Change of Plans

Flare Restaurant - City of London - London

Flare advertises itself as fine dining in an elegant atmosphere, and it's not false advertising. The foyer, the dining room and even the bar are done in creams and neutrals, teak woods and ash, with the occasional dark panel for contrast. Etched glass panels hang from the ceiling and disappear into the taupe carpeted floor; some separate the tables, some are merely decorative, reflecting the white recessed lights that shine through them from the ceiling. There are splashes of Egyptian blue color throughout to break up the possibility of monotony: sprinkled in the carpet, accenting the wood panels, decorating the tables as glass candle holders.

The foyer has an elaborate mosaic pattern of dark and light browns highlighted with blacks and darker blues swirled into the floor tiles. The seats are eggshell white leather. The accent wall has a vertical waterfall, the water streaming down etched panes of glass into the marble pool to be recycled and begin the cycle anew.

The bar holds the motif, but fetches in more colors to the palette. The recessed lights behind the bar are a mixture of blue and red, white and yellow. Colorful bottles line the bar shelf, and a huge mirror hangs at angle over the bar, reflecting the marbleized bar top and the bar area, depending on where one stands to look into the mirror. There is seating here too, and starters as well as drinks are provided in the bar.

The wait staff dresses formally: servers in crisp white shirts with Egyptian blue bow ties, and slacks (or skirts) to match. Flare does not require reservations, but they are suggested to avoid long wait times. However, given its location, clients without reservations are as common as though with and the staff is able to juggle both magnificently.


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Aidan Corrie Rhys Gideon

Aidan does not want to be here. It's his night off because he declared it so, but two frantic phone calls from Kim brought him here when he wants to be anywhere else. It's one-part rebellion and two parts arse, because he knows the witch will be here with her sorcerer mate and Aidan has decided that he's going to have nothing to do with the whole mess. He's ready to wash his hands of the little witchling, and just knowing that he would get the last laugh by not being here was something of which he was looking forward.

But such was not to be, because here he is, well dressed for a night out to doing anything else, but instead having a glass of wine at the bar because even though all the fires have been put out, he's just enough of a control freak that he can't leave yet.

In his next redefinition, Aidan figures he might go for a life of crime instead. It's less involved.


Corrie isn't certain if she's early or late, but she's been standing outside the establishment for a while. Walking around the Barbican Center in order to get her nerves in check before she has to go in and deal with Kim.

She's dressed herself up a little this evening, having been lucky to find a cute little black and white lace designer dress on for half price, which allowed her to buy the matching cardigan as well. Her hair is pulled into a loose ponytail which rests over her left shoulder. She's clutching a little black pocketbook in her right hand when she finally enters the restaurant.

When she reaches the front of the house, she glances around then waits her turn before she says, "I'm here to meet Rhys Owens?"


Rhys sits at a table, having arrived some moments before. He has sent a server with a private note to the proprietor, but is, other than that, waiting patiently for his 'date' to arrive. A chilled bottle of white sits on the table, a glass already filled. He plays with the base of the glass, casually surveying the room. He does note Corrie's arrival, simply by the movement in the vestibule, but remains where he is for the moment. The host will bring her here soon enough.


At least the aesthetics are pleasing, Aidan thinks as he spots Kim out of the corner of his eye. His 'assistant' is, as always, perfectly coiffured tonight in a gray silk dress and heels. She's looking considerably less frazzled at the moment, though she is clearly a woman on a mission as she approaches him.

"I am not an errand girl," Kim pronounces as she hands him a note. "One of our patrons requested that Donna bring this to you."

Aidan eyes the paper but makes no attempt to reach for it. "Why isn't Donna bringing it to me, then?"

"Because Donna is helping with a large party, and Donna is so enamoured of you she can't come within twenty paces without turning into a useless, blushing schoolgirl." Kim waves the paper again, then smacks it down on the counter. "I need to get back to my duties."

Aidan actually manages the first half-smile of the night as the woman walks away from him. He stares at the note, fingers it curiously, and then opens it. After a quick skim, he nods, and orders a second glass of wine. Restless fingers begin to rip the note into very small pieces, depositing them in an empty glass.

There is something to be said for being the propietor, as the bartender pays no mind to his boss's actions.


Fidgeting nervously with the hem of the cardigan, Corrie gnaws on her lower lip as the hostess motions for her to follow. She's lead to the table, and she takes a deep breath, plastering a smile to her face. "Good evening, Mr. Owens. I do apologize if I'm a little late." She'd give the traffic excuse, but really, it's the fact that she's trying to actually avoid Aidan that had her uncertain whether she should show up or not.

"I trust everything is still… well?"


Rhys is the gentleman and rises as Corrie arrives. He steps aside and pulls the chair for her, since the hostess is unlikely to do so. Once she is properly seated, he returns to his own seat. "Ms Kavanaugh," he greets in kind, smiling lightly. "I trust the evening finds you well?"

He has absolutely no cause for nervousness. In the first place, he didn't request that they come to Flare — she did. Thus, if she was planning to avoid Aidan, she really screwed up. Going to the man's restaurant rather will attract his attention, won't it?

As it is, however, Rhys is unconcerned. As the hostess takes her leave, he smiles at Corrie. "So, tell me, business before pleasure, or after?"


Aidan is in no particular hurry to 'join the party' as it is. He does however, rise from the bar and take a wander into the dining area. His presence doesn't require an explanation, and the servers pay him little mind.

From the proper vantage point, he can see the witch and the sorcerer, and with the right amount of focus, he can hear them as well.

Keeping his distance for the moment, he stops one of the servers as he passes by, asking a minutia of questions that Aidan already knows the answers to, solely to appear to be engaged while listening to the conversation at the table.


"Well enough," Corrie replies quietly as she takes her seat. A "Thank you," is added to the end of that, her pocketbook set to the side of the table as she slides her chair in toward the table.

"To be honest, pleasure would be far better, though I should relay some new information." Beat. "I'm not changing my mind in regards to signing the contract. I still wish to work with Dumnonia, and for Reese Entertainment Media." It seems that she stumbles over the last words, having only vocalized them for the first time just now.

"Mr. Boyle had a contract of sorts with an ancestor of mine. I'd rather that he relay the story to you, but I have verified that the woman existed and everything in our grimoires pertaining to both this woman, and vampires in general with the exception of one or two mentions have been removed."


"That having been said, I could really use a glass of wine, if you don't mind?"


Rhys arches a brow momentarily at that confession. Still, he doesn't miss a beat. "Of course," he smiles, "where are my manners? Allow me." Half rising from his chair, he pours her a glass of wine and sets it lightly to the side of her plate for her. Then, he replaces the bottle in its bucket and settles himself, once more.

"It must be quite the tale."


Messenger for the evening.

While Reese International likes to show itself to be technologically superior in its chosen industries, there are some things that are still done in a face-to-face, 'let's sit down at the table and talk' manner. This is one of those times when a .pdf sent as an attachment in an email, or even a text via cell phone simply won't do.

To add weight to the message, Gideon Reese, the 'face' of the conglomerate and heir to the Dynastic throne is dressed in something just under a tuxedo for the smart, upscale restaurant on the Thames. Black suit, white, starched shirt with bow-tie and impeccibly shined black shoes are worn.

Stopping at the Maitre d's station, his voice is low as words are exchanged. A subtle twist and glance in the direction of Rys' table is given, and with a nod and a press of something into the employee's hand, Gideon straightens and clears his throat as he begins his path towards the table, blue eyes locked on the table, and the occupants therein.

It isn't until he actually reaches the table, and stands, "Brother.. Ms. Kavanaugh.."

What he's waiting for becomes obvious as a steward comes to add another setting to the table, and ever industrious, the help finishes quickly and efficiently, and is off once more. A hand is on the chair, and without asking the usual 'Do you mind if I join you?', he pulls it out, with aid from a shined shoe, and settles in.

"I haven't missed anything, have I?"


"Oh, it was, to be sure. That's why I had an independent associate verify much of the information. I did bring the files, though I left them in the car. I didn't want to cover the dinner table with paperwork, charts, and family trees." Corrie is about to continue when she catches sight of Aidan. The vampire is offered a slightly awkward smile.

In that few seconds of distraction she misses Gideon wandering to the table. That's why when she raises the glass of wine to her lips, she nearly drops it to the floor. Her eyes widen, and she coughs once. "Mr. Reese. How…" Beat. "Good of you to join us this evening." So much for the 'pleasure' portion of the night.

"Nothing other than your brother being the utmost gentleman, I'm afraid."


"Gideon," Rhys greets his brother with a smile. His face is inscrutable insofar as it's nearly impossible to tell if the man is surprised or not by his brother's arrival, save for the faintest quirking of a brow. "How unexpected of you to join us. I trust the day has gone well for you?"

He glances between the two. "I believe you've met Ms Kavanaugh before now. To what do we owe the honour of your company?"


'…paperwork, charts and family trees…' is caught, the obvious tail-end of the beginning of a conversation. Shame.

Gideon settles into his seat and serves himself a glass of wine, but not before lifting the cork and giving it a light sniff. This will determine what it is he orders for dinner this evening. "Nice choice, I assume it's yours, brother. Let's hope the specials this evening works will with it, hmm?" He offers Rhys a tight-lipped but pleasant-enough smile.

"I couldn't keep away, Ms. Kavanaugh." As much as he may have liked to..

Gideon looks to his brother again and nods, "We have something of an acquaintance, yes."

Once the wine is poured into his glass, he looks between the pair, his brows raised. "Which was decided.. business or pleasure first?" He knows his brother. "The answer to that will determine my response as to the purpose of my company."


"We've met," Corrie replies, keeping a smile on her face. There's a slightly shifted look toward Aidan, and then a nod. "It was ordered before I arrived, so I'm assuming that it was Mr. Owens' choice." Either that or the server suggested it. Whatever the case, Gideon can rest assured that it wasn't Corrie who ordered it.

"Couldn't you have? I'm surprised, really, though I suppose the more the merrier…?"

Blue eyes shift to Rhys.

"That's entirely his decision, though I thought we were maybe waiting for another party?" Not that Aidan will talk with two sorcerers present, which will make things difficult but still…


Rhys gives Corrie a fairly even look, one that suggests caution, yet expects none. "Oh, come now, Ms Kavanaugh. I distinctly remember asking you the question and you decided business could keep. At no point did you leave the decision in my hands."

He regards Gideon, now. "Though that didn't," he notes casually , now, "deter her from suggesting Mr. Boyle has an interesting story to tell about the Kavanaugh family. I'm sure I can't imagine what it is."

Nor why his brother would care in the slightest, but there you go.

In fact, he chose the wine based on the specials mentioned to him by the server when he first arrived. So, Gideon needn't worry about the wine's appropriateness. Rhys is nothing if not well-versed in that regard.

"So, do tell, brother. What brings you out on such a lovely spring eve?"


"Sadly, I could not." Gideon turns his smile to Corrie, but this one fails to reach the ice-blue orbs. "Wild horses couldn't keep me away."

Returning his attention, now to the pair, he lifts the wine glass and inhales the fragrence captured in the glass before taking a sip, tasting it with a gentle breath in. Swallowing it soon after, he nods in the response from Rhys. "Pleasure.. pleasure it is, then—" How lucky it is that he's mixing business and pleasure in this visit to the restaurant.

Gideon pauses, however, at the word regarding a story, and his brows rise in askance. "Oh really.. I couldn't either, but I'm sure it'll be quite an interesting one." He leans ever so slightly to the side where Rhys is seated, his voice lowering to a sotto whisper, "They seem to have quite a .. bond, fledgling though it may be.. upon her insistance."

As for the purpose of his presence, the slightly younger sibling exhales softly, his brows creeping down to form something of a scowl. "Business, I'm afraid."


Aidan recognizes that he doesn't truly have to join the group. He wasn't invited per se, and it would be fairly easy to feign busyness, and play ignorant. There are plenty of reasons to not go over there and get involved, and very few to do so except … that it's easy to tell himself that he's ready to wash his hands of the little witchling when she's not being dangled in front of his face like a delectable prize. Sadly, Aidan has never been able to resist reaching for a prize.

However, he has agreed that he will not become embroiled with the Dynasty and self-preservation always wins out over gratification, no matter how good a chase the prey might provide.

The arrival of the other man — sorcerer — gives Aidan pause. That might well be a game changer, and Aidan doesn't feel much in the mood for learning a new set of rules tonight.

He hasn't missed the way the little witchling keeps throwing glances in his direction, either. She may as well stand on the chair and wave her arms around her head for all her subtlety.

Finally, it is with a long suffering sigh, that Aidan rolls his shoulders, and thanking the young server for his time and helpfulness, Aidan sends the young man on his way. He tugs down the sleeves of his shirt, and makes his way to the table, sliding into his most polite and professional demeanor. "Miss Kavanaugh. Mr Owens, Mr Reese. Welcome to Flare."


"You always have a choice in the matter, Mr. Owens," Corrie says quietly. Lifting the glass of wine to her lips, she takes a long, slow sip. Her eyes focusing anywhere but on the two brothers.

"If your business is of the utmost importance, Mr. Reese, I can leave you two to it and reschedule with Mr. Owens?" There's a bit of sincere concern in her voice, as though she might actually care that the business matter would draw Gideon here, never once thinking that it could be the contract she's supposed to sign with Rhys that drew his attention.

"Mr. Boyle. I was curious as to when you would make an appearance. Would you care to join us for a little while? I do know that you're likely busy this evening."

A shifted glance is given to Gideon. She's not going to rise to the bait, though it would be so easy to lose her temper.

"It actually is rather interesting. Perhaps Mr. Boyle could be persuaded into sharing it now that he's here." Not bloody likely.


Rhys leans back in his chair, now, an affable expression on his face. Only his brother, who knows him so well, would detect in his body language that he's already growing weary of the wearing pleasantries and cautious feinting about the table. Though he plays the game well, he'd much sooner set aside pretense and lay the whole matter out on the table.

Unlike Corrie, he does assume Gideon has come this evening because of her. And that the vampire has some story about the Kavanaugh Coven only confirms it — for all that the two matters may not be related at all. It hardly matters.

Of course, the vampire, with his preternatural senses may sense Rhys' patience running nearly as thin as his own. But, the witch shouldn't sense anything amiss from the Dynasty's bastard.

"No, keep your seat, Corrie," Rhys says casually, now, flipping a hand to the table. "I'm sure Gideon wouldn't have troubled himself to interrupt our dinner were it something he did not wish you to hear as well."

He smiles to Aidan, now. "Good evening, sir," he adds — and it's no afterthought. It's merely one thing at a time, in descending priority. A sad comment on where Aidan ranks, at the moment, but certainly not intended as a sleight. "Corrie here tells me you have some sort of contract with the Kavanaugh Coven, and all but insists you be the one to tell it. So, by all means, gentlemen," he says to the vampire and sorcerer. "You've each tales to tell. I await them with bated breath."

Perhaps not quite. The man can only support pretense for so long, after all.


"Mr Boyle. A pleasure."

Gideon holds the wine glass in hand still, a hint of a salute to the proprietor of the establishment. "A fine year. I look forward to the meal."

A welcome to the vampire offered, he looks to Corrie; in his eyes, she appears to be grasping at any hint of salvation, perhaps? Or is it his imagination, due to their earlier.. interactions?

No matter.

"Yes, but if you don't mind, I'd like to share mine first. Then, perhaps Mr. Boyle will delight us in the telling of his." He's looking forward to exactly how this bomb burst will be received.

"Rhys, I regret to inform you that word is come down from Father that he cannot support more.." He doesn't care to speak the word witch in public; it's simply not done, and searches for a way to continue without it, "He has requested that this contract not be signed at this time. He offers his regrets, and would have told you sooner, but as you know, things always crop up. So, He sent for me, and.." Gideon offers a somewhat broader smile and continues, " I am."


This charade is already tedious and it's barely even begun. Aidan is almost certain that this is the definition of a pissing contest and he's never fancied himself the sort to engage in that sort of thing for very long. Sometimes, it's simply better to take off the gloves and be frank and honest. Manipulation is all well and good, and playing politics sometimes requires it with a some finesse, but this is nothing political, it's all about the witch … and how is it that the little chit has managed to draw the attentions of two sorcerers and a vampire?

What game are you playing, Corrie Kavanaugh?

"I'm not so certain that you and your brother would find it as interesting as Corrie does. After all, it is her family history, and seldom are outsiders as intrigued by it as the one whom it most concerns." The words are precise and cordial, Aidan's smile and demeanor the measure of calm collectedness, when really he does feel and share the impatience of Owens. His gaze locks with Corrie's, all innocent and charm, as though to remind her that there is nothing in this for him, and the ante has certainly been upped, perhaps higher than he is willing to deal with. Because of that, he is more than willing to allow Reese to speak first, and it is only through years of practice that he keeps his face carefully schooled, dividing his attention between watching both Corrie's and Reese's reactions.

That is definitely a game changer.


"Are you certain?" This is asked not of Rhys, but of Gideon. If it's Dynasty business, really she's got no right to interfere, and she'd be rather uncomfortable keeping her seat. She'll move, if she's asked to, but as Rhys has asked her to stay… for now she'll stay.

Those who know Corrie will know that she's being… eerily obedient at the moment.

Until Gideon speaks.

Only one person at the table will sense the subtle shift in her demeanor, because she can play a good game. Her smile doesn't even falter.

"Then I see no point in Mr. Boyle sharing his information at this time." A pointed look is given to Aidan, then she turns back to Rhys. "And as this is apparently no longer a business matter, I should thank you for your help and your hospitality and bid you both to enjoy your evening. I wouldn't wish to keep you from family matters, though it would have been nice," she says, turning to Gideon, still smiling though it definitely does not reach her eyes at this point, "had we had this bit of information a bit sooner. It would have saved you both the trip to the restaurant this evening."

Although she's now stuck with no contract, no employment, and feeling quite played, she's very good at being gracious about it.

"Dumnonia will be in excellent hands, Mr. Owens. I'll continue to ensure, as Tristan's friend, that he will not give you or your company any difficulties."


Rhys looks between Gideon and Corrie, and then to Aidan. He leans back in his chair and… well, he starts to laugh. "I'm glad you think so, Ms Kavanaugh," he says, shaking his head and pinching the bridge of his nose briefly. Gideon would detect no rancour in his tone. Indeed, he is, in fact, extremely amused and not bothering to hide it.

He rises, assuming Corrie will be departing — Aidan, too, likely as not — and it's only polite. "I am sorry to have wasted your time," he says to her. "It certainly wasn't my intention. As I'm sure you can imagine, my brother and I have some things to discuss. I would offer to walk you out, but, under the circumstances, I expect that would be awkward. Still. We may yet be in touch."

He then turns to Aidan. "Of course, you're right, Mr. Boyle. Ms Kavanaugh's family history is of little import to Reese International. I am terribly sorry you've been drawn into this… situation." He shrugs affably, still.

Finally, to Gideon, "We ought to at least enjoy the rest of this bottle, don't you think, brother? And the chef's special sounds excellent, this evening. No sense letting it go to waste, since you've come all this way, yes?"


With Rhys rising from his seat in deference to the lady who potentially could be departing, Gideon, too, rises from his seat and looks to the witch and vampire now. He's quiet, his head quirked to the side ever so slightly. There's nothing to be said; no encouragement for Corrie to remain, though she may yet if she cares to. Regardless if she does or not, he will be; as his elder brother said, it would be a shame to waste the opportunity to sit and have a civilized meal.

Corrie's .. look towards Aidan is met with a hint of a smile; now he gets to see who is under heel and who is not in this play.

Inclining his head briefly in a nod of acknowledgment, Gideon shrugs lightly, taking in all the people at the table now. "As I told my brother, it couldn't be helped." And that's his story, he's sticking to it.

"Besides.. this is one of the finest restaurants in town. The excellent food, the exquisite wine, the ambiance.. all meet under this roof."

The glass is still in hand, and he cradles it with a hand under the base. There are a few things the brothers need to discuss, yes. There are no apologies for the lateness of word, however; Gideon never apologizes— particularly for the actions of his Father. "I'm certain it's all for the best."


Wheels within wheels, webs within webs … yes, it really is possible for a vampire to get a headache. No, then again, it likely isn't, however the physiological and psychosomatic reactions remain, and if he were human, Aidan would certainly feel the need for a paracetamol to ward off the upcoming headache. Or perhaps, something for motion sickness granted from the rather rapid rollercoaster ride of the evening?

A polite inclination of his head is given to Mr. Owens, as Aidan hasn't branched away from his collected professionalism since arriving at the table. "No apologies are necessary, Mr. Owens. These things do happen."

Turning to the other sorcerer, Aidan gives the man a congenial smile as is only proper when faced with a compliement. "I do thank you for your praise, Mr. Reese. Owen is our finest chef, and I'm certain you will quite enjoy tonight's special." Aidan looks around and lifts a hand, a subtle motion given to motion their server back to the table. "Lucas will be happy to see to the rest of your meal." It's a quiet nod of politeness to the sorcerers, though they will not know that. Lucas is one of Aidan's best servers, and through no planning of his, the sorcerers will be lucky to be served by the young man. After all, the game board has been cleared, and Aidan is slowly beginning to think of the various ways to capture his prey again.


"How could I possibly think otherwise, Mr. Owens? I've looked into your business history, and know that they'll be in the best hands possible, besides mine." Corrie really doesn't see the amusement in the situation, but she's not going to dwell. So far as she's concerned, she's done playing quite so 'nice' with the boys from Reese.

"I am well aware that it was hardly your intention, Mr. Owens. Though I'm quite sorry that our dinner was interrupted in such a manner. I was looking forward to discussing how the boys were doing under the label, but that can always be done via telephone or email later, I suppose." The only genuine smile since Gideon has joined them is turned on the man, and she makes it as dazzling as possible.

"Please enjoy the dinner. I'll alert the staff that it is to be on my tab as it was my presence that dictated that of Mr. Reese, and as such it would hardly be fair to expect you to pay for the dinner." She glances at Aidan once, then shakes her head. "I appreciate the offer of escort, Mr. Owens, but I am a grown woman and can see myself out. I'm no stranger to such an abrupt dismissal."


"Mr. Boyle, if you could see fit as to direct me to Ms. Dae, I should like to see to the plans she's been setting for Miss Bardot and to ensure that party is still underway despite my… departure from my current contract."

There is a pause before she turns.

"Mr. Reese, I do appreciate you bringing this to our attention before the contract was signed. I do think that it would have been quite the embarrassment had that been the case." She inhales deeply, clutching her pocketbook in her hand. "I do suggest the arctic char with the light lemon sauce based on the wine selection. The chefs here are superb."


In fact, Rhys' offer to walk Corrie out was gentlemanly, not an offer of protection. He exhales simply at the way he is rebuffed. Though he doesn't fault her anger… He also knows it's rather pointless. He leaves Aidan and Corrie, now, to sort out the rest of the evening. He's not going to fight over the bill. If she wants to play the magnanimous card, let her. It's silly, if you ask him, but she seems to like silly.

Thus, he sits back down and, since he's effectively said his goodbyes, prepares to enjoy the rest of the meal alone with his brother.

He'll laugh more about the absurdity of it, later.

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