Everything's Better with Ice Cream

April 27, 2017:

Emma Frost and Obadiah Stane continue planning a gala event, and discuss future machinations.

Emma's sanctum


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Iron Man, Captain America, Zatanna Zatara, Kingpin, Thor, Lucky Yin


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Tit for tat. An immutable law of business.

Since Obadiah was so kind to host last time, he will find by way of the most polite and formal channels—executive assistant to executive assistant—an invitation to a meeting just on the far side of normal working hours. Just outside the city limits is the final destination: a testament to modern architecture. A delightful spire of glittering steel and glass, and crawling with security.

Stane will find himself escorted to streamline the journey through nearly vacant halls and elevators.

And then Frost’s comely secretary, who is probably only a couple of years younger than Frost herself, opens the doors just long enough to name the visitor before announcing her own departure for the night.

From deep within the cavernous office and just beyond two enormous potted palms, Emma’s melodic voice lilts back her acknowledgement of both points, “Of course. Mister Stane, right on time. Come in, come in.”

And beyond the palms are the mark of a hostess who knows the art.

The sun nears the horizon, setting the glass walls aglow as though on fire. Architecture matters, as does punctuality for the full impact of sunset. And in a small sitting area where there is a couch, a pair of chairs, and a coffee table in a recessed part of the floor, the business woman sits with a pair of decanters, crystal glasses, and a modestly portioned presentation of scandalously priced hors d'oeuvres. …with perhaps a favorite of Stane’s if his assistant was at all helpful in the matter.

“I do hope the hour isn’t too late for you,” Emma purrs from her place on the couch, wrapped in a sheath dress of raw silk and a double-strand pearl necklace. Her french-twisted hair also shows off her pearl and diamond drop earrings. “I just didn’t want to be too terrible an influence when I proposed…” Her hands stretch out to show off the decanters: brandy or scotch.

There's always something about the way Obadiah can marvel at things like a child. A twinkle in his eye, and a gleam that follows him all the way through his escort into the heart of the Queen's Castle. Today he looks much like he does most days. A suit that's tailored only because Tony would have a fit if his personal fitter didn't spin StarkTech into it, in a neutral gray that makes how impressed he is stand out even more. With him he carries a blockish container, one with a long handle, something that is probably mundane, but stylized with a Stark logo on the side.

When he enters the room the light has shifted in just the right way to cast a subtle glare, and a soft shadow layers his features in a way that make him seem even older. It takes him a moment before he's torn away from the view of the sunset, and it's hard to see just where he's looking before he speaks.

"Well would you look at that."

It might surprise her to find that he was looking at her, which is often just as dangerous as staring into the sun. "You're making me feel under dressed, but now that I think about it, I think I lost my last tux in the move. I'm telling you, this party is going to be a disaster, and only because my regular tailor is out of town and you'll have to watch me dance in something that doesn't fit." The container joins the food and drink, and he makes himself right at home by accepting the offer of Scotch.

He does not, however, indicate what the container is for. Instead his brows lift and his sits back, sampling her wares in little sips while he has a long look around the room. "You know I couldn't help but notice that rug in the foyer? If you want to call it a foyer. I could fit two of my offices in it. Indian antiquity, right? Really ties the room together. I tried to get something like it back when I had the house, but…" He waves a hand, shakes his head, and leans forward a little to reach for a snack, while all at once catching his tie before it dredges through it all. "Forgot my clip again. My fading memory is becoming the death of me, Emma."

His hand slips into his jacket, and from there he withdraws a folded sheet of paper, holding it up like it might be a court summons. He pops a snack into his mouth, and then reaches across the table with his second cryptic offering, after that container, of course.

When Obadiah mentions the rug, Emma Frost allows her features to communicate a sentiment along the lines of ‘Bravo’ and some measure of surprise. A keen eye for quality and heritage is a virtue in her ledger, and what she translates to appreciation for her own cultivated appearance is… comforting in its way.

“I highly doubt that is the case,” is her challenge to his brief moment of self-deprecation. “It is my understanding that Mister Stark is not really in the business of suffering fools, and your continued relationship speaks to a probability that you are very very far from the realms of senility.”

All of this she says while keeping her eyes on the box. The box, and then the page. Even as she pours herself a glass of the brandy, her pale eyes dance between the older man and his offerings. “Ah, if I’d known we were leading with gifts, I wouldn’t have tucked mine away,” she tells him. She speaks, but then the woman with a reputation of being notoriously difficult to surprise resorts to a familiar tactic: she totally cheats and goes straight for the other man’s mind, trespassing on that sanctum without permission, hoping that the contents of the box is sitting somewhere in the safety of his surface thoughts.

After all, she hasn’t forgotten that tricksy business she spotted in there the last time, and she’s not in a hurry to get caught.

“What did you bring me?” she asks of him, lips curling upwards as she points towards the Stark-branded container, seemingly pleased with the offering. Setting down the decanter once she’s got her portion poured, the long and manicured fingers of her other hand stretch towards the paper he holds aloft.


Stark, SUFFER a fool? Tony would love that one. Everyone always thinks HE is the fool. But he'd never get rid of me, she's right, just not for that reason. Family is family, after all.

The look on his face doesn't change when she begins skimming his thoughts. Instead he looks introspective when he thinks about Tony suffering anyone or anything. "Well, who knows. I might have endeared myself over the years so much that he won't notice." He can only hope. As Emma takes the note he looks up, expectation written on his face as clear as words might be. He watches for any shift in her expression when she examines it. Anticipation building. Of course, when she asks about the box, he leans back, having set his drink down after just another sip.

Another wave of his hand, and he seems to dismiss the box, but his mind doesn't. "Oh that. You wouldn't be interested in any of that." He's teasing her, like someone who's brought a beloved and spoiled niece a gift. What did he bring her? His thoughts tell a tale, but not a clear one.

//Brambleberry Crisp… Middle West Whiskey and Pecans… Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso… and a promise kept. //

The note she holds contains gold. Not literal gold, of course, but something that might as well be. It is the word CONFIRMED, followed by a list of names:

Captain Steve Rogers +1
Ms. Margaret 'Peggy' Carter +1
Mr. Wilson Fisk +1
Ms. Zatanna Zatara +1
Doctor Jane Foster +1
Thor of Asgard +1
Mr. Tony Stark + His armor

His voice might break her concentration on the short but very important list. "An arrangement of special guests. You might know most of them. Some are there to help open checkbooks, and I've arranged for a one million dollar donation on behalf of each and every one of them, for showing up. I have a few other invites out, along with some old friends from abroad with deep pockets. The Expo Garden is ours for the evening, and I might just be able to convince Ms. Zatara that an old friend of her Father's could use her help working the crowd.. maybe even giving a performance on stage. She's a fantastic magician."

Of course, there's still the box he's sure she doesn't want anything to do with.

Just sitting there.


Glee is not a word that should ever be used lightly when describing Emma Frost.

Emma Frost is not ‘gleeful.’

She is class and elegance. An exquisite, living, breathing work of art.

For a moment, her eyes twitch narrowed in a mark of wariness as her head twists a degree and she slowly unfolds the paper. She’s not unsettled, not really, but she really does not fancy the fact that her guest’s thoughts are less than transparent. For an even shorter moment, niggling thoughts begin to rise as to why that actually is.

….but, in a heartbeat, it is momentarily forgotten. In the wake of doubt, she is undone and dangerously close to the precipice of glee.

One might not know it, however, so subtle is the light in her eyes and so soft is the intake of breath.

Her delicate chin pulls towards her breast, as does that precious piece of paper when she draws it in protectively, but her eyes hold Stane’s without wavering. She is, without reservation, pleased.

Mister Stane,” she whispers, painted lips pulling upwards, uneven and impish as she recognizes the lavish gift he has given her. “Well done. And ever so generous. An impressive showing.”

A glance falls to the box, and then her gaze skips back up to him. “Did you really bring more than this?”


As perceptive as Obadiah is, he can't always see through someone so very reserved as Emma Frost. Still, he knows he's done well by what reaction he does garner, and his smile is as reserved as he can make it in the face of success. When she looks to the box he becomes exaggerated, leaning forward to push it in her direction. "Since you're clearly unable to contain yourself, I guess you can have some. Go ahead!" The top disengages when he pushes it along. He probably hit a button of some sort. A gas escapes from beneath it, curling outward and flowing over the table to ooze across the floor.

When the lid ratchets back and out of the way it's clear that there's nothing more dangerous than his thoughts had originally projected. There, on top of three pint sized containers, are clear labels for Jeni's Gourmet Ice Cream, along with a tiny card describing each:

Brambleberry Crisp - Oven-toasted oat streusel and a sweet-tart “brambleberry” jam of blackberries and blackcurrants layered throughout vanilla ice cream.

Middle West Whiskey and Pecans - Middle West Spirits whiskey-fueled ice cream—with notes of butterscotch, honey, coconut, and vanilla—laden with crunchy, salty, toasted pecans.

Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso - Ground Intelligentsia Black Cat espresso beans steeped in cream. The sweet, complex flavor and pungent aroma of fresh espresso is encapsulated and translated perfectly.

In the top of the lid are three little, very flat, tray-like 'bowls', along with stylized spoons to fit the small portions. "You brought the booze last time, so I thought I'd try to be decent and bring the dessert this time. So save your gift.." His brows lift, almost as if he's admonishing her, head tilting back just a little. "For my birthday."


It’s there, bubbling up. And despite Emma’s best efforts, despite a hand that physically comes up to cover her mouth, it escapes after scant moments of restraint.

A laugh. There’s more relief in it - in her silk-wrapped form - than she’d like, and it resounds loudly in her own ears.

But Emma still takes a moment to just laugh, softly but genuinely, before she sets the page of names down. “The perfect pairing,” she praises, plucking up her brandy snifter and cradling it in the palm of her hand. She holds it up, tilting it in Obadiah’s direction as an invitation. “To future endeavors, my dear sir. May they be plentiful and profitable.” Her eyes lift skyward for a moment of thought. “Or charmingly non-profitable, depending on the venue and purpose, I suppose.”

There, he'd earned a laugh. It was enough for him given the long stretches of morbid duty he had to endure. To carve fire, even sparks, from ice was an accomplishment. And so too was setting this party. It was like painting for him, and she can feel his pride, not just at making her laugh, but at making sure all of their plans come to a perfect fruition. He finds his glass, raises it when she raises her own, and leans back in his chair after a tasteful sip. "Oh, I'm sure they'll always be profitable Emma. Not every trade is in currency, or even to get ahead. I've learned that after a very long time. Perspective that has pushed my interests away from simple power, like giving an order that ends in someone's death, and towards something loftier. Maybe noble. I don't really know. But I know I can find it in the Hellfire Club. I know you know what I'm talking about, and I know that when we paint together it will be in broad strokes that can erase whole, unwanted histories and create something new and wonderful."

His tone turns serious at the end, but it is still whimsy, and he gives a firm nod. "To future endeavors, as you say. As for the present ones, I have the layout set, but I fear decor and tone will have to be your purview. I try very hard, but my wife had all the talent in that department." How he misses her. It rushes upward, curls over his thoughts, and then disappears. Gone, for now, in just that moment. Pushed far away, for the pain that always comes with it.

There’s something in Obadiah’s turn of phrase that catches Emma’s attention, keen and sharp. Sipping deeply from the portion of brandy she’s swirled in the cup over her palm to warm, her chin lifts a nearly imperceptible degree.

“If this all pans out, Mister Stane, I should think that you may very well indeed find that the club has some excellent potential for the things you are ascribing to it. One simply needs to know where to look and what to ask.”

Crossing her legs and then leaning back against the arm of the couch she occupies, she basks in the warm of her drink and the dying light of the sun. It’s fading, steel and glass already losing their otherworldly appearances and beginning to reflect the room back upon itself as lamps and overhead lighting begin to compensate for the loss.

“As for the nature of décor and tone, Frost International would of course gladly partner with Stark Industries for the cause. As we’re coming up on May… We could easily do some sort of spring theme. Spring… Gardens…” Her eyes open and look at the vaulted ceiling as the toe of her stiletto bobs briskly in thought. “Garden of Eden? It seems hard to argue with Paradise. Especially as revitalization is rather our hope, hm?”

A slow worry begins to cross Obadiah's features, but not until Emma mentions the whole Garden of Eden thing. A hand finds the scruff of his beard and he rubs at it in a way that is thoughtfully terrified. "Well, that might just work, but we'll have to be a little vague about what Garden we're going for. Otherwise you're just inviting Tony to show up in nothing but a fig leaf with some sort of notion to engage in original sin." And with that Obadiah downs the rest of his scotch to drown the image from his mind, which Emma will of course see, and probably wish she hadn't. Then he reaches for the little bowls in the lid of his very custom transportation box, setting out one for himself and one for Emma.

"I do rather enjoy the idea of fresh fruit, vegetables, maybe something from Hampton organics. I've actually got my security chief vetting some help for the night. There's going to be a whole lot of power in that room, and some of them won't even show up unless they know they have three layers of protection or more circling the borders. Thankfully, with the Expo still under re-vitalization, we won't have to worry about anyone from the general public anywhere near the grounds. In fact, I might be able to arrange tours for anyone who wants to see some other attractions still under construction. Maybe even garner some interest when the Expo goes live again." His smile returns at that, a point of pride bright in his mind, and his eyes settle on Emma again as he pulls the top off of the Whiskey and Pecans.

"It's really going to be something. I'm glad our little party can be the first official event. Oh, and I had an idea about how we could play up our special guests. I've asked an old friend of mine to lend an asset, a photographer. He's the one with all those pictures of that Spider-Guy who's all over the internet. I'm sure none of our heroes will mind if we arrange for a few pictures, at the price of a donation from those interested, of course."

Fortunately—or unfortunately—for Emma, her guest’s mental wanderings are hardly the worst she’s encountered. And as such, there’s a spark of amusement that persists despite Obadiah’s despairing comment. “I would think he’d know better than to show up to a…”

The blonde stops herself short, and then purses her lips.

“Perhaps you might convey to Mister Stark that his tuxedo will be best, should you begin to think he’s straying from the proverbial mark?” Leaning over, Frost then plucks up the tub of Brambleberry before cautiously sitting it on the edge of the table. White and berry does, after all, carry the threat of disaster.

“And as for the photographer, I think that is a positively splendid idea. I’m all for monetizing fame. I’ve spoken to a few galleries around town, and I think I have a few on the hook for providing a few art pieces for a silent auction. A couple of sculptures. A few paintings. Local artists. And, if you haven’t already pursued it, I have a few connections with the New York Philharmonic. The joys of being a patron. We might be able to swing something there. And, if not, I have numerous ensembles who I’m certain would leap at the opportunity.” Or could be moved to, given a small nudge. “I know the connections aren’t quite as esteemed as yours, but they do prove useful.”

The brandy is set down as the woman sets herself to the important task of opening the container of ice cream, trying not to scuff her manicure in the process. After a long moment of failed strategy , she tilts it in Obadiah’s direction.

“Would you mind terribly…?”


That thoughtful expression continues as he takes the ice cream from her and twists it open, standing so that he might lean over and scoop some out and onto her bowl before he sets the spoon next to the helping. "Connections? Me? These people just have to put up with me. No, it's mostly Tony, and mostly just a little old fashioned bribery. Having a connection to the Philharmonic is worth more than all that. I have no idea how these people are as conversationalists, and I'm sure a few might not mind putting some of the other guests in jail." His eyes lift with amusement at that, and he returns to his own ice cream, picking up his little tray-bowl thing to sample it. His expression turns overwhelmed, and his eager nod will indicate his role as canary in the coalmine has paid off: It's delicious. "Wow. This is fantastic. Tony has this stuff shipped in every week. I think he's maybe actually eaten it twice of course, like everything else, a fleeting idea in his head and then gone from his mind the next day."

He gives a wave then, returning to his point. "In any case, we know the Philharmonic makes wonderful music. Me? I might be good for smuggling someone across the Sokovian border or figuring out where some arms shipment is going because I used to actually sell along the same routes back when Tony and I didn't care exactly who used our weapons. No, you have the sure things. I've got a few drops in a bucket." Another bite of the ice cream and he already looks like he's forgotten about anything Tony might do at the party.

Of course, he's already told him to bring two suits. One formal, one metal.

Got to wow the crowd, after all. "So, a silent auction, photographs. Maybe a world class magician working the crowd.. and the stage, if she's amiable. We have an idea for food, for a theme, and I'm certain between the two of us we can convince a few more millions of dollars to part with their owners with just the right smiles and handshakes. You know. I might just see if they can have some of this ice cream brought over. I'm cutting back on the sugar these days but boy, this really is something else."

Putting a portion of her chosen ice cream in the attached bowl, Emma tastes a small bite. There’s a certain gaze she casts the dish, and the container it came from. Abruptly, she leans forward and snags the whole thing. “Apologies, Mister Stane,” she says as she bats her eyelashes at him playfully, “but I don’t think I can bring myself to share this one.”

She is still wary as she settles back into the couch, but she listens carefully as she eats.

As Obadiah speaks of their philanthropic team-up, however, she falls into a pensive silence. When she breaks it, she stares down at the container in her hands. “Convincing others to see things as I do is something at which I excel, you’ll find.”

Another, paler, smile follows the sentiment as she lifts her gaze to regard him once more.

With a bite of her appropriated ice cream still in her mouth, a muffled ‘Mrph’ escapes and then she hurriedly sets down dessert and pushes herself to her feet. As she ascends the few stairs and moves towards her expansive mahogany and glass desk with her long and measured stride, she holds aloft a single slender finger in the international sign for ‘one moment.’

From her desk, she picks up a very thin attaché case wrapped in a fine, black Italian leather and then carries it back to their seats. “My gift seems so paltry by comparison, since it’s more mea culpe than I wish was necessary, but it is here for you all the same.” Sitting down, she places the case flat upon her lap. She spins in a combination and then pops open the two clasps with an underwhelming, muted ‘click’.

Inside, a pair of hard drives, wrapped with perfectly tied red satin bows and nestled in foam. She turns the case to face her guest.

“I present to you, Mr. Stane, the two hard drives from the public Club server. They’ve been offline for weeks, but I just felt better with the troublesome things handed off. I wanted to get them to you sooner, but there was a little… Reticence. But, regardless, they’re here, and they’re yours. I’m so sorry for the trouble Mister Lucky has caused. He’s been advised to not repeat the incident, for whatever that’s worth.”


He isn't always so very jovial but when she snatches the ice cream away he can't help but laugh. Perhaps it's the excitement of a pet project coming to fruition, coupled with the good company. Maybe he just didn't get to socialize much. He takes another bite of his own ice cream before setting it down, well aware his doctor would scream bloody murder at what he's eaten already. Then Emma is on a mission.

He half turns, watching her go, and when she returns with the case his brows lift.

Lucky Yin.

Obadiah had almost forgotten about him. Almost. he'd had that one on the back burner. A plan set, ready to go, should Tony or someone else not make it right. Then, the party had happened.

"Well now. That's just… " A hand lifts, and he scratches behind his ear, and his smile cracks again. "The bows are a nice touch." When he retrieves them, one at a time, he almost seems to take stock of their weight in his hands, then he shakes one a little. "I can imagine it wasn't a pleasant conversation, but it's likely better it came from you than me."

It is perhaps the first real time she has sensed the danger around him, in his mind, coiled far beneath the surface. But his work must demand it, and before Tony and Obadiah found their mission to rid the world of the very weaponry they used to make, he must have engaged his ruthless side with far more ease. "You have my sincere thanks. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Lucky Yin is going to end up in your scrutiny again. It didn't take much looking to find out he likes to gamble. And what was this, if not an immense gamble?" He shakes his head, and then sets the drives on the table.

"I do hope that was his last talking to."

The way he phrases it is with the kind of callous ire that cuts right through his often fatherly tone and easy going nature. His meaning does not require any telepathic ability to fully grasp. He expects that the next time Lucky Yin crosses a line, action, not words, will be the response.

As praise of the tech’s finishing touch is offered, Emma smiles. It’s a smile that doesn’t fade or change with the shift in conversation to Obadiah’s outline of a man’s character, nor with the tide of less-than-vague threat as it washes in and over their conversation and the accompanying psychic tone that resonates truthfully. There’s only a little hum of agreement, and the empty case is quietly snapped shut and set down to the floor.

“As do I,” comes the matter-of-fact reply, blonde eyebrows arching upwards emphatically as the woman frowns. “I confess to not being overly fond of finding myself ignored. I’ve also no desire to set any sort of precedent that involves me repeating myself. I tend to become… Well, let’s just say you would be hard-pressed to find anyone willing or able to accuse me of being long-suffering.”

The ice cream is picked up again, and she takes a slow and savoring bite.

Shrugging bare shoulders helplessly and closing her crystalline eyes for a moment, the woman sighs and then continues. “Call it a flaw, if you like.”

Hard to find people like her. Like me.

His mind goes to the kindred spirit he sees in front of her, watching her savor her ice cream, a lounging predator in it's favored domain. This, the comfortable admission of her 'shortcoming', tells him more about her than any previous conversation. There are days when he wonders, as he does now, if his own tolerance for the dangers in the world, nevermind specific people, will drive him mad.

"I wouldn't call it that at all. It's difficult to speak softly, and carry a big stick. Many say they do. Few ever use the stick when it needs to be used. Speaking of which, I didn't want to drag down our conversation about the party, but there's a new initiative I'm trying to get Tony to sign off on. It's something that…" He seems distracted, perhaps torn, and his mind churns over so quickly it's hard to make sense of the pattern that plays over his surface thoughts. Images of war. Destruction, maybe?

"I've been watching the world begin it's spiral towards war since Tony put on the suit. Something is coming, and I want to be prepared. Right now all we have is the promise of the Justice League and the Avengers that they have our best interests at heart, all predicated on the idea that certain people on their rosters very simply cannot be corrupted." His gaze shifts from the table, up to meet her own. "That I know they are wrong keeps me awake at night."

He shakes his head then, his little smirk almost harrowed. "I'm not suggesting anything dire, of course. Just a conversation with Tony about standing up something separate, something with oversight. You have money, power, agendas, and have yet to drive a war or drop a building on a city street, and every time you speak, people listen Emma. If something like that comes to be, I'd certainly like you to be a part of it."

Emma Frost is many things, among them a good listener. A very good listener. She hears it all with a neutral expression, the spoken word and the buried thought, as she listens without apology on both levels. But at the last, her head tilts a degree to one side as her eyelids narrow in an open display of shrewd observation.

“I don’t know about all of that,” the curvy thing in the silk dress replies, transfixed by her ice cream anew as the upward curve of her painted lips grows overtly nuanced. After picking up her glass and taking a sip of her brandy, she continues eating the decadent frozen dessert in her hands.

“However, I confess a curiosity. When you’ve more idea as to what all will be entailed, I’d listen. Particularly if you broach the subject with Mister Stark—keeping my name far from the matter, of course—I would very much be interested in what he says to it. People tend to favor oversight… until they’re the ones being overseen. Human nature.”

"Organization, restraint, are the best evolutionary gifts we possess. I just want to make sure that if and when the world starts falling apart at the seams, someone with the real life experience to guide things along has some say in how it's handled. That said.. I'll make sure I follow up with you, after speaking with Tony." He seems encouraged, at least, but she will notice him making a mental note to leave her name out of it. Not that he thinks he'll need some special power to persuade Tony that setting up this kind of resource is a good thing. His current endeavor was born from a similar conversation, after all.

An alarm goes off on Obadiah's watch, and he reaches over to silence it, staring at the information there for a moment before giving a shake of his head. "Sokovian border problem. They're letting everyone with twenty bucks and a smile past the border. I'm sorry to cut this short - If my doctor wouldn't smack me for it, I'd sit here and eat ice cream with you all night and tell you some more about how I'm going to save the world!" His brows lift, and he puts an absurd spin on his idea for a particularly reason: Because it is just.

With all the heroes and villains out there, people larger than life, what can one washed up iron monger hope to accomplish? Maybe with a little help from his friends though, their might be hope. He stands, and gathers up the drives, but he does leave the cold box for Emma - along with the delicious contents.

"I'll make sure we meet once a week leading up to the party, just to make sure everything goes perfectly, yeah? I'll have Jarvis set it up. Maybe next time we can have dinner somewhere, but you'll have to pick the place. I think most of the places I used to eat at closed in the 90's."

“It’s no trouble at all, Mister Stane. I love listening, but I absolutely understand the demands of authority’s mantle. I should think once a week seems perfectly reasonable, as we still have a little time. As for dinner, I have a few places I could ring up for reservations. You’re alright with somewhere a little more private, yes? I just can’t abide gawkers.” After a pause, she shrugs. “Well, I suppose that’s a little bit of a lie. But I do appreciate their staying away when there’s business to see to.”

To make the process of packing up easier, Emma rapidly sets down her dessert—with not a spot on that pristinely white outfit of hers—and picks up the attaché case once more to balance it atop her one hand after opening it. “Here,” she offers, holding it up to transport the troublesome hardware. “Take the case. You’re leaving me the far more delicious offering.”

At the offer of the case he's grateful, placing the drives inside and taking it from her again once it's all closed. At that he straightens his tie a little, and reaches out to curl a hand over her shoulder. It might be a more familiar or intimate touch than most people might dare with Emma Frost, but Obadiah is not most people. His squeeze is ever thankful, and he lets go after only a moment. The last time he had touched anyone like that with such familiarity was his daughter, and Emma can see it in his mind. It was right before Whitney left the last time. They had fought on her short visit here, about the work he did. That work has changed now, but she hasn't come back to see him, and has been in England ever since. He's worried he might never see Whitney again.

"Thank you, again. For dealing with this whole drive situation, for being an excellent partner in planning this gala, and most importantly for good company. Oh, pick any place you like. I'm good with what you're good with. Would you mind if I got a picture of that rug on my way out? I think I might spruce up the condo. Maybe get something in the same family, and I'd love to have a reference. It really is something special."

Like he said, it really did tie the room together.

Few people would dare, indeed.

At the warm touch upon the cool bared skin of her shoulder, Obadiah might feel a slight twitch as Emma thinks to pull away. It is something easy enough to miss. Or to forgive, perhaps, given the flicker of surprise that passes over her countenance. The tenseness in her eases when, just as instinctual, her mind stretches out. There, she finds the non-threatening memory sitting so close - so clear - and not what she was expecting to see.

She then offers yet another pleasant smile as looks up the small distance between them.

“Of course,” she agrees amiably. “I’ll have my assistant send the name of the interior designer when she sends the dinner details? He’s always finding the most wonderful little treasures for me.”

Turning, she goes once more up the few steps—pressing a button subtly under an occasional table—as she moves to lead her guest towards the door with a comfortable, swaying stride. She opens the door and takes her place at its side.

“I hope you don’t mind that I’m not walking you down to your car, Mister Stane. But I’ve got a member of our staff coming up to be certain you get out alright.”

It’s not really a request, the waiting. The security personnel is already on his way.

She will wait for the last of the niceties to be dispensed with and for the security to come, entertaining with the light conversation of no substance all the while, before smiling her final smile. “Thank you for a lovely evening. And the wonderful news. I’ll be in touch very soon.” And then she simply goes back into her office.

One shouldn’t waste brandy and premium ice cream, after all.

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