Obsidian Command
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Making Progress

Posted on 09 Aug 2018 @ 2:55pm by Police Detective Steve Sawyer

Mission: The Admiral's Daughter
Location: Onyx Hotel
Timeline: MD-02

It took some time for Annie’s ears to adjust to the loud techno music that played throughout the surprisingly packed dance club. Mr. Cross seemed to have a lot of friends and a lot of different types of friends. It seemed like every single humanoid race was represented along with their most lucrative clientele. It was quite possibly an investigator’s wet dream. She looked all around at the flashing laser lights and alien go-go dancers on the platforms above her. As slightly uncomfortable as she was Annie was glad MacKenzie talked her into packing the holographic print fitted (and very short) thin strapped dress and matching sky-high stiletto heels. It fit perfectly on her muscular body and she fit right in with the crowd.

Annie squeezed Steve’s hand a bit tighter out of fear of getting caught up in the dancing crowd as they followed Adam to his very large VIP area. It sat high above the crowd, giving them an exclusive view of the dance floor and the rest of the crowd. Annie noted it was very strategic: it was an open area and gave Adam the perfect view in case of any ‘emergencies.’

As they reached the top of the steps and were greeted by one of the towering bodyguards, Annie’s eyes moved throughout the already seated customers. At the opposite wall sat Matt and Joey, ready and on the lookout for her and Steve. Their eyes met briefly, both pairs flashing a look of acknowledgment to each other, and Annie and Steve continued to follow Adam to a rather dark and personal corner.

Adam gestured for Steve and Annie to take a seat on the black leather-type couch as he sat in the matching chair next to it. His eyes flashed excitedly at Annie as she took the spot on the couch closest to his seat; it caused him to lean forward in order to speak with Steve and would, inevitably, force his leg to ‘accidentally’ brush against hers.

Steve watched the movement but didn't react to it. Instead he metaphorically let Adam come to him.

"Loving the facilities here," he said, spreading himself across the couch. "The sights are definitely worth the entry fee," he added, making a point of gazing at a waitress as he spoke.

Adam’s eyes followed his, his smirk twitching a bit at the scantily-clad Orion ‘waitress’. “Only the best for my guests, Mr. McQueen.” He gave her a quick summoning wave and looked back at Steve. “What would you and your lady like to drink? On me, of course.”

"Kesatian Ale. She'll have something fruity, she's not fussy." He waved slightly dismissively at Annie. "I see you like 'the best' too," he noted, indicating the object of Adam's affections.

Adam nodded to the waitress. “Two Kesatian Ales and a bottle of Corilia Sparkling Wine.”

“Yes, Mr. Cross,” the waitress nodded slowly and sauntered towards the bar where Matt and Joey continued their surveillance.

Adam then turned back to Annie, his eyes moving slowly and methodically from her heels and to her dark eyes. He could feel his heart squeezing a bit in jealousy. His eyes faded to a translucent grey as his thoughts starting diving deep. “I must say you do have great taste, Mr. McQueen.”

Annie internally shivered a bit at the very forceful evaluation of her body. She remained cool and collected, showing a bit of excitement and appreciation of his affection in her eyes and lips.

Adam returned his attention to Steve, scooting a bit out of his seat and closing the gap between his and Annie’s leg. As much as he would love to run his lips over her smooth flawless skin, he was rather interested in Steve’s business proposition. “You must be very successful. Please, tell me more about your business and we can see if you would do well with an additional investor.”

"I've been known to dabble. Keeps you one step ahead of interested parties," Steve replied. He slid a hand into his jacket pocket, tilting out enough of the vial to be visible but not obvious. "Right now I'm moving some goods around, looking for a buyer." He glanced around. "Perhaps your employees would like to experience some more 'bliss'?"

Adam raised his eyebrow. He was a very ambitious man and never settled at just success. His current project was a perfect representation of it. He understood that he can always push the bar higher. However, his business side was taking over now and he decided to make Steve work for his acceptance even though Adam gave it to him the moment he laid eyes on Annie. “Look around,” his eyes glanced at Annie, “you’re sitting in bliss.”

The drinks came and were settled on the table in front of them. Annie perked up a bit, feeling a desperate need to relieve her fluttering nerves. This was the part of their cover she had been unsure of. She leaned forward to grab the freshly uncorked bottle of wine to pour herself a glass but Adam stopped her by placing a gentle hand on her bare knee. It was surprisingly warm and inviting.

“Let me get that, Sweetheart.” Adam’s words were sweet and offering. This guy was good.

Annie did an exaggerated internal eye roll as she leaned back into the couch and watched Adam divy up the drinks. She gave him another one of her sultry mischievous smirks as she took the glass and brushed her fingers against his hand in the process.

Steve sipped the ale, savoring the taste for a moment. "Hmm...2204. A good year," he noted with a smile. "Got a bottle or two in my place back home. You think this is bliss?" he motioned around. "A few drops of our special 'brew' and the ladies - and the gentlemen too - go absolutely crazy for more. Beating them off with a stick." He leaned back. "Of course if you're not interested, there are always...incentives..." He made a point of stroking Annie's cheek with his fingers.

Annie’s stomach twisted in itself at Steve’s words. He told her earlier he wasn’t going to make her do anything she didn’t feel comfortable with and here he was offering her up to the man on a silver platter. But she had to save face and hold herself together and pretend that she was one of them. She would beat him for that later.

Adam’s eyes darkened and dilated at the sound of Steve’s words. He was incredibly keen on grabbing hold of the woman, but was she worth investing in this product that was far inferior to what he was going to push out to his clients? It turned out Adam had two Achilles’ heels; not only was money his downfall but his love of women could drag him down even further. Keeping his hands to himself for now, he continued his questioning to Steve. “What makes your product different than any other stimulant or hallucinogenic out there?”

"You've not heard of Bliss?" Steve asked, trying to sound surprised. "I thought you'd know the sort of quality of product we're talking about here." He shrugged. "Unless I was wrong about your particular tastes." This time he touched Annie's hair, letting a few strands wrap around his finger.

Adam raised his eyebrow at him. "Well, this is a vast galaxy with so much left for me to explore. Knowledge is power, Mr. McQueen." He took a drink from his glass, keeping his eyes centered on Steve's hand. "Now, what makes you believe your product far superior to the ones being tossed around already? I'm actually quite curious."

"Knowledge is indeed power, Mr Cross. I can assure you that this product is far better quality than the filth the Orions are peddling, and less lethal than the Ketracel White extract that's coming out of Cardassia. Believe me, I nearly died from that stuff. I wouldn't recommend any of your people touch it." He leaned back. "Ours is purer, safer, and completely proprietary; you won't get it from any other supplier in the quadrant. Guaranteed."

Adam's lips twitched up a bit. "Those are some pretty bold claims. The Orions and the Cardassians have a strong grip on a good portion of the market but I agree with you about their products. When I first started up somehow they got a hold of a few of my girls and muddied them up a bit." His eyes sank a bit at the memory. "Unfortunately, I had to let them go. Stunning girls, too." He then perked up a bit as he caught a glimpse of Annie's growing smile at their small victory. "If you don't mind I would love a sample. I can send it to my lab workers and have them take a look at it tomorrow." He gave them a reassuring smile. "Just as a precaution, of course. I'm sure it's as high quality and fulfilling as you say it is."

Steve paused. It was a little bit of a risk, handing-over a sample that was technically evidence. However, if they succeeded in trapping Cross they could bring his whole operation down and there wouldn't be much to be concerned about. "As I said, this is proprietary. I have you at your word that it doesn't appear on the open market tomorrow?" He slid his hand back into his pocket and held out the vial.

"Please," Adam held his hand up to him, "it can wait. I'll have one of my men pick it up from you tomorrow. Now," he finished off the rest of his drink with one long gulp, "enough business talk. I'm sure your girlfriend is entirely bored with us just sitting on this couch."

Steve shrugged, pocketing the drug and glancing over at Annie. "She's not quite there up top but...well, she doesn't need to be, right?" he smirked. "Hey babe, feel like a dance?"

Annie chuckled internally at Steve's comment but pretended to not listen to that portion as she drank her wine in one fell swoop. She then smiled excitedly as she placed her glass down and jumped up from her seat. She let her dress ride up a bit in perfect view of Adam's prying eyes. "I always love a dance!"

Adam hungrily licked his lips at the woman. Now was a good time to start edging closer to her. "Mr. McQueen, is she part of your 'personal' collection?"

Steve raised an eyebrow. He had Cross on a hook, and although he was very conflicted about putting Annie out there with him, he had to ensure he kept in-character and consistent. "Layla is...shall we say, a benefit of the profession?" he suggested. "I'm rather fond of her, but I'm not exactly possessive." He let it hang for a few seconds. Let Annie do her thing. "She's not part of the other deal. Not yet, at least..."

"Then you won't mind if I have the pleasure of dancing with her?" Adam kept his words innocent but they were filled with his intent of going a bit further than just a dance.

Annie looked over at Steve and anxiously waited for his answer. Her eyes were hard on him to make sure he made the right decision. She knew that if Adam was given the opportunity to get handsy with her, he would. He wouldn't just stop at a dance, and she wouldn't be able to say no. She was hoping Steve would keep her safe and at his arm's length.

Steve smirked at Adam, rising to his feet calmly. "As I said, Mr Cross, I am very fond of her." He offered Annie his arm. "I promised her a dance. Perhaps we'll find you again later?"

Adam nodded. "I understand, Mr. McQueen. Good girls are hard to come by." He gave Annie a wink. As much as he would have wanted to get her into his bed, he understood the gentlemen's code of respecting what doesn't belong to them. "I'm sure I'll see you out on the dance floor. I'm getting itchy to move around a bit myself."

"Of course." Steve gave a polite nod of acknowledgement as he led Annie away from the VIP area. He kept his voice low, trying to smile and give off the impression that he was pleased as he leaned close to speak in Annie's ear. "I think he's taken the bait. Next job will to be see if they've found anything else about Broll and Whitaker. And have a dance, of course..."

Annie wrapped her arm around his waist to get her lips closer to his ear. "I'll sneak in a chat with Matt and Joey in a bit and see if they've gotten a lead." She paused, giving him a small squeeze with her arm. "And thank you for not feeding me to the wolf."

"Are you kidding? The guy's slime. Hell, I felt dirty and he wasn't even touching me..."

Annie laughed and kissed him on the cheek. "Now, let's celebrate our small victory. It may be a while until we get another."

 

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