, Kain fills up a new glass with a half inch of the dark amber-colored alcohol, leaving the bottle uncapped as he rests his hip against the bar. "As far as the girls from the Dagger go, well, Ah' don' mind ladies that bite, but Logan's girls…" He gives an awkward shake of his head, "They got shark teeth." Whatever the hell that means. "Ah'm a bit more discernin' than that anyway," he rolls the glass of rum around in one hand, looking from it to Nisha, "Flint, well… If it's got legs he'll — No Ah'm pretty sure she wouldn't even need legs t'get Flint's attention."

"So long as you have a legitimate place to be, should Logan's little Rome start to burn." Nisha takes to pacing about the penthouse, alternating between sipping and swirling her wine as she thinks and not giving a moment's thought to Kain's lewd demeanor. "It might not hurt to introduce Deckard to the girls there," she ponders aloud. "Since his tastes are so eclectic. I'm sure he'd appreciate it." That is, of course, assuming Deckard hasn't found them himself.

Nisha comes to rest behind the couch, leaning against its back and folding her arms across her chest and still swirling the remnants of her wine. "Shall I call on him tomorrow, or wait until next week?"

Kain smirks, giving a slow shake of his head, "First thing Ah' did when hirin' him was advertise booze an' hookers. Kind've a sellin' point for everythin' dirty an' gritty." Then, regarding more business-oriented questions, Kain's demeanor shifts slightly, and he downs the glass of rum in one prolonged swallow. "Up t'you," he gasps out, smacking his lips. "His number's in the file on the table," Kain nods to a manilla envelope, "Along with all'a his details Ah' could grab for ya — criminal record, list of family, all'a that." If one thing Kain is, aside from lecherous, it's thourough.

"Now…" Moving around the island again with his drink, Kain follows Nisha's path much like a lost puppy would, or perhaps a bloodhound that's caught a particularly interesting scent. Seeing her perched behind the couch, the large picture window at her back, Kain maneuvers on a direct approach towards the lawyer, using the sofa as a barricade between the two, at least until he leans forward over it, peering down at his legal-eagle. "Ah' think Ah've got enough booze in here t'have enough fun you should be disbarred for it." Cracking a smile, Kain shifts one dark brow up questioningly, propositioning his own legal advice.

Because he's Kain, and this is how Kain works.

Even in the face of a slavering dragon of sorts, Nisha remains calm. She stares at Kain levelly, the only markers of discomfort being the stillness of the glass in her hand and a slight pursing of her lips. "I'd like to remain in your employ," she finally says cooly, arching her eyebrows whilst the remainder of her face screams out her lack of amusement, "just as I would not like to waste this wine by cooling you off with it."

Tilting her head upward, Nisha fashions a thin smile. She knows it's thin, but perhaps that's the beauty of it. "If you've nothing else to discuss?"

Rolling his tongue across the inside of his cheek, Kain's features go somewhat slack, exhaling a slow sigh out through his nose as he leans back and away from the sofa, both brows raising as he gives a nod of recognition to his defeat, meandering a few steps away from the sofa as he cranes his head to one side, regarding Nisha over his shoulder. "Nah, Ah' think that about ended the night," He notes with a soured tone of voice, though there's mild amidsement found in the way she closed everything up all nice and tidy.

"Yeah now…" Kain's nose wrinkles, and he nods towards the frosted glass doors that lead to the elevator.

"Drink your wine an' get out."

Ever the charmer.


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January 27th: Cantankerous And Aloof
Previously in this storyline…
Discreetly

Next in this storyline…
Catch of the Day

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January 27th: The Night Before Normandy
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