Underscore

Participants:

abbot_icon.gif evan_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif kendall_icon.gif ling_icon.gif logan_icon.gif marie_icon.gif

melissa_icon.gif montague_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif roderick_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif tess_icon.gif

Scene Title Underscore
Synopsis The opening of d'Sarthe's is an evening of making connections. It is also one of the grandest displays of impolite society.
Date September 24, 2010

d'Sarthe's

The original property in being turned into d'Sarthe's has not changed much from its Tavern days. New interior and new decor, for the most part, has taken over, while the outside has been spruced up heavily so. Around the far back perimeter is a new fence, a tall and sturdy arbor that does well with the trees in hiding the skeletal view of midtown in the distance. This fence surrounds new, colorful gardens, which include a well-stocked koi pond that seems to be perpetually layered in lovely green lily pads.

On the inside of the building, the restaurant is home to several different large dining rooms and a few respective bar areas. The dining rooms have variant menus, and so there is always something for someone; from fine French dining to a more homegrown menu in one of the smaller parts of the building. The finer areas are finely colored and detailed in a practical way; intricacy is counted more than worth, and so it gives a visible show of being more complex than it had cost. Some are more opulent, such as the private dining rooms decked in their Sunday Best. Even the less dressed dining rooms are very easy on the eyes, however, most of the rooms also being offset by large windows to views of the outside, to the park and to the span of gardens and large pond, and the tall, vine covered arbor.

D'Sarthe's has a peaceful flow to it, and a very natural feel, especially to how it is laid out and to how the facility has been remodeled since its yonder years. There are no inner public rooms where it feels as if you are not going to be welcome, or otherwise unwanted. It feels exactly how a restaurant should feel; comfortable, not stuffy- as if you simply belong there.


With the soft opening far behind, and only the future ahead, d'Sarthe's has been bedecked in its finest for the grand opening event. Warm electric light makes the intricate, expensive d├ęcor pop- from the entrance, with its cloaked, dazzling walkway, all the way through to the still green gardens, lanterns as baubles on the landscape. Dining rooms have been swept with a palette of gold and cream, and the pond glitters like a mirror in the background of the many detailed, wrought iron tables set on the flattened, stone surface. The ambiance is classy, to say the least; as formal as it can be, given the situation.

Inside of the cleared out main dining room is a stage, set up at the fore of the half-moon of windows that look out onto the grounds. The stage, cloaked in lights and curtains, offers a most welcoming sight of a live, miniature orchestra; while the wear and environment formal, the music is modern and classy enough; there is the unmistakable facet of something more Baroque to it. The floor is empty, polished and shimmering under the large chandelier and the lamps dotting the walls.

Two of the smaller dining rooms have been set up with various bars and buffets and double doors open to the main room, which are at a constant state of shuffle as per cooks bringing out fresh hors d'oeuvres and new bottles. There is a similar set-up in the middle of the gardens, providing any and all with refreshments.


Marie d'Sarthe, the de-facto hostess of the evening, nearly matches the backdrop in such a way in that she appears to have come right out of the decorations; her taffeta gown is the same dainty cream as the hung curtains, a ruffle of flowers over the single shoulder strap. It is about as ostentatious as she can get, wearing taffeta peonies on her chest and tiny pearls on her wrists. She has put herself to the task of managing both the music and the food, as perhaps a test for herself, and a show to her father that she can truly assist in such matters. All of the pastries and sweets on the tables inside happen to be her own recipes; no better way to test them than in real time, though she did not exactly ask permission. Marie is allowed one or two faults, surely.

The gala has only just begun, by the time she is personally able to join; long enough to have welcomed a great many guests into the bustle of the hall, and shortly enough that there are still many arriving. Marie can be found near the door, for the time being, greeting faces that she knows, and faces that she has yet to know at all. For her part, Gideon's daughter is an excellent hostess.

While this is totally not the sort of deal that Kendall would go to normally, Melissa has decided that she's not going alone. He's not quite a date, but when Melissa walks into the room she's making sure that he won't bolt. She pauses just out of the doorway, dressed in a simple black dress that's just a column of fabric and two thin straps.

She glances to Kendall and smiles faintly. "Just remember…behave. You do that, I don't care if you snatch a glass or two of champagne. And no more freaking anyone else out, okay?" she asks, smiling. "Other than that, just enjoy yourself. You might even see someone you know."

Kendall is sulking. One, he doesn't want to be here to begin with. Two, he was forced to endure four hours of shopping. Three, he has to behave. And four… he NEEDS to be playing that new video game that came out while he was 'dead'. He's 16 days late with it already!! "Can we at least leave early?" Kendall is appropriately dressed, hair all snazzily done up by Raquelle, and not enjoying it one bit.

Absolutely decked to the nines for the Grand Opening of d'Sarthe's, Montague Bonaventure is a sight to behold. Wearing a tuxedo-cut suit in silver and gray, with cream highlighting, he simultaneously blends in with the fashion of high society while making his own presence known. His hair is mussy, in a styled way, his hands neatly gloved in white.

He is in no hurry to enter the ballroom proper, hanging around the entrance in order to pay his respects to the hostess. Marie's hand is taken and kissed lightly on the knuckles, a thin smile tugging at Monty's lips as he leans back up. "Thank you for the invitation to such a lovely affair. If you need anything, anything at all.. don't hesitate to ask."

Of course, Melissa could have simply come with Ling, who made plans to attend this evening ever since the "soft" opening several weeks prior. Then again, with how that might reflect on either of them, it was perhaps for the best. The Chinese woman is dressed much more formally than she was at the previous event, rather than her casual black dress, she wears a formal, sleek and slender fitting? black dress, one that reaches all the way down to the floor. The clatter of black heels is audible as she walks, her hair down long, jewel adorned earrings dangling from her ears.

"I would prefer if you didn't," Ling replies from behind Kendall, shaking her head. "Returning home without a ride is taxing. I would rather not have to make it back on my own." And clearly, she has no intention of leaving the affair early unless she absolutely has to.

Savannah Burton actually likes these kind of events. Well, to be honest, she has a love-hate relationship with these events. She enjoys dressing up, looking classy, the champagne and conversation… and hates the awkwardness of social cliques and some of the personalities of people who do show up at parties like this. Stepping inside, dressed in a Burberry gown of silver and black with a pretty necklace to go with it, she's optimistic. Things would be much better if Kam was here, but she can only hope he shows up late, if at all. He's a busy man, after all! Much busier than her.

She steps aside, out of the way, but still lingering in the doorway for the opportunity to chat with the hostess. In the meantime, she hunts down a glass of champagne, and quite happily begins to sip at it. Champagne always makes parties better.

Nicole Nichols lives for events like this. A chance to see and be seen. She is of the opinion that she can learn a lot about a person by the way they conduct themselves at functions like these. Though tonight… Her heart just isn't quite in it. Still, she's all gracious smiles as she makes her way into the main dining room of d'Sarthe's on the arm of Roderick Sweeney.

She had to apologise about the heels. It's just that she'd picked her dress before the event, you see. And if she'd known she was going to attend with Roderick, well, she'd have picked a gown she could have worn flats with. Nicole's frame is made long and sleek by a gown of soft grey and other muted, earthier tones that make up a rich snakeskin pattern. Halter-necked and floor-length, it has a train that drapes behind her still. It would have been far too long without the three inch grey satin heels on her feet.

Nicole's dark hair has been curled and pinned up, fresh highlights streaking blue in the expanse of dark chocolate. On either side of her face, electric blue curls against her cheek, giving her a softer look. Highlights are the ultimate accessory. Though the glittering tiara pinned in place in her hair and her tasteful tennis bracelet certainly don't go unnoticed.

He's rather uncomfortable, a finger tugging at the collar of his shirt with a grimace. Roderick Sweeney for once in his life is cleaned up and looking nice. The black suit he's wearing has a dark gray-green shirt and a nice silky black tie, is not something that anyone would ever see him in outside of functions like this. He also knew he might make people a touch pissed dressing in his idea of a suit, so can't say he isn't accommodating.

In someways, he's still not perfect, his nails still have black, a few fingers with silver rings. His hair is neater, but still a bit shaggy, and of course he's still got that short scruffiness that doesn't really have enough hair for a beard. He looks like he just plain didn't bother to shave the past few days.

At least he's got the suit on and his shoes shine.

"So tell me a bit about this bloke?" He murmurs to his companion, as he straightens the noo— tie around his neck, a little awkward of a movement with her arm tucked in his elbow. "I know a lot of you have met 'im." Roddy hasn't been around all this yet, having missed the soft opening for whatever reason. "I haven't yet done it." Blue eyes roam over the crowded ballroom curiously. "I'm thinkin' tho' a drink is in order."

Marie is used to being greeted in the same way that Montague offers, but personally, she'd pass on people actually kissing her hands if she could. She nods her head once to the young man at her fingertips, stray curls from her updo tickling and bobbing around her neck. Green eyes, tonight, are especially animate.

"I'm sure that if I think of something, I'll make sure you know." Marie's small, wistful smile is enough to let Montague know that she is telling the truth, though to what degree is left in the air as she allows him to move on so that she can see to others coming in. If he wants to stick like a burr, that is totally his choice. Savannah gets an almost second glance as she comes in just after Montague; Marie does her best not to hurry through the people between them, and when she gets to miss Burton, she offers both hands for a rather close handshake.

"Goodness, what luck of mine. Hello, miss Burton." Savannah probably knows that tone of voice- she's got a fan.

Kendall gets a smile and shrugs from Melissa. "We'll see. But Ling is right. We can't abandon her here. And if you think you've leaving by yourself you're freakin' nuts." But she grins to soften her words. "Now come on. Let's mingle. I even promise not to get trashed on champagne! We might even see people we know."

Kendall shoves his hands in his pockets. "I could go home by myself, easy. It's not like there's any possibility that I'd get mugged on the way home. I'd be perfectly safe, no one would even see me." Ling is glanced at. "Walking is good for you." he smirks, then regards her clothes and footwear. "Well, maybe not in that." he amends with another shrug. "Women are crazy." he mutters to no one in particular.

Montague's lips are at least very soft when they dust over Marie's knuckles, his own grayish blue eyes twinkling alight with mirth. "Well, please do. Anything." He offers a parting wink to the hostess before he moves on, not wishing to hang around and interrupt the process of greeting.

That is, however, until he hears Marie turn her attention to Savannah. He turns his body to see as he nabs a glass of fine champagne from a roaming waiter. A grin begins to tug at his lips before he sips from the glass, letting the fingers of his other hand drum lightly on his hips. "Hmm," he murmurs to no one in particular, "This evening may be worthwhile after all."

"Walking is not exactly the issues," Ling replies dryly, retrieving a glass of champagne from a passing waitress. It wasn't exactly her type of drink, but it is the drink of high society parties, and she had learned to tolerate it long ago. This part of the party, at least, was full of far fewer familiar faces than the last time she had been here - something that is, admittedly, a bit of a relief to Ling. Tonight isn't a night she's sure she feels like dealing with Kain Zarek, among others.

"If you see a familiar face, Melissa, it may be time to leave," Ling cautions as she looks at the back of the other woman's head, before turning and scanning to see who else is among the crowd this evening - and to see if there is, indeed, familiar face swimming somewhere among them.

In case, of course, she needs to do exactly what she just instructed Melissa.

Savannah's used to fans, and she never quite gets tired of them. She lights up as Marie speaks, shaking her hand in return. "The luck's mine. This is a lovely event. You're doing quite the job as hostess. I'd be terribly nervous hosting something like this. I think I make a much better guest." Her champagne is sipped delicately, and Montague is noted out of the corner of her eye. She gives him a slight nod should she catch his glance.

"This bloke is as close to competition as we've seen in a long time," Nicole hisses to Roderick with a fixed smile. She's honestly not that keen about moving through this receiving line. "You go ahead and shake hands with the lady," a nod is given toward Marie, "who happens to be d'Sarthe's daughter, so please keep that in mind when you call her a pretty bird or whatever it is you're going to feel like tossing out as a compliment." Her tone is teasing, but there may be something a bit more serious about the sentiment.

"I need champagne," Nicole mutters, gently extracting herself from Roderick, but not departing until she's fixed his tie up a bit. Loosened it, but straightened it. "There you go." And with a soft smile, she's stepping out of the line and making a bee line for the closest waiter.

Maybe Evan would have fared better if he'd been in line himself, instead of milling around on his own and trying to get a feel for the crowd. Who's that woman over there that Marie's fangirling over? No one he recognizes, at any rate. (Sorry.) Turning at the last second, he spots Nicole just in time to press against the nearest wall and get out of her way.

Richard Cardinal is fashionably late this evening; he was expecting to have a little longer to prepare for this, but he didn't have the time to do more than shower and catch up on vital intel reports before heading over. He'd just gotten back from nineteen-ninety two this afternoon, after all.

Sometimes he wonders what normal people do every day. He's pretty sure it's not what he does.

In a direct contrast to the fashion disaster that he showed up at d'Sarthe's, he's looking sharp today in a dark business suit, a fedora lifted carefully from the crown of his head as he steps it and flipped easily in his hand as he looks around the room in casual contemplation of the attendees, the hint of a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips.

There is uncertainty at the information, "Really?" He murmurs, his gaze studies the daughter curiously. Roderick is thoughtful, almost reluctant about greeting the daughter, but… it's the proper thing to do right? Hell if he knows.

Nicole does receive a flat look as she messes with his tie, suffering in silence. "Well… if you're gonna leave me for somethin' like that, make sure you grab me one, yeah?" He flashes her a toothy grin before she leaves him alone there. Oh dear. His focus drops on Marie, and he takes a deep breath and murmurs to himself as he starts that way, "Just real quick like… like ripping off a bandaid, then you can find a drink and start to take the edge off the boredom."

When Roderick finds himself in front of d'Sarthe's daughter, Roderick gives her a bright smile. "Well, what a pleasure it is to meet a lovely girl as yourself. I've heard about your father from some of my co-worker." The Brit starts pleasantly, trying to watch his words. He offers a hand to her as he bows his head a little to Marie. "So I thought I might I introduce myself. Name's Roderick Sweeney."

Marie's smile is bigger as she speaks with Savannah, which itself is a wonder. Her expressions are always so delicately put, and even a moderate smile is nearly unheard of. "This is all that I have ever done, I am quite used to it. This one is my graduation, so to speak, so I do hope you enjoy yourself here." When Marie's hands float back to herself, they hover, waiting, at the front of her dress. She does not have to wait too long before someone else is there to take Savannah's place. Though of course Marie has a moment of curiosity when Roderick introduces himself, she does her best not to comment on his ..interesting date, instead taking his hand in her own, the pearls on her wrist shifting smoothly.

"Have you now?" When they say that it usually means something that Marie would rather not be in on. Her voice is as airy as she tends to be, plucky in its manners. "It's a pleasure, mister Sweeney. Are you here for your company, tonight, or is this a social event for you?"

"So are men," Melissa says to Kendall, grinning at him. "And maybe, Ling, but not all familiar faces are unfriendly ones. They could be friends. Abby could be here, or Delia or someone," she says with a shrug. A pause, and she nods towards Nicole. "Or the sister of a friend. Remember Colette? That's her sister Nicole."

Kendall shrugs at Melissa. "Women are impossible to figure out." so says the 17 year old as if he knows all there is to know about life. When Melissa mentions Colette, Kendall sniggers and takes a look at Nicole. Wonder if she'd freak out at a skeleton too?

As Marie is soon busied by other hands to take and people to greet, Montague is there to swoop in and occupy Savannah. Though she had nodded at him, he deftly disappeared into the crowd only to reappear behind her like some sort of social ninja. He hooks his arm around hers, offering her a warm smile.

"My dear Miss Burton, I dare say you look absolutely stunning tonight. Who knew there was such a lovely woman behind the most revered series of books about Evolved affairs?" He takes a sip of his champagne, intending to lead her out and into the party proper. "Please, I do beg you to keep me company."

Ling hasn't drifted too far from Melissa when she hears her mention Nicole, the Chinese woman looking back at Melissa, following her gaze out to where she sees Nicole, a bit of a snicker of her own escaping. "I wasn't aware that Ms. Nichols had a sister," Ling remarks dryly. So there was someone she knew here, if only in a secondary sense. No real concern to her-

Concern is saved for when she spots Richard Cardinal, a scowl forming on her face. Not that she's distressed to see the other man, it just- wasn't the venue she had been expecting another meeting between them to occur. In fact- Ling takes a step back, turning her head to Melissa. "Someone is here that may or may not bode ill."

Savannah smiles warmly to Marie as she heads off to greet more guests, her champagne sipped only to find Montague taking her arm. "Thank you. I'm quite fond of this dress myself. You look rather charming yourself." She does raise an eyebrow, which is followed of the raising of her lips in a grin. "Most revered books about Evolved affairs? Now that's quite the praise. I didn't know I was so talented. Or my books revered. I should hurry up with my next." She glances around, letting Montague lead her. "I could use the company. Always nice to have a familiar face around."

On the other hand, Cardinal does know the other Nichols girl, and upon spotting her there across the room leaving off fussing with Roderick's tie and moving towards a waiter, his lips purse in a thin line for a moment. Well, maybe she's forgottne him. It's always a possibility. The fedora's slipped back on, the better to disguise himself as someone upstanding, and he drifts through the crowd at a casual stroll.

Before too long he ends up emerging from the crowd not far from Ling, Melissa and Kendall, his chin lifting up in a little bit of a nod. "Ling," he greets casually, "Melissa. Didn't expect to see you two here…"

Grab one for him? Oh no. The boys can get away with holding two flutes of champagne when they're fetching for their dates, but Nicole is not about to — Well, okay, once she's had a couple glasses, then she'll be more than willing to walk around with a glass of champagne in each hand. But until then, Roderick will just have to snatch from a passing tray like the rest of the party.

Nicole takes a brief sip and lets her eyes scan the room. No sign of John Logan or his little blonde date. … Right, she has a name. Tess. No sign of Tess. But then her gaze settles on Richard Cardinal and her posture stiffens. She recognises him from the soft opening.

But really, Richard, did you hope to be so lucky? Nicole put the pieces together two nights ago and woke up in a cold sweat when she realised where else she recognised him from. As soon as she can catch Roderick's eye, she's motioning him over with an urgent crook of her finger, keeping an eye on the knot of people Cardinal's conversing with. And she recognises the two women there as well. Great.

"A li'l of both, I suppose." Roderick says with a friendly smile as he holds her hand, warm in his for only a moment longer. "Not normally my sorta thin', honestly." Even in a suit he looks a bit out of place in it. This former-thief doesn't do fancy. "But, sometimes it's nice to try somethin' a li'l out of your element." Blue eyes appraise her briefly. "Besides, my friend needed an escort, so…" Who was he to argue?

His hand drops away, not lingering or anything, as he does offer, "I won' keep you from your other guests, Miss d'Sarthe." He's itching to get his hands on something to drink, not to mention trying to be good around the owner's daughter. It's tough.

Of course, just over the girl's shoulder he spots first Nicoles beckoning and beyond that Richard Cardinal, and his whole expression changes to one of pure amusement. Ooo! Evenin' won't be so bad after all. "And I do believe I see someone I must go say hello to." He gives another bow of his head with a bright smile to the young lady, even as a foot shifts in Nicole's direction. "Good evening to you, lovely lady." Okay… well, it was better then it could have been.

If Roderick was getting a scorecard, it would read at least 'eight'. Marie seems appreciative of his attempts at being civil, despite what purpose he is here for. Perhaps it was his insinuation about business that has put her off of shaking many more hands; the next break in people filing in, Marie smoothes her skirt and moves away from the front of the dining room and out to locate something that looks like a full glass of wine. She'll find one, eventually, but for now she has been abruptly absorbed in trying to not think about what other kinds of unsavories floating around the gala. Knowing her father, too many for her fair tastes.

Someone? Melissa's glancing around until Cardinal shows up and says hi. She's unsure how to react at first, so there's a moment of silence before she puts on a smile. "Richard. It's mutual. I didn't exect to see you here either," is said in a neutral tone. She doesn't do the polite thing though, and introduce Kendall. Too protective of him at the moment, maybe? She is sticking pretty close.

Dressed in a pale brocade gown just a touch darker than the pale blonde of her hair, Daphne steps into the gardens, eyes flitting here and there in search of the diamond necklace she's supposed to nab for an employer — no such luck. She wonders if she can go ask someone with a guest list if the party is even present — she knows the woman by face and she knows the necklace by carat size and design, but it's like finding a needle in a haystack.

Dark eyes follow upon Kendall and they widen. With little regard for protocol, Daphne zips to Melissa and Kendall's side and peers at Kendall, then reaches out to pinch his arm. "Are you real?"

Kendall sees some guy starting a conversation with Melissa and Ling, and he turns towards Melissa. "Friend of yours?" he asks her. He's looking a little suspicious; after all, the kinds of people that both Melissa and Ling know turn out to be weirdos of some sort, ranging from just 'weird' to 'psychotic', though so far very few of the latter. Which totally explains the current list of houseguests at their home in Staten. And SPEAKING of weirdos…. "OW!" he yelps, rubbing his arm and scowling at Daphne. "There's easier ways to find that out than dealing me bodily damage!"

"That isn't really necessary, is it? I always look charming." And oh so modest. Montague heads through the throngs of people, eyeing others up while delibaretly avoiding the gaze of others. "Yes, you should hurry with your next book.. though I hope you don't hurry so much you hurt your writing. That wouldn't be very good at all."

Montage actually downright snickers at a couple as he passes them by, causing the man to turn and look confused before shaking his head at his partner. "You couldn't have a better familiar face to keep you company," Montage flashes Savannah a charming smile just as his phone goes off. "I'm going to have to take this, I'm afraid. Urgent. If you'll excuse me, beautiful?"

"Richard." Ling replies rather flatly. She looks at Melissa and nods, returning her gaze to Cardinel. "I do technically have a job, still," Ling notes. She thinks, at least. She has been sort of MIA for a good two months before she reappeared in the city. Regardless, much like her first trip to d'Sarthe's, she does have a purpose harkening back to work she has neglected for far too long. "However loose such a definition may be. I am surprised to see you here as well, Cardinal." Daphne zipping by has Ling glancing back towards Kendall, and then to the pixie haired speedster. "I still have my doubts," she remarks back to them - one of Ling's poor attempts at a joke that rears it's head oh-so-rarely.

Arms fold across her chest, and Ling eyes Richard. "We should speak about private matters soon, Richard." A vague statement, but Richard - and Melissa - should both know exactly what it is she means. "Perhaps with a guest." A head tilt is given in Melissa's direction.

Cardinal brings one shoulder up in a slow shrug, admitting with a splay of his hands to either side, "…you know how it goes. I've got business associates here, I'm sort of required to put in an appearance. Trust me, after the past day or two I'd rather be kicked back on a couch with a bag of potato chips, to be honest…" Then there's a speedster that darts through, and he's given a moment's pause to react and place the woman's name, "Evening, Daphne."

Back to Ling - with a glance to Melissa - he nods once ever so slightly, "There's been progress. I still need to talk business with you actually. Unrelated to, you know, the other stuff."

When Roderick rejoins her, Nicole reclaims his arm and leans in next to him to nod her head toward Cardinal. "You know him?" she asks in a hushed voice, keeping her eyes looking elsewhere. "I've seen him around before, but I don't think I've ever caught his name."

"Of course. Can't interrupt business with pleasure," Savannah smiles warmly, giving Montague a smile as she finishes her glass of champagne, depositing it with a waiter as she snatches another. Ah, the perks of a classy place. She goes back to sipping, casually making her way through the room to see if there are any more familiar faces.

"Oh… Aye, I do." There is a hint of suppressed mirth in Roderick's softly spoken answer, a toothy grin on his lips. "That would be the one, wee Tess was talkin' about. You know… Dad number 2?" His head turns enough where he can give Nicole a knowing looks, that mischievous glint there. She should starts to worry now.

That grin grows brighter as Roddy approaches Richard and his group, with Nicole on his arm, but blue eyes land on the shadow man. "Hallo, there." He gives each one in the group a glance. "I hope we're not interruptin' anythin'?"

When Daphne just sort of appears there, Melissa blinks, then grins. She's getting too used to speedsters, what with living with one and being friends with Daphne. "He's real. I'll tell you all about it another time, Daphne. Though you probably won't believe it. Ling didn't, not at first." She looks at Ling and smirks a little. "Don't forget the club," she reminds, before nodding at the mention of a chat with Cardinal. "Indeed."

Back to Daphne, offering the speedster a hug. "Very long story. and not at all suited to conversation here," she murmurs while hugging the woman. "Too many ears. But come by sometime." As she leans back she glances at Roderick and Nicole, giving the former a polite smile, and the latter a slightly warmer one. "Hi Nicole."

"Well, it was either you or me, and I bruise easy, Sharkbait. Glad to see you, though," Daphne says, reaching up to pinch his cheeks this time instead, like a great aunt might. For all her tantrums and crutch-throwing while they were ill at the Den together, she seems sincere. After Melissa explains, Daphne turns to glance at Ling and Melissa and Cardinal, realizing she's walked into important terrorist talk.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt or anything," she apologizes a little late, then nods to Cardinal, then to the entrance to the restaurant proper. "There's some girl inside who is wondering if you'll be her sugar daddy or something, I didn't quite catch it. I didn't catch her name, but she's John Logan's date, if you know him." The speedster is a font of useful information tonight.

"Business?" Now, Ling sounds intensely curious, her attention focused undivided upon Cardinal. "What sort of… business?" If it is truly unrelated to other matters, then Ling is a bit at a loss for what he could be speaking of, unless it's Linderman related, in which case he doesn't have the best person for any such endeavours. "I can only imagine a few other thing would wish to speak to be about, Richard. Perhaps we can arrange a meeting?" Anything else she ahs to say falls aside as Roderick makes his presence known, Ling's eyes falling on him with a small glint of menace trapped with in - yes, in fact, he did interrupt something.

"What."

Richard just sort of stares at the speedster for a moment as if he understood the words that she was saying but not the order that she was putting him in. Then, of course, Roderick and Nicole are joining them, and a headache begins to form somewhere behind his right eye. He's momentarily nostalgic for crazy one-eyed women trying to kill him.

At least he can shoot at Kira St. Croix.

"Just stop by the office at some point…" An absent answer to Ling, one hand raising to rub at the side of his neck as he turns then to greet with a fake smile the other two, "Roderick. Nicole. Good evening."

Nicole offers a polite smile as she approaches with her gallant escort. "Melissa, right? Nice to see you again." When Daphne mentions John Logan and his date Tess, she straightens up to her full height - which is almost six feet in those heels she's wearing. She takes in a deep breath and indulges in a generous sip of champagne. At least she knows he's here now. She resists the urge to crane her neck in the direction she suspects he'd enter from.

Returning her mind to what's going on in front of her, Nicole moves her hand from the crook of Roderick's arm, her smile turning a little frosty as her gaze settles on Cardinal. "I don't think we've been properly introduced." She extends her hand out toward the man. "Nice to put a name to the face, Mister Richard Cardinal."

Annnd Daphne sliding in there like the quick little bunny she is throws Roderick off his train of thought, after a moment of recovery, he says, "Actually… It's not sugar daddy. More like her second daddy — You didn't tell me —" Roderick focuses on Cardinal then, " — you bad boy you — that you and Kainy-boy had a thin' goin'. Not exactly, the man's type, with all the wrong bits." Yes, that is laughter teasing at the edges of his words. "But… that's tha word goin' around." He'll spare Logan and not say who is spreading such a vicious lie. "So… when you see 'im congratulate him on his baby girl."

Glancing at Nicole, he chuckles. "Sounds like she didn' believed you, Nicky, if she's still goin' around like that." A glance goes to Cardinal and gives him an amused look, "She's a cute li'l thin', I definitely recommend checkin' her out." His brows quirk up a little as he says that. Not the smartest thing he's said with someone on his arm. Especially, when that someone is Nicole.

"You're not interrupting, Daph. You can stay," Melissa assures the other blonde with a smile. "And yes, it's Melissa. How's your sister?" she asks Nicole. Then she's blinking and looking at Cardinal, head tilting. "Huh. From the way you were hitting on goth chicks in my club, I figured you were totally straight."

Too many people. She didn't expect most of the people in New York that she knows to be at this event, or she wouldn't have taken the job! But then, the job doesn't seem to be here. Daphne's eyes dart around the garden, looking for that necklace, but she sighs. It's no good. Even if the rich bitch is here, too many people would know she did it.

"Sugar daddy, second daddy — whatever, she thinks you're her daddy and gonna buy her shiny things, I guess," Daphne says as she pulls a cell phone out of a clutch bag. Fingers fly just a touch faster than even the most adept teenage girl's might while texting, though not fast enough to blur and draw attention to herself.

No gems in sight. Sorry! is the message she sends to her "employer." The good news is he paid for her ticket. Tucking the phone back in her purse, she glances back up at the newcomers as introductions are made, though she doesn't offer her name unless asked.

For the most part, Evan has been content to hang around the periphery, grabbing a drink when one passes nearby and otherwise just crowd-watching— he would've invited Nadira, but she was tied up already. Daphne's rapid-fire texting just escapes his notice, but he does notice her at least, offering a polite wave. But then he glances down, furrowing his brow in concern, and takes a step closer. "Excuse me," keeping his tone of voice low, "are you feeling all right? I thought I— er, did you hurt your leg recently, anything like that?"

Ling just- sort of ends up staring at Cardinal as Daphne talks, not really exactly sure what to say to the man. If there has ever been an opportunity to see Ling look lost and dumbfounded now is it. Her head tilts to the side. "Yes, I think I'll- Stop by sometime soon. Clearly this is a bad time for you, Richard.' A glance is given over to Nicole, and a nod. "A pleasure to see you again… Nicole, correct?"

As it finally sinks in as to what, exactly, Roderick and Daphne are getting at, Cardinal looks between them for a moment before exhaling a chuckle, his head shaking a bit. "Completely straight," he says to Melissa, one shoulder lifting in a shrug, "Someone's just having a little fun with me, is all. I suppose it gets boring sitting around all day in a sinking ship."

The smile to the painter shows just a little teeth before any reaction other than faint amusement's brushed aside. "It's always hard to do any business at these things," he asides to Ling, before the offered hand from Nicole is taken, "Your sister has only good to say ab— " Then he gives a slight jump, jaw tightening and fingers twitching against hers in a momentary jerk away. A brief squeeze, then he's pulling his hand back while raising a brow at her as if to say 'Really?'

"She's fine," Nicole responds easily to Melissa. She could elaborate if said sister would return her phone calls. Nicole can only assume that no news from Colette means she hasn't been hit by a car again. To Ling, she offers a smile. "That's right. Miss Chao, was it?"

When Cardinal jumps, Nicole makes a show of jumping as well. She doesn't hit him with the full brunt of what she's capable with, as that would obviously be ill advised for someone attempting to keep their ability under wraps. But the twinkle in her eyes says yes, really.

"Sorry," she murmurs, shaking her hand out as though she actually felt that. "Must be all that dry autumn air. You know how pesky static can be." Nicole offers a small shrug before sipping her champagne oh so casually. "My sister, Mister Cardinal?" Her eyes narrow faintly and it's obvious there's some warning in her tone. It's becoming quickly apparent that these two are not friends.

Savannah's had a few brief conversations and a few glasses of champagne, moving to flutter around the general area with the food, snacking on a few hors d'oeuvres. She's fairly certain, at this point, that she's had at least three or four glasses, but… it's a party, and when there's not much to do, there's always a nice bubbly drink. She smiles idly at one guest or another and looks longingly at the door.

At a queeny stomp of annoyance— he's walking his mood off— Logan enters the restaurant from the garden scene outdoors, all snow-white suit, zebra stripe waistcoat against a black shirt, and ascot and shoes of matching royal blue. His has a hand circled around the wrist of one Tess Winslow, although that grip is gentling by the time his own storminess is evaporating, coming to a halt and taking a breath. New room, new phase of the evening, even if he's not keen to linger much longer.

"If I skip out on a dance with you," he's telling his fellow blonde, now winding his arm with hers in a more respectful kind of clasp, introducing her to inside at a meander, "I'll show you which one here is Cardinal. Does that sound like a deal? You don't want to dance with me anyway — I learned the waltz off YouTube."

Lips twitch as Cardinal works at clearing his good name. "Ahh, I see. The gothlings at the club will be reassured that you'll be chasing them again soon," Melissa says, amused. She glances at Daph, tilting her head. "You okay? Doesn't seem like you're having a good time," she says, frowning a bit.

Tess sighs as she gets pulled into the room, her dress a bright silver to complement Logan's white suit. When he relaxes his grip, she gives another, more relieved, sigh. Right up until she frowns at him. "Now that's not fair. I want a dance and to know which is Cardinal." She grins then. "Besides, if you don't dance well, I can always lead. Took classes. So why don't you point him out to me while we're dancing, then I'll leave you to go find your lady love to be? I'll even cover for you with Mister Stick Up The Ass back there."

He's late enough as it is, or at least that's the sense Kamber Abbot gets, the feeling he has, re-entering the erstwhile Tavern on the Green. He pauses outside for a moment, doing a quick personal check, making sure there are no, I don't know, wardrobe malfunctions or the like, to use the parlance of our times. Or maybe just past times. Kam is of an age and a circle where he can no longer reliably tell what counts as relevant in pop culture.

Cult culture, really, is where he's more comfortable - the cult of the book, the society of the published and publishing. Larger gatherings like this, while he must attend them for visibility (and because he was asked to come), always make him feel out of place. A goose amongst swans. He's already wearing a suit, one of the new sixties revival numbers in blueish grey, with a thin tie of indigo. It's not inappropriate, but it's what he wore to work so it just feels wrong, like labor has sunk into its fibers for the day. But this is craziness, he knows that. He suppresses it, takes a deep breath, and pushes on inside.

It doesn't take him long to spot Savannah, whom he waves at from across the room then, realizing maybe this is not the optimal form of greeting, actually just crosses over towards her, weaving between gatherings of chatting, well dressed individuals. "Excuse me. Pardon me. Dreadfully sorry…"

Daphne's head comes up just a little too fast, blurring as she stares at Evan when he asks if there's something the matter with her legs, and her eyes narrow immediately. "Do I look like there's something the matter with me? And what are you going to do if there is? Are you a doctor? Because really, it's not polite conversation. Is something the matter with your brain? How would you like if I asked that?" she says bluntly.

"Or maybe if I asked if something was the matter with your…" Well, that wouldn't be polite conversation, and so instead she lifts her hand, index finger pointed before letting it droop, adding to it the mournful hum of a wah wahhhh, like a vaudevillian sound effect punctuating a bad joke.

Someone found Daphne's sensitive topic.

"I was worried that—" Evan starts, but he soon gives up on getting a word in edgewise, as Daphne's sharp tongue proves to be as quick as the rest of her. Rolling his eyes at the hand gesture, he simply turns and heads the other way. "Serves me right for trying to be helpful," he mutters under his breath.

Looking around again, he spots someone else that he vaguely recognizes— but Cardinal's already in the thick of things, and especially now, he's not in the mood to interrupt. He contents himself with a 'hey, I see you over there' wave.

The gloved hand that was recently grasped by Nicole Nichols shakes itself out a bit before dropping to Richard Cardinal's side once more; he's dressed in a sharp suit this evening, dark, and there's even a fedora to go along with it. Add in the gloves and sunglasses and he looks like he's here to arrest people or something.

"Mm?" A sound of vague questioning that isn't really questioning, one brow lifting at Nicole's question that's a threat, and he shrugs one shoulder. At the sight of a wave in his direction, he glances over, hand lifting in return.

A glance is cast about to keep aware of her surroundings. Nicole's heart sinks clear to her stomach when she finally catches sight of Logan and Tess. Oh! Tess wore silver. And here Nicole thought Dior grey would have her looking classy, when she expected Tess to wear something loud to match her personality. She'll just have to hope that the snakeskin print and the Prada heels and the fresh blue streaks in her curled hair set her apart.

No. What is she thinking? Nicole swallows down the churning feeling in her gut that really can only be caused by jealousy, but don't try and tell her that to her face. She settles her gaze back on Cardinal and suddenly she has an idea.

Turning, Nicole raises her hand up to signal over the heads of people gathered. "Logan!" she calls only as loud as she dares to in polite company. "Why don't you bring Tess over here to meet Mister Cardinal?"

Champagne glass in hand, Savannah notes Kamber Abbot coming in her direction. "Fantastic, I won't have to be drunk alone," she says, moving to hug him once he's within a few feet. "Lovely party, lots of people." She smiles at him. "I was hoping you'd be able to show up but I was trying not to be too hopeful because then I might end up disappointed." She pauses. "Did you know someone thinks my books are 'the most revered' of Evolved fiction? Ha! Revered! … want some champagne?"

Irritation flares in pale eyes, Logan steering a look down at Tess before he manages to veil its severity with a narrowing of his stare, a smile playing out on his miraculously unbruised features.

"Look, you talk a million miles an hour, I told you 'no clinging', and I'd actually rather not look like I'm fucking around with my associate's daughter more than I am already am," is spoken in a quietly polite tone of voice, Logan coming to a halt and taking several seconds to scan around the place, looking for Kain rather than any supposed beau, but maybe the Cajun escaped for a smoke break. Instead, Nicole's voice ringing out catches his attention. It'll do. "See the bloke over there, talking to Nichols? There's your agenda, now go fetch."

Arm still hooking hers, Logan starts a few paces that way, although judging from the loosening of his hold on her, he's not keen to watch the conversation close enough to have to say hello to people. His attention snags on Nicole, however, shaped eyebrows raising at the sight of clinging snakeskin print. My goodness is mouthed to her.

Kam places two rather European kisses on Savannah's cheeks, and sets a hand very lightly against her waist. "I'm so sorry I kept you waiting, but I was meeting with a representative from Tor and that's really not the sort of relationship you can be too pushy about. I mean, it's Tor," she knows what he's talking about, "I supposed I have some catching up to do. Where's the bar? I think I might need to skip the bubbly and go straight to gin. Rejuvenating, you know, the juniper bush. A real pharmakon."

His agent sense tingles at Savannah's news. "Revered?" he repeats, making sure he's got it right, "I didn't know that was the direction opinion was going in. We might need a second hardcover edition, new forward from you, a retrospective. Could get some college book store sales. That would be something, all right."

Gone quiet for a couple listening the conversation around him, Roderick glances over his shoulder as Nicole flags down Logan. A smile is flashed to the man and his date. "Hey Logan, Tess… Nice of ya to join us." He looks beyond even the other Brit for a moment, though he does catch that look.

Turning back to Nicole, Roderick grins, patting the hand on his arm, before extracting himself from her. "I still didn' get a drink yet, I think I'm gonna go see what all I can scrounge up." Likely excuse as any. A polite nod goes to the rest, Cardinal gets a "Nice seein' ya again." Before the precog goes in search of something alcoholic, leaving Nicole to her own devices for the moment.

Tess tugs her hand free and it and her other one settle on her hips. "Okay, look darlin'. First, I'm not clinging. I just wanted one dance. Second? He doesn't believe I'm his daughter, so why does it matter if you're fucking around with me or not? Third? I'll fuck anyone I want to. You're cute enough, but too high maintenance." She blows him a kiss then turns on her heel to leave him behind. Her destination? The bloke talking to Nichols.

That's right Cardinal, Kain-spawn is making a beeline right for you! And when she gets close enough, she flashes a grin at Roderick and Nicole both, before beaming a smile at Cardinal. "Hi. Richard Cardinal? Want to dance? Or is Mister I Own a Strip Club But Worry About Appearances right about you and my dad having some hot Brokeback-esq relationship that would make me a little jealous because you're cute too? But if you are, oh well. I can settle for having two dads."

She's been likened to Tinker Bell more than once, and the speedster's temper is about as flighty and quick to ignite. When Evan turns away, however, that seems to make her more angry and she strides after him. "That's right, walk away. There's nothing so wrong with my legs I can't kick your ass from here to Sunday," Daphne says, just loud enough that she might be asking to be escorted out. "If there was anything you could do about it, if there was something wrong, it might be one thing, but otherwise? Mind your own business!"

She may sound sassy and something to fear, but her cheeks flush with something more like embarrassment than anger, and she grabs another champagne flute as a waiter walks by, downing about half of it in one swallow, clearly upset by the solicitous query from Evan.

The proof positive that Nicole does, in fact, hate Richard comes for him when she purposefully calls Logan over towards them. Of course, the reason they're at odds has nothing to do with rumors of anyone's homosexuality, but there's no way for her to know that.

"Hello, John," Cardinal offers over casually as he lingers in Tess's wake, one hand lifting to touch the brim of his hat in a salute that's his only acknowledgement of the man. That could be out of dismissal, or perhaps because there's suddenly a blonde in his face with a penchant for run-on sentences. After she's gotten her whole shpiel out, he asks wryly, "And… you are?"

Oh, for heaven's sake, it's like he's being chased by a swarm of Africanized bees. "What is your problem, anyway?" Evan retorts, turning back around to face the cranky blonde head-on. "I was perfectly content to just swan off and let you break your ankle in peace, but no, you had to drag it out! If you really want to kick my ass that badly, then let's take it outside so you can make good on your word." He doesn't seem the type to hit a woman, really, but words are fair game with pretty much anyone.

A faint blush touches Nicole's cheeks when Logan mouths those words and she smiles her first genuine smile of the evening. "Tess, dear, you look beautiful," she tells the girl as she approaches. "Richard Cardinal, Tess Winslow." Oh look! Now you've been introduced! "Sorry to cut and run, but if I don't pester Mister Logan at least once this evening, I'm just not doing my job. And you seem like you have a lot to talk about." Tess does at any rate.

A grin is turned to Roderick as he moves on to get himself a drink, though she's still blushing. Nicole herself departs the circle in the opposite direction of her date and heads to meet Logan before he can get too close, setting her empty champagne glass aside on a passing tray and grabbing a fresh one in practised, fluid motions.

"Walk with me?" Nicole asks of Logan in a polite tone, but she doesn't actually wait for confirmation that he will, in fact, accompany her on her quest to get the fuck away from Cardinal. She takes his arm and leans in close to murmur once they're out of earshot, "He doesn't like you either, does he?"

"Oooh. Tor. Maybe I should put more elves or dragons in my novels." Savannah contemplates, sipping from the remainder of her (4th?) glass of champagne. "You always go for gin. Gin is for regular drinking. Champagne is for parties with people dressed in gorgeous gowns and charming suits. Although you'll need a few to catch up," she insists.

The blonde's eyes scan the room a little. "If we can keep them selling well… maybe I can drop some hints somewhere public about a new book and drum up some interest if we get a new hardcover edition. I'll have to make more room on my shelves…" She muses, scanning the room once more. "Normally I'm better at these things, Kam. You're seeing me at my worst."

Returning from his important 'business' call, Montague smoozes and carouses with several guests, making it clear that he was here at d'Sarthe's this evening. Champagne in hand, his eyes catch sight of Cardinal. He makes his way towards the man, dodging through the crowd until he reaches him.

He waits for a moment to interject himself, clearing his throat to make sure Cardinal knows he is there. With a show of feigned respect, he extends his gloved hand. His words, however, show no such faux respect. "Hello, Dick. Still pretending you belong at high society events such as this? Or was the auction not enough of an embarassment for you?"

Richard gets a smile from John, thin and obligatory and a little tired, for some reason, but the former-pimp doesn't verbalise a response back, eyeing the back of Tess' head with some distaste where he hasn't deigned to follow her in the wake of petticoats and sass. As Nicole approaches, he turns his back on the group and walks as directed, her hands hooking onto his arm which bends in instinctive compliance, blue shoes carrying them along a similar trajectory.

"No, he doesn't — granted, for good reason," Logan responds, not looking back and unfortunately missing out on whoever is picking up the 'abuse Cardinal' slack. "This night is something of a drag, but at least we both look amazing."

"Their science fiction stable isn't half bad, either," Kam says, scanning the room for the bar he has hopes of finding and then using, judiciously. Thank God for cabs. "And you aren't my only client," he smiles, "just my favorite. But don't tell any of the others I said that. You know how writers are. Jealous. Temperamental.

"And if this is your worst, my dear," he adds, eyes flicking up and down her dress, "well… you know." Kam gives Savannah a warm smile. He's here. She's at least got someone else to be adrift with her. "Anyone here I should meet? Any introductions worth making?"

The response to her question has Tess sighing. It's one of those long suffering sighs, accompanied by a small shake of her head. "Yeah, I'm Tess." It seems that all of this talking when she just wants to dance is just so frustrating. "Now, do you want my social security number, favorite color, and mother's maiden name, or do you want to dance with a pretty blonde who just wants to dance and flirt with someone who can appreciate it?" The smile returns and she cocks her head. "I'm hoping that you just give in and dance, though."

"I'm not exactly the best dancer in the world," admits Richard with a slow shrug of one shoulder, gaze dropping from the blonde's face to trail down and then up again in casual appraisal of the young woman, "But what the hell, why not…"

Just as he's about to step over towards Tess and the dance floor, there's a clearing of someone's throat, and he turns a bit to see Montague. The man's regarded blankly even as the hand's offered, his head tilted a little to one side. "Do I… know you? Well, you can't be anyone important," he chuckles, turning back to slide a hand over Tess's shoulder to guide her towards the floor, "If I don't even remember your name."

"Break my ankle?" Daphne says, facing off a few feet from Evan, staring up into his face. "You think … you think I'm going to break my ankle?" It strikes her as funny — perhaps the three glasses of champagnes she's imbibed have gone to her head, but she's suddenly laughing, her hands coming down to slap her knees.

"Babe, I could run from here to France without getting tired. There ain't nothing wrong with my legs, as long as you don't spray me with negation gas."

Probably not the best topic for polite conversation either. That last bit of champagne just pushed her over the edge.

Nicole sighs heavily. She has to agree with Logan there, on the night being a drag. "We do look good, don't we?" She agrees with that, too. And with a sharp grin to accompany the sentiment. "I must say, things are looking up and the quality of my company has improved vastly."

Almost with an air of indifference, Nicole is playing it cool and surveying the room as if she really isn't invested in the conversation when she speaks again. "That suit would look even more amazing strewn across my floor, I think." Her brows furrow, expression scrunching thoughtfully. "No. I know it would look amazing on my floor. Kitchen. Bath. Laundry. Bedroom. Doesn't matter."

The advantage of the height afforded to her by her heels means that she can easily peer at Logan's face out of the corner of her eye. Brow quirked, her grin wicked, it's bold, even for her. But the tint of pink in her cheeks betrays her. She probably can't quite convince him that she's as shameless as she thinks he is. She's growing more comfortable with the man, but he still manages to disarm her entirely whenever he pays her what could pass for a sincere compliment.

"The lovely hostess was nice… she was clearly a fan, which made me happy. It never gets old when I see someone get excited over seeing me. Makes me want to have more books out there. More people having things to read… I think I'm too much of an idealist." Savannah says, breathing out a sigh. "I suppose I'll have to share them with you all. When I'm ridiculously famous you can afford to live off of just representing me. It'll be a full time position with benefits and vacation time." She peers around again. "I thought there might be more people I know, but… I guess I'm more of a shut-in than I thought. Eccentric writers tend to be, you know."

The normally unflappable Montague is left momentarily stunned at Richard Cardinal's response, his hand left hanging as he trots off with his arm around Tess. Finally he lowers it to place both gloved hands on his hips, head shaking back and forth. "Yeah. That was really juvenile. Didn't realize we were in pre-school."

His words fall on deaf ears as Cardinal is already gone, but the vibration of his phone in his pocket once more momentarily takes his mind off what just transpired. He takes it out to check the message, brow raising before he looks around the room as if someone there could read his message as well. He then slinks off without a word.

It sounds like so much bravado, nothing more, and Evan is inclined to head off and ignore it after all - until that last comment. Good Lord, she's serious, isn't she. "I— didn't know, I'm sorry," he mumbles, uncomfortable with the idea of dragging her ability into the spotlight - even if inadvertently - while he's been trying to keep his own under wraps.

Tess laughs softly at Cardinal's admission and she shrugs. "It's okay. If you want, you can let me lead," she says with an impish grin. Teasing? Probably. Montague gets a quick, irritated look, before it drops away. She just can't hold onto a bad mood. Especially not when Cardinal starts leading her towards the dance floor. Luckily, questions about Cardinal and Kain starring in their own version of Brokeback seem to have disappeared with the annoyance.

"You're also very new to this city," Kam adds, "you could be a regular butterfly, and at times I believe you are, but it is New York. You can't expect to know everyone within the first month. You need to wait at least six. Then you can know everybody. Really, such a friendly city." There is no irony in his tone. There doesn't need to be.

"Understand, I'm your reinforcement and your extraction," Kamber continues, "if you need to go, I can whisk you away. Though… I suppose I should at least try the champagne first."

"Have you ever just had this uncontrollable urge to punch someone just because they're a complete douchebag?" Cardinal's question is, of course, rhetorical. She's Kain's daughter. Of course she has. Despite the fact that it's obvious who he means, he doesn't look back as he walks off to the dance floor with the blonde, his head shaking slowly.

As they reach the dance floor, he steps in - he knows where his hands go, at least. "So." He regards her through his dark glasses, "You're Kain's daughter, mm?"

Logan's face communicates something of a smirk at the banter, subtle lines at his eyes showing, even as his stare is darting here and there over the room. Not for Kain, this time, and not even for Gideon d'Sarthe — someone seems to have effectively disappeared, however, and some trace of annoyance is vanishing that smirk as swift as it arrived. Oh well. There will be other nights — for now, he has outrageous flirtation to play off of.

And cash in on. "Do you want to test that theory? Pick up a few wine coolers on the way and kick it ghetto at your place? I think I'm done."

"Oh, more than once," Tess verifies with a grin, hand going to Cardinal's shoulder, the other in his hand. "Usually I give into it. Otherwise…" She trails off and shrugs. "It passes. And yep, I am. Though he doesn't believe me and told me not to tell anyone. Pity he didn't realize that people would see me smile and figure it out on their own. Like Nicole."

Yes, that smile. The one she's smiling now. "So are you involved with my dad, or is that an ugly rumor that is determined to spread? I have to tell you, I'm torn on what I want the answer to be," she admits.

Ling had largely drifted away from the conversation at hand off into her own little world, likely a product of the champagne she held in hand, having grabbed a new glass some time ago. There's some magic words, however, that draw her back to the present, some that had managed to elude her, despite previous statements and insinuations. Something she just can't ignore.

"Kain's daughter?" she repeats, her head whipping hack to face the other, eyes wide. Sometimes, even the otherwise stoic Ling Chao can't hold back emotion, and the almost malevolent laugh that follows is a good indicator of how she feels on this matter. "That is just fantastic," she remarks, a wider grin than anyone has ever seen her with before on her face.

Belatedly, Daphne realizes what she's said, that she's said too much, and her eyes widen, and she shakes her head. "Forget about it," she mutters, and she turns to go, casting a glance at the various people she knows. She manages to walk, not run, until she is out of the exit. Nearby, stuck beneath a bench are running shoes she'd stowed before the event — these are swapped for her heels, and suddenly Daphne is a golden blur streaking through the park like a comet for quiet and solace in her own apartment.

No more galas for a while — she isn't meant to be one of the pretty people — and the gigs just aren't worth the painful shoes.

A low chuckle tumbles past Cardinal's lips at the question, his eyes rolling behind the near-opaque lenses of his shades. "Only in a business sense," he replies rather dryly, "I'm afraid somebody's having a little bit've fun with you there… given that you were walking around with John…" A step, a turn on the dance floor, "…my list of educated guesses is kind've short there."

Nicole's head swivels swiftly so she can regard Logan with a relieved expression. "Oh, that actually worked?" She heaves a sigh, downing the last of her champagne in one gulp and handing the glass off to another passing waiter. Her now free hand flutters over her chest as her shoulders sag inward.

"Kicking it ghetto sounds fantastic." Nicole bumps hips with Logan affectionately. "I thought you would never ask."

"Try the champagne, yes.." Savannah murmurs, peering about the room. "I should be better at this. I suppose you're right, though… a few months from now I'll surely have acquaintances to fill up an entire party." She finishes up the last of her glass. "Perhaps I should have just stayed home and wrote something. I could have turned on The King and I and danced in my dress like a fool." She turns to Kam. "Drink your bubbly. I believe I need a distraction and you're funny when you drink."

Another laugh and Tess nods. "Yeah, it was him. Nicole said it wasn't true, but he insisted that it was." She moves easily with Cardinal, dancing and speaking without any problem whatsoever. Someone's had lessons. "It was kinda fun to consider it for a while. Two dads would mean twice the presents and twice the mischief and twice the gray hairs." The poor Cajun is certainly going to have his hands full with this one."

She glances over to Nicole and Logan, sighing. "Well, there goes my ride. At least she got the stick out of his butt." She looks back at Card and grins. "Don't suppose you wanna be my ride home, do you?" Because who could resist those dimples?!

"John's just upset because I've stolen a few of his women away from him before," Richard chuckles quietly with a statement that's only partly true, and even then only from a certain point of view… and not at all what he's making it sound like. "He never did take losing very well, especially when it comes to that…"

As she comments about the departure of Logan and Nicole, he slants a look across the room to their departure - exhaling a snort, "Typical. Sure, why not?"

There's enough champagne floating around here such that it takes little effort for Kamber to snare a flute. He gives the server a grateful smile, then turns back to Savannah, lifting the glass in mock-triumph. Be impressed. Be very impressed. He glances down into the flute, watching the bubbles rise up towards him. "Shall I drink it all in one go, like this is a true Bacchanal?"

Tess smiles brightly at Cardinal. "Awesome. Thanks Richard. Whenever you want to leave is fine with me. It was an interesting night, which is all I wanted." Her head tilts and she grins. "And a few of his women, hmm? Don't tell me you two are in competition over it. And if so, I need good odds so I know who to bet on," she teases. "Though maybe I could bet on you anyway, since he ditched me and is telling tales." She tsks softly. "Really wasn't nice of him."

"You should leave her on Kain's doorstep," Ling remarks to Cardinal with that same grin she had earlier, taking a satisfied slip of her champagne. "Oh, how I do wish I could see his face." Ling almost seemed mirthful, if maliciously so.

"Champagne is supposed to be sipped, Kam," Savannah chides. "But I think you're the exception to that rule, since you haven't had any and I've had…" She pauses to try and count on her fingers. "Four? Five? How much of a bottle is that…?" She looks back to Kam. "Maybe we should go. I'm afraid I'm not very witty right now and I'm no good if I don't have my wit."

"I think they've already met," Cardinal observes with a wry look over to Ling, one shoulder lifting in a bit of a shrug, "Or I just might…" The shadowman's attention drops back down to Tess, and he smirks just a little, "I wouldn't say competition. I'd say 'I wouldn't call 911 if he was bleeding to death' but I wouldn't say competition…"

When Ling comments, Tess gives her a curious look. "I don't know where he lives. Besides, he'll be showing up on my doorstep soon enough." And that certainly is a devilish grin to go with it. Someone is looking forward to seeing the new daddy's face once he accepts it. Poor guy.

She nods to Cardinal. "So yeah, you're right. We have. And that's too bad of you. He's my dad. You should call 911 in the future. I'd consider it a personal favor. Though that doesn't mean you can't harass him. God knows I intend to. He really should've been nice when we met."

"Bottom's up," Kam remarks, cheerily, and makes good on the idiom. Maybe the next one will be 'down the hatch'. He deposits the empty glass onto a roving server's tray, the transfer in motion going quite gracefully, likely because that was his first glass. "Someone so pretty needn't be witty," Kam states, "Aaand I need to avoid couplets. But we should go if you'd like. Honestly, I've had just about enough of high society," he glances around, "or whatever this is. I need more of la vie sort-of boheme. You know… thirty dollar bottles of wine. Cheeses that may have been made in France, but are sold in Trader Joe's."

"You're very right, Kam. I'm a writer. An artist of words! Not a socialite. But the champagne is good. I like pretending to be a socialite. And I look good as one!" Savannah grins, then nods towards Kam. "Let's run off. I like pretending but I think I'm forgetting that I'm me, and that's always a bad thing."

"I used to work for him," Ling replies, eyeing Tess. She has a grin to match the younger woman's. "Will you do me a favour? Will you send him my regards?" A pause, and there's almost a whimsical sigh from LIng. "And please, if you can manage it, do get a picture of his face. It simply is something I must see."

"I meant John," Cardinal says with a shake of his head, a faint smile tugging up at the corner of his lips as he looks down to the blonde, "I get along just fine with your father…" The hand on her shoulder slides down along it as he steps away towards the door, trailing one fingertip across the side of her neck as he steps away, "…anyway, let's get you home, or wherever home is for you right now, before somebody else that hates me shows up."

"That happens a lot," he admits freely as he heads through the thinning crowd, "No idea why, I mean, I'm a personable guy, right…?" Back over his shoulder, he calls with a grin, "Stop by the office sometime, Ling."

Tess shrugs. "Sure, I'll pass the message on." She laughs. "And you're in luck. I just so happen to love taking pictures. I carry a camera with me almost everywhere." Another nod, to Cardinal this time, along with a little sigh of contentment. "That works. And home right now is that Speakeasy Hotel place." She smiles. "And you seem nice enough to me. Cute too, but you don't seem as high maintenance as Mister Logan. Always a plus," she says as she lets him lead her away.

"Well, should you forget, I'll be certain to remind you," Kam says, by way of comfort, "though I can't promise it will be an accurate portrait. It will carry the marks of my imperfect vision. Though, I promise you, the you that I will tell you you are will still be very impressive." He tips his head towards the exit. "Let's go, then. Stick around a place like this too long, you'll get caught up in an intrigue and I didn't bring my cloak or my dagger."

"Alright, lets get a cab and you can tell me how impressive I am in the car." Savannah states, reaching to take Kam's arm. She'll at least exit gracefully, in spite of her copious amounts of champagne.

"I know the place," Cardinal admits as he walks beside Tess in casual egress from the affair, one arm lifting up in chivalrous offering for hers, "The owner's a friend of mine, he's been out've state for awhile, though…" As they reach the exit, the last sly words audible before they're outside are, "…and be careful about calling me cute, I doubt Kain'd appreciate the idea of me nailing his baby girl…"

Tess laughs and shrugs. "Can't say I care if he would or not. It's my choice who nails me, not his. And I'll tell him so too. And telling me that is more likely to ensure that one of us doesn't end up going to our own bed tonight than warning me away," she says with a grin as sly as his tone. Yeah, she's definitely a Zarek.

Grace grasped while in reach, Kamber Abbot escorts Ms. Burton towards the door, heralding her passing with murmured apologies for those they must pass by. "Pardon us. Excuse us. Dreadfully sorry…"


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