|What: Something Old and Something New|
((RIGHT before the post A Warning of Things to Come))
Millie is wearing a short, white dress with...interesting holes in it as they say upon her sides. Still, it's stylish and fitting perfectly with the club atmosphere. She's sitting at a bar stool, drinking a classic girly drink...melon flavored, a 360 degree actually. She looks over at the dance floor a little wistfully, debating just joining in for the fun of it, dance partner or no. She came to the Hellfire Club to meet a few potential investors - a couple with membership here - in her foundation, the mission statement and founding paperwork is in mid-process right now finally. That meeting, is long over and not as fruitful as she would have liked, but it's something.
Wearing a long white coat over black suit pants, a grey vest, white shirt and tie, both of which match the coat perfectly, Lex Luthor strides into the club letting leather clad fingers run over the bar. His black fingers rap on the bar, "Scotch on the rocks but go easy on the rocks," he says before those green eyes scan over the club. Several guests are pointed to, "Add them to my tab," and he slides across his credit card to the bar. Shaw would probably say the drinks are free to members, but again word of mouth is key. Lex would insist on paying. Little did he know that the blond with the fashionable, yet revealing dress with yellow hair and striking ice blue eyes with the melon drink is looking for investors. None of this truly matters as business is done in Lex's mind and a good scotch sounded like just the reward.
'Oooooh, Lex Luthor!' Yep, the wheels in the blonde's head are moving. And this is Millie, who cares to take the safe role and play it safe? She has learned with interactions lately, that 'normal' equals 'boring'. And so in for the penny, in for the pound, Millie toward learn the nearby Lex a bit, and elbow moving to rest on the clean bar countertop, and her chin resting within the palm of her hand. She stares at him a few moments, to see if that draws any of his attention before she speaks, "Is it true the Lexphone batteries can end up exploding in your phone?" A little tid-bit Stark told her about the testing phase of the batteries, but of course she knows Luthor is going to defend his batteries for his phones! She will work to keep a serious and curious face, at least until she gets him going. The key is...will this work?
"If Mr. Stark told you this or you read it on website then let me assure you of one thing: A Stark Tech phone is half of the technology capability and at double the cost to the consumer. He's not a man that cares about his customers. I'm not like Mr. Stark because I care," he offers the woman his best salesman smile. Green money-colored eyes examine the woman. This is a ploy to get an autograph or some free tech, but his technology must be defended. "The rumor mill tells me that most Stark Tech phones don't use flash in any capacity. I don't know this directly because why would I pay for something that's so," he snaps his fingers for a moment thinking of the right thing to say, "Two-thousand and three." Yes, Stark's technology just got called antiquated by Lex Luthor."Like the Lex-Box Infinity does to video games, we will be unveiling the next generation of Lx-Smart Phones and tablets that will revolutionize the industry. If you want in on the first wave I can give you a card. You will have one waiting at the any of my department stores Miss?" Keep the customer and leave her satisfied.
Yep, played right into her hands. Millie's lips twitch upward. Hey, free phone! "I would certainly be interested, it has been a year since I upgraded, and I'm still two versions behind." And then a quiet laugh or giggle escapes Millie. "Mr. Luthor, you shouldn't be so predictable." There is warmth in her expression and eyes, a playfulness really. "Still, I wouldn't think to turn down your offer." She then offers a hand toward the man, "Millie Collins," she says in introduction. Her jewelry is of good, stylish quality, though not insanely expensive. Everything this woman wears is designer and carefully chosen for looking good on her rather than showing of wealth.
"What can I say? I'm predictable when it comes to helping the public," he takes her hand then kisses sit gently, "Charmed. And who is to say you're not playing into mine?" the smile stays on his face. "It's nice to have a name with the beautiful face I've seen about the bar this evening. I'm rather shocked at you though," he lets his words linger. When curiosity gets the better of her and she bites Lex answers, "You don't have an escort eyeing to rip out the eyes of any person that looks at you the wrong way. A woman beautiful as you should have dozens of suitors trying to vie for your affection." An arm is offered to her, "If the position is available would you allow me to be your escort for the evening?" the smile softens a little as he looks to Millie taking in her reaction.
Shaw had been backstage speaking to some of the 'entertainers' about the quality of their performances, or rather lack of quality. It was hard making sure that this club fit the standards of its clientele. It was doubly hard when the dancers didn't want to dance correctly and the clientele thought the place was a brothel, which it was definitive not.
As he exited from the backstage he began glad handing a few of the patrons to welcome the once he hadn't seen last time he was in the hall proper. He saw Millie from across the room and then he saw Alexander... hmmm... to say Shaw was jealous at the moment wouldn't be entirely accurate, at the same time he had decided that Millie was to remain -outside- the manipulations of the Inner Circle. Granted he hadn't told anyone that but he was concerned about what scheme Alexander would try to pull Millie into. As he saw Alexander offer his arm he moved in like a predator.
"Millie, my darling. I was unaware you were here or I would have already been out to great you," he looked towards Luthor and smiled though it was a friendly one, "I see you've met Alexander. I trust he has been behaving himself."
Millie actually laughs warmly at Lex's greeting, her hand kept loosely held as her knuckles are kissed. "I think they are afraid of me and my temper," she says cheerfully. She seems wholly unthreatening at this moment in either case. But she moves to stand, about to place a hand upon Lex's arm, though the apeparance of Shaw interrupts the action. "Sebastian," a warm smile curling about her lips after she gets over the surprise. "He is being a true gentleman," quickly coming to Lex's rescue, though her eyes seem to dance as she looks back to Lex. "Alexander?" Most people call him Mr. Luthor or Lex to her knowledge, so the unusual use of his name draws Millie's attention.
"My full name but I prefer Lex and have since I was seven years old. Sebastian was just pointing it out," the arm is still extended to Millie. A warm smile is tossed at Shaw, "I was merely offering to be her escort for the evening. Since she has two candidates then the lady should choose who should escort her about this evening. We can both agree a beautiful woman like Millie should not be unescorted. What gentleman would we be if we did not offer such?"Lex pauses, waiting for the man's answer. Surely Shaw's visit isn't unintentional. Regardless Millie will be the one to decide and Lex would honor her decision. "How are you this evening, Sebastian? I hope Miss Frost gave you some of the forty-five from last night. I allowed her to keep the bottle because a woman like her should be able to cherish something only five-hundred and seventy-two people ever will, don't you agree?" While Shaw and Emma don't claim to be a couple they often act like it. Hopefully this would draw Millie to the White Side as opposed to Black.
"Yes, I've know Alexander for a very long time, his father was a dear friend of mine," Sebastian said with a warm smile, "His untimely disappearance lessened us all." In reality, of course, Lionel Luthor was a crass cruel man, and Shaw didn't care for him only slightly less than Lex did. But when won lives in world of High Society one lives by the rules of decorum. And it seemed that Luthor really didn't understand that this was one of the few times that Sebastian Shaw was not playing chess against the world.
"If the beautiful Ms Collins, chooses an escort for the evening that is her choice to make," he said warmly with a smile. He wasn't playing a game for Millie's affection. If it -were- his goal to win them, he would win them in his own fashion not as a game between the White and Black Kings of the Hellfire Club.
To Lex's last comment he said "I afraid haven't see Emma in a few days, to be honest. She is a very busy woman and I've never been her keeper," he chuckled for a moment, "Well, not since she worked up there anyways." Shaw said as he gestured to the exotic dancers working on stage.
Well, Shaw did express a friendship with Emma, and then that. Ah...aren't all three of the most powerful men in the Hellfire Club playboys? Tony Stark with his history of fallen women, Sebastian Shaw with his known love of women, and Lex Luthor is married to his work, but quite a smooth talker. Alas...time to take the safe route! Though there is a wince from Millie about the stage for dancing girls....the dance floor and music she enjoys, the dancing girls...she usually makes a habit to NEVER look at them, so she would never recognize Emma up there or not. A slight pout appears on Millie's mouth, "Am I not allowed to spoil myself and be selfish, and choose both?" It's obviously a 'play tactic', as most people in this club have never, ever, seen Millie pout...it isn't her usual style. But that pout is soon curling up into a smile, "Alright, I'm a terrible actress. Seriously though, I'd enjoy both of your companies, if you two play nice." Light humor is in her town, and cheerfulness, though it's Lex's arm she settles her hand upon as it was still offered and he did offer first. "Though I think I'd have to decline any dancing, as it would seriously make me blush." Ya, Millie is not the type to dance with two men at once...she's likely one of the most conservative members of the Hellfire Club.
Feeling the warm arm snag his Lex gives a warm smile. "I'm all for playing nice," the words are soft and equally playful. "I'm sure you're a lovely dancer," he kisses the back of her hand once more. Looking between the two of them he asks, "What shall the three of us do this fine evening? Before you arrived Sebastian, the lady and I were talking about technology. How are you this evening, Mr. Shaw?"
Shaw nodded at Millie with a warm smile, "If that's what you wish, my dear then that is what you'll have. Like I've said, I've know Alexander nearly all his life, he is as true as a friend as I have. I'm sure i can 'play nice,'"
He makes a mental note to actually examine that its true that Emma and Lex are his only real friends because that was a disturbing thought, "As for dancing, I only know how to ballroom dance so the music tonight is not exactly conductive to that anyways. And dancing with three people in a waltz would probably prove impossible."
After hearing what Lex and Millie were discussing before his own arrival he realizes he's made a bit of a fool of himself, he interpreted his behavior as an attempt to draw Millie into a scheme of sorts but that seemed unlikely now, "Well considering LexCorp's technological advances are only second to the Future Foundation and Stark Industries I can imagine it was a rather interesting conversation." He looks over at Millie and chuckles, "Or was he just giving you the sales pitch like he always does?"
Millie is laughing at the mention of waltzing with three people, "I don't even know how to waltz." Though the mention of Shaw knowing Lex since he was young, does have her attention, but she doesn't dig at this time. "I purposely baited Mr. Luthor, because I knew he wouldn't be able to resist conversing with me then." Whatever slyness Millie does have about her, she is generally very honest and open about, which is...perhaps ironic. "Though I doubt your words would exactly 'please' him.," mentioning him being second ot Stark Industries. "Still, if it makes Mr. Luthor feel any better, I own not only a Lx phone, but also a tablet." A light pat to Lex's arm of comfort, and one made in good humor. "Shall we steal a table in the meantime," she suggests with inquiry?
"By the end of June the world will see how -superior- Lexcrop is to all of its competitors. Even your companies Mr. Shaw," and those words flow with the utmost confidence. Someone is holding an ace up their sleeve, "Just come to Stark Expo and you will see like everyone else." Smiling Lex looks at the woman, "Trust me dear. You'll want to be in on the next generation. Everything I will release will push the world into the next generation which is leaps above the current generation," again someone is gloating while keeping the cards close to the chest.
He smiles at Millie, "Trust me when I say this your favor is like holding a golden ticket." Looking at the two, "Why don't you set up a ballroom dancing event Mr. Shaw? It would bring out all sorts of people and there are many charities out there. And speaking of charities I will be sponsoring an event in the near future with Miss Selina Kyle's organization. You're both welcome to come," and there is a little more networking plus being friendly for a good cause with potential networking opportunities.
At Millie's suggestion for a table Shaw couldn't help but show off a bit of his power at this Club. He snapped his fingers and made eye contact with the french maid dressed waitress who looked at him. She nodded quickly and began to prepare a table for the three of them, "I think a table is a wonderful suggestion and as you can see one is being prepared as we speak."
Shaw didn't have as much interest in being the #1 in any field publicly and he always found it a bit funny how Luthor obsessed with it, "Oh I've heard about it already, Alexander. Well bits and pieces." His expression doesn't reveal anything about what he does or does not know.
In regards to charity balls, "And the Hellfire Club is host to many charity balls, the last one was to help repair the damage to the city after that Alien incident a few months back. I believe the next one is going to be in regards to something closer to Millie's area of interest. It's to set up a scholarship program for mutants and metahumans in low income families."
He chuckled for a moment and added, "That one is probably not going to be as popular as the one before it, but sometimes its not about popularity, its about what is right. A lesson Ms. Collins recently reminded me of."
"Oh? What is Miss Kyle supporting right now?" Millie does actually sound interested. "Sebastian is right," though she hasn't exactly cashed is blank check yet, "He has been wonderful supportive, and Tony has offered to sponsor a grant for starting it up, as well as to generate PR ideas, and Pepper has connected me with the Maria Stark Foundation. Though sadly, I'm the only one still in the spotlight. I really do need to get with Heather," another major model, works with Victoria's Secret and in the bodyguard business of all things.
Though Millie then says to Sebastian, "We all need reminders once in a while, that's what friends are for." Oh my, Millie associating with Sebastian Shaw as a 'friend'! Talk about the public controversy on that one!
Hearing the initials "PR" piques Lex's interest. Tenfold. Those green eyes examine her again, "Do you work in Public Relations Millie?" the question is simple yet holds so much to him. Right now he does need a good PR person for what is to come. "And what causes do you, personally, believe in? What are you passionate about?" The gears in his mind are turning quickly. A few simple answers, any of them, and another piece of his puzzle would fit into place with perfection. Oh, Millie, how Lex could grow to appreciate you in so many ways.
Ah, yes... Millie is his friend. Sometimes he forgets the little things that have changed in recent times. As for the scandal, well the Hellfire Club is known for its discretion. It's why so many business deals and shady allies are made here, no one will talk about you because they don't want you to talk about them. And at Lex's interest in Millie, yes that would not do. He could trust Emma to not drag her into a scheme or three, Lex not so much at least not as of yet.
"Millie is starting a charity, one that I donated very heavily to," he smiled over to Millie, "That is if she ever cashes the check I gave her."
For now Shaw would play this cooly, he did not like Lex's sudden extreme interest in Millie, but he was not to start acting like some highschool boy with a crush either.
"Oh, no," Millie says. "I'm a supermodel and former professional tennis player. I'm well-known for my charity participations and sponsoring community service. I even read at a local library for children once a week as a regular thing whenever I'm in town." She has a reputation of being a goody-goody, she doesn't even do sexual or lingerine modeling really either. "I can make a good face for the public, but that is sadly where my talent ends."
Millie then smiles warmly, "As for passion, saving people," and she nods at Shaw. "I have to open the account first, and since you decided to put my morals to the test, I've been fretting over that check." She wrinkles her nose cutely at that. "Still, those gifted with unusual abilities in our youth today have no steady resources or supporting in mastering and controlling them. They need help, society has to adapt to include them within it, not just those gifted adopting to society. They can be heroes, doctors, or even lawyers. But the key first, is to keep them within the education system and make sure they have control over their gifts so they don't accidentally hurt themselves or others. It's scary to feel that your life is out of control, and I can imagine what these children are going through. It's simply -not- fair. They deserve a chance to succeed in life."
Sadness washes over Lex but he doesn't show it. He was hoping that Millie would be like a Pepper Potts of PR. All those hopes dashed away. "That they do and I would like to donate to the cause myself. I'll match whatever my friend," a strange thing to say about Sebastian. Lex makes a note to look up the word 'Friend' and see he's being a proper one. Or at least a proper one by appearance. His green eyes look over the woman, "I'm for registration of aliens, but not stripping away their opportunities.This is why I would love to give money to your cause." The smile continues and he looks to Shaw, "Miss Kyle's cause is around deforestation and the endagement of wild-life. Particularly Large Cats. Her cause would stop the various deforestation and provide shelter for those that have lost their homes in the name of expansion," the bits he remembers from Miss Kyle's pitched mixed in with some common sense knowledge flow. Looking over his party members he simply asks, "If the event fits in your schedules would you be willing to attend?"
Sebastian Shaw thought of his last encounter with Millie as she said her passion. He wondered if 'saving him' was part of her agenda. It mattered little either way, he could not be saved and that was not going to change anytime soon. He had lost so much in the pursuit of his legacy and that had left a hole in the man that would never fully heal. To the statement of Millie's goals he added, "Much like the Academy of Tommorow, though the nature of the students is kept more subtle as to avoid protestors or worse. There is a fire of hatred in the heart of this country right now, no need to add to it with gasoline."
He looked at Lex as he made is offer and smiled a bit, "Well the check I gave her was blank, for her to use at her discretion. That was why I was teasing her a bit about it. She thinks that somehow she'll choose an amount that would make her seem less lovely by my eye."
Looking back over to Millie, "And I think that she also wants to prove that she doesn't need some stranger at the time handing her what she wants."
"Oh my, are you putting pressure on my morals and values as well?" Sebastian answers why. And here, Millie wasn't going to originally challenge Lex with that! But still, someone arrives to report that the table is ready for the three of them. "Oh, good," Millie says. Though back on topic, "And that is a good cause and typical of Miss Kyle I believe. And if I'm free, I'd be delighted to attend, the Stark Expo or the charity event. It all sounds fun."
Though toward Sebastian she says, "This is a long-term investment that will go on for years to start with non-profit organization support to making changes in government legistration. Nothing on this can be handed on a golden platter, it will definitely require hard work, sweat, and tears, and hopefully no blood," ending the last part seriously.
A blank check doesn't bother Lex especially with Millie's moral conviction. Plus he would need to approve of the check first. Hearing that Millie is coming to all of the events advertised makes the man smile still. Thirst and hunger start to wash over him but none of that matters as his face sours. A vibration from his breast pocket alerts him to his phone. Pulling it out he checks it, "Company matters I'm afraid." Rising Lex takes the lady's hand then kissing the back of it, "It's been a pleasure Millie." Going to Shaw Lex extends his hand, "It's been an honor, old friend." Again he would need to check the proper meaning of friendship. Once the goodbyes were had Lex turns and immediately departs. Apparently there are problems with something relating to Sherman.