Wine But No Dine

Belmont Hotel

Entering the Belmont Hotel is much like stepping into another era. While the beauty of the late '40's and early '50's architecture is still apparent, it has faded over time. The lobby is very angular and polychromatic - a symptom of the Art Deco trends at the time it was built. Despite the state of semi-disrepair, the hotel lobby is absolutely immaculate, and a smile can generally be found upon the faces of all who work here.

OOC NOTE: Type 'dir' here to pull up a hotel directory.

It's -by far- not the best hotel in the city, but at least the rooms aren't leaky, mice infested of overrun by cockroaches. As such, it's a place to stay for a few nights if you have to mind expenses or a place to call home if you really have to mind expenses. One of the current residents is Josephine van den Bosch, notable correspondent and sometimes notable drunk. Not today though! Today she's just longing for a drink, pale and tired as she is, walking through the lobby to take the stairs to the ballustrade on the first floor. I'ts 5 PM, and she's not the only one coming home.

Ivan's business is handling people. And so, as a result, this leads him to many places, to face many faces on a daily basis. He has just finished up business with a rather older gentleman, and with a broad, amiable expression on his face, he shakes the grizzled man's hand. "It was a pleasure, Thomas. A pleasure. Just let me know when you'll be interested in playing a round or two - I'll call up the golf course and have everything arranged." To the undiscerning eye, it might seem as though Ivan is polite and perfect. But to those who know better, they can tell by his body language that he is literally inching away and wanting to cut short the interaction as quickly as possible.

But if he'll welcome Josephine's arrival… "Fontane?" Of all the people she's seen here, he wasn't one. The reporter looks around, maybe hoping to catch a glimpse of Rose. A hope that quiets the questioning curve of her mouth when she doesn't. Still, his name called, she steps down from the stairs again and waits whether he noticed or not. Whether he wants to notice or not.

Ivan glances upward, quirking his lips into a frown as he looks to Josephine. «Who's…oh.» He brightens slightly, although it's more for show. "Hey! Josephine! Well, look at that - I'll catch you later Thomas, bye." And with that, he leaves his current charge in favor of heading for the woman. "Fancy seeing you here. What're you doing?"

"Going… Home?" The woman ventures, a quirked brow visual indication of her bewilderment at his jovial greeting. Then explains, "Am staying here, so…" Luckily, manners kick in and she extends a hand, "How are you. How is Rose?"

"You - ahh. I understand. That's…cool." The hand is eyed, before finally Ivan takes her up on the shaking. "How formal. And Fa-err, Rose is fine. She's doing well, almost completely recovered from the wolf attack, I'm proud to say. Me, I'm doing pretty well myself. Working and keeping busy. Just living life. And you?"

For a moment Jo looks past him at Thomas, leaving, then releases his hand again, "Formal? What did you expect, three kisses." A lopsided grin starts, "That's a bit much, even for you? Fontane kissing unknown woman in hotel. Yeah right…" She avoids answering his question by widening that grin, inviting, "Care for a drink? I got a little wine left. It ain't much, but it's still French."

Ivan blinks. Not once, but twice as he draws his hand back, quirking his lips into a wry little smile. "No. Maybe a high five or a thumbs up or something. Geeky, but gets the job done. Perhaps a fist bump, if you're looking to urbanize yourself and…" Beat. "Whooa," he lets out a laugh here. "Kissing? Geez, you haven't even taken me out yet - I'm a classy kind of guy. Two drink minimum before the kisses fly." It's a clear jest, prompted by Ivan's grin. "Ah…you know what, why the hell not. Sure."

"Three kisses on the cheek, you ass," Josephine mutters amused, hardly able to hide her grin so she turns and leads the way, up the stairs to the first floor and to the third suite they come across. A key finds the lock, "It's a pretty normal way to say hello where I come from, but hey, you Americans… Prudes, the lot of you." The door opens and she steps through, telling him on the threshold, "Wait here a moment, okay. The maid didn't come today."

Ivan follows after her casually, without rush or discomfort. "You know why we don't do that, here in the States?" He comments, wryly amused. "Because we're all sexy beasts here. And who knows what those three kisses would turn into, if you know what I'm saying." He's jesting, of course. But when he's told to wait, he holds up his hands patiently in a gesture of surrender. "Alright, alright. But I don't mind a little mess here and there."

"Indulge me," she tells him without bothering to look over her shoulder. She takes the few steps into the suite, picks up a few pieces of clothing from the couch which she throws into the bedroom before she firmly closes that door. Then picks up a few empty bottles and stuffs them in a plastic bag which she deposits out of sight behind a cabinet. Takes a last look around and finds the ashtrays empty, the place ready to entertain. As much as it ever will at least. "Alright, come on in you beast you." While he does, she goes about finding two clean glasses and a corkscrew.

Ivan wanders indoors slowly, a faint smile upon his features as he does so. "Indulge? Ah, maybe." He offers, his curious eyes casting about the room with silent inspection. "Heh. Used to be a nickname of mine, back in high school. Sexy beast." He's clearly jesting. "So - why're you living at the hotel? Not planning on staying here very long, perhaps?"

"Heh," Josephine smirks, nodding to the couch so he'll have all the space he needs to set his sexy beast behind down. She herself will opt for the chair opposite. "It's cheap and honestly, didn't expect the assignment to last as long as it does. I've been here since…" She frowns as she does the math, setting wine and glasses down so she can work on removing the cork. "January?" She doesnt't find it at all odd to live in a hotel for nearly half a year. "Believe me, it's a world of improvement when you compare it to the dumps I stayed at in Africa… There's warm water, for one."

"Well, that works out. Are you intending to return back to your native…land once this is all done?" It's an innocuous question presented by Ivan. He does end up settling down upon the couch, lounging in a casual fashion even as he leans forward to try and pick up the glass for her, intent on holding it while she pours. "You've gone to Africa then? That's exciting, I would imagine."

Smiling her thanks, Jo pours both glasses, the wine the deep dark red of bordeaux. "To Holland? Eventually I suppose. But you're not rid of me so soon." Once poured, she sits, lifts her glass in a toast and sips. And manages to keep making a face to a minimum, the wine bordering on sour. Never said it was any good. Was cheap though. "Right now I'm not even sure if I want to finish with the series, but I got back in touch with a relative of mine who's staying here and…" A /wide/ shrug. "You've ever been? Africa I mean?"

Ivan murmurs his thanks as he takes an experimental sip of the alcohol - only to frown slightly at the taste. "Strong," he grunts, but that's fine with him. Because soon afterwards, he's taking another sip of it. "A relative of yours that's staying here? Cool. And, no, I can't say I have. I've been to the Caribbean a couple of times, but that's it. I'm afraid I'm not exactly what you'd call 'worldly'."

"You'll like it," she murmurs, leaning back now, pulling a foot up on the stool with her, "Not the wine, Africa. It's more violent, sure, but at least the violence is out in the open. You know a man with a machete is someone you better run the hell away from. Here however… It's like everyone has triple agenda's. And don't get me started on vampires… But then you would know all about that."

"Not really. I like the politics and the games…hence my current profession." Ivan points out, smiling faintly. "And violence isn't my forte. I prefer a game of chess over a wrestling match anyday. Although, watching MMA fights can be quite interesting as well. And…ah." He pauses as she speaks, silently contemplating his next move. "What do you know about the vampires, out of curiosity?"

Josephine sucks in her cheek, chewing for a moment while she observes the general image of him. "More then I like to," she shares in the end, dismissing at the same time all the previous chit-chat. "Aaand more then I want to remember. Which, apparently…" More chewing is called for, but in the end she takes a big gulp. Big swallow. "You heard about glamouring, I assume."

"I know about it, yes," Ivan confirms, nodding his head slowly as he looks over Josephine with a marked increase in interest. His seemingly playful nature has now taken the proverbial back seat - he is solemn and professional now. "Did something happen, perhaps?"

"You could say that," Jo snorts and takes another gulp. "Apparently one brain wave is quite unlike the other." She looks back to the kitchen where a half filled bottle of whiskey is waiting patiently. But she fights the urge to pour herself something stronger and shrugs dismissively, "Not for lack of trying though…" Just how good is he in reading between the lines?

Ivan can only peer at Josephine then, looking quite puzzled. "I'm…sorry. Come again?" He inquires, frowning deeply and leaning towards her. "Who's brain waves are you referring to? Josephine I…I could help. But I need to know what's going on. It's simply impossible for me to do anything other than flail in the proverbial dark otherwise."

There's a silent pause as she smiles at him, but it's a wry, sad smile. "You can't, but I can forgive you," she attempts to bring back a healthy dose of sarcasm back into the conversation. "It's just that… Did you know that…" Still she hesitates, shifting a little uncomfortably, until she finally blurts, "Did you know that glamouring doesn't work on people like me?"

Ivan finds himself silent - slightly baffled by her openness and honesty. "…No. No, I didn't know that." Ivan admits slowly, his brows furrowing as he bites his bottom lip in a thoughtful manner. "But that's a positive thing, isn't it? Do the vampires know this?" Because if not…Josephine can become a particularly useful ally of sorts.

Looks like she too doubts the wisdom of her decision to share, but what's done is done. She finishes her glass and sets it down, deliberately. "Some do, at least C-." She coughs. Maybe some wine went down the wrong pipe. "At leeaast a-cording to someone I got my information from. But not all. Grant knows, I'm pretty sure about that." She's frowning right back at him now, "Don't look at me like I'm your favourite dessert."

"At least C, huh? And Grant?" Ivan can place a name to that lone C now, but in order to respect her attempt to hide the identity of the person, he doesn't verbalize this. However, he is completely taken aback by her frown and her words. Blinking once, then twice, he can't help it - he has to laugh. "Nicely put," he offers then, a curvy grin on his features. "I'm sorry. That was rude. Anyway, I suppose that bit of honesty deserves payment. It shouldn't be very surprising for you to figure out that, honestly? I am not the biggest fan of the vampires and their so-called entitlement. Their glamour - mind control, really - is only one of the attributes of their power that they knowingly and willingly abuse. If I could, I'd outlaw it with severe punishment. But, alas - I cannot."

"Hmpf." Josephine abrubtly rises and takes the few paces into the kitchen, picking up the whiskey and two fresh clean glasses. "I didn't tell you that because I want to get payed," she tells him, obviously offended. Maybe that's why the glasses are set down roughly, tinkling until they finally settle on the low table. "And /honestly/? It does surprise me. I thought you were all about the making best buds with Grant and his."

Ivan pauses, unsure as to why the woman is getting upset. Furrowing his brows, he lifts it to run through his hair curiously. "N-no. I didn't mean it like that. The payment for your honesty was me being honest in return. You know, like an exchange of…knowledge." Beat. He clears his throat here, sinking into the couch. "It wont work. Best buddies bit, I mean. I keep Grant close for the same reason Grant keeps me close. You know that saying, right? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Now, I'm all for the inter-species cooperation, but lines must be drawn and limits must be placed. Particularly seeing as their species thrives in a parasitic environment, sucking the life from us.

Josephine was pouring the glasses but at his last sentence, she decides to make that a double, maybe to make up for the blood rushing from her face first, then rushing back even faster. She doesn't meet his eye, just takes one glass and leaves the other for him if he so chooses. The bottle on beside it at least states a cheap but decent Jameson. "Alright, fair enough." Sniff. Sip. Suck-in-cheek-and-chew. "How do you know if he'll respect any line you draw. Grant I mean. He doesn't take too well to difference of opinion."

"Leverage." One word. So many different interpretations. This is all Ivan says, solemnly as he finishes off the rest of the wine with a slight grimace as he's overcome with the bitterness of it. Probing his mind for information wont come up with much else either - he is curiously disciplined when it comes to his mind - a result of spending years and years honing his mental branch of magic.

"Leverage," she repeats, not sounding very impressed. "You think you have anything on him?" And of course she's listening, she's no Chloe always blocking. But not pushing, not today, just taking what is offered and leaving it at that. "That's even more dangerous than not having a thing on him, you're aware of that?"

"Not him in particular, but then again, I'm not exactly a push over. In chess, one of the more effective strategies is to set up multiple traps and lure your opponent into attacking before springing them and devastating their ranks. And, I do admit, I am a very reactionary player." This is all Ivan will really say. "I'm not looking to win this game - as I doubt it could be won without heavy casualties. I hope the presence of said traps will keep them cooperative and at bay. And with that said and done - I ought to get going. Rose will be worried if I'm late."

"Good luck with that," Josephine answers quietly, suppressing a shiver. "For her sake, I hope you know what you're doing…" But she won't stop him, simply nodding and rising, again. This time to show him to the door though. "You uhm, you tell her I said hi, okay. Do that for me?" Sip. Ohyeah, she took the whiskey with her. At the very least it's a lovely little imaginary barrier while she opens the door with her free hand.

"I'm to assume that you no longer hate her for spilling your secret, then?" Ivan looks for confirmation, looking Josephine over with a sort of suppressed curiosity. Silence follows, and then finally, a deep, deliberate sort of sigh, followed by a smile. "I'll tell her. Thanks. You know, for the drink and all."

"She's annoying like that," Josephine nods with a roll of her eyes, taking courage from the whiskey burning down, falling back into her usual cynic role. But when she nods again, it's a little more subdued, appreciative of his promise. Sniff. "Don't worry, I'll drop by sometime to dig a hole in /your/ wine selection."

Ivan nods then, smiling once more before he disappears. "Until then!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License