The Hazards of Being Generous.

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The Hazards of Being Generous.

Post  Naitachel on Wed May 07, 2014 10:00 pm

The tables at the Brightflights Charity Auction were packed with people, excitement in the air. The pamphlets claimed a whole bunch of items for sale, several tickets to shows and operas and musical performances, a personal chef with a major name from Food Network for a day, a few trips to various exotic locations around the world with the best accommodations, and even a few people who worked or helped at the charity up for a date or two... Word was one was Minhea Prince and the other Michael (but the pamphlet was vague). Hey, it was all for a good cause--charity, and kids at that... and tax deductible. Of course the Prince Family attended. They always did. Their table was full, except it was one seat short.

Mircea sat tugging on the torture device known publicly as a tie and frowned. "There are far too many people here," he grumbled yet again.

Soraya smirked at Mircea and shook her head. "No need to fear, at least you are not the one trying to get yourself sold off for dates," she teased, glancing at both Min and Michael. Judging by the crowd, the pickings would be... well, slim.

Naitachel eyed his brother-in-law with amusement. "You say that every year." <Would you like to go and help them present the items, too? I am certain they would like the assistance.>

<I would rather go back to my lab and avoid this circus entirely,> Mircea answered, removing the offending tie at last.

Uniformed police were scattered here and there through the crowd, as was to be expected in a gathering like this, but John Eagle had a number of his own men there, as well, unobtrusively seated with some of society's lesser lights. Eagle himself was seated with the family, ostensibly as the guest of one or both of the twins.

Jina winked at the others as she seated herself at the table. "Last minute submissions... done," she whispered to her twin.

"Fabulous," Lisa answered, sitting back self-assuredly.

Jina glanced at her "date" mischievously, then leaned over and kissed him firmly upon the lips before reaching for her champagne flute. "Gotta give the papers something fun to print, don't we?" she murmured to the Indian.

Slightly taken aback, Kahtenny recovered quickly. "Was that a declaration or a promise?" he asked.

Michael was too busy making eyes at one of the other business moguls' daughter (granddaughter?), hoping she would bid on him, to notice much of what was happening around the table.

Golden eyes glanced at Min and Michael, and the Seraph cringed in his seat slightly. He had neglected to warn that, well, he had been persuaded to accept a day of dining as well... Well, because he was embarrassed to admit to giving in at the last board meeting. He could hardly blurt out that his mate was still alive, could he?

Lisa nearly choked on her own champagne with laughter.

"What last minute submissions?" Mircea demanded.

"Now, if I tell it won't be a surprise Uncle dear," Jina purred.

Nait arched a brow at the twins, seconding Mircea's question. "I hope you did not put our security chief up there as well."

"I despise surprises," Mircea reminded her, his voice taking on a dangerous tone.

"Maybe both," Jina answered Kaht, patently ignoring her uncle's warning.

"What surprise?" Lisa asked Mircea innocently before taking another sip of her drink, then resting her hand on Kahtenny's. "Now, now, sister dear, don't hog."

Soraya inwardly rolled her eyes at the twins' display, obviously meant to get a rise out of Kaht (no pun intended). "You seem anxious, Naitachel. What is it?" she asked him, concerned.

Flashing Soraya and Vlad a smile, Nait murmured to them, "Just be glad married couples are not eligible." Yes, he was a little nervous about this... and possibly the resulting reactions. It couldn't be that bad, though, right? Have a nice dinner and conversation, see a show, and wave goodbye?

Mrs. Lewellen Kent toddled along, her walker sliding along ahead of her, as she approached the Prince table. "Michael, you adorable boy you. Just wait. Granny Kent’s gonna bounce you on her knee," she promised, her dentures clicking obscenely as she reached out and pinched him upon his lower left cheek before ambling off again.

Soraya stifled laughter by turning her face into Vlad's shoulder at the woman who had approached Michael. <He asked for this,> she confided in him.

"I don't think I'd be so free with the official titles, Nait," the Apache said. "Wouldn't do for the girls to be consorting with the help."

"My pardon," Naitachel apologized to Kahtenny. "Though titles or roles, they are not a factor when consorting goes on normally," he warned with a tolerant shrug.

"I'll consort with whomever I da..." Jina began before catching her uncle's warning glare, "darned... well please," she amended quickly. "And right now... my Apache pleases me." She lowered her eyes, a slow smile spreading upon her lips as she added, "Though he's welcomed to try harder to please me later if he likes..."

"You bounce on those knees, Mike, you'll be picking bone splinters out of your bum," Eagle said. "And let's make that your Apache playboy, eh, Jina?"

Men and women alike seemed to be ogling the Prince table, whispering among themselves of their date night plans for various family members.

Michael merely looked after the woman, for once flabbergasted. "I think Britney's planning on bidding on me," he asserted, referring to the pretty young woman he'd been eying. "I don't plan on bouncing on any knees," he answered sourly.

Seeing the elderly lady toddle off, Nait glanced at Mircea worriedly. <Er... is that even legal? She must be near five times the age Michael resembles...>

<It's ridiculous. She should be ashamed of herself. Though a child compared to our true age, she's still far too advanced in years for the sort of things she's imagining,> Mircea replied in disgust.

The Seraph resisted the urge to faceplant at the table.

"How about my Apache boy toy. I think I like that even better," Jina offered as compromise.

"Our Apache boy toy," Lisa corrected, pouting.

Kahtenny chuckled, his eyes, ever busy, roaming the room. "Now, girls, there's enough to go around, no need to fight."

"Fine, fine... OUR Apache boy toy. Share and share alike after all," Jina laughed.

<Should we find some way of rescuing our son from this?> Soraya asked Vlad with some measure of sympathy for her son who seemed more a deer stuck in headlights than anything at the moment.

<Not a chance,> Vlad replied, struggling to keep a straight face at the moment.

"Ladies and gentlemen," a tall, thin woman with birdlike features began, tapping on the mike as if to ensure she could be heard. "If you'll all take your seats, we'd like to begin our fourth annual Brightflights charity auction."

"I wish she wouldn't do that. It's hard on a mike," Kahtenny grumbled.

Lisa seemed satisfied by Jina and Kahtenny's answers and sat back smugly, grinning at Jina knowingly once the beginning of the auction was announced.

It was then that an obviously rich woman, and a married one at that, approached the table. She was nearing her 60's, but had received much plastic surgery to remain a youthful appearance, as well as other, erm, endowments. "Hi again, Min," she winked. "I'll be bidding on you. Don't worry, my husband's in Paris with his little hussy..." Without missing another beat, she was off to her own table, ready for the bidding to begin.

Min coughed into his champagne flute, his face alight with amusement. "Lovely," he answered when he could manage a word again. "I always wanted to bounce around in a silicone playground."

"Min!" Vlad scolded.

Naitachel stared after the plastic bidder, eyes wide, then flicked his gaze to Min. <Oh my... I think you met your match.>

Which only prompted Min to laugh harder. <Not even close,> Min assured Nait. <Trust me.>

Naitachel coughed discretely into his napkin.

Soraya couldn't stop from laughing, burying her face behind her hands this time. "Perhaps next year we can stick to auctioning vacations and spa packages," she suggested. <Did anyone try to convince you to do it, 'in good fun,' as well?> she asked Vlad, shaking her head.

"First on our agenda is a lovely morsel for you gentlemen out there. Miss Lisa Prince has consented to a night of dinner and dancing for the winner of our first auction. Can we start at 500 dollars?"

A hand rose across the room, a construction tycoon who managed to squeeze into a tux looking pretty determined to win.

Kahtenny's eyes widened, then he grinned as he turned to Jina. "Looks like we get a little more time to ourselves, eh?"

"Lucky me," Jina purred, leaning in closer.

A rotund red faced gentleman put up his number card quickly. "Six hundred," he called out.

Lisa stood and bowed grandly at her introduction, smiling brightly. "Come on, now boys, make it worth my while!" she giggled to egg on the biddings. "This is for charity, after all."

"A thousand," the construction man rumbled firmly.

A tall man in a ten gallon hat, his beer belly lapping over his overlarge belt buckle jumped into the fray. "Eleven hundred."

"Twelve hundred," came the voice of a hard-faced woman in the rear of the room.

Lisa's eyebrow rose, "I could always make time for you, Mr. Eagle, though I know when I’m the third wheel," she whispered to her sibling with a mock grimace.

"Oh, sweetie, we've shared everything else. Why stop now?" Jina answered innocently.

"Yes, why?" grinned Kahtenny.

"Fifteen hundred," the rotund man called out, seeing his prize slipping away.

"Two thousand!" construction man snapped. He frowned over his jowls at the back of the room.

The vampiress remained smiling and swished her hips gently, hoping to spur more bidding and raise more money. She laughed and winked at Jina and Kahtenny.

"Twenty five hundred," Dunlap cried.

"Three thousand," the rotund one shouted, his face now an alarming shade of magenta.

"3800!" construction guy countered.

"4000!" some young lawyer shouted.

"FIVE THOUSAND," Dunlap screeched.

The mannish woman subsided, knowing she was out of her league.

"Six thousand," rotund man bellowed, his face turning nearly purple.

"Seven!" construction guy shot back.

Dunlap sat down dejectedly, as rotund wheezed, "Eight thousand dollars."

Lisa's eyebrow shot up, and she glanced at the auctioneer for the evening, surprised. "Come on, now," Lisa called to the Dunlap, "will you let them outbid you?"

"What the hell do they think they're bidding on, a lifetime contract?" asked Kahtenny.

Construction's eyes narrowed. "Nine."

"Oh no... Just the one night. Trust me, they do this every year." Jina laughed.

"Ten!" the lawyer tried.

"Just wait until Jina goes up," Lisa whispered to Kahtenny.

The rotund man plopped back in his chair, mopping at his brow and trying to catch his breath, too overcome by the excitement to go on.

Birdface leaned toward the mic. "Ten thousand going once...." she squawked, tapping the mic again.

"Even ten?" Lisa asked innocently. "Why, Mr. Cross, that's terribly generous of you."

"If Jina's up for bids, you'd better have EMTs standing by," Kaht teased.

Construction waved negative, making a face.

"Going twice..." Birdface went on. "Sold to Mr. Cross for ten thousand dollars."

The lawyer whooped with delight.

"Do they not have an emergency defibrillator in the room?" Nait asked innocently, pointing it out next to the stage.

"They'll need it, the first time she wiggles," Kahtenny replied.

Jina leaned in and kissed Kaht again. "That's for saying such sweet things," she told him, smiling.

"Tell the truth and shame the devil," Kaht told Jina innocently.

"I expect my place next to you will be warm when I return from this small detour," Lisa winked at Kahtenny and Jina before sashaying toward the winner of the auction to congratulate him.

The young lawyer smirked triumphantly at those all around, and beamed at Lisa as she approached.


Last edited by Naitachel on Wed May 14, 2014 11:51 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: The Hazards of Being Generous.

Post  Naitachel on Wed May 07, 2014 10:05 pm

"Next up for your bidding pleasure," Birdface announced, tapping the mic yet again. "Dinner and dancing with Miss Jina Prince. Shall we start once again at 500 dollars?"

Jina stood, turning and waving to everyone.

"Two thousand and let's beat to the punch," construction man muttered.

"Five hundred," the rotund man tried again. He glared to hear the construction man speaking over him, then amended quickly, "Five thousand, I mean. Five thousand dollars!"

"Six thousand," an unusually large woman with a suspiciously deep voice called out.

"Seven," construction fired back.

Soraya leaned over to Kahtenny. "It seems our clan is desperate to test your limits by stretching your resources thin," she whispered to him with sympathy.

Jina giggled, her hand upon Kaht's shoulder as she listened to the crowd.

"Eight thousand," the woman with the Adam’s apple fired back.

"Nine," the rotund man squeaked.

"Ten," an alderman threw in eagerly. His wife hit his shoulder.

"Twelve," construction man growled.

"As long as they're out in public, I don't worry too much. It's the little tete-a-tetes that can be dangerous," the security man replied.

The rotund man looked sadly at his checkbook, knowing he dared go no higher.

"Oh, but those are always the fun part," Jina whispered.

"At least it is gaining a good bit of money for the children?" Nait murmured.

Kahtenny chuckled and murmured to Jina, "I wouldn't worry about you in any circumstances."

"Good to know," Jina replied with a smile.

"Twelve thousand going once," Birdface crooned, tapping the mic for emphasis.

<If she does that again I'm removing her fingers,> Mircea warned.

"Going twice," Birdface intoned, her hand moving toward the mic to tap tap tap it again.

The Seraph patted Mircea's arm, trying to offer some calming influence. <Mircea, please... No violence tonight.>

Mircea started to rise, held on either side by Vlad and Min. <Now, uncle, patience... please...>

<Please, Mircea, no blood shed at the fundraising event for the children,>
Soraya answered quickly.

"Sold to Mister Lewis of Lewis Construction," Birdface cheered, tapping the mic excitedly.

Mircea's fangs threatened as his patience ran thin.

Naitachel stood and caught at Mircea's arm, increasing his influence as best he dared short of humming or singing. "Please, Mircea... sit before they think you are volunteering as well."

The construction tycoon stood amid congratulatory applause, belly hanging over his belt, nodding to those around him and mopping his brow.

Jina leaned in, planting yet another kiss on Kaht's cheek and offering a peek at her ample bosom before moving off toward Mister Lewis. "Be back soon."

Kahtenny pulled a small controller out of his pocket, set two switches and touched a button. Suddenly sparks shot out of the microphone, jolting the woman who held it. "Reversed the polarity in the amplifier. She'll be more careful now."

Birdface cried out in surprise as she dropped the malfunctioning microphone.

Min snickered at that, his eyes alight with mischief.

<Naitachel has a point,> Soraya commented to Mircea. <You do seem rather eager to get to the stage...> "Is there anywhere you have no tricks?" Soraya laughed at Kahtenny.

"Oh, probably. This one was pretty simple. Friend of mine invented it to keep guitar players from getting shocked on stage," Kahtenny answered Soraya.

A stagehand rushed out and checked the offending microphone, setting it firmly back in its stand. "There, just don't touch it and you'll be all right," he said.

The birdfaced woman gingerly approached the mic, looking at it dubiously before continuing, this time omitting the tapping. "Next up, we have our first bachelor of the evening, Mister Michael Prince. Shall we start the bidding for a night on the town at 500 as well? "

"500 hundred," Mrs. Kent called out eagerly, waving her hand in the air.

"Six!" a teen in the back called. It was a girl from his school. Other teens in the far back whooped--apparently they'd pooled together for this.

"Seven hundred," the large woman with the deep voice called out, her Adam’s apple bobbing.

The Apache arched an eyebrow. "Kids have money enough to throw around like this?"

"You'd be amazed what some of these kids have," Min shrugged.

Michael stood and smiled at the girl from school, then waved to the others. It was obvious to any who knew him he was silently praying for a good outcome to this particular bidding war.

"Eight--and it's for my sister," a guy in the back called.

"One thousand," Mrs. Kent called out, determined to win.

"Twelve hundred," Adam’s apple sang.

The teen girl slumped dejectedly. They couldn't get that much together.

"Fifteen hundred, and it's not for my sister," cried a sallow-faced man in the center of the room.

Min almost spat his champagne across the table, the force of his laughter explosive as the sallow faced man bid on his nephew.

"Two thousand," a plastic looking woman called out, placing a hand on the teen girl's shoulder. "For my little girl."

Michael straightened his tie.

"Three thousand," Mrs. Kent kept going determinedly.

Naitachel coughed into his napkin, trying not to grin.

"Four thousand," the rich man's daughter/granddaughter called, staring daggers at the old woman.

"Four thousand," Adam’s apple bid again.

"Four thousand five!" the girl called again.

"Alright then, five," Adam’s apple tried yet again.

"Five thousand!" the parent with the schoolgirl also called at the same time.

"Six thousand," Mrs. Kent continued.

"Ten thousand dollars," Plastic mom shouted. She winked at her daughter, smiling. "Call it an early graduation gift, Angel."

"What do you bet they intend to share?" Kahtenny asked Jina.

"No bets," Jina laughed, certain he was right.

People were piling over each other on the bids so fast the auctioneer struggled to keep up, and the crowd as well.  

"Twelve thousand dollars," Mrs. Kent shouted, licking her lips at Michael.

Michael grinned at his parents and Kahtenny, obviously pleased with how this was going. Though the moment Mrs. Kent spoke up again, there was an obvious falter in his stance. <Save me,> he begged Min. Perhaps he could offer financial backing to the highschooler.

"Oh... my... god..." Min made a gagging noise at the sight of the old woman with the protruding tongue.

"Just wait for your turn," Nait murmured to Min mischievously.

"Fifteen thousand," Plastic mom growled, glaring daggers at the old woman.

"Thanks, Mom--you're the best," the teen whispered happily.

"15,500," the granddaughter spoke up to the obvious disliking of her father/grandfather.

"Sixteen," the geriatric woman spoke up again.

"Anything for my dear girl... though mommy might want to... meet him... as well," Plastic mom cooed before calling out, "Twenty thousand!"

Mrs. Kent looked furious as she sat down, mumbling to herself about the sort of women who spoiled their children so.

"Twenty thousand going once..." Birdface called out, careful to avoid touching any part of the mic. "Going twice..." she went on excitedly.

The blonde girl rose to bid again, though she was quickly hushed by her escorting parental unit.  She sat down, sulking.

"SOLD TO THE HENDERSONS FOR TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!"

The teen girl shrieked with joy, leaping up to hug her mom enthusiastically. Other teens standing in the back cheered and whooped and yelled happily.

Michael was obviously pleased with the results. It wasn't as though he couldn't sense the mother's ambitions.

Plastic mom jumped up and down with her daughter then both rushed forward to gather their 'purchase'.

The blonde girl glared at her father a few long moments, pouting, before yelling at him, "You never do ANYTHING for me!" She stood, stomped her feet screeching, then stormed out, full-blown temper-tantrum in effect.

<Oh dear,> Soraya sighed, grimacing. She had rather not think too far on where that evening was going, and instead focused on drinking some of her wine.

Michael played the dutiful part of the reluctant purchase as the women joined him, though he laughed as he allowed them to lead him out.

Naitachel colored slightly on picking up that hint from the mother, and busied himself with toying with his napkin. <Do be careful, Michael,> he suggested quietly. Last thing they needed was further scandal, a broken family, and a traumatized teen.

Kahtenny gazed thoughtfully at the irate Mrs. Kent, then asked Vlad, "Who is the old party? Anybody vindictive enough to watch out for?"


Last edited by Naitachel on Thu May 15, 2014 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Hazards of Being Generous.

Post  Naitachel on Wed May 07, 2014 10:08 pm

"Next up on our docket, Mister John Eagle!" the birdfaced woman called out. "Guaranteed by Jina Prince to be an amazing... er... date. " She smiled knowingly before beginning bidding at 500 dollars.

The large woman with the Adam’s apple raised her paddle, winking at the Indian.

Nait's napkin dropped. "Jina?!" he coughed, stunned that she'd actually done that. Golden eyes flicked to Mircea. <Does this count as overtime?>

Min roared at the newest offering, certain John hadn't a clue he'd been added as an option.

"This was not in my contract," Kahtenny protested.

"Come on, lover. I promise to make it up to you. Besides, it's for charity, remember," Jina cooed.

Soraya's own eyebrows rose, and she once again stifled her laughter. "Too late to back out now," she informed him.
Mrs. Kent paused a moment, then raised her hand. "Six hundred," she called.

"All right, but you'd better have your liability insurance paid up. Somebody might get hurt," Kaht warned.

"Five thousand," a buxom woman in the back called out, her thick black dyed hair meticulously done up.

Standing slowly, he put on his most stoic "Indian face" as he strode to the front of the room, folding his arms to emphasize his huge muscles. Might as well play it for all it's worth. Where are all the normal people? he wondered, and where did they get these weirdoes?

"Six," Construction bid, half-heartedly.

"Ten thousand," Mrs. Kent called back, staring hungrily at the great Indian.

"Eleven," Adam’s apple cried, admiring the huge bulging muscles now on parade.

"Twelve," the buxom woman called, bouncing up and down, her assets juggling.

"13!" a fellow called in the back. He looked like an actor, or possibly a movie producer.

"Fourteen," Adam’s apple insisted.

"Fifteen," buxom bouncer cried.

Surveying the crowd, Kahtenny noticed a young woman a couple of rows back who looked interesting, and better yet, interested. He fixed his hawk like stare on her and very slowly... winked.

"17!" said the producer. "I'm doing the YMCA theme at my house party next week and I need him!"

Naitachel smothered a laugh in his napkin.

The slight blonde flushed brightly at the wink then slowly raised her hand. "Eighteen," she said softly.

"Nineteen!" Adam's apple insisted.

"20!" called the producer.

"Twenty," buxom bouncer laughed excitedly. Hearing the producer call it first she frowned. "Poo," she spat. "You’re not nice at all!"

"Twenty one," the blonde pressed, her voice only just heard above the din.

Min grinned. "Looks like our Mister Eagle is a hit."

"Going once," the birdface called...

The producer sighed and shook his head no.

"Going twice," Birdface continued...

Buxom bouncer pouted prettily.

"Sold!" Birdface cried. "To... um... I'm sorry, honey, I don't have your name here.""Ella Prentiss," the blonde provided. "Of Prentiss Pharmaceuticals."

Min and Mircea exchanged a look at that. They were a competitor for DI. Naitachel arched an eyebrow and gave Kahtenny a warning glance, hoping their security man would stay on his guard.

Kahtenny strode to the young lady's table. Bowing, he said, "Miss Prentiss, John Eagle, at your service."

The blonde rose, offering her hand. "Mister Eagle. A pleasure."

"This is as surprising to me as it appears to be to you," Kahtenny said. "Do you have a preference as to our date, afternoon or evening?"

"I'm actually open to whatever your schedule may be," the blonde smiled. "I'm just... I hadn't intended to bid tonight but... well... if Jina says you’re... you know... worth it... I sort of just had to." She blushed brightly.

"I shouldn't put too much stock in what Jina says," Kaht grinned, "but I'll try not to bore you too much. Shall we say dinner and dancing with a cabaret, or would you prefer a Broadway show?"

"Oh, I love cabaret!" the blonde answered, surprised by the offer.

"Cabaret it is, then. Saturday night satisfactory?" Kaht asked.
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Re: The Hazards of Being Generous.

Post  Naitachel on Wed May 07, 2014 10:11 pm

"Next up on the docket... Mister Mircea Prince!" Birdface squealed.

<NO!> Mircea shouted, glowering at his nieces.

Nait's eyes widened. "Oh heavens..."

Sophia shifted in her seat, number in hand.

Someone from the back whooped with joy.

Soraya smiled and laughed. "One would expect no less from the twins. Did you actually think you would get out of it, Mircea?" she asked.

"I am NOT doing this..." Mircea growled.

"But uncle," Min laughed breathlessly, "it's for charity!"

"Shall we start the bidding at 500 dollars?" the birdface suggested.

The Seraph fumbled his phone from his coat pocket, and tabbed around in it a bit... <Please, Mircea... It is dinner and a movie, and nothing more, yes?>

"I... am... NOT... doing... this..." Mircea insisted. Mircea's glare made a few people shrink back in their seats nervously.

"500!" someone called in the back. Heads turned to see one of the lab techs standing there, beet red.

"Six hundred," Sophia Brennan answered back.

"Seven," Mrs. Kent cried.

"Eight," Adam’s apple crooned.

"Eight!" the tech tried uneasily. "No, nine!"

"A thousand," buxom bouncer laughed.

"No..." Mircea whispered, horrified. "No... no... no... no..."

"1100!" the tech begged.

Nait tabbed urgently at his phone, then sighed in relief.

"Twelve hundred," Sophia replied, smiling assuredly.

Min nodded to the tech, and pointed up. He'd fund her.

"Twelve-fifty!" the tech continued.

"Two thousand," Mrs. Kent cried.

The tech shot Min a grateful look, only to wince at Mrs. Kent's cry.

"Three," buxom bouncer countered.

"Four," Adam’s apple insisted.

Min looked back at the tech and nodded again. Keep going, his look assured them.

"Six?" the tech girl offered shyly.

"Five," Sophia laughed, knowing it'd be between her and the technician and determined it should be a hefty sum. It was Mircea, after all. "Seven," she corrected quickly.

Min quirked a brow and held up ten fingers to the tech.

"Um... er... ten?" the tech girl supplied.

"Twelve," Adam’s apple shouted.

"Fifteen," buxom bouncer screamed.

"Twenty," Nait called, voice ringing around the room like a bell.

The Seraph glanced kindly at his brother-in-law. <I can bail you out, if you do not mind the rumors.>

A silence filled the room.

<I'll do the same for you,> Mircea agreed, looking at his brother in law gratefully.

Naitachel glanced around at the shocked faces, and shrugged. "Well, what else would I do with it?" he admitted ruefully. "Besides, Radu would have done the same." <Relax and sit. Dinner is on me sometime, then, I suppose.>

Sophia started to bid again, then noticed the relieved expression on Mircea's face and held her peace.

A golden eye glanced Sophia’s way, determined. He wouldn't leave Mircea to suffer.

Sophia nodded to Nait and smiled. She understood.

"Going once... twice... sold," Birdface went on quickly.

The murmuring began softly and quickly grew louder, flashbulbs going wild.

Nait just sighed. "I could not just leave you fretting like that," he admitted uneasily. <You may just have to return the favor,> Nait admitted shyly to Mircea, with a hint of foreboding.

<Done,> Mircea agreed. It wasn't as if anyone could really outbid him, after all.
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