Make NYC Beautiful Charity Auction


brennan_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif montague_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif russo_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Make NYC Beautiful Charity Auction
Synopsis Nadia Ba'albaki hosts a charity auction at d'Sarthes. Fun ensues, with a little bit of ciminal activity at the end.
Date September 17, 2010


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.

It's a busy evening tonight at d'Sarthe's. Make New York City Beautiful, partnered with Habitat for Humanity, is hosting its first ever charity dinner. Flyers were passed around town, and word was spread through many of the social circles of New York City. Tonight is the big night, and many faces have shown up. People wearing elegant clothing are filing in through the door, presenting their tickets.

Well dressed men usher the masses into the largest of the dining rooms here at d'Sarthe's, informing them that the silent auction and auction will be first, followed by dinner. All around the edges of the room, tables are set up, holding smaller sculptures and paintings from various artists around the city that are up for silent auction, with papers for writing down bids. The front of the room has been set up like a stage, with a large 'Make NYC Beautiful' banner draped across the ceiling. All throughout the dining room are neatly set tables.

The lady of the hour, Nadia, is currently standing up by the stage, wearing an elegant silky blue dress that nearly reaches the floor, with ruffles and frills conveniently placed; her hair has been done up quite nicely, as has her makeup, and she's speaking to a few people who are apparently art types, explaining a nearby sculpture.

"I think it looks like a chicken," Bradley Russo murmurs to one of the other patrons. He holds a glass of water — no alcohol tonight, not with how he was berated following the last time. It's too close, public, anyways, and he doesn't really know this crowd; knowing his luck someone would recognize him from AA. So water it is! His black suit and navy shirt are offset by a white tie — almost exactly what he'd decided not to wear.

The glass is brought to Brad's lips, sipped at like it's alcohol rather than gulped like the water it is. He arches an eyebrow at the painting before motioning towards the top half, "Clearly that is a beak." He flashes the other guest a bright smile. The title of the piece, however, has nothing to do with birds, named: The Struggle. He shrugs as nonchalantly as he can before glancing aorund the room.'

With her jewellery merely silver and the cost of her dress not quite breaking into four figures, Ygraine feels somewhat out of place amidst the finery. Still, excellent posture and an educated British accent can carry one far indeed in much of the United States, and Ygraine is used to putting on a display of confidence.

With Quinn on her arm and Xiulan's brilliant work clearly on display on her back, Miss FitzRoy nods politely to the attendants on the door as she presents the couple's tickets, then smiles warmly at her companion when they are allowed inside. "You know… part of my reason for coming here tonight", she murmurs, "is in hopes of finding out if the owner has a French bone in his body. I'm still utterly at a loss as to whether he's wholly clueless, or if he is in fact playing a joke on the city with his name…"

To the mercy of fashionable eyes, Cardinal isn't wearing the gods-awful thing that he was wearing last time he was here at d'Sarthe's. It's entirely possible that Peyton managed to seize and burn it for the sake of all that's holy. So he's just in a grey off-the-rack suit with a tie that isn't tied quite right and a collar that's mostly in place, some stylish Oakley sunglasses perched upon his face to hide his eyes completely.

A glass of something in hand, he's making his way along casually from piece of art to art and checking the names of the artists before moving on. One never knows when a Brill or Mendez might show up somewhere on auction, after all.

Nanny with the kids, a night out for the misses. Doctors Brennan - Harve and Michelle respectivly - are out. Him in a proper suit and tie that gets a bit of wear, Michelle beside him draped in purple that doesn't attempt to hide the swell of her belly that screams pregnant, hair up and diamonds in her ears, grinning as they sweep in behind others entering into the auction area. She swats at his arm, something he said even as her laugh plays across those near. "Herve" She admonishes, bumping into Cardinal as she and he go by. Something that didn't involve other doctors, whatever current childrens television show fascination is or the Suresh Center. Grown up adult fare.

"Mon Dieu, my apologies" She coo's in French to cardinal, a hand coming out to make sure she didn't knock over the man while he was perusing the goods on display across the table. "I am so clumsy, please, my apologies" French accent coating her words. Brennan only turns away from where he was looking at something, debating how much to put down and raises brows at who his wife is apologizing to.

Montague Bonaventure was one of the first people to receive an invitation to tonight's charity auction. Not that he was particularly wanted there, but as one of the richest young men in New York, he could put down a big bid or two and really help the cause.

He's alone this evening, no young lady on his arm to distract him. His face would be enough to get him in, but his ticket is checked and he slips inside d'Sarthe proper. Wearing a brand new, quite fashionable three piece suit and tie, he looks like he could have just walked out of the pages of GQ magazine.

"Well, let's see how much money I can waste on art I'll never look at again," is muttered to himself before he snags a glass of champagne from a roaming waiter.

"An' here I thought you came t' see one of the women I won at the date auction," Quinn replies with a chuckle as she points up to the woman on stage with a smirk. "Nadia, if you weren't aware, was one a' the people I kinda accidentally bought at Tartarus," she continues sheepishly, leadning against her date. "Not that I think you have anythin' t' worry about," she adds with a wink. Looking around at the various objects up for auction, her foot tapping repeatedly. "Dunno. Could be a simple business name, meant t' appeal t' anyone who doesn't know better? I'm sure mum would be just as curious." Quinn, however, isn't that worried about it, so sjur just offers a shrug with her bare shoulder. Her long black dress just barely meets the floor, showing a pair of heeled shoe with each step - something very unusual for the musician.

Finishing with her conversation with the art-heads, Nadia offers them a cheerful wave, and slowly begins to make her way around the room, holding a half-finished glass of champagne. Occasionally, the Face of Registration pauses, making small talk with those who approach her with a cheerful look on her face, answering the occasional question about Registration or a particular piece of art or sculpture that has been set out on the auction tables.

Finally, however, she reaches the side of one Brad Russo, her new favorite fellow celebrity. "Brad! Glad you could make it!" She looks him over once, and offers a soft giggle. "You took my advice on the suit. Color me impressed, you look amazing." She casts a glance toward the painting he's commenting on, laughing. "That would be an abstract painting, using shapes and colors to portray a feeling. I'm more partial to classical art myself, but."

Nadia laughs to herself, glancing around the room. Familiar faces are met with a wide grin, and Nadia offers a wave to Cardinal, Quinn, and Brennan in turn. Then, she glances toward the stage. "We've got about fifteen minutes before the auction starts," she offers to Brad, smiling. "My table is the one closest to the stage, obviously."

"You bought her for your harem?", Ygraine asks Quinn - managing to keep her voice pitched low enough to avoid turning too many heads, albeit only with some difficulty. "She's… ever so slightly in the eye of the media at the moment. You lucky thing. Make sure that you're ready for paparazzi attention if you take her anywhere public. Though that might be a good way to drum up some interest for a rising young rock star, of course…"
Winking teasingly, Ygraine grins at her companion, pausing briefly to snare drinks from a passing tray before gently attempting to induce a blush. "Not that I think that you'll need any help in turning heads tonight, Robyn. I doubt that I'm the only one who enjoys the combination of red hair, black dress, and pale skin…."

"Hey! Nadia!" she's offered a quick wink, "Havin' fun yet?" There's a quirk of a smile as Brad shakes his head, "I said I'd come!" He offers her a quick wink before turning back to the painting. "Yeah. I don't think I could have this in my living room and be able to look at it for long without feeling like the chicken is staring at me. I don't like paintings where people stare at me… I'm sure they're always — " the smile fades as his cheeks flush a slight pink, cutting himself off.

A hand rises to his collar straightening it. "I tend to take ladies' advice when it comes to dressing." Thanks to the show. He shrugs slightly before motioning back to the painting, "Right." He wags a finger to punctuate the point about the table. "Near the stage."

The jostling fortunately doesn't spill the champagne - or wine, or whatever it is - in Cardinal's hand, and he's chuckling a bit as there's an apology offered from Michelle Brennan, free hand lifting up to wave it off. "No, no, it's alright, really, no harm… done." The last word trails for a moment before his gaze falls onto the other Brennan, the one who he last saw in the basement of a certain house.

A faint, wry smile twitches to his lips, and after raising his glass in acknowledgement of Nadia he turns his attention back to him. "Harve," he offers casually, "Or Doctor Brennan, whichever you prefer. How've you been?"

"Richard, please, call me Harve" Brennan's hand comes out in an offer of a handshake. "I've been well. Life is agreeing with me, as I see, it is doing much the same with you. I see you've met Michelle, my wife. I'm a bit surprised to see you here. Was Ms Whitney unable to attend?" Men who lurk in shadows and deal in clandestine ongoings, aren't usually who he thinks he'll see at charity functions.

Brennan too lifts a hand to Nadia when she gestures, acknowledging her, Russo beside her which he recognizes. "This must be a big to do, we've got a few members of the obscenely wealthy here, I think I saw the editor of pause sniffing around somewhere, and now Nadia is hobknobbing with the host of The Advocate" Brennan gestures with his glass to Russo. Michelle in the meantime, pulls away with polite apologies, off to look at a few things, perhaps put down a bid or two.

Nadia raises a hand, helping Bradley Russo fix his collar. Yeah, Ygraine certainly doesn't have anything to fear from Nadia, she's definitely into men. She grins, reaching out to take his hand and guide him toward another painting, this one a landscape of what appears to be the Catskill Mountains. "Here we go! One of my friends over in the art department of Columbia did this one. No eyes to stare at you, just leaves." She laughs softly, pushing a pen into Brad's hand. "Bid on it, he'll be thrilled if his painting gets to be hung up in your living room."

Another glance is cast around, each face being taken in, and then the political starlet places a warm hand on Brad's shoulder. "And when you're done bidding, walk with me while I go greet people. You can be my excuse to get away if I need to." Another smile is cast around the room as she picks out potential targets to schmooze with. Montague is one of them. She may as well get her status as a celebrity as firmly set as she can.

Obscenely wealthy? Check. Monty passes by Brennan and Cardinal at that moment, almost effortlessly dodging and weaving his way through the occupants. There is a certain air of detached melancholy following him, and though he looks absolutely stunning, the slight darkness under his eyes is unmistakeable. Perhaps he just woke up, or perhaps he didn't sleep.

He pauses to eye a particular piece, taking a sip from his champagne glass. Catching Nadia out of the corner of his eye, he makes for her direction. "You must be Miss Ba'albaki," his voice is smooth and eloquent. He takes her hand in his, lifting it to kiss the back of her hand. "Montague Bonaventure."

"Oh, Christ, Hollingwood's here? Crazy bitch had me arrested once…" After the handshake's returned - Cardinal's hand gloved as it always is - he ducks his head a bit, looking around warily as if expecting her to lunge out from cover and assault him with a vase or something of the sort. When he doesn't immediately spot her, he straightens a little, fingers scratching at the nape of his neck.

"I'm glad you're doing alright… speaking of Peyton, and yeah, she had some things to tend to tonight," he looks back to Brennan with a serious expression, "I hope you don't blame her for the other week? She was operating under procedure - she was all but in tears about having to do it, but if you're going to blame anyone for it, blame me. My people are under strict no-control procedure for— well. You know who. And why."

"Huh," Brad's attention is easily directed to the landscape. "This could do…" he murmurs as he scrutinizes the picture, attempting to picture it on his freakishly blank white walls. He shoots her another smile and nods. "I'll bid on it." It's for charity, right? And he really does need to decorate anyways.

He whistles as he peers at the next painting, moving forward even further. "It's… another chicken." Yeah, abstract art isn't his thing.

If Michelle was here, she'd probably look at Cardinal pretty strangely and then to Brennan expectantly. But she's not and the only puzzled look is the one on Brennan's face. "Well, there's nothing quite like being evicted out of the back seat of a vehicle and being told that you can't be trusted to make one wonder hwat could possibly be going on that they really need a homeless man who's been injured" Brennan waves it off though. "I don't see why there needs to be any blame assigned when there is nothing that needs any responsibility taken for. I met up with the man a couple days later when I was out with the girls. He looked like he was nursing a bad case of cracked ribs. If he needs anything medical, tell her to take him to the clinic, Michelle will look him over, bind them if he needs it still" He liberates a passing drink from a tray. "And tell Peyton no tears needed, now what did you do that hollingwood arr- wait, nevermind, I have an idea' "

When it turns out that she doesn't need to make her way over to Montague, with him instead approaching her, Nadia's brows raise ever so slightly, though she's still wearing that bright smile. She giggles softly as Montague raises her hand and kisses her knuckles, placing one hand to her cheek, before lowering it with a flustered look on her face.

She's really not used to having celebrity-types approach her.

"A pleasure to meet you, Mister Bonaventure. I'm glad you could make it out to my auction!" She glances over to Russo, a smile on her face, before looking back to the rather charming, wealthy playboy before her.

Quinn laughs sheepishly at Ygraine, shaking her head at Ygraine. "Lord, Ygraine, the last thing I need is you embarrassin' me in public," she replies with a grin, knowing full well the irony of that statement. "I didn't realise that when I bid on her, actually. Not like I was tryin' t' win anyway! You should have been there, then you'd understand." Her eyes are scanning around for any familiar faces - Richard Cardinal is one, but not exactly someone she's jumping to go talk to, given her past experiences, and Brennan from his stop in at Ichihara several days ago. That just leaves Nadia, who's already swamped. A wave is offered in Brennan's direction, and a thumbs up - hopefully he'll get what that means.

Still, she catches the grin offered her way and flashes a smile back, waving rather excitedly. "Hey Nadia~" she says with a slight pitch raise of her voice, adding a sing-songy quality to it. She doesn't stop the wave, though. "See anythin', you want t' bid on, Ygraine?"

Leaning over a touch, Ygraine gently bumps hips with Quinn. "I'm sorry I wasn't there", she murmurs, sounding genuinely apologetic. "Though I admit that I'm happy to have missed out on the chance to come dead-last in the public valuation for a second time. Or to have my girlfriend forget to bid on me."

Another wink, then she turns her attention away from teasing Quinn and onto the art. "Want to? Hrmmm. I might put down a bid or two on some of the landscapes, but I rather doubt that I'll win anything - there are people here wearing more wealth than I have in the bank. I'm… often painfully aware that I was very definitely raised as part of an elite and that I've never been poor in my life, but… it's not this sort of elite. I hope that you enjoy a glimpse of the American aristocracy, my dear."

Cardinal waited for Michelle to step away, of course; it wouldn't be polite to do otherwise! "We have our medical people taking care of him," he says with a slight nod, a faint and rue-touched smile gracing his lips, "I'll let Peyton know that you don't blame her, I'm sure she'll be relieved… so things've been well with you and Michelle? Lovely woman, by the way, I hadn't met her before."

He turns a little to look over the room, gaze pausing on a face here and there, noting familiar and almost-familiar people as he talks. "I'm a bit of an art buff, myself, although I'm rather particular."

True, Monty could have let the Face of Registration approach him. His finely honed social instincts told him she was intending to do so. But by beating her to the punch, he has control of the conversation and the meeting. It is an important distinction for Monty.

"I assure you, whenever I meet a beautiful woman such as yourself, the pleasure is all mine."

There is a slight twinkle in his gray eyes as he raises his glass for another sip of champagne, the quality champagne that costs more per bottle than some men pay on alcohol in a whole year. He moves to lean his head in closer, to whisper in Nadia's ear.

"To tell you the truth, I absolutely hate these events. I know a good cause when I see one, though. I will bid high and often."

"Expecting a boy, come christmas. The girls are excited. I'm working more at the Suresh Center, keeping busy really." good that they had medical people helping them. Might explain why he hadn't come across Peyton in ages. "Most people are particular when it comes to their art" Brennan lifts a hand again, thumbs up back to Quinn, for what reason, only the two of them know. "I should go find Michelle, it was good to see you again. Careful of Hollingwood, be a shame to have to buy a vase, if it cracked over your head." There's a pat to Cardinal's forearm. "If the temperature drops, flee. Means my pregnant wife didn't get a painting she wants. Hormones" He shakes his head before heading off towards Quinn and Ygraine.

Nadia can't help but giggle as the wealthy man points out that she is beautiful, though she does occasionally cast a glance toward Brad Russo, as if to check and see if he minds. It's these shy little moments that indicate that Nadia Ba'albaki is definitely new to the spotlight, being the daughter of immigrants. She sips at her champagne to disguise the blush on her cheeks, then leans closer as Monty whispers into her ear.

Then, she turns a bright, cheerful smile to the man, reaching out and placing a hand on his shoulder briefly. "Thank you, Mister Bonaventure. You have no clue how much this means to me. I really appreciate it." She glances toward the clock on the stage again.

Quinn is offered a bright smile and a wave, and Nadia calls out to her. "Quinn! Good to see you here! Once the auction is over, swing by my table! We still have a date to arrange."

That said, she excuses herself from Montague and Brad's company, pointing toward the stage with a sheepish smile. "It's time for me to go make a fool of myself up on stage. Try not to laugh too hard if I stutter!" She laughs softly, and begins to make her way toward the stage, pausing only briefly to touch Brad Russo's shoulder.

Ygraine can't help but laugh when Nadia calls across the room about dating her girlfriend, cracking a swift and impish grin at Quinn. Then the approaching Harve Brennan secures her attention, the Briton studying him with the faintly perplexed look of someone struggling to match face, name, and reason for knowing together in her mind.

"Congratulations," Cardinal crooks a faint smile, letting Brennan step away, "Give my best to Harper, would you?"

Sometimes, Richard can just be mean.

Left on his own in a sea of familiar strangers, he drifts along over towards the next painting and sculpture that's on display, taking an absent sip of his drink as he moves.

"You're quite welcome, Miss Ba'albaki." The wealthy socialite allows the woman to walk away, though he picks up on her touching Russo's shoulder. He doesn't have much time to think about it however as Cardinal ends up standing by him.

Coincidence, of course.

Monty turns to look at the man, sizing him up and struggling to picture where he knows this man from. His lips curl into a smirk when he finally recognizes him, and he extends a hand to the man.

"Richard Cardinal. How nice to see you."

Quinn lets out another sheepish laugh - it's actually Nadia who gets her to blush, shouting out that she has a date with another date in public, even if it's not the kind of date most would assume. She waves back again, still grinning. "I'll be sure t' come by! Best a' luck t'night!"

With that, she's turning back, just in time to notice Brennan approaching, an action which earns the tilting of her head and a wave of her hand. "Nice t' see you again, Doctor Brennan. Dunno if you've seen Lydia again since whenever she went t' se eyou, but your suggestion for how t' deal with the cats was spot on!"

'So Gabriel is behaving then?" Cardinal's little comment about telling Harper hello gets a tremendously confused look as if tell who hello? But his attention back to Ygraine and Quinn. "Nice to see you though, I'm gladd Lydia's going well. I haven't seen her back at the center, so the scratches must be doing fine. ANything in particular you ladies are looking for tonight? Got an eye on something or just out and about for some culture?

"Mister Bonaventure…" The wine in Richard's glass swirls about as he rotates his wrist briefly, not turning his attention from the sculpture he's considering through those dark lenses for a few moments, vessel lifted finally and a sip taken before he turns towards the heir to the Bonaventure fortune, a faint smile twitching to his lips.

The gloved hand not busy with his wine reaches out to clasp the offered, "…good to meet you. How's the life of luxury these days?"

With Quinn kindly providing a name, Ygraine is able to offer Brennan a genuinely warm smile as he approaches. She's sure she's met him before - somewhere - but the identity is separately familiar. "Oh, I doubt that we're wealthy enough to win anything here, but I'm intending to put down a bid or two just in case. Every now and then, you can get lucky in an auction…."

Monty appears unflappable, not the slightest bit miffed that Cardinal doesn't turn immediately to face him. He waits for the man to take his eyes from the painting and extend hand in turn. Monty's grip is firm, the kind of handshake where you try to say something more than you can with words.

"Oh, you know. Attending charity auctions, debating whether or not to pick up a new penthouse suite.. it's terribly rough."

He smirks, releasing the handshake to stuff both his hands into the pockets of his finely pressed slacks. "I must say, you're not the type of man I expect to find at an event such as this. I guess congratulations are in order, I hadn't realized you won the lottery."

Nadia climbs up the stage with the assistance of a stage hand, to ensure she doesn't trip over that long dress of hers. A microphone is handed off to her, and taking a few deep breaths, Nadia steps out onto the stage, smiling cheerfully to the crowd. She waits until she's in the center, just like she's been practicing all week. After a moment's hesitation, she lifts the microphone for her first time speaking in public.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all so much for coming out here." She casts that smile over the crowd. "I am Nadia Ba'albaki, your host this lovely evening. I hope you all are enjoying yourselves thus far!" She pauses, shifting her weight onto her other foot.

"As you all know very well, New York City is a bit of a desolate place these days. The bomb, plus the years, has taken its toll on this once beautiful city. People live in squalor; some don't even have electricity, heat, or air in their homes." Nadia's eyes trail over the crowd as she addresses it. "Today, we are working with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild apartment buildings in town, refurbish them, and make them livable once more. The art on the tables that is up for Silent Auction, as well as the art that we will be auctioning off here in a few moments, will go home with you and make your homes beautiful. In return, the proceeds from all items will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, and we will be using it to rebuild some of these high-traffic apartment buildings that are in horrible condition."

The Face of Registration offers a bright smile, now. "So, without further ado, I guess we'll start the auction!"

"Yeah, last I saw her arms looked a lot better. It's really a good thing you came by, otherwise I think she'd be Swiss cheese or somethin' now. Gabriel is closest to a Diva Kitty I've ever seen. Though I think the kittens'll be ready t' be adopted out soon." A pause, and Quinn turns to look up at Ygraine. "Oh yeah. The bookstore has a litter of kittens, if you want one. I'm thinkin' about it, though I may need t' wait a few weeks." With that, she looks back to Brennan, and smiles wide. "Did any of the books I picked out work for the gift you wanted t' give? I hope so, I'd hate t' think I'd screwed that up."

At the hand on his shoulder, Brad issues Nadia a quick grin before ushering himself to the table near the stage — the one she'd indicated earlier to situate himself as ready to bid on the paintings he's already chosen. His cheeks flush a little as he slides into his chair and drums his fingers on the table, ready to bid

The return handshake is quite firm, Richard's grip secure and unwavering for the moments until it's released. "The lottery? Nah. I won something much, much more valuable than that, Mister Bonaventure…" He trails off as Nadia stands up to speak to the auction's beginning, a smile crooking to his lips, one hand raising to lift his wine glass in a salute to the woman upon the stage.

That done, he slants a sidelong look back to Montague. "…I won part of the security contract for the Outer District. What have you done for the world lately?"

"I think we'll be taking a pair of them when they're ready to be taken home. Will help the twins adjust to another creature and being in the house that requires attention and yes, yes, Lydia left them all with me, but the Nurse was very delighted with it, and Michelle's been reading the other two" Brennan nods to ygraine. "Sometimes, you manage to snag the thing you want right?" And Nadia's starting up the auctions and Brennan's attention switches there.

"Kittens…? Gabriel?" Ygraine's clearly a little lost, but laughs fondly as she gently shakes her head at Quinn. Splitting her attention between those talking with her and Nadia. "Every now and then, yes", she murmurs in response to Brennan, though her wink and next words are directed to Quinn. "If you see anything that you want, let me know. I've got art enough for my place already…."

Tilting his head slightly and then back up to remove errant hair from his vision, Monty turns to face the stage as Nadia addresses the crowd. When she is finished speaking, his hand slips from his pocket to clap enthusiastically after he places his empty champagne glass on a passing tray.

"That truly is something remarkable, Dick." Monty's smile is an obvious vaneer. "What have I done for the world lately? Well, now. That would be telling, wouldn't it?" He turns back to slap the man on the shoulder. "Good luck with the bidding, hmm?" Then he slides away, towards his specified seat.

The first piece, a brass sculpture resembling an overturned horseshoe with roughly ten hands pointed out of the top, and a more 'caring' hand in the center, is wheeled out by two men. Nadia turns to look at it, smiling cheerfully. Once it is fully in view of the crowd, the Moroccan woman turns toward those gathered with a bright, charming smile upon her face.

"This first piece is a sculpture, entitled 'Manifestation', by Wendy Hunter. Wendy was the heiress of the Hunter Communications Corporation, who sadly passed away a little over a year ago. The Hunter Communications Corporation donated this piece to our charity, to honor her name, and to help the unfortunate folks here in New York City." Nadia glances over the crowd, smiling. "Let the bidding begin!"

(The piece is called "Manifestation" and is by Wendy Hunter. A fairly large piece in bronze, a good three feet tall, the sculpture shows a hand formed horseshoe shape that one can imagine took a great deal of time to make with the bumps and grooves that trace along the surface. On the outer surface of the sculpture, hands reach out and away from the piece. Gathered in fists, pointing in dismay or shock, the theme of them seeming to be fear and negativity, of moving away from the inner portion of the piece. In the inner portion is a lone hand, held out almost as if offering aid or for someone to place their hand in theirs.)

"You too," Cardinal says almost absently as Monty slips away, his hand coming up to brush at his shoulder as if something distasteful was lingering there. As the sculpture's brought out to the stage, he shows no interest, sipping from his wine glass and moving to examine the rest of the paintings… until the name of the artist is mentioned, and his head snaps up, a shade or so of colour fading from it.

Well. Seems like he'll have to bid, now.

Interesting piece, makes one wonder what all is meant by the piece and what the creator intended, Elsewhere in the crowd, people lift their hands, placing bids on the piece, even as Brennan is joined by Michelle and the two watch, not intending to bid on the sculpture made by lost artist.

"Lydia owns the bookstore I work at now," Quinn explains as she looks up at Ygraine. "Gabriel's a cat taht's been there since before she got it. Looks really creepy, acts like a diva. You know, cat things." She shrugs. "I think I'm fine, for now. We'll se eif anythin' really interestin' comes up." As Michelle arrives up beside Harve, Quinn gives her a bit of a wave, but otherwise remains quiet so she doesn't interrupt Nadia's auctioneering.

Ygraine appears to be similarly disinclined to bid on this particular piece, looking perplexed more than intrigued by it - though the summarised tale of the dead artist certainly had her look at it more closely than she otherwise might have done. Leaning over, she plants a kiss on Quinn's ear, to make her squirm… and also to get her attention. "I'm going to have a closer look at some of the paintings", she murmurs, careful to avoid seeming to make a bid. "You're welcome to tag along, or stay here and talk about kittens and books. But this seems to be my best chance to see things without a crowd around each one…."

Gently pressing a hand to Quinn's back in farewell, Ygraine starts to slip her way through the throng, heading towards some of the artworks not immediately up for grabs.

The bids mount up, with a few patrons bidding in the hundreds. Cardinal's bids are fiercely competed with by another person, who apparently really likes the strange piece; this brings its price up to six grand. However, in the end, it is Montague Bonaventure who comes out the winner, who stands up and promptly bids $50K on the piece. Nadia actually looks a bit shocked at the large bid for a moment, before a large smile forms on her face.

A hand is gestured toward Montague, and Nadia, obviously touched by this judging by the crack in her voice, speaks. "And the winner is Montague Bonaventure, for fifty thousand!" She laughs softly, running a hand through her hair. "Thank you so much for your kindness, Mister Bonaventure!"

The two men roll the sculpture off of the stage, while two others roll a rather large and beautifully painted landscape of what appears to be a swamp out for the crowd to see. "Our next piece is entitled 'Breathtaking', by a good friend of mine, one Jacey Mikhaila. She's an art major over at Columbia University, with plenty of promise to become the next famous name among the art community. You could be the first one to own a Mikhaila painting, which only promises to appreciate in value in the years to come." She glances around, smiling. "Please, place your bids now!"

Watching the gentleman bid amongst themselves, quietly, a smirk forms on Montague's lips. Finally, he raises a hand to put his own bid in, a bid that absolutely floors anybody elses bid. He leans back with a victorious look stretched across his face, giving Nadia a nod when she thanks him. He then turns his head to fire a look across the room at Cardinal, but he soon looks back to check out the next piece.

As the final bid goes out, Cardinal's gaze sweeps over towards Mister Bonventure just as he looks back over - and he raises the glass in a casual salute, inclining his head in apparently gracious defeat. Then, given that his glass is empty, he slips back into the crowd to presumably get it refilled.

Ygraine is regarded with a frown and a nods as she heads off, leaving Quinn standing alone among a crowd she thinks she really has no place in. Hands fold in front of her as she stares up at Nadia on the stage, a grin n her face as the first piece is auctioned off - though when she hears for how much her expression immediately falls. "Jesus feckin' Christ," she mummers with a shake of her head. "How the 'ell am we supposed t' afford anythin' if someone's bidding that much!" Clearly, Quinn didn't quite understand what "high society" meant. Still, she's not entirely dissuaded as the next piece is revealed, something she quiet likes.

Fifty thousand, interesting. What some will pay for art. Brennan glances to the painting, Michelle murmuring something in his ear. across the way, hands lift, individuals taking in the pastoral scene that is up and waiting for the highest bidder, a fancily dressed woman with outrageous pearls determined to get it.

Really, what's fifty thousand dollars to make a statement? He gets to rub his money in Richard Cardinal's face, and all the papers will say tomorrow is how generous a man he is. He also found the piece.. interesting. It's a win-win-win situation for Monty. The next piece wheeled out is of no particular interest to him however, so he doesn't make any bids on it. Instead, he leans up from his seat to snatch another glass of champagne from a passing waiter.

A few bids go back and forth, between a few people; finally, Quinn is left as the winning bidder, with a bid of $750. Nadia points to the redhead, grinning widely. "Sold! To the lovely redhead in the back, Robyn Quinn, for $750! Thank you so much for your support of this cause!" Nadia smiles cheerfully, her eyes trailing over the crowd as the painting is wheeled out.

What comes next is just a bit unexpected. It is a motorcycle, an old Harley that looks like it has never been driven a day in it's life. "The next item we have for auction isn't quite traditional, in terms of artwork. This is a completely restored Harley, ready and rearing to be driven, or just sat in your garage and rubbed with a diaper, as my father would say!" She laughs softly. "This has been kindly donated by Jaiden Mortlock, who restored this by hand. Fully functional, works even better than the day it was made!"

Cardinal, however, doesn't seem too terribly upset about the loss; a glass of wine refilled, he makes himself comfortable off to one side of the general crowd and taps his thumb over the touchpad of his smartphone, glancing up only briefly at the sight of the motorcycle. A wry shake of his head, and he's back to tapping.

There's a nudge to Brennan's ribs by his wife, making the man curl in a bit protectively and rolls his eyes at his wife when the bike is rolled out. Whatever little argument they're having between them when the item in question is rolled out, Brennan's eventually lifting his hand and getting into the bidding that starts up with a goofy grin on his face.

With his wife's permission of course.

Quinn blinks, looking wholly surprised that, following a fifty thousand dollar winning bid she's managed to win on a measly $750 bid. But with Nadia calling out her name, she looks more than a little lost as she waits for the painting to be wheeled out so that she can take it home. And then a motorcycle is wheeled out. She knows Ygraine would kill her if she didn't bid on it for her. Not that she has permission to bid more than an amount far below the asking price of a motorcycle, but a bid is a bid! Even pointless as it may be.

The bids come in quickly for the motorcycle, men in the crowd apparently quite thrilled that there's something for their tastes, too. Quinn bids, but is rather quickly taken out of the race by other bidders with a higher budget. At first, Montague is in the lead at $20K, but is quickly overthrown by Brennan, who throws out $25K. Nadia blinks a few times, and laughs once more, pointing to Brennan. "And this wonderful bike from Jaiden Mortlock's shop, Mortlock Customs, goes to Dr. Harve Brennan!" She giggles softly as the motorcycle is wheeled offstage.

"Now, what we have up next might look like the original, but I assure you, it's in a slightly smaller scale than Michaelangelo's." As she speaks, a nearly perfect recreation of Michaelangelo's David sculpture is wheeled out. "This is one of the many pieces of sculpture that I have created and put up for auction today, and also the second largest. My favorite sculptor is Michaelangelo, and I operate very much on his theory that I am simply uncovering the sculpture in a piece of marble, when I sculpt." It really couldn't be further from the truth. "This is, obviously, a remade version of Michaelangelo's David, made as close to the original as I could manage."

She offers a warm smile over the crowd, her chest swelling a little. "Bidding starts now."

Up goes Michelle's hand, the other resting on the upper curve of her belly, grinning at the statue. Something to place somwhere in the home, or maybe elsewhere. Somewhere. Brennan just shakes his head, laughing at the veracity with which his wife is bidding, and more than content with the winning of the bike.

Quinn laughs as she is quickly outbid on the bike, just like she expected she would be. No shame in trying though. "Have fun with that," she comments as she looks back over to Brennan. "Looks like a fun ride, an' I know Jaiden does good work." Well, she doesn't know for sure, but she strongly suspects he does. Another laugh follows as the replica is wheeled out and Mrs. Brennan begins bidding with ferocity. Quinn herself stares at it for moment, eyes narrowed, and considers bidding - but she's once again sure she has no real chance, not to mention she's pretty sure neither her nor Ygraine have room for a statue in their places.

Looking confident that he won't be outbid, that look of confidence turns to one of surprise when Brennan outbids him. "Huh, what do you know. Good for him," the blue blood says as he slowly rises from his seat to stretch his legs.

Oh, hey. A statue of a naked guy. Just what he needs to add to.. well, any of his penthouse suites or homes. Not. Still, though, he raises his hand to bid. If only because it was sculpted by Nadia herself.

Many people seem to want this statue, but it is Montague who ends up winning, with a bid of $11k. Nadia turns a bright smile toward the man. "Sold, to Montague Bonaventure! Thank you again for your contributions, Mr. Bonaventure!" She laughs softly as the statue is rolled off of the stage, throwing a charming smile across the crowd and to the generous playboy.

"Our last piece is an original one, once again created by yours truly. By the way, I must say that I am honored to see my works and the works of my friends going to such generous people. Thank you all, so much." The last piece is rolled out, larger than the first; how it was even brought into the facility is almost questionable. It is a man-sized angel, standing upon a pile of rocks with his wings spread, one hand reaching out toward the heavens, with a tortured look on his face. "I call this one 'Unreachable'."

Richard Cardinal, meanwhile, has slipped off; perhaps he left early, or has moved off to the bathroom, or otherwise excused himself. Then again, maybe he's just out of view for now.

"Holy crap, that thing is huge!" Quinn remarks with surprise as the angel stature is wheeled in. "Feckin', woderful lookin', though…" And, she's pretty sure, something that's going to go for well over a few ten thousands of dollars.

No place to put that, and neither to their taste. It's to someone's taste though, and in come bids, hands up in calm manners, increasing the bid up and up as they go. WHo knows where it will go? Who knows who will win it. The BRennans it seems, have seen enough and turns much like Cardinal, to start to make their way out.

There is a moment where Montague looks like he is going to bid on the new statue, but instead he takes the opportunity to sneak away. He passes by the Brennans and Quinn as he heads in the direction of the bathroom, top of the line smartphone slipped from his pocket as he walks.

The bids fly out, and eventually, an older woman who looks extremely well-to-do comes out at 15 grand. Nadia cheerfully gestures to her. "And 'Unreachable' goes to the lovely young woman in the corner! Thank you for your contribution!" She smiles over the crowd as the enormous statue is wheeled out. "Alright, that's it for all of the items! The silent auction will be closed by dinner, so make sure you get your bids in!"

She steps forward, then, spreading her arms toward the crowd. "The last item we have up for bid is not actually an item. It's me!" She laughs softly. "I know I owe a date to the lovely Robyn Quinn, but, I would like to offer myself up for bid. This can be just about anything you would like, within reason: A custom painting or sculpture, friendship, a date…you can even buy me so you can tell me what you think of Registration!" She laughs softly. "Bidding begins now!"

Gone, slipped away, out to pay for the motorbike, arrange for it's delivery and off to enjoy the rest of the night, that's where the Brennan's are headed. Taking the quiet moments where they can and stealing them, holding tight and enjoying before hell breaks loose. It's only inevitable. Really.

As the auction reaches its last bid - the auctioneer herself - a shadow silently spills across the foot of 'Manifestation' and slips beneath it to wait in silent patience. Cardinal may not have won the lottery, but he never bought most of his art collection legally anyway.

This announcement - and the mentioning of her name - gets another nervous laugh. Not one to let something like taht go without retort, though, she leans foward on the balls of her feet, hands cupped like a megaphone around her mouth. "Does that mean I can't bid again?!" she shouts mirthfully. Not that that's going to stop her from offering up for a laugh - though being smarter about it than last time.

Not long in the bathroom, if he even stepped foot inside, Montague walks back towards his seat. As people around him start raising their signs and bidding on Nadia, he moves past them and his seat, closer to the stage. He puts one hand on the edge, vaulting up onto it and strutting to the microphone.

He gives Nadia a smile as he takes the microphone from her, then turns to address the crowd. "I bid one hundred thousand dollars," his smooth voice booming out over the occupants. Then he turns back to face Nadia, handing the microphone back to her.

"Oh, you can bid again, Miss Quinn!" Nadia laughs as Quinn starts out the bid at $100, and a few others toss out the bid. However, it is Montague who once again proves that he has more than enough money to waste. Nadia's eyes widen as Montague hops up onto the stage and takes her mic, her cheeks suddenly flushing bright red. The microphone is taken back, though for a moment, it seems that Monty has stunned Nadia into complete silence.

Then, with cheeks that almost glow red, Nadia smiles to the crowd. As nobody contests, she laughs. "Well, I suppose I am sold, then, to the shockingly handsome Montague Bonaventure, for one hundred thousand dollars." She laughs, still bright red in the face.

"And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our auction! There's about five minutes left to get those silent bids in, then dinner will be served!" Nadia smiles. "Thank you all, once again, for coming out this evening! Please, enjoy your dinner, courtesy of the staff of d'Sarthe's! And don't forget, a week from tomorrow is the Grand Opening of d'Sarthe's! It promises to be a wonderful event, so don't miss it!"

With that, the microphone is set back in its stand, and Nadia turns a cheerful smile toward Montague. "So I'm worth $100 grand to you? You really know how to make a girl feel special!" She laughs.

While the shock of the hundred-thousand dollar bid has all eyes on the stage, the living shadow that is Richard Cardinal reaches up with greedy fingers to grip the bronze sculpture crafted by a dead friend's hand and pulls it into the darkness.

He's retired from the burglary business, from robbing the homes of men such as Montague Bonaventure as a matter of habit, of course. He's even semi-legitimate these days, if you can call working with the Agency legitimate.

But sometimes, you just have to come out of retirement for one small job. Just to show that money isn't everything.

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