Under The Table


lexington_icon.gif seamus_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Under the Table
Synopsis Smedley and Lexington do a little business, haggling included, and he meets the brother.
Date October 11, 2010

Miss Aphrodisia's: Basement

Downstairs, there's a little private set up behind a few locked doors, where the illegal goods are bought and sold. She has a locked cage in this room, where things are on display, but untouchable. Outside of the cage, there's a little sitting area with comfortable couches and chairs, a nice Persian rug, soft overhead lighting and a decanter set with some good, Irish whiskey. There's also a safe, but it is hidden from plain sight.

Separated from the more organized "show room" by a half wall is a small workspace that looks like an antique shop exploded. Almost literally, judging by the pieces of aged furniture and mechanical parts that are laying around, in various states of cleaniliness and disrepair. Heirloom timepieces, ceramic keepsakes, even a broken boudoir and a loveseat in need of refinishing are scattered about the space, crowded around a utilitarian desk of polished metal and finished wood, with an anti-static mat atop it. Carpentry tools are strewn about the floor, while more delicate tools, meant for dealing with electronics, surround the unfinished "projects" on the desk. The desk's few drawers are locked tight, as is a heavy lockbox tucked far under the desk, hidden in the shadow thrown by the moveable desk lamp that's attached by springloaded arms to the desk itself.

Wes Smedley isn't the sort of guy to wander into a place like Miss Aphrodisia's. Still, he's clean-cut enough that he doesn't look too odd in his dark t-shirt and Wranglers as he surveys some of the items on display, no doubt imagining a certain someone encased in the fabric. But when Lexington leads him down into the basement, Smedley dislodges his proverbial mask, tucking his thumbs into his belt as he idly looks about. "By the way," he says as he runs his fingers along the top of an end table piled with clocks. "Y'know I hate t'do this with you, but my overhead shot up on this job due t'unexpected circumstances."

He smiles, though, and it's polite if a little insincere. "That is assumin' that the fish you got on the line's really that interested. I know you're gonna milk it anyway, Lex. Y'can help me cover my expenses, can't'cha?"

Lexington flicks on the overhead lights as she leads the way into the basement, and then flicks her gaze over to Wes at those words. "Unexpected circumstances, hmm?" The Irish accent is more than clear in those words, and she turns to put a hand on her hip. "Well, I wouldn't've asked, if the fish wasn't very, very interested. But what sort've expenses? I'm not one t' pay if you're takin' your favorite lass out on the town."

She taps a desk that's set up in the room, where he knows she does her appraising and such of the items that pass through the shop. Legally or otherwise. "Let's see it."

"Had to hire help," is Wes's answer even as he digs into the back pocket of his jeans to extract a gold disc that's been set into a ring-like pendant and hung from a chain. He swings it idly, then flips it up into his hand to grip it tightly, the metal clinking as the chain falls and hangs between his fingers. "Wasn't quite a one man operation. Be lucky he wasn't smart enough to ask for a real cut." At least - not a cut of this job, but Smedley can stand to lose a few ounces of the Drug of The Week headed to Devi.

The smile morphs into a grin as he walks over to the desk and rests against it, all but sitting on one corner. "So I was thinking you'd throw me an extra grand, and we'd call it good. How's that sound?"

When the item is produced, Lexington smiles and whistles gently. And reaches over it, of course. "Seven hundred," she says back to him, in the true nature of a business woman, always looking to cut costs. "And next time, give me a ring if ya need more bodies. I can always send my jackass brother along." Which would add a competent partner, yes, but more importantly… protect Lexi's goods better than unknown people.

Smedley arches a brow and pulls his hand holding the makeshift necklace closer to his chest, not willing to relinquish it just yet. "I'll keep that in mind, but that'd assumin' I scrape by with enough to pay my rent and keep myself fed between now and the next time you got work." He winks at her, looking at the sweep of her brightly colored hair rather than her eyes. But he's always been that way.


Lexi lifts her own eyebrow when he pulls the disc back and her hand drops to the desk. "A resourceful rogue as yourself? I've a feeling ya get by fine, luv." She folds her arms, leaning a hip against the desk before she adds, "Eight."

"You're cute when you haggle, y'know that right?" Still, Smedley knows that it must be hard for Lexington to operate a field where she's outnumber by rogues and rakes of the male persuasion. He opens his hand to look at the pendant, his expression thoughtful. "Tell you what. I can go to eight twenty-five, but only if you give me a taste uh'that whiskey."

"Oh hush you," Lexi says to those first words with a chuckle, "I'm cute all the time." She is quite outnumbered, sad but true. Of course, she's smart enough to know there's an advantage to being the skirt, too. "Ya want me t' give a sip've genuine Irish whiskey t' a cowboy like yourself? Wouldn't ya be more suited t' Jack 'r… Jim, maybe?"

"I can drink Jack or Jim when I close a deal with Ramsey or Collins," or any number of the other fences Smedley has dealt with in the past, either to run specific jobs or to keep them supplied with stock to sell their regulars. He smiles anew, shifting his grip on the pendent so that he's holding the chain rather than the bauble itself. With a flick of his wrist, he sets it swinging once more. "It's when I deal with you and your fine operation that I get t'drink the good stuff. Or didn't'cha know that was part'uh yer charm, Lex?"

"My liquor is? I should have known all along." Lexi puts a hand on her hip, though, and lets out a dramatic sigh. "Oh fine. Eight twenty-five and a shot've the good stuff. Now're ya gonna be lettin' me have a look at that trinket, luv, 'r not?"

With a nod that would make a butler jealous, Smedley opens his hand and lifts the other to catch the swinging pendant, laying it across his palm and presenting it to Lexington. When he looks at her (her nose, really), he's grinning. "Y'got yerself a deal, Lex."

Once the thing is out of his hands, he's moving toward the decanter to pour two shots - one for him and one for the fence. "S'what makes what's already pleasurable business even more so," he explains. "Y'ain't in it to screw another man t'the wall or make 'im squirm under yer thumb. Your a business woman makin' the whole 'honor among thieves' thing a crock. I can respect that." When he walks over again, he sets her shot down on the desk, spinning his own between thumb and forefinger as he eyes the amber liquid inside.

"Good. I didn' want t' have t' beat ya up and take it," Lexi teases as she reaches for that pendant again. More successfully. And as he goes about pouring drinks, she turns a light on over the desk to set it down under.

"Well, I'm jus' in it f'r the money. Makes it easy t' let everyone be happy in the end. Plus I'm better at bein' the carrot, not so much bein' the stick." But, that's what she has a brother for! She looks up from the disc when that shot is set down, and pauses her initial look over for the sake of alcohol. She shifts to sit on the desk, picking up her shot to lift in a bit of a toast before she throws it back in one quick, and quite un-dainty gulp.

Speaking of the stick…
From above, there's the sound of someone entering the shop, and the floorboards over their heads creak with the weight of footsteps. A male's voice calls a single word, muffled by the distance and the material between. Sounds like Seamus is calling for Lexi. A pause, and then he starts to descend the stairs to the basement.

The sound stops Smedley from immediately joining his host in the toast, but as the footsteps move across the shop to the stairs, he tosses it back without further hesitation. "You got other business t'attend to, I'll take my pay and get outta yer hair, Lex." He says it with a shrug before he sets the shotglass down on the desk.

Yes, it's protocol for her to survey the goods, but it's what she asked for - even if it has been turned into a piece of pretty to be worn about the neck.

"Oh, that's jus' the brother," Lexi says as she sets her glass down again. "But I will get your greenbacks." Sliding off the desk, she steps over to the door to open it to call up, "Down here, ya great oaf!" There's love in this family.

But then she steps along over to the caged off area, to step in and unlock a file cabinet drawer. This is clearly not where she keeps her personal funds, of course, but a transitional spot between their safe and the handoff. Don't mind the other goods hanging around there in the cage.

"Well, watcha doing down there, you dim bulb??" Seamus calls right back down, more teasing than properly chastising as the Irish bruiser heavily descends the stairs. "Leavin' th' counter empty, th' door locked, customers going to shop somewhere else? Lady, if we have to eat ramen this week because we go broke—"
Coming into the basement area, Seamus is starting to slip out of his brown coat, but his easy smile falters when he sees Smedley, instinctively drawing himself up to full height and giving the man an aggressive glare. But the surprise of finding another man alone with his sister is brief, and he blinks while offering him a wary smile. "Well, hey there. Are you a, uh, customer?" he asks, turning a curious look to Lexi, raising his brow. More carefully than before, he starts to slip out of his jacket, circling the room towards the redhead.

"Business associate," Smedley says with a shake of his head and an easy smile when Seamus makes his appearance. He's tucked his thumbs back into his belt as he stands by the desk waiting for the cash. He lifts a hand and holds it out in an offer to shake, but his feet stay rooted to the spot. "Call me Wes." Even if he's Lexington's brother, his business - his trust - is with her, not him.

He jerks his head toward the cage where Lexington has wandered off, and his smile quirks into a grin. "Just finishin' up."

"Clearly, f'r shits and giggles, daft prick," Lexi says with a shake of her head for Seamus. And when she comes out of the cage and locks it behind her, she walks over to Smedley to pass him a rather hefty envelop. "Wes, this is the jackass brother I mentioned. Seamus, this is my favorite go-to man." She even gives Smed a pat on the back. For a job well done.

The other half of the Lane package takes Smedley's hand firmly, his caution easing as it seems he's walked in on a business deal gone right, and not some con man's attempt at sharking Lexi out of her dough. His handshake is firm and crushing, his arm flexing as he gives Smedley's hand a few pumps. He has to follow guy protocol, of course, by establishing dominance through handshakes. To do otherwise would just be improper!
"Favorite? Making business contacts when I'm not around, Lexi? Soon, I'll come home t' find y've taken out a loan behind my back! Wes, good to meetcha, and I trust you're not tryin' t' cheat my sister?"

Smedley knows better than to try and outgrip the brother of the woman he does business with, but that doesn't mean his handshake is, in turn, weak. But it's not overpowering - just firm and solid against the crushing grasp of the Irishman. He takes the envelope from Lexi with a slight bow, then kneels in order to slip the money into his boot - exposing a holster that hugs his leg in the process.

"S'news to me too, Seamus," he says, glancing up at first Lexington and then her brother. "But if I'm her favorite, she ain't makin' it clear in my pay. You keep fillin' my head with ideas, Lex, and I'll start our little haggle-dance a bit higher next time."

"Well, I don' like ya that much," Lexi says dryly, but with just enough of a tease to make it friendly. "Oh, sure, try it. I love t' dance," she adds with a chuckle before she looks back over at Seamus. "Ya bet your arse I am. I told ya, I'm the charmin' one, remember?"

She looks back to Smedley, though, her head crooked. "Might need someone t' move something from Point A t' Point B in a week 'r so. Think you'd be up f'r it?"

Well, as long as that's settled, in Seamus' mind. After the handshake, his smile for Smedley is much more friendly as he lets the other man go, folding his arms over his chest. Seeing the holster in Smedley's boot gets Seamus' jaw to tighten a bit, but he simply glances Lexi's way, his look speaking of his curiosity of this new stranger. She'll be giving him the full rundown later.
Lexi's sass gets Seamus to laugh though, "She does, but not half as much as she likes to flap her gums. Should I be glad I didn't swing by earlier, so you two didn't talk my ears off?" Snorting at Lexi, he starts to wander back towards his workshop, tucked behind a halfwall. One ear stays cocked towards the pair, however, not butting completely out of Lexi's business.

"Depends on where those points are and what needs movin'," Smedley says as he rearranges his pant leg and stands again. "But I think we can prob'ly come to an arrangement." He claps Lexington on the shoulder and nods before he looks in the direction Seamus wandered off in. "Was good to meet'cha," he calls before he looks back to Miss Aphrodisia herself.

"You know where t'find me. Just give me the word when you got the details all sorted, and we'll see what we can do."

Lexington gives Seamus a shrug at his look. It's not a worry for her, most knaves and rogues go around armed, after all. But she turns a smile back to Wes. "I'll give ya more detail when everything's been settled, maybe a few days. We'll work your extra man int' the budget this time," she says with a crooked smile. It's also a hint that it might not be a one man job, either.

Seamus sticks his head up over the half-wall, sending a grin Smedley's way. "You, too! Swing by anytime, if you're looking to drop off goods!" And he's back down there. There's the sound of metal grinding on metal as a drawer is opened up, then rattling around of tools.

The transaction discussions this time are kept under watchful ear by the protective big brother. Nothing offensive to Seamus' ear is mentioned, apparently, as they go uninterrupted, right up until Lexi leads Smedley out through the front door. Business as usual, for the back room of Miss Aphrodisia's.

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