4969/Black Cat and King

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Black Cat and King
Date of Scene: 01 February 2021
Location: Algernon's Alehouse - Hellfire Club
Synopsis: Shaw and Felicia catch up after his return from Tokyo, Shaw has an idea for a event at the Hellfire Club.
Cast of Characters: Sebastian Shaw, Felicia Hardy

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
It is evening, getting on towards night. It's a Sunday night though, so the usually busy bar, is now for the most part empty. There are a few members of the Hellfire Club seated at tables, or the bar.

The staff of the alehouse seem rather listless as well, at least until a new entrant walks in: Sebastian Shaw, the head of the Hellfire Club walks through the door. He has a satisfied look on his face as he glances around the establishment, and then starts to walk to the bar. He makes an order of an expensive bottle of whiskey, and then pours himself out a couple of fingers of it into a glass. The man looks over the clientele, as if trying to decide if he wants to drink alone, or find some alluring company.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
And speaking of company!

One Felicia Hardy is out on the prowl that evening, even if the timing makes for a poor showing at the bar. Maybe there's some logic to that, though: the Hellfire Club attracts an interesting variety of the rich and influential, people living in the proverbial fast lane. In such a place, in a city like New York, those still lingering around at the off hours probably have curious reasons. Good ones, bad ones. People who don't want to go home, say, for one reason or another. The Club practically exists to cater to those with odd vices, and odd vices can reap a terrible cost. Which is all to say that the lingering folks tend to be a little drunker, a little more desperate.

Which sees her, as Shaw arrives, listening to the sob story of an older fellow presumably in just such a predicament. Overhearing a little, he's going on about market trouble (there's a lot of that going around) and someone (maybe his wife) finding out about someone else (presumably not). It's half an interesting opportunity, but Felicia only has so much time for people who've just LOST a fortune.

So... thank you, next!

Which sees her making up a story to excuse herself, and sashaying down the bar. She spots Shaw, which seems to pre-empt whatever else she might have been planning. "Oh, Mr. Shaw," she murmurs, a melodic purr, "what a surprise seeing you out like this."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
The sob story going on down the bar gets half a glance from Sebastian. It would seem he is of no mind to comfort the man, perhaps calculating how long he has left in his membership and whether or not he will pay in full. It's his companion that gets a bit of a lingering look.

The curves of Felicia seem to keep Shaw's gaze for a little longer than one might normally expect from Shaw. When the woman approaches him though, he straightens up and puts on his best manners, "Ms. Hardy, it is always a pleasure to see you. What brings you out tonight? Just a social call, or something..else?" he asks, grinning at her. The man takes a long sip of his drink as he watches her.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Of course, Felicia's never seen out in anything that wouldn't turn heads: tonight, its silvery cocktail halter dress with a deep cowl neckline, something which matches well with her hair. Accessorized, of course, with heels, an abundance of dangly jewelry that may or may not be legally purchased but is definitely expensive, and a little matching handbag.

"Ohhhhh, you know how I am," Felicia replies to the question, casting a vague flick of her hand to indicate some portion of the room behind them. "It's sort of a depressing hour, but it's when the sob stories come out that you can find some very good... Well, you know." She keeps things a little vague, although presumably it's no secret to Shaw what she does, at least in some portion. The woman doesn't come from money, like so many of that membership list. But she seems to have quite the knack for keeping herself in high style anyway, often making (brief) appearances on the arms of wealthier, more influential men.

Any horrible misfortunes that befall such individuals must surely be coincidences!

"And what about you? Just checking up on the place?"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw gives her a knowing look. He is very well aware of what she's up to, but he seems to be of a mind to live and let live...or at least let her keep coming around so as to keep some of the older clientele happy. He grins a little bit and winks at her explanation, "Say no more Ms. Hardy. I do not intend to pry into your methods or practices."

He then turns to lean against the bar, facing her fully, "I am just back from Tokyo, was feeling perhaps like a little American culture. And, usually the alehouse is good for a couple of cute ladies to look at. It appears I've lucked out and found one of the prettiest of them all to share my company, so, I must say this has been a fruitful trip down."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Oh, that makes it sound so sordid!" Felicia objects, albeit rather obviously in facetious tone, hardly the sort to be actually embarassed by any of what she does. "Sometimes, there's a lot to be gained in just playing the sympathetic ear."

But when the man turns to his own affairs, she turns that apparent well-tuned set of ears toward him instead, albeit not without first gesturing to the bartender, apparently to furnish her with another of what she was last having, which turns out to be a flavored vodka martini of some variety. "Oooh. I love Japan. They're so good with all the pretty little details, and sometimes do French style better than the French do, or at least it seems that way. I love those little high-end candy shops." It's a rather particular observation, but the heart wants what it does!

However, his admission of his major purpose for coming out the bar earns a light ring of laughter from the woman. "You're here to pick up girls? I suppose its not the worst reason, but it seems a little- well, I don't know, very -normal-. Plus, you must have a few girls in maid costumes on call back there somewhere."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"How else would I have run across you? Or, would you have preferred I sent you a card, nicely engraved, 'I request your presence in my chambers this evening Ms. Hardy...?" He starts, before he laughs and then takes another sip of his drink. "I don't know that I am here to pick up women. But...there are things I missed while in Japan." he admits.

He has finished off his first drink, so he orders a second. And then says, "I do not mean to say Japan was not lovely. I saw some lovely things, met some very excellent people, and conducted quite a bit of business for the club, but..." he shrugs a little, "Sometimes you want to see what you are missing. FOMO I think the call it these days."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"I certainly wouldn't object. A lady does enjoy a bit of a production on her behalf, you know!" Felicia answers, looking amused at the suggestion of the card. "And wouldn't that be rather in keeping with the style of the place? Considering you've all kept Victorian cravats and frock coats fashionable well into the twenty-first century? I believe calling cards were de rigueur back then." Then she tilts her head. "Did you miss anything more substansial, I wonder?"

And then, as he goes on about his trip, but the concern over missing out on things back in the Big Apple, she takes an opportunity to sip her drink, before signaling her understanding with a tiny little nod. "Oh yes. It can be hard not to be on the pulse of things, as it were, to feel like you might be missing out. Although frankly, it's been rather dull around -here-. The Club, that is. The city's always fun, or at least, always -busy-. Lets see. A few monstrous rampages, a few strange heists in broad daylight-" She makes a face, as if professionally offended by this level of carelessness in theft! "-Really, just all the usual sort of thing."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Next time I have a minute to myself, I will be sure to send you a proper calling card. I didn't realize that is what you were waiting for." Shaw says, grinning at her. He's attractive enough, if dangerous. At her question about missing something more sustantial, he reaches out and places a hand on her hip, "You mean anyone in particular?"

The talk of the city seems to not surprise him. Likely, his contacts have kept hims well informed. "Yes...the lack of real leadership seems to have hit the club rather hard. Don't get me wrong, we are still turning quite a profit, but...there will be changes. If only to invite more people into the space to get some activity going. It feels like it's been empty the last couple of days, probably because everyone has been busy with either Lex's run for President or the holidays, or whatever else they have going on. But, it's time to bring the Club back."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Hmm. Anyone, anything?" Felicia allows, as if it doesn't make much difference which it is. "Call that my own ear for gossip, but I'm sure it must be more than just idle boredom behind anything you do. And it's not like they don't have pretty girls in Tokyo." She pauses, and cocks her head. "In fact, they're rather big on the frilly maid outfits too. I'm beginning to sense a pattern!" This is more teasing than anything, given some of the peculiarities of Hellfire Club fashion trends, at least on the more private end of things.

"Things have been a dreadful bore, yes. A few good parties for New Years, of course, but after that everyone remembers how painfully cold New York is and scurries to hide back inside." Then she gives a bit of an overly dramatic sigh, at least until he suggests having some more guests about, which seems to catch her interest. "Oh yes, absolutely. Do you have something in the works? I do love a party. Oooh!" And then suddenly, it looks like she's had a 'Eureka' moment. "Do something for Valentines Day! You absolutely must. It would be just perfect, don't you think? A great excuse for couples and the painfully single and looking to sate their loneliness alike!"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw shakes his head a little, "Valentine's day brings out the couples, yes, and a couple of our restaurants are going to do something for it I am sure. But, I was thinking Mardi Gras. A celebration of the end of winter. Bring out all those single fellows you seem to be pining for. And a few of our more...attractive members, put them in a club together, see where things go."

The question about missing anyone or anything gets a shake of his head, "Nothing in particular, no. A few associates have been on my mind. Some of the threads I left hanging I am sad to see have not been fully tidied up. But, I don't believe I missed anything in particular. And there were plenty of pretty girls in Japan, yes, but none quite like you Ms. Hardy." He adds a wink there to her.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Oh, foo," Felicia coos, "but there's so much opportunity in a cute little cupid outfit, right alongside all the brimstone and hellfire. Wouldn't it be grand?" Although the first of this is said without considering the alternative idea of doing Mardi Gras instead. Which... well, it doesn't seem like she can complain about that one too much. "Oh! That's very nearly as good." She won't admit to better! "Really, I suppose it's all about the same thing in the end, just an excuse to get the movers and shakers out here, shaking it."

She grins!

"Well, I suppose it's good that nothing too important was left hanging," she finally concludes, giving a thoughtful bob of her head at this. "And if there's any of those minor details that might interest me, well, I'm always looking for something to keep me out of trouble." That joke aside, while perhaps she'd have preferred something juicy, no news can sometimes be good news. Of course, the latter comment earns a playful smirk in return. "Mister Shaw, I assure you, there are no women like me -anywhere-."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw chuckles, "Oh, of that I am /extremely/ well aware. I have looked high and low." He then nods, "Of course, I will keep you informed if there is any need of your services. And, I think there shall be in the not too distant future." He then stands up and stretches a little, and then his phone buzzes. He looks down at it, and frowns, "And, that's my call from Hong Kong I should be taking. It has been -- as always -- a real pleasure to see you Ms. Hardy. Next time I will be sure to send you a card inviting you over personally."