Stood Up


craig_icon.gif viviane_icon.gif

Scene Title Stood Up
Synopsis Craig and Viviane have their first encounter at the Orchid Lounge.
Date October 16, 2009

Orchid Lounge

The Orchid Lounge, owned by the mother of Senator Nathan Petrelli, is an Asian-inspired martini bar lit by candlelight and the soft glow of wall sconces spaced evenly throughout the room. Although there aren't any employees at the door to check for identification, it's unusual to find anyone in the college-aged crowd at the Lounge, which caters to young professionals with plenty of extra money to burn. During the day, the plush burgundy drapes affixed to the windows are used to filter out the sounds of traffic and at night are drawn back to allow passersby a glimpse inside.

Seating is simple: clusters of rectangular tables fashioned from white marble, each with two leather benches parallel to the longest sides. Silk pillows in varying shades of red, brown, yellow and orange lend a splash of colour to the Lounge, vivid against the pale walls and black-painted cement floor. On one wall is a giant mirror with an intricately carved frame that reflects almost everything in the room and makes the space appear twice as large as it really is. Clearly, the proprietor of this establishment wanted to get her money's worth - real estate in this part of town isn't cheap!

The early-dimming sun makes the evening seem perhaps later than it really is. When Craig lounges at the bar, he's far from pushing his luck in regards to curfew. He's dressed down - for him, at least - in a more casual brown suit, dark tie loosened around his neck. The lowball glass in front of him is colored at the bottom with amber liquid, two ice cubes melting amongst it. He's chatting easily with a man seated next to him, but he doesn't seem too bothered when the other pays his tab and excuses himself. Solitude fits him as easily as company.

As the weather turns cooler, it provides an excuse for women to wear their furs, bright sables and dark minks. The one that Viviane wears in is of the sable family, red streaked through the fur that is from an unidentified animal. As she approaches the bar, the long coat is shrugged off slender shoulders to reveal a silk cream dress, whale bone obvious sewn into the bodice and skirt ending above her knee. The large diamonds in her ears, real to the observant eye, catch the light as she leans forward to order, "Dry martini, thank you." A bartender replies promptly, "Right away, Ms. Spollini."

If the woman wasn't enough to catch his attention, the name certainly helps to place her. "Councilwoman," Craig greets, tone hinting just enough at a request for confirmation. His eyes are careful on her, lazing attitude covering keen interest.

"How can I help you?" Viviane responds automatically, head turning to the man with a slight, natural tilt. Flirting covers annoyance as her lips curve into an easy smile, brown eyes warm on the man as she claims the seat near him, her coat taking the one between them. The bartender is quick, and shortly there is a martini in hand.

"If I remember my facts correctly-" And his voice suggests that he does. "-I doubt I have to woo you to my cause." Craig twists in his seat to face her more directly, offering a hand. "Craig Owens. I'm working on Sylvia Lockheart's campaign." His voice is all charm, and there is perhaps a touch of evolutionary suggestion to relax in the air.

The smile grows slightly easier on her lips, though the difference between natural and forced is almost unseeable given her talents. Viviane takes his hand slowly, smooth skin slipping into his and hand lingering on his. "While my politics might dictate such, I have not quite decided to support Miss Lockheart quite yet," she responds diplomatically, voice her own smooth butter of an Italian accent that might be slightly faked. Her fingertips brush against his wrist lightly as she quirks her eyebrow at Craig's assumption.

His hand remains steady to her touch, waiting for her own to move away completely before he lets it rest on the surface of the bar. "Perhaps I'll have to come by your office and help convince you," Craig says, picking his glass back up. "Hardly the time now, though."

"You're right, it is not." The easy agreement comes with a flash of a smile before Viviane salutes her glass to him. She takes a sip of the drink before setting it firmly back in place on the bar. Then, she's scanning the doorway, a flash of annoyance creeping through her expression before she turns back to the bar.

"Waiting for someone?" Craig's eyes follow her gaze back to the door, as if it might reveal the secrets of her annoyance. There's no hint apart from a normal inhale that he's testing the air for her mood.

It smells of annoyance, a hint of stress and even less lust laced underneath as her eyes flick back to Craig, Viviane's smile firmly in place despite the emotions. "I was, yes, but I believe I have fallen into the pitfall we all must face." The humor is warm, self-deprecating though her mood is anything but the sort.

Craig takes a lazy gulp of Scotch, then returns the glass to the bar and lets his fingers trace over the lip. "A man?" he wonders, the barest hint of amusement in his expression.

"Isn't it always?" Viviane quips back, eyes crinkling in a soft laugh before she drowns it with a gulp of her martini. "This is the trouble with being single in New York City." It'd be hard to catch the lie, near impossible as her words come off without a hitch. In fact, the woman enjoys it too much.

"Have a hard time imagining a man passing up the opportunity." The compliment is frank and easy and bears little resemblance to flattery. Craig smirks. "Maybe he's intimidated. Beautiful woman with power and all that."

"Thank you, Mr. Owen. I am sure there will be an excuse on my answering machine when I return home," Viviane responds easily, an easy hitch of her shoulder that rolls back in just the right way to show off the curve of it prettily. "He's a very important man, after all." Her hand waves dismissively at the idea before she takes a slower sip of her martini, rich brown eyes roaming over Craig.

"I don't doubt it." Craig stretches a leg to hook it on the rung of his chair. "I'm sure there are plenty more where he came from." He rests his elbows on the bar, though a quick eye glances down her form to indicate the proof of his statement.

Viviane smiles agreeably before she quirks her eyebrow at him, a teasing manner as she asks, "And you? Are you standing someone up or have you been?" Her hand moves down to the seat beside her, thumb stroking along the soft fur as she talks.

"I don't make dates that I don't intend to keep," Craig says smoothly, mouth twitching upwards as if amused by his own words. He watches the movement of thumb against fur for a brief moment before his eyes return to hers.

A light laugh bubbles up before Viviane counters, "We shall have to see about that, won't we? Do you have a pen?" Her martini is moved off its napkin as she pulls it forward, watching Craig expectantly. There's really nowhere on her person that she could hide a pen.

"Always." Craig slips a hand into his inside pocket and soon returns with a pen, which he holds out to her.

Fingers brush against his in a superfluous gesture as Viviane accepts the pen, scrawling something on the napkin. Both the pen and napkin are returned to him as she murmurs, voice soft but warm, "I suppose you shall have to call sometime." She picks up her martini and makes a move to slide off her stool.

He pockets both, treating the napkin with respectful care. "I suppose I shall," Craig replies. He can't quite resist the teasing stoking of desire in her as he watches her with appreciative eyes.

Her breathing is just that slightest bit unsteady at the rising desire as Viviane lingers for a moment with her eyes on Craig, tongue wetting dry lips quickly before she picks up her coat. The martini is taken across the lounge towards a group of people she obviously knows without glancing back.

She's already turned away by the time Craig's mouth widens in a sharply amused grin. Too bad. He returns to his Scotch, making easy conversation with the bartender while he nurses it.

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