A Night at the Opera

May 02, 2017:

Two bodies meet randomly at an opera production. Because opera is good for low-commitment mingling.

Metropolitan Opera House - Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: Random Opera Friend

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\https://youtu.be/HqezCR_XzaI None.]


Fade In…

A night at the Metropolitan Opera House almost always carries the promise of a wonderful evening. And this evening's performance, Der fliegende Hollander, is already off to a wonderful start.

Halfway through the performance already, the production is paused for an intermission that would have likely made its composer have a fit were he present to witness its occurrence.

And intermission means time for more wine.

Emma Frost is dressed to the nines as is called for, her satin evening gown swagged low in back and more modestly in the front. It is painted to every curve of her body, however, making it hardly chaste. With long and soft golden curls over her shoulder and large gold-accented pearls about her throat, she looks the part of American elite. And she stands, alone and clearly waiting for someone as she idly watches those who mill in and out of the more private lounge nearby. Someone with wine, should her empty hand be any indication.


Jean-Paul is also at the opera, and dressed in a fine tuxedo, complete with bow tie, and a deep red waistcoat that complements the ruby-accented red-gold studs and cufflinks. He is carrying a small glass of a white wine, and humming one of the huntsman's arias, but not singing it. Cool blue eyes skim along the people about with interest.


"Erik is well-cast this season," Emma comments as she hears the familiar tune, her manicured fingers lifting to run idly along the double strands of her necklace and smiling in Jean-Paul's direction. She intrudes on him without apology, both by speaking, but also gently peeking psychically at the perimeter of his surface thoughts. A glance for anything of interest.

But even as she does, her words continue with the dance of polite small talk. "I like the new tenor much more than the one who played him the last time."


"The songs are good," Jean-Paul returns. "But I have not seen the previous performer, so I cannot say. I do think that he is lucky to have her leave him before they are wed." There are thoughts of music and appreciation. Of reverence and worship as it drifts to hymns, of majestic cathedrals, and the beauty of architecture, and the beauty of well-written code and the machines to go with it. "And how are you this evening, ma'am?" he enquires courteously and curiously.


At talk of the huntsman's good fortune for the soprano's departure, there is a noncommittal shrug of a shoulder. "It's hard to be anything but well at the opera," Emma answers with a reserved smile curving her peach-hued lips. A little deeper into his thoughts she slips all the while, looking for anything of greater interest. Her pale eyes lock on his as her head tilts languidly to one side. "Don't you agree, Mister…?"


"Valley. Jean-Paul Valley. And what is your name, Miss…?" Behind the edifice is something dark, hidden, images of gold fire and red blood in the black of night. Mostly well-defended, but some hooks as though someone had deliberately placed the ability to control in the personality. "But a proper opera, especially a tragic one, should have one weeping with sorrow for the misfortunate of it all. I blame that most people don't study the languages and so do not understand, do not get wrapped up in it."


"Emma Frost," the woman offers in return, her hand dropping from her necklace and stretching out to shake cordially instead. Her gaze is a sharp and discerning sort, although not so forward as to be immediately disconcerting. "And I entirely agree. But, then again, conquering the seven-second attention span is a far greater problem… so perhaps it's asking a bit too much for someone to invest the time to learn an entire language when most of the population finds it hard enough to dedicate three hours of sitting to enjoy the art."


"My father raised me better, I would like to think, and I had to learn several languages growing up." He takes her hand to shake , and then, with a small light of joy, he lifts her hand and bows over it to kiss in an old-fashioned courtly style instead. "It is quite the pleasure to meet you." Utter sincerity, and open honesty, as his thoughts and emotion matched what he presents perfectly—except for the entire hidden personality within, of course.


And, with all of the showmanship one should expect, Emma plays coy and tucks her chin as Jean-Paul's lips find the back of her hand. Her other hand lifts back up to drape over her décolletage. It's a fun enough game, as she finds herself in a perfectly entertaining spot and she presses around that delightful spot where she finds those hooks in his mind. And her smile grows. "As it is mine to meet you," she enthuses.

But then… Then the intermission's bell is already chiming. Her focus persists, however, as though she hadn't heard it.

Even when another gentleman, many years Emma's senior if his grey hair is any indication, begins to approach the pair with an extra glass of red wine in his hand, she pays no mind. It isn't until the new arrival speaks that she recognizes that he's nearly right beside her. "Sorry that it took so long," he apologizes to her as he closes the distance at last and hands off the cup into her waiting grasp. "Shall we back to the box, Miss Frost?" He looks in Valley's direction with a cordial and unthreatened smile. "I do hope you'll pardon me stealing her back.


Jean-Paul looks up, and with a playful smile says, "Ah, but that would imply that we are both thieves, and I am sure you would never mean to say that. I will say, however, that the lady is free to do as she pleases, and that it is only right and proper to be loyal. After all, is that not the theme of the Opera?" He gives a courteous nod to the older man, and then to Emma. "I hope that I might call on you again another time, Miss Frost."


"You might," Emma says after a moment's consideration. Handing her wine glass back to her companion, her other reaches into a tiny bag at her wrist once she's reclaimed it from Jean-Paul. After she plucks out a business card, the blonde then holds it aloft between two fingers to present it to him. "My assistant handles my schedule. But perhaps we can see another production together sometime." Her eyes shift to the man beside her and she laughs. "You aren't reliably available."

And the other man just laughs back, making it clear that there's an inside joke somewhere. "You're going to hold that against me for forever, aren't you?"

"Possibly," Emma teases back, before returning her attention to her new acquaintance. "Give a ring if there's one that catches your eye?"


"Thank you, and I certainly will." As Emma gets out her card, he takes out a cigarette case, except instead of containing tobacco, it has his own business cards, and he offers one to her as well. "I look forward to it. For now, though, I am looking forward to the rest of the opera. Be well, both of you." He gives a courteous nod, and then, turns back to the loges, draining his glass and settling it on a tray along the way.

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