Kenna looked towards him thoughtfully. While she wanted to be proud, she had no idea if there was any influence left. After all her strongest way so far was just with touch. Instead of a teasing remark even if it was tempting.
[b "Tristan is charming in his own way. To me he feels like a brother, yet honestly, he's the best sort of guy there is,"] Kenna commented, unable to hide the affection in her voice.
[b "Well, on the bright side we haven't been fighting. And yes, I want to again as well,"] Kenna couldn't help but have that smirk again. Still this was casual.
Erik stepped into her space and put one hand on her waist before taking her right hand with the other. He let her comment slide, offering nothing more than a subtle shrug. [b "I've been known to dance when the occasion calls for it. Mainly getting close to women who had information on Shaw. They swooned over a man who could ballroom dance."]
He avoided eye contact with her, looking over her shoulder instead. [b "I think we made a mistake last night,"] he bit the words. [b "I've been distracted, and I'm not happy about it."]
It was true, and unexpected. He hadn't ever let himself get caught up in someone, and being in close quarters with her after the night they had was proving to be a major pain in his ass.
[b "I believe your friend is being propositioned,"] he tried to change the subject, moving them in a semi-circle to watch Tristan blushing and stammering as one of the female scientists touched his arm in an apparent attempt to flirt. [b "Didn't think he had it in him,"] he added as the woman took Tristan's arm to lead him to the dance floor.
It wasn't a game and yet Kenna knew that it was. Everything was a game. After grabbing a sandwich she looked to Erik carefully wondering if this was his move. One night and it went from more than just training sessions.
[b "Sure, that sounds fun,"] Kenna nodded after some quick bites of food. Walking over to him she did give the smile but she was more curious than anything. [b "So, you dance, as well?"]
That seemed a surprise to her though it shouldn't be such a surprise.
Tristan glanced to the side as she approached. [i "Try the crab cakes!"] he spoke around a mouthful of food, pointing the snacks out to her. [i "They'll change your life."]
He'd stacked handfuls of finger foods onto his plate, ranging from stuffed mushroom caps to spinach puffs. [i "You hungry, boss?"] he looked past her as Erik joined them at the table.
[b "I was thinking more of a dance,"] he drawled, looking to Kenna. [b "If you wouldn't mind being seen on the dance floor with me,"] he raised an eyebrow in challenge.
Kenna looked to him with those keen eyes, not even needing her ability to read him. Giving a smirk towards Erik she took another step forward yet not as close as she wanted to get.
[b "I don't kiss and tell,"] she said simply with amusement before sobering up a little. In truth it was a little boring to just talk, touch and flirt if needed. Erik didn't need to know that, though.
[b "Those sandwiches do look good,"] Kenna said in distraction starting towards the food table.
Tristan's hand shot up with an idea, only for Erik to push it back down to his side. [b "We're not going to the club down the street, so get that idea out of your head now,"] he vetoed.
The younger man scrunched his face in annoyance. [i "I'm going to get more food if you're set on killing our fun."]
As he turned to go back to the buffet table, Erik stepped a little closer to Kenna. [b "How difficult was it to persuade him?"] he asked.
The underlying question was almost glaringly obvious. [i How far did it have to physically go?] He loathed that he was even feeling remotely jealous about the issue. Hadn't he been the one lecturing Tristan on being professional? God, being around Charles' Institute was making him too soft.
[b "We're riddled with flaws. It's easier to target the major flaw and let them destroy themselves than to spend too much work fighting their psyche,"] Kenna responded knowingly without a trace of remorse on her face. In fact it was so matter of fact it seemed she trusted that logic more.
As she grabbed another whiskey she looked to Erik with a small smirk. [b "Told you I wasn't becoming one of them. Anything else tonight?"]
Plant the seed, let it grow, then reap the benefits. It had worked well for her so far.
[b "No trouble, then,"] Erik said, more of a confirmation than a question.
He knew she could handle herself. The portly man she'd influenced stood no chance against the woman if she decided to get violent with him. It would be like a squirrel fighting a grizzly, despite the difference in sizes. [b "If he runs his mouth enough, he may do our job for us."]
Tristan bounced on the balls of his feet. It was better than television, being on a real mission. The man was clearly under Kenna's influence, and the argument with his colleague was growing heated. [i "Whatever you did is doing the trick,"] he grinned at her briefly. [i "They may have a real pissing contest if it gets ugly in here."]
This took forty minutes to find the right person, and it took only ten to plan the idea. This was not something that she could take over in just one night, well, she could but she was not going to. At the end of ten minutes she left the room after the man pecking his cheek, giving a stroke of the arm for added effect.
[b "And you said I might become more like Charles, Erik. Watch this..."] Kenna gave a wicked smirk watching the tall man go to his peer.
Immediately there was a debate that sparked into an argument but didn't esclate. [b "Works been tense, no one can agree on what to do...so Douglas says. So, I just planted the idea that he's superior in every way. Just need to see him again tomorrow to keep reinforcing it and he's going to slip up for us."]
Tristan caught her look from across the room and casually made his way over to where she had led the man out of the room. At her orders, he nodded and immediately began scanning for Erik. [b "You got it, captain,"] he said.
In his experience, the best course of action to have people avoid coming anywhere near you was to dance. There was a small quartet of classical musicians playing in the background, but Tristan started grooving from side to side as though a disco soundtrack was playing instead.
It did the trick. All of the wealthy snobs kept a wide berth as though he had a contagious plague. He carried on taking bites of food from the plate he was still holding, moving side to side.
[i "What the hell are you doing?"] Erik surprised him from the side.
Tristan nearly dropped his plate. [b "She has a target in the back. I'm keeping people away."]
[i "You're keeping people's attention is what you're doing,"] Erik hissed in return.
Kenna wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh or be offended. Either one didn't seem right. Instead she gave him a puzzled look wondering how one night was distracting him like this.
"I'll do my best," Kenna slowly nodded before looking in what seemed a good direction to go.
It took twenty minutes to hone in on at least twenty people. This would use all her skills, of the right smile and touch to get her reading. Finally after forty minutes she not only found someone in the same department, but he had ambition, and could be persuaded.
Giving Tristan the signal she took the man's hand leading him to one of the side rooms. He had enough to drink, ambitious, and was horny. It was perfect.
Sitting him down she gently pushed his hand aside before looking to Tristan outside of the door. "Try and make sure no one enters but our leader. And maybe even he shouldn't enter."
[b "No worries there,"] Tristan assured her, already stepping away. [b "I spy a buffet table, and it needs to be investigated."]
Erik fought back an eye roll, maintaining his calm composure. [i "We'll be nearby."]
Before she could move away, he grabbed her wrist. Unable to quite meet her eye, he cleared his throat. [i "Don't let them get...grabby,"] he requested.
Across the room, Tristan piled finger foods on his plate, scanning the crowd. [b "Nothing suspicious as of yet, my friends,"] he spoke quietly into the earpiece lent to them by Hank. [b "I think mingling is going to be required."]
[b "Most can't,"] Kenna snorted looking back to him. She really didn't look like the sort that could hussle a man blind or hold strong drinks. [b "It better not just be wine...oh...no there's Whisky here. We're good."]
She looked towards Erik getting the feeling from before only this time it was far more obvious.
[b "I'll try to stay in eyesight but both of you try to keep a distance. Most men like to feel like they are lone hunters and not being watched."]
[b "I doubt any of these idiots can actually hold their liquor,"] Erik grumbled, his German pride showing through. [b "They probably get drunk on a single glass of wine."]
Tristan laughed. [i "I got drunk on a wine cooler once. I'd never had alcohol before. I ended up in the neighbour's pool on a floating duck."]
God help him, he might kill the boy before the night is over. [b "I'd suggest sticking to soda tonight,"] he advised. [b "I'm not fishing your drunk ass out of the fountain."]
The banter was actually a welcomed distraction from the fact that Kenna was wearing a dress that was pulling his focus away from what needed to be done.
"Well, it's what Charles calls a passive ability. The influence part I agree. Find the weak one so the effects last longer. Of course important, too...this should be fun..." Kenna gave a small smirk. She was excited to try something new, and would learn something new.
The woman might have dressed normal in most ways, but she did clean up well. Knew how to get the attention of men. So she wore the black dress, with clevage showing and hair done up in a fancy way.
Fixing the dress she was already getting in the zone to go in.
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