No Treading On Toes


eileen_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title No Treading On Toes
Synopsis Eileen makes a bid for the Linderman gala guest list. It is suspiciously easy.
Date February 20, 2010


There was a fight in the hallway, the one veining from the stairwell. First day back at work and already, nerves and tempers alike are fraying, tension splintering. A manager should probably know better than to engage — it's what offices are for, someone should tell him — and Logan does, actually. Know better. Cares less, being the problem.

A door slams shut when the stripper on the end of his wrath has had enough, the one leading into the dressing room, and dancers are sure to not make eye contact as Logan rests his back against the wall and paws through his jacket for the inevitable cigarette case that lurks in an inner pocket. Plot twist — he opens it and there's nothing left, which is just perfect, perfect enough that the valued thing is pitched down the hallway with Logan stomping away before he can even see it land. It's a testament to its quality that it doesn't break on impact, and perhaps he wasn't throwing too hard, anyway.

He goes by his office and heads instead towards the emergency exit, letting the door swing on hinges as he steps out onto the fire escape balcony, rattling metal and covered in frost. It's fucking cold out here, who knew? He folds his arms across his chest and risks leaning a hip against cold metal railing, casting a bleak eye towards the parking lot. His car is over there, and two dancers huddle to share a cigarette somewhere below, but they leave rather quickly.

The cold nags him and makes the only scars he has remaining ache, but going back in to get a coat seems awkward.

It's the smell of perfume combined with the sharp click of stilettos resounding against metal that notifies Logan he's no longer alone on the fire escape. She goes by Violet here, but her dark hair and pale skin carry the aromas of lilac and stale cigarette smoke mixed with the fine sheen of sweat that shimmers on her body and lends it a rosy cast. It gets hot under the lights.

Turning the discarded cigarette case between her fingers, Eileen emerges into Logan's peripheral vision, her slim figure clothed in a customary combination of Parisian lace corset in black with matching garter belt and thigh-high stockings made from a sheer, opaque material. The ostrich feather she wears in her hair is fitting, too, and gives her the appearance of a small, frail bird with dark plumage and a delicate build.

Sequins glitter iridescent under the glow of the street lamps as she joins him by the rail, saying nothing at first except, "Dreadful."

He doesn't look when he's joined by anyone, and while Eileen probably is not the only girl of her stature and size under the employ of Burlesque, she's one of the few, and her voice doesn't come as a surprise when she offers out an adjective. Logan has no visible hackles to raise, but they go up in metaphor, glancing out the corner of his eye at her befeathered self. "What is? The cold?" he asks, with more of a glance this time, a look up and down before letting his attention steer back towards the empty parking lot. It never snowed this much in London, he's pretty sure. It rained like fuck, sleety attempts, and occasionally a few crystal pure days of winter. But maybe that's just his recollection.

No, you, would have been a less mature reply. He can see the case in her hand, glinting silver from the lights behind them and the hazier ones in the distance, but doesn't take it back, perhaps out of pride of willfully denying acknowledgment for his own actions by ignoring its existence. Logan is dressed in black tonight, and shows not a shadow of a bruise from his unfortunate accident just a week ago.

"Your temper." Eileen traces her thumb along the edge of the case, her focus on her distorted reflection scattered to bits like cracked pieces of mirror in its silver surface. It isn't until she loses interest in the way the lights play off it that she lifts her eyes from the lid to the man beside her, expression mild and just a little reproachful. She undoubtedly heard the argument — who didn't? — but it's not very likely that Logan's treatment of his employees is her reason for following him out.

She doesn't leave much opportunity for speculation, either. "I'm attending the gala on Monday," she says, "and I'd be very appreciative if you could use your connections to obtain a copy of the guest list for me."

It isn't a demand and it isn't exactly a request. More an invitation to begin open negotiations. Everything has a price.

He can hear it in her tone, the invitation for give and take — if only because they've had many similar conversations before. The note on his temper goes ignored — Logan has enough insight to know that he can be vicious when he wants to be and Eileen isn't someone he feels the need to excuse himself in front of, memory wiped or not. His nose wrinkles, turning now to rest the small of his back against the railing — the bite of metal and the dampness promptly soaking into his jacket is a little uncomfortable, but it gets apathetic acknowledgment at best.

Arms folding, he allows a critical sweep of a gaze to once more rake over her form. "What on earth would someone like you do with something like that?"

Eileen holds out the cigarette case for Logan to take if he so desires, elbow bent rather than arm outstretched. Their close proximity allows some of the heat from her body to transfer across to his, though it isn't nearly enough to warm him, only reinforce the fact that there's little more than a foot of distance between them. If she had a knife, she could probably slip it between his ribs without much effort.

He could do the same to her, of course, and if she could remember all the sordid details of their longstanding relationship, fear of reciprocation might be the only thing staying her hand. One set of green eyes remains on his face while the other roves up and down her shape, which is dressed to invite such looks. Eileen seems not to mind. "I like to be prepared."

There's a sullen beat of a pause before— with almost startling swiftness— Logan's hand arcs around and snatches the case from her grasp. Not a trace of skin contact is pressed — the cool metal is simply pinched between her fingers, and then it isn't. It's flipped between his longer digits before slid into a pocket within his jacket, showing off a flash of a silken waistcoat until matte black covers it once more, fingers deftly doing up the buttons against the cold.

"There's going to be dancing," he feels moved to say. His bleak mood remains, but a flash of facetiousness is detectable like lightning masked in a clouded sky. "So I hear. I get one with you. You want to dance for me here, you can do it in front of New York's elites too, and no treading on toes. Agree to that and I'll get you a guest list."

Logan can almost see the thought process happening behind Eileen's eyes, narrowed faintly in quiet feline consideration. She doesn't have to think about it for very long. Between Logan, Epstein, Raith and Leonardo — the only one of her dance partners who, for reasons as inconsequential as they are inexplicable, she isn't thinking of in terms of his last name — she won't have much time left on the ballroom floor for herself.

And it's just as well. The only person she has any real desire to be intimate in any way with won't be in attendance. "One dance," she agrees, and for a moment she seems tempted to leave it at that. Then; "A waltz."

Because negotiations aren't negotiations if there isn't some haggling involved.

"I'll brush up on my steps." Does Logan know how to waltz? Find out Monday! He turns back towards his look out of the empty parking lot, though his gaze has lifted beyond that. From here, one can peer over the wooden fence that bars off the space, a couple of rooftops that will just have to represent the rest of Brooklyn, and then hints of Red Hook's harbor and the glimmering inky well that is the river beyond.

After that, Staten Island — invisible from this vantage point. Still, one can imagine. "I'll have the list tomorrow evening. Now go away."

Going away is something that Eileen is exceedingly good at. She does not linger on the fire escape any longer than Logan seems willing to tolerate her presence — with a flourish of black ostrich feather and twinkling sequins like scales carved from obsidian, half-bird and half-snake, she departs, leaving her fellow Londoner alone with the view and the deep sound of the music's bass bleeding out from beneath him.

The stars will join him soon, too. For what their company is worth.

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