Erik was pleasantly surprised that the mini bar was stocked with high-end liquor instead of cheap vodka and gin. [b "Fancy hotel, fancy drinks,"] he pulled two small bottles of scotch and tossed one in her direction.
It was barely two ounces of liquid, but it had a nice burn to it. Erik lifted the glass bottle to toast. [b "A successful first day on this godforsaken mission,"] he said.
His room also had two queen beds, but he'd thrown his bags on the spare one to go through and make sure everything was accounted for. He'd taken up a spot at the small writing desk by the window, being cast in an orange glow from the lamp. [b "How do you like mission work so far?"]
Kenna didn't have an answer, yet these people were terrible people. They thought they were good and maybe if the thinking was reversed, it could go better.
[b "I don't know. He doesn't seem keen on physical contact or those actions,"] she noted. He had mentioned he would make a bad lover before but hadn't asked about that.
Despite the three drinks she had there wasn't even the smallest of of a buzz. She followed after him making a note to check on him a little later. [b "That does sound good."]
The curly-haired man nodded, feeling sick to his stomach after the handful of drinks he'd consumed rapidly in a failed attempt to be comfortable with the woman's close presence. [i "I'm fine. I'm gonna take Erik's advice and go to bed early. You guys do whatever, I'm alright by myself."]
He left them standing in the hallway to the hotel room, but the sounds of his retching in the bathroom toilet could be heard through the door. [b "He's not one for affection, is he?"] Erik had never personally witnessed a man be repulsed by contact with a woman. [b "Does he prefer men, then?"] the remark is joking.
Pulling the key to his own room out, he motioned for her to join him. [b "We have Charles' credit card paying for this. Why don't we make use of the mini bar?"]
[b "Where's the fun in that? I'm happy bouncing back and forth,"] Kenna couldn't help but grin back. It would be easy to shape someone like her with the right work, but she had only a few triggers.
Kenna nodded playing that role grabbing Tristan. With some practice she opened the door once they were upstairs and opened it.
[b "Good...they didn't follow anymore. These people are paranoid,"] Kenna muttered knowing she felt someone watching them. [b "Are you good tonight, Tristan?"]
[b "We'll make a villain out of you yet,"] Erik tried keeping a straight face, only to fail as a grin appeared.
[i "Guys, hey,"] Tristan stumbled up to them, lipstick smeared on his jaw. [i "Please, help. She wants to go up to my room. I don't want that. I don't know how to get her to go away. The woman has grabbed my ass six times in the last five minutes!"] he tried to keep his voice down. [i "I want no part of me being naked near her."]
Erik fought the urge to roll his eyes, lest he look like an irritated boss being pestered by his employee. Actually, that was almost exactly what it was like. [b "We will continue this upstairs,"] he muttered to Kenna before letting his hands drop to his sides.
Facing Tristan, he stepped closer. [b "You're going to fall, and pretend like you've passed out."]
[i "What?"] Tristan barely got the word out before Erik subtly tripped him.
Thankfully, the kid followed directions. His eyes fell shut and Erik announced for everyone to step back. [b "He hasn't been feeling well, poor lad. I'd best get him to his room before he gets sick everywhere."]
[i "I can take him,"] the flirty woman sidled up close to them, having seen him fall.
[b "No no, he's my responsibility. Going to have to fill out paperwork about this, I'm afraid. Company policy, and all,"] Erik hefted Tristan over his shoulder. [b "Let's get him upstairs to rest,"] he looked to Kenna to going along with it.
"If you are asking will I keep your grumpy ass company tonight. Yes, yes I will," Kenna answered cocking her head to the right. At least Jamie was having fun and as wise as it would be, guys like him just wasn't what she was looking for. Of course, she had no interest in settling down.
"He was too easy. Hopefully the next one will be more interesting. That head guy...he'd be fun," she looked towards the small group. This time there was that impish gleam in her eyes. To her it was games, to see what she could do on people she didn't like.
Erik snorted. [b "If by 'the best sort of guy here', you mean 'a guy with two left feet',"] he replied, watching the man tripping over his own feet as he tried to keep time.
Her joke about avoiding a fight so far made a smirk appear on his face. [b "It's early in the evening, yet. We could still have an absolute meltdown of an argument that'll blow everything up in our faces."]
Their target was still engaging in debates with his colleagues, but so far there had been no indication that a physical fight would break out. They wouldn't need that added to their list. They just needed him to stir the pot enough to help them get what they needed.
[b "You're sure you want to room with that?"] he drew her attention back to Tristan, trotting on his dance partner's feet as he attempted to twirl her.
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."]
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