The Devil's Smile


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Scene Title The Devil's Smile
Synopsis Searching for a scoop, Danielle scopes out the Linderman building, only to attract the attention of two of Linderman's "top" agents.
Date September 10, 2008

Linderman Building — Exterior

Well, there's always trouble when dealing with trying to look into big mobster/crimelord types. One element of it is that you often don't get more than one crack at it; messing up either gets you in trouble or…worse. With this in mind, Dani's chosen a sort of peripheral approach at the moment. Specifically, she's more or less casing the building itself, playing tourist, as it were. She's in simple, commonplace attire, trying to look as generally nondescript as possible…her hair is loose, and she's in a light windbreaker worn open over a Yale t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Even has a digital camera on a cord around her neck. Just around ur building, chekin it out.

Kain Zarek is a man of many vices, usually the they're blonde; about five-foot five with legs that don't stop. At the moment however, it's the one vice he can't legally do inside of the offices, and as the sandy-blonde haired gentleman is making his way out of the building, that vice is already hanging between his lips, followed by the click and spark of a lighter and a luxurious deep breath. Stopping just outside one of the paired revolving doors, smoke issuing forth from both of his nostrils as he exhales just as deep.

Watching people come and go on the sidewalk, Kain plucks the cigarette out of his mouth, letting a wave of smoke slowly waft from between his lips as his gaze settles on the short brunette walking across the sidewalk, watching the front doors. He has no idea of her intentions, and protecting the 'business' is most assuredly the last thing on Zarek's mind. "Why hello there little lady," He says with a broad smile, "You look a might bit lost, there anything I can do for ya?" His drawl is distinct, a deep southern accent, soon silenced as he slips his cigarette back between his lips, one dark brow raising as he eyes Danielle inspectingly, like someone at a deli trying to choose what to order.

Mischa is a dark-haired young woman whose most striking feature is neither her slim figure nor the sultry curve of her mouth, but the dark circles under her eyes that mark her as someone who is either genetically predisposed to them or hasn't gotten a good night's sleep anytime in the past two weeks. Her complexion, too, has a sallow, unattractive look to it, especially around the tips of her fingers where enough tobacco has rubbed off on her skin to discolor it. Her hair, when she can be bothered to brush it, is as greasy as it is curly and reaches the very nape of her neck where it will sometimes stick, plastered to the surface of her skin by sweat.

'Unhinged' might be a good word to describe her, but even if she were to clean herself up she would still lack the physical attributes needed to lay claim to true beauty; she's the kind of girl who most people might expect to find on a bootleg DVD being produced in a third-world country in Eastern Europe rather than the centerfold of a Playboy magazine.

The brunette there isn't most of those vices; neither blonde, nor that tall…as for legs; they're hidden under the jeans. She does offer a smile back, though. After all, Kain came -out- of the building that she wants more information about. And he's checking her out. In other words, mark. The woman smiles back to him. "Well, only kind of lost…" She's playing up her own New England accent. She tugs out a street map, the sort they have for tourists at the airport, from the pocket of her windbreaker, displaying it as evidence. "First time in New York, I'm checking everything out!" Eager-eyed tourist.

"Well now, you just found yourself the right man for the job." Kain says with his head cocked to one side, shifting his cigarette to a corner of his mouth, "Little bird done come all the way here to see the big ole' hole in the ground?" He raises one brow again, smiling as he quickly switches his cigarette from his mouth and into his left hand, then swings his right towards Danielle, offering it to her, "Name's Kain, darlin, Kain Zarek." His smile grows more broad, "If there anythin' I can help you check out, all you gotta do is ask." His smile turns into a cocky smirk, a thin trail of smoke winding its way up from his cigarette into the air at his side.

If the phrase 'terrible flirt' was listed in the dictionary, you'd find a picture of Kain Zarek beside it. Unfortunately, it isn't — and even if it was, the closest thing Mischa has to a dictionary is last month's TV Guide back at her apartment in the Bronx. Not that she needs a dictionary to recognize the Southern-born womanizer for what he really is. She's had plenty of experience working alongside Kain to know their personalities don't mesh, so it's no big surprise when — at first — she decides to steer clear of him as she makes her way up the building's from steps with her son August on her hip, his face buried in the greasy curls of his mother's dark brown hair.

She hesitates, however, when she sees that he isn't just out for a smoke. Gradually, her stride slows until she comes to a full stop at the top of the steps, appraising the situation in an uncharacteristically unobtrusive way. With his good looks and easy charm, picking up women isn't much of a challenge for Zarek. Would he really hold it against her if she decided to spice things up a little? "Whatever you do," she calls down to Danielle, "don't take your eyes off your drink if he buys you one."

Dani tries not to laugh inwardly. Kain is clearly a big ol' horndog, but that's exactly the sort of person she figures she can use to her advantage here. So she takes a couple steps closer, and does a little of the shoulders-back, chest-out routine. "You don't sound like you're exactly from Noo Yawk yourself." She indicates the Linderman building, with a waggle of a finger. "You work here?" And then she looks back to Mischa when she comments. Shit. Okay, she puts on a slightly concerned look, looking back to Kain. "Angry ex?"

"Well hey there sugarlips, you don't gotta let all that sass out at once," Kain rolls his eyes as he hears the voice behind him, turning to look over his shoulder at Mischa, lips twisted into something between a smile and a grimace. He looks back to Danielle, letting out a feigned sigh, "Babe, she's so cold the kid's probably wearing thermal undies." With a shake of his head, he slides one hand into his pocket, then produces a business card that he holds out to Danielle, trying to do his best to ignore Mischa and her 'rugrat'.

The business card seems quite standard, the words LINDERMAN GROUP in large and clear text across the front, with "Kain Zarek, Public Relations" written below in an old style type-face font. "Sure do, darling. Not much that goes on here though, paperwork and paper bills, that's about the size of it." He flicks a glance back towards Mischa's direction, one brow still raised, as if to ask you done here?

If Mischa was done, she likely would have pushed her way through the revolving doors and disappeared into the foyer by now. On her hip, August stirs slightly, roused by the sound of familiar voices, but does not wake. His fingers slowly curl, instinctively sinking into the fabric of Mischa's jacket like a kitten trying to find purchase with its claws in case she accidentally drops him. It wouldn't be the first time.

Her attention shifts from Kain back to Danielle, only now getting a good look at the woman who claims to be a tourist. A tiny, nagging voice somewhere in the back of her head insists that she's seen her somewhere before, but it isn't persistent enough to convince Mischa to take a closer look. Instead, she remains standing where she is, silently hoping that the pieces of this mental puzzle will click into place by themselves.

Dani takes a moment and looks the card over, before pocketing it. An email address and a phone number. Not bad for less than a half-hour of gathering. Not to mention a PR guy who she might be able to work. "It's a really nice building." she says, peeking through the doors of the lobby. "All the marbles, and the lanterns and stuff. Is it that nice all the way through?" Impress me with your building, Mr. PR. She notices Mischa coming closer. Damn, damn, damn. Don't be an ex. She doesn't need a catfight while she's trying to work Kain over.

"It looks like just about any corporate building 'round down." Kain notices Mischa getting closer and rolls his shoulders as if he has a chill, sidestepping the direction she's heading, one hand moving to settle on the middle of Danielle's back as if to guide her away from the approaching foul mood with legs. "But what I can tell ya, is that there's this nice little lounge uptown?" He motions vaguely down one of the streets, "Owned by Senator Petrelli, nice place. I can get a table in there any time of the week, most people get to sit on a waitin' list." He eyes the brunette for a moment, inspectingly, then to the camera and back to the building. Kain shoots a glare over at Mischa, but it's something outside of the usual glares he shoots her, his eyes moving immediately back to Danielle's camera.

Mischa hesitates. Whatever she was about to do next, Kain's look has put an immediate stop to it. She has enough sense to follow the path of his gaze, which eventually settles on the camera and causes a switch to flip in her brain. Oh. "If you want," she suggests, her voice much less acidic than it was a few moments ago, "I can have the front desk call in a reservation."

It's not often that she uses her ability, and it's even rarer that she uses it to induce pleasure instead of pain, but here she is, wordlessly attempting to reach out and wrap Danielle up in feelings of warmth and desire while giving her gentle nudge in Kain's direction. Say yes. You know you want to.

Dani smiles just a bit. "I don't have a car..I'm just doing the walking tour. I — " And that's about the time when suddenly…did it get warm in here? Well, it could be a good excuse to get more information out of him. " — I wouldn't mind, though, that is, if that was an invitation." she smiles.

"Course it is, I ain't one to mince words, darlin." Kain eyes Mischa for a second, then looks back to Danielle, "You don't have to worry about cars, I'll pick a nice one out. How's about you give me a ring when you get back to your hotel and get dolled up, and I'll show you a night on the town?" Kain slips the cigarette back into his mouth for a moment, drawing back as the ember on the end glows brightly. He turns his head away, breathing smoke towards the building before glancing up at Mischa, watching the way she moves across the sidewalk with that kid on her hip, then focuses on Danielle again. "I'm just on a smoke break, though," He motions towards the upper floors, "So I've gotta get back inside before the big boss yanks me in by m'tie." Finally he motions with his cigarette-laden hand towards Mischa, "Though if you've got anymore questions, I'm sure this darlin' can help you out. She's my secretary." The devil's smile crawls up on Kain's face as he improperly introduces Mischa.

"Son of a bitch," Mischa hisses under her breath, though it's unlikely that either Kain or Danielle can hear her. If Kain wants to play, she'll play. "Actually," she tells the pair, "Kain Jr. here is on his way to his tutoring lesson upstairs. Any questions you have will have to wait until after I've dropped him off."

Dani nods, as she looks back to the card a moment, and then tells Kain "Sure, that's fine, I can give you a call later tonight. I—" And then there's the Kain Jr. line. "Orrrr…maybe that's not such a good idea?" She's not sure what these two have going on, but she doesn't want to get in that line of fire.

Smoke — one can only presume from his cigarette — wafts out of Kain's nostrils as he turns to look back at Mischa, "That's probably for the best, missy," His brow tenses, "You know how he needs them special classes and all." His eyes dart back over to Danielle, trying to work the furious expression off of his face, "Don't mind her none, darlin', just a — " He lowers his tone of voice to a feigned whisper, clearly intending for Mischa to hear it, " — jilted girl who named her kid after me to show her love an' devotion. Jus' the way it happens sometimes." He cracks a smile, "Now, I don' think I caught your name…"

Mischa is willing to admit to defeat. Just this once, and only for Linderman's sake. If there's more to this woman than meets the eye, she doesn't want to jeapordize Kain's plans any more than she already has. Rolling her eyes skyward, she shifts August from one hip to the other and — finally — makes her way through the revolving doors that lead into the building. Jesus, when did this kid get so heavy?

Dani looks a little dubious, but she nods. "All right. And it's Gwen." She doesn't give her -real- name, of course. "I'll head back home and give you a call later. What time do you get off?" Whether she -actually- will or not remains a matter of debate.

"You just give me a call, darlin'," Kain watches Mischa as she walks back into the building, quirking his head to the side before shifting his focus back to Danielle, "An' ole Kain'll make time for ya. Just give me an hour's warnin' and I'll come pick you up wherever you're at." Managing to get back his poise and grace, Kain rolls his shoulders to loose up from the tenseness being around Mischa builds up in him. "How's that sound?"

Dani smiles. "Sounds good then. I'll give you a call later!" Well, she would have preferred a chance to get inside, but maybe that's not lost yet. She heads off, with the exterior pictures she got, plus his business card. Not a bad first look." And off she goes.

September 10th: What Would Daniel Do?

This is the beginning of the storyline "Deconstructing Daniel Linderman".

Next in this storyline…
On Call

September 10th: On Call
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