Flowers And Jewelry


Grant_icon.gif Gwen_icon.gif

Summary: Flowers and jewelry are supposed to be the way to woo a woman, right?

Date It Happened: December 27, 2001

Flowers And Jewelry

The Galton Mansion

There's one thing to be said about Grant: when he finds something that works for him, he sticks with it. And while his invitation for Gwen to come to his home could be construed as something entirely unbusinesslike, he does actually have something for her to do. Her snatching of the Cheval Blanc for Edgar was fantastic work and put her high on his list of People To Hire To Acquire. Like a good host, he's set out a few things to nibble and drink while the discussion goes on. There's plenty of Redcoat mixed, and it's all laid out in his study, along with the dogs. The night is chilly for LA, but nothing unusual for the time of year.

Today's terrifically sluttish ensemble involves tight brown leather pants and a tawny colored top that only goes over one shouder. And of course, soft beige colored silk gloves. The girl's got gloves for every occaision. Upon arrival, she lounges in the frame of the doorway. "You rang?"

Grant likes evening gowns and classy business suits, but there's no denying that Gwen's typical mode of dress is just as effective. He's not surprised when she shows up in the doorway of the study, and neither are the dogs, apparently, who cast apathetic glances her way before closing their eyes and returning to their interrupted naps. The cambion smiles and indicates the sofa conveniently placed opposite his chair. "I did. Have a seat. I may have another job for you."

"Well, you didn't deep dick me out of my fee for the wine, so I'm a bit more willing to listen." says Gwen as a matter of course, and goes to sprawl on Grant's couch, like some young Roman noblewoman expecting slaves to wait on her hand and foot.

What an interesting choice of words. Grant is already leveling out a redcoat into a glass, and he even bought some swizzle sticks for the occasion. The drink is offered to Gwen, followed soon by the tray of hors d'oeurves that rests on the nearby service table. "I'm a man of my word. Besides, I believe in paying for a job well-done. Have you heard of Skid Row Florists?"

"Let me guess, it's a flower shop on Skid Row?" She accepts the glass with a murmured thanks and begins stirring her drink with the swizzle stick. "You want me to knock off a flower shop?"

Grant just smiles. So observant! "That's one way of putting it," he chuckles as he settles back with his own drink (a glass of orange soda). "It's a little more involved than that. You'll be well-compensated. I have the blueprints and security detail here— " he indicates a folder on the table.

"A flower shop. What is it, a secret base for Ali Babba and his forty thieves? Or maybe Jack Sparrow's lost treasure?" She eyes him. "Are there man-eating plants in there? I've seen Little Shop of Horrors, you know."

Oh those silly musicals. "Ironically, it is a plant I would like you to retrieve. Let's just say the shop has a crop that needs harvesting." Grant takes a sip from his soda.

Gwen's eyes narrow. "What kind of plant?" she asks. "Drugs will add time to a sentence, not that I ever get caught."

Grant grins cryptically, amused at some inadvertent joke. "It's not a drug, per se, but it's an unusual and extremely rare plant. You wouldn't find it in your typical florist shop, which is why it needs to be removed from theirs."

Gwen takes a swig of her redcoat. "Alright, I give." she holds out her silk covered hand for the details. "What's so not typical about it?"

Grant picks up the folder by a corner and passes it to Gwen before settling back in his chair again. "It's not typical for the same reason neither you nor I are typical," he responds casually. "It has certain characteristics that set it apart."

Within the folder are, of course, floorplans for the shop, the address, and notes on the sort of security. There's also a sketch depicting a rather unusual-looking plant: a large almond-shaped bud with a seam splitting the center, much like a tulip bud, though without petals. The stalk is thick with an occasional leaf and vine springing from it — and littered with wicked-looking black thorns.

Gwen's brows go up to her hairline. "How do you expect me to transport that thing?"

"It's small enough to carry, and it's in a pot. I would advise not touching the thorns or the bud, however. You'll need to be cautious." He takes another hit from the glass. "If you prefer, I can arrange to have a car waiting outside to take it immediately. I really only need a woman of your talents to get in and remove it."

Gwen lifts a brow. "I think you better commission some kind of carrying vessel." she says frankly. "I'm not going to just carry it out under my arm like a newspaper or some Egyptian statue."

"I can arrange for a box." He raises both eyebrows expectantly, waiting for any other questions or concerns to be voiced — or a price quote, whichever might be the case.

"And what is your projected value?" Gwen inquires mildly.

"For this, I would say— " Grant trails off and peers thoughtfully up at the ceiling, waving his glass in small circles "— $60,000." Because downplaying the price leaves plenty of room for negotiation and compromise.
"You want me to go after some killer magical Audrey plant and you only want to pay me $60K?" Gwen laughs. "Oh, you're funny. Try $120,000."

Grant cocks one eyebrow, smirking. "I never said it was a killer magical Audrey plant." All right, so the resemblance is there. But he didn't say it! "$80,000."

Gwen rolls her eyes. "What, was I born yesterday? You work for Wolfram and Hart. It's got to be some kind of killer magical Audrey plant. One ten."

That gets a grin from Grant. She's so delightful! He enjoys these little chats. "You're always so quick to assume the worst. Ninety." Even if the worst is, in fact, the truth.

"Doing anything else generally winds you up dead or screwed. And by screwed, I mean in the not fun way. One hundred thou."

"A 'screw', as you put it, is quite enjoyable. You ought to give it a try." The smile that follows is sweet, but certainly not innocent. "Done." Grant rises to his feet, setting his glass aside on the service table. "And I have something else for you. A belated Christmas gift, if you will."

"No thank you." she says, smooth and creamy as butter. "To the former, anyway. I confess to being curious about the latter. I didn't get you anything. It seemed redundant."

Grant moves to the desk and withdraws a black, long jeweler's box of about the size one would expect to find a necklace. The drawer is closed and he returns to the little cluster of furniture. "Forgive me for not having wrapped it," he remarks, though he doesn't sound all that apologetic. Especially since no wrapping makes it easier to open and present the necklace to Gwen. It's quite a gorgeous and rather expensive piece: pear-shaped rubies dangling from a band lined with several yellow diamonds, set into white gold.

Gwen cocks her head to the side as she looks at it, her lips parting. "It's beautiful." she says when she finally has voice, "But I can't accept it." The redcoat is put down as Gwen prepares to flee.

Curious, but not entirely unexpected. Grant's smile returns, though it's wry. "Of course you can. It's as simple as reaching out your hand and taking it. And no, it's not bugged, in case that's what has you worried." There's no fun in bugging things; it removes the physical aspect of speaking to someone face-to-face.

"No," she says, though what she's saying no to is unclear. "This isn't a gift you give to someone you occaisionally offer freelance burgalry jobs to, Grant. This is the sort of gift you give to a woman you're sleeping with. Or married to." She rises to her feet. "Thank you for the drink. And the thought." She collects the paperwork.

"This is the sort of gift I give to a woman who makes my life a little bit more interesting," Grant supplies, unruffled. "I'm a generous man, and a fruitcake is far too bland." He does snap the jeweler's box closed, but in the same movement he offers it out toward her. "Take it. You can pawn it off if you like, or consider it half of the payment for this job."

Gwen actually takes a step back. "I'm not in the habit of pawning gifts, even if the person who gave them to me really pisses me off. It'll be one hell of a re-gift, but I'm sure you can figure out someone else on your list worthy of it." With that, she backs up a few more steps, turning and heading for the door.

Grant withdraws the box with a faint smile, tapping it against the fingers of his opposite hand. He shakes his head, but doesn't attempt to stop her from leaving. "As you wish. Have a good evening, Gwen."

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