06.22.3013: The Gamble of Political Marriages
Summary: Keanen, Ariana and Soliel meet up at the Apogee Casino to discuss gambling and marriage matches.
Date: 22 June 2013
Related: None
Keanen Ariana Soleil 

The Apogee Casino—Summit, Nubilus
The Apogee Casino's high, vaulted ceilings and lavish crown moulding match the sophistication of its plush, red carpeting below in what is Haven's elite gambling establishment. The casino's entrance leads to an escalator that delivers visitors to the center pit, where a spoked wheel of electronic gambling machines and walkways end in a massive, central collection of table games. Elaborate fountain and art displays line the outside wings, which lead to an assortment of private gambling rooms, entertainment theatres, and restaurants. Waitresses in short, black cocktail dresses weave through the swell of visitors at all hours of the night, delivering drinks and cigars as needed to the clientele. All around can be heard the sounds of chiming slot machines and the excitement of gamblers taking in their winnings underneath the subtle background music of a string quartet.
22 June 3013

Keanen is just inside the casino at a small drinks bar. He has something that looks strong in his hand, leaning provocatively against the counter as he speaks with the young lady who has just served him. She's got a little smile on her face, the kind that says 'I hate that I'm working,' as he clearly lays on the flirt. "After the explosion," he finishes, shrugging with a coy charm and charismatic cockiness, "they tried to reattach but it was too mangled." He shrugs, "It's fine, though. To be honest," he leans a little closer to her, "it has a more gentle, precise touch than the real thing anyway." And at that, his cybernetic finger is tracing a circle on the back of her hand.

Dressed in gown the color of pale gold, Ariana drifts gracefully into the always busy casino as she was called here by a friend via electronic message. While this may be one of Nubilus' most popular hot spots, the young Larent lady doesn't particularly spend her days or nights in a casino, she while she is a native of the planet, this is still a bit of foreign territory to her. She does, though, know where the bar is and as that is where the Arboren said he would be waiting, she immediately heads in that direction. A attentive look is given the waitress whom the young lord now flirts with, but that does not stop Ariana from dipping her head as a form of greeting to her old friend, "Keanen." She says his name with only a tiny hint of uneasiness, as she omits his title, "I see that you have made yourself comfortable already and I'm glad that the Apogee has so far been able to cater to your needs."

And then there's Soleil. She only comes to casinos when she is mad at her father, and then not really even, because he never notices the huge credit loss when she plays 'piss daddy off roulette'. Or he assumes it's his own loss.
Having received a message herself that Ariana wanted her to meet there, and being in the midst of a little Nubilus vacation, she comes. Her own clothing is more fantasy-dark ages-mercenary than anythig else, which means leather and discrete buckles, a severe little cap that contrasts starkly with her white-gold hair, and gloves. She could be a high-ranking officer for some fictitious fascist dictator. It's totally a style.
At the bar, the first thing she does is order vodacca, a descendent of vodka but made by starchy luminescent budding plants on a planet very much not earth. It's clear, only faintly bluish, and slightly aglow. And it's the sort of drink that bombs a person's brain.
Once she has her drink, she glances around for 'Rina."

The bartendress smiles widely, and leans forward, whispering something in Keanen's ear. He smiles widely, and she walks away, moving to help the next customer, which happens to be Soleil. Keanen's eyes follow the barkeep to Soleil, and then his smile fades. He sighs. Maybe he can slip away unseen. He turns to go, and there's Ariana. "Air. Um. Hey. Yeah." He lays his hand on her shoulder, standing, "Let's go gamble or whatever, huh?" And he moves to lead her to the escalator.

The Larentian maiden's bright blue eyes linger on the bartendress a moment longer when the woman whispers to Keanen and then she is gone, pulling Ariana's attention to Soleil now. Just as the Arboren starts to rise, using her as a steady base, it would seem, she far too cheerily makes an odd introduction, "Why, Lord Keanen, you remember Lady Soleil don't you?" She then flashes a smile in the Sauveur's direction and motions for the other young blonde to take up her drink and follow. "And what sort of gambling are you thinking of first, My Lord? There are cards, the slots, and various other ways to lose your family's wealth."

"What, are you /still/ pissed off?" Soleil asks. She's always been sharp, shrewd, and quick to spot things. She'd seen where the bartender was, knew whom she was with.
Soleil picks up her drink and head for the pair of old friends. "Let's go fleece some old rich guy."

Keanen scowls, "Air, wha—" He huffs, and the intro is made. He glances at the barkeep, who clearly eyes him now that he's a Lord, though if she's more interested or suddenly not at all, she just gives him a neutral look and then moves on. He sighs, and then looks at Soleil. "Uh, YOU were mad at ME. Remember? Miss Threaten our friendship or whatevs?" He rolls his eyes. "I miss the 'let's get high and make out' Soleil. Did you bring her?"

Ariana has this urge to roll her eyes at something which Keanen says and she immediately tacks on, "I hope that Lady Soleil did /not/ bring her, but I may very well be in the minority on this." She seems content to merely let the two hash things out, if they will, and while the two talk, the Larent lady steps forward to lead the pair across the way towards one of the private rooms filled with tables for cards, craps, roulette. Anything one's gambling addicted heart may desire. "There seems to be quite a bit of older gentlmen here for you to.. fleece. Though I wouldn't underestimate them. Many of these are regular faces here."

"I didn't threaten our friendship, Bruno," she says, using weird random language as she was wont to back in the days when she was often high. "I was trying to save it before your rude sister started causing a problem. Since I presume it's hard on a guy when the women in his life don't like each other. Unfortunately it's too late for that. I thoroughly dislike her as she hasn't had the wit to come and offer an apology. If that is a problem for you— too bad. I tried." Soleil is, apparently, in a /reallllly/ awful mood.
She whips out her cigarette and taps it to ignite it. Tap on tap off. "But ifyou can deal with the fact I think your sister is a little twit who need to learn manners the hard way, then we're fine." She turns to Ariana after inhaling from her little addction. "Bring whom?"

Keanen smirks a little, "My sister can hate and you can hate and whatever. We're good." He glances at Ariana, giving a little, 'see?' look. Then he looks back at Soleil, "Women in my life, huh?" He laughs, "Don't flatter yourself," teasing her.

"Keanen I know you can't live without me," Soleil tells her old friend as she exhales vapor over the head of someone sitting at the bar. "What the hell are we doing here Really? Are we /that/ kind of group." She looks with distaste at the 'classily' dressed high rollers.

"Ah, I do love to hear of your family disputes." Ariana says in a cheerful tone, adding in, "And I was disappointed that your Lady Sister could not be in attendance of your family's tour of Nubilus. Perhaps next time. I'm glad that I was able to meet with your other siblings." Looking over her shoulder to peer at the young Arboren, she then looks at the Sauveur next to him. "And what kind of group do you speak of, Lady Soleil?" Returning to view the well-dressed gamblers in the establishment, all being catered to by pretty, young cocktail waitresess, the Larent then states, "And Lord Keanen wished to try his hand at gambling while he is still here. So, despite knowing that this is all a money-trap, I'll have him see for himself!"

Keanen laughs, "Would you believe I've never gambled?" He shrugs, "I mean, what the hell? Right? How did that slip past my list?" He shrugs, and heads off to a booth to get a credit stick for his cash. As he goes, he looks back at Soleil, "That's what I always tell Ariana!" He then says, just a little louder as he walks backward away from them, "Lady Soleil Sauveur. Can't live with her. Can't spend the rest of my life masturbating." He smiles widely, and then heads to the cashier.

"People whose biggest thrill in life is winning money," Soleil clarifies, wrinkling her nose. It's easy for her to have such an attitude toward wealth. She looks askance at Keanen. "Wow, was he always that crass?" she asks Ariana. A lot of Soleil's time pre-transition involves missing memory.

"No, I do not believe that you've never gambled and especially, not gambled like this." Ariana starts off to Keanen, waiting as he does his monetary exchange. "This is a thrill. As Lady Soleil here says. It's always exciting to know that you might win a lot of money at your next turn and while it's disappointing to lose, the very thrill of this chance may be well worth it to some." At what Keanen utters next right before he makes his way to the cashier, Ariana cannot help but frown faintly, before intoning, "That is a little too much information for either of our tastes, My Lord." She does not even make any sort of eye contact with Soleil at the woman's question. No, she will try to forget that Keanen even said such a thing. Ever.

"I didn't say it was exciting," Soleil says with a frown after taking a drink. "I said it was sad that that's anyone's best idea of excitement." Drink, smoke, drink smoke, drinksmokedrinksmoke. "Fuck me," she sighs.

"Lord Keanen is a thrillseeker, so I'm sure he can understand all forms of excitement. Though unlike other activities which he may prefer, this sort of excitement, tends to be a well-practiced art." Ariana says as she makes her way towards one of the many gamining tables in the vicnity, "Especially where cards are concerned. But if one wants a cheap thrill, the machines are good for those. People can literally park themelves at the slots for days." Her tone becomes lighter, "It's a good thing that we have roamining waitstaff going around to ensure that these people do not starve."

Keanen wanders back to the two Ladys, flashing his credit stick to them. "Alright. I'm ready. Let's get rich." He smiles, and looks atAriana, "So, you seem to know your way around this joint, what's first?'

Actually, Ariana draws out her datapad to get a clear directory of the casino, but even as she does this, her footsteps already lead the group to one of the more high-tech gambling machines which basically resembles a MEGA slot machine. "If you want to really go with Lady Luck, these are the machines to use. As I was telling Lady Soleil, people spend /days/ here, just hoping to hit it big. This is something I do not recommend."

Keanen furrows his brow, looking at the machine. "Wait…" He points at the slot, looking at Ariana. "It's a machine," he says flatly, lifting his brow a bit, as if he expected something else.

Ariana twirls lightly on her feet as she stands next to this far too colorful and vibrant slot machine. "I thought you liked machines, My Lord. And many of these games are run by machines, but… if you want to compete against other players." Gracefully, she pulls away from the one-armed bandit and drifts off towards one of the other games, "There's roulette, dice games and… cards. You may pick your poison, or do you really wish for me to pick one for you? I actually expected someone like you to have some experience with cards or even dice." And here, she closes the distance between the group and one of the card tables. "Poker, Blackjack?"

Keanen shakes his head, "What's better?" He smirks, "Honestly, no. Gambling is kind of an indoors thing. I prefer outside." He glances at Soleil, who has stepped away to get herself another drink. He watches her for a long moment, and then looks at Ariana. "Can I ask you something?"

Ariana considers this for a moment, before she gestures towards the poker table. "If you are going to dive into gambling, we may as well hit one of the more difficult games where strategy is concerned. Though, I would say, that you shouldn't really be learning these games right at the moment that you're seated at one of these tables. I'm sure… if you can access many techniques and strategies for any of these games." Her chin lifts to peer over at the digital hands being dealt out, before her attention refocuses on Keanen, only slightly curious at this question on his mind. "Of course, My Lord."

Keanen continues to stare off at Soleil, who is across the casino now. "Do you really think I could do it?" he asks, thoughtfully. Looking at Ariana finally, he adds, "Find a gal and actually settle down?"

Even as Keanen's attention is focused on Soleil, Ariana, herself, doesn't need to even look upon the Sauveur to note this. Her ice blue gaze simply stares out at the Arboren Lord's face, a tiny hint of a polite smile on her lips. "Most of us grow out of our youthful vices at some point, My Lord. Like I said in a previous conversation, we are nobles. We have our own responsibilities… if you are lucky, Keanen, you will be allowed to marry for love, rather than mere politics. That in itself, may make this transition easier as you will have the much needed support of your spouse."

Keanen studies Ariana for a long moment, and then he smirks a little. "Lady Orelle. Will you marry me?" He smiles widely then.

A touch confused by the Arboren's words, Ariana remains thoughtful and warily silent for a brief moment, before she asks, "Are you working up your courage to ask this of Lady Talayla?" Her features even brighten a touch at this idea, "If so, I can see you both making quite the charming young couple. That does remind me… I am going to be throwing a girl's night in party and this would be quite an interesting topic of conversation!"

Keanen lifts his brow. "Sure you aren't Awakened?" he asks when she apparently reads his mind. He sighs, and he shrugs a little, "I um…" He furrows his brow, and absently scratches his cybernetic forearm. "Why would you assume her?" he then asks, though the smirk doesn't at all deny she's right.

"Sometimes I wish I were Awakened to see the world through all of your eyes." Ariana doesn't mind to admit, though it's been something she may have touched upon a few time prior. "And who else would it be, My Lord? And I highly doubt you would be speaking of Lady Talayla's mother, who just happens to be some distant cousin of mine." A pause, "If you are in love with her, you may with to speak to your Lady Mother of this, so that she can get into contact with Lady Talayla's own family." Her hands clasp together gently as a show of her support towards this.

Ariana completely has Keanen, and then she says the word, 'love.' Suddenly, he takes a step back, tossing his hands in the air, "Whoah whoa whoa," he says, laughing a little nervously. "I never said that. Let's not go jumping to conclusions or anything…"

Her hands remain clasped, fingers linked as Ariana's gaze new fails to stare directly up at the young Arboren. That far too polite smile also remains on her lips. "I suppose 'love' may be considered an incredibly strong word and I can understand if you don't feel so strongly for her." Only then do does her grasp finally break off, both arms hanging down at her side in an elegant manner, "My advice is the same. Speak to your Lady Mother, see what she says… I'll be speaking to Lady Talayla myself to gauge her own thoughts. Don't worry, I won't bring your name up at all. Or I won't be the first to, if any of the other ladies do so, so be it. This topic on marriage will certainly be the highlight of that particular evening!"

Keanen steps closer to his friend, "Am I crazy?" he asks her, tilting his head a little bit. "I mean… I've spent two afternoons with her and haven't even kissed her." A new record, perhaps?

Ariana's brow quirks lightly, not quite lifting though it nearly threatens to do so. "Why would that be crazy, My Lord? I don't think it's very appropriate to go around casually kissing any girl you've hung out with. And I don't think Lady Talayla would be the sort to appreciate such actions out of the blue."

Keanen just stares at her for a moment. Clearly, Keanen exists in some kind of alternate universe in which casually kissing girls is always acceptable and Lady Talayla would totally want him to kiss her. Several seconds pass, and then Keanen shakes his head, "You know, you never answered. Would YOU wanna marry me?"

Ariana, herself, seems to exist in an alternative universe as well. Or, that is what she believes, after interacting with so many of her peers. Though when the topic is directed to her, however, the young Larent is taken by surprise. "Me? My Lord. You know that I leave this decision up to my Lord Father… and frankly speaking, I would prefer to see you growing up and despite whatever your true feelings may be, to at least take some sort of responsibility that comes with being a noble."

Keanen purses his lips and nods, "So… No." He nods once more, "Let's play these card things." And he turns, heading to the table.

"You know that it's not my decision at all, My Lord. But you did ask once on how you could, perhaps, change? Or better yourself." Ariana starts off, moving to stand slightly behind Keanen's seat as he joins the poker table. Not wishing to make this an open discussion with the rest of the card sharks seated around the table, her voice lowers gently, "And my offer still stands that I help you in that matter."

Keanen waves it off, "Bah." He sits at the table, and offers his credits for play. "Let's figure out how this poker thing works, huh?" He smiles, and looks at the dealer. "Word," he greets. Looking at Ariana then, he grins, "Here we go…"

Ariana knows the bare minimal when it comes to playing these table games, so when Keanen's 'cards' are dealt electronically, they appear on the head set provided or the program is linked to his existing headpiece, so that only he may see what is in his hand. The cards of the spread light up upon the glass covered table and players wave a hand or make some mild gesture if they wish to toss certain cards or keep them. It's all quite basic and hi-tech, but this is the Apogee, so there's only the best games for this particular casino.

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