Romantic Situation


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Scene Title Romantic Situation
Synopsis Sable and Nicole level with each other about the state of their relationship. That is, that they're both in other relationships.
Date November 26, 2010

The Corinthian - Chambéry

Chambéry is every bit as elegant as a French restaurant housed in the swanky Corinthian Hotel promises to be. The expansive venue is entered through a pair of mirrored French doors opposite each other, decorated in fresh white paint, and rich tones that give an impression of warmth. Gold is a backdrop for clusters of roses damask, red, and white, making up the plush carpet beneath the feet of chairs and diners both. White table clothes are draped over circular tables spaced about the room, each set for two with elegant glassware, more silverware than the average person knows what to do with, and a small silver-based lantern with a frosted half-globe encasing the flame.

Crystal chandeliers hang down, their flames providing further illumination to the room and dancing off of a canopy so perfect a white that it gives the illusion that the ceiling could be made of porcelain. Small, flat lights are dotted strategically amongst ornate moulding in the ceiling, giving a brighter splash to the room, affording the ambiance of a candle-lit room without the disadvantage of dimness.

Beige and warm tan create an elaborate patterned wallpaper, the negative space leaving one unsure of which is the dominant colour, beneath a banded frieze of white and gold. Candelabras further illume the space, settled into contrasting wood panelling that separates alternating panels of wallpaper and large, gilded mirrors. Above one such mirror is a beautiful painting of a woman with dark ringlets and eyes the colour of cobalt. The same woman can be found in another painting hung on one of the papered walls, dressed in an electric blue gown that would have been fashionable in the 1800's. Members of the Linderman Group who study the women depicted in the paintings may find her oddly familiar.

When Nicole said that Sable should meet her at her work, this is not what she expected. Sable having not yet risen to the level of five star rock star accommodations, the name 'The Corinthian' means approximately zilch to the distractable and dissolute rocker. Sure, she doesn't imagine that Nicole works at a pizza place, or a Greek food restaurant, but this…

This isn't at all what she expected.

The sheer grandeur of the lobby alone has Sable shrinking very slightly, recoiling from the arched ceilings, the high galleries, the crystal sconces. She murmurs a tune just under her breath, hat - a small fedora she got from God knows where - held in both hands, rotated in nervous circles. "~Bell bo-oy…~" is spoken, almost hushed, like a prayer. As she walks through the valley of the shadow of wealth…

Still, she doesn't look like the vagrant she once was. She's actually in a very natty pinstriped suit, tailored for her small frame, with black leather shoes. Yellow eyes dart around and it takes her a few minutes to decide maybe she should ask one of the staff where 'Chambrey' is. When she makes the inquiry, almost no trace of her hayseed accent is audible, just a slight softness, the ghost of a twang.

Directed, at length and with a politeness and respect that Sable suspects (incorrectly) is some sort of joke at her expense, through the correct set of doors, the small woman gets on tiptoes to try and spot her companion for the evening. The maitre d' gives her a curious look. "Can I help you, miss?"

Nicole Nichols is nothing if not prompt, and alert. When she asked Sable to meet her here, she knew she'd need to watch for her. After all, she asked the other woman to meet her at a hotel. She really could have taken that the wrong way entirely. Nicole is all too glad to see that she did not.

Before the maitre d' can be responded to, Nicole is swooping in behind him, a hand on his shoulder with well manicured nails tapping against the black fabric of his jacket. "I've got this one," she murmurs and steps out to offer a hand to the yellow-eyed woman, palm up. She's dressed a bit somberly in all black and clean lines, lacking very much embellishment save for a diamond tennis bracelent around one wrist, zebra striped pumps on her feet, and a gold chain around her neck, whatever pendant hanging there dipped below the neckline of her dress. "Sable! So glad you could come." She's all smiles and charm tonight, far less uncertainty than their last date.

But judging by the slight glaze to her bright blue eyes, she's already begun enjoying the evening. "Come on, I have a table for us already." Nicole's hand is warm to the touch when Sable takes it, and she receives a squeeze and a brush of lips against the backs of her knuckles before Nicole is gesturing to be followed. She weaves expertly through the tables, seeming to know exactly where the best openings to slip through will be, until they arrive at a table in the back with a bottle of champagne on ice, already opened with one glass half empty on the side of the table obviously meant to be occupied by Nicole.

"Do you like it?" the electrokinetic asks with a wide smile. She spreads an arm out first to encompass their surroundings, and then to direct Sable to sit. "I helped design it."

Even if Sable had inferred something from the fact of this place being a hotel, she's at least playing up the gentleman part of 'gentleman caller'. And beyond that… that great hanging chandelier tells Sable that this is no nooky nook. She almost gets reverse vertigo from the coruscating dangle of it. Nicole's appearance, then, is more than welcome and entirely comforting, right up until Sable finds her hand being kissed. This earns a single, totally nonplussed look. Wait, what? But she- but other she- but the suit- but Sable always- but-

When the gesture is finally processed properly, it brings the most momentary of storms to her brow, before clearing into mostly-sunniness. Sable's smile is crooked as she follows the older woman to the table set for her - for them. No longer is this much helping her nervousness. This is- all so backwards. But Sable is nothing if not adaptable.

"I feel like I'm a goddamn beggar in the palace," the yellow eyed girl admits, glancing around again, but quickly, at the class and elegance that surrounds them, "but I figure that's 'bout what folks who can afford t' go here want folks that can't t' feel, eh?

"Look stunnin', by th' way," Sable adds, doing her feeble best to regain some aspect of the offensive in this situation, "like a woman who knows what she wants. 'n' figure that ain't false advertisin', either."

"Thank you," Nicole responds easily, taking her seat. "Help yourself," she adds, a nod to the champagne as she lifts her own flute and takes a sip. "And you look rather fetching yourself, if you don't mind my saying. The suit is a good look for you." A hand comes up and catches the chain of twinkling gold between thumb and fore and middle fingers, brushing over a bit of it's length absently.

"You don't look out of place," the older woman is swift to assure. "And even if you did, no one's about to question me." It's a bit like trying to impress Sable with her clout, but Nicole will deny it up and down. "You can order anything you like. Cost is no object here. My treat." Though it's more like Daniel Linderman's treat, being as how Nicole doesn't much pay for things around the Corinthian, due to her privileged station.

Nicole sets her glass of champagne on the table once more and leans back in her seat to fix the woman across from her with a curious look. "I must admit, I wasn't sure you'd want to see me again after the last time. I'm not sure I was the best company."

Yeah, the kind of flattery that turns the heads of college girls isn't going to cut it with this dame. Sable has never been a master of affective control - quite the opposite - and she quite literally bites her lip as this meeting resolves not only into a date, but one in which she is being taken out. She was a fool to meet Nicole on her home ground, a fool!

But hey, how often does she get to drink champagne? Sliding her hat beneath a chair and settling in properly, she reaches out to snag the bottle, freeing it from the bucket with a low jangle of ice on glass. "Much obliged," she says, trying to be more casual than flustered, without seeming ungrateful or… or whatever the wrong way to act now would be. She's not really up on her defense. A weakness in her game plan has been exposed!

But Nicole's admission gives Sable a brief window for a counter attack. "Now how, honey, didja get that impression?" she inquires, guiding the narrow neck of the bottle to the narrow mouth of her flute with a deliberate care that belies a simple lack of practice. "If I 't all seemed, say, out 'f joint, it's only 'cause I don' meet many women like y'. 'n' I mean that in a high way. Yer a beast 'f a different breed, 'n' I'm just takin' care t' get t' know y' a little, lest I do somethin' foolish 'n' get mauled f'r my jump-th'-gun-type impertinence."

The chuckle Nicole emits is quiet, a polite volume. "Perhaps I just felt out of my element, and felt I performed poorly," she reasons. "I know I've turned the tables on you a bit by making this a date of sorts, but… I felt I owed you that much. You still wanted something from me." She tilts her head to one side, dark chocolate hair brushing against one shoulder. "What is it?"

Sable sips her sparkling wine, lips smacking slightly as she adjusts to the sensation - unfamiliar. Again, not being a rock star, she's yet to develop a taste for the better - or simply more opulent - things in life. And that lack of class may be just exactly what makes her feel disadvantaged towards Nicole. That lack may also fuel the desire to overcome it. The disadvantage, that is. Sable has no illusions about attaining the taste and style of her companion.

"Aw, hell," she begins, as she begins all statements mixed with a certain sense of the cornered confessional - she's been 'caught out', "things goin' as they're goin'… well, honest," she smiles, rueful, "didn't quite 'xpect t' make it this far. So, expectin' nothin' but a 'thank you but no thank you' from yer imposin' self, I mebbe haven't said 'n' told all that, like, seein' as I sure as hell wouldn't mind seein' y' again, now 'n' times after, I should. Tell y', that is. 'bout me 'n' like, my… situation. Romantically speakin'"

Nicole almost feels like she needs a translator after that very roundabout way of putting things. It shows only in the way her eyes narrow faintly, but she covers it by taking another drink of champagne. "Your romantic situation?" A paraphrase. "All right. I'm listening. Are you seeing someone? Gosh, I don't mean to… Impose or infringe or anything."

Yeah, Sable gets oddly circuitous when she's feeling on edge. Winding words into a garden path meant to sooth the stroller while Sable puts together her jumbled thoughts. "Hon," she says, straight away, "wouldn't be meetin' y' if that were how things were, 'r at least I wouldn't 'f waited 's long 's this t' say. But… Jesus, am I seein' someone? Honest, I don't rightly know half th' time. I got a gal I've been, like, courtin' f'r, like, months now. But after she straight tol' me that she wasn't interested in no commitment 'r nothin', I… well, I may sorta see some other gals close t' regular."

See, this would be a reason to be proud under other circumstances, at least one aspect of the rock and roll lifestyle (besides drug use) taken care of. But under the great hanging chandelier, across from the intensely successful and frightfully competent Nicole Nichols, she can't help but think that maybe she ought to feel some sense of shame. Crazy, perhaps, but sanity has never been a quality Sable has laid much claim to.

"I've been waitin', f'r th' months mentioned, f'r this gal t' look u 'n' see me 's somethin' more th'n, like, cute 'n' maybe fun t' fool 'round with. Like, hell, somethin' more th'n a, pardon th' college-type term, fuckbuddy," Sable says, after taking another (rather healthy) swig of her drink, "'n' I think she thinks she thinks I'm more th'n that but," she shrugs, "time gets on 'n' I live life like I do, smokin' it t' th' filter.

"Honest, I dunno if y' give a shit," is said with a wrinkle of the nose, "'n' I know it's fuckin' mood suicide t' go on 'bout other women t' a lady that, if y' don't mind me sayin', I wanna get t' know a whole lot better. But I didn't want y' t' know less th'n how things lay, fearin' more that I'd deceive 'r mislead y' th'n that y'd cross me off as fast 'n' loose. I'd rather have yer respect 'n' trust th'n double-dealt winnin's."

There's a short succession of blinks from Nicole as her only response. At first. "So," she begins carefully, "what you're saying is that there's this girl you've been seeing for a while, but she doesn't want to be… exclusive? And so you've decided it might be best to move on? And you'd like to try moving on to me?" Her nose wrinkles a bit with confusion rather than disgust. "Is that it?" She never thought she'd see the day where she'd have difficulty trying to keep up with someone in conversation.

The yellow eyed girl dips her head back and forth, unable to fully endorse Nicole's translation of her Sablespeak. "I ain't given up hope on 'er yet, though," a pause, "I'm feelin' led on some times, sore in spots 'round m' heart. Bruises from too long bein' kept cranked up t' real passion. 'cause Christ, I tried. I pulled out th' damn stops. But nothin' in th' way she looks 't me changes. I- shit…"

There goes the rest of her glass, and the dart of her eyes suggests she's seriously considering another. "This is a total fuckin' travesty. I'm fuckin' dumpin' my doubts 'n' woes 'bout some woman when I'm s'pposed t' be showin' a good time t' you. Y'all must excuse me, my game ain't never this bad." Sable shakes her head. "I ain't movin' on quite yet, 'n' I dunno, 't this point, that being exclusive-like with any one gal is somethin' I got th' oomph f'r. Fool though it makes me, 'n' child too, but not gettin' what I aimed t' get leaves me tired t' try 'n' seek like.

"But yer beautiful, Nicole, 'n' I wanna know you," Sable adds, shifting emphasis (at last!) to the actual shining example of womanhood before her, "but I ain't lookin' t' give 'way m' heart like I oftentimes do. Not yet, anyhow. 'N' I figured, ruin 'f th' night though it may be, that y' should know."

Nicole pinches the bridge of her nose between the fingers that were fiddling with the chain around her neck. "Please, just tell me that you aren't talking about my little sister. Because if she's leading you on, you need to just… Yeah." The fact that Nicole suspects that Colette might be jerking Sable's chain speaks volumes about their odd relationship.

Her hand drops back so she can pull the champagne free of the bucket and refill Sable's glass and top off her own easily. She knows how to enable while looking like she's just being polite and making sure her partner doesn't go without when she wants a refill. "It's okay, Sable. I understand. After all, I'm kind of seeing someone myself." The bottle is replaced amongst the ice and her glass is raised to her lips again. She mutters, "When he wants to be seen," against its rim.

"Tell me about this girl," Nicole coaxes after she's swallowed down more of the bubbly. "Maybe I can give you some advice."

That fact that Sable looks so intensely uncomfortable when Nicole mentions her sister speaks volumes of its own about the musician's own relationship to their mutual acquaintance. She looks anywhere but at Nicole for a good couple seconds, before stealing back to meet her gaze once the fit of whatever-that-was passes. "Naw, naw," she says, "gave that up 's a bad thing. I trust whatever th' hell she is in m' life, ain't my will that'll decide it. That's f'r powers b'yond my own." And she means it, is the cooky thing.

"'N', that so?" Sable says, head tilting, taking in this new piece of information with an interest that borders on bright. Like maybe this is a good development. She is, at least, less of a double dealer if they're both running tangent to their declared courses. The sardonic addition, set to the glass, draws a matching smile. "Mebbe we got more 'n' common th'n any eye is able t' detect, first off.

"But arright, sure," Sable says, pouring herself a glass, but not now as a thing to hide in, but rather to better match Nicole. Not about to seem like she's half-assing the evening. Though, drinking like this, her size being what it is, she better hope she remembers to order some food. "Le's make it a trade, eh? You tell me 'bout him, 'n' I'll tell y' 'bout her."

But not yet. "Jus' first," Sale adds, finger flicking out to indicate the line where the gold necklace disappears from view, "y'all better show me whatalls at th' end 'f that chain, else y'll think it's just pervishness that's got me tryin' t' peek down yer shirt."

Everything was fun and games until Sable had to ask that question. "S'nothing," Nicole is quick to mumble, pressing a hand to her chest as if to better protect the secret just below her neckline. She's quick with a smile then, brilliant and charming. "Let me tell you all about him."

Nicole's glass is lifted from the table once more, it's a wonder she ever bothers to set it down for how frequently she sips from it. "He is selfish, and unkind. Sometimes cruel, and a womaniser. He has the most gorgeous green eyes I have ever laid eyes on, and when he says my name, it makes me forget how to breathe." Her eyes lid halfway as if the mere memory of such moments is enough to cause just that reaction she mentioned. "He dresses better than any other man I have ever known. He's sharp like a knife, and he smokes. And he works with me. And I think if he ever heard me say any of these things about him, he would call me sentimental and foolish and tell me to grow up."

Nicole closes her eyes completely now, and smiles fondly. "We have beer and cigarettes for breakfast in bed. We have cookies and coke for dinner." There's a wrinkle of her nose at that, the pantomime of a giggle. But then the smile fades, and she settles her gaze back on Sable.

"And I think he's lonely… And I'm worried that I love him."

For all her folksy mannerisms and oddly distributed attention, Sable's fairly quick, and body language is one of her more fluent languages (when her attention is properly distributed). Given the setting, and the body speaking, Sable's pretty quick to notice the reaction her question garnered. She's curious, Lord knows, but she's also (past minutes excluded) not bad with her game. "Gonna have t' work t' get a gander, I reckon," she says, smile slanted, "gonna have t' get past those layers th' proper way, I wanna see what's beneath. I dig." And that's all she says on the matter of the mystery held to Nicole's chest.

Now, normally, hearing about someone so incontestable would take the wind out of Sable's sails a little. That's not even a description she can compete against, leaving aside the actual person it describes. But after her own roundabout explication, this feels like equal footing. The heat is off. Sable has no reason to suspect she's vying for a high seat in Nicole's heart - even if that were her aim, it would be pointless (thought if it were her aim, its pointlessness wouldn't likely stop her). As it stands, she's put almost instantly at ease.

"Don' sound mighty good f'r y'," the yellow eyed girl admits, and there is the slightest drag to her words, beyond her usual performed drawl; the champagne is getting to work, "but there ain't nothin' like somethin' makes y' feel that way. I know it. Don't know that whatall yer speakin' of will end well, but happy endin's don't often conclude th' best 'n' finest stories 'f love, now do they?"

Sable leans forward a bit, head tilting as she gives Nicole a pointed peer, a physical accentuation of her (still very real) curiosity - bolstered, perhaps, by the deferral of the previous question. "Why's love a worry t' y'?"

Nicole sighs, "I'm sorry. I just… I didn't… want you to get the wrong idea. And you sound like you're really into this other girl, too." Meaning Nicole's trying not to feel bad about this. Sable not being the front runner. "Love's a worry, because he doesn't… love me back. And I know he never will."

This is not what Nicole intended to talk about tonight. Generally going out with someone else should mean she should not talk about Logan. God damn. "He's terrible for me, I'm sure of it. It probably will not end well, but… He has a key to my place, so fuck me." She smiles in spite of herself, shaking her head. "I think I need another drink." To prove this, she downs the contents of her glass smoothly and promptly grabs the bottle of champagne for a refill.

"Trust me, gal, this is, like, easier f'r me," Sable says, and she's probably talking about Nicole's 'romantic situation' (to use her term), not teetering into drunk, though both could well apply. "Fuck. Just… fuck, though, gal. I'm real sorry t' hear that. Love unrequited burns th' longest 'n' hottest. Like a coal, y' know? Burnin' though it can't breath, smothered f'r lack 'f love in return, but still livin' on."

Something Sable has either felt herself, or has heard enough of in songs for her to feel like the experience is still her own. Hell of a topic. She eyes Nicole's bottom's up/refill technique. Someone knows how to knock it back. Cheers to that.

"I sorta swore off gettin' real pissed," Sable confides, grin just a little uneven, "When I turned in m' old soul f'r a new one. But I'm sorely tempted t'night. T'night seems like it's one 'f them nights, only comes 'round so often."

Nicole takes another generous gulp of her champagne and stares somewhat blearily at Sable. "You wanna my back—" She pauses, staring ceiling-ward for a moment, and then turns her gaze back to her sort'a-date and starts again. "You wanna come back to my place?" There we go. The words are in the right order now. Conversation and dinner at a fancy restaurant are overrated.

The positive response is not immediate. There is at least a spell of thought, consideration, quite possibly clear, or as clear as her level of intoxication will permit. Spend enough time altered and you can pull yourself together in key moments. To some extent. Sometimes.

But the answer is still, "Yeah, hon. I'd dig that." And it's not with anything like suggestion. Nicole's approving a sound course of action, a change of location. What that change might imply is not yet assumed. The night is young, and the envelop can be pushed at a comfortable speed.

Sable finishes off her glass and gets to her feet, sidling over behind Nicole and offering to help her with her seat as she rises. Taking a little bit of the power back. "Y'all lead th' way. I'll follow where you go, hon."

Nicole takes Sable's arm, allowing her to be the dominant half of the couple they make now. She points with a flourish toward where Sable entered. "Out front. Where our chariot awaits! …Once we hail it." A cab. Charming.

Sable will be almost a little disappointed when she finds out that 'chariot' means cab, and not limo. She had hoped and almost expected it of Nicole. But, ultimately, the move out of Chambéry, the move to a less grand setting, suits her just fine. And a cab is just the right transition.

As they slip into the interior, which smells of smoke and leather, Sable gives Nicole a toothy grin, and says, "Fancy!" And, ex-vagrant that she is, she honestly means it. "Y'all gonna send these 'round t' pick me up if we get regular? I could get used t' bein' a kept-type woman."

"Sure thing," Nicole assures, resting her head on Sable's shoulder with a drowsy sort of smile. "Only the best for you."

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