Party Favors

March 17, 2016:

Night Nurse endures the come-ons of a young millionare… for charity.

Metropolis - New Troy

"1930's architecture stretched like a rubber band."

New Troy is the largest borough in Metropolis and is where all of the main
city life seems to be established as well as take place. Here is where you
will find skyscrapers that reach the heavens and commerce that spreads as
far as the next business that picks up.

The heartbeat, lifeblood, and veins of The Big Apricot.

Characters

NPCs: Janet

Mentions: Ford Benett, Night Nurse

Mood Music: Classy Jazz


Fade In…

The fundraising festival continues in Metropolis as the next big party in the heart of a New Troy highrise gets underway. The movers and shakers of Metropolis have shown up to bump elbows and mingle, in addition to showering their favored causes with charitable donations. Food is being served and drinks passed around, as a number of well known faces continue to show up outside on the street side, with reporters from every news agency hoping to get a word in with some of the faces that pass by.
Though the host of the party, Mr. Benett himself, has yet to arrive… typical, as some circles would call it. He made it either a game or a habit of showing up late.

How the *hell* Claire Temple got volunteered to be one of the people standing in for Metro General hospital, she'll never know. Yes, their hospital often survives alone on generous donations — the amount of people who come through the ER alone, unable to pay a single medical bill, is staggering — but this seemed extravagant. Still, of the nurse staff, she was one of the senior these days and still attractive enough to, as the Chairman of the Hospital's Board put it, 'Give a nice face to the people who will be donating money. We want them to think of pretty things when they are writing checks, not bloody ERs and dying cancer patients.' Claire had almost spit in his face, but now she was here. How did her life get to this point.

Standing to the side of the silent auction booth, Claire is helping work the tables as one of the volunteers and keeping an eye on the five major gifts the hospital has put up for bids. She's in a simple white evening gown with bands of black flowers through it, conservative and elegant. Her black hair is swept up off her throat and she's even in a touch of make up. She looks like she feels completely out of place. Her hands don't know what to do in red nail polish instead of blood.

"So, if you're up here, that must mean you're one of the gifts for the auction, yes?" The voice of a young man pipes up behind Claire, as the owner of said voice walks around her table, smiling with his hands behind his back. "Easily the best one, to be sure. Might have to drop a fair bit to win you." The young man practically screams confidence, and not just in his dialogue; his posture, he smile, his formal attire, all of it seems remarkably well done, yet… oddly casual. He certainly isn't the best dressed person her. His eyes tear off Claire as he drifts to the sign, eyeing who the benefactor is before smirking. "Metro General? Fine group of folks. I wouldn't have had anyone else patching me up on getting back to the country… though I will say, I wish all the nurses looked as good as you did."

While Claire's dress is all class and red carpet, her smirk is all Hell's Kitchen latina. Only a woman like her could make lips like those smirk QUITE so hard. She turns from her booth, giving him a momentary look up and down, trying to place where she should know the man but she's not really one to read the financial section. "I am not entirely certain even you could afford a date with me… though we do have a…" Shit. She probably should have READ what they put up for auction. Dark eyes flicker down towards the table, reading the first thing there, "Luxury spa weekend completely with manicure, pedicure, Korean spa facial and… hair lightening treatment." She clears her throat, tossing him a bit of a smile. "…For your wife. Maybe."

"What can I say? I like all the things money can't buy." The young man replied, eyes shifting to the spa day and chuckling a little. "Amazing as that sounds, how do you improve on something that looks this good?" He held his hands out as is presenting himself like he was some magnificent show. "Luckily for you, I'm not married… though I'd drop twice what it's worth if it meant you came with me. I'd kill to see you out of that dress… looks snug on you, but that's clearly a one way relationship."
The young man bowed, letting his eyes follow her figure down and back up in the process. "Lovely lady like yourself has to have an equally beautiful name. I'll even sweeten the deal: I'll show you mine if you show me yours."

The dark haired woman just *stares* at him, as if he's grown a second head. Were all rich people like this, or was he just a special brand? Claire can't entirely keep the amused shock off her dusky features, jaw slightly open, like she's waiting for the punchline. It never comes. She exhales a low, half in denial chuckle, "…You…have got to be joking. Did Audrey put you up to this? I'll kill her. I mean…no one uses lines like that. You can't be real." Claire states, her own husky voice as flat and street as the rest of her. Intelligent, yes, but practical to a fault. "And the bidding for a date with me starts at ten grand, so… I think you might want to stick to the weekend."

The young man blinks back a bit, before his smirk grows into a full smile, finally throwing his head back in a fit of laughter. "Hoo hoo hoo boy! Not to worry, I am real, I am here… and most important of all, interested in you." Regaining his composure, he folds his arms over his chest as he smirked. "Just 10 grand? And here I was thinking it'd be pricey. If that's all it takes, I hesitate to tell you what I had in mind… might send you into shock." Extending his hand for a shake, he smiled genuinely. "Tell you what: I'll be the gentlemen and give you mine first. Ford Benett. And it's a sincere pleasure to make your acquaintance… and your night, if you give me the opportunity~"

Ten grand is nothing? Claire blinks at him like he's grown a second hear. She's SO out of her depth here. And now some of that color is leaving her cheeks as she realized she might have mouthed off and put herself in a corner. She clears her throat, "I…I mean, I was joking. I'm not actually on the silent auction, you know… But there are some nice golf clubs…" She motions to the next sheet over. And then he's giving his hand and his name and Claire was just raised too damn polite to turn her back on that. So, she gives a quiet sigh and sets her smile before offering her long, slightly calloused hand. "…Claire Temple. It… it's interesting to meet you, Mr. Benett. Metro General would be happy for any donation you can give."

"Can't stand golf. It's too slow. I prefer things with a bit more… rhythm to them." Ford takes a step closer, smiling as he tilts his head to one side, making it hard to tell if he was still trying to figure her out… or enjoying watching her backpedal. "Claire, hm? I was right… the name suits your looks. Tantalizingly lovely." Leaning forward, Ford seemed intent on getting even closer… before placing a hand on the edge of the table and leaning into it a little. "Let me guess, Claire… you didn't think I was being serious, did you?" He smirked as he gave off a huffing chuckle. "The fact that you aren't up for bidding only increases your value, in my opinion. If I wanted company, I could've bought as much as I wanted for this evening alone… but like I said, I like the things I can't buy. Makes it all the better when I finally get it~"
Ford finally took his eyes off Claire before looking back at the table for the auction, staring at the things for a moment before turning back. "I'm afraid now that I have you in my sights, the rest doesn't really appeal to me. But I tell you what, I'd be more than happy to drop a little tonight. 10 grand, like you proposed… and if you're interested in raising a bit more, I've got a deal if you'd be interested…"

Her dignity or her job. That's the balance here. And it wasn't really just her job, it was the whole hospital. It was a hundred charity case patients. It was a new cancer ward, maybe, or paying off the open MRI. It was every reason her boss convinced her to come tonight weighing against her dignity. Claire sighs — the hospital will always win. Not looking thrilled about it, she does regain her hand and crosses her arms over her chest. It's meant to be a defensive look but, really, it just frames her breasts rather nicely and gives her that Kate-Taming-of-the-Shrew vibe. "… For the *Hospital*…I'm listening."

Ford gave a pretend hurt look, straightening back up as he tried hard to keep his eyes off her frame… and failing pretty badly. "Oh, give me some credit. I might just surprise you~" Ford put his hands at his hips, smirking back at Claire.
"10 grand tonight. Already you come away with something you're after. I'd like to take you out for an evening. And I mean being classy about it, until you say otherwise. Dinner. Perhaps a walk. Maybe an art gallery or movie. I'm not picky. I'll be the gentleman and let you make the call on what you'd like to do. If I can't win you over by night's end, I'll drop 250 grand for Metro General. No questions asked, no protests, no strings. Whatever you want to do with it is up to you." Ford leaned a bit closer, looking like a wolf cornering his prey.
"But if I do manage to win you over… I'll put down a million. Interested?"
"Or should I say… when I manage to win you over."

The amount of money that the man was discussing simply weren't sums that Claire Temple understood. A fairly poor girl from a working poor family, she's done alright for herself with a rent controlled apartment and mid level job. She's lower middle class at best. She cannot hide the slight gawking on her features as he keeps going over the sums, and then drops that last bit… For once in her life, Claire Temple is speechless. She coughs out quietly, looking nervously about the room, trying to see if she's being pranked. But there is no candid camera. "…You…you're joking. How…how do you know if I'm 'won over'? I… and why would you pay more if you did win me over… This is a joke."

Ford smirked back at her, clearly trying to restrain his amusement at her stunned silence. "That's the fun, isn't it? You can't really tell until the night's over what the outcome is." Ford's eyes looked around as well, as if also looking for the hidden camera that wasn't actually there, before locking back on Claire and leaning almost too close. "I think the real question is 'Do we have a deal?', and that's the answer that matters the most."

While Claire is not loving the idea of being a glorified prostitute, the look that the other booth worker gives her says she sure as hell better not be stupid. She gives a bit of a sigh, nodding to her colleague, "Fine… fine… Janet, you've got the booth. If Audrey asks, well…tell her expect a large — very large — donation check." Her full lips press tighter, almost making them look thin, before she steps up beside Ford and tilts her head. "You have a deal, Benett." This close she smells like cocoa butter. No fancy perfume, just the lotion she uses every night,.

"Oh, I couldn't tear you away from your booth tonight. Besides, I'm not showing my best side this evening. It's so… fake. Not tonight… of course, if you aren't busy this weekend, like you mentioned before…" Ford lingers for a bit, before standing back up, arm slipping around Claire. "Of course, you are more than welcome to join me for the rest of the evening. I'm sure I have a few folks here tonight who'd be very interested in some of the things you have up for auction. Mr. Talwot is a sucker for golf, I know that much. And I have a feeling his date would certainly enjoy that spa trip you have on display."

A weak laugh escapes her lips. A reprieve, for a night, at least. Claire still smirks, shaking her head slowly, "Look, Ford, I'm an ER nurse. I haven't had a weekend off since before my residency." Which actually implies she's done school BEYOND nursing school, but that's neither here nor there. "But if you can get next Tuesday free… and you make out that initial donation for this evening, I think I can spare a night off to see wht you are when you're not fake." There might be just a hint of a hopeful flirtation beneath her gaze and the turn of her lips.

"See? We're already getting to know each other better." Ford replied, bowing his head with a victorious smile. "For you, Ms. Claire, I can make any night of the week free. Tuesday night, and myself, are yours. I look forward to seeing the real you as well~" Withdrawing his arm, Ford smirked as he passed, heading to the donation box and pulling out his pocketbook. Filling it out, Ford tore the page out and dropped it in the box, giving Janet a wink before perking up, as if recalling something. "Oh, yes, if you happen to know Ms. Sallie and Ms. Caida in the recovery wing… give them my regards, would you?"
He passed by again, offering another wink to Claire. "I look forward to seeing you come Tuesday, Ms. Claire… hehe, take that however you wish~" Ford chuckled, clearly amused at his own unintentional double meaning. "Now, let's see if we can't loosen a few other things tonight, hm~?"

The expression on her features is entirely ambivalent. A womanizing man-whore probably just asked her out. But… he was a sweet talking womanizing man-whore who just dropped a ton of money on her hospital and had promised more. Claire didn't want to like it, but there was something small behind her dark eyes and that softer line of her mouth that says there is something in her that does. And the rest of her hates it. She tilts her head to him, "…I…I'll meet you at Barcade in St. Marks. They have a decent happy hour. 6 pm." There, he didn't need to know where she lived and that sets the casual tone of the date already. "…See you then, Ford." A little wave is given, and she goes back to being the Vanna White of the silent auction, firmly avoiding Janet's eyes.

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