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 Hook, Line, And Sinker, 1.21.17 | 22:00 :: UES | Closed
Notion
 Posted: Nov 11 2017, 10:34 AM
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With a hand from the valet, Charlie was helped out of the black Audi SUV and onto the sidewalk outside of the bar. The unassuming façade of the trendy Upper East Side speak easy was spoiled by the necessity for a valet service. With the caliber of clientele that the swanky establishment saw, there was no room for parking outlandishly expensive sports cars at the meter or somewhere in the neighborhood. She’d picked this place specifically for the spirits collection, since it was the only spot in town that had such a diverse and eclectic assortment of whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches. But most importantly, Charlie was in the mood for some shameless indulgence in order to make herself feel better. It was starting to feel like her shiny happy existence in this new country was progressively turning to shit.

Tonight, she’d fully intended to squash her woes with combustion engine therapy. The season for clearing her head with a motorcycle ride was long gone, and now Charlie was intent on procuring a new set of wheels that were more suited for winter. Members of Manhattan’s wealthy elite who had made it out tonight seemed to have plenty to offer, so the woman felt she had room to be a little choosy. Swaddled in a nearly floor length charcoal gray wool coat, Charlie reached for the slender silver case in its pocket, retrieved a freshly rolled cigarette and lit up. Honey brown eyes surveyed the next car that arrived, a petite and curvaceous old Shelby Cobra. Tempting… but she was looking for something a little more new school. With a long drag of her cigarette, Charlie turned and swayed aside in order to let a pair of folks pass by without too much risk of them turning back around upon their first whiff of her pheromones.

Charlie heard the sound before she saw it. The purr of an engine so meticulously tuned and artistically fabricated that the looks of the thing perfectly complemented its outrageous price tag. Turning on her heels, her eyes soon met what her ears had suspected. A jaw droppingly ostentatious LaFerrari… It was even in her color. Charlie couldn’t be made to stifle the moan that the sight of that beauty brought to her lips, a passerby shooting a quizzical glance at the dazzlingly made up woman having a moment to herself on the sidewalk. And that was before the driver stepped out.

Though Charlie wasn’t naïve enough to really consider that she’d ever have a real or fulfilling intimate relationship with someone, it didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy a good look. And that’s just what she did, her gaze carefully observing the handsome young Brazilian man who handed the keys off to the valet and made his way inside. The guy was gorgeous, there was no debating that. But he looked somber, haggard, exhausted… He looked like an easy catch. Charlie was already beginning to feel better.

With one last hasty drag, Charlie finished her cigarette and extinguished it under the toe of her heel. Now was the time to turn on the charm, and the pheromones, so that after a drink and enough time for it to settle she’d be ready to get on with her night. A delightful evening of tearing up the town in a car too expensive and fast for her own good. Giddy as a kid at Christmas, Charlie easily made her way past the doorman and into a brightly lit room. The establishment ran a pie shop as a front for the speakeasy, a trendy detail that had garnered tons of attention for its novel charm. Proceeding forward, Charlie pushed through what looked like a stainless steel kitchen door and into the dimly lit, cavernous brick cave that was the speakeasy itself.

The back of the bar was adorned with all manner of bottles, vessels, and vials containing various hues of brown liquor. Pretentious clientele aside, this was Charlie’s kind of place. She made her way over to a bar stool and shrugged off her coat to reveal tonight’s wardrobe choice. A bit more risqué than she usually played, but tonight the girl was going for immediate effect. The open backed, forest green lace number she’d chosen was hemmed a little above her knees, leaving just enough to the imagination. By the time she draped her coat over the back of the barstool and slipped onto its seat, her pheromones were moving freely. Without the constraints of her coat, they were working hard and efficiently to fill the expanse of the low ceilinged room with her dulcet aroma. Easily flagging the bartender with a faint wave of her hand, Charlie voiced what would be her only order at the bar this evening.

“Pappy Van Winkle, the 15 year. Neat.” She offered to the bartender, the young man moving quickly to keep up with the high demand of delicately prepared cocktails and precisely poured ounces of illogically expensive spirits. Ferrari boy was behind Charlie, well out of her line of sight, but she could already start to feel eyes on her as a result of her mutation doing its work on the room. If Sunspot hadn’t noticed her yet, it was only a matter of time.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Nov 12 2017, 06:28 PM
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Roberto was miserable once again.

So he’d gone shopping. Strange enough, paying with cash for the sorts of the things that Berto liked to buy when he was sad had proved a little difficult. Cars were a weakness for the da Costa family; his father had possessed two garages of classic vehicles and even his mother, when she bothered to show her face, drove a DB5 through the streets of Rio like she was straight out of a Bond film. Roberto had the taste for a sexy car, the kind with bodywork that had curves for days. The model that had caught his eye that day had been a LaFerrari, a beautiful sporty number in gleaming black. He’d fallen in love as soon as he’d laid eyes on it and despite everything that had happened recently, he’d decided to buy. Was it because the thought he deserved to have nice things? Of course it wasn’t. Berto had a hole in his heart, in his soul, that needed filling and he figured new wheels would do just that.

Of course there had been a small complication with his purchase that had not crossed his mind at the time that he had agreed to buy; he hadn’t want the vehicle registered to him, or anyone who had any connection with da Costa International. Slip a few extra thousand to the most suspect high end car dealer you can find and those problems somehow disappear but still, it had meant a little leg work. Not placing an order in advance had proved a problem too, LaFerrari was technically sold out, and yet money spoke volumes. He’d driven someone else’s pre-order out of the dealership that afternoon. It was no long however before the guilt set in and the car quickly began serving as a terrible reminder that he was running from people that he had once called family. He was a killer and he was on the run. Life could not be any worse than it was. The rush of a new purchase had made it all feel better for a short while until suddenly the sleek, soft interior lost its sparkle and he felt no different driving it than if it had been an average little run about.

So he’d moved onto other ideas for taking his mind off of his troubles. What he hadn’t expected was to be given the brush off. Calling Mimic was the first thought that had come to mind when the car was no longer working its magic. He’d never really been the type of guy who called back but the time he’d spent with Calvin had been such a wonderful distraction. It had felt natural to call and not in the least bit awkward, he had after all given the man a key so that he could come and go as he pleased. But when Cal had asked for a rain check suddenly he’d found himself feeling stupid. Of course he’d only taken the key that had been offered to be polite, how had Beto not seen that at the time? Maybe his emotions were running on high because of everything that had happened, maybe he was unable to get a proper read on the situation because of the circumstances surrounding how they had hooked up. Whatever it was, Beto had found himself thinking a lot since Cal had left him last about how different being around him felt than with anyone else. It had certainly hurt to hear that for that night he was not wanted.

Plan B was to drink himself into a stupor. It never took long for him to reach that point; he had a habit of drinking copious amounts of spirits at about the rate he would knock back a glass of water. So getting wrecked would prove a quick and effective way to forget his troubles, and if he sunk so far into the drunken oblivion that all it did was make his problems appear worse (if that were even possible) then he’d just drink until he passed out. A few missing hours were preferable to a night alone with his thoughts. So he’d freshened himself up and suited himself in a charcoal grey Gucci suit with crisp white shirt. He often wore white with whatever suit he chose; he felt it looked best against his coffee coloured skin. He knew just the place he could visit to sit in a corner and sulk. Clubs were not the sort of place a billionaire went when they were feeling the weight of the world. There was a certain type of person who hung out at larger clubs and bars. They had a particular way of sniffing out even the most discreet wealthy person and latching onto them. Roberto often found himself with an altogether unfamiliar entourage when he ventured out into the city.

Stepping out of his car that evening and handing off his keys to the valet, Beto made no secret about having spotted the stunning woman in green smoking her cigarette a little way off. Not sure whether he had caught her eye or not, he flashed her his trademark smile anyway before heading into the bar. It was not like he expected her to follow, he would never be so arrogant, but off of the back of his earlier brush off he was just making sure to keep his options open. Upon entering through the charming facade of a pie shop and making a beeline for the bar, Berto ordered his drink without hesitation before sinking into a seat to sulk by himself. When Charlie entered the room she had to make her way by where he’d positioned himself for the evening and as she passed him he found himself drawn, looking up from his glass on the table. She smelled heavenly; he couldn’t quite put his finger on the combination of scents but it brought to mind happy feelings, like distant memories he couldn’t quite grasp.

Suddenly his solitary mood or all pretense of playing it cool had left him and before Beto knew what was happening he was up on his feet and heading to the bar again. In just a few strides he was by her side in time to hear her make her order. When the bartender had placed her drink down on the counter, Berto caught his attention. “Another Cachaça. Sagatiba Preciosa if you have it.” He asked in his heavily accented English. Beto had never gotten the hang of sounding American as many of his fellow Brazilians did. Now standing closer to Charlie at the bar, the stronger concentration of her pheromones hit him with such an instant buzz that he was forced to blink. Shaking his head at the sudden rush, he blamed it on necking his first drink, assuming that his mood was playing into how quickly he was falling victim to the distilled sugar cane. “Have you ever tried Brazilian rum?” He asked the woman next to him with a small smile, no longer able to keep from talking to her, there was just something so captivating about her; the soft tan of her skin, her large eyes and pouting lips.

All thoughts of how he had been knocked back by Cal earlier that day had gone and for the meantime the whole of Roberto’s focus was on Charlie.

Notion
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Notion
 Posted: Nov 13 2017, 08:54 AM
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In the time before Berto sauntered up to the bar and broke the ice, Charlie already had the need to dispatch a pair of would be suitors. Drawn in like moths to flame, they were sent away with a simple shake of her head, wave of her hand, and a terse “No.” They were merely distractions from the main event, like buzzing gnats swarming around her. The sooner the pair graduated from the bar to the car, the better it would be for Charlie given her current level of magnetism. As she felt Sunspot sidle up beside her, the master manipulator knew it wouldn’t be long.

If his car hadn’t already done a solid job of piquing her interest, that accent sealed the deal. Charlie was a sucker for a sultry drawl and had a natural affinity for languages and their use. Unfortunately for the both of them, though, Portuguese wasn’t one of the tongues she’d mastered. Not yet, at least. Shifting in her seat ever so slightly to open her posture toward Berto, Charlie surveyed the man up close for the first time. It was times like these that really frustrated the girl… Knowing she could have that beautiful of a man for everything he had to offer, except what she actually wanted most out of him at this particular moment. A cruel twist of fate for a pair so easy on the eyes. The car would do.

“Can’t say that I have. More of a bourbon girl myself,” Charlie replied retrieving her freshly poured drink and bringing the glass to her lips for a slow, indulgent draw. It wasn’t he spendiest or rarest bourbon on the shelf by a long shot, but damn did she love this particular spirit. The perfect balance of caramel sweetness and peppery spice that would be disgraced to see the addition of water or ice to its finely balanced palate. The kiss of Charlie’s lips on the amber liquid imparted with it the intoxicatingly concentrated dose of her pheromones. Placing the tumbler back onto the bar top she finally offered Roberto her full attention, turning her shoulders to square with his.

“But I’ll try anything once. I’ll trade you a sip,” she tempted, the smokey music of her voice accented by some difficult to place dialect. She didn’t need to flirt… her mutation did the hard work for her. In fact, Charlie’s general style of communication was direct and imperative, most of her statements at times like this coming out as clipped commands instead of delicately worded requests. Pleasantries were reserved for those she deemed worthy of them. Berto still had the work ahead of proving himself to be virtuous enough for those. Sliding her glass over to him, Charlie was pleased to see him agree to her proposition and return the favor.

“Cheers,” Charlie purred, clinking the corner of her tumbler into his and bringing the honey sweet liquor to her lips. Much to her surprise, the staunch bourbon proponent actually liked it. Sweet as dessert but delightfully so, the guy had both expensive and exquisite taste. Nights like this were often plagued with painful necessity, but every now and then Charlie stumbled upon a mark that she actually didn’t mind spending time with. Given that she’d just set her target up with a glass full of pheromones to sip on for the next short while, time would soon tell if he would continue to pleasantly surprise her. Glancing over the rim of the tumbler she spied Berto sampling from her bourbon like the good boy he was. A pleasant smile played at the corners of Charlie’s lips by the time she set her company’s glass down and traded it back for her own. Honey brown eyes leveled at Beto, subtly searching for those key signs that her night was going just as she’d planned.

Slowly at first, then all at once, she had him. Berto’s cheeks flushed, his pupils spreading like inky black puddles. His eyelids weighed down ever so slightly, lips parting absently with the flow of his quickening breath. He was hers already, without so much as an introduction. Hook, line, and sinker.

“Sit with me,” she pseudo-proposed but more so commanded, a lace adorned arm reaching out to pat the seat of the empty red leather bar-stool next to her. Her eager to please partner for the evening kindly obliged, setting into the seat without so much as taking an eye off her. “Aviela,” she introduced herself, opting to use her Hebrew middle name on a whim more than anything. The anonymity was nice at times, and it sounded much more pleasant on the ears than the typically men’s name she’d come to love and accept as her own. She extended a hand for Berto, curious as to how a dose of direct contact might sway the fetching fellow. With any luck, he wouldn’t turn into a hopeless idiot like Matthew, or a pretentious twat like Paul. By now though, there was one absolute certainty in this evening.

Charlie was leaving with that Ferrari.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Nov 16 2017, 12:13 PM
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Every ounce of Roberto’s attention was on Notion. He’d never experienced such an instant connection to a woman before; he wanted to get to know her more than he’d ever wanted to know a person. He couldn’t put his finger on exactly why such a complete stranger would hold such appeal but he found that he barely had the urge to question it. Just standing next to her filled him with nerves, excitement and anticipation, and he found that he was unable to take his eyes off of her as she spoke. He watched as she took a sip of her drink. His eyes lingering on her lips as they touched the glass, and he swallowed back a heavy breath as she placed the tumblr back on the bar, her attention returning to him. Her beauty filled him with a nervous tension, and for a moment he was struck dumb by the fear of saying something that would put her off. So when she offered that they trade tastes of their respective drinks he wasted no time in agreeing, nodding wordlessly, eager to earn her approval. He was not a fan of bourbon, it burned his throat no matter how delicately he drank it, but so eager was he to curry favour with Charlie that he took the glass in hand without thinking. He wanted her to like him and if she was a bourbon fan then he’d be one too.

I’m not much of a bourbon drinker.” He admitted with a playful grimace, “I have bottles and bottles of it back at home. Gifts from an ill informed friend.” Even the strength of the ease that Charlie’s pheromones had put him at were not enough to completely rid Roberto of the pang of guilt that flipped his stomach at the mention of Lucinda Guthrie but he brushed it off and continued. Now was not the time for negative emotions, he did not want his new found company latching onto them and sensing the vad vibe. “But I’m willing to give it another try. Maybe you can convince me.” He didn’t know how close to the truth he was. “Saude.” he replied, clinking his glass with her’s before taking a sip of the caramel liquid, smooth notes of vanilla and honey teasing his palette as he tasted. It was good, better than he had ever had. As the heady mix of whiskey and pheromones slipped down his throat it was only a matter of seconds before intoxication began to take its hold. It started as a tingling heat in his cheeks and chest, the skin flushing red. As he set Charlie’s glass down on the bar, he pulled at his collar to loosen the starched fabric and let in the cool air. By the time he had turned back to face the woman, his mind was lost almost entirely to her command.

Before he had even returned his gaze to the woman stood across from him, his thoughts had turned to her. When he had been much younger and living back in Brazil, he’d had felt the same butterflies the first time that he’d held Juliana Sandoval’s hand, the first time that he had kissed her. It was funny that after mere minutes in this woman’s presence he was feeling silly, like a smitten teenager. By the time deep brown eyes fell on her’s whatever attraction he had felt, whatever need to get to know her better, to be her friend, was swiftly turning into a deep and unquenching devotion. The feeling hit him like a tidal wave, knocking the breath from his lungs. He smiled to cover up his surprise, taking up the seat next to her at her command. It felt like the most natural action, with not even the slightest hint that Berto’s will was not his own. He wanted to sit next to her, could think of no better way to spend his time than in this woman’s presence. He’d never wanted to be with anyone more than he wanted to be with her. All too quickly, Charlie was Roberto’s world and every thought, every desire revolved around her. He would do anything to please her. Without question, without concern or doubt. Anything. He reached over to take her hand in his, a fresh dose of pheromones entered his system and tipped him over the edge.

Roberto da Costa was in love with a woman he barely knew.

Aviela. That is a beautiful name.” He said, “For a beautiful woman.” The words left his lips before he had time to consider how they sounded. He just wanted her to know how he felt. “Roberto da Costa.” He replied offering her his most charming smile. He took another sip from his own drink, savouring the sweetness of the sugarcane liquor, his heavy eyes flickering shut with his enjoyment of the taste and yet another sample of Charlie’s pheromones. As he opened them again he found himself desperate to ensure that he would have Aviela to himself for the rest of the night. He had always been a forward man, Berto preferred to come straight to the point without too much skirting around a subject. But there was a subtlety to that particular art. Typically Roberto preferred to build up to a moment (except maybe where Cal had been concerned, but circumstances were different and he had all but forgotten about the man), he worked hard to ensure that his company felt relaxed around him, that they got to know each other. But there was no time to waste, Aviela was the love of his life.

Forgive me for being so forward Aviela, but..” He paused, distracted for the moment by how the light made her eyes appear like flecks of gold. “Spend the evening with me. I want to know you. I want to know everything about you.
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Notion
 Posted: Nov 23 2017, 10:13 AM
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The warm touch of Roberto's hand on her own tempted Charlie with the alluring draw of physical affection. That luxury, of course, was well and far from her reach. It was reserved for those whose slightest caress didn't inspire chemically incensed intoxication. The intimate moments she’d stolen with Ava in the last few weeks were a break from the usual longing for something she couldn't have. Even so, Charlie had worked for years to temper the call of temptation when it came to men and women alike, and in moments of weakness always ended up coming back to the same realization: she wasn't mentally or chemically compatible with 99.9% of the people she'd come across in her quarter century on this planet.

Needless to say, the holding of hands was about as far as Berto would get with her tonight. As much as she'd love to indulge in those perfect lips, her mutation had a way of spoiling things rather quickly and there was still a great bit of work to do before she could really relax and enjoy herself. When her company introduced himself, Charlie's cool smile grew a few shades warmer. You'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard of Da Costa International. Hell, the multinational corporation even had a presence back in her tiny home country of Israel. The extravagantly expensive car was beginning to make a lot more sense, given that its owner was the powerful billionaire playboy at the helm of a business with the same moniker. If the ‘smooth talking’ and beautiful features hadn't already caught her attention, his seemingly bottomless pockets most certainly did.

“Pleased to meet you, Roberto” she replied, the words hardly a half-truth. This introduction could be the beginning of a useful and likely profitable relationship between the two, and her excitement for the night’s many splendid prospects was renewed. The deal just kept getting sweeter… first the car, then the billionaire status. Charlie fought the urge to daydream as to what she might rinse the unsuspecting dope of next. If she was lucky they would round third into Portuguese tutoring with a side of recipe sharing and some wardrobe repurposing. She’s a sucker for menswear.

Her company’s next utterance earned a raised eyebrow from Charlie, accompanied by an amused smirk. The imperative wording of his request tickled her. How cute, the boy who would soon be obeying her every beck and call was offering her a request of his own. She withdrew her hand from his to take one last sip of her bourbon, her mind and her company’s clearly made up. It seemed that the guy’s nature was doing most of the hard work for her at this point. Charlie’s eyes moved from her glass back to Roberto, holding his dazed gaze easily with the level of inebriation he’d achieved in unwittingly dosing himself in a variety of ways already. “There’s nothing to apologize for,” she clarified once he’d said his piece. “You’re a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. I can appreciate that quality,” she added, the left corner of her lips turning upward in a smirk at the thought of it. How good it must have felt for Roberto to hear those words. That affirmation of worth from the woman he’d come to inexplicably adore to the point of adulation.

“Finish your drink. It’d be a shame to waste a spirit like that,” she instructed before pushing her own bourbon glass his way. “This one as well.” The manipulator didn’t expect much protest. Growing up in a home with little, Charlie was never really able to waste in the ways she’d seen so many of Manhattan’s elite bleed off excess in New York. Drinks were to be had, but only one of them was getting buzzed tonight, and it certainly wasn’t going to be Charlie. She needed to be in tip-top shape for the breakneck speeds she was planning on putting that Ferrari through in a few short minutes. Anticipation had her short on patience for the pleasantries of more dreamy eyed lines from Roberto, so she made her move as if to convey that it was already time to leave. Charlie turned in her seat to face the man, leaning forward deliberty to inch dangerously closer to Berto before slipping out of the stool and around the back of it. She gripped the shoulders of her oversized coat and pulled the garment over her delicately adorned form. It was fun playing dress-up, and fooling around with fools, and drinking nice booze. It was fun playing tourist in a new place instead of your usual day job and time sink: playing terrorist. Now, she was ready for some results for the short bits of quality time she’d put in.

Pleased as punch that Roberto had obediently slammed an uncomfortable amount of brown liquor, Charlie looped an arm around his waist and led him to the door. Up until this moment, she hadn’t really asked the man to do anything he wasn’t already inclined to do. But she was about to request that he hand over something not only incredibly valuable, but extremely enviable. Billionaire or not, this was going to sting, but she was counting on the heavy dosage he’d just slugged down to play this next phase of Charlie’s plot in her favor.

“I will be driving. You’ve had too much to drink,” she informed clearly and simply as they pushed open the front door of the speakeasy. The sharp chill of this January night nipped at exposed ears and cheeks, but the valet was already on the radio to retrieve the LaFerrari at the sight of Berto’s beleaguered form. Charlie surveyed Roberto’s expression for any signs of protest but didn’t seem to find a single one. She had both logic and pheromones on her side here. In no time she heard the sound of the V12 engine purring towards her, a look of childlike anticipation flashing in Chuck’s eyes. They’d hardly been in the bar for twenty minutes, and the car was still warm from Berto’s drive. This was going to be perfect.

Charlie had already begun slipping off her heels before the valet brought the car to a stop in front of the pair. The driver’s door was left open as its temporary pilot stepped out and waited with a downright stupid grin for having only driven the thing two blocks. “Hold onto these for me,” she commanded, handing her shoes off to Berto before moving swiftly past him toward the shiny, sparkly prize. There would be no stiletto clad Ferrari driving today, just a lot of poor decisions regarding velocity in residential areas. She quickly made her way into the driver’s seat, the valet shooting her a somewhat surprised but amused grin when he considered what the woman had accomplished in such short time. With the most genuine smile she’d bore all night, Charlie beamed at her co-pilot as Roberto made it into the passenger seat and sealed the space-age feeling door beside him.

“Buckle up for safety, Roberto,” she advised while adjusting her seat and mirrors to suit the her much smaller stature. She clicked the racing-style seat belt into place and took a moment to survey her environment thoroughly. The interior was rather simple, the focus on the drive rather than bells and whistles. Her fingers ran over the meticulous stitching on the vaguely quadrilateral steering wheel, reaching for the shifters just beyond the wheel’s typical grip. “Where to?” she finally asked, giving the gas pedal a tempting press in neutral. The engine sprang to life, the subdued roar only a small indication of the power contained within. Charlie had to stifle a shiver, more bothered and hot from the car she was about to put through its paces than the smoking hot Brazilian playboy in the passenger seat.

Roberto gave the word and they were off, the stomach dropping pull of obscenely powerful torque driving the pair’s noggins back into the headrests. That shit eating grin plastered on Charlie’s face was the same you might find on a young kid barreling down a hill on their bicycle at breakneck speeds. Sheer joy, this time provided neatly with a million dollar price-tag. Though she was familiar with the layout of Manhattan and could navigate it with ease, the route she took to the Four Seasons was hardly a direct one. In Charlie’s game, time is money, and she was getting her money’s worth with this thing.

_____

The elevator that lead to Berto’s suite chimed with a soft ‘ding’ before the doors slid open to allow view of the extravagant dwelling. There would be no leaving with the Ferrari just yet... she had a lot more exploring to do and groundwork to lay with Mr. da Costa. But when she looked at the suite before her, Charlie was honestly dumbfounded. She’d been in nice places in Manhattan, she’d fleeced her share of wealthy executives, but this was something else. “Oh my god…” she mused softly as the pair stepped out of the lift and into the space, more of it coming into view as the progressed inward. For a moment she started to wonder how much this place might cost a night, then quit while she was ahead. It was things like this that kept her from feeling too bad about stealing cars and chunks of wealth and family heirlooms. Roberto and his empire would survive the loss of this Ferrari, that much was currently very clear.

“Roberto, you and I are going to get along swimmingly. This place is gorgeous. Please, show me around,” she tempted, holding out an arm for him to loop his through. She’d like to keep him close and pliable, and seeing as he’d been quite respectful so far Charlie was giving him the benefit of the doubt in whether or not she’d need to explicitly remind him to keep his hands to himself. The man had given her every indication that he was a mensch and a delight to be around thus far. There was still plenty of time for him to fuck that up, as her effects tended to turn men into morons or get them killed. Tonight didn’t call for that, but knowing Chuck’s Luck there was really no telling.

Sunspot
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Sunspot
 Posted: Dec 1 2017, 02:52 PM
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Roberto da Costa was in love. Sitting across from Aviela, his mind was a hazy fog of unquestioned and wild emotion. He wasn’t sure at what point he’d fallen from the heady heights of butterfly inducing interest and headfirst into the thickness of complete infatuation but he didn’t stop to question what he felt. Whatever doubts needled at the back of his mind were pushed ever further from realisation with every sip, every touch, every breath of this captivating woman’s pheromones, their sweet scent dragging him deeper under her control. At her command he knocked back the Brazilian sugar cane liquor, savouring the flavour. It wasn’t really the sort of drink that was meant for downing in one go but Aviela wanted him to do it so he did. The bourbon too, wincing as the sharp kick hit the back of his throat. It occurred to him very briefly that he would be unable to drive but far greater was the need to do as his company requested.

Aviela made a move to leave, leaning towards Roberto so closely that he could feel her breath on his face. A shuddering sigh escaped him as she drew in close before slipping out of her seat, leaving him to swallow back his tension. Running a caramel hand through his thick brown curls, he watched unblinking as she pulled her coat back over delicate shoulders. He felt weightless in her presence like there was nothing left to hold him down. Sliding from the stool, the world swayed a little as his head swam with liquor and he struggled to straighten himself; he had always been a lightweight. An arm snaked around his waist and he leaned into it, happy for the support and for the opportunity to be closer to the woman that he loved. Placing a hand on her’s, he walked with her to the door, a lazy eyed smile fixed on his expression.

When Aviela suggested that she would drive, despite the pheromones controlling his will Roberto’s first thought was to object; he’d only just bought it, it still had that new leather smell, it was his. But he had been drinking so he couldn’t, and he wanted desperately to please her, so he said nothing about not wanting her to drive, waiting patiently as the valet pulled the car around. The whole while that they stood in the quiet cold of the night, Roberto did not take his eyes off of his company. He wanted, to hold her in his arms, be near her but he held back; they had only just met and she had given no sign that she felt the same way. Her shoes suddenly pushed into his chest woke him from his reverie and he found himself staring dumbly for a moment as she made her way past him to take up her seat in the driver’s seat. He laughed, amused by her confidence and self assuredness, before making his way around to the passenger’s seat. “Call me Berto. Roberto is so formal.” He told her as she asked him to buckle up. “And I’m staying at the Four Seasons.

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As they rode in the elevator to the top most floor of the Four Seasons, Roberto chattered enthusiastically with Aviela about anything that he could think of; his business, life in Brazil, his collection of vintage cars. He was alive with an impossible energy, high on the feeling that this woman was the most important thing in his life. He wanted to put her at ease, impress her, win her around to feeling for him what he felt for her. The journey to the penthouse couldn’t have felt any shorter and he was almost disappointed when the soft ping of the bell signalled that they had arrived at their destination. As the doors opened he spied the change in her expression and smiled; he was a billionaire, perfectly accustomed to extravagant things, but even he had been awestruck by the Ty Warner Penthouse. The views across Manhattan alone were worth the over $30,000 a night price tag.Taking her by the hand, he led her out into the lobby.

I think you’re going to love it here, Aviela.” Taking her arm as instructed, Roberto began to lead her on a circuit around the penthouse, starting with the living room and the library. “It isn’t mine of course, I’m just staying her temporarily whilst…”” a knot formed in his stomach and his expression faltered ever so slightly. He recovered quickly. “I’m having work done at my place in SoHo.” Unlinking arms, Roberto skipped ahead of her a few steps, heading towards the drinks cabinet where he retrieved a pair of cocktail glasses, preparing a couple of Martinis, one of which he held out to Notion. “Martini? Then I shall show you the rest of the place. The view from every single room is breathtaking.” He walked back towards her, glasses in hand as he spoke. Handing one of the glasses off to her, he placed his spare hand on her arm and smiled. “Afterwards you should sit, get comfortable. I can call the kitchen for food if you are hungry, or ask the butler to bring up almost anything you wish.
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Notion
 Posted: Dec 4 2017, 01:45 PM
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Given what she’d fleeced from Sunspot already, and the expansive penthouse he was leading her around now, Charlie figured a little more cordiality was in order. He’d pounded two laced drinks and still managed to keep his hands to himself, so she was certainly impressed by his moral fiber thus far. It was refreshing to say the least, most men keen to put their hands where they didn’t belong well before the point of intoxication that Roberto had achieved here. Her bare feet padded noiselessly along the tiled entryway, heels left fifty some-odd floors below in her Ferrari. Taken up arm in arm with Beto, the pretty pair proceeded into the sea of opulence that was Roberto’s quarters.

“I would love one, thank you Berto,” she responded to his offer of a drink before the tour, the words of no betrayal to the look of appreciation in her eyes. She’d hardly had the time to enjoy her drink back at the bar, and a dirty martini sounded divine. As Roberto began mixing up the potent vodka drinks, Charlie took a moment to survey the room. Its lavish details and gilded accents lwere beyond anything she’d ever consider residing within, let alone renting temporarily. But damn, was it gorgeous. A massive, angular window gave Charlie the most breathtaking view of Manhattan she’d seen to date, its sprawling expanse punctuated by the large swath of green that is Central Park. Turning back to Berto she received the offered martini with a “Cheers,” of thanks, bringing the rim of her glass back to his with a soft clink before sampling a sip.

“Mmm, Perfect,” she complimented, the bite of the martini and its tangy-savory olive accoutrement causing Charlie’s mouth to pucker ever so slightly before relaxing back into her cool smirk. She was a sucker for anything with olives, the more the better, and was saving the fancy assortment of pickled delights accompanying her booze for last. While Roberto began his sweeping tour through the penthouse, Charlie sipped her martini and played the part of ‘amazed guest’ at the sheer magnitude of the place. The cost of the chandelier in the room they’d finally settled in alone was worth more than most people would make in a lifetime. Charlie’s eyes fluttered over the large piano near the window, then over the gilded shelves housing a diverse assortment of titles.

“Have a seat, Berto. I’d like to have a chat,” she instructed, having taken her time to observe and consider her position here in the sweetest of suites. She had stumbled upon one of the most powerful assets a girl like Charlie could come across in her adventures around this grand city, and now she intended to figure out just what angle she might play. That would require information, namely facts about himself that she didn’t doubt Berto would be happy to supply. Charlie draped herself over half of the swanky couch that made up part of the central seating area of the library, patting the cushion beside her. She wanted to keep him close, not that he was likely to protest her attention and request to sit beside her.

Charlie took another sip of her martini before continuing toward her intended requests, her gaze settling on the beautiful Brazilian man seated beside her. The woman couldn’t help but wonder what made him tick… what were his secrets? His greatest triumphs? His lowest lows? What nugget of truth from the billionaire would be most beneficial for Chuck to twist to her profit?

“Berto,” she began, making sure to have his eyes on hers as she formulated her demands. “I want you to tell me about yourself. What makes you the man you are today, your secrets, your insecurities,” she began, reaching for his free hand to give it a reassuring squeeze and holding it supportively. “You can trust me, I'm here for you. Let it out,” she soothed, the words not particularly true but hardly malicious as of yet. She didn’t plan on sharing anything she learned here with another, and in truth she didn’t really have to in order for it to have worth. Knowledge was power, and keeping it to herself for her own personal benefit was more of Charlie’s style. It was a card to be played if need be, depending on which turns this game ended up taking along the way. Given how things were going so far, her way to more of Roberto da Costa’s lavish delights wouldn’t be paved with much of a fight.
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Sunspot
 Posted: Dec 17 2017, 07:32 AM
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Of course” At Aviela’s suggestion Roberto took up a seat on one of the library sofa’s, leaning back into the cushions. Regarding his company with a smile, martini in one hand and the remaining arm draped across the back of the sofa, the Brazilian positioned himself at an angle that better facilitated conversation between the pair. He had never felt more relaxed in a person’s company than he was right then and after the events of recent weeks it was a welcome distraction. It did not occur to him for even a second that there had been no choice in him sitting as the woman had instructed, the potency of her pheromones removing all doubt or questioning. Nor did he stop to think about how unusual it was to feel so intensely for someone he had never met before that night. That this stranger was at the forefront of his mind, his thoughts possessed only of her came with its subtle advantages also. For the first time in days Roberto was not dwelling in any capacity on the all consuming sadness that had taken him over since Bobby’s death.

At Aviela’s request to tell her about himself, Berto smiled. Of course he could tell her about his life, his experiences. He wanted her to know him. Taking a sip of his own martini, he took a moment to gather his thoughts, brown eyes distant for a moment as he considered his answer to her question. “Where to begin?” He started, leaning forward to place his glass upon the coffee table. There was so much that he could tell her about himself, the big life events, the little details, the funny anecdotes about growing up on a sprawling city estate, the sadder stories that were few but had left their mark. Drawing in a deep breath, Roberto began. “I was born and grew up in Rio de Janeiro. My father is Emmanuel da Costa, one of Brazil’s most successful businessmen, my mother Nina is from the US. I have dual citizenship but I don’t consider myself to be anything other than Brazilian- New York is my home but Brazil is in my blood. My heart belongs to that country even if all of the people that I love and care for are here.

It was not easy to split himself between the two countries that had given him so much. There was a great deal about Roberto that was informed by his first fourteen years growing up in Rio. Portuguese was his first language, even though English had been a part of his life from the moment he had started to speak, the words still felt clumsy in his mouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic albeit one who was flexible with the doctrine, his soul was formed of carnival and he lived for feijoada. Equally, he had spent a long while living in the States and his time at Xavier’s had been some of his best years. His closest friends, his very best friend was American, his school was American his own mother was American. Salem Centre was his home. Even after he had returned to Brazil with the death of his father, he had always considered Xavier’s his home. It was a very real internal conflict that fought inside of him daily; his home was in the States but everything that had formed him as a person was in the country that he loved the most.

Nina left the family when I was five. She was really my only connection to the States growing up. I never got over that. I always felt it was my fault somehow, that I wasn’t good enough for her. I’ve never felt good enough.” It was easier than breathing for Roberto to hide behind a mask of overconfidence and bravado but the truth was that he’d spent his whole live feeling like he had to make up for lacking, as a son, as the heir to a billionaire dollar fortune, as a boyfriend, a friend, an X-Man. People readily assumed that being in possession of more money than could possibly be imagined made a person immune to life’s ills. It did not. His family’s and society’s expectations for him had weighed heavily on the man from a young age. “My father was a great man.” He followed, his eyes glazing with sadness almost instantly. “The best of us right up until the moment that the Lord took him. A fierce businessman but a loving parent even if he couldn’t always be there.

In Roberto’s eyes Emmanuel da Costa could do no wrong and if he could be even half the man that the elder da Costa had been then he would be happy. But he could not. Berto had achieved enough since taking over the running of his father’s company, he had kept it profitable, maintained a modicum of success. But he had not come even close in the past five years to what his father had managed. His board of directors had little faith in his ability, felt that he was far too interested in spending his money on fancy clothes and parties,were convinced that his heart wasn’t really in it. They weren’t wrong; Roberto wanted to be an X-Man not a CEO but he had a duty to his father to continue what Emmanuel had worked so hard to build and Berto wanted so much not to be a disappointment. “I came to New York when I was 14 years old.” He smiled, pushing down any negative feeling that might have arisen at the sudden reminder of his responsibilities back in Brazil.

Actually, it was something of a local news story, my reason for leaving for the US.” He said, retrieving his glass from the table and taking another sip of his drink before continuing. “I was a pretty good football, uh soccer player when I was younger.” He stumbled over the correct words to use, chuckling a little under his breath as he did so. “I used to play in a lot of charity matches with other kids, they were a big deal really even though we were only young. They generally passed without incident, you know? Except for the occasional injury or whatever.” He took another mouthful of his drink, chewing on an olive that had slipped from the bottom of his glass. “Until the last match that I ever played. Got into a fight and my mutation wound up manifesting right there on the pitch.

Notion
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Notion
 Posted: Dec 18 2017, 02:30 PM
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Charlie listened intently as Berto detailed his life, her eyes never leaving the young Brazilian while he wove his tale. And what a life it was… Growing up in the lap of luxury, split between two countries with the world at your fingertips. But nothing was always peaches and cream, even for a man of Beto’s status. A crease of disquiet formed between Charlie’s brows at the mention of his mother’s leaving, the Israeli unable to avoid drawing a parallel to her own struggles. She never felt her father left Israel because of her, nor did she really think of him much before seeing his face at the inauguration, but being abandoned by a parent stings all the same. The feeling of not being enough for them to stick around was hard to ignore, even if it wasn’t the truth behind the decision. Coercion and extortion aside, Charlie felt for the guy as he openly bared his soul just as she’d asked.

Beto’s account of his father worked to smooth out the empathetic lines of worry on Charlie’s forehead, the corners of her lips turning up in a smile instead. The admiration he had for Emmanuel was evident in every syllable. She could relate, her mother was the model of everything Charlie wanted to be when she grew up. Wise, loving, mindful, creative, and kind. And much like Emmanuel, gone far too soon. Given the path her life had taken since losing her mother, Charlie had lost sight of the qualities that she’d held in such high regard. Her smile faded along with Beto’s as they both considered the sublimity of their late parents and where they themselves had fallen short of the loftily set bar. Charlie couldn’t help but ask herself in this moment, would her mother be proud of the woman she’d become?

There wasn’t much time to dwell on that thought before Beto shook off the feeling and continued his story. Though Charlie had gleaned plenty of useful information from his account so far, the last detail that he shared stopped her breath dead in its tracks. He was a mutant… This entire time, she had been shamelessly using one of her own. Manipulating and stealing from someone cut from the same genetic cloth as herself. Charlie’s eyes went wide, the realization sweeping over her like a tidal wave, nearly knocking her backward with the force of realizing what she had done. She put her martini down on the coffee table beside her, the need for both of them to sober up now painfully obvious. Knowing she couldn’t undo what she had already done, the only thing to do now was to make sure that it didn’t continue.

Before he could say another word, she cut him off with a terse, “Thank you Berto, that’s enough.” She quickly found her feet, working to keep her expression placid as to not alarm the love drunk man seated across from her. Mind racing to figure out what to do now, Charlie’s sights were set on damage control. Presently she reeked of pheromones, and if there was any chance of her setting things right and of Beto coming out of this trance, she’d need to remedy that. She couldn’t sober him up given the numerous drinks she’d made him imbibe, but she could alleviate the concentrations of pheromones in his bloodstream via her absence. “I need you to stay here while I freshen up. I won’t be long,” she assured, a lopsided smile somehow working its way through the guilt tearing at her gut.

Chuck’s crooked moral compass made manipulating humans a-okay, but left mutants off limits. What she did with her abilities was meant for the betterment of mutant-kind (though let's be real, that Ferrari had everything to do with the betterment of herself instead) not for their detriment. The colossal fuck-up that she had managed tonight didn’t serve anyone at this point, not even the woman behind it. The sickly creep of self-disgust was upon her, twisting its tendrils around Charlie’s heart as she began to come to terms with the betrayal she’d headed. The only thing to do now was to try to pick up he pieces and make it out of here relatively unscathed. That… and an apology was most definitely in order.

With her pheromones ensuring that Berto would remain where he was, Charlie made her hasty exit to the bathroom and swiftly disrobed, hopping into the shower before the water had time to warm. A thorough scrubbing in the soon scalding water had her caramel skin rosy, most of her concentration given to taming the emission of her pheromones now that their residual concentrations were washed down the drain. Stepping out of the shower, Charlie toweled off and wrapped herself in a robe from the linen closet before taking a deep breath to steady herself and consider what was next.

What would he remember when she returned to the room? Beto didn’t strike Charlie as a man inclined to violence from the impression she’d received of him so far, but there was no telling what this level of deception might bring out in him. She also had no idea what his ability was, and the chance that she’d be on the receiving end of it was all too real. Add the fact that he was all liquored up and Charlie was looking at a mountain of shit to wade through in order to get out of this mess. But through all of that, she was intent on explaining herself to him, on apologizing for what had transpired, even if it was in her best interest just to cut and run.

She strode slowly back into the library to greet the visage of Berto on the sofa where she’d left him some minutes prior. Charlie’s expression was as placid as she could manage, working to ease whatever confusion was muddling her company’s mind at present. “Berto, I believe I owe you an apology,” she began, reaching into the pocket of the robe for the key to the Ferrari that almost physically pained her to have to return. Placing it on the table a safe distance away from him, she continued, “I’ve treated you without the regard or respect that you deserve, and for that I am so sorry.” Apologies weren’t really Chuck’s thing, and this one felt especially awkward. “How are you feeling?” She inquired, unsure of where Beto stood inebriation wise at the moment. With any luck, he’d be fully out of it by now. But there was no telling just what he would feel when his senses returned.

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Sunspot
 Posted: Dec 25 2017, 08:33 PM
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As compelled as he was by Notion’s command to tell her his life story, Roberto completely missed the drop in her expression at the mention of his mutation. Midway through a heartfelt recollection of how discovering he was a mutant had changed people’s attitudes in an instant, the young billionaire was cut off by Charlie’s command for him to stop. A frown creased his brow as he complied nevertheless confused as to why she did not want him to go on. When she rose from her seat without so much as a word, he tilted his head questioningly, brown eyes fixed on hers in an effort to try and read the situation. She did not seem upset but a sudden very obvious change in mood. Had he done something wrong? Was there anything that he could do to fix it? A knot of guilt tightened in his chest as he remained seated, his head swimming with pheromones and spirits. He wasn’t quite sure what for, but he felt it nonetheless. Had she not asked him to remain where he was whilst she went to freshen up, he might have followed her just to see if there was anything that he could do, to try to uncover why she suddenly did not seem to want to be in the same room as him.

But he would have done anything for Aviela and what she wanted in that moment was for him to stay put. So without argument he did just that, remaining in his seat as she left for the bathroom. His martini still in hand, he sipped at it for a few minutes until gradually a haziness began to wash over him. It was a strange feeling that crept up on him like a bad dream, made him feel ever so slightly woozy and lightheaded. Roberto blinked hard, shaking his head to try to clear it; there was something nagging at the back of his mind, a memory he couldn’t quite recall, something he had forgotten, to do or complete or that he had done. Whatever it was he couldn’t say. He’d had too much to drink, that must have been it. Placing the martini glass down on the coffee table, Roberto put his head in his hands, working the tips of his fingers into his eye sockets. A small headache had begun to nag at him, it wasn’t pleasant. By the time he had worked some of the pain out of his eyes the strange cloud had suddenly become a black hole as Berto struggled to remember how he’d even got back to the penthouse.

The sound of the shower drew his attention and a brief smile played on his lips. “Cal.” He said more to himself than to the man he believed to be in the bathroom. He had thought that Mimic had told him he wasn’t available that night but he must have changed his mind, Roberto couldn’t remember at all. Just how much had he had to drink that night? The thought of joining the other man occurred to him for only a moment before the water stopped and he decided instead to simply wait for him to return. He had a vague recollection anyway that Calvin had said he just needed to freshen up, that he wouldn’t be long. Sinking into the soft cushions he waited for his lover to arrive. It wasn’t long before he heard footsteps but even before Charlie entered the library, Roberto had begun to suspect that something wasn’t quite right. There was something about the delicate tread the space between footfalls. Whoever was approaching the room didn’t sound like Cal. He was probably being ridiculous or it was the alcohol but as when a person is distinguishable from a distance by their gait, Roberto was sure whoever this was, was not the man he wanted it to be.

When a rosey skinned woman approached him through the entrance to the library, he almost jumped out of his seat with the surprise. “Who the hell are you?” He spat over the top of her apology. She knew his name and now that he’d had a minute he was beginning to remember her face. The beauty from outside of the speakeasy in Manhattan, he’d spotted her as he’d got out of his car. As she continued her explanation it was all that Roberto could do but to stare, jaw slack. When she pulled his car key from her robe pocket and placed it on the coffee table he almost laughed because in his surprise and confusion he couldn’t seem to muster any other reaction. Ignoring her question of how he was feeling, the still drunk Brazilian got to his feet, moving to the otherside of the sofa, putting more distance between himself and the strange woman. Tiny fragments of memory had begun revealing themselves to him, distant and dreamlike but there and with it pieces of an incomplete puzzle were falling into place.

Tell me what you did to me.” He demanded. “Drugs? Hypnosis? What did you do to me?!” His voice was raised to almost a shout. He was panicked. He felt sick with the realisation that he couldn’t properly recall why this woman was in his hotel room, why she had just emerged from his bathroom, why she seemed to be familiar with him. The whole situation had him feeling uneasy and for the first time in days he allowed himself to be angry.
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Notion
 Posted: Dec 27 2017, 11:19 PM
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Unfortunately but expectedly so, Beto was pissed. Charlie couldn’t blame him, seeing as she’d not only stole over a million dollars worth of car, gained entry into his home, and delved into his personal history without his full recollection of any of it. The disorientation and gaps in memory that the comedown from her pheromones imparted weren’t something she was often still around to be a part of. Chuck had made a big mistake, and the adult thing to do here was own up to it and attempt to make it right again. Here and now with a mutant who was confused and agitated, she didn’t exactly have control of the situation. Sure, she could gain the upper hand by closing the distance between them and applying a hefty dose of pheromones, but that would bring them back to square one. Charlie had to ride this one out, and hope that transparency and the genuine regret for what she had done would quell Roberto’s anger.

My name is Aviela. I’m a mutant like you, Roberto,” she began, the next part rather tedious to explain without making her sound like a completely vile person. Giving him her real name in a time like this seemed ill advised. “My ability allows me to easily persuade others, to make them love drunk when they are close to me or come into contact with me. When you approached me at the bar, I took advantage of you. And I brought you back here, with the intention of figuring out ways to continue to do so,” she explained, the words almost more sobering than the jarring realization that she was playing a member of her own team. Charlie looked away for a moment, having spoken plainly the terrible things she had in store for Berto under the assumption that he was a human, and thus lesser than herself. For some reason, his admission of possessing the ‘x-gene’ had completely swayed her from an otherwise wholly immoral conquest. Chuck’s twisted moral compass faltered at the thought of how cruel her thinking and intent had been. Looking back to Roberto she attempted to continue her blunder of an explanation.

I would never have manipulated one of my own, had I known you were a mutant…” she tried to explain, the us vs. them mentality that had been drilled into her mind even more firmly since joining the Brotherhood shining clearly in her turn of phrase. “Had I know you were a mutant I wouldn’t be here right now. I’m sorry,” she managed, meeting Roberto’s eyes for some indication of what he was thinking, whether her twisted logic explained would quell his building discontent or inflame it. “You have every right to be angry. All of this sounds awful… because it is. But I will leave here, I’ll go right now, and you’ll never see me again,” she promised, as difficult as that would be seeing as she ran in similar socialite circles. Avoiding this particular feeling was something she planned on working hard at, so if it involved a change in scene she would willingly adapt.

It was times like this that prompted Charlie to take a good hard look at her life, at what she had become. Well, at least she planned on doing that, after making sure the guy she had freshly conned didn’t have the urge to provide her with a memory lapse as well. She stood her ground, neither advancing or retreating from where she’d stood when she first addressed him. Charlie didn’t want to seem like she was ready to run, and she didn’t want to seem as if she were posing a threat to him by advancing. So there she stood, waiting for Roberto’s verdict, that little nagging voice in her head reminding her that she wasn’t the crusader for justice that she’d pegged herself as. At this moment Charlie felt particularly small, incredibly inept, and rather monstrous.

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Sunspot
 Posted: Jan 4 2018, 10:21 AM
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A snort of derision escaped Roberto as Aviela introduced herself once again, making it known to him that she was a mutant too. As though that would help her case at all; Roberto wasn’t some kind of mutant supremacist, the fact that they both possessed the X-Gene did not grant her any favours with him. Folding his arms across his chest, he levelled a dark gaze at Notion long fingers drumming out the steady rhythm of his frustration on his shirt sleeves. He was just so unbelievably cross and embarrassed, not because he had been taken advantage of because it certainly wasn’t the first time that had happened to him, but because of how easily she had done it. Roberto prided himself on being able to read people reasonably well, generally if he was being taken advantage of it was with his full knowledge and consent even if the person using him was not aware that, that was the case. Not that he could have done anything about it even if he had wanted to.

As she began her explanation, excusing herself by claiming that she would never have manipulated him had she known he was a mutant, Roberto held a hand up to silence the woman. He just wasn’t interested in such a ridiculous argument; it didn’t make up for what she had done and it didn’t settle his uneasiness either. “You’re not going anywhere. Sit down. You’re not going anywhere until I say you can.” He demanded. Now it was his turn to give her instruction that she would follow, and she had better because he was angry and his powers had become particularly volatile following his experience with Kick. The room had already begun to heat up, Charlie would be able to feel an uncomfortable rise in temperature. Sunspot had somewhat of a handle on it although it had taken him a moment to realise that it was happening at all; he still hadn’t become used to being able to sense rather than feel changes in temperature.

You’re damn right I have every right to be angry.” He snapped, “You’re only sorry because I’m a mutant. That isn’t okay Aviela.” Her name came out as hiss. This woman was part of the very problem that Xavier and the X-Men were trying to tackle, so convinced by mutant superiority that her actions were doing her kind more harm than good. Everytime mutants did something to convince humans that they were trustworthy, contributing members of society, someone like Aviela would come along and seemingly prove all of that wrong. “Being in possession of the X-Gene doesn’t somehow make you above the law.” He wasn’t going to argue about whether or not it made them better, he had already guessed her stance where that was concerned. She couldn’t, however, deny that what she was doing was criminal so he hit her with that instead.

And my being a mutant also doesn’t somehow make us instant friends. Nor should it be the reason for you to feel guilty for what you’ve done.

Leaning against the back of the sofa, Roberto ran a hand through his hair and let out a sigh. He was still struggling to really remember exactly what had happened that evening. Looking across to Aviela and for the first time taking in the fact that she was not properly dressed, brown eyes wet wide. Why had she been showering in the first place? He was dressed but he had no idea whether that was because he had re-dressed or because he had never undressed. And he was still drunk although his temper had worked to sober him up just a little, which was not helping to fill him full of confidence. He wasn’t that kind of guy but considering he had been hopelessly at this woman’s mercy. Brown eyes narrowed, if she had manipulated him into anything of a sexual nature never mind how much Bobby’s death had destroyed him, Roberto would kill her. The first time was always the hardest, or so he’d heard it said.

He had sworn to himself that he wouldn’t use his powers again but almost involuntarily he powered up, all ambient light draining away to leave two, very angry glowing white eyes against a pitch black, featureless form. Supposing that she ought to at least look at the face of the mutant she felt so guilty about manipulating he did not drop his grip on his powers straight away.“Exactly how did you take advantage of me?” He asked, “Because I swear if you did anything...” The words were stuck in his throat. It didn’t bear asking.
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Notion
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 01:35 PM
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In an unsurprising turn of events, Berto didn’t take the apology very well. This left Charlie in a precarious predicament, with a powerful and generally unstable mutant too irate to hear the rest of her ridiculous explanation. The uptick of temperature in the room was all too noticeable for the woman’s comfort, her shower fresh skin now dewy with sweat in an attempt to keep cool. She hadn’t been this hot since she left Israel, and that was a problem. It appeared in this moment she was sufficiently out-gunned. Charlie didn’t hesitate to listen, taking a seat on the chair across from Roberto, a safe distance away… for now at least. She would be dripping in sweat after a few minutes of this sauna treatment at the rate she was currently cooking in the silk robe. Combined with the natural fight or flight response released pheromones that were more difficult to temper, Berto might end up involuntarily dosing himself.

Charlie wasn’t about to speak, though, as she realized in short time through the Brazilian’s lecture that she’d be better off listening and letting him talk. Like so many others, Roberto wanted to tell her how wrong she was. About humans, about mutants, about where we all fit together in this game of life. And Charlie wasn’t even mad about it, because she had been like him once. Years ago now, but just as adamant then as the man before her. Time after time, humanity had proven her right, and she’d grown tired of making excuses for them. Now was hardly the moment for debate, not that either side would end with anything more compromising than “agree to disagree.” When the light in the room dimmed and the man before her grew pitch as the dark of night, Charlie’s eyes widened from a cocktail of fear and wonder.

He was immaculate, his form beautiful and absolutely terrifying. Charlie’s heart pounded in her chest, a palpable reminder that she was fully alive without any guarantees for how much longer. It was this high that she lived for, and the one that made everything else feel dull in comparison. Roberto DaCosta had the draw on her, and he was furious. The right combination of words might see her through this, and the wrong could be her demise.

Locking eyes with the changed man before her, Charlie made sure her first statement went toward diffusing his most immediate worry. “Roberto, we shared no physical or sensual contact beyond holding hands and linking arms.” Her face screwed up a little at the thought, the idea of being intimate with anyone susceptible to her pheromones completely repulsive. “Trust me when I say that idea is as horrible to you as it is to me. I have limited control of my ability, especially through touch, or the air around me... or sweat,” she explained calmly, her voice low and her cadence a touch slower than usual. “It’s why we need to keep away from one another, now. And why it might be advised to turn the heat down, lest we end up back at square one,” she raised a brow at the suggestion, the request to keep it cool applicable to both the temper and the temperature. The honey sweet scent of her pheromones was becoming more noticeable with every degree the ambient temperature rose.

“Look, you approached me at the bar, I saw an opening, and I fleeced you for your Ferrari. All I know is you looked miserable when I first saw you and up until a few minutes ago you were on cloud nine. No worse for wear, just worry free and lovey,” Not to mention a perfect gentleman, above and beyond the pay grade of most of the dopes she had the displeasure of dosing. “Either of which you can continue to be, when I’m gone and we’ve both forgotten this whole ordeal,” she proposed, careful to stay very still. She felt as if there was a cannon trained on her from the seat across the room. And until something changed and there wasn’t a finger on a trigger, she wasn’t moving a muscle.

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Sunspot
 Posted: Feb 10 2018, 02:06 PM
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An overwhelming sense of relief washed over Roberto as Notion denied his worst fear about their time together. The pounding of his heart did not slow, the magnitude of what he had just accused her of still weighing on him. It didn’t matter that he had her assurances, he was still profoundly shaken by what he had discovered. He had lost almost complete control of his thermokinesis and the room was growing ever hotter. He was at risk of burning the only person who could feel it, but the ability was so new to him that he barely noticed until Aviela did him the favour of pointing it out. Sunspot’s shadow leaked away to reveal the angry Brazilian beneath and with some concentration he was able to bring the ambient temperature back down to reasonable levels. He was still unbelievably angry and completely freaked out but it was for the best that he got his temper under control lest there was a repeat of when Cal had discovered about Bobby.

Walking back around to the front of the sofa he sat down, dark eyes never leaving Aviela. He was still trying to decide what to do with her; she’d stolen from him, taken advantage of the well of depression that he’d found himself in. This woman was the worst of people and yet, for some reason, he was struggling with feeling anything other than relief. He wondered for a moment if it was her pheromones at play again but it wasn’t like before. He could vaguely remember how quickly he had become enthralled with Aviela when she had entered the bar. Everything else after that was foggy. The next words out of her mouth struck a chord with Roberto given that he was feeling more like he had been set free than violated. Sure, there was an element of that but it was gradually being choked by the weight that had inexplicably lifted from his shoulders. Suddenly suspicious, Berto narrowed dark eyes on Aviela.

I don’t remember anything much after you came into the bar. Is that...typical?” He asked, genuinely curious. He didn’t know it yet but there was the beginning of an idea growing in his mind. It was not fully formed and if it had occurred to him right in that moment he would have been horrified but it was there and he was going to voice it soon enough. When she confirmed that yes, loss of memory was perfectly normal, he nodded his head thoughtfully. There was a whole evening of his miserable life that he didn’t remember, an evening that, had he been alone, would have been spent wallowing in lonely sadness. Spending it with Mimic would have been preferable, the couple of days that they had been in each other’s company had been a welcome distraction from the downward spiral that he had found himself in. Forgetting about it entirely was a reasonable substitute though. If that evening was a storm cloud then his hazy memory was the silver lining. It was certainly better than drinking himself into a stupor whenever he was left alone.

You’re not going anywhere just yet.” He repeated, frowning. “You… you can keep the Ferrari.” It wasn’t registered to him anyway and if he was honest it was a horrible purchase. The idea that had been slowly coming to life in his head had taken on a life of its own and any unease that he might have been feeling had begun to rapidly disappear. It was her making mention of how he had been worry free and no worse for wear that had done it. Taking a deep breath Roberto crossed one leg over the other, his arms folded across his chest. “You can consider it payment in advance.” He added, his tone certain and unwavering. “Because you’re going to do this again for me. I think you owe me that much.
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Notion
 Posted: Feb 13 2018, 09:32 AM
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The silk of the robe stuck to Charlie’s skin, her body already glistening with sweat. Hot wasn’t an adequate description of the level to which the penthouse’s temperature had risen. It was downright sweltering, the ambient temperature high enough to start singeing Charlie’s lips and nose. She was working to keep her breathing steady, her eyes never leaving Sunspot’s featureless form. Then, finally, relief. Apparently he realized the conundrum he was creating for the both of them and saw it wiser to back down a bit. The man already had the draw, and Charlie was perfectly compliant. She had been through enough situations like this to know what her options were here and now, meaning she would play nice until she was out the door and able to put some distance between them.

Now back to the form Charlie had gotten to know earlier in the evening, Roberto posed a question that at first caught her off guard. She never really hung around her marks long enough to poll them for what they thought about the experience after, but from what she’d gathered Beto’s hunch was correct. There was a fuzziness, similar to the hazy and clipped editing of a blackout, that came with intoxication from her pheromones. At high doses like what Berto was sporting some time earlier, he’d be hard pressed to recall many details from the night at all. The rose colored glasses that Charlie’s pheromones provided also came with blinders, it seemed. Whether this was something that would generated rage or relief in Berto was something she couldn’t quite discern yet.

“Yes, people typically don’t remember much about the time they spent under,” she replied succinctly, remaining still in her seat. “Which would mean you don’t remember the car ride over here, or our exchange with the doorman, or touring me around this place,” she worked to confirm, her brows rising slightly as if waiting for Roberto to acknowledge what she said was true. His nod was enough to do so, but she still was having trouble reading the guy. Charlie could practically see the steam pouring out of his ears as he sat across from her, mulling over every twisted detail he’d been meant to absorb. Charlie’s lips parted, soundless for a moment as she mentally refined the suggestion that she really should get going. She hadn’t yet made a sound when Berto said something completely preposterous.

Keep the Ferrari? Charlie’s face screwed up, slowly growing more incredulous as she ran over the reasons as to why Roberto would suggest such a thing after almost literally broiling her alive for what he’d only assumed had happened between them. Sunspot had the draw (Chuck’s goose quite literally cooked), he had the moral high ground (by a few miles), and he had been nothing short of livid since coming to. But for some reason he was going to give Charlie this immaculate Ferrari?

Roberto’s next words made clear that it wasn’t a gift, it was payment. Payment for a future repeated violation of his free will, affluence, and memory. Charlie’s look of disbelief faded into placidity, working to cover the panic bubbling underneath. The woman’s disgust with herself for manipulating a mutant like Roberto was why she had come clean and gotten into this pickle in the first place. Sitting back in her chair, the implication of his request gradually settled in on her. That he could be in so much agony as to simply want to forget, regardless of the means, was a very sobering notion. Surely, her pheromones were safer than a dose of heroin with more desirable effects, but losing one’s free will and memory deliberately wasn’t a typical junkie ambition. Whatever had happened to this man had broken him, and he seemed to be reaching for anything he could grab onto just to keep afloat a while longer.

Charlie could relate to that feeling.

For a moment, she sat there and just processed what this seemingly imperative command meant for her. The words ‘you owe me that much’ kept rattling around in her brain. Somehow drugging him and ridding him of his will had been doing him a favor, one that she may owe a few times over given the sum of the advanced payment. This concept rang in discord against the simple rule she’d made for herself not to coerce or fleece her own kind. But who was using who here? For the cost of only her company, she would be paying a debt and easing a man of his anguish, at least for a while… All moral quandaries aside, this was a win-win for both of them. Even though she could logically acknowledge this, Charlie still felt uneasy of the prospect of knowingly putting Berto under.

“I’m assuming you’re telling me this, not asking,” Charlie ventured, finally snapping out of her own head and back to the present. She needed to know more… What was he intending for their time together? Was this only the tip of the weird iceburg that she’d conned herself into with Beto? He’d paid her, but for what exactly? "Do you understand what you're getting yourself into here?" She asked him candidly, the question necessary in Chuck's mind. Roberto would be himself, but he would also be Charlie's. It was the greatest gift to forfeit, one's own free will. “If what you’re proposing is going to work, we’re going to have to set some very clear rules and boundaries,” Charlie began, the logistical part of her brain already mulling over the lines that needed to be drawn between them. She shuddered at the thought of any sort of intimacy with someone she had dosed, and she wasn’t about to be part of some sort of Pretty Woman scenario. But first and foremost, Charlie needed to be clear about something. She needed to be certain that this wasn’t just some insane, knee-jerk reaction to what had unfolded between them. What Roberto was demanding wasn’t something Charlie could take lightly.

“Roberto, are you sure this is what you want?”
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