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Lady In Red
(2014-02-25 - 2014-02-27)
A mysterious woman enters the TDA office on a Manhattan evening...
Mercade Alexander It's a clear, crisp evening in Manhattan. The lights are just starting to become a little brighter as the sun descends, setting off the first glimpses of the stars.

Mercade has always appreciated that view. There's a magical time between day and night, when the shadows of the world lengthen and the sky becomes painted a riot of glorious colors. There's something about that time that anything seems possible. Twilight isn't just the realm of things that lurk beyond the realm of man, or the things people fear, but also the beautiful and the inspiring. There is hope there. That is one reason why he likes the name of this Agency so much.

He turns from the wonderful view and looks over the office. So many sights and wonders he has seen, so many horrors faced, but there's always going to be something in him that loves this place.

Mercade sighs, and walks past the radio, still playing smooth jazz music as always, and plops himself into the chair behind the main desk. He leans back in the chair, looking out the window as the sunset splashes across the room, and kicks his feet up on the desk, just soaking in the ambiance.

It was quiet. Everyone else in the TDA was busy or out doing things. It was perfect.

"Home is where the heart is." Mercade sighs to himself, tipping his hat forward a little as he considers taking a light snooze.
Avira There is a rattle at the door as a dark shadow falls upon the frosted glass. It stops abruptly, the shadow remaining ominously still for a few seconds before the doorknob slowly starts to turn. The door swings inward and a splash of red, red as a prize-winning rose, blots Mercade's vision.

The person, clearly a customer, wears a red wide-brimmed hat, tilted downward so no trace of their face can be seen. A brown trenchcoat hangs loosely over her shoulders-yes, it is definitely a her. The trenchcoat is not tied closed, giving the man a glimpse of the red cocktail dress beneath. Matching red heels adorn her feet.

Wordlessly, the mysterious figure steps inside the office and quietly closes the door behind her, the action punctuated by the sharp click of the lock snapping shut.

Slowly, she approaches, "I'm looking for a private..." she pauses, her voice throaty, almost exaggerated, "...detective." She slinks over to the desk and leans over it, carefully placing her forearms against the paper-covered surface. Only now does her head finally lift just enough so Mercade can see the mischevious brown eyes of Avira peeking out from beneath the hat.

"Would you happen to know one?"
Mercade Alexander The shadow falls on the door. Is it a member of the Agency returning, or another lost soul, looking for help in the City that Never Sleeps? Mercade looks up from under his hatbrim, and straightens, pulling his feet off of the desk as the jazz moves into a sultry swing, almost as if announcing the arrival of the Lady in Red. His brain immediately switched gears.

'0The scent of trouble preceded her into the room. It was heavy, like smoke, and she moved like fire. Slowly, so you can feel her approach... But then she reaches you before you know it.

0She began to speak, leaning forward. She was dangerous, but sometimes even someone dangerous needed help.'

And then Avira looked up, causing Mercade to blink for a moment, and then smiles as he stands. "She asked me if I was looking for a detective." Mercade narrates, moving slowly himself. "I straightened my hat and told her that she had come to the right place, ma'am, because that's my business."
Avira Avira remains there, leaned over Mercades desk with a salacious grin upon her face. But as he starts to stand, she moves with him, slinking around to his side of the desk and slipping right up to him. One hand reaches to pull the hat off her head and set it aside on the desk.

"How very...convenient." Avira drawls, her other hand reaching out to prod Mercade chest with a slim finger. "When I walked in and saw you I was hoping you'd be the man I needed." She pushes him backwards a little with her hand, nudging him back to the seat that he just got out of. Apparently she wants him to sit his butt back down!

"Because you certainly do seem like a brave, daring, steadfast, and honest man. All qualities I could use in a detective needed to work my..." she pauses, ""

She pushes him again. "How about you have a seat so we can talk~"
Mercade Alexander Mercade is halted by Dame Avira, and he steps back, arching an eyebrow. "My senses seemed to be right on. This dame was trouble." He smiles back, and lets her prod him for a moment. "I stood my ground for a minute, I didn't want her to think I was some easy mark for a pretty face and a wink. She looked like she knew all the tricks. And she was already turning up the heat." He adjusts his tie as she gives him another one of those looks, though, and is nudged back towards the seat. "But it was also a good idea to do business where business is meant to be done: Behind a desk. So why not? Give her what she wants."

He sits down, leaning back in his chair in a relaxed pose, folding his hands together. "I asked her, 'So what brings a woman like you to a place like this?' The question weighed on my mine like the fog off the bay at midnight. 'How can I help?'"
Avira As Mercade continues to self-narrate, Avira's smirk widens just a little. Her shoulders shake just slightly, the only indication Mercade is going to get that betrays her efforts to hold in giggling. With some effort, she forces even the smirk to die down, adopting a pouty sort of look at him.

He retreats back to his chair and Avira continues to follow, quickly making it clear that his personal space would continue to be invaded. As she moves in, there is another shrug of the shoulders and the brown trenchcoat upon her slides off, revealing the dress she wears to be a sleeveless one. The high heels are also discarded because they actually hurt Avira's feet and she secretly hates walking around in them. There was just something about disliking shoes she couldn't reliably run in.

More importantly, though, without them it is a little bit easier to sit herself down in Mercade's lap. One arm drapes around his shoulders. "Somebody has stolen something very important from me, Mr. Detective." That arm unwinds and slips to gently grasp Mercade by the tie near the knot.

Simultaneously, she both leans in and pulls him closer to her. Her lips hover near his ear. "My heart."
Mercade Alexander Mercade doesn't argue as she ditches the coat and heels. "The dame made herself at home immediately when I sat down." Mercade continues to narrate, because he knows exactly what it does to Avira. "She was a real take-charge sort of gal. She knew what the score was and was willing to play for keeps."

And then Avira sits on his lap. A bead of sweat rolls down Mercade's forehead as he struggles to keep from flushing beet red, a fight he is slowly losing. His Detective Resolve is sorely tested as he is grabbed by the tie and pulled forward. "And then she laid it on me. A priceless treasure was stolen, and she needed me to help her get it back." Mercade looks over, turning his gaze to her incredibly close face as he continues. "'Perhaps you can tell me when you last saw it, ma'am,' I asked. 'This kind of case might take some very intensive investigation.'"
Avira Now Avira pretends to not see his reaction when she makes herself comfortable in his lap. She is, however, very aware of what's going on-while not looking directly at his face, she can feel the heat coming off of it as he gradually starts to blush. Avira smiles, unable to help herself.

Fortunately for Mercade, Avira relases her semi-aggressive grip on his tie. She doesn't move her face away though, keeping that closeness with him. Teasing him with a 'missing' heart. (She's glad this isn't taken literally, by the way, even though it really IS a thing here.)

"Mmm." she hums with a mock contemplative look on her face. "A man took it from me." She slips a hand up behind his neck, casually threading her fingers through Mercade's short hair. "But these days I have trouble figuring out exactly when that was. It could have even been over a year ago when it was plucked out from under my nose by this man." Her eyes glitter with mirth, "You may think me...unobservant but this man was very crafty and unassuming. Easily mistaken for just your average guy, but anything but."

She turns into Mercade to face him and he can feel her legs shift to make this more comfortable for them both. "Very intensive investigation, you say?"
Mercade Alexander "My, that was a long time ago." Mercade says, dropping the self-narration. He can't hold it anymore in the face of Avira's charm onslaught. "This mysterious man must have been very close to you in order to get something so precious." Mercade smiles, and reaches up to run a hand up along Avira's jawline, touseling her hair slightly once she reaches it. Mercade moves a little as well. He is in favor of this being comfotable. Very, very comfortable. "Yes. Very intensive investigation. I may have to start immediately if we're going to catch them." Mercade leans in closer...
Avira "It was." Avira laments with just a touch of a deadly dramatic tone. Mercade can tell that she's having trouble sticking to that, but she tries. "But I can still remember what he looked like." Quite conveniently, Avira's hair is left unbound in her usual ponytail or braid. "In fact..."

She slowly smiles, dropping her voice to a whisper, making it even more encouraging for Mercade to lean in. "...I think he looked..."

Her other arm moves up to rest over his other shoulder. "..a lot like /you/." She says breathlessly before pressing her lips against his.
Mercade Alexander Mercade doesn't say much. There isn't really anything to say at that point. He folds his arms behind Avira's back and pulls her close.

For a moment, part of his mind is frantically wondering if this is where the rest of the TDA falls into the office.

Another part of him is very happy that they are not.

Mercade closes his eyes and kisses Avira, just enjoying the moment for what it is. They have had precious few opportunities for this kind of thing. May as well take full advantage of it!
Avira They had very vew moments like this. Avira's counting their blessings that they weren't interrupted though she certainly had taken a few precautions. The door to the office really had been locked earlier so they'd get a bit of warning if someone tried to come barging in on them. It couldn't do much about eavesdroppers but people listening in on the two of them wasn't high on Avira's list of concerns.

As long as the moment wasn't stopped. Such thoughts simply fade into the background as Avira makes that kiss last for as long as possible. When it finally does end, and probably does so for little things such as 'air', Avira rests her forehead against Mercade's, finally allowing some of her long-held giggling to spill forth.
Mercade Alexander Mercade Alexander giggles too, a mixture of enjoyment and mild embarassment audible. "It's so silly that we have to go this far to get some time alone together, isn't it?" Mercade sighs. "Too many meddling matchmakers spoil the relationship, I swear." He hugs her again, then ruffles his hand in Avira's brown hair. "But I really appreciate it. You really know me well, Dame Trouble." He chuckles at that.
Avira "You knew I was trouble when I walked in~" Avira teases, "Silly, but definitely fun." There's that mischevious look in her eyes again. "I'm not complaining, Mr. Detective." She lets both of her hands drape over his shoulders at this point and leans against him, her head nestled against his neck.

"But I am..." she continues with little warning, "...going to take advantage of this 'investigation' while we can. Yep~!" And in short order, she's kissing him again in a way that shows she really means to take advantage of every second they have together that isn't plagued with interruptions.

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Avira