abby_icon.gif caliban_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif gideon_icon.gif ina_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif kain_icon.gif

ling_icon.gif logan_icon.gif lola2_icon.gif marie_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif nicole2_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

mines_icon.gif zhao_icon.gif

Scene Title Pied-à-terre
Synopsis The soft opening of d'Sarthe's is a hotbed for some heavy political manoeuvring for those involved in New York City's underbelly.
Date September 2, 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.

The construction recently finished, and the restaurant grounds polished to a fine little sheen, the soft opening of d'Sarthe's has been going swimmingly; the party, tonight, is primarily for the sake of show and tell, and for the sake of rubbing elbows. There is minimal security, though the men and women that patrol the grounds seem to be quite alert and trained, as if dog instead of human. The decor, though finalized for the restaurant itself, has been tweaked to act as companion to the business casual setting of this particular evening. Buffet tables line the east wall of the largest of the dining rooms, which itself is rectangular, with the addition of a domed wall, completed with tall windows to the green gardens outside. Set up on this cove, is a short stage; nothing spectacular, as opposed to the grandstand that will likely be in this same spot weeks later.

The attire and company of the night is the same- business, for the most part. Seeking, connecting, conversing. Strangers, not-so-strangers, new faces, old faces. They have comfortably filled the entire room, regardless of this simply being the first of two events. Many of them may return, though some may not.

The host, and his hostess, respectively, have taken to making themselves quite available to the public and partners that have been welcomed. The junior d'Sarthe has put herself amidst the cove, near the stage. Already, she has been fielding the interest of wives and daughters, quite reserved in her entertaining of them, yet somehow, she must be enthralling just enough for many of them to prefer her company. Marie, in a dress of subdued creme ruffles and understated dottings of tiny pearls, blends in far more easily than her father does. Or ever will, mind you.

Gideon d'Sarthe, the man of this hour, and many more hours yet to come, makes a habit of becoming much like a peacock when a spotlight may be swinging past. He is visible, perhaps too much so. His brown and blonde mane has been tied back, constrasting to a dark suit and golden waistcoat; there are surely other pieces on him of the same color, though perhaps the descriptive of 'peacock' is certain enough. He has placed himself square in the room, joined together with an oblong flock of faces both business oriented- and those that may be in similarly different capacities.

Box in hand, Ina had a goal with coming here. Apology, of a sorts. Red business suit, black heels, one of Linderman's employees moves around the crowds and up behind and to the side of Marie D'Sarthe, a gentle touch at her elbow and a ruby lipped smile from Ina Anderson. An auction has happened between when they last met and now, and though she wasn't sure whether the invitation would still stand, or if driving innuendos have stalled that, she came.

"Mademoiselle D'Sarthe." Ina's words hushed and for the young woman's ears only, dirty eyeballing the other mama's and their daughters. Back away, go away, get a drink, something else other than stand here sort of deal. "Pardon the intrusion, but, I didn't think that your father would much care to… see me. Would you be so kind as to give this to him, at some point this evening? A… " Ina licked her lips in though, head bowing this way then that. "A peace offering, in as much as … such a thing can be given between respective courts." The plain wrapped package offered up to d'Sarthe's daughter. "He expressed a… fondness for them the other day."

Amongst the lions and tigers and bears (oh my) of this gathering, Kain Zarek is unusually subdued for an evening defined as partying for party's sake. Lounging with his back against the bar, elbows propped up and a martini in one hand, the sleek navy blue pinstriped suit the Linderman enforcer wears looks a sight better than prison jumper orange that may well be in his future. Blonde hair is swept back from his face, bound in a short nub of a pony-tail behind his head, blue eyes scanning the crowd. It isn't so much that he's looking for a specific someone, but that he's watching Ina Anderson like a hawk.

You see, they have a bet going.

Outside of Linderman employees and their games, there is a surprising confluence of individuals seated at one of the delicately arranged dining tables. Five Chinese men in slick black suits, hair cropped short, one baring the upper-most vestiges of a tattoo on the side of his throat. The eldest at the table is senior to the others by decades, his face weathered like old leather, eyes narrowed, lips downturned into a frown and head shaved cue-ball smooth. Wenzhuo Zhao is not an easily recognizable individual, but the head of the New York Triads is infamous among the city's criminal underworld.

Perhaps unnerving to those gathered here for the dinner party, Zhao is not dining with just his compatriots. Sitting at the table in quiet conversation with the Triad boss, Jason Mines looks like the odd-duck out. Pale, blonde haired and dressed more like a Chicago tough than is perhaps appropriate, the jarhead demeanor he carries joins with distinctly animated hand gestures as he talks with Zhao, even if the old Triad boss looks more like a stone likeness of a man by his rigid posture and unflinching reactions.

Outside d'Sarthe's restaurant, a black alleycat paws at one of the glass windows, balancing up on a sill, desperately wanting to get in.

There is champagne and wine a'flowing at this little soiree, with cocktail servers in slacks, white button-downs and little black vests bustling around to offer it. Among them is a lithe woman, though the cut of her suit makes her look a little boxy. She has dyed red hair, but it is tied back in a very well-tended ponytail, with a little fluff at the top, just to make her look fancy. She raises the serving tray high above the crowd as she manuvers through, pausing and offering champagne to new people as they come in. She has a southern twang, and the shiny silver nametag over her breast reads the name GARY.

Of course, the real Gary is at home, in bed. He met a pretty southern redhead by the name of Mary Lou the night before. Ended up back at his place, but was out like a light before he got out of his trousers. He seems to remember a cloth that smelled like medicine over his mouth just before he slept…..

Of course, when he wakes he'll find his uniform missing, and a message on his answering machine from an unfamiliar voice at work, saying he was late but she would take his shift anyway - she was about to quit and needed the money.

And all of that explains how Lola Mayeux became Gary the cocktail waitress for the evening, smiling at people as they enter.

Richard Cardinal, it turns out, cleans up quite well. At least as far as anything he wears can be called cleaning up.

A dark grey pinstriped suit jacket and slacks are worn, the jacket unbuttoned to reveal a white zip-up shirt with the high collar spread to his shoulders rather than turtlenecking up to his chin, a tie beneath therefore revealed. It's a rather unusual sort of suit, but he pulls it off somehow, a fresh haircut keeping his hair well-groomed and it even looks like he shaved neatly around his goatee… it's just a pity that it was yesterday that he did it.

The easy smile on his lips would be proven false if anyone could see the eyes behind the set of Oakley shades he's wearing, sharp and hard as he looks to various familiar faces. This isn't really a party, after all. It's an acrobatics routine through a series of flaming hoops.

Not to mention that with Peyton on his arm and the recent articles about his company in the news, flying 'beneath the radar' is just about impossible tonight.

What a difference a day makes~ Just yesterday, Peyton was sitting on the roof of the Sweat Lodge in jeans and flip flops; tonight she's in a butter yellow Jemma Khan halter dress, the collar adorned with golden jewels and the waist by a thin silver chain that holds in the gathering of the short cocktail-length gown and highlights her small waist. Her long hair is worn down in long spiralling curls, though the bare back of the garment reveals now and then a peep of green, blue and turquoise of the inked peacock feather on her neck.

Long legs are bare and tan, ending in bronze-hued bootsy sandals that are all the rage and utterly impractical. She too has things on her mind that are much less high society and much more gritty and unsavory, though they are pushed aside for the purpose of doing business.

She catches a glimpse of Kain and grins a bit in his direction. She murmurs to Cardinal, "Point out anyone important."

It's almost theatrical the way that Nicole approaches Kain and rests one hand with electric blue painted nails upon his shoulder and cups her other hand over the side of her mouth so the movement of her lips can't be seen as she murmurs something into the man's ear. "Wouldn't Logan just be horrified if he knew that he and d'Sarthe wear the same shoes?" The hand alongside her face drops and she turns to rest her own back against the bar, her other hand still resting on the man's shoulder.

"It would be terrible if someone were to take a photo on their phone and send it to him." With a wicked grin, Nicole glances up to Kain out of the corner of her eye. Deftly, the plucks a glass of champagne off the tray Lola carries as she passes by.

As far as she is aware, Ling Chao's entrance has gone largely unnoticed by the larger masses, the Chinese woman slipping quietly into the restaurant - this time, through the proper entrances, something that almost seems unusual to her these days.

Dressed in a long, black, casual looking dress, her hair done up and a distinctly red scarf that matches the ensemble rather well around her neck, she looks about as casual as she ever manages to, a rather stoic look on her face as she lays eyes on several familiar faces within d'Sarthe's. This was her first day back in the city in some time, and it had already been marked by a rather unusual piece of mail in a private post office box. A large part of her was hoping that this evening would go smoothly - not make her regret coming to the mainland this evening.

Nadia Ba'albaki has made a rather quiet entrance this evening, slipping in quietly and staying closer to the walls, out of the center of the room for now. She's been riding the wave of her recent appearance on television all over the country in the new Department of Evolved Affairs commercials, and receiving mixed responses. People have stopped her to pick her brain, people have come up to praise her, or people have ridiculed her, and all along that spectrum. It's quite tiring, really.

Nadia is dressed in a ruffled black skirt, which is complimented by a white silk sleeveless blouse, and a pair of blocky high-heeled sandals, complete with a white handbag. She's leaning against a wall right now, sipping at a glass of champagne as her eyes search the room for familiar faces. She finds Cardinal. Her eyebrows raise briefly as she looks to the woman on his arm. Then, she promptly goes back to sipping at her champagne.

Marie, in all her keen wisdom, seems less taken aback by Ina's presence at her arm, and more curious about the nature of why. Soft green eyes turn with her head, loose brown curls pinned at the back of her head trailing along. She embodies a veil, of sorts- her presence is like a sheer curtain, providing some measure of privacy, while still offering a gift of soft light or breeze. Perhaps she even moves as one.

"Ah. Miss Anderson." The young woman smiles, however briefly, eyes glancing down to the package that is being offered to her. She glances back to one woman she had been talking with, only to find her having moved on. "A peace offering." Marie seems torn between amused and melancholy, something about this situation striking various chords. "I see. I can make sure that he gets it, nothing more than that." If Ina was hoping for anything more, she will be hard pressed to get it. Slender hands take up the plain package, testing its weight a moment, before Marie looks up and jerks her forehead to summon one of the nearer security men. His job is to watch her, it seems, as he comes right over, complete with buzzcut and clean black lines. Marie is very careful when handing it over, leaning up to whisper in a receptive ear.

Gideon has, in the interim, pried himself from that gaggle, simply to seek out a red bob floating past several of them. Notably, this one he intercepts, is none other than Gary, the lady server. In another life, her name is Lola, which is, in itself, incidental considering the subject of a famous song.

"Mademoiselle? If you please…" Lola hears the rasp virtually in her ears when Gideon slinks toward her, for those final feet. For a few, long seconds, there is the possibility that he has some other business with her- only to finally offer her the empty flute in his calloused, tanned grip, and beckon her to slip him a replacement.

As the crowds start to thicken, Kain Zarek's attention span thins. Looking over to the brunette at his side, he turns just enough to set his martini down on the bartop. "Ah' ain't lookin' at ol' Giddyup-Buttercup's shoes, darlin'." One black brow raises and Kain's head tilts to the side subtly. "Sides, you wanna' tell ol' Johnny-boy that he's got the same fashion sense as the big man, you go on right ahead, he's gonna be prancin' in here any time now tonight."

Looking away from Nicole, Kain furrows his brows as he watches Cardinal and Peyton coming in, attention lingering on the latter for a moment, right up until he notices one of the bartenders zipping about the restaurant, and promptly chokes on his tongue. Coughing loudly, Kain turns around and presses a hand to his throat, reaching for his martini to take a sip, then exhales a wheezing breath.

Looking up and askance to the redhead barmaid, Kain's blue eyes go wide, then narrow to slits as he hisses, "Lola."

Isn't she supposed to be playing dead?

This is going to be the best night ever.

"That is all that I could possibly ask. I appreciate that you would even do so." A glance to the security guard and inclination of her head, Ina waits for the young woman to be done speaking with the buzzcutt before she lifts a finger, one more moment of your time, to Marie. It's all be so very proper right now, nothing for Gideon to even be worried about. No move made to touch the other young woman lest it be taken as an insult, attempt to murder her or attempt to deflower the poor, poor gangster's daughter, Ina murmurs something quietly into Marie's ear.

Lola offers a polite smile to Nicole and Kain as she blitzes by with champagne flutes. No words, just that dimpled, sweet little smile. It'll be enough to set Kain off - and from the look that she sees on his face as she leaves him, it's done just that. Whoops! And then there's the big man himself. Gideon - just the man she came to see. Smiling, she takes his empty flute, and offers the tray toward him for him to take his pick.

It's fairly easy to make it look like someone's bumped into you from behind. When she turns to offer the tray, she leans back, even half-steps back a little to nudge the person behind her. Most peoples' first reaction is to step away and glance back, and that movement disguises what their previous movement may have been. So all Lola has to do then is react as though she was bumped. Bump! Champagne flutes tilt and tumble toward Gideon.

Kain isn't the only Linderman Group employee who's noticed Lola's presence here this evening. A man in a dark pinstripe suit with the pale ruff of hair and silvering beard is winding his way through the crowd with the fluid ease that a large shark navigates shallow water despite its size. A glass of red wine cradled in an ungloved hand, Robert Caliban swings easily around Cardinal and Peyton, giving the pair a wide berth as he approaches Gary at a pace both purposeful and leisurely.

Gideon's appearance stalls his progress, however, and as the crime lord reaches for her, he changes his course and opts to complete a wide circle instead. He's smelled blood in the water. Or maybe that's the champagne Lola is about to spill—

"The woman over with Kain, that's Colette's sister Nicole… over in the corner - do you see the Chinese guys? I think the old one's Zhao, he's the head of the Triads these days. I don't know who the blonde guy with them is, and…" Cardinal misses a step as he walks along through the crowds with his date for the evening keeping up a running commentary of who people are as if choosing a variety of sweetmeats for later consumption, stopping dead in his tracks as he notices the redheaded woman being accosted by Gideon for a refill.

Behind his shades, his eyes close. "Peyton," he murmurs, "Please tell me that's not Lola dressed up like a waitress that just dropped a glass of champagne? And please tell me that it didn't land on d'Sarthe?"

Jjjust a little late is John Logan, and neither he nor his date for the evening seem to mind much — their evening begun much earlier than this, so it would seem. He's dressed well, at least, in a black suit that fits him to expensive perfection, with a waistcoat with silvery pinstripe obscuring a black shirt. The collar's been opened already, and the tiger print scarf currently wrapped around his date's neck— a bottle redhead who squeezed herself into a sequin dotted black mini— probably actually belongs to him instead of her.

The scarf matches his shoes.

Also in hand is a bottle of red wine — it's half emptied and open, and he seems to be imbibing from it straight from its open mouth, although not currently, probably just on the way there if the sway to his step is to tell the story of the past hour. They wander in together with his other arm wrapped around her waist, a broad grin as she reaches across to try and steal the green bottle from his hand, and he elaborately keeps it out of reach. Her giggle could pierce eardrums, his laughter a softer, velvety sound beneath it.

Whatever it is that those lips whisper into Marie's ear, she smiles, cheeks rosy; she is able to take a great many things in her stride, however smaller it may be. Marie only nods, taming that demure expression once again into one of neutrality, of passiveness. The bodyguard has long since gone. Green eyes turn to the cove, where there are some pairs gliding along with dainty music coming from some mysteriously placed speakers. Marie looks back to Ina, nodding a second time.

"Woman to woman, of course." She makes this mental notation, beginning to scan the room. Her gaze goes easy from man to man, drifting past Logan's familiar- in many, blood ways- face and onward to the bar. She can see Kain Zarek from here all too well, it appears.

For all the good that owning fancy restaurants and working in fancy kitchens has done- one thing he learned long ago was to master plates, trays, bowls, and various other instruments of carting delicious things. He is close enough to know that he has not startled the redhead into moving, and thankfully he knows it is not his own fault; the tray of drinks tips, tilts-

-only to start abruptly tilting back, swerving in the air between them, awkwardly- but successfully- balancing out, with a moment of concerted effort on the host's part.

Had Lola not taken his flute, Gideon's hand would not have flashed under the black tray, and he would have ended up with a lap full of drink. In a way, she ruined her own prank.

"Oh, cher," His tone reprimands her all on its own, leaving Lola to judge the mood behind his light brown eyes. "You must be …new?"

After a long moment of sipping at her champagne, Nadia pushes off the wall, making her way through the crowd. A few winning smiles are cast to people in the crowds who pause to look at her. She makes he way slowly toward Cardinal and Peyton. One person stops her and asks her something about Registration, which she cheerfully responds to with a smile and a polite request that they visit the web site for more information. After a bit more polite chatter and a shaking of hands, Nadia continues on her way through the crowds.

Finally, she gets close enough to Cardinal and Peyton to speak. Approaching from the side, she reaches out and places her hand on the man's shoulder, fixing a charming smile upon the man. "Richard," she says, raising the champagne flute in greeting, "fancy running into you here!" She chuckles, before turning a smile to Peyton. "And hello! I saw you at that date night thing."

Dark eyes flit here and there, taking in the people as Cardinal points them out. Peyton turns to peer over at d'Sarthe and the near disaster, not quite able to make out Lola's face from her stance. "I'm not sure —" she begins, but it's easy enough for her to find out. She tucks her hand a little tighter around Cardinal's arm since she's about to go blind for a moment.

Casting her eyes downward so that her thick lashes veil the strange phenomenon of her pupils widening and swallowing up her brown iris, Peyton focuses on Lola, thinking about the woman she's meant before, picturing Lola when she delivered a gun to the southern woman, and again on the subway the day of the visions, to make sure she's not focusing on the redhead nearby. When Gideon's now … fills Peyton's vision, she glances back up just in time for Cardinal to see her pupils shrinking swiftly as she focuses on his face. "That'd be Lola, yes," she says with a low chuckle, watching his face for his reaction as her hand loosens on his arm, though it stays tucked in the crook of his elbow.

Logan's appearance causes Peyton's brow to raise, since his name was so recently mentioned, just the night before, on Staten Island. When Nadia greets Richard and herself, she turns to smile. "Hi, right," she says softly, hand releasing Card's arm to offer it to Nadia. "I'm Peyton."

Some the familiar faces Ling spots about the room have her wondering if coming by was the right choice at all, but then, she likely shouldn't be so surprised. Arms cross as she strides across the room, and eye kept out and on several people - Kain, Zhao, Cardinal-

And then the champagne tips over, even as Ling is receiving a glass of wine for herself, and she can't help but shake her head. Such clumsy help was likely to get fired on the spot - or at least, that would be how she would handle the situation. It seems, however, that she will get off lucky, for now. A long sip of her wine is taken before she slips towards the crowd, a destination in mind - though a not so direct path taken towards it.

Damn it! Ah well - Lola is a thief, and as a thief she's used to rolling with the punches. She moves her hand past Gideon as he reaches forward to grab the tray, his eyes totally distracted away from her other hand. It works well enough - whatever she was trying to accomplish, it seems she's done the job. "Oh! I'm very sorry about that sir!" She keeps her voice low, and manages - more or less - to use a Yankee accent. She's only been living here for a year, after all. "Thank you sir, thank you. Please, please let me know of anything you need!" She fumbles a little, flashing him a toothy grin.

"Oh, I sent that little message as soon as I saw that," Nicole tips her head toward d'Sarthe and his shoes. Her grin disappears when Kain whispers Lola's name, and she realises she recognises the redhead, too. "What?" She shoots Kain an inquisitive look, hiding the severity of it and the way her lips purse behind the generous sip of champagne she takes.

Her train of thought is derailed entirely when shrill, obnoxious giggling cuts through the air. Nicole's head snaps toward the sound and she finds Logan and his date. Her quiet gasp is audible to Kain's ears. Her lips part and her eyes grow just the barest bit wider. Most notably, her posture changes. She straightens up to her full height - nearly six feet in her muted black heels.

Nicole knocks back the last of her champange and sets in the surface behind her before she turns around quickly enough for the skirt of her simple black cocktail dress to flounce around her legs. Pressing both hands to the curve of the bartop, the bow of the blue sash across her waist bunches awkwardly as she presses her ribcage to that curve as well, leaning forward with something like urgency. "Dead Nazi." A glance is sent back over her shoulder. Oh God. Her scarf matches his shoes.

"Make it a double."

Done, and done. Ina looks sideways to Kain at the bar, the gentleman focused on some other woman in the crowd and with her apology palmed off to some security guard and likely to be checked for bombs, anthrax or who knows what else, Ina's off, gone, slipping out of the room to mingle elsewhere and with others.

Even as a young blonde is making her way in, blue eye's looking this way and that in hope of finding who she's supposed to meet up with. Shell colored sheath dress, black heels with an alarming height on them that's so prevalent this season, Abigail's for once not looking like a fish out of water. Till she walks and then it's very careful steps that start to carrying her in Caliban's direction. Date night. Date night at the competition's.

"God damn sons'a bitches," Kain grouses as he clears his throat, wiping some of his martini off of his bearded chin with the back of his sleeve, glaring daggers across the restaurant at the redheaded waitress, then over to Cardinal, then — oh fuck, Caliban. Turning sheet white, Kain straightens up and looks to Nicole, offering her an askance glance. "If'n you don't wanna see me get outa' here in a body bag you're gonna' go run interference on ol' Robbie there," and Kain indicates Caliban with a jerk of his head, "while Ah' go yank Red outta' here and go shoot her in a fuckin' alleyway or something."

Blue eyes flick over to the bartender who caught about sixty percent of that conversation, his eyes wide and face equally pale. Both hands come up and his head shakes as if to imply I saw nothing as he abruptly turns around to start straightening bottles of alcohol that don't need straightening.

"Ah've gotta go sass up John boy, he said he wanted t'help." With that quick snap of orders, Kain is leaning away from the bar and making a beeline towards Logan, weaving between wait staff and guests with a polite smile spread across his face, one that never quite reaches his eyes. "'Scuse me," Kain murmurs as he passes by — oh good god — Ling Chao, jerking to a halt and looking back over his shoulder as if boggled by her presence. Exhaling a flustered breath, Kain turns around and keeps walking, stalking up behind Logan and his date, right up until he wraps an arm around both of them from behind, injecting his grinning cajun face between them. "Johnny," Kain greets too chipperly, "What'd you think 'bout that there waitress?" And up goes Kain's hand to the back of Logan's head, pivoting his attention towards Lola.

"Don't she look just like that dead girl?" is strained through Kain's teeth.

"Yeah." Cardinal's free hand lifts, thumb and finger sliding beneath the edge of his shades to rub against his eyes, his voice quiet as he murmurs back to Peyton's chuckled response, "Yeah… that's who I thought it was. Jesus Christ and Mary his Mother…"

Then there's his name being spoken, and his brow twitches a bit more, hand sliding from his eyes and pushing the shades back into place. "Nadia," he greets, chin dipping in a slight nod back to her with a faint smile, "Fancy meeting you here, of all places… you know Miss Whitney, I'm sure."

Meeew is what Logan's date, let's call her Drapes, has to say when suddenly there's another presence interjecting himself in a series of flirtations that not one word of English occurs within. Because she's a kitty cat, apparently, and very drunk and possibly quite high, too, if the way Logan's eyes are dimming by the time Kain has his attention are to be of any indication. Which they are. There's a wrinkle of irritation in the smooth symmetry of his expression, shoulders stiffening beneath the weight of Kain's arm.

Completely ignores Drapes as she reaches to draw the scarf back around his neck, tying it back in place with a flash of red fingernails, even as he distractedly keeps the wine bottle out of arm's reach. "What you on about?" is dimly asked. "Don't worry 'bout this bird, she doesn't speak English. What waitress?" A fleeting glance transpires.

Oh. That waitress. There is both confusion and severity in a whisper as Logan replies, "Can't keep a good bitch down, can you, Zarek?"

Drapes finally manages to score the wine bottle off Logan, taking girly sips from it as if it were remotely polite.

There's no gun under Caliban's suit jacket, no knife hidden up his sleeve or piano wire wound in an interior pocket where someone might accidentally happen upon it, but that doesn't mean he's going to pass up the opportunity that Lola has presented with. The young blonde woman entering his periphery won't change that, either.

He glances in Abigail's direction, unwilling to take his eyes off his target for more than the time it takes him to confirm that — yes — his girlfriend is here and — no — she hasn't brought any of her friends with her. The only thing that could make this situation more complicated is if Teodoro Laudani, all sharp blue eyes and sincere smiles, was in tow.

Or, you know, Linderman. That would be bad, too.

"Of course." Gideon's answer is as vague as his search of the redhead, that new, minute weight in one of his jacket pockets going unnoticed. He only makes to take a new flute in his fingers, his other hand going to steady at Lola's slim elbow. "You see, I do need something…" He leans in, a presence of musk and gravelly voice so opposite of his daughter. "You see that table, there?" A fluid gesture points out the table of Mines and Zhao, across the dining room, and Gideon turns himself to stand just behind Lola so that she can see her new destination. His hand is still at her elbow, light and omnipotent.

"I need you to see if those guests of mine need any new refreshments."

A cheerful smile is offered to Peyton, and Nadia reaches out, clasping the woman's hand and offering it a shake. "Nice to meet you, Peyton. I'm Nadia Ba'albaki. I think I've seen you a few other times, too." She smiles warmly to the brunette, pulling her hand back once done shaking, and sipping at her champagne. Dark brown eyes look the woman over, before turning back toward Cardinal with a cheerful smile.

"I do now." She chuckles softly, running a hand through her hair. "I was kinda…bored, and I heard about this. It sounded fun?" She shrugs, tapping the champagne flute as she peers the man over. "That, and I thought it might be nice to, you know, see if hiding in a crowd keeps people from stopping me everywhere I go. It doesn't work, but I have a nice canned media response worked out after a few weeks of dodging questions." She chuckles softly.

"The Asians?" Lola asks, unable to hide some of her more charming qualities, as much as she likes. "I'll send someone over immediatly, sir. And I'll go and get some more glasses." She seems perfectly willing to move and detach herself from him, or move to, in order to head into the back where the kitchen is and where there will be more refreshments.

And where she can dump this stupid vest. Phone delivered. Job complete-for now. Time to go home.

There's a bit of commotion from the front of the restaurant from around the area of the Maitre d'. A man, smartly dressed in a relaxed-fitting suit, is waiting patiently by the door while the guest list is looked over for a moment before his name is found. Apparently Jaiden Mortlock knows someone who knows someone who owed him a favor, and getting in to the soft opening of what promises to be one of the more popular restaurants in town to experience their food is something he can certainly brag about to his few 'foodie' friends.

"Thank you very much." His accent, very Australian, is easily heard. It's not like he's talking loudly….it just carries, and after a moment he is led by the head waiter to one of the tables on the periphery - out of the way, but easily able to watch and listen to see what's going on in the circle he normally has no place in.

"Nice to meet you," Peyton says politely, her free hand now moving to hold her silver clutch in both in front of her skirt. The mention of needing to 'hide in a crowd' makes her arch a brow. "Yeah, I guess that walking haircut I saw chatting you up at that charity thing managed to get his claws in you after all," the socialite says, politely enough though it's clear she finds the registration propaganda a touch distasteful. Still, people in glass houses shouldn't cast stones, and she certainly flung herself into the limelight enough in the past.

Her eyes dart to Logan and 'Drapes,' and her brows knit together with worry and indecision. It might not be the place to chat with him, not with so many eyes and ears of infamy and ill repute around.

No Teodoro, no Peter Petrelli, no anyone of her multitude of friends and acquaintances. Just Abigail sliding her way past dressed up or business class individuals, fingertips pressed to unoccupied tables to help maintain her balance and a wave of said fingertips when she spots Cardinal and Peyton and their small group off in the room. Thank the lord for familiar faces. A sincere smile offered for the two before her palm comes to a rest at the small of Caliban's back and herself to a calculated stop. She does better standing in the shoes than walking.

"So many people, but it's so beautiful," murmured to him. "Richard's here, Logan's here" As if she's surprised that he would quite possibly be present. "Oh lord." She noticed Kain. She hasn't seen him since New Orleans months and months and months ago. "Robert… are we getting a seat or are we.. what's the word?" Abby looks thoughtful as if she might pluck the word out of the air. "… Networking?" She's well aware that half the time they're out, it's partly business.

"Johnny, consider yerself drafted. Keep ol' Dickie busy," the cajun notes with a quirk of his head to the side and the slap of a hand against Logan's shoulder, "an' uh, be careful what you put near your date here, 'less you want it t'fall off afterward." Both of Kain's brows raise at that, and the Cajun is weaving around Logan, adjusting his tie and keeping a wide span of crowd between himself and Caliban, as if that will somehow buffer him from needing to own up to this erroneous mistake later.

Play it smooth, Zarek.

Kain hesitates when he sees Lola go into the back, looking over to Logan, then Nicole, then makes a beeline for — of all things — Robert Caliban and his southern belle of a date. It's not enough to get in conversational range, but eye-contact and Kain puts on the mask of bewilderment and confusion. Blue eyes meet blue eyes, and Kain jerks his head in a nod towards the kitchen where Lola is headed, as if to say did you see what!?

In a world of illusionists and shapeshifters, sometimes things aren't always what they appear. Kain Zarek is hoping and praying to bank on that very uncertainty as he tries to mingle his way through the crowd towards not the door to the kitchen, but an exit to get out back.

He'll handle this, Robbie, don't you worry!

"Networking," Caliban repeats. "Yes, that's exactly what we're doing." That is happens to share the same number of syllables as murdering is purely incidental. What isn't incidental is the fact that the man who claims to have murdered Lola Mayeux is now chasing after her. Call him a skeptic: he's not entirely convinced that Kain intends to finish what he started.

If he even started it at all. He passes his wine glass, still full, to Abigail and leans in to press a kiss against the curve of her jaw. "There's something I need to deal with, darling. Find us a table you like and I'll be back in just a few minutes."

Negation drugs in full through Abigail's veins, it's probably a little easier on Caliban's constitution to kiss her and she accepts the glass, slender fingers adding to the fingerprints that have been left on the glass and holds it close through the affection. "Go, you're forgiven and absolved. There's an Australian I know that's here." Her lips brush against his cheek just barely before she's turning, heading for Jaiden with careful, oh so careful baby steps that take her just past Marie, a wobble in the blonde's ankle, embarrassed glance to d'Sarthe's offspring and then carrying on. "Jaiden," called out to him with a lift of her glass to him in greeting.

Nicole watches Kain depart with a distinct frown on her face. What has he gone and done to piss off Robert this time? She's unaware of the circumstances under which Lola had supposedly met her demise. She watches him approach Logan and Drapes with a sour expression. At least until her tall shot appears at her side and she's quick to knock it back with perhaps too much ease, suggesting she maybe makes a habit of vile consuming concoctions like this. This one will surely cause her to wake up with both an aching head and stomach.

After a deep breath, Nicole snatches up another flute of champagne before the waiter reloading his tray can walk away with it. She then pointedly turns her attention to Caliban, making her way toward him at a quicker pace than she would like to, so that when she murmurs his name, he'll have to turn away from Zarek's escape to see her. "Robert. It seems you and I had similar thoughts this evening."

"Oh, I doubt it'll be much fun, really," Cardinal admits, his tone as dry as dust as he watches various people moving about in the periphery of his vision even as he tries to focus on Nadia so he won't seen unbearably rude as he's doing so - a fact which means he misses Logan's presence and possible approach to the small knot of people. He does see Abigail, a hand raising in a casual lift and a smile offered to her, "I imagine it'll mostly be networking and hob-nobbing…"

Tucking the trailing end of his scarf into waistcoat, Logan's mouth twists in irritation as Kain breaks off from the once trio, taking back the wine bottle and hitching Drapes back against his side with his arm bracketing her trim waist, before his pale eyes seek out the crowd until he matches Kain's ridiculous nicknaming to the man himself. Duty calls. "Let's go for a walk," is muttered into perfumed, rust-red hair, before he's plastering a smile back onto his sharp features and moving at a meander through the space.

Until he can maybe breach within a good thirty feet, wherein his eyes flick on like twin negatory lights of dim green, stemming the tide of chemicals that Cardinal might need to make an escape artist exit, should he know the desire. And maybe a degree of interfering with glasses on within a building.

"Apparently they let every Tom, Dick and Harry in this place," is announced loud enough that the people in the immediate area might turn to glance, designed to slice in after Cardinal's last retort. Logan's smile is insufferably friendly as he approaches. "Nice suit. They let you in at the front door or did you sneak in your usual way? Hello," is added, politely, to Nadia.

Logan's glance next flicks to Peyton, recognition suddenly lighting his eyes up a little further, minutely guilty before his smile quirks into something more amused, his focus returning to Cardinal.

Jaiden is waiting patiently for Set Menu B which contains a lovely Coq Au Vin, a Soupe A L'oignon, a a few things he didn't exactly recognize was ordered, with a glass of chilled white wine to start with very near his right hand. "Miss Abigail." Jaiden replies, lifting his own glass in a salute, standing to greet her properly. "I didn't expect to see you here this evening. I didn't expect to see anyone I knew, really, this evening. It is a pleasant surprise to see you."

Marie's various treks take her through swathes of guests, both welcoming and not. Smiles given to her are returned, her ghost-like form drifting and darting to and fro, eventually ending up suddenly, abruptly- a silent stalker- on Kain Zarek's left.

"Leaving so soon?" Marie's voice is both fresh air and quite possibly, death. Figuratively, right?

"Bonne fille." Is the last word Lola gets as she moves off, allowing Gideon to survey the room like a lion perched on his very own kopje. When he moves, he melts into the people just behind him-

When the kingpin emerges, it is to ascend the three stairs onto the small stage placed within the cove. It is difficult not to notice him, or that loping walk. The woman that had been managing the music slinks away from her station to one end of the stage, ascending one stair to hand up a wireless microphone. By now, surely, there has been a slowly growing hush settling in.

"Bonsoir, tout le monde- good evening, everyone." Gideon's voice over the speakers is the lion's growl to his savannah perch. His eyes, from this point, are more than capable of finding faces. Finding targets. One bedecked hand smoothes down the front of his waistcoat, thumb flicking open a golden pocketwatch tucked inside, before snapping it closed again, allowing it to disappear into pocket. It allows anyone a moment to pay attention.

"I would like to welcome all of you, my guests, to the future of my enterprise." Brown eyes twinkle light in the contrast of dying sunset and chandelier. "Purchasing such a historical- such a pivotal property- has always been a secret wish of mine. I have finally been able, yet sadly, it is at both the expense of the prior owners, and during a time of such civil …unrest." A breath of pause, between husky words. Gideon lifts his flute to the room.

"It is my hope that someday, I may live up to the expectations of this fair city, of New York."

Lola is at least polite enough to let another waiter know to 'Serve those Asians, quick.' After that, she's gone from sight from the main room. In the back, she's able to peel off the vest, hanging it up so that the real Gary, when he returns to work tomorrow, will be able to find it. All in all, she's rather pleased with herself! Although it smelled of Linderman in there - mostly due to Kain - she's accomplished what she came to do. Picking up her bag, which was left with all the other workers' belongings, she pulls a light sweater on and a cap over her head. Armed and disguised, the back door is open, and she pushes out, making her way onto the street.

"If those thoughts involve eliminating a threat to our employer," Caliban says tightly as soon as Abigail is out of earshot, "then yes, it seems that we do." Already, he's taking Nicole by the arm, his grip gentle but firm, and steering her toward the front door. Kain and Lola are headed out through the kitchen. It would draw unnecessary attention if he and Nicole followed, but if they move quickly, they at least stand a chance of cutting Lola off at the pass the same way Marie has just done to Kain.

"I need to borrow your ability," he informs her, and it isn't a request.

Nadia chuckles softly. "Well, after he spoke to me that night, I've only seen him once." She smiles to Peyton. "But yes, I'm now, apparently, the face of registration, or something. In reality…I read cue cards, and that commercial took me about fifteen tries before I could get it without either bursting into laughter, or forgetting my line even though it was right in front of me." She shrugs.

She seems to sense Peyton's distaste, however, and apparently feels the need to explain herself. "I admit to having an ulterior motive in signing a contract. I hope to use whatever fame I build up to start a 'Beautify New York' type of project. I'm putting together a plan together that I really hope I can get in the works." Nadia offers a winning smile to the brunette, brushing a strand of black hair away from her face.

She smiles to Cardinal again. "Well, networking can't be too bad, can it?" She is then interrupted by Logan's loud announcement causes her to blink a few times, and she smiles to the man as he approaches. "Hello!" The cheerful greeting is accompanied by a small wave, before Logan, in turn, is interrupted by Gideon, who she turns to peek over at the host.

"Better than I could do," Peyton says with a smile. "I'm a horrible actress. Someone once joked that you'd think some of the talent from the people I used to know would rub off on me — I'm afraid it actually did. That is to say — they didn't have much." Peyton's dark eyes sparkle a touch at the bash toward her fake friends of yesterday. "Good luck with your project, though. It's good if you can use your celebrity for something useful." There's something tight in her voice — her own celebrity was used against her will at the threat of death for Humanis First! purposes.

Her eyes dart to Logan as he greets them, her lips parting to greet him but she pauses when Gideon d'Sarthe addresses those assembled.

"On occasion, I can be found dressed to the nines and trying to learn a different side of life. Robert Caliban," a gesture to the departing blonde with Nicole at his side. "We're seeing each other and it's our night out tonight. I have to admit though, a mechanic here. I'm surprised too, may I?" A gesture to a seat at his table, she doesn't know how long Robert will be. The red wine put down on the table as she takes up a seat. "Are you here with anyone or just by yourself?"

Jaiden turns his attention to the stage, his left hand tucked into the pocket of his suit jacket, thumb outside, his right holding the glass by the stem lightly, lifting it to drink when the toast is indicated. And when he is joined at the table, he smoothly sinks down to his seat, his glass retaking it's spot on the clean white tablecloth. "A mechanic, yes, but that's not the only aspect of my life. During my travels I've gotten a taste for interesting foods - well made foods that can't be gotten at the local chain restaurant, and if I can pull a string or five with a contact or two to get a seat at a new place and try some interesting food, why not?" He takes a sip of his wine, shaking his head. "No, just myself tonight. The few people I do know well enough are busy with business that can't possibly wait, and coming by myself makes me seem mysterious, and sometimes I get lovely women approaching me because of it." He nods towards Abigail. "Seems to work so far."

Nicole's gaze widens in slight confusion at Caliban's words at first, but then it narrows just a touch. Nicole is nothing if not loyal to her employer. With a quick nod, she's matching the stride of the man at her side.

Being told that her ability is required, rather than requested leaves Nicole a little nervous. She can only hope whatever he has in mind will allow her to still keep her capabilities flying under the radar. Still, she answers without hesitation. "Of course." As Gideon d'Sarthe begins to address his audience, Nicole Nichols and Robert Caliban are on their way to attend to business.

Yes. Yes, this is exactly what Cardinal needs tonight.

It only takes a few heartbeats before the fact that it's suddenly become very dark in the room connects to the sound of an unfortunately familiar voice somewhere in Richard's skull, and he whispers a sigh before bringing his hand up to draw his shades off - the legs snapped closed before he turns to fade the inestimable John Logan.

"Hello John," he replies smoothly, a single eyebrow lifting as he tucks the sunglasses into a pocket of his jacket, "I'd ask how much your date cost, but I know that you buy them wholesale."

Heat that has everything to do with a compliment and nothing to do with an ability or makeup, colors her cheeks. "I think it's the accent. People seems to like accents" Says the southern woman to the Jaiden. She turns in her seat to listen to Gideon, oblivious to the fact that he's the direct competition in the city before casting a glance to Cardinal and his accumulating entourage. "That over there" She discreetly lifts a finger towards Peyton et al. "Richard Cardinal, friend of mine. The woman on his arm is Peyton Whitney. The other gentleman with the woman is John Logan. I don't know who he's with" Not such a pity. She turns her face, looking to see who else she might know. "Him" A another discreet gesture. "That's Kain Zarek. He works with Robert. I don't know who the woman is though" Apaprently, she doing introductions from afar.

"I'm sure we could come up with an accent that's so exotic and so powerful that we could take over the world just by sending people to talk cute to the folks in charge." Jaiden chuckles and takes another sip, obviously pleased that his compliment had the effect that he was hoping on. He moves his chair slightly back toward the wall, allowing him view of the men and women that Abby points out, nodding slightly. "Cardinal I've met. The rest…not so much." He does nod, memorizing faces and names.

"So combine yours… mine and Roberts…" Abigail offers up a slightly cheeky grin. "Warning, not all of those I've pointed out, are the sort of people that you want to associate with. Richard can tell you who they are, how do you know Richard?" Cardinal's not exactly in the network that both Jaiden and Abby run with.

Gideon's speechifying gets Logan's attention, but not completely — he has a girl to hold onto, a bottle of wine to keep from her, and a shadowman to not let slip away, aaand he's a little drunk. His expression is one of polite interest, a very steady mask that cold eyes peek from. Still poison green by the time he's back to regarding Cardinal, his smile returns, knife-edge sharp and thin. "So far she's cost me a good bottle of wine, and if she doesn't stop soon," his hand slides down to squeeze Drapes' bum to make her react with a pitched giggle, kind of like what happens with a dog toy, "she's going to cost me the fee for soiling the taxi on the way back.

"But everyone's got a price," he adds, before taking a deep swig of red, before he swings the blunt end of it to Cardinal, then off towards Kain. "And I'm wondering if it's Kain or you." Yes, he's completely ignoring the ladies, much like he ignores the girl he's with too, save for invisible tension of Peyton's familar presence, and nagging wait I know that face for Nadia.

"Friend of a friend, Miss Abigail." Jaiden replies smoothly, giving her a twinkling smile and taking another sip of his wine before continuing. "And I know of him…as in, I've heard it mentioned. He may know my name, but that's about all, I'm sure. But I do agree. Some of the men here appear to be that of a rather nefarious bent. I'll be certain to keep an eye on my wallet and my words polite and refined."

Blue eyes fall shut and Kain's very belated reaction to Marie's presence is a glower at the door he's facing, then a slowly emerging smile that is in full bloom by the time he turns around to face Gideon's daughter. "Was jus' gonna' go have me a smoke outside," Kain notes with a raise of one brow, looking over Marie's shoulder towards Logan and Company, then to Nicole and Caliban, then back to Marie. "Y'know with all them smokin' bans in th' city, s'hard t'get a good cigar off when y'need one, am Ah' right?"

Posture tense, Kain lifts one hand to scrub at the back of his neck, then looks askance to the kitchen door Lola exited through too long ago now for him to head her off at the pass. Exhaling a snorted sigh, Kain looks back to Marie and offers her a flashed smile. "Now what's a pretty dangerous lil' thing like you doin' talkin' t'lil ol' me eh? Ain't miss Anderson gone an won you over with a wink an' a smile yet?"

Inside, Kain is screaming.

Peyton's dark eyes narrow at Logan's uncouth words, and her fingers tighten on her clutch as she glances from Cardinal's face to Logan's and then briefly back to Kain's when his name is invoked by the Brit. Her lips, however, curve into a smile, as if what she's about to bring up is appropriate for such polite and posh company.

Like anyone here is polite.

"John. It's good to see you. Jerry and I were just talking about you yesterday, that we might need you or one of your buddies for something over on the island. Do you know Jerry? Tall, dark, fiery?" She watches his face to see if he has a clue as to what she's talking about.

Nadia laughs softly to Peyton. "I just kind of blank out in front of the cameras, really. I wonder if that ever stops happening. I never thought I would end up doing anything like this." She glances to Cardinal, raising her eyebrows in surprise as he removes his shades. Apparently, she's a bit on the surprised side, and a small smile forms on her face that suggests that she is impressed.

She then glances to John Logan as Cardinal addresses him, arching a brow. She looks the slightly drunk man over with an almost distasteful glance for a brief moment. She even cringes a bit at that high pitched giggle. But, she manages a very polite smile to the man after those brief flinches.

"Don't think they'll be so crude as to go for your wallet," Abigail murmurs, looking at Robert's red wine and passing waiter and its empty tray, so she pass it off. She'll get him a fresh one when she sees him come back. "The grand opening is… some… other day, but they just opened today. This used to be the Tavern on the Green. I heard it was very beautiful in its day too."

"That's kind of why I tried to get in for a taste. I don't think I'd ever get in once the place is opened fully, but a part of me wishes that, perhaps, I had chosen a different day." Jaiden's empty glass is slid to the edge of the table - a silent signal to the passing waiter for a refill, before he turns his attention back to the woman at his table, their conversation taking place in low murmurs, easily missed over the soft grumble of the crowd. "It is beautiful here. I can see little expense was spared. You almost forget that past that line of trees a skeleton-city rests."

Marie waits, patient, for Kain to fully regard her, and she only smiles weakly when he seems to reign to the the fact she is there and he is rather- in her grasp, so to speak. She is much smaller than him, and the fold of her hands, the plant of dainty heels, the wisps of brown at her neck, her breezy voice- they do little to solidify her. But somehow- those same things make her inescapable.

"Yes, you're right… no, she hasn't. Not quite what I am interested in, honestly…" Marie pauses, seemingly looking off into the distance of Kain's chest pocket. "What I am more interested in, is the cat and mouse game going on in here." There is some subdued clapping for Gideon, after he first presents himself, and lifts his drink. Many near the front mirror him. His eyes are at a constant scan- and while it pays off, he must stop after a few moments of it.

"For those of you who are still unawares, I am your host for the evening. This has been a night for me to show the fruits of our labor here in New York City. I admit, taking up such a heralded mantle as that of the Tavern is a heavy one. I am hopeful that in the end, I will be sufficient enough to make this city proud to have me. The Grand Opening, as many of you have guessed, is being held in roughly a fortnight from now- it will be a more public, charitable affair, and I plan to donate all ticket sales and proceeds to various restoration charities. If for no other reason, I ask that you care enough to return for the sake of furthering citywide recuperation, and ask of your friends and family to do the very same."

Just as Logan's eyes are cold, so are Richard Cardinal's own as he returns the other man's look with a brow's subtle raise upwards. The polite smile has even begun to slip. "A blow up doll would've been cheaper," he points out callously, "Probably more entertaining, too."

As Peyton speaks up, he gives her a bemused look for a moment - clearly he has no idea what she's talking about - and then he looks back to John, "Well! It looks like you two have a lot to talk about. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go somewhere a little less cockney."

A slight nod to Nadia, perhaps apologetic, and then he moves to step around his date slash decoy and slip off into the crowd if he can.

"It really is a very different world" Abigail nods to Jaiden, keeping her voice low as possible so as not to disrupt Gideon's speech. "Please, enjoy your meal, I'm going to go in search of a table for Robert and myself before he returns, see if I can muddle out the menu. Just remember, reduction is fancy speak for a gravy." Forefinger tapping the table. "And start with the cutlery from the outside and work your way in and you can't go wrong." He is in truth, probably more up with the social etiquette than Abigail is, who's promised herself over and over again to find some class that teaches that sort of thing. Careful to rise, gain her center of gravity and make sure that nothing is peek out that shouldn't or her ass isn't hanging out, she offers a gracious nod to Jaiden even as she gathers up her black clutch.

Logan also doesn't have a clue about what Peyton's talking about.

It's not even faked; genuine bafflement in the squint Logan gives the late Wendy's friend, until something occurs to him. She's trying to be clandestine. Obviously. That she's using a real name that he might actually know doesn't even occur to him. Glancing, now, towards where Richard is flitting off to, there's a moment of pause as he weighs up his options, but then decides his successful distraction was successful, save for a small tic of irritation at the corner of his mouth.

"You know," he says, looking back to Peyton, "'stead of just making up names, you can go with 'Joe from Human Resources', everyone knows what that means."

"I'll be sure to tuck my napkin into my shirt instead of my vest." Jaiden stands when Abigail stands, looking her over a second time. "And might I say, Miss Abigail, that you clean up fairly well. Another time, then. Have fun." Jaiden nods and, when Abigail wanders off, he re-takes his seat, waiting for the first course to be delivered, seeming t be blissfully unaware, but in actuality VERY aware of how dangerous a situation he's in.

Nadia's eyebrows shoot up as Cardinal moves to take off, her head tilting to one side. Well then. He must like Logan about as much as she does. She raises a hand in a small wave. "Um, I guess I'll give you a call later, then. Have a good night, Richard!" She calls this after Cardinal, shrugging, before turning to look back to Logan as he speaks. "It was, um, nice to meet you." This is stated to Logan stiffly, and she disappears into the crowd as well.

A few people attempt to stop her and chat, but Nadia is on a mission. She approaches a waitress, exchanging her now-empty champagne flute for a fresh, full one with a server, and then she makes her way over to the nearest empty table, which happens to be near Jaiden's table.

When Cardinal runs off thanks to Logan's presence, Peyton scowls slightly, then turns her confused face back to John, only the smallest remnant of a fake smile left. "I don't," she says. "I'm not making up — never mind, I'll let him set it up, or maybe it was another Logan and I just got all … confused or something."

She snags a glass of champagne from one of the trays that's being held by a waiter walking by, and she takes a sip to cover her embarrassment, then glances over her shoulder for Cardinal. Or Kain. Or anyone else that doesn't make her feel like an unwanted leech. "I'll get out of your hair, then," she says, glancing at the redhead and giving a slight shake of her head before stepping away.

Jaiden's table has been adorned with course 1 of 3, a bowl of creamy soup, steaming hot, with what appears to be a few sprigs of lemon grass laid across the top in a decorative fashion. He's just about to dig in when a familiar face sits down nearby. It's not that he knows the woman - it's just that when a face is plastered all over town? It tends to stick in your head, even if it is without a name. "Good evening, Miss." He says politely, lifting his glass. "It seems odd that you'd be over here rather than with whoever you accompanied. I do appreciate the company, though." He wipes his mouth and hands with the linen napkin before offering a hand. "Jaiden Mortlock, at your service, Ma'am. May I have the pleasure of your name?"

Someone who doesn't know her name? Nadia must be thrilled!

Escorting Marie back from the fringes of the restaurant and the heart of conversation once more, Kain has delicately chosen not to take her arm, but has managed to pick up a flute of wine for both he and his new lady accomplice. Fates have given Lola Mayeux reprieve from his own brand of straight-talk, and he can only pray that when Caliban and Nichols rectify the situation, Kain doesn't wind up with egg (or blood) on his face.

"Ain't much of a game of cat and mouse…" Kain is finally getting around to answering Marie's earlier question as he makes his way towards where Gideon is, though at a slow pace lacking true eagerness to be around the mobster's proximity again. "More a game of cat and slightly brain-damaged possum," comes with a crooked, toothy smile. "Jus' some old business acquaintances that done gone and come back from beyond the beyond," is offered up with an askance glance to Logan, one brow raised, then back to Marie. "But Ah'm hopin' mah business associates got it under control. Or— wrapped up in a carpet, y'know."

Only then does Kain offer a grimace and turns to look at Marie more intently. "Y'did mean all that there waitress chasin', right? Not… some other game'a cat n'mouse?"

Nadia blinks a few times, sipping at her champagne even as she turns to peer at Jaiden. After a moment, she sets the flute down, smiling to the man. "Oh— I didn't actually come with anyone!" She offers the man a charming smile, reaching out to take his offered hand and giving it a small shake. "Nice to meet you, Jaiden Mortlock. I'm Nadia Ba'albaki." She suddenly leans closer, grinning to the man.

"Are you from Australia? I'm kind of getting a case of 'I love your accent, say more words' here." Nadia offers a little giggle, lifting the champagne flute once more.

Drapes might get jealous when Logan stops hanging onto her and instead snatches a hand out to grip Peyton's wrist before she can drift off. It'll be like this all night — enemies veering off, socialites wrinkling their noses at the collective horribleness of Logan and his tiger stripe and loud mouth and overbearing applications of cologne and Drapes' reeking perfume. On him. Peyton— Peyton gets to endure a little longer.

"Don't be like that, I was just pulling your leg," he says, that prior sharpness of his voice, all the narrow eyed meanness that made harsh work of his voice when it came to addressing Cardinal, is all gone — like magic, or affectation. Turning his back to Drapes, who fidgets with the hem of her dress before darting like a mouse towards the nearest alcohol bearing waiter, Logan goes to slide an arm around Peyton's waist. "There's no other Logan anyone could possibly mean but me."

Well, not true, but— maybe true. According to some.

Don't worry Kain, Caliban won't kill someone when he's on a date with Abigail.


But there's Logan, and there's Peyton and he's turned away from his red haired flame and sliding an arm around Peyton and that draws a wrinkle from the Medic. The click of Abby's heels coming up behind Logan are probably unfamiliar, but the voice, quite likely so. "Peyton. It's been too long," Abgiail murmurs, a smile ever so bright for the clairvoyant, that dims when it's flashed towards Logan. "Logan, it's been too soon, how are you?"

A chair is slid into at one of the tables, and Cardinal leans back in it - exhaling a sigh, one hand pushing back through his hair and his eyes rolling up towards the ceiling. It almost seems as if the mission to distract him wasn't necessary. The shadowman isn't flitting about arranging conspiracies and tugging at strings tonight, even if this does seem to be the perfect occasion for such matters. Perhaps he's tired.

Somewhere along the way a glass of wine is acquired, and he swirls the red around in the crystal flute, gaze lingering on the splash and ebb of its fermented tides against walls that twist light subtle through them. His expression pensive.

"Aye, miss, I am in fact, very Australian and you would not be the first to say such things.." His speech comes out with a long aaaa sound, almost like he's speaking lazily or slurring, but in fact, it's just the accent. Jaiden's as clear as a bell (Well, with one glass of wine in him - he's no lightweight!) "And it's a pleasure to meet you."

Jaiden's hand is gentle, giving Nadia's a light squeeze as he shakes it, letting it go and turning his chair with a slight twist in order to pay more attention to her rather than the crowd that's slowly building in….potential for violence, it seems. "And I'm going to ask the question I'm sure you get all the time." Here it comes….'are you the girl from the posters incoming.' He can almost see her cringe.

"You look Moroccan….am I right?"

Nadia's gaze travels over the crowd, spotting Cardinal from afar. She smiles slightly, before turning to Jaiden as he's just about to ask his question, frowning visibly. Oh god, another one who is going ask her about her new job. She is beginning to see why some celebrities just go crazy and attack people at random for no apparent reason. She almost looks irritated for a moment, even as he asks the question that she was…totally not expecting.

Then, the scowl disappears, and her jaw drops at Jaiden for just a moment. A smile forms on her face, then, and she shakes her head. "Yeah, I am. I actually don't get that question all the time. Refreshing change." She chuckles softly.

The hand on her wrist brings a sharp gasp of air from her teeth, Peyton's brows knit but she manages to smile when she turns back, realizing he's not angry, or doesn't seem to be — or maybe he's just curious about what's in it for him. Likely. When that hand slides around her waist, she doesn't pull away, though she certainly doesn't giggle like 'Drapes.'

Her lips parting to explain her cryptic language from earlier, they are interrupted by Abby, and Peyton exhales with just a touch of irritation. "Hey, Abby," she says with a smile for the blonde. "You look lovely." She glances at Logan and mouths Hold on.

"Oh god," Logan says, to Abby's face and everything, a sneer readily pulling at his mouth. "Didn't your boyfriend tell you to stop bloody talking to me? He did," he adds, as an aside to Peyton, "and she doesn't listen. Not my fault that she doesn't listen." He does, however, manage to listen at her silent instruction, breaking off the physical contact to sway a step back and away, not going very far, but letting whatever exchange must occur occur.

Takes a deep swig of red from the bottle once more, before casting a look towards where Kain and Marie stand. The finger wraggled wave is intended for her, but he's not completely sad if it gets intended for Kain instead, though the gesture might hold different meanings for either.

"I wish for you all to continue enjoying your evening here, and to make yourselves comfortable enough so that you may return. If you wish to purchase a table or tickets to the grand opening- I ask that you contact the offices during hours." While droll, Gideon has to say all of this, for the sake of posterity. He would much rather be out there- but he is not quite finished. "I am hopeful that I shall see many of you there, and many others that wish to support a worthwhile endeavor. Thank you."

While the senior is talking into the microphone, the junior is being slowly escorted back into the room by a tall, roguishly handsome ne'er do well. Well, many might call him that. Marie, at current, does not. Perhaps, to his sheer terror, Marie is the one to take his arm, her fingers linking soft around his elbow. Possibly with a secondary need to keep him there with her, rather than wherever he thinks he is going.

"Waitress chasing. And really, what is not a game of cat and mouse? I see more than papa thinks that I do. More than you think that I do." Green eyes, normally so soft and wandering, have steeled up at Kain. There is a set to her jaw, and a tightness in her mouth. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the moment is broken by Logan appearing in their periphery. Marie chooses to ignore it.

Jaiden glances over, giving Cardinal a slight nod to basically say 'here I am if you need me,' before turning his attention back to Nadia, fixing her with a brilliant smile, his wineglass now full again thanks to an attentive waiter. He will need to tip well, most assuredly. "I've been to Morocco before a couple of times. Beautiful country. Comfortable climate, and very friendly people to boot." Very safe conversation; nothing controversial at all, like her being the face of registration.

Jaiden's being good tonight.

"He's not here right now, what he doesn't know, won't hurt him and this isn't your strip joint. So don't worry, I won't be be touching you." Sweetly and sickeningly spoken. "Don't go home with him Peyton, touch or no touch. Trust me, now, pardon me, I have a table to go find. I hope you have a good evening, give Richard my regards?" And as quietly as she came, warning look thrown over shoulder at Logan, Abby's moving away, one foot in front of the other, getting the hang of high heels and looking for a table, nose wrinkled and looking for one furthest from where Peyton, Logan and drapes might possibly think to sit.

The new face of registration tilts her head toward Jaiden, smiling at him and sipping at her champagne. "It really is beautiful there, though I haven't been there since I was a teenager. I was born in Casablanca, but we moved to Florida when I was five." Nadia flashes a cheerful smile Jaiden's way. "So, you've been to my home land. Do you speak any Arabic?" She lifts the champagne glass toward him, before sipping at it.

Dark eyes turn toward Gideon as he finishes his speech, before returning to Jaiden. "Thinking on it, I wonder what an Australian accent would sound like in Arabic."

There's polite applause from Jaiden when the speech from Gideon concludes, the man settling back down in his chair, olive eyes turning to regard Nadia's darker ones. "I don't know, to be honest. I usually had a translator when I was in the middle east doing photography, but I did pick up a few terms, here and there. Like Ahlan sadiqati." Roughly translated, 'Hey there, Friend.' The anonymous face of nothing sits there quietly, watching the crowds. Anonymity is cool sometime.

"Excellent," is said at a table nearby as hands clasp together and Jason Mines leans across to accommodate the shorter reach of Wenzhuo Zhao, and as to not force the older man to rise from his seat. "I'll let mister d'Sarthe know you're interested, and we can hash out the deals later." As Mines rises up from his seat, adjusting his already loose tie, there's a look across the restaurant towards where Kain stands beside Marie, and for the barest of moments Linderman's right hand man and d'Sarthe's right hand man share a look between one another, and then Mines rolls his shoulders, tugs at his tie one more time and starts striding towards the kitchen entrance.

Offering a look to Marie, Kain looks down to her arm around his, then grimaces and shoots a look over to Gideon, both brows raised and a this is her fault expression on his face before scanning the crowd again, looking over at Zhao with one brow quirked, then back to Marie, "C'mon, lets go make Logan uncomfortable…" he offers with a crooked smile and a dismissal of her conversational attempt at discussing business, beginning to lead Marie over to the green-eyed monster.

But if daughter-dearest really does see and hear more than daddy thinks… that's a great opportunity.

"Touch or no touch?" Peyton says with confusion, looking at Abby's retreating back. She can't help but to be reminded of Cat's running interference on Kain a few months back, and she turns to look at Logan with confusion. Finding that, for a moment, they are almost alone, minus the general milling and chattering of people nearby, she steps closer to him so she can keep her voice quiet.

"Jericho and McRae, they're over on Staten. There's some ugly shit going down, the kind of stuff that would make you look like an angel in comparison from what I hear, and we might need your help on it. You game for it? Jericho was going to set something up, but then here you are like a tooth fairy or something, and so I thought I'd ask and help streamline stuff along."

When Nicole and Caliban return, the latter is missing his suit jacket and supporting his companion's weight as if she's had too much to drink. She probably has, regardless. He leads her to one of the empty tables closest to the door so she doesn't have to walk very far, and bites off an order to one of the wait staff in a tone that, although polite, is also very curt. A hand at the small of her back and the other on her arm help guide her into her seat as he waits for the server to return with the glass of water that he asked for.

"I'll call my driver," he says, leaning over her shoulder, moving his hand from her arm to the edge of the table, bracing himself against it. "He'll take you home."

Having peeled off from the ladies before Abby could sass, it's difficult to tell how much Logan took in — but by the time she's clipclopping away, there's a glance over his shoulder to watch her journey out, tongue running over canine tooth beneath his lip, before swirling red wine around in its bottle like a witch's spell. Drapes is nowhere to be immediate seen, and that's fine — he turns back to Peyton, shaped eyebrows raising up at the dim memory than she wanted to speak to him or something.

And then she does, and a certain carefree quality to his expression drains away as he listens — saw what you like about Logan, but he is a businessman. McRae is a name he knows. "No," he says, immediately, before hesitating, rethinking that dynamic. "Maybe. They did come through on a thing for me, I suppose, and if there's anything I know— "

It's ugly shit on Staten Island. "Consider me streamlined for a later conversation, mm?" Because he might be seeing Kain and Marie walking this way, and so his hand goes out to squeeze Peyton's elbow. "For now, I've man talk to attend to."

Nicole sags gratefully into the seat Caliban guides her to. She's quick, however, to raise her hand and wave off his offer. "No, no. I couldn't." She closes her eyes a moment and then shakes her head, looking up to her companion. "I can't. If I go home, I'll just think. And… I don't want to think right now."

A grateful smile is sent up in tandem with a squeeze of the man's arm. "I… do want to talk about this later. But not now. Go and find your date," Nicole insists. "I'll be fine once I get some water."

Unfortunately, when Kain looks to make sure he is not being targeted by daddy- Gideon is descending from the box and making to greet a couple of men that meet him there. The alligator is back in the water, largely unfindable amidst others.

"I have met him, just once. I am not sure if he knew what he was doing at the time… perhaps he had been drinking." Marie knows 'moving on' when it happens. Business discussion is not for certain times, she is not that transparent. She links with Kain, a fluttering, delicate form at his arm when they begin to approach Peyton and Logan proper. The only thing that she gives to him, is a knowing, secret sort of smile. On anyone but her, it could be misunderstood as seductive- when in fact, it is only a gentle smugness that puts it there.

His date is by a window, a table claimed by virtue of the black clutch that rests on one of the table settings and she's frowning into her phone. Frowning into her phone and fingers tapping away on the screen, manicured nails firing off a reply to something with lines re-arranged in a thin line and shoulders dropping in disappointment.

Not disappointment over the disappearance of her date. Quite to the contrary. Caliban's phone will be trilling in two seconds, a text message coming down the pipe as his blonde doesn't notice him returning, Abigail grabs said clutch and heading for the door as fast as her heels could possibly let her move, temptation to remove them great but decorum reigns. Charon. Styx. I can't stay. I'm sorry Robert, I'll make it up. Please forgive me.

"Man talk. Right. Are you going to get out the measuring tape?" Peyton quips, but she gives a nod. "I'll get in contact, or Jer will," she adds, more solemnly, watching as Kain comes toward them with Marie. Her lips quirk into a smile for the southern charmer, before lifting her glass to her lips for a slow sip of champagne. Her eyes drop for a moment, lashes veiling her eyes in the manner that those who know her ability know is not a demure gesture but a way for her to hide that she's using the clairvoyant ability. It's a short vision, whatever she looks in on, before she lifts her dark gaze once more.

It seems that the party is starting to break up. Jaiden gives Nadia a smile, slides a business card across the desk and stands. "It was lovely to meet you, Miss Nadia, and I do hope we can meet again in other circumstances more apt to stir conversation." He gives her a wink, leaves a $100 on the table to pay for his meal or, in the case that it doesn't need to be there, a substantial tip, and departs.

Caliban's hand slips into his back pocket when he feels the vibrations. A quick glance at his cell phone's screen communicates Abigail's message, and he's not sure what he should be feeling. He's the one who's supposed to abandon her in the middle of functions like these. To have the tables turned on him leaves him torn between annoyance and a mild, tickling sort of amusement.

A smirk sinks its hooks into the corner of his mouth. "I'll call my driver," he reiterates, pulling out a chair beside Nicole at the table. "Business has stolen her away from me for the time being. It's no trouble, Miss Nichols."

Taking the business card, Nadia peers at it for a moment. Then, she tucks it into that small purse of hers, waving after the man. "Nice to meet you!" Then he's gone, and Nadie, for a moment, is hanging out by herself, sipping champagne. Might as well go with what she knows, at least. She raises to her feet, taking her champagne with her as she makes her way over to Cardinal, an amused smile on her face.

"Hated that dude so much that you ran for the hills. Wow." She tips the flute toward Cardinal. "So, what's the story there, if I may ask?" She gestures toward Logan and Peyton, chuckling.

Of course Caliban and Nicole would arrive when Kain is trying to ask Logan what spooked Cardinal off. There's an askance look over to Robert and Nicole, then back to Logan. "Looks like you're off'a th' hook for now, John-boy. Ah've gotta go see a girl about a thing… but…" There's a look over to the table where the Ghost Shadows Triad are seated in conversation, then back down to Logan. "You'n me should talk, sometime soon Ah' figure… Ah've got a business proposition for y' in relation to our Kung-Fu Hustle buddies down the way."

Blue eyes flick to Marie, then back to Logan. "In the meantime, Ah' need you t'track down someone for me too. Back when things on Staten Island were hot n'heavy, there was an arms smuggler went by th' name Wes Smedley. Some'a mah contacts are dealin' with a new client right now, an' Ah' wanna know who's stealin' mah business. Smedley's top on mah' list, so if you can pin the tail on that donkey Ah'd 'preciate it."

Glancing over his shoulder to Nicole, Kain only watches her for a moment before settling attention on Marie again. "Ah' gotta go talk t'dollface, you let Logan keep y'all entertained, ma'am." Blue eyes avert to Peyton finally, offering her the closest thing to a sheepish smile that Kain Zarek can manage, starting to turn away and head for Nicole.

"I'd really rather not talk about it," Cardinal replies bluntly, his gaze lifting up from his wine to regard Nadia, eyebrows lifting ever so slightly, "If you ever have the chance to get to know John, though? Don't."

Nothing more's said from the 'security expert' as to the matter, his head shaking slowly from side to side. The glass is brought up to his lips, and he takes a sip of the drink, lowering it again, eyes closed as the liquor trickles over his tongue and down his throat.

Nicole's smile is somewhat exasperated as Caliban sits next to her. Her gaze sweeps the room then and the amusement fades. "Call your driver and get her the fuck out of here," she whispers harshly, pointing toward the redheaded Drapes. "I can't believe he brought that embarrassment here. We're supposed to be… Be… Representative of—"

The drained, drunk brunette sputters for words before she finally slumps forward, resting her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand. "He's almost more trouble than he's worth, isn't he?" Nicole says of Logan. When Kain approaches, her tired gaze lifts to him. Compared to her appearance earlier, her eyes seem almost dull. Her skirt has a smudge of dirt at the hem and the bow at her waist could use retying.

"Zarek, I am going to murder you in your sleep one of these days," Nicole intones flatly. "You realise this, yes?" From a pocket concealed by the folds of her skirt, she retrieves her BlackBerry and brings up her sister's contact information. Tapping out her message one-handed, as she's still using the other as a chinrest, doesn't slow her down in the least. She looks bored even as she's imploring for Sissy dear to meet her at her home and stay with her through the night.

Logan watches Kain walk away with a reasonably blank stare, as if unable to keep that to-do list in his skull, before he glances back at the indicated table with some interest that might mean he did actually listen after all, and the thoughtful pendulous swinging of wine bottle is in thought of remembering the name Smedley. "I'll be in touch," he says towards Kain's back, voice drink rough, before he looks towards Marie. The smile he gives to her is—

At least visually genuine in delivery, a shrug going through his shoulders. "See," he tells her, "I just got the date wrong, that first time. Now I'm on time." He lifts the bottle again as if to drink from it, then decides against it, as if to retain some self-respect with someone here tonight.

Nadia tilts her head towards Cardinal as he responds so bluntly, her brows arching. "Duly noted. I certainly will not." She offers a small smile. "So, can I hang out with you for a little while, and avoid the stupid questions and the looks from people I've never met like they know me? It's freakin' creepy is what it is." She shakes her head slowly.

Then, she smiles faintly, sipping her champagne as she peers up at Richard with a thoughtful gaze.

The mention of Smedley makes Peyton frown, and she glances at Logan, then Kain's retreating form, before taking another long sip of the champagne and setting the empty flute down on some waiter's passing tray. She turns to head toward the tables, looking for her business partner and date for the evening. Making her way there, she offers an apologetic smile to Richard, and a nod toward Nadia.

"Some business stuff. I'll fill you in later. Sidework," she says, with an arch of her brow. "And I just heard an interesting bit of gossip about a mutual friend," she murmurs, a light hand on Card's shoulder, before it drops again.

"Well, actually…" Cardinal's sentence is never finished as a hand drops down to his shoulder, and he looks up to Peyton where she's drifted behind him, both eyebrows raising a little as he looks to the socialite with a questioning expression. "What'd you hear? I mean, if it's something you can talk about in mixed company…"

A chuckle to that, as if he's suggesting it's lewd gossip, but of course that's not what he means at all.

"You and I are going to have a very long talk later," Caliban informs Kain from his seat beside Nicole as he dials the driver's number, hits send and lifts the phone to his ear, covering the other with the tips of two fingers in an attempt to block out the ambient noise. It doesn't work as well as he was hoping, but rather than rise again from the table so soon after sitting down he bends at the middle, rests his elbows on his knees and simply waits for the call to connect, his head bowed.

"Probably not, for either matter," Peyton tells Cardinal, an apologetic smile for Nadia for interrupting their conversation. "But the party's pretty much over since we all turn to pumpkins any moment. We should probably head out." She pulls out her phone to order a car from the cab service she uses — she survived the random cab ride with Wes the other night, though she's not ready to risk unknown taxis at the taxi stand. Cardinal may be able to flit home, a shadow on the wind, but she needs transportation, and dressed as she is, she's not going to hoof it to the subway station. The cab service accepts her texts, so she doesn't even have to call. "I'll fill you in. Let's grab some takeout on the way back to work… I'm starving." Somehow, despite the fact it's a restaurant, Peyton hadn't eaten a thing.

Slouching over to lean next to Nicole, Kain rests a hand on the brunette's shoulder in the tentative way someone does on a surface they're not sure will be hot to the touch — or in her case electrified. Once he's sure he's not getting fried, Kain furrows his brows and exhales a sigh, looking over to Caliban. "Yeah, Ah' figgered as much…" the Cajun offers with a roll of his tongue over the front of his teeth, as if that would get the bitter taste this whole night has left in his mouth out.

It's a festive gathering, and Gideon d'Sarthe has entered the stage of the criminal world with a style all of his own. Whatever backdoor dealings were going on here tonight won't be felt immediately, but the political maneuvering behind the glasses of wine and champagne will have large ripples that spread out from them.

Tonight's just the first step in something bigger, the first push against a tall, old column ready to fall.

Mercy be to those caught in its shadow when it does.

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