OPEN Trouvaille. @Buckingham Estate.

Valerie Modeste

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#1
She wasn't sure why she was so nervous. After all, it was just a job for Gabriel and she trusted that he was going to help her. Maybe that was it, why she was so nervous? Because he was taking a professional chance on her, even when she had never done anything like this before in her life. Sitting on her bed she pulled at the outfit she was wearing. It had taken her a while to pick it out, and now she really wished she knew how to put on makeup herself. Just something to make herself feel a bit better.

Two sharp knocks on the door and a voice called out to let her know Gabriel's driver was here to pick her up. Grabbing her bag she raked a hand through her hair and took a deep breath to calm herself before walking to the door. Opening them she asked one of the men there to take her down to the car which they of course did. The walk was silent but not uncomfortable. After weeks of having them there, she had gotten to know them well enough that she wasn't uncomfortable with them still.

Not long after she was sitting in the car and saying hi to Patrick before she felt the car begin to move. She wasn't sure where they were headed but trusted that Gabriel had let the man know where to take her. Resting back in her seat she took a few deep breaths and closed her eyes. She only paused long enough to ask Patrick to turn up the music before sinking back again.

After not long she could feel the car start to slow down. It had to mean they weren't far away now. And she was correct. Soon the car came to a stop and Valerie sat up waiting a moment.

"Are we picking up Mr Villiers here or is this where I am meeting him?"

 

Gabriel Villiers

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#2
Patrick smiled as he cast a brief look into the rear view mirror. "We -- you -- will be meeting him here, at the Buckingham. Mister Villiers prefers to do most meetings for new hires, at home. It's a more casual atmosphere. Not the stiff, spartan surroundings of some bureaucrat's office," he explained briefly as the car pulled into a brief private driveway. Another minute or two and they would come to a full stop.

Patrick emerged from the car and gently opened the door before offering Valerie his gloved hand. "Allow me to escort you within," he smiled and looked up briefly, seeing Gabriel's face through the UV-tinted glass of his villa's spacious living room. Once Valerie accepted, they would proceed inside, where they were most eagerly and anxiously expected by the owner...

 

Valerie Modeste

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#3
It surprised her a bit to hear that they were arriving at Gabriel's home. She had expected it to be an office or something of the sorts. But hearing Patrick explain it she had to smile. It was just like him. To want the comfort of home over an office. It made her wonder how he balanced being professional and his usual self.

When the car stopped and Patrick offered to escort her inside she nodded and reached out for the man's hand. Following him inside she had a good grip on her bag. She hadn't known what to expect so she had felt a bag with a few key items like food and drinks had been a good choice. As they moved she could feel her heart beat nervously again. What if she was awful at it? Would it feel like she had disappointed Gabriel? Probably, but at least he could just fire her then.

She heard a door open and close behind them, making her start to listen for Gabriel with a soft smile on her lips
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#4
Patrick assisted bringing Valerie to the door and made brief remarks as to whether they were approaching a curb, a doorway, or stairs. His descriptions of the house and its surroundings left a lot to be desired, however. Patrick was not very well versed at providing flowery details for environments and so the basic gist Valerie would have gotten from his descriptions would be that Gabriel's haven was basically, a "white house". Two floors. An attached pool house. Surrounded by neighboring abodes. Hardly private - or at least not nearly as private as what she was used to by now, at The Crown.

His boss's office was on the main floor, so thankfully no ridiculous stairwells to climb. Patrick guided his companion to the door and opened it, as if expected to do so without knocking or anything. As they door opened, it revealed a spacious office with mahogany furniture throughout. A wrap-around shelf housed many books while the desk appeared spotless - without a single sheet of paper or even a pen sitting upon it. There was a guest chair as well, appointed in rich leather. The only window was curiously left open - letting in a cool fall breeze.

Gabriel Villiers sat behind the desk with his back turned away from the door as he looked at something on a nearby shelf, a book perhaps?

Still, at the sound of the door opening, he turned back around and drew to his feet, face contorting into a welcoming grin. "Good evening, miss Modeste. Thank you for bringing her in, Patrick - that will be all for now."

The chauffeur removed himself from the vicinity as Gabriel moved toward his guest and took up her hand kissing it softly before guiding her to the chair in which he would invite her to sit.

"So here you are, at last. In -my- lair, for a change. A vampire's captive, hmm?" He laughed quietly, hoping she would realize he was only joking. "Shall we get the business portion out of the way first, before we move onto the more pleasurable portion of your visit?"
 

Valerie Modeste

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#5
Valerie smiled at Patrick's description of the house. For some reason, she felt like the man might not be giving the place the credit it deserved, after all, she knew that Gabriel had a sense of beauty, and would probably not live in what sounded like a white box. But she could leave that for Gabriel if he wanted to give her a tour of the place first, and for now, just listened and smiled. It didn't take much time to get to what she assumed was Gabriel's office.

It did surprise her though, that Patrick didn't knock before entering the room. But then again she knew that Gabriel was expecting her. And as they entered the place she could hear him rise from his seat. A smile spread on her lips, wider and warmer now than before. A soft blush to her cheeks when she felt the kiss to her hand.

"Evening Mr Villiers."

There was a faint laughter to her voice, feeling a bit silly for being so formal with him. Following him to the chair she sat down and couldn't hold an actual laughter at his words.

"Oh, I am sure I will do fine. You can't be worse than the current vampire holding me captive."

Of course she knew he was joking, and hopefully, he would see that she was as well.

"Business portion sounds like a good place to start. I am less nervous about that then the rest. Even though I am pretty nervous about all of this."
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#6
Oddly enough, Patrick's words did not fall far from the truth. The house was very white, inside and out. The walls, ceiling, and even some of the furniture were white or ivory or a very pale gray. It made sense in a strange sort of way that a vampire would purchase a residence that looked 'human' to the extreme. There was not a single hint of goth darkness within. In fact, it was everything opposite. Aside from the fact that all the windows had UV-protected glass so that not a single ray of sunshine could penetrate inside, it was a normal residence, fit for the most discerning mortal.

"I have sent some formal documents to your suite at The Crown. In Braille, for your ease of use. I will need some basic information like your names, date and place of birth, names of parents.... height and weight, et cetera. Of course if you don't know or can't remember the answer to some of these, I am sure Marcus can provide a weight scale," he teased gently. "It's just a basic employment application."

Taking a seat at his desk, he crossed his legs comfortably and leaned back, watching her with a quiet smile.

"Your hours of work would be from nineteen hundred hours to three-thirty in the morning. Transportation to and fro would be provided free of charge. One hour paid lunch and two breaks of fifteen minutes in duration. If all goes as scheduled, you would be back at The Crown at four in the morning on the nights you work. Which leaves the question of your actual area of expertise...."

Teasing her again, Gabriel canted his head and chuckled.

"Nothing to be nervous about. This is the easy part. What department of Buckingham Models would you like to work for? Haute Couture, Fine Jewelry, Lingerie...?"
 

Valerie Modeste

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#7
Relaxing back in her seat she attentively listened to what Gabriel had to say. A soft smile curling over her lips when he mentioned the papers were in Braille. Typical Gabriel, always going out of his way to make things easier for her. The information he listed was easy enough to get for him, she hadn't changed in size in years and knew her own height and weight. But when he mentioned that he needed the name of her parents her brows furrowed together. That was something she rather not tell anyone.

She had left her home for a reason, to want to keep them safe. And she had made a point of not giving out information on her past. Not the names of her parents, not the exact place she grew up, nothing... But she didn't mention it, not yet. Letting him finish first. She could hear him sit down behind his desk again before he continued to talk.

The work hours didn't bother her at all, she understood why they had to be like that. Seemed Marcus was going to get his will anyway when it came to her turning her day around. Nodding softly she showed that she was still following and had understood what he had been saying. When he mentioned an area of expertise she listened a bit more intently. Then a blush came on her face as she laughed, hiding her mouth behind her hand.

"I don't think lingerie is for me Gabriel. I am not comfortable having tons of people seeing me in just my underwear, and I am not confident enough for that."

Laughing a bit more she settled as she thought about it, her hand dropping enough for her to tap her lower lip and chin with her finger as she thought.

"I think I am going to trust your trained eye here. I have no idea what haute couture even is. As long as I have clothes on and not doing lingerie or swimsuits, I think I am okay with whatever."

She had complete trust in Gabriel on this, and sent him a warm smile as her hands dropped back in her lap.
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#8
"Really?"

Though he expected Valerie to balk at the prospect of modeling lingerie, Gabriel hoped she would not say no to it, outright.

"Well, you are always free to change your mind in the future. It's not as if we are going to lock you into modeling ready-to-wear clothing for the next twenty years. As for the lingerie itself, you would not have to model skimpy undies," he grinned. "We have some beautiful Victorian-inspired nightwear. You can be as under-dressed or as overdressed, as you like."

Knowing that probably would not convince her, Gabriel moved on to the terminology.

"Haute Couture is a French term for expensive, fashionable clothes produced by leading fashion houses... such as Chanel, Dior, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gaultier, Givenchy, Versace, Valentino. It includes jewelry and accessories, mostly by Dior, Chanel, Massaro and Chaumet - but we also have our own brands. Buckhingham for Rolland-Saab-Boucheron and Loulou de la Falaise," he laughed at that last name, apparently finding it humorous. "All of what you will be modeling is exclusive and custom made. High end fashion made by hand from start to finish, made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabric."

Unfortunate for Valerie, she would not be able to see the detail and artistry that went into creation of such habiliments - but she could still use touch to feel the intricacy of these hand-executed techniques. "A lot of what we show is made for individual clients, tailored for specific measurements and body stance. Most of these clients consider the price tag irrelevant. As such, you will be modeling things that cost upwards of ten thousand dollars, and literally have no upper limit. It's whatever the customer is willing to spend." The Toreador paused, flashing her a wry grin. "So! Are you intimidated yet, my dear?"
 

Valerie Modeste

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#9
Listening to what he had to say about lingerie she got a thoughtful look on her face. Maybe she had been too quick to say no to the prospect of modelling underwear. But at the same time, maybe it would be better to wait with that until she got her "sea legs" straightened out, metaphorically speaking at least. Though it didn't seem like he was expecting her to change her mind and quickly moved on to explain the rest. Hearing the brands, and the price tags on the clothes her eyes widened slightly and all she could imagine were herself tripping and ruining the clothes.

She swallowed softly, and when he asked if she was intimidated yet she laughed and nodded.

"Quite. I am not sure you are aware of how much a blind girl trips and falls. What if I trip and ruin the clothes?"

Biting her lip she thought about the next she was about to say a moment before she continued.

"Do you really need the name of my parents? There is a reason why I left them and haven't contacted them since. I don't mind you knowing it, but my life hasn't exactly turned out safer for them after I left. And I don't want the names to get to the wrong people."

She could only imagine the number of people that might have access to the papers after they got filed with the company. And even if she trusted Gabriel, she didn't trust the rest of the people that worked for him.
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#10
Hearing Valerie express worry over the dangers of navigating a catwalk in elaborate, often long and frilly clothes, Gabriel chuckled.

"Would you feel more comfortable with a cane? Or an escort for some of the more perilous numbers you might be asked to wear? Whatever you need - it can be arranged."

At her next question, he shook his head lightly.

"No, I don't need the names of your parents. They are merely a category and you can skip that if you wish. However, I would strongly suggest that you do provide at least one name and phone number for an Emergency Contact. That is not something we - as a company - are willing to negotiate, as we are legally liable for damages if anything should happen to you while working."
 

Valerie Modeste

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#11
The thought of her walking with a cane or with an escort was hilarious. And she burst out laughing so much she had to hold her stomach and wipe tears from her eyes. Desperately she shook her head and tried to stop laughing, gasping for air as her shoulders shook. It took her a few moments but finally, she was able to draw breath and stop laughing. Calming down she wiped some tears then smiled.

"No, I would rather like to learn to do it on my own. But don't put me in the most expensive ones while I am practising, I might have a hard time replacing them if I ruin them."

She laughed nervously before she settled to listen to what he said about her parents. She could not help but sigh relieved when he said he did not need their names. But it did raise a new question. Who to put as her Emergency Contact? Apart from Marcus and Gabriel, she didn't have anyone that would care if anything happened to her. Sure Elena might care, but not enough to be an Emergency Contact. Chewing her lip she thought about it a bit more before she shrugged.

"I guess an Emergency Contact would be you or Marcus. And if anything happens to me, you will be told, and I am pretty sure you are under orders of threats to tell Marcus. So I might as well put his name, and both of you will be told. It's not like I have anyone else in this town."

The thought didn't seem to bother her. Like always she just shrugged it off and kept smiling.
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#12
Gabriel liked watching her laugh. It made Valerie come alive in as much as she was capable of being, considering her usual introverted self. That, and it made her look all that much more beautiful.

Enticing.

"Of course," Gabriel cleared his throat. "We would start you off small. Classic, simple, elegant lines. Jewelry and accessories to match."

Listening to her talk about the emergency contact made him smile and cringe, respectively. She considered him as a friend. Well, better something than nothing, the Toreador supposed. And friendship was the best way to start off relationships. Except this one was already actively pursued by his boss. Well, that certainly put a dent on things, didn't it...

"Well, if you think you can trust Marcus with your life - then that's perfectly acceptable. For now, anyway. For as long as you are staying there, I mean..."

Just how long will you be staying there, I wonder...
 

Valerie Modeste

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#13
The clearing of his throat confused her for a moment. It was usually a sign of needing clear airways, but she knew that he didn't need it. Making her wonder what was the reason, but it was soon forgotten as he talked about starting her off simple. Nodding in agreement she gleamed. She was actually a bit excited for this, it was a weird feeling of making money on her looks, but at the same time, it was honest work.

When he mentioned her trusting Marcus with her life she huffed amused before shaking her head a little. Actually, that was the last thing she was concerned about when it came to him. For now, he still had an interest in her staying alive, which in his world meant doing what he could to keep that interest alive.

"That is the one thing I am not worried about when it comes to him. He still has an interest in keeping me alive, and as long as he has that, I am pretty sure I could try and take my own life and he would stop me."

Doing a roll of her eyes she tried to hide the fact that it had been a thought more than once in her life before she smiled.

"On the other hand... Maybe just keep you as an Emergency Contact and the rest of you can get some amusement in seeing him blow a fuse when he finds out I got injured and didn't let him know"

Wiggling her eyebrows she tried to look devious and manipulative, but it only lasted a moment before she laughed again. The expression feeling so wrong that she could not keep it for long.
 

Elisa Hesse

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#14
Elisa heads to the adress that Gabriel gave her back in the Cybermachine. Stepping out of the car driven by one of her ghouls she makes her way towards the front gate, her purse in hand and, due to the situation, wearing aless showy but no less elegant dress, she walks up to the front gate, giving a hum of approval at the nice looking Estate, even if she prefered the more classical apperance of her own over the modern look of Gabriel's.

As she puts her finger in the doorbell and rings it she makes sure that her apperance is impecable as she makes usaged of the selfie mode on her phone to look herself up and down, after all, she doubt that such a place would lack cameras and if she is going to be recorded she is going to make damn sure that she is as striking in that recording as she is in person. Specially if it is her future employeer that will be looking over those recordings.
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#15
"Well, he is probably too enamored with having a Psychic Vampire in his clutches. What other Kindred can boast of having that in their display?"

Gabriel wasn't trying to sound mean, even used his warmest tone of voice when speaking to Valerie - but still wondered whether his statements would insult her? Hopefully not. Valerie was not foolish; she knew when she was being used. Her Marcus-sensors were probably on overdrive every time the man set foot in her suite or showed up within ten yards of her.

"Oh, thanks - I love feeling like a fifth wheel - it brings such joy knowing that I have some use," he teased her at the Emergency Contact remark.

Keen Kindred senses picked up the faint ring of the doorbell. Trusting that one of the valets would get it, he turned to Valerie and smiled. "I believe we are about to have an unannounced visitor, bella. I am not sure who it could be at this hour - most don't show up without giving a call first or making an appointment. I suppose we will see in a moment!"

He remained sitting until the visitor was brought in, which would probably take another minute or two.

@Elisa Hesse - Feel free to have the NPC valet show you to Gabriel's office/study at your convenience.
 

Valerie Modeste

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#16
It didn't matter what caring and warm tone of voice that Gabriel used. It was still a statement that made her slightly uncomfortable. Not because of Gabriel, but because she didn't like being reminded of her powers. And she didn't like that he made it sound like she was nothing more than a collector's item to Marcus.
"It's not like he boasts about it... As far as I know only me, you and Marcus even know about my powers. Everyone else is left to wonder why I am allowed to wander freely through your world. Besides... I am more than a collector's item, according to his own words, I am there to help him with something."

She laughed softly about his fifth wheel remark.
"You know you are more to me than that Gabriel. You are my closest friend in this world. Who better to be an emergency contact?"

The mention of someone else joining them made her arch a brow curiously. Who could that be? Hopefully, it was not someone looking for her. She could use some time away from The Crown, even just for a few hours. To relieve the feeling of being cooped up in her room.
"I guess it will be a surprise then. To see who comes through the door."

 

Elisa Hesse

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#17
Elisa waits for no more than a few seconds until the door is opened by a servant, she shows the servant the card that she recieved from Gabriel back in the club "I am here for Mr Villiers." The servant nodded "Please, follow me madam?" Elisa smiles "Hesse"

Elisa is taken deeper into the house, her gaze wandering over every single piece of furniture, every decoration, taking in the beauty of the place and the work that must had been required to acquire and put everything in a way that it fits just right, having to make concious effort to not pull out her camera and start taking photographs of some of the best pieces. Finally her torture ends after a short walk that for her, felt like it took hours, as they arrive at the office. The servant knocks on the door and opens it slighty "Madam Hesse is here to see you Mr Villiers."
 

Gabriel Villiers

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#18
"Yes, it most certain will be..."

Gabriel remained silent until the surprise guest was announced. It seemed that Elisa Hesse, a photographer he had met at The Cybermachine the other night, was taking him up on his offer? He did say to come by any time - after all.

"Show her in, thanks."

The moment the gloriously blonde Toreador made their way inside, Gabriel would nod toward her and extend his usual rogue-like grin.

"This is an unexpected pleasure, miss Hesse - please, come in and take a seat?"

The invitation having been made and pending her acknowledgment or reply, Gabriel would introduce Valerie Modeste as his newest employee and model.
 

Valerie Modeste

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#19
After the name was announced it took Valerie a moment before she placed the name. Their interaction had been short at The Cybermachine, but after a moment it came to her who it was. A smile came on her lips as she heard the woman enter and Gabriel greet her. When he introduced her Valerie smiled wider and reached out her hand.

"Miss Hesse, how nice to meet you again."

If Elisa took it Valerie would shake it before taking her hand back and laying it to rest in her lap. She had a vague memory of Gabriel wanting to do business with her, so she assumed that was why she was there. Laughing softly she turned to Gabriel.

"Model. That is going to take a while to get used to hearing."
 

Elisa Hesse

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#20
The servant steps aside and motions for Elisa to get in, which she promptly does so. Once inside she would give Gabriel a grin that matches his own, she looks over to Valerie and raises a eyebrow, midly surprised at seeing her here, she knew that the human and Gabriel were, if not friends then at the very least acquaintances but it still suprised her to see a mortla girl so close to her kind like this. She shrugs these thoughts off and lets her smile return as she shakes the hand of the mortal and takes a seat as suggested by Gabriel.

"Oh? You are a new model? Looks like we will be working together for the near future them, should mister Villiers desire my services of course."