If I'm Going To Be Snowed In


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Scene Title If I'm Going To Be Snowed In
Synopsis Maddie's decides if she's going to bear a blizzard, she's going to do it at a fancy place and making a new friend in Ina instead of alone and cold.
Date April 17, 2010

The Corinthian

In 1899, William Stokes resolved to build the "grandest hotel in Manhattan": an eighteen-story steel-frame structure with a Parisian-style mansard roof with round turrets and an exterior inspired by neoclassical architecture. When the Linderman Group bought the property in 2007, it preserved the building's outward appearance, which includes grand, arched windows looking out over the Upper West Side with a view of Central Park and the Hudson River beyond.

Past the metal detectors erected just inside the Corinthian's doors, the hotel lobby is a vast and expansive place. It's wide enough for a person to lose themselves in, longer than it is wide, and the vaulted ceiling reaches up a full three stories before budding the glinting, glimmering crystal chandeliers which provide a lion's share of illumination.

The gleam of yellow-tinged light softens the austerity implied by white walls into something warmer, elegantly welcoming. Gold tones pick out a vining pattern across the large, matte-white tiles of the floor, merging with a thicker border of autumn shades around the edge of the room. Rows of corinthian-style columns outline the central stretch of the lobby, base and capital shaded in honey-brown to accent the white of the column's length; tall, narrowly cylindrical pots sit at the base of each pillar, miniature palms heavy with verdant greenery.

At the far end of the column-edged path is a broad flight of shallow stairs, brown and gold edged by white; these lead up to the second floor, its promenades with wrought-iron railings, and the many other spaces to be found within the Corinthian.

It may be foolish to be out and about with a blizzard warning in effect, but what's life without a little danger? That, and, Maddie figures, if she's going to get snowed in, where better than a luxury hotel? She has the day off and staying in just because it's cold — okay, bloody freezing, in a very literal sense of the word — is not in her nature.

Bundled in a down-filled white snow parka that hits her mid-shin, a faux-fur lined hood over her head, Maddie enters the hotel lobby. A gloved hand reaches up to push the hood off her head as she looks around the lush decor with an appreciative gaze. She wasn't rich by any means growing up, but her mother worked for the Embassy, and she's been to plenty of fancy hotels in Melbourne. She can appreciate the money and effort that were clearly laid down for the Corinthian. She looks for the entrance to the casino, figuring that would be where Ina is to be found — since she's here on Ina's invite from a couple of weeks prior.

Ina is generally out and about unless there's paperwork or who knows what else involved. But Maddie is going to luck out because she's behind the reception desk with others, going over who all is staying there and who needs to be woo'd to stay longer. Help having a blizzard really, means things are grounded, no one can go anywhere unless it's on foot and it's desperately cold outside.

A white suit today, if only to poke fun at the weather, hair done up and back in a chignon and one arm in it's last day in a god forsaken sling from the joy that was the elevator, Ina doesn't see Maddie enter and make her way in proper. That's the job of the man who does notice Maddie and approaches with an offer to take her coat, help her check in or direct her to wherever it is that Madam requires.

Maddie lets him take her coat, beneath which she's dressed nicely but warmly — boots, black slacks, a thick blue cashmere sweater that comes up to her chin. "I was actually just stopping in to check out the place and say hello to … " she begins before seeing Ina. Maddie's face turns up into a cheerful smile, "Ina!" Maddie juts her chin at Ina and smiles back at the man to indicate she's found what she was looking for. She moves toward the casino manager. "What happened to you? Are you all right?" the blonde asks, as she approaches the desk, her brows knit with worry for her acquaintance.

Australian accent? Check. Blonde hair? Check. Must be the reporter for the times and the one from the Cambria. "Maddie Hart" Ina taps a finger on the list and passes it back over to the younger woman who she's talking with before her attention goes fully to Maddie. "Boorish idiots who fire guns off in enclosed spaces" Is the supplied answer. "Ever been shot? It's really quite.. well, it's something. What brings you around? Business or pleasure? If it's the first, I can help you and if it's the second, well, I can still help you"

"Ugh, what a tosser," Maddie says at the mention of boorish idiots. There's too many of those in this world. "Funny enough, I … yeah. Kind of," she says, a little awkwardly, reaching to touch her upper arm, which is of course covered by a sweater. "Kind of. I got grazed by a bullet just last week, but it just grazed me — more of a burn and a scrape combined than a bullet wound, really but it hurt like a bloody bitch." Little does she know the same man who was responsible for her injury was responsible for Ina's. "I'm actually off today, but bored and figured a hotel was as good a place as any to possibly get snowed in, yeah?"

"It's warm, generally has electricity, beyond delightful food, cards, company, a rose garden in the middle of winter, how much more could you ask for. Plus, we have hotel rooms by the dozens" Ina points out, gesturing towards the rose garden and starting to head that way with the reporter. "Besides, I promised to teach you how to play cards and I keep my promises. How'd you come by getting shot?"

Maddie nods. "See, it beats my apartment by quite a lot. All I have for food is Mac and Cheese and old Chinese takeout, and the closest thing I have to a rose garden is a dying ficus," the Aussie says as she follows the other woman. "I was reporting on a fire and apparently the heat set off someone's ammunition cache or something ridiculous like that, would you believe it? Like the fire and the two fire trucks crashing weren't horrible enough. When it rains, it pours, I guess."

"What I've heard, welcome to New York. Won't find a ficus in here" Ina smiles, heels striking across the floor with each step and reverberating through the large lobby. "Do you need a room? I can wrangle you a discount on the room for the night if you need to" In other words, she knows reporters aren't rolling the dough.

"I'll try to get home before the snow is too thick to see through," Maddie says with a smirk. "Even with a discount, I don't think I can afford it, and I certainly don't want to assume anything from you." She looks around as they walk. "It's a gorgeous place. It just opened a couple months back, right? Where'd you work before then? I was in Denver before coming here — didn't expect the weather to be worse than Colorado, that's for sure."

"I worked out in Las Vegas, at Mr. Linderman's Corinthian Hotel and Casino there. When they opened up the sister establishment here, I was asked to come and carry on with the same work that I was doing there, here. They wanted reliable staff that knew the business and could train others to do it the way that the Linderman Group required things. To run smoothly, all the cogs in the machine working in harmony and providing a high class and pleasurable experience for all who come through the doors, even here in New York. Colorado though. I've stopped in Denver a few times. A little too cold for my tastes, in fact, I'm downright abhorring the weather here"

Through the doors they go, one hand behind herself, placed at the small of her back and the other in it's sling, clinging to her middle. "You came here for a job at the times then, or just took a chance?"

= The Corinthian: Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is both that as well as greenhouse, glass walls and rooftop ceiling off this little getaway from whatever weather happens to be uselessly battering at it. When the snow falls, it makes a flurry against the glass, an inverse snow dome, but right now it's clear, with a smoggy, starry night domed beyond. The outside courtyard that lies between its closed doors and the opened ones of the warm and bright hotel interior is empty of people save for those moving back and forth, a temporary and interstitial space.

It's warm in here, and smells of dirt and fragrant flowers, crowded with beds of roses, miniature explosions of colour and thorny stalks alike. Dense Indian Hawthorne hedges below the height of a knee create an artful and polite barrier between flowering displays and the gravel pathways, of which there are six coming together into a star-like pattern. The center of this star burst arrangement holds a small three-tiered fountain, bringing with it the scent and sound of trickling water. There are benches around the edges, wooden slats left naked of paint and new to look at, polished smooth.

"I don't think I would like Vegas. Too hot in the summer," Maddie says with a shake of her head, walking through the doors and stopping to breathe in the smell of the roses. "Wow," she says softly, turning to look around with wide-eyed wonder. "This is brilliant." She beams happily. "Nah, I got offered the job before I came. Can't work on that sort of chance in the journalism business. There's just not enough jobs to hope one falls in your lap." She moves to a rose bush to breathe in the scent of one bud, fingers brushing the soft petals. "So did they arrest the arse who shot you?"

"No. There was an agent of some sort, checking on people in the elevators, but they let him go. too concerned with the woman in the corner who was panicking and negating everywhere and that I was shot. An hour in an elevator. I'm looking for a different dentist now, never going there again"

Thus, they come to her favourite place in the Hotel. The rose garden with it's myriad of flowers and the near overpowering smell if the room was smaller. heels crunch on the ground and she leans over to smell a particularly large rose with it's vibrant red petals. "I'm waiting for our first wedding booking in here. I can't wait for our first wedding booking period, in this place. We'll give the other venue's a run for their money"

Maddie sits on the bench, pale aqua eyes looking around at the festival of color. "It's amazing. If I had any sort of bloke to convince to marry me, I'd be sure to consider the place, but no one's dumb enough to take that gig yet," she says with a smirk. "Especially in the winter — it'd be amazing to be surrounded by flowers in winter for a wedding." She sighs, wistfully, perhaps a touch of a romantic in her journalistic soul. "You're lucky to work in such a gorgeous place. The newsroom is horrible. Stale with stacks of newspaper print and editors who don't remember to put on deodorant and people who leave coffee cups for days on their desks."

"You're young. Plenty of time to worry about it and you're pretty enough. Maybe if you weren't deep down in that newsroom with the stale cups of coffee" Ina points out. "All you're going to get is a guy with ink on his hands and coffee breath" Ina sits down on the bench, one leg folded over the other, looking around. "You'll sooner get married than I will" She points out.

"Luck has nothing to do with it and everything to do with hard work, determination and proving that I was the right person for the job. Nothing in this world is luck, not in the least" So convinced of such.

"So says the casino manager," Maddie says with some amusement. "If I got 21 in a game of Jack, I'll call it luck, though. More likely it'll be bad luck in my case. I don't know. I think there's some luck in the world — but it takes strategy and intellect that keep what you get lucky on, right? Now, in case of careers, you're right. In your work, anyway. In mine, it's a combination. It takes work and determination, but once in a while something just falls in your lap. Luck's no lady though — I'd say it's a bastard with a bad temper, instead."

"That last bit, you have the right of. When it's up, she's a beautiful woman, who will be by your side, but when it's down, it's a large fat man beating you around the head" Ina gives a throaty laugh that draws the attention of some others in the room. "So what's your poison, what can I table can I take you to that you don't know and have someone teach you how to play? We have some low stakes tables for people who can't fathom a 200 dollar hand or higher"

"Yeah, two hundred's a bit rich for me. Journalists get paid crap," Maddie says with a laugh. "Something probably that doesn't require me to try to fool anyone else. I don't think I could pull off a poker face if I tried. And something that doesn't require a lot of skill." She grins at the last bit. "Maybe just a slot machine at this point, right? What do you call them — one-armed bandits?"

"Slot machines. The old lady of the business and the tried and true, we can get you set up at one. Quarter slots, dollar slots, all kinds of slots, pretty easy to figure out, addictive." There's a grin on her face as she looks over to the Australian. "Off the record of course. On record? It's an easy way to win and a good way to pass time before you have go for your reservation at the restaurant or to see a show somewhere in the city"

"Speaking of shows, I have to do that yet. I can't believe I've been here more than a month and not seen one. Of course, there's not really a Broadway anymore, but there's still Broadway shows… that was a hard one to wrap me head around." She grins. "But it's not like you can show me how to play slots — I mean, what's there to know? You can show me something else… I get the concept of 21 but not like, when to split or double or any of that fancy bit."

"That's easy enough, splitting and doubling. Lets go show you, a few rounds at least while I have the time and can do it. I can't play here, rules are rules, but I can at least take you to a table and play a few rounds before you put fives bucks down at a live table and try you're hand at it" Legs are unfolded and she rises from the bench, gesturing to a door different than when they came in before she starts in on the basics to Maddie, giving her a head start before they get there. Save time don't you know?

"Thanks, Ina. It's not like I don't think most my money will end up in your hands indirectly anyway, but it's good to have some guidance so I don't make a fool of myself," Maddie says with a grin as she follows the other woman back to the lobby and into the casino. "And it's nice to have a friend," she adds, a sweet smile punctuating her words — it may be an odd friendship, but it feels like it could be the start of one, despite their differences.

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