A Simple Proposition


kelly_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Simple Proposition
Synopsis Logan has a job offer for Kelly that will take her to Russia, but will it really be as simple as they hope?
Date July 31, 2010

Orchid Lounge

A summer night is swiftly falling, by the time the clock strikes the hour that Logan had invited Kelly to a drink or two at the Orchid Lounge. It's a subtle and elegant kind of place, and if she has researched her employs territory in this city, she'll know full well it's one of the many safer havens of the Linderman Group, owned by the President's mother herself and seemingly removed from the slightly baser aspects of the organisation. Or not. Logan is here, after all, and seems to be just another patron at the martini bar — save for the fact that no one has told him to put out his cigarette, and that he has the further most corner of the establishment to his self.

He's secluded at one of the white marble tables, and there was once a time when he might have had some thugs looming around in a show of protection, but either he can't afford that touch, or he doesn't feel the need to show off to his dinner date. Drink date. Whatever.

A half-finished martini sits at his elbow, the liquid within it cloudy with olive juice, the fruit itself already consumed off the wooden pick that he absently prods the sharp tip into the small flame of a teacandle on the table with adolescent boredom. He's dressed nicely, with a black shirt with a silken quality to its sheen, and a pinstripe waistcoat cinching his figure, which seems sedate enough until one might notice the silk zebra-stripe pattern of its back.

Some people might feel the need to dress up when coming to a place like this. Anything owned by the mother of the President all but calls for a bit of dressing up. Kelly, however, is largely uninterested in the rules of society, and with her build, it's hard to look truly classy in any case. She has exchanged her normal tee-shirt for a white button down shirt though, making her look less like what she is. Muscle for hire. Sadly, the black jacket over it, obscuring her pistol, all but ruins that small effort.

Dark eyes look around the room, searching for the enigmatic Logan. She wasn't too certain about this meeting, but he is another Lindergoon, and curiosity affects even sociopaths like her. When she finally spots him she remains where she is for a long moment, studying him, then the surrounding area. Checking for some sort of trap, most likely. Paranoia keeps you alive.

Finally, Kelly starts across the room, and without a word or any other preamble, pulls a chair out and joins him at his table. "Logan," she says once seated, nodding once to him.

"Evening." Pulling charred toothpick back from the struggle flame in its pool of wax, Logan lets it drop with a delicate dusting off of fingertips, and as if on cue, there's a simply dressed waitress swooping in with a matching drink standing solo on the wide tray balanced on one hand, picked up by its long stalk and set down primly in front of Kelly. Vermouth and gin are cloudy, and a single olive on its toothpick winks its pimento stuffing as Kelly when it rolls over with the motion.

As swiftly as she came, the waitress is gone, and Logan picks up his own drink. "I bet you'd do well in a dress," he notes. "Something backless and simple. Not too tall for a decent heel, either."

The drink is looked at, the toothpick and olive picked up, and Kelly arches a brow and looks at Logan. "You asked me to meet you here to talk about my wardrobe?" she asks, disbelief naked in her tone, before the olive is placed on her tongue, teeth closing on the toothpick so she can slide olive from stick, then munch on it. "Though as it happens, you're right. I just hate dresses and heels. They too often get in the way of work. Have you ever tried chasing someone wearing three inch stiletto heels? You're more likely to break an ankle than catch your man."

There's only a subtle shake of his head at that first, humourless question: no, it is not. But he's happy to do it anyway. Picking up his glass, Logan takes a sip from its flared rim, mouth curling in a smirk at the visual he's presented with. "Can't say I have. I've been known to wear Armani during the most exciting of firefights, though," he says, without any particular lie in his voice, setting down his glass again for his hand to wander for his smoking cigarette. "But no, I can't sympathise." He's not that kind of fag.

Is. What he almost says, but decides against it in the spirit of business and professionalism. "What I wanted to enquire about was what the going rate was for keeping someone alive as opposed to the opposite. Be it something of an hourly rate or fee dependent on the situation."

Finally, a flicker of real emotion from the ice queen. Brows lift in surprise, and Kelly's head tilts. "You want me to play bodyguard? To someone outside of the organization?" There's a long pause, then she shrugs and leans back in the chair, dropping the toothpick on the table and picking up her glass. "It does depend, on a number of variables. How difficult the client is, for example. Though the big variable is who's after them, and what kind of firepower can they dredge up in order to try to off this person."

Cigarette filter pinched between teeth, Logan leans down enough to pick up a slender and sophisticated black briefcase he'd had leaning against an ankle, hefting it up onto the white marble table and taking care not to knock over any tall glasses or ashtrays in the process. The silvery fastenings are flipped, lid nudged open, and a slightly disordery collection of pages extracted to fan out before her. Clearly, Logan has hired people with a target of some variety in mind before.

Or Logan has been hired with a target of some variety in mind before. Either or, he knows the procedure, and among the pages is a grainy but visible image of a girl who can't be more than a slip of a teenager. Her hair is light enough to be blonde, although a colour image buried deeper in the information shows a little more red in it. Long boned and fine, pretty, and completely unthreatening.

"Tania Kozlow," he names, a jerk of his chin upwards as he fixes pale eyes on Kelly's face. "Nothing you can't handle, but the catch is that she'll need convincing. One of my employee's is being threatened via his sister," a nod to the photograph, "and what I want to do is make sure she's out of reach , and transfer leverage from them to me. If all goes smoothly, you find her, you pass on a letter from her big brother, you bring her to New York and no one's any wiser."

A beat, and then he adds, "Especially not the CIA."

The pages are taken, and Kelly begins to flip through then, scanning each one quickly, rather than spending any real length of time studying them. She glances upwards, arching a brow. "Still didn't answer the main question though, Logan. Or is the CIA the ones wanting this girl dead?" Though that prospect doesn't seem to phase her at all.

The flipping continues as Kelly searches for a location. "Where is this Tania? And you know as well as I do that nothing ever goes as smoothly as you intend it to, no matter how well or long you plan."

"The CIA wants the girl, period," Logan says, a little bit of impatience filtering into his voice, but taking the time to suck in a lungful of smoke is enough to stave it off as he watches the woman flip through the pages. "They've promised to protect her for him, but as you and I well know, what you can protect, you can also threaten. I want to remove her from their possession. Where she goes after she gets to New York won't be your concern — but I need her here, and I can't do it myself without attracting their attention."

Dead ash and embers are flicked into his ashtray. "She's in Russia. I still need to make sure her papers are sorted before I hand you a plane ticket. Are you interested or should I look elsewhere?"

"Don't get huffy with me," Kelly says, shaking her head at that touch of impatience. "I need to know what I'm getting myself into here. You say the CIA has offered to protect her, but who's gunning for her? Who can I expect to show up on her doorstep hoping to off her before I whisk her away to the land of the free and home of the lazy?"

"No. One." These syllables are pronounced carefully, slowly, Logan's gaze level with her's and expression more or less neutral. "I've told you the situation as it stands. She's not in danger, but where she is now is known. I want her closer and then I want her hidden, which I can take care of myself. If the CIA are watching her, then they might make a move, which is why I want to hire someone who can hit back. You're a smart girl, you can figure that much out."

Kelly lets the pages drop onto the table and picks up her drink, downing it in one gulp then sighing. "Has to be Russia, doesn't it? Just now getting to where I'm not freezing my tits off if it drops below eighty," she says, shaking her head. "I'll do it though. Sounds like an easy enough babysitting job. If things go well."

She smiles, barely, and slowly twirls the glass between her fingers and watches Logan. "Here's the deal. Five grand up front. If it's just a simple find her, convince her, bring her to you job, then you don't owe me anything else, except reimbursing me for expenses, of course. And don't worry, I don't stay in the penthouses of five star hotels on the client's budget, unless the job calls for it."

At the talk of expenses, Logan visibly relaxes, sitting back on the leather lined bench, cigarette in hand. There's a quirk of a smile at the price she lifts right off the bat, as he rolls filter between his fingertips. Wrinkles nose, briefly, in consideration. "Five grand it is," he then swiftly agrees, and if he took the time to determine whether it was worth haggling, it went by as fast as a blink. "Show me the receipts by the time you're back and I'll see that it's covered. I know someone who can arrange for weapons upon your arrival, so you won't be completely naked."

There's another smile from Kelly. "That's if it ends up just being a simple job, Logan. I end up having to shoot our way out of Mother Russia, the price will go up. Unlike you, I don't trust that the CIA will be content to not try to off her. But then, I'm paranoid by nature. I'll hope for the best though. A firefight on home soil is one thing, but you add in foreign laws and things just get sticky."

"Why exactly do you think I'm hiring you if I thought it would all for sure go swimmingly?" Logan queries, voice a little sharp but not necessarily unpleasant, nor does that half-smile diminish. "Like I said, they could well make a move if they see that their little bit of leverage is being taken away — hence, you'll get guns. The objective is clean, however." He jabs his cigarette in the air in gesture, before crushing it out in the ceramic tray at his elbow. "We can talk about compensation should things deviate when you get back. Try not to get arrested, will you?"

"Trust me, of all the things possible to do in this life, being arrested is firmly at the bottom of the list, right below being tortured with hot pokers and bamboo slivers," Kelly says in a flat tone. "But the rest of it…fine. Let me know when you want me to go in, and once the plane ticket and letting from dear old brother is in my hand, I'm good to go."

Agreement, on the subject of getting arrested, is manifest in a slight twitch of a head tilt, Logan lifting up his drink to sip from, all salt and citrus enough for his smile to twist once it's tasted. "Then I shall be in touch," he says, with a mildly expansive gesture of martini glance, and as forever custom in parting gestures, there's that trickle of approving warmth that flares low in Kelly's gut and down her spine, his eyes abruptly greener in the dim lighting, though somewhat hidden when he angles his gaze away to seal up his briefcase.

There's a soft intake of breath at that warmth, and Kelly stills, just looking at Logan for a long moment. "One day soon, Logan…You and I are going to have a long…talk. And I can assure you, business will not be a subject on the menu," she murmurs, before quickly setting her glass down and rising to her feet.

The look he casts up at her is surprised in its innocence, round eyed and tilted, but the smile that slices across symmetrical features is a little crooked, as well as swift. Briefcase closed, Logan doesn't get up to see the lady out — picks up his remaining martini for slower consumption, and hooks his other arm's elbow over the back of his seat as he shrugs. "I'll look forward to it," he tells her, eyes fading back to their pallid, fishbelly mix of green and grey.

No man is ever as innocent as Logan appears. One corner of Kelly's mouth tilts slightly upwards and she nods. "Yeah, I'll bet you do," she murmurs. She takes another moment to just look at him, then she shakes her head and turns, slipping through tables on the way to the door. Muttering the whole time.

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