Bettering His Situation


caliban_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Bettering His Situation
Synopsis Logan meets with a Caliban to discuss payment for the Sanders job and has the gaps in his knowledge filled with a few important details.
Date July 9, 2009


It's good to know, that doing business with Linderman's people isn't so far out of Logan's realm. A heavy lowball glass is picked up, clear liquid and ice within, and his gaze continues to slide over towards the lit up stages that make up Exotica's main room. Women are reduced to shadows and leggy silhouettes, shards of light, flash and flicks of glossy hair - darker than the Dagger ever was, but a strip club is something more of an illusion, anyway. No touching, only looking, and so looking needs to be important, a show, a tease and progressive fulfillment.

Throat swallowing around a sip of sharp vodka, Logan eases back into his seat. A booth, away from the main of the strip club, is dimly lit and secluded, allowing for maybe three or four people but currently only home to two. There's a business card between Logan's fingers, one he flips over in a languid, fidgeting motion, contact details of his companion for the evening printed and written upon them.

"Thanks for coming out on such short notice," Logan states, again struggling to drag his eyes away from where a redhead is wrapping herself around a bar of metal to Nine Inch Nails, and back towards the other man. Foregoing some of the affectation he'd been known for on the Rookery, Logan is in tailored black and pinstripes, a black tie only a streak of texture against his shirt. "I imagine Zarek might have mentioned something."

"He might have," Logan's companion replies in a low voice muffled by bass and the thrum of conversation whorling around them. Robert Caliban doesn't cut a particularly impressive figure, but his tall height is backed by an appropriate amount of muscle which gives him the lean appearance of something hungry and feline. Blue eyes regard the Dagger's former proprietor in a quiet fashion, the expression on his face difficult to read beyond a general sense of fatigue — it's been a busy week for the Linderman Group's publicist, and most of his time has been spent answering questions posed by the media in the relation to Zoe Porter's sudden and tragic death.

He should be sleeping, not sitting in a strip club with a gin and tonic in one hand and a slice of lime pinched between two fingers in the other. "You need money," he states in a flat voice, though Logan might notice what looks like amusement crinkling at the corners of his mouth. "Let's not beat around the bush. No one works for free."

"And everyone needs money," Logan agrees, unphased, it seems, by the direct nature of the man's dealings. It's enough, even, to draw his attention away from the sinuous shapes of the dancers, pale green eyes considering blue ones. He takes his time, then, to take out his silver cigarette case and extract a thin, bone-white smoke, allowing himself time to light it up and allow smoke to unfurl around him.

The case is set down, angled in offer if not with words. "Let's get to it, then. Kain pointed me to you to see about what it is the Linderman Group's got to offer someone like me. He called this a trial period, but I need something to make it worth my while too." His cheekbones cut sharper angles as he takes a breath of cigarette smoke, lets it leak out between his words. "My business burned to the ground several days ago, so 'm looking to better my situation."

"There is a woman named Jessica Sanders," Caliban explains, "who believes that Mr. Linderman is responsible for the death of her sister's son, one Micah Sanders. Fortunately, with our employer on business in Nevada, Mr. Zarek and I have a few more days to sort this out before it becomes a real problem. What we need you to do, Mr. Logan, is convince Ms. Sanders that vendettas aren't worth her time. Pushing Mr. Linderman out of his office window won't bring Micah back, and it almost certainly won't reunite her sister with her husband."

He produces a plain manila envelope from the inside of his jacket and passes it across the table to Logan. "D.L. Hawkins is his name. He's been working for us since early 2007, but — to my knowledge — neither Jessica nor her sister Niki knows that he's still alive, and while Mr. Linderman would like to keep it that way… well. We can't always have what we want, no? I'm willing to pay you an advance of two thousand dollars, which I will match upon completion of this job. Should Mr. Zarek and I deem your conduct acceptable, regardless of the outcome, you'll be offered a salaried position within the company."

He sets aside his glass to lay a hand on the file, drag it on closer. This is new. Cigarette burning in his other hand, Logan delicately opens the file with his other as Caliban speaks, studying the contents beneath the fleeting lights of the strip club. The glow of orange at the tip of his cigarette flares a little as he reaches to flick off the dead ash, and bring it back for a deep breath of smoke, an eyebrow raising at the offer of an advance.

"My reputation precedes me, I see," Logan states, looking back up from the file. "Of breaking things in. Italian shoes, women at the end of their tether…" A lazy smile paints itself across his face, as if to share in the humour. As if there were humour to share. "I'm a businessman by trade, Mr. Caliban, but I can do this thing for you. And do it again. Two thousand dollars sounds like a lovely start."

Logan knocks back the last few sips of vodka. "Strong as ten men, Zarek said. Anything else I should be worried about?"

"Offhand?" Caliban asks. "Not that I can think of. If you're unable to convince her to see reason, try not to take it too hard." He leans forward in his seat, a checkbook magically procured from his jacket sleeve. "To be perfectly honest with you," he adds, removing an elegant fountain pen from behind his left ear, "I don't anticipate success. If she begins displaying signs of instability or threatens violence — leave. Your ability can only protect you from so much, and I believe Mr. Zarek would prefer that you remain among the living. At least for the time being."

As he speaks, the tip of his pen scratches against paper, barely audible above the music's din. "There is one more thing, Mr. Logan…"

Logan gives a soft snort, emphasised only with the hurried curls of cigarette smoke, at the note that success isn't necessarily on the menu. "Thank you for your concern," he says, not quite blandly, just somewhat dismissive. Or distracted, perhaps, gaze dipping down to where the publicist is writing out his cheque, the former pimp's long neck craning just a little, although relaxing a moment later. Not to be rude.

He shuts the file briskly, the whisper of the many pages of one woman's life about as quiet as the pen scratching across from him. "And what would that be, Mr. Caliban?"

Caliban does not raise his eyes from the checkbook. His signature finds a home in the lower right hand corner, bold, black and angular. "Ms. Abigail Beauchamp is currently under Mr. Linderman's protection," he says, ripping the check out of the book with a deft flick of his wrist. "That isn't going to be a problem, is it?"

Now, he does lift his gaze to Logan's face, scrutinizing him studiously from the other side of the table. The check itself is held poised between two knuckles and hovers over the table in the space between them.

There's a moment of honesty on Logan's features when Caliban looks up, studies him. It manifests in the form of subtle annoyance in the beginnings of a sneer, English chilliness in his eyes, before he breaks eye contact first, studying the remains of his cigarette before reaching to crush it out into the ashtray. "Not at all," Logan says, tone languid, accommodating. "Rookery squabbles are better left where they are, eh?"

Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. His hand goes out to steal away the cheque, resisting any urge to look at it further than the briefest of glances before it's spirited away into a shining leather wallet, this too tucked back into the inner pocket of his pinstripe jacket. "Thanks for this. I'll be in touch once I take care of Sanders."

Caliban retracts his hand once the check has disappeared into Logan's wallet. He picks up his sliver of lime, previously discarded on a nearby napkin, and rubs its shriveled flesh along his glass' rim before dropping it in with the ice and taking a long swallow. When he sets it down again, there's moisture clinging to the stubble on his upper lip — something he quickly remedies with a sideways sweep of his thumb and a wrinkling nose.

"You're quite welcome," he murmurs, tone genuine in spite of his jaw's steely set or the tension that bulges around his knuckles as he balls his left hand into an idle fist. "I think you'll find employment with the Linderman Group more to your liking than your previous arrangement with Mr. Muldoon. We don't abandon our own people at the first sign of trouble."

The silver cigarette case is picked up, pocketed, only a minor delay in movement when that observation is made, pale green eyes that look more grey beneath harsher lights than any true colour swiveling to meet Caliban's for the moment vague, guarded surprise lasts. A pause, then, "James took care of himself. He'd expect me to do the same," is the very neutral response, injury veiled in diplomatic pragmatism, although tension loosens in the next moment, a hook of a smirk at the corner of Logan's mouth. "I look forward to being your people, anyway."

The file is collected up - no suitcase to slip it into, perhaps he'll see about that around the time he gets a desk - as Logan levers himself to his feet, a hand braced against the table. "'ave a good one, Mr. Caliban. Not hard to, in here." Leaving only those words and a lingering, thin cloud of cigarette smoke in his wake, Logan spares a last glance around the nighttime surroundings of Exotica before he's headed for the door, the ever present shadow of Eloni breaking away from his quiet seat several tables away to follow along.

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