Sherry And Bourbon


abbot_icon.gif savannah_icon.gif

Scene Title Sherry and Bourbon
Synopsis The author of The Amplified meets with her agent.
Date August 23, 2010

The office of Kamber Abbot, New York City

There are six pencils on Kamber Abbot's desk. Six newly sharpened, old school wooden pencils. And Kam is fiddling with them. First the tries to form them into his initials, but there aren't enough pencils for that. Writing the initials of his client is just out of the question. Too many curves in her name. So instead he marks out a 'T' and an 'A', using the spare pencil to mark an underlining. T A The Amplified? But only he'd know what he's referring to. Kam jumbles the pencils with his hand and sweeps them aside, folding his hands before him. He checks the door. Still closed. He checks the clock. She's late. But of course she is. She's an artist. In the choice was between a punctual hack and a temporally challenged artist, he'll chose the latter every time. Particularly in this case. Indubitably. He glances down at his desk drawers, tugs one open. Inside is his bar set. Should he have drinks ready for her when she arrives? Will she want a drink? Will they be warm by the time she arrives? So many considerations, all filling in time while he waits. For her.

Shave and a haircut, two bits.

The knock rings out loudly on the door to Kamber Abbot's office before it opens without a wait for a response. Savannah Burton steps inside, letting the door shut behind her as she pushes it firmly shut with her heel. "Sorry! I hope I didn't keep you waiting. I was making some phone calls and I got a little distracted with them." Her usual black notebook was held between her palms, a near constant when she was feeling creative, pen tucked handily behind her ear. She'd been working sometime recently, perhaps. Or at least trying. "Calls took a lot longer than I'd thought they would…"

"They always do…" Kam says, all sympathy, rising from his seat and stepping around his desk, which he only stayed behind because it would be odd if he were already on his feet when she arrived, though, as previous evidence has shown… he wasn't really doing anything at his desk. He reaches out to take Savannah by the shoulders, making no claim on her hands, not wanting to disturb any of her talismanic motions, trusting in her Process. "'course," he says, his accent, mild but clearly present, rounding his words, "now I've got to ask what you've got on the line, fishing-metaphorically-speaking. What your calls were about. Assuming they were about business and therefore my business." As opposed to personal calls which would be none of his business, no matter his curiosity.

"I decided today that I'm moving to New York." The blonde author states, peering back over at Kam. "Really, it's a smart move and there's nothing really left for me in California other than my parents, but they're both just fine. New York's bigger, much more in the way of opportunities … plus I was bored today and I thought it'd be fun to look at apartment complexes. Though… I haven't really picked one out or anything so I'll have to figure out where to put all my stuff until I've rented one. I can't stay at The Corinthian forever!"

Kam blinks, tries to speak, stops, blinks again, then breaks into a smile that is mostly unabashed. "I… well that's wonderful. You, uh, well, I'm sure I can help. And really, New York is the perfect place for your work, I just… this is… this has been thought over, hasn't it? I mean, not that you have to think it over, but…" Kam laughs. Again, it's almost without nervousness. This is just rather a lot for him to take in and he feels very good about the idea, he just worries about its wisdom, something he tries to provide but is himself often lacking in. "Here, let's have a drink. To celebrate your move…" He moves back to his desk and extracts the bar set, which is really just a few liquor bottles and some tumblers. "Of course, I mean, I have some spare storage space, if you need it. I'm glad to help make your transition as smooth as possible."

Savannah laughs. "Yes, a drink of celebration." She looks amused. "I've thought it over all day. I mean, the cost of living is actually cheaper here than it is in California, so I'd be saving money… and no one would have to fly me out here for signings or meetings or anything, which is nice on the business side of things. I just have to figure out a safe neighborhood… everyone boasts good security and such, which makes me worried where's actually safe. Do you think the Financial District's decent? Le Rivage looked kind of neat in an art deco kind of way…" She beams.

"The cost of living," Kam chuckles, "seems to change inversely with the risk to your life. This city is a madhouse, you heard about that storm we had, didn't you? And the city-wide blackouts and all of this bloody ridiculous palaver…" He unscrews the top of a bottle of sherry and pours it out. "Oh… hell, ice. Um… ice…" he looks around, "In my fridge," he points to a black mini-fridge which… if he has that why doesn't he keep his drinks in there? "Be a dear? And… well, I don't know, I'll really have to look at crime statistics. I live in Queens, which is has worked out for me, but, you know, please, follow your muse!"

Savannah's grinning. "You don't think that's exciting? That's all part of the beauty of it. I sat at home, in boring San Francisco, wondering what it'd be like to be trapped in a building for a month. Almost decided not to leave the apartment for a month to see what it was like… but I had stuff to do and felt slightly guilty." The blonde moves to the mini-fridge to fetch the ice. "Anyways, I'll look at Queens, then. If you've never gotten any trouble there, than it's likely I won't as well. I could run into you at the grocery store. Wouldn't that be exciting?" She brings over the ice. "Anyways, I already feel creative. I'd forgotten how much of a hotbed of activity New York is."

"A terrible beauty is born, eh?" Kam says, grinning lopsidedly, reaching out to take the ice from Savannah and popping a few cubes free of the tray, dropping them into the glass of sherry and causing the contents to splash somewhat, rising over the edge and sending droplets out onto the desk. "Oh… crap," he exclaims, "Oh, here…" he offers her the glass, "I need to make myself a drink so I can have an excuse for things like that…" he begins to pour himself a straight scotch on the rocks. "Now, you know I'd love to see you. Very curious as to your vegetable selections, you know," really? "but I don't want to smother you, stifle you creatively. If you need a few boroughs of distance, please, take them. The bus system still works, mostly. Sorry for horribly quoting Yeats, by the way." Though he doesn't sound sorry.

"Smother me? I haven't gotten to see enough of you. I don't visit New York that often and your voice isn't quite the same over the phone." Savannah teases with a smile, accepting the glass of sherry. "Sorry if I'm quite overwhelming when I make decisions like this. Probably need to adjust my medication again…" She muses the last part a bit cautiously, wondering if she'd risk the side effects that came with more. "I'll have to try things out, certainly. I'm used to the bus… only real way to travel in San Francisco."

"Well, the finer tones of my homeland's tongue, ancient and noble, are unfit for vulgar transmission," Kam says, grinning, affecting a much thicker accent than he actually has. At the mention of her medication, though, he gets more serious. "Delicate balance, Savannah. You know you're my crown jewel, and I need you shining, but a move is a big change, especially from coast to coast. You tend to your mind, you hear? That's my livelihood, after all!"

Savannah actually giggles at the over-accentuated accent. At his seriousness, the blond sips at her sherry. "I'm tending. Besides, now I can obnoxiously call you when I've cocooned myself in my apartment and refuse to come out and you can lure me out with chocolate and by telling me that my writing is amazing while I sit in self-critical gloom." The beverage is sipped. "Easier to get on my case about deadlines, too. This could be absolutely wonderful or absolutely horrible depending on how you look at it."

"Oh my, so I'm to be your therapist as well, now?" Kam says, lifting his glass and tinging it against Savannah's, "I suppose it will be my job to take the horrible for myself, and save the wonderful for you? I'll have to start taking a bigger cut. Or asking for fringe benefits of some sort or another." He sips his scotch, leaning back against his desk.

Savannah sniffs, taking another swig of her sherry. "You know, you're right. I shall simply have to rely on my medication and a giant den of blankets on my bed in the tough times, for you only love me for my money!" She swirls the alcohol in her glass, still smiling. "I'll make you more of it, don't worry your accented little head off. Got a few people that might be giving you a call about interviews. Had a good crowd for the signing the other day."

"Well, I am your agent," Kam says, grinning fecklessly, "I've got a certain level of despicableness maintain to stay part of the union. Be glad it's the money I'm after. There are more unscrupulous ways to be unscrupulous." His eyes light up at the mention of the signing. "Worked out, did it? Knew you'd have a fanbase here."

Savannah laughs again, sipping from her glass. "Very true! Although you are giving me a drink, I'll have to wait and assess your scruples when we've had more." She nods eagerly. "There were a couple of individuals that seemed to be having a spat between them, but it was cleared up soon enough and didn't disturb the fans. There were some really dedicated ones, and this adorable pregnant woman sat in the front row and her copy was completely worn through… she asked if I was doing any more research and so I gave her your card. Her name's Delilah… Trafford? Last name started with a T, I'm sure. She mentioned running in some circles and knowing a few people, so she may be able to connect you with some good interviews." She beams, another swallow of the alcohol as she lets it warm her cheeks.

"That sounds like my honor's being questioned!" Kam exclaims, "I assure you, miss, that I am a man of chivalry. The most I'll do, if I'm at the advantage, is boldly ask for your scarf. I'm a Don Quixote type reader, y' see." He's indulging his accent now, for the sake of his patter. "A pregnant woman? Damn, but that's a market of its own. And she knows folks? Well then, I hope she gives me a call, then. I think you need to start research for your next book right away. Another book this soon after your success will be a hit, no matter what."

Savannah smiles, then shakes her head. "I assure you, Kam, I'd never question your honor. I know you well enough." She laughs at the Don Quixote comment. She gives a bit of a nod. "I know. I just don't know if I should try and continue with The Amplified or if I should try and move on… I don't want to drag it on and those poor characters have been through a lot. I did mention maybe wanting to do another one

"See that… I like that idea," Kam says, lifting his glass and gesturing at Savannah, "Something in the same universe. That's a solid notion. A different angle, a different way of telling the story. And maybe this time… what do you think it'll say. More broadly? What big message will you try to send?"

Savannah frowns a bit. "Well, there's a lot I could do with the mandatory registration… concepts of a larger force that could be corrupted but knows who and where you are. Someone just curious enough could take that, after all. Cause destruction." She sips the glass. "I'm going to ask questions about registration to some of the interviewees, I think. It seems like the easiest place to start and it's enough of a recent event that people will be thinking deeply about it for the next year or so…" She peers at him. "What kind of deadline are you thinking about?"

"Well, I'd be thrilled to have a first draft by Christmas. But you never know how big a project might get, and if you're working on something really serious, I can try and get it hyped, you know? Increase the first trilogy sales and making a serious event of your book when you do release it." Kam is clearly thinking an age ahead.

"Christmas?" Savannah counts on the fingers of her free hand. "Jesus, Kam, that'll give me like… hm, if it's August now… four months?" She wrinkles her nose. "Better hope I'm feeling creative and don't procrastinate till the beginning of December." She takes a long swallow of her sherry. "Forgot how much I love this stuff… warms the throat so good.."

"That's why I keep it around," Kam says, lifting a brow, "And that's a fine little bit of prose you wove right there. Think you're feeling inspired already?" He's teasing her. Fondly. Of course.

"Pfft. That's nothing." Savannah giggles. "And you know how accents inspire me. Just be careful, it may inspire me to throw myself across the pond and get lost in an artist's colony where all of my work will be buried away in wonderful smelling, leather-bound books until after my untimely demise."

"And ruin me? You wouldn't!" Kam exclaims, shocked, appalled, "where would you be without me, anyways? Modeling or something else terribly boring. You owe me too much to get inspired so inconveniently."

"Modeling? Heavens no. What do you think I am, attractive?" Savannah giggles, finishing up her sherry and innocently offering it over for more with a look that says 'pretty please'. "You're right. I will write a manuscript in my own blood if I have to, just to get the words out for you Kam. You know I'm good for it."

"Either that, or I'm blind. And I think I would've noticed that," Kam says, reaching out with the sherry bottle and topping Savannah off, "and while that would make for some interesting publicity, I'd really rather just black ink. If that's alright."

"I suppose that could be arranged. I have a feeling it will have to be. I am, unfortunately, terribly long-winded when it comes to my writing." Savannah teases, smiling warmly as a thank you for her glass, bringing it to lips once more.

Kam is nursing his own drink, but slowly. A business habit. Always drink less than the person you're with. "Please, please, wind as long as you like…" a pause, "Did that sound odd to you too? Oh, well, anyways… Think this Ms. Trafford will give me a call, soon? I want to know how much I can slack off in the next few days."

Savannah's not afraid to drink hers a little more quickly, especially when she feels she's on top of the world. She can't help but smile back at him. She's glowing. "Oh, I bet she'll call. She was such an excited fan. I think a lot of them would jump at the chance to meet me and chat for longer, so you'll have to weed out who would be worth talking to." She winks. "And you'll have to keep me safe from the weirdos."

"But weirdos can be so interesting," Kam says, grinning, "basically all of Dickens' best characters were weirdos. I'm gonna have to throw you just a few. For the good of your work!"

"Mmkay, but when I end up as a serial killer's next victim, I'm blaming you." Savannah takes another long sip. "You know, you're a lot more relaxed with a little alcohol in you, Kam. I like it!"

"Am I? Well, I live to please, m'lady," Kam makes an awkward little sort of bow, "didn't we get sloshed when your first book became a best seller? It's all a blur. If we were drunk we were really drunk."

"God, I think we did. I don't remember a lot of it, just that you were really, really funny that night." Savannah grins, holding up her glass as an almost salute to him. "We aught to do that again. After all, I've completed a successful trilogy. Maybe I aught to make my next book about a kid and pull a J.K. Rowling. We could stand to be rich."

"I could sit or lie down to be rich, too, I'm not picky," Kam says, smirking against his glass as he takes another sip, "Do you have ideas, Savannah? Or is it too early to ask? I know I shouldn't nose, but you know I'm curious. And I'm not bad with feedback."

"I don't know… I'm not sure on characters yet. I don't know if I should go younger or stay with someone in their early twenties… they seem most relatable, but… again, I could start off young and always progress…" Savannah giggles. "You know, you're always the biggest fan, Kam. You'll always be my number one, so it's okay to nose for ideas… I'll forgive you."

"I would never have anything less than confidence in what I represent," Kam says, touching the bottom rim of his glass to his chest, "but even if I didn't represent you, I'd still be your biggest fan. But don' t say 'number one', it reminds me too much of that King story. 'Misery'."

Savannah laughs, grinning. "Alright, will you settle for being my favorite fan, then, Kam? You deserve a special rank for all the good you've done me." She takes a long swallow of her sherry. "Love this stuff…"

"Sounds like a fine compromise to me," Kam agrees, tipping back the rest of his scotch, but keeping ahold of the cool glass. "And I joke, but it goes both ways, doesn't it? An agent's not much without someone to represent. And you're definitely my favorite client. Just," he lowers his voice to a stage whisper, "don't tell anyone I said that. Writers, you know? Moody." He grins.

"Seriously. Mad geniuses, they are." Savannah 'whispers', secretively. "Aw, Kam, favorite? I hope it's just not cause I'm the best or the most popular or I make you the most money." She teases. "Or because I'm blonde!"

"Most definitely because you're blonde," Kam replies, without hesitation, "you can't blame a man for his weaknesses, can you? I mean, I suppose you can. But it wouldn't be right. At least not if that man is me."

"Aw, Kam. I can never blame you for anything. You're like… mmm, my guardian angel!" Savannah laughs, running her finger around the rim of her glass. "I should treat you better. You do a lot of saving me from all the stuff I'd never get done myself. Like finding interviews or dealing with all the publishing crap. I'd never write!"

"Got to put that on my business cards. 'Kamber Abbot - Guardian Angel'. Unless you need me to be exclusive?" Kam swishes the melting ice in his own tumbler, glancing down at it, checking the water level. "And it's true, you should treat me better. Which is why you'll have to have that draft ready by December!"

Savannah gasps, moving in closer to Kam. "You can't leave me! I'll be terribly jealous. If you go and angel everyone else I won't have anyone to angel me… and I won't feel special anymore." She smiles at him. "I'm going to buy you a present, then."

Kam hikes himself up onto the edge the desk, taking a proper seat. He leans forward, elbows on his knees, tilting towards the approaching Savannah. "Fine, I'll be your steady angel. But that present better be astounding. Really. I need to open it and be able to say, honestly: 'this is astounding'."

Savannah moves, standing near him as she peers at him carefully. "Now you're gonna make this hard! I was gonna get you a damn gift basket, you know…" She pouts.

"Gift basket? That's just mailing it in!" Kam says, his smile totally undermining his tone, "do I mean that little to you? Does your gratitude come only with a gift card to selected retailers? I mean, I love fancy crackers, but I thought we meant more than that."

Savannah whimpers, taking a step closer. "Kam! I'll get you a real present. I'll shop online and blow a grand on something amazing that you'll have to think of me every time you see and go, 'Damn. That Savannah is the best writer an agent could ask for and she's an amazing person too!'"

"All right, all right," Kam says, swishing his glass again and taking a sip of the icemelt, "Do all that and I suppose my ego will recover. And I suppose I won't have a wandering wing. Angel-like, is what I mean." He rolls his eyes, "I should leave the wordsmithing to you, clearly."

"Oh, no, that was clever. Perhaps I'll have your name engraved on something with that. 'Kam—to keep your wing from wandering. —Sav'." Savannah seems quite cheerful at that. "Maybe I'll write you a short story. Not a hokey, 'Kam the Guardian Angel' fanfic, but a real story. Dedicated to you. Doesn't even have to see the light of day or anyone's eyes but your own. A secret story." She giggles. "Then we'll see what kind of wordsmith I can be.

"Oh God!" Kam exclaims, "I would lack the courage to read it! I dare not imagine what your exacting literary perceptions would make of me! Whether ogre or imp, I don't want to see myself treated as critically as you treat your other subjects! You're ruthless, woman, don't forget I know that."

"Oh, no, Kam… I'd never treat you as one of my characters. I put them through too much and you're too dear to be subjected to that kind of torture." Savannah giggles, patting his hand. "Do not worry. I meant only that I would write a story for you, not about you."

"Just the usual, run of the mill type tortures for me, huh?" Kam says, glancing up at the patting hand. "'The Trial of Dreadful Pettings'. 'The Gruesome Test of Blondeness'. 'Deadline Deviance Device'." He folds his arms, lifting a brow. "For me? Are we talking an elegiac or an ode? I think an ode would be more fun, but an elegiac would be better. 'The Tragic Tale of Kamber Abbot'."

Savannah took another swig of the sherry before it was put down on the desk nearby. She folds her arms. "Kamber Abbot." She states, seriously. "I would never mock you like that. I would write you a serious story. Something that would touch even your cold and distant heart that yearns for nothing but my writing talents. It would be a sweet tale, a sad tale, and no one would get to see it but you. A real present. From the heart."

"If it was that good, I'd want to get it published!" Kam exclaims, helplessly, "I'd want the whole world to see it. I mean, unless you wrote something I wouldn't have the nerve to publish, and that would take some doing."

"Well, publish it if you want, but it's still yours. Written for you." Savannah smiles, reaching for her glass again. "Maybe I'll handwrite it and you can keep the copy in a vault for your great-great-great grandkids to have. Then they can wonder why such a classic writer like Savannah Burton handwrote a short story for their great-great-great grandfather instead of typing it out on one of those outdated machines they call computers. And then, their parents can explain that Kam was very important to Savannah and she handwrote it so that he'd have a copy he could treasure." She smirks. "I'm too good at this."

"See, now there's a story about the story already," Kam says, "You are too good. Getting carried away with yourself. Which, of course, is the nature of your charm. Getting carried away, and carrying other along with you. And really, you don't have to go to all that trouble! Just dedicate your next three books to me. 'For Kam, Agent Extraordinaire'. 'For Kam, Dearest Friend and Supporter' 'For Kam, Sexiest Man Alive'."

"In that order? Kam, they'll think we're having a passionate affair by the third." Savannah giggles. "And who said it would be trouble. I'll make it up on the spot and whisper it in your ear. And then, you'll never be able to publish it because you won't be able to write my words fast enough. How's that, hmm?" She giggles once more, swallowing the sherry. "Oh, I get mischievous when I'm buzzed!"

"Well, then we'd better get working on that passionate affair, so as not to seem disingenuous," Kam states, practically enough, "shall we arrange for a few near misses in the next few months? Some well placed, veiled comments? We could be having torrid encounters come November if we're smart about it." He tilts his head, "My ear is right here if you want to get started. On the story, that is."

Savannah leans in close, lips close to his ear before she giggles. "This is a lot harder to do on the spot, I swear. Maybe I'm not drunk enough for this yet. You're good at the planning though. I'm sure we'll have a well-thought-out affair with your plans!" She leans in, trying again for the story. "My muse has stage fright!"

Kam's ear is tilted towards Savannah's lips. His green blue eyes cut over to her, brows furrowing slightly. "Honestly? Do I need to top you off or cut you off, then?"

Savannah giggles softly into his ear before she pulls back a bit. "More. It's easy enough for me to get a taxi back to The Corinthian, and I think me moving here is quite celebration worthy." She gives him the 'pretty please' eyes as she offers her glass for more.

"All right…" Kam says, "I suppose this will just be the first step towards greater indiscretions and improprieties, hm?" He takes Savannah's class in hand, fingertips brushing hers for a moment as he draws it over and refills it with sherry. He returns the glass, and refills his own, just a third of the way, but scotch has bite! He lifts his glass. "To our torrid affair?"

"To our torrid affair! All publicity is good publicity!" Savannah exclaims, raising her glass to his.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License