The phones were ringing off the hook as Maxwell’s secretary; Lucy Bardwell was madly trying to take down details of the many interested guests that wished to get advance tickets to the showing of the Lazeros Collection. News had hit the streets early, earlier than expected, and it had been Maxwell’s own doing, after he got drunk at a society ball, and blurted the fact that Giano Lazeros was going to be showing his collection of erotic black and white photographs at the Light box. Maxwell was almost tearing his hair out, going as far to take the phone off the hook and dump it in the waste paper basket.
Lucy quickly knocked on the door, and carried with her an armful of notes of the expected guests.
“Well, it’s a sell out. We could have people pay to just stare through the windows. Congrats Maxwell, you did it and you don’t even know how.” the secretary dumped the pile of notes on his desk and then huffed.
“We still have an opening in two weeks as a lead up to the Lazeros collection, got anyone in mind who can grace the halls with their work on such short notice?” Lucy knew that it was imperative that they keep the ball rolling. Continued interest on the lead up to the Lazeros meant more advertising and also keeping the society dolls tittering about Max’s gallery.
“I was thinking…a sculptor. Something…different, fresh….local. Ideas?” Maxwell asked, placing his hands together as though in prayer under his chin. Puppy dog eyes usually work with his secretary. Lucy was shocked. Surely he knew all the local artists by now, or was he too busy fraternizing with the society dames and their fat purses to even notice. She had to wonder at times.
“You really don’t have a clue do you, Max?”
“Course not…that is why I hired you. YOU make me look good.” He then flashed his trademark smile, only to have her roll her eyes and turn on her heel. “Well when you get your nose out from Mrs Hancock’s ass, and take a look around, maybe you would be good at spotting local talent.” At this she slammed the door, leaving Maxwell looking perplexed.
Out in her own office, Lucy started to go through her Rolodex to see just who the local sculptors were, and who might be available to do a showing.
”A Date with Destiny.”
Location – The Light Box/ Elias’s Studio
Morinehtar: Lucy, irritated, rifled through her contacts. Her fingers would soon come to the J’s after a likely bout of impatient grumbling as she ticked off artist after artist as either being unavailable or unsatisfactory, owing to the fewer numbers of sculptors than painters, sketch artists, and especially photographers. James, Elias L. would jump at her as a reliable name, for he was always up for most anything, or at least, knew someone else who would be. The thought of the grey haired old hippie biker could calm her. He had that way about him, after all. Always had a cool head about him too, though he never seemed one for staying in anyone place for too long a time, despite his consistent return to Seattle. Must be something about the coffee shops and the proximity to so many communes.
CharlotteCarrendar: – Reaching for the phone, she tapped in Elias’s number and then waited, curling the phone cord around her finger as she stared out of her office into the gallery. The buzz sound indicated it was at least ringing, which was a miracle in itself Elias’s was not really one for the joys of modern technology, and in fact she was surprised he even had a phone. :: In Elias’s studio he was just putting the finishing touches to his latest masterpiece, using a paintball gun as his tool of trade. Taking off his mask, he heard the cheerful ring of his phone, and his face creased, wondering who would be calling at this hour. He had a suspicion of course. Placing down the paintball gun on the nearest bench and wiping his hand on a rag, he picked up the receiver. “I sent the cheque last week, Ferdinand, so stop pestering me.” Lucy had to hold back from her laughter as it seemed that Elias thought she was a creditor chasing him down for payment. “Er…no Elias, its Lucy Bardwell from the Light Box Gallery. I want to pick your brain for a second. We are in need of a local artist, preferably a sculptor to do a showing in a fortnight. Happen to know of any bright new talent keen for some exposure?”<3>
Morinehtar: “Ah, Lucy, you’re certainly another kettle of fish. How have you been? And of course you’re welcome to pick my rotten old brain any day,” he answered, swinging around to sit on his dusty supply table. “Any new talent? Local ya say? Yes. I know a sculptor for it-Irish lass, but her mom’s from Seattle and so the girl’s been her the last ten years. Name’s Roísín, and she’s been helping me out around the studio lately. Her work tends to be relief. She’s still experimenting with her base but has plenty of good pieces, should be enough for a show. I’ll have to talk her into it though.”
CharlotteCarrendar: – So far Lucy was liking the story. An Irish girl with a mother who was born and bred in Seattle. People love to read about the starting of fresh talent, not just what they can create so instantly this girl; Roisin sounded very interesting indeed. Lucy tapped her pencil on her notepad, as she listened to Elias give her the rundown of what this girl is about. The fact she was still experimenting, meant that her work would indeed be fresh. As well as having enough for a collection, this girl sounded ideal. “Well is there any chance you could help us set up a meeting. I know Maxwell would be more than delighted to make it a luncheon at the Shay Bruno’s on West street. Our treat of course.” Lucy was hopeful that Elias could persuade the girl. Afterall, to a new artist this was a great opportunity for exposure both locally, and in the nation’s papers. <3>
Morinehtar: “Oh sure, I can get her to a meeting, no problem. You all might need to indulge her tendencies a bit; you know how new artists are. But Max will love her, I’m sure. I can have her there tomorrow if you want. 12:30 sound good?” His tone was pleasant, but Lucy might well note the mischievous tint to it all the same. He had a healthy serving of the prankster in him, humor if you like, but he had never yet set her astray on anyone and had no intention of doing so now. The grin on his face was far more to do with his imagining Roísín’s face than it was with Lucy and Max’s reaction.
CharlotteCarrendar: – ~Indulge her tendencies?~ Why, Lucy and Max were practically experts when it came to treating artists with kid gloves. Lucy found this amusing to say the least. Elias assured her that Max would love her. Course, Max loves just about anything in a skirt, and even more so if that skirt could make him money. This was all going swimmingly, especially when Elias said that he could have her there at 12.30. “That sounds perfect, Elias. I knew I could count on you to come up with just the person we need. “I’ll go ahead and make the reservation and we shall see you at 12.30.” With her free hand, Lucy was already tapping in the details of the restaurant on her computer, as she went through the rounding up of the call. “Till tomorrow, good day Elias.” Lucy hung up and sung out to her boss; Maxwell who had finally decided to venture out of his own office to tend to a client that just walked in the door. “You can thank me later Max. We have a lunch date tomorrow with Seattle’s next big thing.” Max stopped by the door, taking Lucy at her word. “Well, let’s hope she doesn’t have a BIG appetite.” <3>
Morinehtar: Roísín did not have a big appetite, and when she saw the name of the place Elias was dragging her into, she called him up on it: “What are we doing at a restaurant? You said we were meeting one of your clients; you never meet them at restaurants.” Elias stepped out of the car with his eyes twinkling. “I never said it was a client, only that it was business. Besides, some of my contact prefer bougier settings,” he explained casually. Shutting the door, he walked up to the entrance and informed the hostess that he was meeting a party reserved under the name Hines. The name was of course on the list. So by the time Roísín had warily followed Elias out of the car and into the restaurant, suspicion written all over her face, the woman was leading them towards the awaiting table.
CharlotteCarrendar:- Maxwell and Lucy had of course gotten to the restaurant earlier, mainly because happy hour started at midday, and Max did so enjoy a nice lager before his lunch meal. He had been perusing the menu, when Lucy gave him a kick under the table, as Elias and his young friend approached. “Manners.” Lucy growled as she rose to standing, with Max dropping his menu is surprise, then doing up his jacket as he reached to shake Elias’s hand. “So lovely you could both come. Oh and this must be the very talented Roisin that we have been hearing all about. Might I say you look incredible. Please, won’t you both have a seat.” He asked, gesturing where they would be able to sit, as Lucy offered Roisin a polite smile. “We know this is such short notice, but we are just incredibly eager to learn a bit more about your pieces.” The waiter brought over more menus, whilst another topped up the water glasses. It was a classy establishment, and a single meal was at least fifty dollars at a starting price. <3>
Morinehtar: They were lead over to a couple seated one of the more select tables. Initially Roísín though they were married, but if that was the case the man looked at her much more openly than she would have expected. Elias smiled and took the offered hand. Roísín simply nodded. Her eyes widened at the man’s compliment; why was he calling Elias’s assistant talented? She momentarily debated the how useful it would be if she could mentally draw her wavy red hair closed like a curtain over her face before the woman asked them to sit. They both did as requested though Elias managed it much more gracefully. The whole place made Roísín feel underdressed in her black jeans and grey blouse. As the woman continued, Elias’s *favor* became abundantly clear: “We know this is such short notice, but we are just incredibly eager to learn a bit more about your pieces.” The green eyed girl’s mouth promptly fell open without any sound following. Astonishment radiated from her for a solid second before she turned her head and set her jaw in that stubborn way Elias knew well. But he had anticipated this and made a point to cut in before she could say a word: “Surprise! I wanted to spare you the anxiety I had leading up to my first show luncheon, so I thought it best to wait until you had met Maxell Hines and his assistant, the lovely Lucy Bardwell.” He gestured to each of them in turn, then continued with, “Maxell is the curator at The Light Box, the best set gallery in Seattle, and he wants to show your sculptures.” Roísín’s expression was once more stunned.
CharlotteCarrendar: – “That’s right. That’s right. We have an opening in two weeks time for a promising artist such as yourself, to put forth a collection that I am sure will have the art critics of Seattle raving.” Maxwell knew how to put on the charm as it were when he felt it was needed. Lucy on the other hand could see that the girl was shocked by all the attention, and this had her wonder just how green the girl was. A sideways glance at the chuff Elias proved her right. He always had been a cheeky bastard at the best of times. Lucy decided however to play along with the charade, nodding at appropriate intervals, and trying her darndest not to interject whilst Max did his pitch. “So, really all we ask is that you enjoy this sumptuous feast we are about to partake in, and then we can get down to the details of legal paperwork; you know all that boring stuff.” Max picked up his beer and then charged his glass. “To good business.” Would she follow suit? <3>
Morinehtar: Elias was dead, dead dead dead. How had she not seen this coming? The man had been egging her to show her work for weeks, and she couldn’t remember the last time they had met anyone for business on a weekend. What was worse, she’d already fucking agreed to it: “Roísín, mind if I call in that favor you owe me? I’ve got a meeting to go to and I’d rather have a wing man. Besides, I’m sure they’ll ask you to help with whatever it is they’re wanting. My assistants have had to with them in the past. So could you do that for me and come along?” The thought that most of his former assistants were now working in their own studios in various cities around the world hadn’t tipped her. Why would it have? She also shouldn’t make Elias look like an ass in front of the curator and his secretary even if she felt it warranted. Bugger all. “Too good business,” Max said with a raise of his glass. Resigning herself, she lifted her water glass along with Elias and echoed the phrase, “good business,” with as much pleasantry as she could muster. It wasn’t much, which the other pair would probably chalk up to her being shell shocked. Roísín buried her nose in the ridiculously priced menu.
CharlotteCarrendar: – Max was thrilled. Lucy was somewhat relieved but in the back of her mind she had a nagging doubt. Elias was his usual self, ready to enjoy what would be a fantastic lunch, while a shell shocked Roisin seemed to be in agreeance. But was she really? Her face now buried behind the large maroon and gold trimmed menu, gave Lucy the chance to whisper to Max, who was already getting ready to place his order. “Why do I feel like I just watched the signing of one’s soul to the devil?” her voice so low it would be hard to pick up. Max looked up from his menu and made a “hmm?” sound, before he went to look at the girl who was now hiding behind the menu. “Probably nerves, Lucy. I wouldn’t read too much into it.” Lucy was still not convinced, and while Max was giving his order to the waitor, Lucy asked Roisin. “Would it be at all possible for me to perhaps come to your studio as a pre show inspection. If you don’t mind of course.” This was to test the waters, and also get to talk to the girl one on one. No men, no pressure. <3>
Morinehtar: File minion, fancy fish, and rich pasta all under names Roísín was doubtful about being able to pronounce, let alone enjoy. Did they have burgers? She found the nearest thing to it in the form of a ritzy looking chicken salad sandwich in the back before the cocktail listings. Deciding that would have to do, she looked up at Lucy with her brow furrowed, reminding herself not to slouch into her seat. “Oh-I don’t have one,” she blurted. The statement could well have given Lucy a start given her doubts, but Roísín was not long in offering an explanation: “I use Elias’s. That’s part of the deal we had. I help him out and instead of paying me, he lets me use the space and some of his stuff.” Elias had naturally ordered a steak, not having even looked at the menu. So the waiter was now at Roísín’s shoulder. “The chicken salad sandwich and fries, please. Oh, and a beer,” she ordered. The alcohol would be needed.
CharlotteCarrendar: – Maxwell had ordered a lobster mornay with Italian salad, crusty rolls and another lager, while Lucy went simply for a chicken Caesar salad and a glass of sparkling white wine. They had both frequented this restaurant before and had firm favourites that they had nearly every time they dined there. Maxwell enjoyed his beer, whilst taking out his iphone and scrolling through messages, as Lucy was the one in charge. It was like watching a Mother babysitting her son at the dinner table. Lucy’s expression became strained when Roisin admitted she didn’t have a studio or place of her own to store her creations, and she used Elias’s. A quick save by the young Irish lass averted more questions, as Lucy reached for her water glass and took a large sip, before placing her glass down again. “I see. Well I am sure after the success of your first showing, that you will have your own place in no time. After all, this is how most of the city’s up and coming are noticed.” She spoke truthfully at that statement, as their meals were brought out from the kitchens, and placed before them in order of who ordered first. <3>
CharlotteCarrendar: – “Ah yes, the most talented photographer in all of Europe is going to be doing a world tour and our own gallery snagged the rights to have his work shown the week after Roisin’s showing.” Maxwell said with a smile, holding a fork full of lobster aloft. He was very proud of the fact he managed to secure the deal with Giano Lazeros. Setting down his fork, he put his hands together and then let out a sigh of contentment. “Giano captures the richness and fullness of the female form in the throes of ecstasy and desire. You only have to see his work, to realize just how passionate he is about his craft.” One had to wonder if Maxwell favoured the work above the artist. Maxwell picked up his fork again and started eating, while Lucy decided to move around the table to a seat closer to Roison while the men engaged in a discussion about finance. Lucy leaned over to Roison and whispered. “I know this must be a bit much, the food. Max being, well Max. For which I am sorry.” <3>
Morinehtar: Elias nodded, grinning. “I’m not surprised. Tenacity is not a trait which you lack, nor is charm. How many galleries will he be showing in?” Lucy moved momentarily drew his attention by moving around the table to be nearer to Roísín, the latter of whom was busily acquainting herself with her chicken salad sandwich as if it were speaking the most luscious of love rhymes to her face. The girl’s eyes suggested a viper had taken a seat next to her. Elias chuckled inwardly. She would learn. He turned back to Max. Stalling to think of response, Roísín took her time chewing and swallowing. Finally nodding, she said, “Oh, yeah..Max is luxuriant.” Roísín was not terribly particular about the volume of her voice.
CharlotteCarrendar: – “Only twelve galleries across the US have been given access to his work, so when you think of all the cities that are missing out, sucks to be them. Aha.” Max replied, chuff as always. He had wolfed down his meal in record time and was now on his third glass of lager. No doubt he wouldn’t be capable of much in the afternoon, other than sleep off the drink in his office, while Lucy continued to run the show. Lucy for the time being was attempting to get better acquainted with the young artist who remarked that Max was luxuriant. At that precise moment, Max let out a loud belching sound, followed by a chuckle and excusing himself profusely. Lucy sighed, and she happened to agree with Roisin’s observation. “Indeed he is.” The waiter brought around the bill in a fine leather binder, which Lucy took and whipped out her platinum diner’s club card and then scribbled her signature on the tab, while leaving the card in the binder and handing it back to the waiter. Lunch, and the meeting was over. Lucy rose to standing and then said to Elias. “We will have our legal team send over the contract and insurance details that will be required, and after that we start the promotional campaign, which I will provide you with a brief for.” She snapped her fingers, as Max finally came up for air, after checking his iphone again. “Time we were heading back to the gallery, Max.” Max grumbled about wanting another beer, to which Lucy shook her head. “Maybe with dinner.” She smiled at Roisin and said. We’ll be in touch.” At this she handed over her business card, and then smartly led the inebriated Maxwell out to the car park. <3>
Morinehtar: “Ah, indeed. Well done,” Elias congratulated. He himself was only three fourths into his first beer and would not be finished in time to consume another, though he had certainly done a number on his most delicious steak. Roísín offed the last of her fries as the waiter came around with the bill. Lucy directed the now bubbly Max like a mother, a think which did not instil confidence in Roísín. That said, Lucy appeared more than capable as well as kind, at least in manner. It would take many more encounters and a good deal of time before Roísín would full trust that the woman was not fronting. If she knew anything about the world of art, it was that it was often rife with two-faced slander as well as ignorant ass holes. Once the card was back, Lucy rose and offered her card to Roísín who took it and placed it into her pocket: “Thanks.” She and Elias watched the pair depart. Once they were out the door and out of sight, Roísín turned to the grey haired figure beside her: “I’m going to kill you.” His laugh rang through half the restaurant.