2011 06 04: Lust For Life

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Mission Name: Lust For Life
Date of Mission: June 4, 2011
Locale: The Waldorf Astoria - Midtown

Tamara butts her nose into Ashley's cell phone conversation and the two have a short discussion about living in the moment.

Ashley Tamara

If one is going to pay the high cost to live at the Waldorf-Astoria, one simply must take advantage of the hotel's full suite of amenities. This is why Tamara is not in her room, but rather enjoying an aperitif at one of the hotel's many bars, this one happening to be located just off the lobby. There's some quiet, tinkly piano music courtesy of the baby grand in one corner, playing along above the dull hum of civilized voices engaged in quiet discourse. Tamara has found herself a little table in the corner, seated in a comfortable arm chair with a martini on the table in front of her, while she watches the room with a casual and yet attentive gaze.

After a hard day's work, everyone is entitled to a drink. But not before a rousing cell phone conversation. "I'm sorry, but I really can't do that." Ash says into his thin grey cell phone, which seems to match the rest of his suit today. "I've been on call for the past sixteen hours. I've been to five deaths in that time and two of them were murders. I'm sorry if I'm not more willing to jump at the chance of overtime that the county can't pay me already, but I'm exhausted. Have Davenport do it." Ashley holds the phone away from his ear after his response, a voice on the other growing louder before the man simply closes his phone and puts it in his pocket. The professional in the grey pin-striped suit makes his way over to the bar and leans against it, rather than sitting down at it. "A gin and tonic, please. No rocks." When the bartender has taken Ash's order, the man takes a long moment to rub at his forehead with his palm before scratching his head in a tired way.

"Problems at work?" speaks up the femme fatale in the corner, who's unabashedly been listening in on Ashley's phone call. In her defence, well, it wasn't really all that hard to do. Tamara offers him a smile that's at once both sympathetic and a bit amused at the poor man's plight. "You must be good at whatever it is you do." She hasn't bothered to move from her seat, but raises her voice to reach him at the bar easily, all without needing to shout. It's one advantage of drinking at such a civilized place as this. She leans forward slightly to pick up her own drink, taking a sip before using the glass to gesture very subtly at the empty seat across from her, inviting him to join her if he'd care to.

It must be unusual for such attractive women to be speaking to Ash, judging from the reaction that Tamara gets. He does a double take at her as if he thinks his eyes are playing tricks on him, pans his eyes slowly down her body, realizes what he's doing, and turns a flustered shade of red. "Yes, well - ah - yes, you could say that." There's no real way to know what he's responding to, whether it be the inquiry about work problems or her assertion that he's good at whatever he does; maybe it's both. The older man takes his gin and tonic gratefully and doesn't waste any time taking a long drink of it. He nearly misses the gestured invitation to sit down, though his eyes bug briefly when he sees it. Unsurely, he walks a little closer and sits down across from the blonde woman at the table, smiling politely. "I'm the county coroner. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it. Etcetera."

"I could say that and I did," Tamara points out with some amusement, seeming to enjoy his fluster far too much than can possibly bode well for the man. There's a hint of something almost predatory in her grin, but it's quickly hidden back away again as he takes her up on the offer and has a seat. Sitting back, she cradles the martini glass between her hands, crossing one sinfully long leg over the other, no doubt moving rather slowly and deliberately for his benefit. She's a woman who enjoys being admired, that much is clear. "County coroner… There's one I haven't heard before. City like this, bet there's a whole lot of people dying to get your business."

"It is a fact of life - dying, that is." Ashley smiles once more at the blonde, his eyes lingering on her legs. He looks away politely - first at the wall, then at the floor, then at the table top, though his eyes return to her legs each time. He is still just a mortal man after all. Finally he settles for staring at her hair. It looks like he's making eye contact, only not. "But yes, it's a sad one. Always unfortunate no matter the circumstances. Would you like a refill of your drink when you're finished with that one?" The man asks, perhaps a little too eagerly as his cell phone begins to ring again his pocket. He tries desperately to ignore it even though he's drawing looks from a few other patrons.

"We all go sometime," Tamara concurs, although she keeps this from sounding too bleak or dark. It is a simple fact of life, like he said. "That's why I choose to live like there's no tomorrow." She says it in a tone that could be a joke, but isn't really. As he eagerly offers her another drink, she glances down at her glass and then nods. "Why, I think that would be quite nice, yes, thank you," she replies with a smile, her eyes flickering towards his pocket as the cell phone goes off. "You know, some of the newer ones even come with an off button," she teases lightly.

With a great deal of embarrassment, Ashley removes the cell phone from his pocket and stares at the face of it for a moment before he ends up turning it off. "Of course. Sorry about that." He shoots apologetic glances to the other patrons as they go back to their quiet conversing, biting his lower lip in a worrisome manner. "Living like there's no tomorrow? That does sound an interesting concept. Perhaps someday you'll explain it to me, Miss…?" Ash asks, as he catches the bartender's eye and makes a refill motion to the lady's glass and his gin and tonic, which he promptly finishes. He glances around the bar once more to make sure that the staring has stopped before he continues to focus on Tamara's hair, or at least her cheekbone. Anything to make him not look at her legs.

"You hang around important men, you learn to put up with these little inconveniences," Tamara says with a shrug to his apology, not really bothered at all, but using it as a further excuse to slip in a bit of flattery to mess with his head. "Carver. But please, call me Tamara. Buying me a drink will at least get you that much," she informs him with a confiding sort of grin. Speaking of, since there's a new drink on the way, she casually swallows back the remainder of her own and sets the glass back down on the table between them. "And I could certainly try to explain the concept. Although it's a little more fun to experience it instead."

It's even more clear from this exchange that Ash is unused to dealing with people in first names or without proper titles. He blinks owlishly behind his glasses before he takes them off and puts them in his breast pocket. A server arrives with their new drinks and Ash makes no bones about getting to work on his. "Miss… err…" Beat. "Tamara, this may sound cliche and cheesy, but has anyone ever told you that have particularly striking eyes?" The man asks her, color flooding his cheeks before he takes in a deep breath. He hasn't seemed to notice her comment about important men - perhaps thinking that in no way, shape, or form could she have possibly been referring to him. "Experiencing it? Oh, that's not my bag. I'm a… I'm a bookworm sort of guy. I don't really do the experience thing… I've experienced too much already."

The more she throws him off-balance, the more Tamara honestly seems to be enjoying herself. Always leave them guessing. His compliment earns a pleased smile, but she doesn't bother feigning embarrassment, since that would just be gauche. "Why thank you. They've always served me well. I've yet to need glasses or contacts, after all…" She picks up her fresh drink, but doesn't rush to drink it, just liking to have something to hold. Idly, she lets the liquid swirl around slightly in the glass. "Ah, but I doubt you've experienced the right sort of experience," she points out. "Surely you must be tempted sometimes to take your nose out of the book and put it somewhere else." Is that suggestive? Oh my, yes.

Considering that Tamara has accepted the compliment and not laughed him right out of the Waldorf, Ash is feeling just pretty damned good right about now - if not still a little on edge about such a lovely lady conversing with him. "Granted, my time as a county coroner doesn't really afford for many conventionally 'exciting' experiences. Or unconventionally." He pauses, realizes how that sounded, and flushes a bright red before deciding not to acknowledge his flub. Her comment makes him redden only moreso before he simply nods to her. "On occasion, but the job doesn't allow for a lot of time away from… well, the job."

As though to counter the edginess, Tamara is as smooth and content as a cat purring in a beam of sunlight. It's like nothing could disturb or bother her at this point. "Then I'd say you need to make time," she replies with a wry smirk, not failing to miss the flub, but working it right in there to her advantage. She takes a slow sip of her drink, watching him over the rim as he just keeps getting redder and redder. Idly, she wonders if she could actually make his head explode if she really tried. "Mmm. Yes, I did see that. And yet you turned your phone off and the world hasn't ended yet…" she points out, implying that he could probably get away with taking some time away, at least.

It's as if something in Ash suddenly shuts off. Rather than Tamara getting to give the cold shoulder this time, it's Ash. Her comment about the phone makes him snap back to reality. He reaches into his breast pocket and withdraws the ever-important business card of every consummate business man, setting it on the table in front of her. 'Ashley S. Hockett, County Coroner, doctor of psychology'. There's a cell phone number and landline, as well as the address of his office. "Unfortunately, you never know when the world might end. It's been… invigorating talking to you, Miss… err, Tamara. I hope you never have need of my services, but if you do… I'm a dial away." He stands up and moves over to the bar to pay, then commences with walking out.

Tamara seems a bit surprised when that backfires on her, but she smooths that quickly away with another smile, lifting her glass in a sort of half-toast-half-salute to him. "Nice to meet you, Ashley the Coroner," she replies, reading that off the business card as she picks it up from the table. "Good luck saving the world." It's not sarcastic, although it could so easily be. It's not quite sincere either, but … the well-wishing is true enough. Sitting back in her seat, she sips her drink and watches him go, before her gaze moves back to the business card.

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