Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Preston Forest Shopping Center

The Preston Forest Shopping Center is large and classy. The entrance is open and spacious, a rectangular fountain surrounded by potted trees leading up the middle of the mall, with pathways on either side for shoppers. One can easily see both floors from here and the lighting is amazing - beside the typical electric bulbs, the roof is comprised of glass allowing the sunlight to filter in.
Shops and businesses spread out here both east and west as well as to the back of the mall. Hidden away in the back corner one can find the escalator to the second story, as well as washrooms and a bank of payphones.

The middle of the shopping center is all abuzz this evening. The platform that was being decorated the day before looks absolutely stunning. A display of red, white and pink, hearts, glitter, crepe paper streamer flowers. It looks like Valentine's Day has literally vomited all over the platform. To either side of the stage are large posters - one declaring Victoria's Secret's new line, the other welcoming those who are lucky enough to have been invited to help support the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Seats are fairly full, but for a few remaining upfront which bear the names of those who were specifically invited by the girls who are participating in the bachelorette auction.

Mischa is here, as promised. He's even cleaned up. He bothered to shave, put on cologne, wear a button-down white shirt, a tie, and a pair of black slacks with shined loafers. His glasses are absent once more, but he seems to navigate just fine with them. When he spots his name on the back of one of the chairs up front, he takes his seat and sucks in a deep breath, looking somewhat anxious about being here. Mischa squints his eyes at the Victoria's secret poster and furrows his brows somewhat before returning his eyes to center stage and taking in a deep breath. Here goes nothing.

"Gentleman," says a small, mousy man up on the stage. "Welcome to the Heart and Stroke foundation's annual bachelorette auction!" He clears his throat, and motions toward the posters. "We would like to thank Victoria's Secret for making this year's event possible. So please, sit back and enjoy the show!" The first girl wanders out onto the stage, a local author. Brown hair, glasses, in simple grey pencil skirt and white blouse. "The bidding starts at five dollars!"

And the bidding starts, guys upping the increment by about a quarter each time.

While someone may think of the 'hot librarian' as more Mischa's type, he doesn't bid on her. And he seems nothing short of amazed when the bidding is only increased by a quarter each time. He's definitely waiting for Hailee's turn on stage, patting down his pocket nervously to make sure he's brought his wallet. Another man turns to him and says, "That's my sister, punk." This causes Mischa to look more unassuming and unthreatening than he did when he originally came in, slinking down into his chair with crimson cheeks. He doesn't even bother to reassure the man he's not interested, for fear that may start a fight too.

When the bidding hits about twenty-five dollars, the MC yells, "GOING ONCE! GOING TWICE! SOLD TO THE BACHELOR WITH THE RED FISH ON HIS TIE!" There is another girl brought out, this one actually wearing a cute little nightgown from the Victoria's Secret catalog. She gives a cute wave to the audience, and a man jumps up and whistles. "Fifty bucks over here!" The girl turns and laughs, blowing the guy a kiss.

Still not interested. Mischa is fairly unflappable in his willpower to wait for Hailee, no matter how skimpy the outfits get or how pretty the girls are. There's no question that he's severely out of his element, but he doesn't let that stop him from attempting (scantly) to enjoy the 'festivities'. There's the faintest look of distaste on his face, though he makes no effort to voice his protests about…whatever his silent protest is about.

The bidding continues, the first man eventually winning his girlfriend, wife, or whatever she is to him. The MC clears his throat. "Now we've a special treat for you lucky bachelors tonight! Miss Hailee Rose!"

There's a brief bit of music, a bit more pomp and circumstance than with the first two. But the fact that Hailee's so close to the beginning likely means that there's some other high-donation earners waiting backstage. Still, she breaks apart the curtains, appearing on stage with her hair drawn up into a formal type hairdo, a short, slinky robe worn cinched about her body. She winks at Mischa when she spots him, then waves happily to the crowd.

Mischa reaches up to rub at his forehead as Hailee appears. Model in slinky robe? Check. Winking at him? Check. Somewhat degrading exploitation of women? Check. Oh dear, oh dear. He looks all flustered when he raises his hand quite prematurely and calls out a bit louder than intended, "One hundred dollars for Miss Rose!" It takes him a few seconds to put his hand down and look shellshocked with himself. What the Hell'd he just do? How much? Then he turns beet red and looks down at the ground.

"A HUNDRED DOLLARS TO THE NICELY DRESSED MAN RIGHT THERE," says the MC, pointing right at the beet red Mischa. "CAN ANYONE DO BETTER?"

Hailee turns to strut back toward the curtains. She pauses, shoots a look over her shoulder, and doffs the robe. What she's wearing underneath isn't at all lacy, it's actually a cute little red camisole, and a matching pair of boy-shorts. But the way she reveals it gets quite a few cheers from the crowd. "One-fifty!," comes from the guy right beside Mischa.

"Oh god," Mischa mutters to no one but himself as Hailee shirks the robe. For a moment he leans forward and looks wobbly as if he might faint, but quickly recovers and gives the man next to him a dirty look. "You wanker." He sucks in a deep breath and raises his hand again. "Two hundred." Mischa is getting dangerously close to breaking the bank that he'd brought with him today, though he tries not to let this show. And does a very poor job of it as he starts to silently calculate in his head, crossing his fingers.

"One-seven-" The man is outbid, and he looks ired.

"TWO HUNDRED GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, SOLD TO THIS GUY HERE," says the MC pointing his little gavel at Mischa. Then he calls the next girl to the stage as Hailee gathers the robe and slips it back on. She motions for the librarian to meet her backstage. He's here to chill and have fun after all, right? What's more fun than meeting all the local celebrities?

He seems fairly relieved — and fairly ready to get the Hell out of there. He stands up and starts towards the backstage, his step a little quicker than it should be. He takes his wallet out of his pocket and starts to eye the entrance. Nevertheless, he trudges on to the back of the stage. "Hailee?" He asks, trying not to actually look at any of the other women, no matter what state of undress they seem to be in. The floor seems much nicer to look at, on some level. "Wow, you were great out there — I mean all of you were — so brave and everything… though it was a bit of a meat parade." There's distaste in his voice as he says that. Evidently he's not quite your average chauvinist male.

Several of the women laugh at that, but Hailee, she just shrugs. "All in a day's work. No worse than modeling, and this? This was for a good cause." Hastily tying the robe to her, she nods at Mischa. "Girls, this is Mischa Alexandrov, Librarian. Mischa, these are the girls." News anchors, writers, reporters, several nouveau riche women, each and everyone dolled up to get onto stage. "So, you've won me for Valentine's. I'm /all/ yours," she teases.

"Yeah, I don't think I could ever do what you do." Mischa says, still beet red. He nods to a few of the women, reaching up to run his fingers nervously through his hair. "Who do I pay? Wow, that sounds…" The whole thing has made him feel a little squicky, obviously. But he smiles nonetheless and nods to Hailee. "Of course. So, are you up for going to Bloody Mary's, like we discussed? If you're not comfortable with that, I mean, we could find something else to do, you can pick, I'm not picky…" He stops talking then and sucks in a breath. Down, boy.

Hailee's hand snaps out to place a finger on his lips to shush him when he starts to say the Bloody Mary's part. She nods though, a bright, dazzling smile (thank heaven's for the V in her system). "Sure, cutie. I'm up for /whatever/ you want to do." Winking at him again, she moves over to a little bench and leans back on it. "Though if you'd rather not, I'm sure I can think of something to get you to let loose and have a bit of fun."

Mischa's words are smushed against his lips by Hailee's finger. He doesn't seem to mind, though he does look somewhat bewildered. And then just flat out embarrassed when Hailee assures him that she'll do whatever he wants. His eyes widen and he reaches up to rub at the back of his neck, smiling at her. "Yes, well. I think that'll be sufficient. I'm fine with…the location we'd previously discussed." He gives a swift nod of his head and tries to look away as a woman sashays by him in a robe.

"Suits me well," Hailee says, having been absolutely curious about something in regards to that particular location. She reaches down beneath the bench, lifting up a small box and holding it out to the man. "I know it's absolutely unnecessary and all, but since I distracted your shopping yesterday, I felt it was only fair."

"What is this? You didn't have to, really. I mean…" Of course, then Mischa realizes it would be rude to tell her he couldn't accept it. Mischa smiles at Hailee somewhat bashfully, biting his lip. "You didn't really distract me. I mean, it was a pleasant distraction. Are you cold back here?" He may as well ask if she'd like to change into something more proper. He actually manages to make eye contact with Hailee though, considering she's not really 'dressed'. Mischa opens the box hesitantly and carefully, as if not wanting to ruin the packaging.

The box contains two cookbooks, the one he was looking at when she distracted him, and as a joke - The Kama Sutra of Cooking. Hailee just winks at him, then makes a little eh noise. "I'm fine, though I'd have to usher you out of here if you're wanting me to change. This /is/ the changing room, so unless you want to forgo the mystery before the "date"…" And she allows it to trail off there.

Mischa bites his lip and stares at the cookbooks before he lets out a genuine laugh. "Thank you! That's fantastic. Sweet of you, really…" He trails off there and smiles at Hailee before he starts to make his way towards the entrance. "I'll let you change. Actually, I'll pay the…person out there, and I'll see you Saturday. How about this time Saturday, we just meet at the bar?"

"Whatever works for you, Librarian. Enjoy the books, I'm guessing you'll need them to make that romantic dinner for someone some day. Until then, we're going to get you out and having /fun/!" Hailee gathers up a small bag from very near where she was hiding the gift box. "I'll see you Saturday! Thanks for the donation, cutie. It's going for a good cause." Just before he heads out, she calls, "Don't forget to get a receipt!"

Despite the fact that Mischa is intent on getting the Hell out of dodge, he manages to pay the man for his 'purchase' of Hailee and procure a receipt. With his books in hand, he moves quickly out of the mall in a semi-dazed state, as if wondering once more what he got himself into.

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