Nemo Saltat Sobrius, Part IV


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Also featuring:

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Scene Title Nemo Saltat Sobrius, Part IV
Synopsis During the opening gala hosted at the Corinthian Hotel and Casino, New York elites mingle with the not so elite in the bar and lounge.
Date February 22, 2010

The Corinthian: Bar and Lounge

Situated on the uppermost floor of the building, the Corinthian Bar and Lounge boasts an arched ceiling whose many small, square panes of glass double as a huge skylight. Of course, the large and open room is also lit by a dozen half-dome chandeliers suspended from that double-height ceiling and several high wall sconces. Brass fixtures gleam in the warm light, while the room's scattered potted palms drink it in with their bladed foliage. A ring of doubled marble columns supports the weight of the skylight dome and defines the two sections of the room: that lofty open space in the center; the quieter, slightly darker and more private edges of the lounge.

The tables are elegant rectangles of fine black glass, the seating a mixture of russet-upholstered couches and comfortably-padded oaken chairs. Most of the floor is covered by carpet shaded in the reds and golds of autumn, save for a runner down the very center of the room which is colored the exact shade of purple found in wisteria blossoms. The bar food at the lounge is much like its decor: expensive and beautifully arranged; but unlike many such spendy places, it's also very good. So is the alcohol.

The impossibly tall ceiling is simultaneously bright and dark, the evening sky peeking blackly through the glass and warring with shining chandeliers. The warm and generous illumination catches in glare on Praeger's glasses and the sides of the wine glass he's holding, a bright smile for the man he's currently talking with — a much shorter and somewhat younger man in similar black-tie formal garb. Vincent Lazzaro is politely tolerant and listening, hands empty of booze and clasped behind his back, occasionally sparing the wider room a glance while Raymond Praeger does not.

The Secretary of the Department of Evolved Affairs is chic in pitch black, a crisp white shirt beneath the double-breasted jacket, and a scarlet tie complements his attire. Around them, tables, chairs and lounges dot in the expansive room, and the sound of music can be heard — strings and piano, simple notes that don't dominate the flutter of conversation currently going on.

Something in their conversation concludes, apparently, because before God and everyone, Vincent Lazzaro disappears into coiling black smoke, tornadoing on the spot before flowing away and disappearing off into who knows what shadow.

There are other known faces around. Tristan Bentley is entering with a blonde woman in pink, his date for the evening, nervously fixing his tie as if he hasn't had enough to drink, and then at the very far side, the more intimate end of the bar and lounge area, would be, indeed, the President of the United States and the First Lady. That immediate area is ghosted impossibly by security men, and husband and wife seem to simply be talking over wine with whoever has gotten in a meeting with the most powerful man in the world, gaining curious glances from people nearby. One of the suits glance towards Vincent's activity and says something into his cuff, but nothing more.

In black of a moderate but not overly conservative variety with a neckline higher than one might expect in such a garment, the bottom reaching the center of her knees above plain black heels which lift her to five feet and ten inches, Cat wanders into the bar area. She's intending on securing a glass of white wine and letting her eyes travel subtly to take in people present, hear whatever might be overheard without seeming to be listening, and otherwise partake of her own thoughts. In facial expression and displayed demeanor Cat is poised, but has hints of a subdued mood.

The sound of glasses clinking together and soft laughter carries from another side of the lounge from the Presidential security detail. Forsaking something as simple as a tuxedo for the more formal attire of a military dress uniform, the United States Air Force's General Sebastian autumn sits beside the newest elected official in the city of New York, a particularly severe looking blonde woman cradling a long-stemmed glass of champagne, dressed in a royal color of red that may also be evocative of freshly spilled blood. Mayor Sylvia Lockheart keeps close company with the rotund and bald general, he voice a quiet and underspoken one over the conversational tones of the lounge, while Autumn's booming Texas accent is like the bass drum to her snare.

Far less lyrical in his implementation, Kain Zarek looks more like someone who wandered in off the street than someone who actually belongs here. Coming in through the back Employees Only entrance in a beat up old leather jacket and jeans, he's snuffing out a cigarette at the bar on his way by, leaning in between a conversing couple to borrow one of their glasses as an ashtray.

Grizzled and unshaven for what looks like two days, Kain's blonde hair is largely unkempt, and his boots clunk and track melted snow across the floor. He's not headed towards any of the hilighted celebrity and pomp of the evening's guests, but towards a man who is clearly working security across the lounge. A preposterously tall, bald, and broad-shouldered gentleman with circular red-lensed glasses who looks to have been shoehorned into a tuxedo for the evening, wearing a crisp red carnation in his lapel.

On spotting Kain Zarek, Manny Calavera's expression sags like Lockheart's face before she got plastic surgery.

Long and white, with a fancy shawl that covers her arms, Faye Crawford looks very different from her armor that she would be wearing in FRONTLINE, and if she's armed, it's not obvious. It could be hidden under the long skirt. As she approaches the bar, with a young woman beside her rather than a handsome man, she orders two drinks, and then hands the second one over to the younger girl.

"I missed your whole life the first time we go to a public event, you're old enough to drink." It would be more humorous if it hadn't been because she happened to miss her own life.

Eyes flicker around, towards the General and various other people, before settling on the President. So many important people. And she could likely get close to and shake hands with most of them now, as she's part of FRONTLINE…

"Only by a few weeks," Peyton says with a grin to her mother of all people. Peyton is looking rather grown up in a draping, silvery gown that reveals her long arms and much, probably to her mother's dismay, of her sides, before coming together again at the waist — bringing to mind a Grecian goddess. Her hair is in a soft up-do to reveal her long neck, and her makeup is simple to go with the classic tone of the outfit. She takes the glass her mother offers her and lifts it, though her dark eyes flicker to the important people in the room — it looks like she has found quite a few of those she has come to see, and found one very bright and shiny Easter egg that Cardinal hadn't thought to ask for. "Wow, the president," she murmurs, with a disbelieving shake of her head. She's met many famous people in her life, but this is of an altogether different sort.

Tristan is kind of famous! And more or less hoping for an icecream truck to crash into this room too. He's packing heat if only because he's allowed to, but weaponry is concealed rather than interrupting his suit and tie. Linking his hand with the blonde on his arm, Tristan scans the room with blue-eyed interest before focusing towards where two women stand at the bar. One would think that the fact he has a date means he wouldn't be interested, but one is assuming there's some other reason for him to zero in on the vicinity.

"Hey, Frontline."

That, too. His greeting is casual, a glance towards Peyton but gaze settling on Faye, giving her a smirking chin up of greeting as he goes to order a drink. "How's it swinging, newbie?"

Once the desired glass is obtained, Cat contents herself with quiet people watching and remembering the various persons present she's seen before. Along with where she saw them. The man who stole the Oval Office, from when he visited her home with Kaylee Thatcher's father. Tristan Bentley from the battle versus Danko, Bill, and crew. General Autumn from the carrier. Mayor Lockheart from her disguised Nazi platform and a ton of other things. Kain Zarek… the asshole who had something to do with Dani being slapped around, and who brought documents after her death. Secretary Praeger… newly appointed, new cabinet department too. Then Peyton and… her mother? The wine glass is lifted, with Cat's expression not much changed.

"Tristain Bentley— Nice to meet you outside of pictures and files," Faye says with a growing grin, her glove covered hand offered out for a polite shake, before she nods her done up dark hair in the direction of her daughter. "Peyton, this is Tristain Bentley— one of the members of FRONTLINE. The first squad of unit one. You may have seen his exploits in the paper. I believe there were a few incidents, including one involving an ice cream truck?" She only briefly read that report. "And Bentley, this is Peyton Whitney."

The girl is somewhat famous all on her own, but the introduction is made anyway. There's a hesitation, as if she's tempted to add more than her name, but nothing follows after. "I might be able to get over there to meet the President if you wanted to— but that might be difficult…" There's secret service… and while she's FRONTLINE and allowed to carry a weapon at this event, it could still be awkward.

Despite being used to being in the spotlight, this is different. These are people who run the country. The people she once was used to merely look pretty in movies and pictures and make horrible Top-40 sort of songs that are forgotten once they are on the radio. Peyton chews her lower lip for a moment as the two talk, then she offers her own ungloved hand to Tristan. "Pleased to meet you," she murmurs, her dark eyes glancing again at the un-suited Kain in the corner, and then back to the President when Faye mentions him.

"If it's awkward, no… I … he deserves his privacy, too," she says softly, with a smile. She understands the need for privacy more these days then she did just a year ago. Besides, now that she's seen him, she can get a much more intimate knowledge of him, if she so wishes.

A polite shake is what she gets, Tristan's hand clasping warmly around her's, and now re-looking at Peyton as if trying to see family resemblance, a cynical tip of his brow. "Yo," is his greeting, shaking he younger woman's hand in turn, and casts a crooked grin when the ice cream truck is mentioned, bringing up a hand to rub the bridge of his nose to mask it. "No matter what happens tonight, it's gotta go better than the last ball I was at," he agrees, and then kind of. Remembers his date at his side. She lifts her eyebrows, waiting to be introduced, before Tris leans in— a hand planting square on her ass— and asks, "Hey, baby, why don't you go get us a drink?"

The blonde snorts, and offers a small, strained smile at mother and daughter, before flitting off to do just that — and maybe flirt with one of the men hanging onto the bar instead. Tris doesn't seem to notice, glancing back at the President when he catches conversation. "You'd probably wind up talking politics, anyhow," he starts to dismiss— before backing up a step as the scruffy Linderman goon rams his way into the younger of the two women he's talking to. Tris' jaw goes tense as he sweeps a suspicious gaze over the Cajun, and then flicks a glance towards the security in the room. Even if he kind of his. "Hey, man, you better slow down."

As Cat lifts her glass towards Peyton, a gentle voice is sounded near her shoulder— "Ms. Chesterfield? Catherine Chesterfield?" Praeger has decided to butterfly on over her way, a temporary stop as he affords her a smile. "It's nice to meet you, and I wanted to extend my condolances," he says, voice quietly, offering a hand to shake. "My name is Raymond Praeger — I knew your mother, if not very well."

"Now that you've said that, there's likely to be a bomb threat, or something," Faye can't help but say when the man has to jinx things by saying it can't go as badly. It could, one never knows. Course by elaborating, if there is a bomb threat… She's sipping her drink when a Cajun comes tumbling out of nowhere (or actually stage left) and impacts her daughter and knocks her down. She doesn't reach for any weapon that she may have, because it's obviously a stumble mistake and not an attempt to grope and unwilling young woman.

"Peyton?" she asks, bending down to offer help up. The young woman's drink will probably be a casualty, though.

The Zarek-Whitney collision is noticed, and it draws her attention, but only briefly before focus becomes split between that and the secretary introducing himself to the other side of her. Cat turns to face the man, a muted society smile slipping into place. "Doctor Chesterfield, actually," she provides politely, as her right hand extends to take his and shake once before releasing. Smooth, soft, and warm, her skin is, but having calluses near the fingertips. She can only hope this guy isn't a psychometrist like Sarisa the Shark. "Thank you, Mr. Secretary," she offers next, her expression becoming solemn. "I must confess not being in such a festive mood, this is mainly an appearance to show I won't let fear and tragedy cause me to become reclusive."

She was just in the midst of waving at Catherine, about to murmur to her mother the other brunette's identity when Kain stumbles upon her. Luckily, while Peyton lacks many real-world skills, she is skilled in party fouls, and she manages to spill the pink Cosmo in her hands not on her designer dress but on Kain instead as she stumbles back against the bar. There is a wince as his foot tromps on hers, mostly bare in high heeled, strappy sandals — of course it's the foot she's recently broken.

"I'm … all right," Peyton manages, a little breathless from the collision. "Are you okay?" she asks Kain, looking up, reaching for a pile of napkins to begin to blot up the pink cocktail. "I spilled all over you…" Better him than the president, but her cheeks are as pink as the drink due to the attention on the two of them.

Elisabeth Harrison is all gussied up in her FRONTLINE best dress uniform. Dear God, she hates these things. Hated them as a cop, hates them now. Her hair is caught up in the very proper French twist, and she's wound tight as a spring. Between FRONTLINE people all over the place and Secret Service, this should be the safest damn place in town right?

A glass of white wine is in Liz's hand as she slips into the room and scans the place, her eyes falling on people she knows absently. Until she double-takes at Kain Zarek walking right smack into Peyton. And Faye? What the hell? Oh Lord… Tristan's got Peyton's hand. That just … cna it be good? No… not really. She slips through the smaller throng toward the group, giving up her position as a wallflower, only realizing that the freakin' US President is in the same room at the last second.

Dear God, can this night get any stranger?

Hands up in the air and fingers spread, Kain's brows go up and he offers a dry laugh — which is about one of the few things dry on him now — before shaking some of the spilled cocktail off of his hands. "Don't you worry your pretty little head, darlin', Ah'm fine. Lucky for you mah' suit got lost at the dry cleaners, so Ah'm showin' up here dressed like an ol' vagabond. Don't bother me none…" Kain rests a hand on Peyton's shoulder, lightly, smile apologetic.

"Sorry 'bout bumpin' into you darlin'," there's a look over his shoulder to Manny, lips crooked into a smile before he turns back to Peyton, then glances over to Tris and lifts his hand off of her shoulder. "Sorry buddy, don't worry, your date's in fine condition…" Kain explains with a grin, brushing hands down the front of himself trying to shake off a bit more of the spilled drink.

"Ah guess since Ah'm already lookin' like a mess, Ah' might as well stay a little while." Then, with a grin, Kain looks back at Peyton and flashes her a toothy smile. "Don't Ah' know you from somewhere? Television or somethin'?" Tristian knows exactly what is going on, Kain is not fooling him.

Zarek vs. Bentley, in the art of picking up rich young women.

"Thank goodness for that," Praeger says, his hands joining together to rest casually behind his back. "Jennifer was a wonderful woman — we saw eye to eye on quite a few topics, and I'm sure many of us in New York and beyond share your grief. What a shocking turn of events." These words should be affected and sound as such, but sincerity instead rings clear in them, crows feet wrinkles at his eyes deepening a little. "But I don't want to monopolise your time— "

He squints through his glasses towards the minor chaos at the bar, disapproval etched in his features. "Oh my."

Tris' eyes narrow on Kain, giving a reluctant glance down the way of the bar towards where his actual date is chatting up the bartender. Fuckin' lame. "Yeah, hey," he interrupts the Cajun, a hand out though not about to touch anyone. "One thing, she's not my date, dude, and secondly, maybe you'll wanna clear out before someone clears you out. This is kind of a fancy— "

Elisabeth's approach interrupts whatever it was Tris was going to describe this place as, the blonde raising an eyebrow, and then tilting her a grin. "Nice dress," he says of her absent one.

"Elisabeth?" Faye says with raised eyebrows. Either she missed a memo about showing up in dress uniform, or a certain higher up is getting a laugh, cause this member of FRONTLINE is wearing her best ballroom dress, all long and white and flowey, complete with white gloves that creep up her arms past her elbows. It suits her well, though in some ways she wouldn't mind trading and being in the dress uniform. More formal and less like a pretty date— not that she's getting asked to dance any.

"Were we supposed to be in uniform?" she asides, lowering her voice a little, before looking at the older man with some concern and worry. But at least his hand is off her daughter's shoulder now! But he does look like a vagabond of sorts, now covered in a Cosmo.

"You don't look like a vagabond… If you do, it's only because everyone else looks like penguins," Peyton tells Kain, a smirk and sparkling eyes replacing the startled deer-in-headlights look she had just moments ago. Speaking of penguins, why is Elisabeth dressed like one? She glances at the suit and covers her mouth to stifle a giggle at her mother's aside. "I'm fine, really. It's nothing," she assures everyone, smiling at Tris for his apparent concern. "And no, not his date." Why did she add that?

At his question regarding her celebrity, her cheeks color a bit. "Maybe on the news, but it's nothing. I'm no one important," the once socialite says, eyes darting to the politicians in the room to suggest there are much more important people in the room. "I'm Peyton," she says, offering Kain her hand.

Seeming about to address the Secretary's comments, Cat instead is silent. Her gaze follows his over to the debacle of Peyton and the cosmo'd Kain, with the inward thought of Peyton now needing to shower for six continuous days to wash away contamination just from contact. She displays a grimace, remarking only "How unpleasant."

Seconds later, attention shifts back to the Cabinet member, with recall of what he said. "Might I ask, Mr. Secretary, what things you and Mother agreed upon?"

Elisabeth smiles at Tristan and says calmly, "Frankly, I find it far simpler to wear the uniform than dither about what to wear to an event like this." She'll carry it off with aplomb, too, a wicked twinkle in her blue eyes. "Besides… shows off my legs." She flashes him a classy length of leg enhanced by the black high heels on her feet and entirely ignores the whole clothing situation. While it's perhaps not as pretty as the glittery gowns, it's a perfectly appropriate outfit. And she wears with quite nicely.

"Are we having a problem?" Those blue eyes of Elisabeth's follow Zarek and Peyton with a neutral expression as she sips her wine. "I do hope you're not trying to pick up Peyton, Bentley. I've warned her about guys like you already. And him too," she says, jerking a chin toward Kain Zarek. Big sister in the house, oh yessiree.

"I don't think it's a problem, so much as a collision of sorts," Faye says, watching the two men for a moment, and then looking back at the 'older sister' type— who happens to be yonger than her. Her daughter likes the rugged older types. It probably shouldn't surprise her too much. "and no, I introduced her to Bentley. He wasn't trying anything." Before the senior member gets too upset, she'll throw that out there. "It's good to see you. Part of me has to agree the dress uniform would have been easier than spending extra money on a dress I won't be able to wear often."

"I met with her perhaps a week before," Praeger says, a hand up to fix the sit of his glasses. "Registration was something we discussed, the concept of a voluntary list and how we can make such a think beneficial for the Evolved. She had some good ideas — a smart woman. I regret that we couldn't have continued our discussion during a time when these things can be seriously pondered."

"In front of her mom?" Tris asks of Elisabeth, wryly, then glances at said mom, smirk clearing up. "Or, uh. In general. Totally not, like the lady says, Harrison. I got a date, Sally— "

And she heard that, because a female voice rings across the bar towards him, angry in correction; "Cindy!"

"That's what I said, baby!" he counters, voice raising to carry towards her, and then quieting to the immedate group. "Jesus."

"Oh, well 'scuse me then…" Kain cracks a smile when both Tristian and Peyton confirm she's not attached at the hip to the former. "Ah' guess it ain't much of a matter since Ah'm not a very important man mahself," Kain adds, taking Peyton's hand in a gentle shake, offering an askance look over ay Faye before settling all eyes on the younger of the pair again. "Name's Kain, darlin', an' Ah' ain't much for this here whole penguin affair mah'self."

From across the lounge, Kain is getting a dagger stare from Manny, who has pieced together exactly what Kain is doing and why, but the gorilla of a security officer hasn't yet come up with the plan to throw Kain right out of the party— just yet.

"You know, if'n you ain't important, an' Ah' ain't important…" he looks down at the front of his shirt all soiled by her drink, "What's say you an' Ah' go be unimportant somewhere else, an' maybe you can buy me a drink t'make up fer soilin' mah britches like that?" There's a crooked quality to Kain's grin as one of his dark brows go up slowly.

"Unless a'course you feel like watchin' the march a'th' penguins for a little bit more." Kain's smile turns just a bit more predatory at that, and Faye's stranger danger alarm is blaring like a Klaxon in her head for Peyton. Unfortunately for Kain, this is somehow playing into Richard Cardinal's plans.

If looks could yell Don't do it, Peyton, the unison cry of most of the people in the room would be deafening. But Peyton has proven herself not to listen to the advice of those older and wiser than she — and part of her knows that she might just be in the power position of the situation. The clairvoyant smiles. "Perhaps both of those things could be arranged," she says, lifting her chin and looking into his rugged face, her dark eyes sparkling with some amusement. "I can get you a drink, right here, for the fact I've soiled your… what was the word? Britches? Who says that?" Her tone is playful, but she nods to the bartender. "A drink for this fine Southern gentleman." She looks back to Kain. "What are we drinking?"

She tries very hard not to catch Liz's or Cat's — or worse, Faye's — disapproving glances as she focuses on Kain's.

Peyton's engagement of Kain isn't paid much attention to, given that Cat is in conversation with Mr. Prager. At his mention of voluntary registration, her head tilts. "That would be a desirable thing, Mr. Secretary, and truthfully there's no reason it shouldn't already have been so. None of us with the SLC chose to have it. Registration as it stands bears too much resemblance to the behavior of the Nazis when they came to power."

Her wine glass is sipped from, on lowering it she suggests "As a starting point, it would be beneficial to alter the Registry so no one's personal information is exposed to the public without consent. It should be possible to satisfy those who claim monitoring is needed for public safety, while not undermining the personal security of those listed on it." The panmnesiac pauses, having said that, taking on a bit of an apologetic expression. "I fear I've started to monopolize your time now, Mr. Secretary."

There is a moment there where Elisabeth looks entirely flabbergasted. She stares at Tristan, and then at Faye. "Uh…. well…. shit." Six degrees of separation my ass, she thinks. Christ, Peyton… that's not going to get complicated or anything, right? And then Liz's attention is drawn back to Tristan, whereupon she is forced to snicker behind her glass. "I propose that if you expect to …. you know…. still have a date, you go make nicey nice, Tristan," she chuckles. "I'd say your chances of getting laid are almost nil at this juncture."

At least the surprise and the laughter both have the effect of taking that strained, almost hunted, look off her face. She's putting in the minimum face time here, but seriously… this gathering is sending her anxiety levels into orbit. Might as well paint a big fat target on the lot of us. The icing on the cake would be DANKO being here somewhere, something that is sure to send Elisabeth into hyperventrilication. Or… homicidal rage? Eh… "Canapes are calling my name. You guys have fun with this," she comments easily and meanders away to do things like greet Cat and see who else she can eavesdrop on…. er….. run into before she escapes the gala altogether.

The sleeze alarm is going off. Faye frowns for a moment as her daughter walks off with the Cajun. Sadly, she has a feeling she knows where the girl gets her taste from. And it's not the mysterious father whom she's never named.

I hope you know what you're doing, the telepath sends toward her daughter, through the bond that's still open. Yes now, she's going to be watching. If he tries anything, just shout. I'll avoid his pretty face when I punch him.

It's obvious she intends to watch, even if she's apparently going to allow it

"Sir." Somewhere in the mill of less elegant NPCs at Praeger's back, a solid-looking man in a tuxedo about as sensibly conservative as is manageable at an affair when a vast majority of the other men are also in monochromatic fair approaches. He's more serious than he is tall, scarred long across one temple where there's still a haze of black stubble to match that sandpapered around his jaw and otherwise, well. Bald.

Dark eyes near black under brows the same color, Vincent glances up and down automatically over Cat before turning his attention over onto the Secretary proper. "There may be a situation developing on the roof, not long after another one was dispersed. The Red Rocket probably has it under control for now. Hi." The last, evidently, is for Cat..

Praeger smiles, and offers out his hands to clasp one of Cat's. "Please, not at all," he assures her. "Although I'm certain you don't wish to be talking politics on a night like this." And that's about when Vincent arrives, who gains a sparkling smile from the Secretary, easily stepping aside to accommodate his appearance. "Oh dear," he tells the agent, his snowy brow furrowing, hand fluttering to his own chest in a mild gesture of concern. "It's nothing dangerous, is it? Oh— "

Remember manners, his frown goes milder as he adds, "Agent Lazzaro, this is Catherine Chesterfield. We were just speaking about the Linderman Act," and other things Vincent doesn't need to know but probably tolerates.

With a roll of blue eyes, Tris mostly just— does as Elisabeth recommends, sparing Faye a wink in parting before edging off down the length of the bar towards where Cindy and her boobs are waiting for him to make it up to her.

"Ah'm drinkin' whatever yer' buyin' darlin." Kain comments as he's swaggering away from Tristian and — unknowingly — Peyton's mother towards the bar. Though Kain's commentary is entirely figurative as this is an open bar, but the sentiment still stands. "How's about you fix me up a rum an' coke, an' then we talk about what a pretty thing like you's doin' hangin' around a mobster's ball?"

Settling down onto a stool, Kain brushes himself off, glancing up to meet Manny's dagger stare from across the room, brows raised and lips curled into a smile that can only be described as


before angling a slightly less feline look back over to Peyton. "Heard all'a bout you in the news over the summer. Or, well, a little anyway. Shame what happened t'you, but you know what they say about whatever don't kill you only makes you stronger? Ah' ain't entirely sure'a that, but s'a nice sentiment." Leaning back against the bar, Kain glances back to Tris and Faye, then lids his eyes partway and stares back to Peyton.

"Who's the nanny you came here with?" There's a nod of his blonde head towards Faye's direction. "She's watchin' us like a hawk. Don't tell me Ah'm here makin' eyes at a lady who's playin' for the other team, 'cause Ah' know a bunch'a people who'd never let me live tha'n down."

He's a friend of a friend. Sort of. I'll yell if I can't handle it. No double entendres intended, folks. Peyton leans on the bar, perhaps a bit artfully in the dress she's clearly wearing nothing beneath. "Same," she tells the bartender, before tilting to listen to him, lower lip catching in her teeth when he mentions the kidnapping and her story in the news.

"I am stronger. Or different anyway," she says, shrugging one bare shoulder as she reaches for the glass slid across the bar.

Peyton can't help but laugh as Kain dubs Faye a nanny and possibly a lesbian. "No. She's a friend, and we ran into one another here. Neither of us had dates, so we figured we'd see what there is to see." Literally, in her case. And she's hit paydirt in this little cantina. "So. Mobster's Ball? I thought it was a charity gala. Are you telling me you aren't all angels with soft spots for charity? Color me shocked."

There's no avoidance of his hand clasping hers, Cat still standing before Mr. Praeger. And also no comment as to whether or not she wishes to discuss politics. An eyebrow is briefly raised when Vincent steps up to speak of a situation, she emitting a hushed "Oh, my." Eyes move from one to the other, before she states "I hope none of the guests have failed to hold their liquor and made spectacles of themselves." Or tried to arrest someone, resulting in ice cream trucks crashing in to rescue the man.

The hovering mom keeps watching like a hawk, but the return telepathic message seems to calm her down. Even if only one person knows why Faye suddenly stops watching so carefully. Maybe she was just mad cause her friend ditched her to go talk to a guy and she's back to being dateless! No, that's not really it. She sips on her Cosmo that wasn't spilled, and begins to move into the background, keeping her mind open for any signs of trouble from her daughter.

Even if she doesn't looked like she's carrying, she has a side arm strapped to her thigh and she knows how to use it. … Enough to shoot him in the knee at least.

Vincent does. Tolerate it, that is. He has spent the last two and a half decades learning when and how to be tolerant of everything from wailing crack babies to homeless heroin addicts who've accidentally nailed their penises (singular penises of potentially plural heroin addicts as opposed to a single addict with multiple penises) to a park bench in Midtown trying to pierce themselves. He even manages a smile. Slight. Polite. Maybe a little I already know your name in the way that people with the word 'Agent' in front of their names sometimes are.

IE, Lazzaro is kind of a dick, and it doesn't take more than two seconds of looking at him to tell.

"Pleasure to meet you," is what he says out loud, brows knit with political sincerity while he offers his own square hand out for a shake. "Nothing serious. A spilled drink. Some name calling. You know how it is — always someone who doesn't know how to behave in public." The thought that international terrorists tend to be frequent offenders in that respect is relegated to a shade of lopsidedness to the line of his smile. "Anyway. You should probably keep to the lower levels," he's speaking to Praeger again, "unless you brought a white glove." Or a bullet proof vest. :(

"Noted, agent," Praeger says, in the patient tone of someone who doesn't think they have that~ much~ to worry about, but will certainly take it into account. "These parties, you know how it is. If someone doesn't make a fool of themselves, it's bound to be yourself." But no one really wants to know about that from Raymond Praeger, old enough to be— someone's politely gay-ish uncle. "Have a good evening, Catherine," he says, releasing the woman back into the wild before turning towards Vincent, a sharper kind of curiousity reflected behind his glasses that doesn't line up with soft dismissals of danger just a moment prior.

"Oh c'mon now darlin', you ain't been livin' under a rock." Kain opines, offering a toothy grin, "you know ol' Danny Boy has a reputation as a mobster. Everyone's been callin' it the Mobster's Ball in th' papers, ain't nothin' untoward about it. Ah' like t'think of it as honest advertisin'." There's a shrug of his shoulders, blue eyes moving to track the slide of a glass over to him, ice clattering around inside and a wedge of lime on the rim.

"So, after you an' Ah' share a drink or two, what's say we break outta' here for a little bit?" There's a cant of Kains head to the side. "Ain't gotta' stop the party, but this ain't much of a party, s'more of a dog show if y'ask me. Everyone's paradin' around whatever pretty little thing they got on their arm." The Cajun's brows furrow slightly.

"Ah' got me a reserved space out at Rapture 'cross town. Got mah'self a designated driver for the two'a us too…" Admittedly that does sound too responsible for Kain, and given that Kain's car was totalled in a high-speed chase after being stolen it would take either a cab to get him across town — which Manny wouldn't put up the money for — or guilting the man who ruined his car into giving him a drive out there.

See? Backup plan.

Peyton takes a long drink of the Rum and Coke. Liquid courage. She knows she is being foolish, but really, this sort of behavior was common place less than a year ago, and she has to admit to finding Kain attractive even if she knows mixing business and pleasure is a mistake. And Endgame is her business, since she has no job that pays. "Sounds like a plan," she manages, once she puts her glass down with a soft clink on the bar top. She's mingled and danced already — she's seen those on the list she's come to see, plus a few bonus rounds. Her eyes dart to Cat, Vincen, and Praeger, catching a snippet here and there of trouble on the roof — probably as good a time to go as any.

This one at least, she knows from having seen him turn into smoke, isn't a psychometrist. Unless he has some version of Peter's old mojo, Gabriel Gray's, or Wagner. Vincent's hand is shaken once and released, the woman making eye contact as she speaks with him and holding a vague society smile in place. It's the kind of thing where he's understood to be a dick, and she to know he's a dick, though she doesn't comment on the fact. Just that slight hint of frost. "It's good to meet you also, Agent Lazzaro. I hope the evening remains uneventful." Then Cat's leaving the two men to their conversation about roof events.

And focusing attention on Peyton as she prepares to depart with Kain. An eyebrow raises, she approaches Faye to whisper something for her benefit. "Miss…" she begins, "it worries me to see that going on." Her head nods once in the unpolished man's direction. "I had a longtime friend who got too close to that man once. She was a reporter." Past tense. Was. "The result was being in the hospital after a severe beating and head injuries which gave her memory problems."

"Help me run interference, split this up?"

"At least three Jacksons," Vincent says in a lower aside once Praeger has done his thing with manners that makes people disappear more effectively than a pointed gun could under the same circumstances, "one Michael on the roof. I think another's been spotted in the ballroom but I haven't received formal confirmation." Paired fingers vaguely indicate the earpiece wired near invisible into the jut of his right ear, and he's still watching Cat in the process of her retreat, eyes dark, dark.

"General Custer's upstairs as well, but he seems to be alone. I have four units sweeping the vicinity for unusual vehicles, hotdog carts, men in long coats — anything." And so on and so forth, with some code words presumably less offensive than others.

"She said she had it under control," Faye says quietly, before giving the other woman a longer look over. Cat isn't one of the people she recognizes off-hand, but she recognizes her well enough at the same time. The newspaper posted a few pictures of the daughter of the murdered Mayorial candidate. "I'll keep an eye on her, and I'll make sure that if she does go anywhere with him, she has some kind of protective eye— I agree he looks like the dangerous type."

Even if he does have a pretty face. "If you would like to go over there and interupt them, you may, but I won't unless she sends a warning."

There's a song from the eighties by the Cars that has a line in it that goes; She's a lot like you, the dangerous type.

Kain isn't even remotely aware of how ironic it is that the song came on the radio this afternoon when he was coming up with this little get rich quick scheme of his. Knocking back the rum and coke the way most people would guzzle down water after a long jog, Kain swings up to his feet and clomps boots down on the floor. A hand is waved towards Manny, beckoning him over. "Missy, you're just the right side'a crazy."

Seeing the gesture, Manny can already tell something terrible is going on, and it's with growing dread that he moves from his post and meanders on over towards the bar, quietly passing by where Mayor Lockheart and General Autumn are conversing. He comes up behind Peyton, but gives her a wide berth, offering an unusually gentle smile for a man with the grace of an enraged gorilla. "What is it?" No Yes, Mista' Zarek today, Manny's not even on Kain's payroll right now.

"You got that ten bucks?" He asks, and when Manny looks like he's about to open his mouth, brows furrowed and indignant, Kain just flat out interrupts him. "You know what, actually, you just bought that nice Lexus didn'tcha?" There's a toothy smile. "See, now Ah'd normally not even ask y'for cab fare if somebody hadn't trashed m'car… Man, if'n Ah'e ver get mah hands on the hooligans that took it out for a joyride…" he grumbles knowingly, looking up with a pointed expression to Manny.

"Kain." The bald bodyguard states, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a crumpled ten dollar bill, slapping it on the bar. "Buy the girl a ride home and go on up and take a room and sleep it off." Without an ounce of more patience, Manny turns around and starts storming for where he'd come from again.

Leaving Kain looking a little awkwardly down at the ten dollar bill crumpled on the bar.


"Interesting place for such a turn out," Praeger says, eyes crinkling with a smile that isn't really a smile. There's a tension setting into his shoulders, and he glances towards where a suit is in the process of leaning down where Nathan Petrelli is sitting, very quiet words being uttered and a nod of understanding from the President. That little dinner party isn't broken up just yet, so Praeger brings up a hand to smooth over his tie, nodding to Vincent. "Keep me informed, Agent Lazzaro. I believe I'm due to have a drink with the President and his lovely wife. I could introduce you."

The socialite is aware of the whispering at the other table, though only out of the periphery of her focus on Kain. Her eyes narrow at Manny slightly, and she gives a chuckle. "I don't need anyone to pay for my cab fare, and I don't let anyone call me a cab these days. Rather stay out of coffins and shipping containers. Call me silly," she says a touch coolly, the coolness directed toward the bodyguard. She puts a hand on Kain's arm to bring his attention back from the crumpled ten dollar bill. "Looks like someone doesn't want you to have any fun." She mock-pouts at that, but reaches for her drink, draining it off and setting down the empty glass.

Silence is held as Cat listens to Faye's reply, eyes still on Peyton and Kain, observing the interaction between him and Manny when he comes over, then walks away after leaving the money. Only when the younger woman of equal height doesn't move away from Mr. Zarek does she speak again, her voice still low in volume. "Under control," is echoed. "Right. That's what Dani told me too, when I said she should be careful. Didn't stop her from getting kicked around." Contemplation is given to a strategy, moments later she steps forward toward Peyton in such a way as is likely to grab her attention but not his.

"If she were hurt, I'd know," Faye says quietly, for once hinting to her ability even if she normally keeps such things to herself. You might want to step away from him— I think someone believes he's extremely dangerous, she thinks towards her daughter, a frown crossing her lips as she looks at the young woman. She'd wanted to trust her to do whatever it is she's doing, but there's concern anyway.

Especially at word of someone being kicked around and harmed for being involved with the man. But she wasn't lying. She'd know if anything happened to her. And hopefully she could send back enough information to find and punish anyone who did.

"Everything's under control, sir." Having followed that look Presidentwards, Vincent flashes out a half-smile that's more telling in its uneasiness than say, his tone of voice. Or his posture, when he claps a bracing hand to Praeger's near shoulder and leans into the beginnings of a step away. "I think I'd prefer to maintain my distance, actually," is Lazzaro for I didn't vote for him, and also not the kind of tolerant dismissal that seems likely to abide conflicting orders. He walks away, nodding politely to Cat again in passing. The look Kain gets is warier.

"Yeah, his name's an anagram for dog," Kain grumbles, reaching up to run a hand through his hair. "Well Ah' guess that puts a coiled steamin' one on mah evenin' for t'night." Looking at the crumpled ten dollar bill, Kain just gets up from his seat and shrugs his shoulders at Peyton, offering a look down at her that implies hes just about given up trying to fight the fact that he is a walking, talking example of Murphy's Law.

"Guess ol' big bad wolf gets to claw up to gramma's house now," It's late in the evening and Kain's been drinking, so his colorful analogies aren't what they should be. One brow up, he regards Peyton in the way someone would a pricey piece of clothing through a store window that they want but know they can't afford. Window shopping, in a way, Kain just shakes his head and clicks his tongue, throwing both hands into the air as he just turns and starts to leave without even saying goodbye.

At least he hasn't been hit by a dump-truck yet.

So he's still ahead of Logan.

"Don't forget to enjoy yourself," Praeger bids Vincent in departure, before he's headed off for his most presidential sit down himself, clasping his hand with Heidi's once the suits have made sure he's not there to pull knives. He isn't — even if he didn't Vote Petrelli either..

"Apparently he has it in for me, too. They say he has a sick sense of humor," Peyton says, sighing a little. He is rather pretty. Someone I trust trusts him. Cat doesn't trust anyone, Peyton thinks back at her mother, but she slips off her stool too. She has other people to see, since the pleasure part of the night's been pulled from the equation. Might as well get back to business. Going to go mingle. Don't worry, I'm not chasing him. "Look me up sometime when you're not being babysat," she adds to the retreating back of Kain Zarek — the irony being he's older than her mother, of course.

A slow nod is given to Faye when she speaks, Cat seeming to relax a bit when Peyton moves away from Kain and makes her way elsewhere. "She's a grown woman, capable of her own decisions, when well informed. I haven't had the chance to tell her that story yet. The time will be soon to come," she somberly adds. "Enjoy your evening." With that, she starts to meander away. Maybe she's headed for the roof. Maybe she's headed for the casino area to test if she can count cards at blackjack and soak Linderman for some funds without being caught. Or maybe her destination is someplace else altogether.

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