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Grand Opening
Jivana wasn't really known for throwing big bashes.  At least not here in Moscow, but their new research facility and business branch's open would change that.  This was where Cruz would take the family business.  VP of RnD was not his title yet, but it was his as soon as he graduated from Moscow University.

And his grandfather had spend a pretty fortune on the new facility in the heart of Moscow.  All before his father betrayed him.  This was all planed and set in stone, and now Cruz was here.  Not that he didn't want to be here however, he loved Moscow, right in the center of the world where the most powerful people pushed and shoved to get the Ascendancy's attention.  Cruz had no desire for that, but the chance to learn from the greatest mind was something that he longed for.  He envied Nox in having met the man personally on several occasions. Though Nox didn't exactly think it was such a great thing, and his attitude probably had a lot to do with it, stupid Americans.

Though without Nox Cruz wouldn't be here.  He'd probably be dead.  It was Ivan who had helped him stay alive, but it was Nox who gave him the tools so he didn't blow himself up.  And that was more important than just surviving.

But now dressed in a brand new tux Cruz was first and foremost the heir to the Jivana throne - when his grand father retired, Cruz would get the mantle.  CEO of Jivana.  One of the most prestigious medical equipment and research facilities in the world. The Vega family legacy, and he was sole heir to it.

They were hosting the grand opening in the lower level of the new facility.  The lobby, and several conference rooms were dedicated to hosting special events to show case the technology and their research projects coming to the building upon it's final opening stages.  It was an open bar, mix and mingle type event.  Soft music played through the hidden speakers and there were presentations everywhere to be found.  Jivana was showing what it had to offer the community - not only projects but the wealth it brought to the city.  Not to mentioned the new jobs.

Cruz didn't sit at some table and wait.  He walked around the gathering at his grand father's side.  If he was a younger version of his father, Senior Vega was what he'd look like when he was that age.  There was no denying the family resemblance.

"Come Cruz, let's meet our guests."  Emilio Vega said as he straightened out the fabric of Cruz's lapels and they were out on the floor making a name for himself.
Rena's full red lips curved into a playful smile as she floated across the room, the train that hung off her left trailing along the patterned carpet leisurely. Her dress, a deep forest green single long sleeve one shoulder satin evening gown made her saphire eyes seem to shine even brighter, set as they were in delicate shadows of grey and turquoise. Her long nearly jet black hair was set in miniature braids bound by clinking beads, small iridescent feathers in shades of cobalt blue and nearly black green woven into a tasteful tiara sitting lightly on her head.

Her hand flashed out, returning with a flute of champagne. The bubbles tickled and she felt the end of her nose itch the way it always did when she drank. Lyra, walking alongside her, clutched her forearm for a moment, headless of her nails that were digging into her. 'Do you see her? Oh my god, Rena," she swooned as her friend's step faltered. Rena laughed slightly to herself. N'Sufe Niuri Hwuang was the Host and Style Coach for Million Dollar Runway. Neither of them had any clue how old the woman was. She was simply....timeless. Rena had eaten up all of her casts as a teenager- repeatedly! And there she was. In the flesh.

Of course, Lyra's interests were not simply of the star-struck variety. At least not that alone. It did make an already gorgeous woman seem even more angel-like. Not that Rena really had those vibes for her. Or from anyone, really. Yeah, she had needs and stuff. It wasn't like she had a hard time getting companionship if she felt like it. But her allure was also a tool she used. One of many, true. And she didn't have to be on all the time.

But lots of these girls- Lyra included- had never been on the outside looking in, nose pressed up against the glass to watch the rich drink their coffees or eat their sweet heavenly pastries, heedless of the cost. Those kinds of treats- so short lived and, ultimately, meaningless- had only passed her lips a few times as a child. Once, on her birthday. Once, one she stole. And once, one that Nina had gotten...somewhere. It was only half, but her sister wanted to share it.

Outside looking in. Well, she was in, now. And she had to be on, at all times. She playfully nudged Lyra. "Well then, go say hi." Which was entirely different advice if Lyra had been interested in one of the cute boys here. She said 'boys' even if they were men. They were all still mostly little boys hiding inside men's bodies. And a lot of them just wanted some attention. At least attention of the kind they could almost convince themselves wasn't fake.

Because that was their world. People pretending to be what they weren't.

And somehow, Rena found that both amusing and endlessly comforting. It was home to her after all.

And bless her heart, Lyra was going to try it. Rena didn't even have to feign support or pride. She felt them and let it show. N'Sufe, for her part, was gracious and kind, especially to what were obvious newbies. Despite her engaging both of them, from the way the woman looked at Lyra, she might actually have a chance.

Rena's eyes twinkled and her mouth widened. what? Her eyes fluttered around the room, considering who was worth talking to. A pair of men caught her eye. Not for that! she laughed to herself. No. What was worth noticing was how very obviously they were related. If not father and son, grandfather at least. But both of them were stunning, faces that seemed to be chiseled from granite, bright blue eyes surveying the room.

She smiled demurely at the younger of the two, clearly interested, before turning her attention back to Lyra and N'Sufe.
They mingled with the high and mighty of the Muscovites. There were scientists, or CEO's of rival companies that Emilio Vega spoke with. There were a few lesser folks running around - lots of reporters. There were even models present. Free food and drink brought out the hounds, Cruz thought to himself.

But his grandfather caught the visage of three lovely ladies glancing their direction. "Go make friends."

He looked at his grandfather, "I have a girlfriend."

He sighed and looked at Cruz with that look. "Who is an American and not even in line for her parents company."

"So I should marry a pretty woman just to make me look good like my father did." Cruz sneered.

Emilio Vega sighed and shook his head. He saw someone he wanted to talk to. "Please, son, talk with the ladies, make them at home. It's for the company, not your love life."

Cruz nodded and sighed as he threw on a bright smile and headed towards the ladies. He didn't really know their names though it was hard not to recognize them. His mother would know who they were. In a semi-loud voice to raise over their conversation and the crowd a little. "Good evening ladies. Are you enjoying yourselves? Does anything in particular catch your eye?" He waved his hands around the room to indicate that there were many exhibits. But he was pretty sure they had none. But he did as his grandfather bid.
The champagne had relaxed her. The large lobby seemed to expand before her and the conversation between N'Sufe and Lyra faded inaudibly into the distance as Rena felt herself everything in. It wasn't Milan or Paris. It wasn't the runways here in Moscow. And definitely not the very center of the world, the Kremlin, to mingle among the richest of the rich, the famous and most powerful men and women on the planet.

But it was something. On a whim, she touched her earlobe, feeling a warmth over her shoulder, singing to her, gently pressing in upon her. Calling her. She surrendered, opening herself up submissively, felt a river gently flow into her, filling ever nook and cranny of her, until she felt...possessed. That sense of 'fullness' brought with it heightened senses and the room seemed to brighten and come alive, sensual and seductive.

She smiled, her eyes twinkling. She didn't plan on doing anything with it. It just felt good to be filled with that warmth and potential. Life. She flushed red a bit and took another sip.

Rena felt, rather than saw, the approach of the younger man. Being aware of everyone around her was something she learned from a young age. Pretending to be doing one thing while quietly pocketing some trinket required her to know where every one and every eye around her was. This ability only heightened that skill.

The scent of citrus with hints of- was it wood? Salt? The beach? All of them?- touched her nose, pulling her attention even as a strong welcoming voice rang in her ears. She didn't turn immediately, though, taking one more sip and preparing herself before turning to look up at the exquisitely beautiful man before her. He seemed to tower over her and for a moment, she felt as if she were in his shadow.

A part of her flashed anger at the feeling, a slight predatory glint of light showing in the corner of her eye. A manicured eyebrow lifted as she smiled cryptically up at him. "A few things, yes."
There was a cold chill of a female taking her power to her. Cruz didn't look around. He knew he couldn't see anything. And nothing strange happened. He only knew someone was in the same room. If he'd been Nox he'd have taken the power. But there wasn't much Cruz could do with his power that was helpful if they were to come under attack - except maybe throw that net thing over them. But Cruz wasn't like Nox in that - he didn't remember the weave on the first go. And they hadn't really had time to practice it. And that was something Nox warned against - using it against people - it could hurt someone unintentionally. And unless you wanted to do that, you shouldn't do it. So again it came down to there was nothing he could do.

The woman's expression was not atypical of the women he typically met at these functions. He'd met several at the gala with Nox who was supposed to be his body guard. That had turned out so well. And now his father had no say in his life. But now Nox wasn't around either and that was a little scary. What if the Atharim came at him. Cruz sighed as he took in her smile. A few things interested her. Cruz was more than certain the science wasn't anything to do with it, but he played the naive host. "Oh, can I help you get a better feel for these few things." It was likely to turn into small talk - the basic getting to know you stuff. But it was worth a shot. Cruz didn't expect to actually talk to anyone here who understood even half of what he had to say.
The whole grand opening thing went well. Cruz was happy to have meet those he did. And happy to see to those that he did not. There were no real big investors but he had impressed others. The holographic surgical tool was a big hit. Several hospitals were lining up to give it a test. But it was still in R&D - Emilo Vega had taken them off to the side and gotten their information and large donations. Cruz handled the tech side. That was his bread and butter and where Cruz had the most fun anyway. He'd met a lot of people, actresses and everything, but Cruz was ready to go home.

[[ Sorry but after 7 months ready to move on ]]

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