Playboy to Bad Boy


fedor_icon.gif felix_icon.gif lucrezia_icon.gif nalani_icon.gif nisha_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif

featuring Allerdyce, NPCed by Teo

Scene Title Playboy to Bad Boy
Synopsis Page Six. Mayor's son beats up Police Captain.
Date February 12, 2009

The Home of Councilmember Juliet Lee

Even in times of crisis, the rich like to party. The event is an intimate cocktail evening at the home of City Councilmember Juliet Lee. As events of this sort tend to be, it is a mixture of influential city employees, the rich, the powerful and the flavour of the month. Mrs. Lee's husband happens to be the heir to a large shipping company, which affords the couple a large, sprawling, panoramic penthouse suite.

There is a man sitting at the piano who plays gentle, ambient music and the penthouse's ample floorspace leaves plenty of room for the crowd of a hundred or so to mingle, enjoy canapes and fancy drinks and marvel over the winking Manhattan skyline. Well, what part of it stays illuminated, that is. From up here, it's easy to tell when brownouts occur or where the most destroyed areas of the city are. It's both beautiful and depressing.

The Mayor's son, Dr. Sonny Bianco is currently standing by the bar and chatting up an older, gray haired gentleman. A young woman with 1920s style finger waves stands by his shoulder and sips from a martini glass. The young doctor is be-suited in an expensive silver pinstripe affair with a silk tie and shiny shoes.

About that flavor of the month. There's Fel, in an immaculately cut dark suit and slicked back hair that together serve to make him look like an aspiring 20s movie star. His expression of impenetrable reserve doesn't entirely hide the fact that he's not all that at ease. At the moment, he's standing off to one side of that panoramic view, regarding the half-ruined city beyond it impassively. He's got a martini glass in one hand, but seems to be determined to nurse it to the bitter end.

Not quite the event she attends, but Nalani is in attendance this night, instead of holed up in her condo like many of the others of society have had to do thanks to curfew's. She came on the arm of nameless male model who is nearly half her age and devoid of anything between his ears but air and fluff with a drop dead gorgeous body. Nalani sends him away with a soft word or two laced with compulsion. her preferred companion was busy. Scientists are like that. She's been waylaid a few times by this person, that person. making nice even though her head pounds and she doesn't really feel like being here. But it's obligation. Making her way over to the bar, slowly but surely with a fake smile that fools probably 90 percent of the people in the room. Too much teeth and gums. Her path seems to be bringing her past Felix.

For all the world Fedor wouldn't have seemed an outwardly sure thing, but truth of the matter is he tended to be just that these days. He made it easy of course, he made sure the movers and shakers could always find a charter when they called him and he was sure to be an entertaining host every flight. Currently, our favorite young faced pilot is dressed in a particularly three piece shark skin affair. The soft grey/green silk glittering every so slightly, "I agree, the S-76 is a nice bird but Sikorsky doesn't make it easy for a charter oriented outfit like mine."Currently, Fedor was wrapped up in a far older guest and of course the owner of his largest competitor for fixed wing. There had been rumors the two were at odds, but currently the two don't seem cross at all. Just two (old) men talking shop, in the midst of stuffed suits and rich kids.

The hostess mingles in a lovely red number and touches the shoulders of her various guests. Her husband is in tow, his face full of smiles with perfectly straight teeth. The conversation is light for the most part, though there are pockets of serious conversation that bubble throughout the room. 'That horrible business with the bridge.' 'The terribly inconvenient blackouts and riots.' There's also talk of policy, of increased funding for the police and for SCOUT, and what to do about that oh-so-troublesome Staten Island.

Sonny's in a conversation about the last on that list. "Have the police really stopped trying to get a handle on all of Staten? It seems…well, you know, dangerous for crime to be allowed to get such a foothold." The doc arches his brows and sips from a glass of red wine. The older gentleman considers his question, then launches into a long list of reasons why it would be difficult to re-establish a police presence, not the least of which is lack of a bridge.

And Fel can't entirely help himself. That conversation has him pricking up his ears, and drifting over. He's still silent, however, merely hovering politely attentive on the outer edges of that particular little circle.

"It seems that they're more willing to let go of it, than to establish a foothold back on the island and give it just as due attention to it as to the main island" Nalani chimes in when she draws near enough to join the conversation. "They're spread thin, and while there is a criminal element on the island, there's also those who are not of that caste, and need the protection just as much as every other. But they don't seem to be that high on the list of their important things to do"

After discussing the hub oriented service scheme Sikorsky has going, Fedor sort've slowly drifts out've the conversation and slips away. He floats through the crowd, shaking hands and smiling where he must before he's able to sneak himself up to the bar."Hendricks on the rocks if you'd be so kind?"Neatly he produces a ten to stuff in a nearby tip jar, before he starts peering about quietly. He somewhat doubted this would be a good venue for a cigar, but perhaps the roof or a balcony somewhere could be located and utilized.

The woman with the finger waves that appears to be Sonny's date spots Felix and smiles gently. "Mister Ivanov. I saw you on the news. It's a pleasure." The young woman has a Parisian accent. She offers her hand to him. "Celeste LaSalle."

Sonny considers the older gentleman's response. "Yes but, surely it's worth the difficulty and expense. Else organized crime has a base to operate from. It's like weeds. Once they lay their root system down, they'll be nearly impossible to removed."

To which the older man replies in a fairly patronizing tone, "I think your father knows a little bit about controlling organized crime, son."

The doc can barely hide his irritation. That's the problem with hanging around his father's old friends. They still see him as a child.

The older gentleman turns to Nalani as she speaks. Rather than respond directly to what she has to say, he instead smiles brightly, "And who might you be, young lady?"

His name is Everett Allerdyce and he is a Captain of a precinct. Though that doesn't necessarily pay well, the suit he's wearing is a tasteful cut, pinstriped - though he's tall and shouldered enough that he doesn't need them, knife-creases sharp enough that the house plants sigh as he walk by, permeating cologne that fits well with the authentic silver studs that links his cuffs. There is no Mrs. Allerdyce with him, a waify socialite instead.

There's a story behind this. Nothing, as yet, articulated in words. "Doctor Bianco. What a surprise. Why the sudden interest Staten Island? Catch something?" He smiles, too many teeth. Takes a brief moment to introduce the woman on his arm. Marissa Collins. Apparently their parents keep their yacht on the adjacent pier in California.

"Nalani Hollingwood" Nalani offers her hand to the older Gentleman. "Editor in Chief of Pause Magazine. You?" It's the socialite smile offered up, same as everyone has been getting. "I have to agree with the good Doctor in this case" A glance to sonny and a wink. But enter Mr. Allerdyce into the conversation.

"A pleasure," Felix replies, quietly, shaking the offered hand firmly. Allerdyce is an old acquaintance. "Captain," he says, with a faint smile. To Sonny, he notes, "It's a matter of doing what can be done with limited resources. The NYPD is short on both manpower and money," Fel says, after a sip of his martini. "It'd require a brush war in its own right to clean up Staten. Where's that money going to come from?"

"Are you surprised that I'm here, or surprised that I'm interested in politics, Captain?" Sonny shifts his weight on to one foot, hand resting in the pocket of his pants. He arches a brow at Everett. "Because you shouldn't be. You don't grow up in a house with a career politician without learning a thing or two." When Felix enters into the conversation, he has to check himself and ignore the fact that he melded this man's face. "I understand the logistical restraints, but still. Ignoring Staten doesn't seem like a good option."

"Council member Jack Green, Miss Hollingwood, a pleasure. My daughter reads your magazine." The man smiles a wide smile, then a woman catches his eye from across the room. "Ah, excuse me." And he makes his way off.

As Fedor accepts his drink, he hears a familiar name. "Agent Ivanov."He intones softly, as he throws his hat into the arena. He notes early on however, the seriousness of the tones and a conspicuous lack of genuine smiles. "Whats the topic of so much discussion, unless of course I'm intruding? I would hate to be rude."No, he really doesn't mind being rude with high society types. Especially when it comes to parties, but well that's another discussion entirely.

There are all manner of people here. Officials. Celebrities. The nouveau riche. The old guard. But of all the places to hover and listen, Nisha Reshimi Kotecha, Esq., has chosen the group that has formed with perhaps one of the occasion's most notable attendees at its center.

Working against the very nature of the shimmering, strapless plum gown that hugs her curves in all the right spots, Nisha simply listens, offering no opinion either verbally or through her body language. If it weren't for her age, one might see her as a newly introduced young woman, being polite and attentive rather than risk making a fool of herself. Almost idly, Nisha takes a drink from the champagne flute cradled in the long fingers of her left hand.

Fashionably late. Lucrezia Bennati, known to nearly everyone on the other side of the Atlantic but nearly no one here, arrives to the party about an hour after everything is in full swing. She's clad in a custom-tailored, tastefully-appointed, low-cut but long sleeved, blood red Dolce & Gabbana number that practically announces to the room at large 'PLEASE ENJOY THE VIEW!' as she slinks in and saunters by en route to the bar with long, dark hair slicked back but unbound and bouncing with a body wave. And those lips! Those bold, bee-stung lips are likewise stained a shade of red all but impossible to ignore. The expression she wears is pleasant, slightly smug, but subdued.

"Everyone reads my magazine Councilman. But it's a pleasure as well" He's leaving, Nalani's glad, she doesn't trust that smile. She she angles her black embroidery bearing body towards the small group. "So, then Mr. Ivanov, with the destruction of the bridge, your in support of the city cutting off Staten island like some infected hand? Save the arm from it's taint, despite there being some digits that could be saved?" it's a harsh allusion, she's sure. "Money can be found. Money is always found"

Allerdyce's eyes thin with a plastic smile. "Hero of the hour," he greets Felix with an inclination of his head that passes for polite, and a beautiful word for Nalani, but his attention is back on Sonny in a moment. There's something in the air between the two men. It smells odd, rather like their respective nimubses of cologne burn on contact, though the reaction seems to register more in the hackles than anybody's nose.

For Sonny, meeting Allerdyce's gaze is a little like sharing a handclasp with an active blowtorch. The blowtorch moves only briefly to acknowledge Fedor and the sudden appearance of a bouquet of beautiful women. "I'm surprised you're talking about Staten Island as if it's more than an intellectual exercise, or that you have anything practical to bring to the table. I'm trying to figure out why you're suddenly taking a position.

"Figure you either caught something, or you're concerned about the spread of contagion. Possibly both? He's a shape shifter, you know," he addresses the rest of the group, suddenly, as if only now remember they were there. "You're never quite able to tell what's going on under there just by looking at him."

Fel merely arches a brow at Nalani, after murmuring a greeting to Fedor. "If you can find it, and import or hire the officers necessary, by all means. Maybe bring in the National guard," He's apparently serious. "At the moment, there just isn't the manpower, so far as I can tell. The NYPD's operating in a war zone environment, without significant help from the Federal government,…" Allerdyce's comment earns him a sharp glance. And then there's Lucrezia, which has Fel stiffening like a setter coming to point. Hopefully one can merely excuse it as the reaction of a man utterly distracted by a beautiful woman. He's certainly watching her raptly.

Sonny's smile might seem genuine to the casual onlooker. From the other side of the room, it's his usual Hollywood-bright look, full of white, straight teeth. However, the somewhat fractured laugh that follows and the scratch to the side of his head betrays his true feelings about Mister Allerdyce. He sets his glass of wine down and folds his arms over his chest. "Oh, was that an STD joke? I'm sorry, I thought we were at a respectable party. Clearly we're between classes in tenth grade." Not the most biting of retorts, but then again, Doctor Bianco isn't known for his quick wit.

The doc's heckles are up, which means for the moment, he's not especially aware of new entrants. He's too busy meeting that blowtorch gaze head-on. His jaw works to the left. Celeste sets a hand on his shoulder, but she only gets the briefest glance of acknowledgment. This is personal.
Lucrezia has reconnected.

Now Fedor knows, he should probably make nice and just back the police chief up but well this is politics right? "we live in a capitalist society, why not nullify all ownership on Staten island and let corporate entities purchase it for the cost of policing that zone until its settled? If its a money issue anyway, I should think if it was a transportation issue I would have been spoken to."Fedor's gaze is intentionally false, so when it finds Allerdyce its more curious than accusatory. Was this round about the way method of backing the police chief up or, was he just throwing out chaff.

"Nullify ownership?" If it weren't for the fact that Fedor is the one making such a comment, Nisha might have held her tounge. As it is, she turns to him, her face slightly pinched with puzzlement. "I'm sorry, but how is a government nullifying ownerships of real estate and businesses that already exist in order for other businesses to purchase them a characteristic of a capitalist society?"

"No, we're talking about STDs." The blowtorch is laughing, now, throwing off glibe sparks; Allerdyce salutes the good Doctor with his champagne flute. "Not capitalism. Though I figure those two things can work together, eh? I'm not sure why else Salvatore here would have brought up Staten Island. That was a joke about prostitution," he adds for the Italian's sake, in the tone of great magnanimity. "And on that note, you should introduce me to your date. Which one?"

Marissa has no idea what's going on. She hangs onto Allerdyce's arm and titters when the word 'prostitution' comes up, because it is a dirty word. Her giggles cut short when Lucrezia winks out of the crowd between patrons, something heartbreakingly sincere about her simple admiration for the aesthetic of the older woman. Turning her mouth up around a smile, she looks at Felix worriedly.

Fedor eases his gaze over towards Nisha as he sips his gin. "Let the markets correct the problem, we already have the legislation in place. Private property can be seized if a more taxable entity is ready to take ownership and pay fair market value, so it wouldn't be too difficult to figure the value of those properties on the island is equal to the cost of making them safe. Let commerce, cure what ills it can and stave the poison of its byproducts. What could be more capitalist than that, would you prefer the state makes it business to take over the island?"

"I don't see what his status as evolved has to do with his mental and though processes Mr. Allerdyce. But they're still people on that island and I am sure that if the mayor were to inquire and ask for a state of emergency beyond was was declared, and the national guard which have done a good job with the police at helping return the island proper to order, could also instill the same order to Staten island" She's smart enough to not roll her eyes at Fedor's suggestion or to the stupid right man's. Lucrezia is spotted though, and there is someone in this room who recognizes her for what and who she is. "And so, this party becomes that much more special for we are being graced by a living legend" Her muddle English accent offers, and a beckoning hand to Lucrezia is offered for the woman to join them.

Fel looks almost…stricken. His gaze is still on Lucrezia, and it's clear he's not following the thread of the conversation, not closely. The word 'Evolved' has his attention darting back for a moment, hummingbird quick, but still….those watching closely might watch his throat work, once, hard, as if it'd gone dry. He finishes his martini with almost unseemly haste.

As Nisha's question wasn't directed at Allerdyce, she glances at him momentarily with a slightly pointed expression before she returns her attention to Fedor for some sort of explanation. When she gets it, she frowns. "And what about those hardworking men and women who own the businesses that exist their now? Restaurants and the like. Sure, they may not cater to our ilk, but they provide income for those who may not otherwise have it. It would not be easy for some of them to relocate if the government simply seized their properties to sell it - for pure profit on top of the promise of higher tax revenue - to these businesses you claim would flock there…as soon as the rabble were cleared off."

Nisha's smirk turns into a strained yet polite smile as she glances from Fedor to the others nearby. "If you will excuse me ladies, gentlemen." With those words and a nod, the woman excuses herself from the circle to mingle in warmer, less shark-infested waters.

"Celeste LaSalle," says Sonny as he indicates the woman beside him without taking his eyes off Allerdyce. "…but you've met her before. Remember? The policeman's ball last year." See? He can see the same woman for more than a few weeks. Just ignore the part where she's been in France the past few months. He's talking through nearly gritted teeth. His tongue's going to get bit in two if this keeps up. "Are you implying that I am a prostitute or that I have to pay for sex?" His head tilts, questioningly. "Because aren't you the one with that…blemish on your record? 'Inappropriate dealings' in, what was it? Rio?" He laughs after that, as if he just completed some charming anecdote about sailing in Greece. And he keeps smiling.

"I am going to get a drink, Sonny," says Celeste irritably. She smacks him on the shoulder and starts to move off. "Let me know when your pissing contest is done, uh?" There's no smile on the pretty Frenchwoman's features as she strides off towards the bar.

As the doctor's eyes follow Celeste, he catches sight of Lucrezia. His eyes try to catch hers for a moment, then he's back to the sparring session at hand.

Lucrezia weaves and winds her way through the crowd, occasionally being stopped along the way by this person or that who might just so happen to recognize her. Case in point: Nalani. The actress unleashes a brilliant smile when she spies the other woman's hail and approaches with as much haste as that nefarious number she's wearing will allow. "Nala! Ciao, bella!" MWUAH MWUAH MWUAH. And, suddenly, there's women kissing… cheeks.

A certain sense of cold is emerging from underneath Allerdyce's face; the permafrost that seems to characterize many of the rich, replacing flesh after too many years spent touching everything through a velvet glove. You could measure his smile around an arithmetic function, so carefully calculated it is.

"Records," he says. "I guess it's hats off to you for keeping your indiscretions so close to the vest. I have nothing against the Evolved," he reassures Nalani, his voice thinning like the outline of a turning blade. "A man who has that many faces is using more than a genetic accident. Not to get into the debate: CNN gets enough of it, right? What makes a freak?

"Oh, you've made her angry." He engineers concern for Celeste's unhappiness, glances after the way the woman went. Looks back at Sonny, and the bitterness in his face lacks the sterility of open flame or plastic. "Reminds me of somebody. Good try, though: I think you almost had Miss LeSalle convinced. Staten Island? That's a new one. Fashionable. Very topical. Your spots are showing, Bianco."

"E-excuse me." Marissa's candy pink smile emerges from around Nalani's shoulder. Her eyes at on Lucrezia. "A-are you a movie star?"

Freak. Fel's face has begun to chill in turn, even as he's handed another martini, making him look even more ascetic. He's still visibly wavering between watching Lucrezia like she might have the Holy Grail tucked into her cleavage, and attending to the pissing match going on.

"Luca, darling. It has been far too long! If I had known you were in town I would have dragged you down to the Magazine, and now that you are.." Mwah mwah mwah, kisses exchanged to cheeks and lips ( hello red blooded males, females kissing ) " .. I shall have to bring you to the magazine and sit down. Promise me you'll give an interview!" Btu Marissa is speaking and Nalani is a consummate hostess, even if it's not her party. "Marissa, this is Lucrezia. We ran into each other a few times on runways, and yes, her films are divine. I think I have them all" Glower. There's instant ire at the F word used. If it wasn't in the middle of a high society affair the man might find himself with a red nailed fist in his face and missing an eyeball.. possibly two. He might even inexplicably be stripping down to nothing and be dancing the macarena on a table, all to be blamed on consumption of alcohol. But Nalani promised her brother she wouldn't and so Nalani just smiles to the man. "Freak? Is that your official stance on evolved? There's probably a great many here who would love to know that"

Fedor frowns a touch as properly high society venom gets pitched about liberally, splendid. Slowly he melts back into the crowd, leaving Felix to his own devices. He hardly had much taste for such disasteful exchanges anymore. He eases himself off to one side a bit, focusing his attention on the crowd at large. It was a financial curiosity you see, but then what isnt when your dealing with this much money.

All the cheery, good-natured politeness has leaked from Sonny's face and posture. Whatever it is between them, it's very clearly quite personal. "Ah, what exactly is your problem with me, Allerdyce? Jealousy?" His brows arch towards curly hairline and he dares a half-step towards the cop. His shoulders square and he looks the man dead-on. "It doesn't look good on ya, man. I think you need to relax." He rolls his shoulders back, then straightens his tie. "…enjoy life a little. Head back to Rio. She should be legal by now." The words are deep-freeze cold.

The Captain turns his head toward the British woman, his mouth finding a harsh line. "Ms. Hollingwood, I already stated my official stance on Evolved. I was paraphrasing the Cable News Network and the kind of idiotic theoretical debates that seem popular these days. Frankly, I don't care. I'm not SCOUT, and—" Yes. Yes, he's really going to say it. "I have friends who are Evolved. You…"

Allerdyce fades into silence for what probably qualifies as a moment's unadulterated bliss to everybody who's had to put up with his voice for the past few minutes. He stares at Sonny in unequivocal surprise. "You don't remem… you seriously don't remember her. You—" His words hyphenate, stretched thin over an outgoing breath that rattles slightly. A vein throbs out in his neck. Anger, incredulity. Both. Whoever he met in Rio, she probably didn't mean this much to him.

"Blair." His lip curls. "You're a thing apart from all the others, aren't you, Bianco? Superman throws cars. Who the Hell do you think you are?"

The name means nothing to Marissa, whose selectively filtering out the boys anyway. The girls are easier on every available sense she has. She flits a quick, nail-varnished wave over her shoulder at Celeste, before turning her attention back to the older women. "My boyfriend showed me three of them!" she pitches in, excitedly, nodding at Nalani. "I loved The Thistle the best. You're the most beautiful woman I've ever met. Which one was your favorite to make?"

The Italian actress has only yet begun to mix and mingle and so Nalani's friendly greetings and salutations are slung over her shoulder like a shawl while the women intertwine and exchange niceties on the periphery of what might be a pissing context of a far more controversial nature. However, far be it from Lucrezia to keep her nose where it belongs. First, she digs in to Allerdyce's date with the sharp hooks of her well-worn smile, leaning over next to Nalani and nearly wrenching the poor girl from the man's side in order to greet her in proper, enthusiastic European smile. "Ciao, Marissa. So nice to meet you." She spares a sharpened look at Felix — oh yes, she sees you there, Dantes — for the briefest of moments before she gets on to addressing the woman's inquiry into her superstar status. "I don't know if I'd call myself a star." Thirty-three major motion pictures, six international awards, and still she's modest.

But, just like that, she's sidled over to take up the absent space at Sonny's shoulder, eying him slyly for a moment before linking one of her arms in with his and asking, "And who is this charming man, Salvatore?" Believe it or not, she means Allerdyce.

Fel doesn't get into it, amazingly enough. In fact, he more or less flees, murmuring rather feeble excuses. He hates this sort of party, anyhow.

Nalani will let Sonny handle that introduction. The British woman jsut snags a passing flute of champagne for herself and Marissa, since it seems the other woman might need it, standing ready if she needs to, to interrupt with some soothing words. Blair though… who was blair and what happened with her between Sonny and the aforementioned woman. A questioning look is thrown to Marissa as if she might enlighten.

"I remember her. I also remember that she came to me because you neglected her. I didn't know she was married," Sonny's voice tightens. "…but she told me you treated her like shit. She told me you forgot her fucking birthday. And you say you loved her? Don't feed me that line, man. It sure as hell didn't work on her." For some reason, when the doc gets mad, the street thug Italian in him comes out. His body language shifts and suddenly, he's posturing more than he means to. "You're blaming me for your failure? Call me a freak?" The humorless laugh returns.

A sidelong look is glanced to Lucrezia, then his ice cold gaze is back to Allerdyce. "Just an asshole who couldn't give his wife what she needed."

Suddenly the subject of actual attention, Marissa stops with her little pink mouth opening and closing in the air like a fish's face. She brightens the next moment, remembering. Blair. Her sculpted brow takes a coy angle and she wriggles closer to the Englishwoman, putting herself into the space for secrets. She begins to mouth: his wife.

Sonny beats her to the punch, annoyingly. Fff. Cheated of her moment, Marissa pouts.

Allerdyce's face is frozen in what would pass for a mask if it weren't entirely true to the core of him. For a moment, he looks like he might shout, the lines of his neck going fat like a pipe bulging around internal pressure. Instead, he is cold. "My failure. Go on then, pretty boy. Put your f—" The swear word is cut short with a squared jaw, something between a sneer and a smile flaring his lip. "Paint your face on. Be righteous. Talk about Staten Island like you've ever seen evil or ever done good. I like your righteous face. You did a good job shaping that one.

"Did you know you were breaking her heart?

"I've met a lot of people in my life. Some of them were dangerous. Some of those were Evolved. Some of those were Italian." He closes the distance between himself and the pretty little doctor. His voice drops too low for any of the others to hear, spare for Lucrezia whose eyes pick out the syllables on his lips, low, ugly with ferocity of sentiment.

That jerkoff in cool hand luke categorized this as a 'failure to communicate', but sadly this isn't entertaining enough to have either Sonny or Allerdyce clubbed on the back of the head. Fedor's seen this dance before of course, but when you've seen it at officer's balls during the madness that was Stalin these social functions tend to be somewhat less dramatic if only by contrast. Now granted, if the two were so inclined to settle this like men it'd be another and far more satisfying conflagration to watch but sadly there doesn't look like an opportunity for the two to come to blows. Already Fedor's worked halfway through his gin all the same, and he goes for a refreshment before he slips himself outside. His eyes narrowing as the din of conversation is replaced by the high pitched squeal of tinnitus. Still, at least out here he could smoke.

"Now boys," drawls the Italian woman, now somehow stuck between two men competing to swallow the same coal and then piss fire onto the other. Two of Lucrezia's flawlessly filed fingernails, thumb and forefinger, pluck lightly at Allerdyce's lapel in an attempt to either distract him from his nose-to-nose admonition or merely in admiration of the fabric of his suit. "Play nice. If you're going to fight over a woman, pick one that's here… I'll even volunteer." Mrowr. She's all smiles, sure, but her expression is Cheshire and vicariously vicious; perhaps borrowed from some young and absent lad more familiar to Sonny than anyone else in the crowd.

Whatever it is that is whispered to Sonny causes his whole body to tense. The ghost of a half-amused smile melts completely off Sonny's face. He pulls in jagged mouthfuls of breath, holds them for a moment, then exhales. From the half-step he rocks back, it might seem like he's about to back away - to be the bigger man and listen to Lucrezia's words of wisdom. He very gently raises a hand and touches the Italian woman's shoulder. With as much respect as he can, he pushes her gently away.

Then, just when it looks like he's going to back down, he hauls back and slams his fist across Allerdyce's mouth with surprising force. That wasn't a gentle tap. Whatever the hell he said sliced the doc right to the core.

He's the good boy. Even in his hardcore playboy days, he rarely got into fights, and when he did, he often didn't start it. He's the cool guy, the guy who lets things roll off his back. Doctor Mellow. Which is probably why Allerdyce kept pushing. He wasn't supposed to do that. Especially not to a cop.

Fidelity isn't Allerdyce's strong suit, apparently, but occasionally that does have its uses. Lucrezia was an ample distraction, in every sense of the term; though his eyes were still flinty with resentment and old heartache, the Captain began to back down, soothed by the redolence of Italian perfume and the brush of couture against his shirt. "Well," he says. That's all he has time to say before his mouth is red.

Red, red, hot, runny red.

He falls backward a half-step, head snapping back, an instant's worth of shock mingled with the concussive force of Sonny's fist making concussive contact with his jaw. A strong man by the standards of the Force, however, he's barely another moment retaliating, his torso snapping back upright like a cobra moving through the next phase of its coiling dance.

His right fist comes straight at the other man's nose, recoils an instant after the crack of bone, and then a left hook traces a vicious arc toward Sonny's chin, several years' worth of ugly resentment unbottled, compounded, weighed in and laid out in testosterone-fueled fury on the pretty boy's pretty face.

Nalani was under the impression that Sonny was going to let it go, be the better man. But no, he's not and the "Gentlemen!" that comes from the British womans mouth is harsh. "You'll both cease this right now! Do you understand" The influence of her ability extremely strong riding in on her words. "Lucrezia, take the good Doctor. Marissa, please, would you escort your date from these festivities" There's a throb of her her headache at her temples. "This is a shameful display of manners, on //both of you"

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sonny's subtle rebuffing his temporary piece of arm candy goes over just about as well as a lead balloon and Lucrezia is verily on the verge of donning a darker mask when — BAM! Olive oil knuckles meet white bread jaw. Abruptly, the actress flings herself back into the fray, placing herself bodily between the two with an abrupt Italian exclamation: "FERMO!!" She's much more concerned with corralling Salvatore Bianco off from the fight than making sure his opponent doesn't get another swing in. This may or may not be a good idea… especially so far as her pretty face is concerned, lest aggressions not yet be fully unleashed.

All those years of letting stuff just roll off his back didn't prepare Sonny for this. His punch was thrown after a twitch of anger, with no thought to counterattack or defense. The first punch lands and his nose is snapped into an unnatural angle. Then, before he can even register what's happening, the second fist whollops against his jaw. The doc stumbles and reaches out blindly for something to hold him upright.

Fortunately for all concerned, he has no desire to keep swinging. Any testosterone-surge that might have otherwise brought him back for more is extinguished by Nalani's command and Lucrezia's interference. Searing pain radiates from his broken nose and badly bruised jaw. His lower lip has split open from a ring on Allerdyce's finger. Blood drips down onto his expensive suit, staining silk tie and bouncing off shiny shoes.
From somewhere in the room, there's a camera flash.

Fedor is sadly, like two minutes too late. By the time he files back in, he's already missed everything. Granted, they're still not dealing with things in a manner Fedor might approve at least they're being more honest right? Fedor sneaks his way through the crowd like a ninja, but come to the bar its only coke this time.

Fortunately for both Lucrezia and Sonny, the angry cop is getting dogpiled. First by his featherweight date, second by some friend and sergeant, and then a waiter who dumped his tray of hors d'ouevers into the hands of a socialite who had been giving him coy eyes from across the room. He subsides, gasping, blood dripping onto his upper lip, coiffed head mussed and hands twitching at rigid angles like poisoned spiders from inside the grips on his arms.

The thing about fights at parties like this is that they end very quickly. There's too many cops in attendance, too many incognito bodyguards of the rich and powerful. It doesn't take long before Allerdyce is taken off to one of the host's rooms and Sonny is driven to the hospital.

After they're gone, rumours abound. Witnesses and those close by (especially Nalani) get hounded by guests. The one journalist who thought he was covering a boring rich person party now has a pretty big scoop in the socialite world. He goes to snap pictures of dropped blood and of the room in general. Lucrezia accompanied Sonny out - and of course, that sets off its own firestorm of rumours by itself. What's the doctor's connection to the Italian movie star?

In the back of the sedan, with his face busted and pain throbbing in his forehead, Sonny Bianco smiles. It might not seem like much, but that one punch has been twenty-nine years in the making.

February 12th: Missed Tide
February 12th: Making A Name
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