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Summary: Gwen breaks into Grant's house to prove she can, leaving a forgery of the painting she stole from him…because she can. Grant manages to get under her skin before the visit ends.

Date It Happened: December 17, 2001


Grant's Beverly Hills Home

The Galton house in Beverly Hills is among the elite, and for good reason: it's expensive, huge, and highly secure. Sure, most of that relies on electricity, but there are also the dogs: three Dobermans, well-trained and big. Which means very little when they're curled up happily and asleep in dog beds on the floor of the study. They're really only supposed to be protective when Grant isn't in the house, which he is at present. He's seated at the desk in his study going over a few things from work, dressed in a button-down white shirt and the dress pants he wore earlier to the office. As is fairly typical of the lawyer during such times, there is music playing quietly on the stereo system set up for just such a purpose: a recording of Gounod's Faust.

Grant's security system is cake for a girl like Gwen. She pretty much makes it all the way into the house, tube in silk covered hand, clad in a black bodysuit that she utilizes for her evenings out at work. She can tell someone's in the study by the light under the door and the sound of the music, and as she stands back against the wall at one side of the door, considers whether to leave her little present, or actually knock and waltz in. No one's screaming, so it's likely that he doesn't have some chippy-come-lately (if she did at all) in there.

No, it's just Grant and the dogs, and he definitely doesn't love his dogs that much. One of them lifts her head, ears perked, and stares at the door expectantly. Even with the music going, she seems to know someone is there. It's not like they get many visitors this time of night. There's a quiet growl that is quickly silenced by a muttered command. Grant doesn't look at the door. He leans back in the office chair and reaches for the tumbler of orange soda resting on a coaster at the corner of his desk. It's not always about brandy and leatherbound books.

Why not. Gwen's done more dangerous things in her time. It never occurs to her that he might, you know - shoot her. So she knocks.

That's a thought worth rethinking, since the sound of the knock does cause Grant to reach into a drawer and withdraw the 9mm Glock resting within. It's more a precaution than anything. Anyone with murderous intentions wouldn't have knocked, even if they did break into the house. The dogs are not so trusting. All of them leap to their feet and begin barking up a storm before they are again silenced and commanded to sit. Glass in one hand, gun in the other, Grant turns his chair to face the door and calls nonchalantly: "Come in."

And in strolls Gwen. The hand not holding the tube is briefly lifted toward the dogs - there are electronic emitters that transmit a frequency designed to keep animals fenced in their yards; simple enough to do in this case and keep them away from her. It's better this way - Gwen hates accidental death, even for doggies. She puts the tube on his desk and say simply, "I'm done with it now. Thanks for the borrow."

The dogs don't move a muscle — they're very obedient — but they watch Gwen intently as she moves from the door to the desk. Grant glances between her and the tube and doesn't bother putting away the gun. It just rests on his thigh with his fingers casually curled over the handle. "You're welcome," he states as though this were a natural occurrence, this woman breaking into his house, walking into his study, and returning a stolen painting. "You could have rung the bell, you know, though I suppose that is hardly something one could expect from you."

Well. Not a stolen painting per se, but a rather excellent forgery of a stolen painting. Gwen's client was quite pleased, and she has a tidy sum collecting interest in her off-shore bank account. "I do have manners." she says, not the least unruffled. "I only opt to bother with them when it's appropriate."

"Mm." Grant tucks the gun back into its drawer and slides it closed, then rises to his feet. "I also have manners, and I opt to use them even when it doesn't seem appropriate. Can I get you something to drink?" See? Manners. Grant has them. Even if standing up gives him ample opportunity to eye Gwen up and down. At least he's subtle. That's also manners.
"Well, bully for you." Gwen says brightly, and looks around. Selecting one of the study's seats, she drapes herself in one. "Redcoat. Double the voddie. Do you have swizzle sticks? I love those."

That gives Grant a moment's pause and he smirks slightly. "If you want a Redcoat, we'll have to go to the bar downstairs. I haven't got all the ingredients here in the study. And I'm fresh out of swizzle sticks." 'Fresh out' meaning he never had them in the first place. He heads for the door and draws it open for Gwen, which is also part of those aforementioned manners. "Since you don't know my name, I can only assume you found the address by running the license plate on my car." She was rather close to it the other night.

"Grant Galton, attorney, Wolfram and Hart. You must be quite good, or you wouldn't have been able to afford the Toulouse-Lautrec." She unencumbers her limbs, smoothly rising to her feet. "Cute dogs." she remarks, and makes her way past him, pausing once outside to turn and face him. "Lay on, MacDuff." She gestures. "And here's hoping I can make it out of your posh house before you call the cops, if you haven't already."

Grant exits soon after Gwen, closing the door behind him. The dogs don't get to follow. "There's plenty of money to be made by a divorce attorney in Los Angeles," he says matter-of-factly as he moves past the woman, brushing by in a proximity that is perhaps a little closer than is needed in the broad hallway. "And I haven't called the cops. It's much more effective to shoot intruders first; that way the police can arrive at their leisure. It's hell on the cleaning bills, though." He casts an easy smile over his shoulder — but it's not exactly mirthful.

"I'm sure you'll be a gentleman and inform me before you try to shoot me." Her breath is held in at the near contact - but not for the reason he might think. She wears those gloves for a reason, and at present, only the flesh of her collar, neck, and head are exposed. Still, accidents happen. She'd to accidentally kill him after going through the trouble of getting him a nice forgery. "I've never worked for Wolfram and Hart." she remarks. "But I hear they've got their fingers in a lot of pies."

"If I plan to shoot you, you'll be the first to know." Maybe. The hallway stretches on to the staircase, down which Grant starts without much ado. The mention of his employers gets a raise of both eyebrows from him, but it's more mild surprise than anything, and he doesn't turn his head to make the gesture very visible anyhow. "Wolfram and Hart has several legal branches, yes." But he's got a feeling she's not talking about the legal branches. After dismounting the staircase, he heads through the foyer toward a pair of larger double doors, one of which is also held open for Gwen. It leads into an expansive entertaining room decorated as lavishly as the rest of the place with plenty of places to sit and, more importantly, a bar. There's also a black grand piano and a cello.

Gwen looks around, looking, well…mildly impressed. She walks past the cello, runs a silk clad finger along the piano. "Steinway Grand…these babies are nigh impossible to move. I'm guessing you play both." She moves to one of the couches and again resumes her graceful sprawl, keeping her eyes on him. Absently, she tugs on the finger of one of her gloves, red mouth curling at the corner.

Grant heads straight for the bar and proceeds to mix the previously requested drink. As long as Gwen is within touching distance of the instruments, he keeps a close eye on her, and not just because of her looks. He's very protective of them. "Oh, I assure you, everything in this room is bolted down," he remarks offhandedly. "I do play both. I don't believe in collecting musical instruments just for the aesthetic." Shakeshakehshakeshake, pour. After topping off his own orange juice, he heads over to Gwen's seat and passes off the Redcoat before moving to settling into a nearby chair. "Do you play?"

Gwen accepts it and takes a sip. She's a little disapointed at the lack of swizzle stick. "Even the cello? I imagine having it bolted down would make it hard to play." But she shakes her head. "It was never something I had time for. Best I can do is sing the words to 'I'm Sailing Away' without my voice breaking." He put a suitable amount of vodka in it - she's pleased.

"We all start somewhere," Grant utters mildly, setting aside the soda without taking a sip. It seems as though it's there to hold onto more than drink. "No time, mm? I assume you were too busy breaking into cars and stealing paintings." The last is said with another smirk. "Or were you too busy melting watches?"

"My educational experience was rather particular." Gwen says without getting ruffled. "Melting watches is an easy enough trick. Sort of like what you do to entertain the guests when you're having them over for cocktails. Is this the part where you start grilling me about what kind of freak I am?" The word is said with no trace of bitterness. She's a freak, and she accepts that.

Grant smiles — again not a very mirthful expression — at the word. "I would hardly call playing music a trick. A skill, perhaps, but not a trick. And I could grill you, but it would not be nearly as entertaining as finding out for myself. I've already deduced that it's related to physical contact, and your hand was warmer than a normal woman's when you had it at my throat earlier." And then suddenly, he reaches out a hand as though to rest it on Gwen's calf or knee.
Gwen's reactions are scary quick - again, like those of a vampire, as her leg is pulled back and her silk encased hand is clamped around his wrist. "Lookie, no touchy." she chides, releasing it and easing back again. Accidents do happen, even with the insulation her clothes provide.

Grant doesn't protest, but smiles wider. "And at least somewhat involuntary," he adds in regards to her power. "Clothes keep it in check, perhaps." He withdraws his hand, but only so far as to rest his elbow on one knee. "That must make your love life difficult."

"I'm sure yours is far from difficult." she replies, steering away from that topic. "So where's the trophy wife? Aren't all suitably rich lawyers - even divorce lawyers - supposed to have one?"

Once again, Grant smiles, and he at least has the decency to make it look pained. "My wife was killed in a car accident two years ago," he responds flatly. "As was my son." He finally reaches for the glass again and takes a sip from it. "You are not married." There's no ring and no ring mark on her finger. This, coupled with the idea of her power, lends little room for doubt. "You were either cursed before you could find someone, or you were born with it."

"I'd say I'm sorry, but you're not as grieved as you appear to be." Gwen replies. He's getting into parts of her he doesn't have permission to access. She rises, setting the glass down on an endtable. "Thanks for the drink."

Oops, struck a nerve. Grant rises when she does, setting aside the soda. "I'll see you to the door." Both to ensure that her hands are kept to herself and because it's fun to watch her walk, naturally. It takes only a few strides to reach the door before her and pull it open. At the exit into the grounds, however, he places his hand against the door to hold it closed and smiles at Gwen. There's something … different. His eyes appear just a little brighter and the natural and very mild allure of the man is very noticeably stronger. "Come again, if you like — preferably while someone is home. I would hate to find you torn to pieces by the dogs."

Gwen starts to smile, and realizing it, her expression turns almost indignant. "I just wanted to drop off your painting." she replied. "I've no reason to bother you further." Her smile comes back, this time challenging. "And I hate for you to come home to a bunch of dead dogs." With that, she's out the door and into the night. The Miata she drove here? Probably stolen. It'll be in a chop shop before the stroke of midnight.

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