Timelined on Valentine's Day
<Shaw> It was busy tonight. The invitations for this special event had clearly been alluring, and Sebastian decided he'd have to personally thank his assistant. Later. He smirked to himself and picked up a scotch from the bar, looking over the crowd.
<Melody> ".... Ain't there laws about old wrinklies wearing shit like that?" Was Melody's first utterance upon entering the HFC for the first time, muttered to her fellow students.
<Angelina> She hadn't been here since her return to the states, but though it looked different since Rachel had essentially destroyed it, the Hellfire Club was always the same. Extravagant and smelling of old money and old people.
<Angelina> "You'd think, si." Angel wrinkled her nose in distaste and fluffed her hair.
<Shaw> My, word had gotten around of this grand re-opening. Everyone had crawled out of the woodwork tonight.
<Cecilia> Cecilia smoothed down the front of her purple silk dress and straightened her shoulders, putting on an impassive face for this pit of vipers. Resisting the urge to toy with the gold jewelry she was wearing. All gifts from Christmas. "There's no rules in life except the ones we impose on ourselves," Cecilia said, wisely. "There's only what you want, or so I've learned."
<Cassie> "This looks like a place after my own taste." Cassandra's almost managed to conceal her excitement, aside from the sparkle in her wide eyes as she took in all the wasteful splendor. She slowly performed a full spin, her gaze passing over the large hall and its inhabitants.
<Jessica> "I've seen worse..." Jess commented as her coat was taken from her, smoothing down the front of her dress.
<Shaw> Noticing a familiar mop of curly hair and wings, Sebastian allowed a real smile and took a sip of his scotch. Good, the schoolchildren were here.
<Mayday> Mayday blushed a little, somehow still feeling somewhat out of place in a suit, "Cecilia?", she poked her friend's arm, "...I look really gay, don't I?"
<Mayday> Adjusting her scarlet bow-tie, she sighed, "I look so, so gay."
<Angelina> Angel fluttered her wings, freeing them from the confines of the fur coat she'd worn inside. She knew the coatcheck girl, so some things truly never changed. "And here we are," she said brightly, smoothing down her bright blue silk dress. And here without Scott. Merda.
<Cassie> With her black tailcoat, the knee-high laced boots, and her feather-adorned top-hat she didn't look too out of place among the other guests. "Even though I worry that I might be in debt until the end of my days if I as much as drop a glass in here."
<Cecilia> Cecilia smirked and slipped her arm into Mayday's. Well, since Fabian wasn't here, why not? "You look ravishing, darling," she replied, laughing.
<Angelina> They were an exotic group tonight, and Angel tittered to herself. She'd been so used to being the token black girl. "Everyone and no one looks gay here. It's part of the allure, si?"
<Cassie> "I can assure you that despite the suit, every boy will swoon upon laying eyes upon you, my dear spidery friend," Cassandra told Mayday, a smirk curling her lips. "Not to mention some of the girls, as well."
<Melody> "Uh-huh, well, I'm just gonna make sure I keep my eyes at head height, no matter what," Melody had used some of her allowance to by a simple, pale pink cocktail dress for the occasion.
<Mayday> "So gay.", Mayday couldn't help but laugh a little at Cecilia, "There are erm....lots of people here who look more gay, yes.", she scratched the back of her head, looking around.
<Jessica> Jess rolled her eyes a little at the conversation going on around her and moved more into the room, everything was the same as before but different.
<Angelina> She nodded at Melody. "Si... I would suggest you not look down, especially when talking to some of the old men in leather."
<Cassie> "Besides, it's a costume party!" She held out her hands, swinging the cane she had taken along around, much to the disdain of the elderly couple she almost whacked in the face with it. "Looking outrageous is the whole point. Just relish the experience and stop worrying."
<Cecilia> Cecilia kept her face impassive. "Don't let their looks fool you. These are very powerful and very important people," she said, recognizing more than just a few high profile faces. "It'd be a mistake to underestimate them."
<Angelina> "Cecilia is correct." Angel picked up a champagne flute from a passing servent and surveyed the room.
<Melody> "There's outrageous and then there's just plain revolting," Mel's lip curled a little in distaste, "Though ... gotta admit, some of them waiters are pretty tasty, mmm?"
<Mayday> Mayday scratched her nose, eyes fixed on a particular transvestite's heels, "Good God, those look awesome..." she smiled.
<Cassie> "Ooh, why thank you!" Cassandra formed a little shadowy tendril to snatch one of the expensive looking champagne flutes from the tray of a passing waiter.
<Angelina> "One thing I've learned here is that often the more money these folks have, the less common sense they got as well." Angel tucked her clutch purse beneath her elbow and found a settee for the group to inhabit. "Let's stake out our territory, yo."
<Cecilia> Cecilia took two glasses of champagne as well from one of the passing trays, passing one onto her 'date' and sipping the other herself.
<Cassie> "Who knows, maybe they serve other commodities than just drinks," she remarked in Melody's direction, adding a quick wink, before raising the glass to her lips to take a careful sip.
<Jessica> Jess plucked a glass from a passing waiter and took a sip. In her escort days she'd picked up a taste for champagne because they liked to try and get her drunk. Bless 'em. She gave Angel a smile and moved to take a seat.
<Angelina> "They do," Angel smirked, taking a sip. "I haven't been here since they... remodeled."
<Cassie> "So, some of you come here often," she asked her fellow students and teacher. "Don't get me wrong, but this hardly looks like the place where I imagined regular college students to hang out at."
<Mayday> Taking an offered champagne glass, Mayday smiled at the waiter and thanked him, looking around, "S-so...this place was Phoenix-d, right?" she asked to Angelina.
<Melody> "Eh, I'm not in the market for any hookups right now, just window shopping," watching the others with their fancy glasses, Mel swiped one as well and sniffed it suspiciously before trying a sip. She pulled a face and shuddered, "Ugh, that's vile!"
<Jessica> "I've been here before... I was here when it fell down..." Jess set her glass on the table while she rearranged her dress.
<Cecilia> Cecilia pulled a small face at the 're-modeled' remark. "Yes, well, 'you can always tell where the X-Men have been' and all that..." she said quickly, hoping not to be reminded of that cluster-fuck.
<Angelina> "My father and grandfather are hereditary members." She grinned up at Cassie. "I was just as surprised as you are, I'm sure."
<Angelina> "Phoenixed, si..." She looked at Jess. "Fell down's one way of puttin' it..."
<Mayday> "So, it was our fault too?", Mayday grinned, shaking her head, "Man, us X-ers do nothing but cause issues, eh?"
<Cassie> "Sounds like there's a story here," Cassandra remarked, smiling around the edge of her glass as she took another careful sip.
<Jessica> "Nicer than saying it got blown up..." Jess gave a shrug and a grin. "But I'd been here before that too..."
<Angelina> "I was in Italy when it happened," Angel shrugged, sipping her champagne and looking for familiar faces.
<Cecilia> "My usual date is also a hereditary member," Cecilia remarked, feeling a little prickly about the topic at hand. "The perks of knowing the Cortezes..."
<Cassie> Cassandra arched an eyebrow. "Wide-spread destruction seems to be common theme among the X-Men, isn't it?"
<Shaw> "Oh yes, it's one of your most well-known charms," Sebastian said, butting into the conversation easily.
<Melody> "Remind me why I sighed up again?" Mel smirked as she tried to dump the contents of her glass in a plant pot without anyone noticing.
<Mayday> Sipping from her glass, Mayday looked up at the man who'd slidden over, "H-hck!", she coughed a little, swallowing her mouthful of liquid, "Aaah, sorry. H-hello, sir?"
<Jessica> Jess looked up as a new voice spoke, not completely new to her but new to the conversation. She offered a smile.
<Cecilia> Cecilia slipped her arm out of Mayday's as she turned to face Sebastian Shaw. "Mr. Shaw," she said, inclining her head politely. "I was wondering when we'd meet, I've been here a few times but we've never had the pleasure."
<Angelina> "Sebastian," Angel greeted, giving him her hand, which he promptly kissed. "Good to see you."
<Mayday> "'Mr. Shaw'?" Mayday blinked, "Um....hello.", she smiled wryly at him.
<Cassie> Turning towards the newcomer, Cassandra gave the man an appraising look. "Why hello there," she said. Well-dressed, and certainly not beaten with the ugly stick. A faint smile slipped onto her features.
<Shaw> "Ah, my reputation precedes me," he said, turning to greet Cecilia. "The pleasure is all mine," he added, taking her hand for a kiss as well. "I've seen you here, with Mr. Cortez. My apologies we hadn't been introduced."
<Mayday> "OOOH!", Mayday suddenly pipped up, "Y-you're Sebastian Shaw who owns the place, right?", she blushed suddenly, "E-erm....heh, Hi. Sorry, slow on the uptake today..."
<Melody> "Mr. Shaw? As in the Shaw Industries?" Mel quickly put the glass behind her back, "Umm ... good evening?"
<Mayday> Mayday looked to Melody, "....aw, shoot, did I get it wrong?"
<Cecilia> Cecilia raised an eyebrow. Oh she did seem to run into so many smug-so-and-so's so this wasn't really much of a surprise and she had learned how to react by now. "You don't say," she smiled, though it was not exactly friendly.
<Shaw> "What a lovely group of ladies you've brought me tonight, Angelina," he said, putting on a wide grin. "Yes, that Sebastian Shaw. I don't own the club, per se..."
<Jessica> Jess was happy not to draw attention to herself - if he recognised her there would probably be awkward questions. She picked up her glass, taking another sip and scanning the room.
<Mayday> Deciding that blurts of inaccurate information were probably bad ettiquete, Mayday settled for a gentle smile and kept her mouth occupied with her drink for the moment,
<Cecilia> Cecilia had to fight not to cringe at the others, this was bringing up very bad memories of Mazid in the Barcelona branch of the club. She just prayed there wasn't a repeat of that incident here. She was strong enough to take it, but the others?
<Cecilia> She wasn't so sure.
<Shaw> "The club is owned by its membership. I'm merely... the custodian of this particular branch." He took a drink of his scotch. "I too was absent the night of the Phoenix... incident."
<Melody> "Melody Jacobs," she introduced herself, holding out her hand for the man, "Cassie and me just started this semester."
<Cassie> "I don't think anyone will hold that against you," Cassandra remarked, slightly bowing her head at Mr. Shaw as she took another sip. "Nice to meet you, anyway."
<Mayday> "M-Mayday Parker.", the redhead in the suit waved shyly.
<Shaw> Sebastian kissed Melody and Cassie's hands as well, giving polite greetings. He smirked at Cassie. "My, you fit right in." Moving to Mayday, he took her hand for a kiss as well, meeting her eyes as he did so. Shy. How droll.
<Cassie> "Thank you." Cassandra showed a wry little grin as her hand was kissed. "Usually I dress to stand out, but it seems I failed tonight."
<Mayday> Giggling a little nervously, Mayday offered her hand as he took it, sliding it back as soon as his courtesy was done with and again sipping from her glass - boy, this'd be a story to tell Sue. Atop everything else recently. She bit her tongue.
<Jessica> Jess realised everyone else had introduced themselves by now and it must, therefore, be her turn. "Jessica Drew." She offered her hand, falling into the confidence that came so easy in places like this.
<Cecilia> Cecilia straightened herself as Shaw approached Mayday. Shyness, heroics and chastity were poor armour here. She didn't want her friend to be humiliated the way she had. She felt for her...she was so transparent.
<Shaw> Realizing he had missed one, Sebastian turned to Jessica and took her hand as well. "A pleasure." This one looked familiar as well, so he lingered over the kiss to her hand to study her, but he was unable to place her.
<Cassie> "Cassandra St. Commons," she introduced herself properly. "But you may call me Cassie,as everyone else does."
<Shaw> "You are anything but common, Miss St. Commons," he smirked, turning back to Cassie and taking in her outfit.
<Jessica> Jess gave him a smile, inclining her head politely at the kiss to her hand.
<Mayday> "....oh, I get it.", Mayday raised her glass to Sebastian, "That's clever, 'cause 'Commons' and 'Common'....hehe."
<Angelina> Angel let Sebastian slobber over the women, deciding she'd talk to him later. For now, she checked her phone for messages from Scott.
<Melody> Mel gave May a sideways glance ... did she really just say that?
<Shaw> His smirk turned to a real amused smile for a moment.
<Cassie> Cassandra chuckled. "Charming and witty," she commented, her smirk growing more pronounced. "Let me correct myself, Mr. Shaw... you may call me anything you like."
<Cecilia> It was no real surprise to Cecilia that Jess knew how to do this dance...and how the hell did she get to be the one who knew the game? She smiled slyly and slipped her arm around Mayday's waist. "Dear, would you care to dance?" Time to educate the next Hellfire newbie.
<Shaw> "Well, I believe I may be inclined to call you mine for the evening, my dear." He slid his arm around Cassie's waist to rest his hand on her hip.
<Mayday> Mayday actually felt a pang of jealousy at Sebastian's seemingly effortless charming of Cassandra. She frowned for a moment, before letting Cecilia take her away, "Y-yeah...yeah, sure. Away. Go..."
<Jessica> Jess spied another familiar face across the room and frowned slightly, "Excuse me..." she slid out of her seat, taking her drink with her. Time to hide.
<Cassie> "Careful, I'm a slippery bird, so you better hold on tight," Cassandra replied, gently leaning into Shaw's arm.
<Cecilia> Cecilia excused herself politely, setting down her empty glass and led Mayday to the dance floor. It wasn't going to be so hard she thought. "No, no..." she said quietly to May. "You're taller, you're the man. I follow you."
<Shaw> Sebastian watched the brunette disappear into the crowd, admiring the rear view. "Oh, I intend to," he whispered to her and pulled her against his side.
<Mayday> Taking a deep breath, Mayday necked her drink, leaving the glass on a table as she led Cecilia to the floor, "Fine. Then prepare to be Spectacular'd.", she smiled a little, trying to stop glancing over at Cassandra.
<Cassie> "And here I thought it was an unusual idea to have a girl's night out at Valentine's day," she remarked, before raising her glass for another sip. "I'm starting to see the idea behind it, though."
<Shaw> "Oh, you'll find nothing is unusual here." He nursed his own scotch, catching the eyes of an elder member across the room.
<Cecilia> Cecilia raised an eyebrow as they fell into step, she taking a little more control than usual in case Mayday was not familiar with this form of dance. "You know, here it's not really customary to recite a person's status or business leanings. They're so arrogant they just expect you to already know. It's not an oral exam..."
<Cecilia> "...well, not in these rooms at any rate," Cecilia laughed.
<Pierce> Donald Pierce's joints creaked as he levered himself up from his cushioned seat. Giving his wife a reassuring pat on her gnarled hands, he smiled grimly. "Time to meet the new blood."
<Mayday> Mayday laughed nervously, trying to recall her ballroom classes, "I love how everyone's so far up their asses here...", she sighed, "I thought Cassie was different, but maybe she just likes the attention..."
<Cassie> "I gathered as much," Cassandra remarked with a light laugh. "All the risque costumes kind of gave it away. If I didn't know it any better, I'd almost say I'm back at the circus."
<Shaw> "Oh... that's often a fair comparison," he chuckled.
<Cecilia> "Well, if it makes you feel better, it's hardly an accomplishment to sleep with Shaw or any of these men," Cecilia whispered into her ear. "That's rather easy."
<Jessica> Jess found another familiar face she didn't mind seeing so much and accepted the offer of a dance, easily following the steps and using the time to scan the room some more and listen to the conversation. She didn't need to pay too much attention to what he was saying as long as she remembered to smile and laugh in the right places which was usually when the smug look appeared.
<Mayday> Mayday laughed out loud at Cecilia's remark, "Well, whatever. If I was gonna sleep around like some of these clowns, I'd make sure it was with sevens or above only.", she winked at her friend, leading her into a dip.
<Mayday> She glanced up at Cassandra, cutting her eye at Sebastian also - she could out-awesome him.
<Pierce> "Sebastian," he greeted. "Aren't you going to introduce these lovely ladies to the room? Keeping them all to yourself again?" Pierce cackled at his own joke, which quickly degenerated into a wet cough.
<Angelina> Angel recognized this man, but he didn't look well. She made her polite greeting to him and gave Sebastian a dubious look.
<Cecilia> "I'm flattered," Cecilia laughed. "Truly." Oh, so that's how it was going to be then? She thought, taking in Mayday's look towards Cassie. "If it's your job to lead, then it's my job to make you look good," Cecilia grinned wickedly.
<Mayday> "Damn right, I'm not leaving Sue or anything, but I'm way cooler than that guy.", Mayday grinned back at Cecilia, "Now, lets set the floor alight, eh?"
<Shaw> "Donald Pierce, this is Cassandra St. Commons," Sebastian started the introductions, noticing most of the other women had scattered.
<Cassie> Cassandra raised an eyebrow at the new face, the actress in her suppressing the frown that wanted to creep onto her face. "I think he simply meant to be a gracious host and show us newcomers around," she said, managing a small, crooked smile. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Pierce."
<Cecilia> "With me? You will," Cecilia grinned. "I'm not good at many things, but dancing-" she said, pulling Mayday into a tango "-is one of them. Now I'll show you just what exactly I learned in Barcelona."
<Mayday> Mayday offered her hand to her friend, "G'ahead, lets bring some sexy into this."
<Pierce> "Yes..." Pierce dismissed her, since Shaw seemed to have claimed her, and the Salvatore girl. He gave a friendly leer to the thin woman, and looked to the dance floor to pick out the other two. Lovely.
<Jessica> Jess laughed at another awful joke and decided that was enough for now, excusing herself again and heading back to the table. She found a fresh glass on her way there and paused a few steps away at the sight of an unfamiliar face, cocking her head on one side.
<Melody> Melody gave a cool smile in reply, "Hello sir, Melody Jacobs."
<Cecilia> Cecilia did exactly what she was told and though she did have to make more of an effort to lead Mayday wasn't bad at catching on, plus she could always put in some more effort, which she certainly did.
<Pierce> "It's a pleasure, Miss Jacobs. I assume it is miss..." Pierce took her hand, though he wasn't about to bend to kiss it. He'd leave that to Shaw.
<Mayday> "I feel so manly right now." Mayday managed to her dance partner in a hushed whisper, glancing at the odd passer by who'd stopped to watch them.
<Cecilia> "Really, I should be thanking you," Cecilia said, posing sharply and moving her curves in time with the music. "First people see me with a high-profile man...then with a gorgeous woman. I'm quickly becoming the notorious slum dog from La Perla. Dangerous..."
<Cecilia> "And why wouldn't you? You're the one in charge here."
<Melody> "Of course," she gave it a firm shake, "So, what do you do then?" That was a proper small talk question, right?
<Mayday> Mayday raised an eyebrow, "Ooooh, 'Controversial Crocodile', eh?", she grinned, sliding back to take Cecilia into her arms, "Well, what do you know about the creepy old guy?", she glanced in the direction of Pierce.
<Pierce> "Oh, I'm afraid I don't do much of anything anymore." Pierce again laughed at his own joke, keeping her hand and covering it with his other in a pat. "My wife and I are retired... I simply couldn't refuse the offer to come tonight. Right, Sebastian?"
<Cecilia> Cecilia slid her gaze over the person in question. "You'll have to be more specific, there's a lot of 'creepy old guys' here," she said wryly. "And I've learned a few tricks, it's becoming natural to wear a mask here."
<Cassie> Cassandra couldn't say she was particularly sad about loosing Pierce's attention, instead tilting her head closer to Shaw. "Not nearly as charming, and much less witty, too," she commented under her breath. "I won't have to save my new roommate later, will I?"
<Jessica> As she was going to be ignored, Jess slid back into her seat to watch the others dance and quietly sipped her drink.
<Mayday> "The guy with that Shaw dick....", Mayday scowled over at them - she may have had a girlfriend, but Cassandra was still her other girl. She looked confused for a moment at her own thought-track, as it was rapidly making less and less sense, "What's his story, Cee?"
<Shaw> "Quite right," Sebastian responded, giving Pierce a tight smile. "I've never known Pierce or his wife to pick up... additional entertainment," he assured her. In fact, Pierce had been opposed to the admittance of mutants to the club...
<Melody> "Not a regular-" what was the word, not customer ... "patron of the club then?" She inquired, gently but firmly freeing her hand from his grip.
<Cecilia> "Donald Pierce," Cecilia said quietly, not looking in said person's direction. "Human, I believe. Don't know what he does, so that he means either he's retired or is just inheriting wealth. One's just as likely as the other. High-profile, possibly inner-circle. Though don't quote me on that. Married as well."
<Pierce> Pierce's smile slipped a little when she got free. "No, only for special occasions." Patting his pockets absently, he noticed one of the other women had returned. "And you," he began, putting on a smile for Jessica. "How are you enjoying the evening?"
<Jessica> She returned the smile, "Jessica," she supplied to the unasked question, "And I'm enjoying it well enough."
<Mayday> Mayday smiled a little, "Married, hm? How cute - I like the part where he bought his wife over....oh, wait.", she winked at Cecilia, "Check it out, he's gonna try and pull Jessie."
<Cassie> "Knowing my roommate, he won't find much in the way of entertainment there either if he keeps it up," Cassandra remarked with a snicker. "Unless sudden sharp pains in the nether regions are his ideas of fun, anyway."
<Pierce> He introduced himself to her and affected a deep sigh. "Oh my... you wouldn't mind, would you?" He gestured to the seat beside her. "An old man does grow weary easily."
<Jessica> "Of course not," she shifted so that he could take the seat beside her, giving him a sympathetic look. Yep. Easy.
<Cecilia> "I wouldn't be surprised," Cecilia said. "People like us are viewed as mistresses, flings and mothers of bastard sons. As I was told so charming over Christmas," she said, making a harsh face at the word 'bastard.'
<Melody> Ah, the creeper had moved on to Jess, excellent, time for her to make herself scarce before he came back.
<Shaw> Sebastian cracked another grin. "Oh, I wouldn't be too opposed to that. It would be more entertaining for us, at any rate." He finished his scotch and asked if she wanted another drink, perhaps at the bar.
<Mayday> Holding Cecilia close for the end of their number, Mayday looked into her eyes, "Well, sounds like the 'upper class' are as deviant as the 'lower'.", she smirked, "'Course they can hide it under that word 'art', huh?"
<Melody> Melody attached herself onto her roomie, "Ugh, old guy hands," she grumbled, "anything to drink that actually tastes good in this place?"
<Pierce> "Thank you, dear." He groaned and settled himself, planting his feet and shifting his belly. He took one of Jessica's hands. "You're very kind."
<Cecilia> "Nobody ever said depravity couldn't be beautiful," Cecilia smirked right back. "Really, it has to be. It's the only way anyone ever gets away with it," she said, leading Mayday back to the others. "But the trick is to find a niche for yourself in it and enjoy it."
<Cassie> "Well, the evening is still young, and usually I'm all about pleasing my audience, so who knows what still might happen." Cassandra smirked, hooking her free arm into Melody's. She slightly bowed her head at Shaw. "Certainly. Lead the way?"
<Mayday> Mayday nodded, "Drink, m'lady?" she nudged Cecilia gently, gesturing to the bar.
<Shaw> Oh, he'd acquired another lady. The old guy hands made him smirk again. "To the bar then."
<Jessica> "Oh no, just polite," Jess replied evasively, "I was brought up properly," she gave him a smile, letting him keep her hand for now.
<Pierce> "Ah, so rare to find that today." He patted her hand and added his other. "Does that mean you're a member then?"
<Cecilia> "Of course," she smiled wryly, matching the stares high society was throwing at the two girls who'd tango'd on the dance floor. "We've been noticed, my dear. Now just keep your head high and have no regrets and you'll be well on your way to fitting in."
<Melody> "Now you're talking my language, white rum and cola? Or is that too common for somewhere like this?"
<Jessica> She laughed softly and shook her head, "I'm sure I don't know. I don't know if I have any family left to ask."
<Mayday> "'Regrets'?" Mayday shook her head, a look of distaste on her face as they approached the barside, "They promote gimp suits but not sexy lesbians? The travesty of it all(!)", she leaned on the bar and threw up a hand to get some attention, "Two of the finest cocktails you have.", she smiled.
<Angelina> Angel gave Jess a sympathetic smile and scooted just a little closer to her to save her from the old pervert, if necessary.
<Cecilia> "Lesbians don't produce heirs or carry on a family name," Cecilia supplied. "Though they're fine for fantasy night, I'm sure."
<Pierce> "Oh my, I'm so sorry my dear." He patted her hand and smiled widely, showing off yellowed teeth. "So you're a guest of..."
<Mayday> Mayday raised her eyebrow at Cecilia, "People are still anal about crap like that?", she shook her head, "No way, that's so archaic!"
<Shaw> "Not at all. Nothing is too common if you're in the right company." Sebastian ordered drinks and gave Melody a wink.
<Jessica> "No one specific," she gave another smile, "You're not stealing my attention from anyone, have no fear."
<Cecilia> "More than you know," Cecilia said, taking her cocktail with a 'thanks' and sipping at it. "You are aware why I never say the word 'bastard,' around Fabian, right? It gets worse, he's obligated to have an heir to his family. Imagine that, being told your whole life your only worth is your genetics."
<Cassie> "I'm afraid most fancy drinks might as well be a foreign language to me, but I'm always willing to experiment." Cassandra put a gloved hand onto the bar and let her gaze wander across their seemingly inexhaustible selection. "So, I think I'll just follow your suggestion for now."
<Cecilia> "You get treated like cattle," Cecilia shrugged. "It's all about pedigree."
<Mayday> Paying for Cecilia's drink and her own, Mayday looked over at Sebastian, trying to gauge him; "I think I hate him.", she glanced to her friend, "I think I hate him a lot. He's all the things you just said, isn't he? Shaw, I mean."
<Cecilia> "I don't know him well enough to say," Cecilia admitted. "The face he wears here isn't going to be the one he wears elsewhere. Weakness isn't wise to display here...and you're aware people say the same about Fabian probably, right?"
<Melody> "I take it you're the right company? Good to know," Melody followed him to the bar, "You know ... it's crazy to think that like ... a month ago I was living in a roach infested slum, and now I'm here," she murmured mostly to herself.
<Cecilia> "I'd guess not, knowing his history," Cecilia said. "Actually he's more similar to us than these high society folk."
<Shaw> "Excellent. Experimentation is always encouraged here," he chuckled, letting his hand wander over her side and admire her curves. He heard Melody, and lowered his eyes for a moment. "You'd be surprised what's possible if you have enough determination."
<Pierce> "Ah, I see." Pierce moved just a little closer to her. "May I buy you a drink... for your kindness, of course."
<Melody> "Like holding an whole city hostage? Not sure I'll ever top that," Mel allowed herself a smug little smile at the memory.
<Jessica> "I'm sure I can't stop you if you want to," Jess replied smoothly, "And who am I to refuse such a nice gesture of gratitude?"
<Mayday> "Wait, what do you mean?", Mayday shook her head at Cecilia, "Shaw's a superhero? No fuckin' thanks.", she scoffed, sipping her drink, "What, he's like Bruce Wayne?"
<Shaw> Sebastian grinned at Melody. "That does have flair, I'll admit. But then, you X-Men have that in spades."
<Cassie> "Like running away with the circus and ending up among a renowned team of super-heroes," Cassandra remarked, raising her freshly filled glass once the bartender passed her the drink.
<Cecilia> "He's a mutant," Cecilia affirmed. "I don't know if he does any superhero per se, though he likely has a lot of political pull being inner circle...but from what I hear he was from the streets, worked his way up from there."
<Melody> "I'm not really an X-Man, raising the dead seems more a super villian power then hero, y'know?"
<Cecilia> "You have to admire that," Cecilia said, gaze drifting to said person. "It's not everyone that climbs to the top on nothing."
<Mayday> Mayday rolled her eyes, "I could do that...", she took a large gulp of her drink, "I'm not mad about him hanging out with Cassie.", she 'clarified'.
<Pierce> Calling over a waiter, he ordered drinks and used it as an excuse to signal another man across the room.
<Cassie> "Neither am I yet, but we can work on that, no?" She showed her roommate a wry little smile.
<Cecilia> "Of course you're not," Cecilia said, knowing better than that. "But since you're so curious about him, why don't we go and talk to him? It's only polite." And with that Cecilia began to approach the group with Shaw once again.
<Shaw> "To interesting beginnings, then," Sebastian laughed and raised his glass to the two women.
<Jessica> Jess noticed the signal but masked her frown, finishing off her second glass of champagne.
<Cassie> "To interesting beginnings, and exciting twists," Cassandra replied, raising her glass to mirror Shaw's motion.
<Cecilia> "Indeed," Cecilia said, grinning and raising her glass. "Or so says the black Puerto Rican from La Perla slum."
<Mayday> Groaning, Mayday followed her friend, screwing her smile back in place as she approached them, "Ladies and gentleman.", she raised her glass.
<Melody> "And unexpected developments," she clinked her glass against the two others before sipping, ahhh ... much better then that champagne.
<Shaw> Sebastian noticed they were not alone and nodded to Cecilia and Mayday politely. "Welcome, ladies. You did quite well on the floor."
<Mayday> "Glad you think so." Mayday nodded to him, "Been a while since I've danced properly."
<Angelina> Angel had noticed it as well, and now that she was looking, she was noticing a lot of eyes were directed toward them.
<Cecilia> "Of course," Cecilia said smoothly. "What's the point of latin blood if you can't dance?" She said, taking a seat smoothly.
<Shaw> "I do believe I see why Cortez is so fond of you," he said, arching his brow at Cecilia and giving her a real smile.
<Cassie> "I think you've made some fans," Cassandra remarked, gesturing around with her glass in hand at the other guests who were looking their way.
<Mayday> Sliding beside Cecilia, Mayday ran a finger around the rim of her glass, again forcing her eyes from Cassandra, following where she was pointing to, "Well, check that out, hm?"
<Cecilia> Cecilia knew a genuine smile when she saw one and knowing that they were rare here, she returned it with one of her own. "That makes one of us," she said, giving him a wink.
<Mayday> Mayday looked back, "You know, Cassie, if you want to dance....", she gestured her head to the floor, glancing at Sebastian.
<Shaw> Looking up from his drink and his flirting, Sebastian cast a glance around the room. They were right. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled and he could feel the tension in the air.
<Cecilia> Cecilia caught the look on Shaw's face and twisted around to look. "Well, I'd like to think this is because of me but..." she said, tensely.
<Angelina> "Jess," Angel started, laying a hand on the girl's arm. "Would you like to accompany me to the powder room?" She gave Pierce an apologetic look.
<Melody> "Is this the point where they all drag us down to their secret temple and cut our hearts out like Indiana Jones?" Melody muttered.
<Jessica> Receiving her drink at last, Jess gave the waiter a smile and a polite nod of her head. She glanced to Angel, "Of course," she turned to Pierce, "If you'll excuse me..."
<Cassie> "Well, I for one never shied away from being the center of attention, so if two girls dance with each other is what our audience wants to see, who are we to deny it from them?" Cassandra smirked, put down her glass, and held out her hand towards Mayday. "Care for a spin?"
<Cecilia> Cecilia set her glass down. "If I were new at this I'd ask you if you had enemies," Cecilia said to Sebastian. "But knowing what I know of this place I'm aware that would be a very stupid question..."
<Pierce> "Of course..." Pierce let her go with a smile. "I must get back to my wife as well... until we meet again." He watched the women go until they disappeared into the crowd, then stood slowly. He smiled to himself and tottered to join a group of elder members.
<Mayday> Mayday took Cassandra's hand, "I thought you'd never ask...", she smiled, blinking at her pocket as she felt her phone buzz. She shook her head - she could get it later; "This way, my fair lady."
<Cassie> "I'll grant you the fair, but I'm hardly a lady." Cassandra snickered, as Mayday and she sauntered off towards the floor.
<Shaw> Sebastian noticed Cassie's departure, but he was distracted now. The moment seemed to have passed, but still... Licking his lips he looked back to Cecelia. "Oh, you'd be quite right. In my position, most are enemies..."
<Mayday> "I disagree.", Mayday protested with a gentle smile, taking Cassandra's side and her hand, "Respectfully, I think you're a rose amongst thorns, Cassandra St. Commons."
<Jessica> "Is everything alright?" Jess asked Angel when they'd made some progress away from their table.
<Angelina> "He was just... givin' me the creeps," Angel admitted, locking arms with the girl.
<Cecilia> "You wouldn't think so," Cecilia said, giving him a small smile. "You'd think achievement would be encouraged in those that dare to drag themselves from the bottom to the top. So much for capitalism, yes?"
<Cassie> "You might find this rose has some thorns of her own, though." She placed a hand on Mayday's lip, smiling at the other girl as they began to sway to the music.
<Jessica> Jess laughed, "Aww you're trying to protect me? You don't have to do that. I've been hit on by way creepier guys." She bumped shoulders with her.
<Cecilia> She wondered if she was too bold, implying her knowledge of his background. She just hoped he'd find some solidarity in her own poor background and not bite her head off. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
<Mayday> Mayday shrugged as she and Cassandra moved together, "I dunno...a little prick every now and again never hurt, hm?", she bit her teeth together with a cheeky smile, feeling suddenly excited and nervous that she'd said something so 'James Bond'.
<Shaw> Sebastian met her eyes and tilted his head slightly, but offered her a small smile. "Indeed." Shaking it off, he put his smirk back in place and leaned forward toward her. "What I found so interesting about that particular moment, however, was that it was entirely human."
<Angelina> "Si, is that so wrong?" Angel giggled and shoved right back. "Let's go powder our noses and shit."
<Cecilia> "Feeling a change in the wind, then?" Cecilia said, her gaze sharp though she did not show much outward sign of fear besides her rigid posture. "I'd rather it didn't. We've come quite a long way in that respect, at least in these circles."
<Cassie> "Sometimes you have to risk a little sting to enjoy the prettiest flowers." Cassandra's smile carried the hint of mischief, as she tightened her hold on Mayday, their motions speeding up. They spun around, before she pulled the other girl closer.
<Jessica> "It's not wrong, unnecessary maybe..." she smiled, "It's not always their fault they're hitting on me either so don't be too hard on them..." She allowed the older girl to steer her through the crowds.
<Mayday> Exhaling gently at being so close to Cassandra, Mayday stroked her back, trying to ignore the buzzing from her pocket, glancing down at Cassandra's lips. It was Valentines Day. That could be Sue on the other end of the phone, "...risks, hm?"
<Shaw> "Precisely." Sebastian was ignoring the crowd now, while watching it like a hawk.
<Cassie> Cassandra bowed her head in a slight nod. "As we used to say back in the ring, you can't have a truly thrilling performance without taking some..."
<Cecilia> Cecilia could feel the air like it was charged with electricity. "Well, don't let me keep you from your business," she said politely, sipping her drink and watching the crowd as well. "I'm a big girl, I can handle myself. The top dog always has to watch his place."
<Mayday> "Who am I to argue...", Mayday whispered, almost closing the little gap between herself and Cassandra before releasing her, "Sorry, my phone...I-I should get this." she smiled awkwardly, removing it and checking the caller I.D, "....oh. I-it's...", it was Sue, "...I-I need to take this, Cassie."
<Shaw> Sebastian smiled again and laid his hand on Cecilia's for a moment. "I don't have to tell you to keep your eyes open, then." Straightening, he excused himself and disappeared into the crowd. He meant to find out what was going on.
<Cassie> "Oh yes, you really should." Cassandra nodded, slightly loosening her embrace. She chuckled. "Don't you keep her waiting! It's Valentine's day, after all."
<Cecilia> "No, you don't." Cecilia agreed quietly to Shaw's retreating back.
<Mayday> Mayday looked up at Cassandra, smiling wryly at that, "...yeah. It is, I guess.", she gulped, "T-thanks, Cassie. I'll.....thanks.", she disappeared off to get some space for the call.
<Angelina> "He wasn't just hitting on you, bella," she whispered and pushed open the door of the extravagant restroom.
<Jessica> "I know... Look... you're a staff member, you must know my history? I promise I can take care of myself... he wasn't going to get me to do anything I didn't want to do."
<Cassie> Tilting her head as she watched Mayday walk off, Cassandra smiled and shrugged, before she turned to join the others back at the bar. "Did I miss anything exciting," she asked, reaching for her drink again.
<Cecilia> Cecilia polished off her cocktail for courage, but didn't order another one. She didn't want to be unprepared. She watched the floor, back to the bar and legs crossed, gaze sharp.
<Angelina> "Si, but that doesn't stop me from being concerned." Angel looked into the mirror and fluffed her hair, looking at Jess through her reflection. "Also, ew, bella."
<Jessica> Jess laughed, "It's sad but I've done far worse." She reapplied her lipstick, "And he wasn't going to get that far - I have a boyfriend."
<Cassie> "Don't say our dear host left us already," Cassandra remarked, looking around the crowd as she took a sip from her drink. "I hoped he'd lead us around some more and show us all the attractions."
<Cecilia> Cecilia kept a close eye on Mayday's location, but also kept her eyes on some of the more high-profile people. She felt tense, but she wasn't sure why or what was wrong. All she knew was she felt rattled. Perhaps something was going to happen.
<Angelina> "Ugh, essere fottuto... I've done worse too, bella, but ugh..." Angel reapplied her own lipstick and straightened her dragonfly earrings.
<Cecilia> She just prayed it didn't involve a new sun roof for the place...
<Jessica> Jess just laughed again, "I promise, I'm fine. If the worst happens I rely on my powers or quick wits. I can handle it." She patted the other girl on the shoulder. "Don't worry so much - you'll get wrinkles."
<Angelina> "I'm far too young for wrinkles!" She buzzed her wings in mock offense. "I didn't like how all those old codgers started lookin' at us at the same time."
<Cecilia> Cecilia supposed it couldn't hurt to mingle a little. Slowly and keeping an eye on her surroundings, she approached a guy around her age. One of the newer Hellfire debutantes. New money and from the way he smiled shyly far too nice for this place, but that was fine, at least he wouldn't try to cop a feel off her.
<Jessica> "Yeah... that was a little disconcerting... not that I'm not used to getting stared at, but it was kind of unusual..." She frowned slightly, "You ever get the feeling you're missing something important?"
<Cassie> "I had no idea we stood out that much around here," Cassandra chimed in, twirling her light cane in her free hand as she leaned back against the bar. "One would have thought we blended right in, despite our outfits."
<Angelina> "Si, and definitely in this case." Angel closed her purse with a snap and shimmied in place to resettle her dress.
<Jessica> "Well... I'm reassured to know that it's not just me being paranoid... had that problem in Circle Pines too... except that got really creepy so I might check tomorrow that you still feel this way just to make sure it's not happening again... and I sound like a crazy person."
<Cecilia> Cecilia was busy dancing with her new partner, enjoying herself for the most part. The guy was polite and kept his hands to himself and it was fairly easy to converse with him about his plans for spring break. Villa in the South of France, of course...
<Shaw> Eyes cold, Sebastian returned to the bar, allowing the mask to slip a little with the twirling cane. "Oh, rest assured your outfits are perfectly appropriate." He smiled at Cassie and slipped an arm back around her. "And you, my dear, are a show off. I do so love a competent show-off."
<Angelina> Brow crinkled, Angel just nodded at Jess. "Just a bit... si."
<Jessica> "Sorry... it's just that there were a few of us that got suspicious... and then one by one they all forgot they were until it was just me... It was kind of scary... and creepy... so I sometimes worry it'll happen again..." She gave a small shrug, "I know it's stupid..."
<Cassie> "Oh, there you are," Cassandra said, the cheeky smirk finding its way back onto her lips. "And here I already worried we had lost you to some boring business chatter." Leaning against the older man, she raised her cane to adjust her hat. "Hold your applause just yet - you've barely seen anything of my show."
<Cecilia> Cecilia thanked her dance, curtsying slightly, before looking around for Mayday. Where was she?
<Shaw> "I can just imagine," he said, tapping her tiny top hat with a finger. "Though, I do hope I'm not left to simply the imagination." His finger trailed along the brim of her hat and down to her cheek, tracing a line to her jaw and turning her face toward his. Sebastian smiled.
<Cassie> "Rest assured that your imagination could never keep up with the real deal," Cassandra replied, the edge of her mouth curling in a half-smile. "Not all performances are meant for a big audience, though. I wonder - a big place like this - sure there are some nook and crannies that would be... less crowded?"
<Angelina> "Ah, the mindwashing place, si, of course." Angel shook her head and sighed. She wasn't about to bring up Scott in this. "I'm sorry."
<Cecilia> Cecilia allowed herself a small grin at the Cassandra from across the floor before looking away. She was making it a bit too easy, in her opinion. Though what was even more disturbing was how she'd been rather fond of Shaw...unthinkable. Clearly she'd changed a fair bit these last few months.
<Jessica> "No, it's okay..." she checked her hair in the mirror, "Shall we go back in? If we take much longer, some of the men might let their imaginations run away with them."
<Shaw> "Oh, of course there are. We have some beautiful private rooms, if you'd like to see them." He moved in, almost brushing his nose against hers, almost brushing lips. Moving to her ear, he whispered some of his ideas of entertainment.
<Cecilia> Cecilia sighed, looking in the direction of the restrooms. Were Jess and Angelina using the can or giving birth in there? Really...
<Angelina> "Their imaginations already ran, girl. They're on the second round and looking for thirds, too." Angel laughed and opened the restroom door, locking arms with Jess again. "You may not need my protection, but let's stick together, si?"
<Jessica> She smiled, "Okay... I'm sure our partners will be pleased to know we're looking after each other."
<Cecilia> "Finally," Cecilia muttered striding up to the two women. "So...I don't know about you two, but I'm getting some seriously bad vibes..." she said quietly.
<Jessica> Jess glanced at Angel, "Were you spying? Because we were totally just talking about that."
<Cassie> Some of the words whispered into her ear made Cassandra's eyebrow raise. This time, she was less thorough at concealing her excitement. "Why, in that case, I can hardly wait for the private tour," she said, her cheeky grin turning slightly suggestive. "And we can see how much imagination can be replaced by reality."
<Cecilia> "Call it intuition," Cecilia deadpanned. "This isn't my first time at a rodeo, Jess."
<Jessica> "Well, we thought it was creepy that everyone kind of stared at us at the same time for a bit there... I assume that's what put you on edge too?"
<Shaw> "Excellent." Sebastian's grin was completely predatory now as he ordered them two more drinks. "In a moment, then, just to whet our appetites." He watched the room from the mirror behind the bar as he leaned in to breathe a few more suggestions into her ear, nipping her lobe for emphasis.
<Angelina> "Si... it was a cue, or something. I don't know what." She shook her head, keeping her voice low and trying to locate everyone in her group.
<Cecilia> "That and the fact that everyone looking at us was human," Cecilia said quickly. "Or so Shaw said."
<Jessica> That definitely put a different slant on things, Jess frowned slightly. "Seems like Cassie made a good friend there...."
<Angelina> "Oh yeah?" Angel stopped herself from nibbling on her thumbnail and shot a look at the man... who was occupied. "He doesn't look too concerned about it at least."
<Cecilia> "He was a moment ago," Cecilia said, raising an eyebrow at the scene. "That or I'm terrible company."
<Jessica> "I feel like we should stick together... so maybe we should try and distract them....?"
<Angelina> Angel laughed, though she wondered. Nobody was watching them now - not any more than usual.
<Cecilia> "I might just be paranoid," Cecilia admitted. "Reading too much into a person's actions and expressions..." She did have to do it a lot with a certain person, so it'd become habit to find meaning in small things, gestures and expressions.
<Jessica> "Well you're not the only one," Jess assured her, "So I think it should be a case of better safe than sorry..."
<Cecilia> "I expect the worse...usually I'm wrong and pleasantly surprised...but when I'm right..." Cecilia frowned. "I hate it when I'm right."
<Cassie> Cassandra tilted her head and grinned, her grin almost equally devious as that of her companion. "Oh, we have time," she said, sidling against Shaw as they lounged at the bar, waiting for their drinks. "As with every good show, the build up is often more rewarding than the grand finale."
<Angelina> "No, I agree... sticking together is a good idea." She frowned. "Aren't we already missing people?"
<Cecilia> "I can't find, Mayday," Cecilia said, concerned. "She took off with her phone awhile ago."
<Cecilia> "Other than that we're all accounted for," she said, inclining her head to Cassie.
<Jessica> "Come on then... let's go and save whichever one it is that's being preyed on... Maybe Cassie knows where they are..."
<Shaw> Noticing Angelina through the mirror, he realized the little group from the school was gathering. "Oh, I don't know, I'm an avid patron of the creative process, but the finale is entirely explosive in the right hands."
<Angelina> "She's not goin' anywhere," Angel snickered. "Let's find Mayday first."
<Cecilia> How kinky, Cecilia thought, amused, picking up the conversation. "She'll be fine, if I understand his powerset she's fairly safe. Mayday's squishier."
<Jessica> "You seem to know a lot about the people here... Fabian been educating you?" Jess asked conversationally as she scanned the room for May.
<Cassie> Chuckling, Cassandra placed a hand on Shaw's chest, gently stroking over the smooth fabric of his suit, before her fingers closed around his tie. "Then I suggest we get this fuse lit," she said, pulling him closer.
<Cecilia> "Being with Fabian has been an education in itself," Cecilia said wryly, grinning.
<Angelina> "Si... she's most likely safer with him than we are looking for Mayday." Angel buzzed her wings, fighting the urge to lift up to see over heads.
<Cecilia> "Don't write me off just yet," Cecilia said distractedly. "My shields are quite useful."
<Jessica> "I think my pheromones might serve us better here," Jess smirked a little. "We'll be fine..."
<Cecilia> "Never thought we wouldn't be," Cecilia quipped back. "And don't worry. I don't like being subtle but I'm not going to reveal my hand before someone else plays theirs."
<Shaw> "Yes, ma'am," he grinned, drinks forgotten. Resting his hands on her hips, he turned her toward the back of the club, then took the lead. On his way past Angel, he cast her a warning look.
<Cecilia> Cecilia felt her heart wither a little at this sight. Poor Mayday...what a cluster-fuck that was. But she couldn't say she was surprised, she'd known damn well who was leaving with him as soon as she'd walked in...she just didn't know if Mayday did.
<Cecilia> "Ladies it's been lovely," Cecilia said, catching that look. She'd be damned if she stayed while the ceiling caved in. "But I'm gonna look for Mayday and head out...I got places to be."
<Jessica> "Well... be careful, Cee..." Jess chewed her lip, looking around the room again, "I guess we should amuse ourselves?" she looked at Angel again.
<Angelina> Angel had caught the look from Sebastian and shook her head. "Si, let's blend fabulously, bella. We can look while we mingle and investigate."
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