Pak leaned against the wall letting her back soak up the residual heat. It felt good and was as close as she could get to soaking up the sun.
She exhaled slowly, thoughtful, half watching the smoke dissipate and half watching people going into or at least trying to get into Club E across the street. She could go there but it really wasn't her style. Of course Babylon wasn't her style either but she just didn't feel up to the HoP tonight. So she was outside debating going in versus going to pick up a prostitute. Of course she could also go and actually hunt too.
She took another drag on the clove while considering that. It just didn't seem appealing. It was days like this Pak actually considered taking a familiar. That, in and of itself, was a terrifying idea and made the idea of going into Babylon appealing; actually it wasn't an unappealing prospect, it wasn't like she was being drug here against her will or anything she just wasn't in the mood.
Just as she was taking another drag and considering that maybe she wasn't hungry (she was, it had been days since she'd fed) a smooth cultured voice with an English accent startled her and put her on alert. She wasn't by the front door after all she was lurking in the shadows so this person was probably looking for something and that probably wasn't a good thing.
Babylon, however, was a highly enjoyable indulgence and oddly enough very discreet. He used it now and then for his work with the Night, it was after all neutral territory for the clans.
Just as Reginal was deciding he'd rather be seen than look his fill and was looking to cross the street to Club E he noticed a small shape against the wall. A shapely shape at that. He very much wouldn't mind a discreet bite to eat first.
Not wanting to appear too threatening Reginald made sure he was a reasonable distance away and politely cleared his throat before speaking.
"Good evening miss…"
Surprisingly she jumped slightly and turned toward him sharply and suspiciously.
Now that was interesting, he recognized her. Those blue eyes were hard to forget. Instantly his voice changed from polite interest to sincer surprised warmth.
"Miss Metharom? Isn't it? What a pleasant surprise. Reginald Chamberlain."
He genuinely pleased to see her even though he'd only met her in passing once. Not only was she quite attractive she might also give him some insight and information on Mr. Hoang.
She took a good look at the voice. Honestly she probably wouldn't have remembered him but when he gave his name Pak recalled meeting him briefly during an outing with Bao. She also remembered concluding he was an Anantya vampire. Granted Pak wasn't certain of that but it was enough to put her on guard.
"Mr. Chamberlain, I didn't expect to run into you tonight."
Or indeed ever again. Pak was really hoping he'd just move on. It was one thing to be getting along with Bao, but Pak had no desire to be making friends with his friends (outside of the family that was).
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to startle you.
Were you going in or coming out?"
He let that statement hang between them for a second or two before offering a slightly self conscious chuckle.
"I apologize again that sounds rather inappropriate given our location."
With any luck that little bit of humor would thaw her at least a little.
She was getting ready to blow him off when what he'd said struck her, along with his apology. Although she didn't drop the defensive stance Pak did offer a wry smile and relaxed enough to take another drag from her clove.
"Honestly I haven't decided yet. I may just stand her and count the number of people they turn away from E."
Pak jerked her chin toward the posh club across the street just as a couple apparently got into a bit of a shouting match with the gate keeper.
"I would have thought that side of the street would be more your speed."
It was a bit of a subtle hint that he should shove off. For one reason or another Pak didn't want to be flat rude here. She didn't want to cause trouble for Bao and had no idea how Reginald related to him. Fuck, what if he was another uncle? Brother! She knew Bao had made other vampires, it was possible.
Ordinarily Reginald would have asked Miss Metharom to join him but as he'd not even been asked to call her by her first name his instincts said she'd turn him down. Not only would she turn him down she'd end the conversation and he didn't want that.
Noting the cigarette, a clove by the smell of it, he nodded to her hand.
"I don't suppose I could impose on you please?"
He didn't currently smoke but it certainly had been the fashionable thing to do at various points in his life, so he had in the past. It was also as good a reason to continue speaking to her as not.
Reginald was quite pleased when she nodded and offered him a slim but quite ornate gold case and lighter
She nodded and neatly tucked them away as he inhaled. He did hope his dry cleaner could get the smell out.
"You'll forgive me for asking, but how long have you known Mr. Hoang?"
Ah, there they were. Pak had been wondering when he'd get to the point.
Pak carefully considered her answer. There was no way to know what Bao had told him. The fact that Bao, she still could call him her maker, tended to be very reserved and private meant he oroy hadn't said much. He might have given out more than her name though.
"Bao? Well… we've been acquainted most of my life."
Pak said with no small amount of irony and a sardonic smile.
"I'm not sure anyone really knows him though."
Maybe Amir. Maybe one of her "brothers". Maybe Mara. Or maybe he had a stable of lovers who knew every intimate secret he had for the last thousand years, Pak didn't know it wasn't part of their relationship.
Frankly given her rather closed off manner he would almost think they were related or perhaps they were both lawyers. Was Hoang involved in something rather unethical? Meeting with opposing counsel off the record?
Recognizing his queue, however, he set speculation aside and laughed lightly.
"Well that does confirm we're talking about the same person at the very least."
She flashed a very small smile, apparently agreeing with his statement but offering nothing else. Slightly encouraged he ventured on.[/]
"Most of your life? That can't possibly be that long."
[I]Flattery if she was human and a rather indirect question if she wasn't. It was possible she was a vampire, he'd be a fool to rule something that basic out.
"Longer than you might think."
Pretty standard "Yes I'm a vampire" answer as far as Pak was concerned.
She was more interested in the fact that he hadn't stepped back since being offered a clove. He had in fact gotten ever so slightly closer. He was making just a bit more eye contact, occasionally mirroring her movements. If he wasn't out right flirting he was working up to it. For some reason it made Pak nervous.
She couldn't work out why either he had been nothing but polite and was quite attractive in an expensive kind of way and the accent had appeal. Maybe it was his nebulous connection to Bao or, more likely, her own shy and slightly standoffish manner. It was a good thing she didn't mind being single, she'd never meet anyone at this rate. Still, on general principle she retreated behind her subterfuge anyway. it kept even her body language unreadable and made it easier to fake being pleasant easier.
"How do you know Bao? Or do you?"
Pak gave him a small teasing smile.
All to the good in Reginald's mind, that meant she would probably know something personal about the man. Or maybe he should just give up his absurd crush and move on. It wasn't as if he had no other options.
He laughed lightly at her little joke slightly encouraged that she seemed to be warming up to him.
"No, I can't say I know him. I've been his client occasionally and we share a few common interests. I was hoping to find a more personal 'thank you' for some work he did."
A lie… perhaps more of a stretched truth but he thought the extra detail might give her more of a reason to open up more of a focus.
If he were honest Reginald would also say he didn't want her to go, he wanted her to stay. She was very attractive and her minor side stepping made her rather intriguing. Apparently, he quite enjoyed the chase.
"I rather hoped, Miss Metharom, after such a long aquaintice you might be able to give me an idea."
What an odd formality, one Pak hadn't seen or stood on in decades. She wasn't sure if she found it charming and respectful or stodgy and formal or something else entirely. She'd worry about it later.
She compromised. Something about him was still bothering Pak and she couldn't bring herself to get too casual.
It had been ages but something about this out Pak in mind of the time Blaise had nabbed her. It made Pak edgy, she was clearly going to have to talk to Bao about this guy.
Pak considered her last few dating efforts, a clanless thug who kidnapped her for a mad man (now part of Evenhet and a decent friend), Aussie Anantya with far too many complications and werewolf. Artemis was a story all his own and Ran wasn't really a date. He was clearly a friend with benefits. It was a mess. Perversely though, she was pleased to notice she was getting out more.
Still, she'd rather have a polite out now than another … whatever. She dropped the remains of her clove and stubbed it out with her shoes.
That was a longer pause than he'd like. Reginald wondered if he was losing her just as they'd gotten to first name terms? He frowned slightly and wondered how to get her back.
With most people he'd be a bit more brazen but something about her made him think he should be more delicate, more tactful. He coughed lightly.
"I'm sorry, I hate to impose… I'd also hate to be keeping you from someone."
Perhaps not as subtle as he'd intended to be. Ah well too late now. Actually that was a fine idea, maybe he was beating about the bush a little too much.
"Perhaps I could persuade you to meet me for coffee tomorrow instead, we might even find things other than my lawyer to discuss."
Undoubtedly Mr. Hoang wouldn't appreciate being referred to in such a manner but he was going to run that risk.
Crap. She did not want to go out with anyone who was remotely associated with Bao unless she clearly understood how and why they were acquainted. By the same token, however, she didn't want to be rude to anyone involved with Bao because apparently you never knew who you could be pissing off
Why did she keep hanging out with Bao again?
Caught just off guard enough Pak grasped for a vague but plausible excuse.
"Tomorrow? I'm afraid I can't. I've got other plans."
She knew, she just knew he was going to offer another day or suggest she offer one. Pak was already looking for a 'no' for that. Really she should just be a bitch say no and walk off, she just didn't feel confident doing that.
Closer inspection revealed Pak, having a soft, apparently polite conversation with none other than Reg. Ran hid a grimace of distaste. He was all about forgiving and forgetting, but because of Reginald's bullshit he'd been hung out to dry without backup on his mission with Ambrose previously. There didn't seem anything untoward with what was going on outside the club, but Ran was instantly curious and that wasn't an emotion he was used to ignoring. Sliding past Reginald, he slung his arm around Pak's shoulders before turning to eyeball his Clanmate - with swirling neon green contacts.
"Oh hey Reg! I see you and Pak know each other. How fun."
He offered Reginald a toothy grin, but not a handshake. He wasn't feeling that friendly.
"Well that is disappointing but hardly surprising. Perhaps the weekend or I should call you?"
She was almost as reserved as Hoang. It was both frustrating and intriguing.
Before he could try another line, even before Pakpao could respond they were interrupted. It would be very hard to forget Ran but Reginald had already dismissed the reason for their meeting as just one of those things. Amir Rashid was another matter but Ran, well Reginald wasn't really sorry and he wasn't going to even really worry about it.
What he was going to be surprised by was the man's familiarity with his target and the fact that she didn't seem to mind.
"Reginald, please. And we've had the pleasure of meeting a few times. I wasn't aware you were acquainted."
Who the hell was she? Clanmate? Familiar? She had to be -something- at least to Hoang and if she could help him get on the man's good side, so much the better.
And there was the cavalry. Pak almost dropped her subterfuge and beamed at him. Almost. She did, however, not only let him put an arm around here but leaned into him as well.
[You have -amazing- timing.]
She sent to Ran thanking him and making sure he knew she was glad to see him and he wasn't interrupting.
Of course now she was a little more confused about Reginald. If Ran knew him was he part of Amir's lot? Part of Bao's? But if he was why didn't Reginald just say so? Why had Bao half tried to keep her away from him?
Pak almost snickered at the way Reginald corrected Ran. That was just… wow. Well some people were fussy about their names. She should probably be more so about the pronunciation but it had been a losing battle for ages. Pak didn't feel like starting now.
"If you call running into Bao at The Arch "fun"."
That time Pak did smile, rather sardonically. She knew it wasn't Ran's idea of fun and she knew Ran and Bao didn't get on. But she also knew Ran might be able to answer some questions.
[Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week,] he responded to Pak's voice in his head. [Also, this guy is an arrogant douchenozzle. If you hadn't figured it out yet.]
He practically cuddled Pak as she leaned into him, and answered Reginald as he did. "Oh sure, Reginald, right. We're very much acquainted, Reg. Like super acquainted. We're so acquainted we're practically sleeping together."
Ran continued to grin, figuring Reg could take that or leave it. He was used to being over the top, and he and Pak had known each other long enough that he was pretty sure his brand of over the top didn't bother her. He did, however, grimace when she mentioned running into Bao at the museum. Rolling his eyes he turned to her. "Ugh, that sounds exciting. Did you mistake him for a sculpture?"
Ran and Bao's relationship was no secret, but Reg had been around long enough to know that while they may not get along on a day-to-day basis, it was sort of like one of those family things where you could pick on your own family but outsiders had best mind their own business. Ran didn't love Bao, but he'd take him over this particular douchenozzle any day. Better the douchenozzle you know, and all that...
The announcement that they were sleeping together brought a polite cough. If it was true it was rather crass to announce it, if it wasn't it was a terribly base joke. Her reaction didn't really seem to confirm or deny it.
"Hardly a considerate way to speak of a lady. Still, I'm jealous you've known her longer."
True or not, Ran's appearance raised a little red flag with Reginald. There were now two ways for his little inquiry to get back to Amir and Reginald had decided to have as little to do with Mr. Rashid for the rest of his life. He'd have to play nice.
"But I seem to be interrupting… are you sure I can't persuade you to meet me for a drink this weekend?"
He offered one last time. As much as Reginald couldn't quite approve of Ran in general he knew better than to be too aggressive in pursuing Pakpao or information about Hoang in the other man's presence.
Pak answered happily letting Ran cuddle her a little.
Honestly she prefered Bao's distant formality to Reginald's manner. There was almost a fondness in Bao's formality and sometimes something that -might- be regret that he hadn't figured out how to be anything other than formal. Reginald gave her a distinctly different vibe.
Ran's rather glib answer to the rather presumptuous inquiry caught her off guard and embarrassed her -slightly-, not much and not for more than a second or two. Just enough to make Pak playfully punch Ran in the arm, before answering about her outing with Bao.
"No, I didn't. He asked very nicely if I wanted to visit the touring Manet exhibit. We actually had a nice time."
Pak didn't know why Ran and Bao didn't get on, other than they were apparently total opposites. She thought that it was possible she might somehow be involved but wasn't sure. She also figured it was their business and didn't involve herself, although she'd give Bao a piece of her mind if he was trying chaparone her or something dumb. She thought they'd gotten past that.
"This weekend? No, I'm afraid I can't. Maybe we'll run into each other later though."
Ran's very presence was managing to let her get out of this conversation politely. Pak decided she totally owed him a favor or maybe that thing he liked…
The point was she made no effort to keep Reginald around. On the other hand, although screwing around hadn't been on her agenda tonight she might try and keep Ran around for a while since they'd run into each other.
[ Who the hell is he anyway? I can't decide how much of a good girl I need to be with him.]
If anyone would both know and give her as much of a straight answer as he could it would be Ran.
Ran was sort of over Reg, to be honest. He'd only met him a few times since their first introduction and those were plenty, thanks. When Reggie continue to be somewhat smarmy toward Pak, Ran just barely managed to swallow the bile that came up. Pak had already made it clear that she wasn't interested, and pressing the matter was about as rude as one could get.
"Pretty sure the lady made it clear she wasn't interested, Reggie, so while we're on the topic of what's considerate, maybe you should consider poking around somewhere else for a snack."
Or whatever it was he was after. If Reg wanted a date, he could also fuck right off. Not bothering to hide the sour siatste from his mental voice, he answered Pak. [Remember a while back when I was on a mission, and some arrogant douchenozzle waylaid my partner and I got completely fucked up as a result? Meet the aroogrant douchenozzle. Pompous douchnozzle. Although, Amir practically made him wet himself interrogating him afterward.]
Ran and Pak were friends, and they had grown fairly close in the past couple of years. Ran enjoyed Pak's company and her no-nonsense manner. He had licked his wounds in the company of his familiar and, when he'd felt better, he'd told Pak as much as he could tell her without betraying any Anantya business. It wasn't that they'd been doing anything top secret; just that Ran wasn't in the habit of outing his fellow Anantya to anyone, even Pak. So he'd kept names out of it until now.
And as she seemed rather fond of Ran he also refrained for making a snide comment. Far too soon to try and separate them, besides it would be better if she came to that conclusion herself. Although he wondered how Hoag would feel about this dubious aquaintice. Perhaps he'd appreciate the news and be greatful for the chance to correct the situation.
Something to consider.
As such Reginald elected to simply ignore Ran. He could settle this little spat later, assuming Ran was even worth the trouble.
"Well then have a pleasant evening Pakpao, I hope we do meet again soon. Please take care of yourself in the meantime."
He rather significantly eyed Ran as he made that parting comment but didn't say anything more. He simply gave a small half bow and left. He still didn't have what he wanted but he'd learned a few things.
((OOC… Reginald out))