THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:04 pm GMT 
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"You will make a splash, my dear," agreed Max breezily. "I expect nothing less."

On another day, the shoulder bump might've vexed him, but he was flying high. He didn't have any urgent business reasons to crash the soiree, as Ella might have assumed. There was someone he hoped to run into, however. It was as good an excuse as any. "I'd like to get in touch with an acquaintance of mine. With any luck, he'll make an appearance. I know he's on the list."

They were, indeed, headed for the employees' entrance. As they approached the back of the building, Max slipped behind a dumpster and pressed a finger to his lips. There was the occasional maid or waiter hurrying in and out of the nondescript double doors. The entrance was unlocked, as he had predicted, but timing was crucial. He doffed his top hat and peeked around the corner, waiting until the coast was clear.

When no servant was in sight, Max took her hand and strolled over to the swinging doors, not moving quite so fast as to make them conspicuous. He ducked inside, into a narrow hall. At one end was a service elevator. Max made a beeline for it, pressing the button and waiting tensely for the doors to rattle open before them. It was only once they made it inside and began to ascend that he relaxed and let go of her hand.

"Follow my lead," he whispered, unnecessarily. "We're not in the clear just yet."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:27 am GMT 
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She felt a little nervous as they made their way through the back places of the hotel. Surely this would be where they would get caught. They were both too dressed up to be workers. Maybe not though? There were so many people likely to be coming and going that they might slip in totally unnoticed. As long as they avoided actually seeing anyone as they made their way in.

She tried not to cling to him too tightly in the lift. She'd never been totally comfortable in them to begin with and now they were using one to ascend into a party they weren’t invited to.

"Well I've never been to anything remotely like this before," she replied lowly, just keeping in the nervous little laugh that was trying to work it's way out of her chest. "Probably unlikely to leave your side for most of it."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:35 pm GMT 
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Before Max had a chance to reply, the lift began to rattle to a halt. Through the grate they could see a young man in hotel uniform, a double row of buttons gleaming on his chest. He was a big fellow, broad-shouldered and at least as tall as Max. He could've dragged them both out in a heartbeat.

For a split-second, Max froze like deer in headlights. Then the door opened. By that point, he had a strategy in mind.

"Uhh..." The bellhop blinked at them. Service elevator or no, the pair was dressed for a soiree, and he knew where they must be trying to go. "Did you take a wrong turn, sir? Ma'am...?"

"Oh!" Max let out an embarrassed giggle and clutched at Ella's arm. His tuxedo was immaculate, of course, but his face was a bit flushed, and he seemed perhaps too talkative to be sober. "I-I guess we did. Thought this looked a little funny. Trying to find the elevator to get to the ballroom, you know--we're in 113...fantastic room...swell place you boys run." There was a sheepish grin on Max's face. He leaned forward slightly, lowering his voice to a stage whisper. "Between you an' me, we started early. Huge parties like this, they make me nervous." He tugged at his stiff collar. "Takes the edge off, you know?"

There was a pause as the bellhop looked them up and down.

"I get you," he said at last, breaking into a slight smile. "I reckon you want the fourth floor?"

"I reckon we do," said Max.

The fellow stepped into the lift and pressed the button for them, nodding politely to Ella. "Ma'am."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:20 pm GMT 
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((ugh I have started this post like 30 times now. Hopefully this is the last time. And hopefully it won't be shit either.))

Ella tensed for a moment, grabbing onto Max a little tighter so she didn't squeak or do anything to give them away. The bellhop could easily be the end of this and while she doubted jail would be where this ended, that didn't mean that she was excited to be thrown out of the hotel. And even before they had really had a chance to do anything fun. But thankfully Max was quick on his feet and manged to pull something of a story out the air. Hopefully one that passed muster.

For her part she just leaned into her 'date' more, trying to look more fluid than stiff and nervous. She could pull off the start of tipsy, right? Wasn't too terribly hard to do.

She thought of giggling, but then thought better of it. Instead she just nodded as he got in and loosened her death like grip. He had bought it. That was great. But she kept her mouth shut anyways and kept her eyes away from the other man. The rich wouldn't look at him, he was help after all. So she shouldn't either. And it helped her feel less nervous about giving them away by looking as nervous as she was starting to feel again.

Not as soon as she would have liked the lift slowed and stopped again. She glanced up, glad to see the little dial that showed what floor they were on was pointing at the delicate little four. "Guess this is us, dear," she said, tugging on Max's arm gently, making sure she seemed like either of them might need assistance walking out.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:14 pm GMT 
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As she tugged on his arm, Max played up his delayed response, stumbling a bit as he stepped out after her. Glancing over his shoulder, he flashed the bellhop an embarrassed smile.

They did look a little worse for the wear, and the fellow surveyed them doubtfully. "Why don't I accompany you to the ballroom, sir? Wouldn't want you to lose your way."

"That would be just grand," said Max effusively, tipping his hat.

Their intrepid bellhop led them through the service corridor and out into a thickly carpeted hall. Very soon they had come to the fourth floor ballroom itself. By a fantastic stroke of luck, the fellow had brought them to the rear entrance, bypassing the guest list.

"You, my lad..." Max pressed a dollar into his hand. "You are a bona fide saint."

"Thank you, sir. Have a good time of it." He accepted the tip with a shy smile, nodding to Ella. "Ma'am."

With that, the young man slipped away, leaving Ella and Max at the margin of a glittering room. Gentlemen and ladies of the utmost caliber were chattering amongst themselves, the murmur of their conversation and clink of their champagne flutes audible above the strains of a mellow waltz. There was a live orchestra, as promised. There was what appeared to be a dessert buffet. And there was a fleet of immaculately dressed waiters flitting about, trays of sparkling glasses balanced on one hand. The ladies wore diamonds, not rhinestones, and the light of the chandeliers reflecting off their rings and necklaces gave the gathering an almost ethereal glow.

"Only the best for you, my dear," said Max with a grin, proffering his arm.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:47 am GMT 
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Ella gave the bellhop a short little wave as he left them standing on the edges of thr fancy party. He was good to not ask too many questions. She liked that. This way she wouldn't have to lie too much. Max seemed to do so with ease, and while it wasn't beyond her, she was not as quick on her feet as he was.

Looking at all the fancy ladies she felt horribly under dressed, even if her dress was new and nice and her gems were real as well. But it was still more than that. They exuded a grace she felt lacking in. She gripped Max for a moment while she prepared herself for entering into a world she'd never even thought she'd be able to see let alone be in. Even if it was all pretend on her end.

"I think I'd very much like to try some of that very best bubbly then," she laughed a little nervously, looking back to Max and smiling. "And then some of whatever is over there on the table. Just to look the part, of course."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:06 pm GMT 
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"Of course. You must indulge yourself. It's not every day of the year one attends such an event." As they made their way to the buffet table, Max flagged down one of the waiters and helped himself to a glass of champagne. A bottle of the stuff was probably worth more than his good suit. This did not prevent him, however, from downing it rather quickly.

The spread was less like your conventional party dessert, more like a fantastic mirage--chocolate torte dotted with raspberries, a rainbow of petits fours, marzipan flowers, strawberries dusted with sugar, mousse in dainty glass cups. The guests had barely broken it in, either too polite, too distracted, or too afraid to disturb the aesthetic perfection. Max had no such compunctions. He gravitated toward the mousse.

He had already scanned the crowd for the fellow he was looking for. A slender figure across the room, back turned, caught his eye. For now, however, he said nothing; they would run into each other soon enough.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:48 pm GMT 
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Ella followed along just beside and behind him, looking at all the pretty things around them, trying so very hard not to let her face look likens one awestruck child. She didn't feel she full achieved this, but she kept it mostly in control. Surely rich men must bring lower class dates with them to these things on occasion and they'd probably be just as wide eyed as her.

She picked up a flute from the waiter he'd stopped, murmuring a thanks as she went on and followed Max. She only hesitated a moment before grabbing a delicate looking little plate and balancing it in the hand with her flute before starting to put the delicious looking food down. After she had a few she turned away from the table a bit and scanned the crowd to see if there was any fancy people she could recognize.

"Is who you're looking for here?" She asked to Max after a moment, nibbling on something sweet that made her moan oh so softly in pleasure. "Or are you just hoping to bump into anyone?"

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:31 pm GMT 
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"No, not just anyone. I think I see him." Max watched as the man, still in conversation, shifted his weight to reveal a familiar profile. A grin spread across his face. "That's definitely him. I love this fellow. So easy to torment. Would you excuse me for a moment?"

Barely waiting for an answer, Max practically bounded off through the crowd. A minute later he appeared at the elbow of the gentleman in question, a tall, slender man with blue eyes and dark hair, wearing an elegantly tailored black suit. When the gentleman noticed Max, he tactfully disengaged from a circle of other guests. They had stepped aside and were facing in Ella's direction before the blue-eyed man allowed a flash of irritation to pass across his face.

"Avramescu, what on earth are you doing here?" said the man, whom either a gossip columnist or a crooked cop might have been able to identify as Denmark Jones. "You know this isn't the place for business." He lowered his voice. "Besides, there are no Jews on the list."

"I was told there were no blacks, either," said Max with an evil grin. "Lucky Josephine is in Paris. They might've given her a hard time."

Mr. Jones shot him a acid glare. "Are you going spew nonsense all night, sir, or did you have something to say?"

"Forgive me, Lieutenant. I drifted from the point." Max's expression grew serious. "Have you considered my proposition?"

"It occurs to me that 'proposition' is a generous term."

"We can call it blackmail if you prefer."

Jones glanced over his shoulder. They had been speaking in low voices, and there was no one within hearing distance. Still, he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Must you shout?"

"I can see you're busy, Lieutenant. I'm sorry to interrupt. Perhaps I can drop in at the office?"

"Monday, six o'clock."

Max replied with a salute. Mr. Jones returned to his date, and Max returned to the buffet, snagging two more flutes along the way. He sauntered over to Ella and handed her a glass.

"That went well," he said, taking a swallow of champagne. "Did I miss anything thrilling? Would you like to dance?"

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:25 pm GMT 
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She opened her mouth to say yes, it was fine. But he was gone before she could get the words out. Or at least out for him. "Why yes of course, that's just dandy," she murmured to herself, huffing a little laugh as she sipped at her drink. She watched him walk away, trying to figure out exactly who he'd pointed out before he got there. And then once he was there, she tried to figure out what it was that he was trying to achieve. But that was harder when she knew so very little about what his new job may be.

She looked away after a short minute, listening to what she could over hear from the people nearby. She was surprised by how dull the conversations were. She'd had better ones talking to students she was sure. But who was she to judge?

He was back at her side soon enough, she'd already turned away from the table laden with food slightly when he came back offering a new flute of bubbly. She finished the one she had before taking the new one from him, putting the old down on the table behind her a little awkwardly. Not that she expected it to stay there long anyways. "Nothing at all," she laughed, rolling her eyes some. She was a little surprised by his offer to dance but she'd take it. "Why yes, I'd love to dance." She downed most of the drink before putting the glass with the other and took a step towards the dance floor, waiting for him to join her.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:31 pm GMT 
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It had been on impulse that Max had asked her to dance. He was a little surprised to hear her say yes. The champagne was beginning to go to his head--or, more accurately, the champagne combined with the whiskey toast he'd shared with Heinrich earlier that evening. But there were very few other guests tipsy or bold enough to dance so early in the night. The dance floor was looking a bit sparse.

"Hang on," said Max, laughing. He still had most of his glass. Out of politeness, of course, he downed it in one go and stepped out to follow Ella. To his relief, the last classical number ended before they could take their position. Within a few moments the band had struck up a waltz. Now he extended one hand for hers and rested the other lightly on her shoulder blade.

Max was a bit rusty, but after a few moments his muscle memory kicked in. He didn't know any tricks. He did, however, manage not to steer her into any millionaires.

"Be gentle with me," he said, with a wink. "It's been a long time."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:27 pm GMT 
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"I think it'll be alright," she chuckled softly. She could feel her cheeks flushing some from the drinks and now being out on the floor with him. "I believe you'll be better than my last few dance partners at my friend's wedding. Ten year old boys seem to have two left feet on top of no sense where anyone is around them.Besides, it's a waltz, it isn't that difficult a dance at its basic level."

And she was right. They did just fine twirling about the floor with the few other dancers who'd felt brave enough to venture out to the floor with them. She did enjoy dancing, and she made a note that she should maybe find a dance hall again. Maybe. If they were doing things besides dancing to jazz music as well. And maybe drag Max along as well. Though maybe only if she couldn't get a partner orherwise. She doubted he'd be too excited at the prospect of going out with her to a place like that.

While they danced she glanced around for a moment catching sight of the man he'd gone off to speak with. "So did your conversation go as you planned?" She asked with something that hinted at actual curiosity at what it was they'd talked about, but only a little. She still wasn't fully certain she wanted to know exactly what Max was getting into.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:34 pm GMT 
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"You flatterer," said Max, not quite rolling his eyes. "Stop, you'll make me blush."

At least he compared favorably to the prepubescent rabble. It was better than the alternative. Had he known she was thinking about dragging him to a dance hall, he might've stepped on her feet and nipped the notion in the bud. As it was, he continued with the basic step, spinning with graceless precision across the polished oak floors.

If Ella had expected--or preferred--for Max to deflect the question, he was destined to disappoint. He followed the direction of her glance to Lt. Denmark Jones. The poor fellow was talking to Mr. August Busch the Younger, a champagne glass full of sparkling water in his hand.

"Ah yes," said Max. "Finally managed to get myself an appointment with Mr. Jones. I've had a devil of a time figuring out where he lives, so dropping in was out of the question." This explanation left the matter opaque, so he added succinctly, "I'm blackmailing him."

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