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Good Life
<small>[[continued from you know how we do it]]</small>

Marcus waited in the foyer of the restaurant for Elouera. His lunch earlier must not have agreed with him because he felt a bit quesy in his stomach as he sat there. Perhaps it was the thought of Thai food. He wasn't a huge fan. Too much peanut butter. But for some reason people kept suggesting it. He shrugged. He'd rather have had Korean. But food really didn't matter. Sustenance was sustenance. And if Elouera was more at home and relaxed, the better. One less thing to think about.

Finally Elouera arrived. He was puzzled she had changed. After the gym- he'd hit his back and chest hard in super-sets after which he'd done kettle balls and clean-and-jerks- and a shower he'd changed back into what he'd worn earlier. But she was wearing a dark yellow dress with mid-rfff flows down to a swirl skirt. She was very attractive in it, though, so he didn't mind. Women were different anyway. And he had no desire to sit at a table by himself waiting

He said hello and then indicated to the maitre'd that his party had arrived. "You look lovely. I hope you had a productive meeting."
Elouera checked the halter dress at the coat check with a feminine gesture to smooth already flowing cloth over her hips, then walked into the restaurant proper. Marcus stood near the maitre'd and she smiled, relieved she would not have to wait, awkward and alone. "Thank you, Marcus, and yes it was quite productive."
Her smile was warm but there was no artifice in it to make him uncomfortable. If anything she seemed just as relaxed as she had in the office. "How did the rest of your day go?"
Marcus smiles. Things were off to a good start. Not too bad. He laughed good naturedly. She might appreciate a man who teased himself. "I wrestled with some weights and won after some debate. But then I figured you might not appreciate it if I didn't show up in a tank-top."
He gave her a wide grin.

They made their way to the table and Marcus held her chair for her before sitting down. "So I should tell you that I've not had much luck with Thai food. You're going to have to let me know what I can eat that doesn't seem like I should put jelly on it"
. He winked at her. "I've gad a lot of peanut butter based sandwiches in my life and I'm pretty much done."
A smile to let her know he was kidding.

The waiter came and asked for drinks. "Water with lemon please."
He waited for Elouera. It was the mid-21st centurty. He wasn't going to presume to order for her.
Rich laughter bubbled from her throat. “Debating with weights, a dangerous occupation.”
She did not respond to his comment about arriving in a tank top although her gaze did slide over his body unobtrusively. He did not seem as if he was trying to impress her and his physique was in good shape.

She sat with a murmured thank you to Marcus for his gentlemanly manners. Her lips quirked upwards at his wink. “Why didn’t you tell me? We could have chosen somewhere else.”
Her gaze remained warm, a considering glint flashing briefly in their depths. He could have been presumptive and made several suggestions for a restaurant instead of leaving it solely to her decision. She considered the implications while looking over the menu. “Do you like spicy foods? There are several seafood dishes that might like.”
A bit of her business acumen leaked back into her voice. “Thai tea, please.”
She returned her attention to the menu.
Elouera laughed at his little jokes. For some reason he smiled at that. He shouldn't be surprised. He had dated women before. He knew how to speak to them. And yet there it was all the same, that perverse pleasure at having made her laugh. It bothered Malik and he very nearly began to show a colder persona. But reason prevailed. This was necessary. He needed allies and resources. He might even say, he needed friends, after a fashion. Not friends in the conventional sense of the word. But the idea of doing this alone for the next three years- and longer- he palled at the thought. Malik sneered but Marcus pushed him down. He could let himself feel emotion. He did not reject them as if he had no control over himself. He ruled, not his emotions. As long as he was careful anyway, he could allow himself to form 'friendships'- especially with those who mattered.

Elouera mattered. She had been referred to as an MTV- the name had become part of the lexicon and meant insubstantial, though he was uncertain of its origin- style personality, and yet she was anything but. Somehow she had gotten accepted into the Consulate of Communication of the CCD. Her words during that meeting only emphasized how very substantial she was.

He wanted to know. He relaxed his demeanor. This should be interesting. To her question about spicy food he answered, "I do like spicy, as it happens. We never had it growing up."
He smiled as if in memory. "And of course the first time I ever ate a jalapeno was after I had started college. I very nearly lost my tongue. It took me a while, but now I actually find that it makes the flavors of the food sharper."

He held his hands up as if to show them completely empty and ready. "I am in your hands. Order any thing you think I might long as it doesn't have peanuts anyway,"
he said with a smile. "And then while we wait, I have some questions for you. In did you, so young, come to such an important position in the CCD?"
He'd asked Vellas the same question and gotten a nothing answer. He hoped Elouera would be more enticed to open up. He smiled at her. She really was quite interesting.
Her smile remained cordial. She did not like taking the reins for someone’s food choices, but Marcus was a big boy. He could always pick something else if he did not like what she selected. Her gaze glanced over the menu then set it aside and rested her chin on the steeple of her hands. ”How did any of us come to our positions with the CCD? We had something the CCD decided it wanted. For myself, it was a campaign of good press and excellent public relations.”
She smiled to show she was partly in jest and placed her hands back in her lap. ”What about you? Surely, someone had to do a bit of PR for you as well. I didn’t guess you to be all that much older than myself."

The waiter returned with their drinks. “Are you ready to order?” Elouera nodded.
”We will start with Bags of Gold and an order of crab and cream cheese rolls followed by Moo Fye for the gentleman and the Sizzling seafood combination for myself. After the entrée, please bring a House salad for me and a dessert menu.”
At her ordering for the both of them the waiter briefly looked at him for a moment. He found that amusing. Subversion of expectations was always fun.

In answer to her questions, he said "Actually I'm 23. But there was no PR team in my case. Unless you count letters from professors at the University that had to be submitted for the Sigma program. Mostly, however, I just had a goal and did nothing else until I had attained it."
A thought occurred to him. He steepled his fingers and looked her in the eyes. She was very beautiful indeed, with those blue eyes and brown-blonde hair against her dark skin. After a moment, he put them down and took a drink.

He busied himself putting his napkin in his lap, just as the Bags of Gold and crab and cream cheese rolls came. After a word of thanks to the waiter, he went on, "So, you're from Australia, obviously."
He smiled. "It was the accent that gave it away. You'll find I'm quite the detective."
A wink. "Do you miss it?"
[Image: 511e5a38-f03a-4533-a648-15004222ce57_zps2555abec.jpg]

The shithole of a thai restaurant was hardly beneath the scurges of Scion Marveet's needs. He crawled out of a cockroach infested-childhood and built an empire that the world needed on a daily basis. Sometimes, empires endured thai food.

When it was pointed out to him that a flea was bouncing behind his shoulder, distaste scrawled his lips. He straightened his tie, checked the square of his tungsten bejewelled cufflinks, and left his present company for the chance to pinch the little flea between his fingers.

Scion was a man of broad shoulders and thick torso. Faces at other tables watched him pass by with lingering witness. Some were molded with a fondness for the born-and-bred Russian, while others averted their gaze elsewhere, afraid to be caught by inescapable nets.

He came to tower over the table bearing Marcus and the lovely Elouera. The rocksalt hardness of his face split like a crack in a dam, and a familiarity spilled out onto his expression. "Elouera, what a frosted rose of winter you are."
He stole her hand and simply held onto it between the thick callouses of his own palms and so flicked a gaze to the Sigma only briefly. "Peanut allergies, Marcil?"
His laugh was mocking, but short-lived as he turned back to the apparent reason to visit this table at all.

"I thought of you today, Elouera. I saw a kitten broach on screen this afternoon and it reminded me of when we talked about those kittens that time. The diamonds on the broach were piss-poor quality and the setting was only silver, but the smirk on the thing's face made me think of all our smirking at last month's dinner parties. Give it away if you don't want it, but watch for a present on your desk tomorrow. Of course, there won't be piss-poor diamonds on the setting. I'm not a barbarian."
Scion's laugh was cavernous as he rubbed her slender hand between his palms.

And ignored Marcil entirely.

Edited by Jaxen Marveet, Sep 20 2014, 08:13 AM.
"So?" said Loki impatiently.  "This isn't the first time the world has come to an end, and it won't be the last either."
Jaxen +
Loki +
+ Jole +
Before Elouera could answer a man was at their table. Expecting it to be the waiter, Marcus looked up into the face of Scion Marveet. He'd shared a table with him at the Christmas party. Of course, the man had been focused on the woman seated next to him at the time. Kade, if he remembered correctly. Ascendancy's little jest regarding Marveet during his speech came to him. The CEO of the Marveet empire certainly had a reputation with the ladies. True to form, he took Elouera's hand in a gushing greeting. His eyes flicked over Marcus dismissively and called him Marcil.

Marcus smiled, laughing softly to himself. The insult was calculated. Obviously. Men like Marveet did not forget names of people they shared a table with. Especially those who had been introduced by the Ascendancy not minutes before. He wondered what his angle was. While Marcus might be a Sigma, Marveet was the head of a multi-billion dollar empire and rumored to be the next Privilege of DI. The man's power and influence was throughout the empire.

That he went out of his way to insult him was....disappointing in its pettiness. Then again, regardless of position, people were still people. He'd had no shortage growing up of those who felt it necessary to make sure to try to put him in 'his place'- regardless of what he was actually doing. Something they usually didn't have much luck doing. Still Marcus was disappointed that Marveet seemed to be such a man. Petty. But perhaps there was more going on.

He sat back and looked up at him, one arm resting on the table, idly touching the side of his glass, the beads of condensation wet on his finger, a friendly smile still on his face. "You are certainly welcome to join us if you'd like, Mr. Marveet."
She gave him an acknowledging nod to show her respect for his determination. Her own napkin graced her lap and a slow smile for his intuitiveness. She broke his gaze to reduce the intensity, noticing the other diners in the establishment. She managed to conceal her surprise by the arrival of one of the most influential men in Moscow. His capture of her hand was tolerated, but Elouera was not one who melted for physical contact. “Mr. Marveet, a pleasure to see you again.”
Her smile widened hiding the calculated analysis of the situation going on behind her warm gaze. The very last thing she wanted was for someone to use her as a political pawn in their personal vendetta.

“I’m sure your taste is exquisite, though a gift is hardly expected or desired. Gentlemen, if you will excuse me a moment?”
She gave neither time to distract her from a polite exit in a swirl of girlish cloth and floral perfume. She went directly to the loo hoping to give the two time to address their differences.

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