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Author Topic:  [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]  (Read 1555 times)

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Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
[monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« on: July 16, 2017, 09:46:25 PM »
let's keep this party polite, never get out of my sight
stick with me, baby, I'm the guy that you came in with
luck be a lady tonight, luck be a lady tonight.



She was late.

With a heavy sigh, Harvey waited outside. He reclined against the wall, his eyes looking up at the thickening cloud and pulled a face. He honestly thought Nathalie Wilkins was the Devil incarnate. She continually blew hot and cold and he thought Lorin was a lot to handle.

It was ten past seven in the evening as he looked down at his watch as he rolled back his sleeve a little to better see the timepiece. The suit that Harvey wore was obviously expensive. It fit him like glove, the material skimming his broad shoulders and hugging his waist. The light colour of his suit contrasted wildly with the grey and fierce frontage of the building where he was waiting impatiently for his date for the evening.

Technically, Nathalie had been the one to ask him out but as usual, he was doing all of the running round after her. Heaving a sigh, he folded his arms across his chest, the material of his shirt stretching across his muscles as he tapped his brown oxfords against the cracked pavement. Was she being deliberately obtuse? Had it been anyone else, he would have offered to pick them up at her house. But it was Nathalie and she'd give him the wrong address because she was a heathen.

"There you are," Harvey replied as he straightened up, slipping his large hands into his pockets as he offered a slow grin as his dark eyes fell on her figure. By now, he was familiar with it and even if she tried to hide it in boring suits, his practised eye knew those ill-disguised curves. He didn't say she looked beautiful because she knew she was. Instead, he gave her a slow and deliberate once- over, starting from her ankles, up her legs, stomach and chest before resting on her face and giving a noncommittal shrug. "Not bad," Harvey said, being deliberately rude. Turning on his heel, he began to walk away from her and down the street a little, click-clacking as he went. "Come on, poppet," he threw over his shoulder.

Turning to head into a side alley, he reached out and took her hand before he tiled his head. "Ready?" He asked her and without waiting for a response, Harvey apparated away. A few seconds later, they landed, his hand still in hers to steady her. They'd arrived in Monte Carlo, a small, sun soaked part of the French Rivera. The place oozed glamour. Everything from yachts to beach bunnies to designer bags and people with more money than sense.

The sea was a deep, intense blue which cast the pale white buildings into high relief. In a contrast to London, the weather in Monaco was beautiful. A cloudless blue sky stretched for miles, the sun still high in the sky with no sign of setting, despite being early evening. To anyone who wandered by, he and Nathalie looked like the ideal picture of a young, glamorous couple.

"Shall we?" Harvey asked, letting go of Nathalie's hand and leading her up the long, sweeping path towards the impressive building. They took their time. Harvey enjoyed the warm sunshine and the topiary and the large fountain. Not before long, they passed the smartly dressed doorman and stepped into vast room and he stopped, genuinely floored. Like the Hall of Mirrors in Versaille, the place was gilded. Vast and sprawling, it was golden and magnificent. A vaulted ceiling and a plush carpeted floor, the place was positively dripping in opulence. "Don't you dare think about stealing the champagne flutes, sugar bear," he told Nathalie in a voice loud enough for the doorman to hear who promptly threw them a scandalised look. Harvey offered an apologetic smile to the man as he draped an arm around her shoulders and steered her away swiftly. "She's a recovering kleptomaniac. We're just taking it one day at a time."

They were headed to the casino. It was a grand and well known venue that also housed the national ballet and a gallery. Harvey sniggered as they walked down the corridor quickly. "Your face!" He howled, snorting with laughter as he shook his head, taking his glasses off his face so he could wipe his eyes before replacing them on his face. "So," he said briskly. "What's first? Blackjack or roulette?" He asked innocently, sliding his hand down her spine to rest just above her behind before he wiggled his eyebrows at her.


@Nathalie Wilkins
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 08:12:21 PM »
And, of course, she was late.

Nathalie sat at her desk in her now empty office, watching the second hand on her wristwatch as it made circle after circle. As Harvey had been hard work to even drag a response out of, the last thing she was going to do was bound out to him in the street like an eager puppy, with tail-a-wagging and “didn’t I do good” wide eyes. No, she liked to make Harvey wait. And she had rather good experience in this regard.

At ten past the hour, the blonde stood up, slowly and meticulously tidied her desk, extinguished the desk light and languidly made her way to the exit of the ministry; walking through its sterile vacant corridors, the only sound the click clack of her black pumps upon the marble floors. She took the elevator to the Atrium, whilst the lift attendant made small talk as he stood next to her and operated the controls, giving her a quick once-over from the corner of his eye.

“Going somewhere nice this evening?”

“I certainly hope so.”

“Very good. Very good. A date, is it?”

“I certainly hope so, also.”

“Very good.” And he smiled.

A juddering halt and she was wandering through the atrium. The huge chamber was vast and overwrought, brutally decorated with thick stone and splashed liberally all over with unnecessary brass fittings and trimmings. It was already deathly quiet for the weekend; all the workers having gone off hours earlier; and the multitudinous lights were already dimmed and casting the vast space into pools of greenish darkness. Considering her options, she decided to take the visitor’s telephone box up to the surface; if only to see if she could catch sight of Harvey before he could see her. She emerged in the old red telephone box at the intersection of Great Scotland Yard and Scotland Place, and from her vantage point had an excellent view of Harvey as he lounged against old Victorian brickwork across the road. She was impressed; for it seemed Harvey had gone all out tonight, and this pleased her greatly. She paused a moment behind the glass of the phone box, eyes spending too long admiring him from afar, biting her lip as she processed him. It had been months since they had last met, and now, far away from his uniform and the boyishness of Hogwarts, he was different. He had most certainly ripened, in more ways than one, and it suited him immensely.

She emerged from the red phone box, checking both ways as she crossed the road (“Please try not to be flattened by the buses that career along Great Scotland Yard, thank you very much”, each Ministry worker had been warned upon their first day here.) She tried her best not to smile but failed, unable to govern her natural response this time. Harvey was, as usual, devastatingly handsome; but tonight, chiselled in his finery, standing under a streetlight, he looked like the man she had always imagined he could be. He looked refined and exquisite, but with a hidden coiled strength somewhere down below. Even judging by looks alone, Harvey Landsdowne had most certainly left Hogwarts far behind.

The blonde had changed for the evening, at last finding a use for one of Farren’s hand-me-downs that now and again arrived in oversized boxes to her department in the Ministry. Nathalie picked a particularly fetching black number, understated, figure-hugging and falling to her knees, with a little ruffle upon the left side of her hip to amuse Harvey.

“Good evening, Landsdowne,” she began before she reached him, noting how he was ogling her and for once not minding it at all. But before she could continue her introduction he was off, ordering her to follow. She marched after him, frowning.

“So where are you going to take me, Landsdowne? A romantic evening on the Central Line, I suppose? There’s nothing I love more than the sweet scent of sweaty Londoners on their way home.”

But he had suddenly grabbed her by the hand and tugged her into a grimy darkened alley; all overturned bins and empty beer cans in the wet gutter.

“No foreplay with Harvey Landsdowne, I remember. Was the dress too much for you?” she remarked with a devilish smile and eyes aflame, but Harvey suddenly apparated, pulling her with him. A few seconds elapsed, and before she could find her bearing Nathalie and Harvey stood upon a footpath in a decidedly different part of the world. Angrily she turned to him, as her stomach caught up with her a moment later, about to begin a typical rant.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, dragging me to . . .”

She looked around. It was the change in air that had caught her first; brine and salt. The gentle heat upon her skin followed next, and she looked up to see the sun hanging low in an almost perfect cerulean sky, that met an exact ruler-edged horizon; marked below by an infinitely deeper azure patch of water. The horizon was spoilt only by vast exotic yachts that stood nearly motionless, like small cardboard models held at arms length. Behind her were throngs of people, wandering along the waterfront and the jetty, all dressed to the nines for their evenings on the Côte d’Azur.

Nathalie slowly turned back to face Harvey, her scowl lifting, and a knowing smile taking its place. With one raised eyebrow, she knew she was beaten. “Alright Landsdowne,” her voice now failing to hide her amusement, “you win this one. Good choice.”

He led her onto the Boulevard Louis II with it’s high old walls and whitewashed apartment blocks, marbled in the sunlight. They crossed onto the steep Avenue d’Ostende, which curved on an incline as it rose away from the port. They passed ornate theatres with patrons queued outside in their finery; past banks that looked like castles with surely looking security guards standing outside, before crossing onto the exuberant Avenue de Monte-Carlo itself, lined as it was by the most ridiculous and baroque Muggle designer clothing stores. Even the usually stoic Nathalie was distracted, several times having to be hauled away from the shopfronts by her companion. But even those could not compare to the magnificence of the building that awaited them when they had reached Place du Casino. The blonde knew nothing about Muggle cars, but even she could tell that the ones scattered outside the building were particularly special; so low and wide and how they clung to the ground like insects, painted crimson and lavender and pitch black, and when they were switched on they growled low like wild animals and she unconsciously gripped Harvey’s muscular arm in response to their roars; and when they sped off along Avenue des Spélugues, lined with palm trees and more exuberant storefronts, they screeched like demons, and Nathalie’s blue eyes followed them until they vanished from sight.

It took her a few moments to grow accustomed to the Casino, with its gilded high ceilings and ornately lined walls, from which many huge oversized paintings hung like scales on a fish. The frames contained serious looking men with impressive moustaches who gazed back at the viewers, but in that dead static Muggle way without moving or waving or saying hello.

The blonde was momentarily dazed, missing his quip regarding her stealing the wine glasses, “I’m a what?” she blurted out as he steered her around the corner out of the view of the doorman.

Nathalie used this brief pause to gather herself for a moment. She leaned against the wall, palms against the wallpaper, her eyes scanning the surroundings. When she was happy that she understood the place, her cold blue orbs came to Harvey, standing directly in front of her. She smiled invitingly at him.

“So you thought we would have a lovely evening at the casino, did you?” she asked innocently, throwing him a particularly cheeky look. “At Monte Carlo too, because the ones in London aren’t good enough for Harvey Landsdowne?” She couldn’t help but laugh heartily, before composing herself for Harvey, because she knew that he liked her more serious demeanour.

“Well you do know how to impress a girl, I cannot fault you there. You know, Landsdowne, gambling is an awful past time.” And with this, something changed upon her face; suddenly she looked almost mischievous. She dropped the volume of her voice, and leaned to his ear, one hand upon his broad shoulder. “That’s why you should never use your own money. Wait here.”

And she strode off without a look back.

Five minutes later she returned, her hands cupped together, and upon her upturned palms were a collection of colourful plastic coins, each one marked with a different numerical amount. “This is seven hundred and forty francs, for use here. That’s about twenty Galleons, one sickle and nine or ten knuts, or so, in real money. Don’t ask me where I got it.”

She took his free hand. “Let’s start with roulette. I think that’s something even you can’t get wrong,” and she walked by his side as they approached the busy table.

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 04:18:56 PM »
"Surprise?"

Harvey asked with a grin, hands in his pocket as he watched the look of shock cloud her pretty face. This was different now. It was still bright here and the place was buzzing in the summer heat. He tilted his head as he watched Nathalie's thought process. She was a skilled actress but sometimes, when he caught her unaware, he got a glimpse of what she was really like. "Wonderful," he said briskly as he clapped his hands together with a smug smile. "Better than a trip on the Jubilee Line, right?" He joked. He liked three things in life; carnal pleasures, alcohol and shutting Nathalie Wilkins up.

It was a pleasant walk along the sun-drenched coast. There were a lot of fast boats and even faster cars. Harvey didn't skip a beat as the tall woman flinched, not pausing in looping an arm around her waist protectively. To anyone else, they looked like a young couple. He assumed they were pretty common around these parts. They looked like they'd just stepped off a boat and had possession of daddy's platinum credit card.

"We can go shopping later," he told Nathalie as he gave her hand a swift yank to pull her along behind him. Harvey was kidding, of course. He'd categorically much rather have his teeth pulled than go shopping. Unless they were going for fancy dresses or even fancier underwear. Once upon a time, he'd correctly guessed her bra size which leaded to a clandestine tryst in the Potions classroom. In this gilded city, anything was possible.

The cool air-conditioned space greeted him instantly as they stepped inside. He frowned. "Well, yeah," he said casually with another shrug of his broad shoulders. He wrinkled her nose at her rudeness whilst secretly adored being told off by her. Looking up at the beautiful ceiling, he offered Nathalie a smile. "Surprisingly, the drinks are cheaper here," he said, as though that was the sole reason they were here. Nathalie was probably bored with dinner in London. While it was a beautiful and vibrant city, dinner was always the same. But gambling? Even if she lost at poker, it'd be better than partaking in stale conversation over pretentious food.

"Oh good," Harvey said softly, steadfastly ignoring the way the hairs on the back of his neck stood to attention as Nathalie spoke softly, his hand automatically sliding down her spine. "What?" He asked distractedly. "No don't --" She was gone. His fingertips only had time to brush the ruffle on her dress before she disappeared. Momentarily, he was speechless. With a huff, he folded his arms across his chest grumpily, like a petulant child. This wasn't fair. Nathalie Wilkins didn't fit into his life and he meant that metaphorically, she'd fit in quite nicely into his bed. No. He tended to categorise people and put them into certain boxed marked family, friends, lovers et cetera. But she refused to fit comfortably in any of them. They weren't friend and hooking up once didn't qualify them as lovers and so, she remained stubbornly her.

Harvey's bright eyes widened considerably as he hurried forward, partly to help her but mostly to hide the amount from the security guard who had decided not to like him. "What the Hell?" He whispered, his eyes flicking from he chips up to her face. She told him not to ask where she'd gotten them from. Unable to help himself, he snorted and shook his head. "You are unbelievable," he added, sounding awestruck and he dumbly followed her inside.

The room was dimly lit and smelt faintly of tobacco as they took their seats, taking the number up to eight. Harvey exchanged smiles with those already seated. He and Nathalie were the youngest here by at least twenty years. The table, surprisingly, consisted of what he assumed were couples. There weren't any singles seated at the table as far he knew. He took a handful of chips and passed them to the croupier, who in turn, gave him the amount back in green chips. Slytherin green. He rolled his eyes, trusting his companion would not miss the symbolism.

Like a gentleman, Harvey divided the chips equally between himself and Nathalie. He scanned the table, as though he knew what he was doing. He didn't. As far as he knew, it was just chance, luck. You picked a number and if the ball landed in the corresponding pocket, you win. He had noticed that when he'd smiled at the other players, not a single one smiled back at him. Rude. He chewed on the inside of his lip as he thought. He assumed this was French roulette, though he had no idea what the difference between it and American roulette was.

The number seventeen caught his eye, which was unusual, considering his lucky number was usually four. "Here goes," he said softly to Nathalie as he placed a handful of green chips on the number seventeen. Instantly, he regretted it. The number seventeen was a black number when really, he wanted to bet on red. Nathalie had green chips so he wanted red numbers. House pride and all that. His hand hovered, about to change his mind when the croupier declared no more bets.

Harvey pulled a face as the white ball was dropped, clattering around in the opposite direction to the roulette wheel. Despite that, he felt the excitement rising as he bounced from pocket to pocket, clinking and gradually slowing down. "Seventeen wins," the smartly dressed gentleman declared as he pushed a substantial amount of chips towards the pair and his eyes almost boggled. "Shit the bed," he said to Nathalie very softly, the shiny chips glinting in the light.
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 11:26:01 PM »
The little white sphere careened around the outside of the wheel, emitting a high pitched whirr as it spun, and all eyes were upon it: the older woman with too much concealer and the black cigarette holder; the small man with the fine moustache in the oversized grey suit with his few hairs greased back upon his scalp with his hawkish wife who clung onto his left arm for dear life; the Japanese gentleman in the loud gold-coloured tuxedo who seemed to be trying to conceal a rising panic by rubbing his hand continuously over his throat; all in fact, apart from the serious gentleman in a perfectly-tailored tuxedo with a small face and haunted eyes who looked at no-one and nothing in particular and instead appeared to be very deeply lost in his own thoughts, even though he himself had placed an obscenely large bet; accompanied by his huge companion at his side in the navy suit filled to bursting with what could only be assumed was pure muscle, with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp and who glared across the table as if all present had carried out an unspeakable act upon all that he loved in the world. And all this attention upon the travel of the little ball was good, because underneath the table, Nathalie controlled fate.

Or, more accurately, she held her wand against her thigh. And, with the simplest of mouthed invocations, the blonde ensured to the best of her magical ability that number seventeen, Harvey’s choice, would be the resting place of the little white sphere. And so it was. The seated participants gasped. Harvey looked shocked. He was rewarded with even more chips. In a matter of seconds, he had doubled his pot. Nathalie, a look of faux shock upon her face, grasped his thick muscular arm. “My word, you have the most incredible luck!” she exclaimed, mouth agape as she stared seductively at him, more for show than anything else.

And the little man with the tuxedo gave the couple an extremely brief glimpse. Barely half a second, but enough to let them know that now, unfortunately, they were on his radar.

“Oh do it again Harvey, you’re so good!” screeched Nathalie falsely, hoping to catch his eye, for Harvey was anything but stupid, and with Nathalie playing the moll upon his right hand side she was bound to raise his suspicions. And he did, again. He placed a bet, this time a four, and again the ball was set loose upon the circumference of its spinning wheel, looking for all the world as if it was about to spill over the edge and roll off into the wild of the rest of the casino, and underneath the table Nathalie had her wand against her thigh with her right hand upon its hilt and against the warmth of Harvey’s neck she whispered the incantation, and to all the world she was telling him exactly what she was going to do to him when she got him back to bed that night, as the ball came to a halt within the lead-lined pocket that was brashly emblazoned with the number “4”.

“Quatre. Monsieur wins again,” said the Croupier, eyes narrowing at Harvey and Nathalie, and there were now more hushed gasps than with the previous win, and the Croupier proceeded to effortlessly push a multitude of chips upon the table in front of Harvey, who now sat behind a small mountain of the little multi coloured discs.

Nathalie glanced across their haul, and decided that they had done enough damage - at least to one table. Deftly depositing her wand into her stocking top with a bit of under table gymnastics, she leant into Harvey and pressed her lips against his ear. “Oh you’re just wonderful darling, just the greatest. Let’s have some fun with that," she spoke loudly. And just for his hearing, she followed up with "Just keep quiet."

But as she stood to leave, suddenly her way was blocked by the extremely large chap in the navy suit, who was all at once right behind the couple. At least half a foot taller than the blonde, he glowered hard into her face, and an eternity appeared to pass with Nathalie staring back at him, eyes wide, until he eventually began to speak.

“My associate wishes to speak with you.” His voice was a huge as his body, and it appeared to offer no recourse for disagreement.

And, as if on perfect queue, whilst the rest of the table dissolved off into the casino, the serious gentleman in the tuxedo appeared from behind the mountain-man’s shadow, his face impossible to decipher. He spoke to Harvey, Nathalie still being studied with near medical accuracy by the huge companion.

“My name is Vītoliņš, Jūliāns Vītoliņš of Janus Shipping Enterprises,” he began, his voice delicate and precise, with an accent that was difficult to place but possibly east of the Elbe. He proceeded to shake both of their hands limply, as if touching them was unhygienic. “It is a pleasure to meet you both; and both keen gamblers I see. That is good, very very good. For you see, I could not help but notice that you, my dear Sir, were extremely successful at Roulette. I myself also enjoy Roulette, it is a game that requires a very firm will, and I can see that you are most certainly in possession of that." He flashed a bizarre pained smile at Nathalie. "How lucky you must be," before turning back to Harvey. "If I may be so bold, I suspect that you do, what is it that you English like to say, enjoy a flutter? And, as any decent sportsman, I most certainly enjoy to come up against a worthy competitor.” And with this Mr. Vītoliņš smiled coldly at Harvey, all small perfect teeth and narrow lips, and Nathalie's blood ran cold.

With a click of his fingertips, a waiter appeared bearing a tray with three champagne flutes, which Vītoliņš distributed with a fluent flourish to the couple. The blonde noted that the bear-like companion was most certainly not drinking. Vītoliņš continued, his voice now low, seductive and glacial. “Perhaps you would give me the chance to win my money back?," he began, seeming to size Harvey up. "Even, perhaps, because you seem to enjoy this so much, we could try something with higher stakes, for example, Baccarat?” He gestured to the side of the casino where the VIP areas were located and where the extremely high rollers could play and not be bothered by the onlooking tourist hoards; each one a small ornate alcove for a single table, roped off and protected by particularly surely looking guards. Vītoliņš's huge guardian proceeded to gesture bizarrely in the same manner as his boss; a perverse twisted mirror image, and, to Nathalie’s growing horror, she realised that she and Harvey would have very little choice in this decision. They would be playing Baccarat whether they wanted to or not.

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 04:43:50 PM »
He bloody well knew this was too good to be true.

Harvey, as foolhardy as he was, just imagined Nathalie's closeness as a congratulations to him winning all that money. His eyes closed briefly. The warmth hanging on the silky fabric of her dress was making the hairs on the backs of his arms stand to attention but she spoke something unexpected. His eyes opened and a flicker of disappointment creased his handsome face before it disappeared in the blink of an eye; she was cheating.

He shouldn't really have expected anything less but it had bruised his ego. Harvey had been riding high along the thrill of his success and to find out it had been manufactured caused him to land with a bump. He was aware of a dozen sets of eyes upon the pair, looking more at him than at Nathalie and in that moment, he could wring her neck. But something flicked like a switch and he wasn't stupid. Nathalie was fond of laying a trail of breadcrumbs and he was happy to play Gretel.

"Thanks,  baby," he said with a smile as he wrapped a strong arm around her waist and hauled her closer and off the edge of her chair. His fingers dug into one of her hips swiftly, pressing hard, a sharp shot of pain to let her know he wasn't best pleased. They stood, his pockets stuffed full of chips, and he turned his head as Nathalie spoke. Hastily, he leaned in and kissed her. It wasn't at all romantic, it was brief and it was rough as he'd effectively swallowed her command for him to shut up. "Are you completely fucking insane?" He whispered to her in their closeness, a finger reaching up to stoke a loose lock of her hair as he resisted the urge to yank it. First, she'd found money from a questionable source and now she was cheating the damned casino.

Oh dear.

Harvey's smile slipped. Instinctively, he reached out for Nathalie's hand and pulled her back, just a little, closer to him and away from the menacing couple. Instantly, he was on his guard. He tucked Nathalie behind him slightly, his broad shoulders shielding her from the taller man.  He had no qualms knowing that she could easily defend herself but this was made clear that this was not a game.

His bright blue eyes flicked back and forth and his wide lips relaxed into a smile as he forced the rest of himself to follow suit. As a hand was extended, he reached out and tried not to vomit. The handshake was weak and the man's palm was slick with moisture and quite frankly, it gave him the heebie-jeebies.

Janus Shipping? He'd never heard of it. The only Janus he knew was the two-faced Roman god and he hoped this wasn't going to be cosmic irony. Harvey laughed as he shook his head. "No," he replied lightly. "Just have my good luck charm," he said, referring to Nathalie as he laced her fingers with hers. The initial idea had been to downplay the whole idea. Play dumb, prove they were no threat and then move on. Simple.

Harvey's smile matched the speaking man's. It was brief, like there had been a personality switch in both of them. "Your money?" The tall man blurted out without thinking. Oh, okay. This man had clearly been playing at the table all day without any luck and he had the audacity to think it was owed to him. He was about to swing his left hand but Nathalie's fingers were still tangled in his. Thank goodness as it offered him a moment of clarity.

"Of course," Harvey said with an easy smile as he accepted the champagne flute and raised it to his mouth. He was careful not to take a sip but he'd done it in such a practiced motion, it was impossible to see that he'd had his lips firmly closed. "Lead the way," he said brightly as he gestured for them to move.

They walked swiftly. He didn't know how to black Baccarat. Harvey was rather unsophisticated, only knowing how to play blackjack and poker with aims of it escalating into strip versions of the game. They had two options. They could either lose, spectacularly, and give him the money back. Or they could cheat and win so much more, that they'd paint targets on their back but have a damned good time doing it. He was more inclined for the latter.

The men sat and he turned to Nathalie. Once more and without permission, he pressed his lips against hers. "Fix this," he whispered to her, his tone steely. To anyone else, it was a lover's embrace and not a threat. "Now." A large hand came up and gripped his elbow and yanked him backwards and away, forcing him into a seat as Harvey frowned. "Unnecessary, don't you think?" He asked the shipping man darkly as he smoothed down his shirtfront.

Once sitting down, Harvey realised that he did know how to play and he unclenched his jaw. It was luck based…sort of. Like roulette to a certain degree. There were only three options; banker wins, player wins, tie. They couldn't choose what to bet, only to match the wager and Mr. Janus was going to go hard. Nine was his lucky number.

Harvey wasn't feeling comfortable. Though no threats had been made, it was pretty clear it wasn't going to be fun. The logical thing to do was to bet on the banker, the dealer. But he didn't want to. The banker had the edge but he liked the underdog and he  made a point to prove.

He slid a number of chips and placed them over "player" on the table. The dealer seemed uninterested and dealt towards face up; a five and a six of clubs. The dealer's cards were a five and a ten. Tens acted as zeros so Harvey's hand totalled a one whilst the dealer's totalled five. A third card was drawn a five and the dealer drew a face; the dealer had a total of five and he had a total of six. Six was closer to nine so Harvey had won. Swiftly, he looked over at Nathalie and wondered if she was pulling strings again.
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 11:11:15 PM »
Unlike Harvey, Nathalie proceeded to down her champagne in one gulp - requiring now more than ever a little dutch courage. She quickly deposited her glass upon the silver platter of a passing waiter, and followed the two gentlemen, all the time hand in hand with Harvey. She gripped it tight, and for once did not care if he noticed. They took their places at the new table, and it was immediately obvious that they were now participating at a completely different level - the table itself was an impressive slab of mahogany, with legs as thick as tree trunks. The cards were elegant and understated, each one crisp and accurate and beautifully illustrated. They were seated upon beautiful Regency chairs that could have come straight from an eighteenth century manor house. There was a little viewing platform behind them, from which interested parties could watch the sumptuously well heeled whilst they burned their cash. The dealer was a young woman not far off Harvey and Nathalie’s age; pretty, black hair tied back from her face, with steely eyes that indicated that, despite her relative youth, she would miss nothing. “Bonsoir,” she announced firmly in her particularly neutral accent, when the other seats had been filled.

Harvey suddenly grabbed the blonde and kissed her roughly, passing his curt message through their pressed lips. She could not reply, instead she turned away from him sharply and proceeded to smile falsely at their new friends. There was nothing that Nathalie would have rather done at that moment than continue her brazen cheating; however, she was faced with two rather huge obstacles. Firstly, their new companions were now rather more observant, and were quite blatantly watching the couple like hawks. To her horror, the large gentleman with the passing resemblance to an angry dog leant backwards in his chair and passed a few unheard words to another suited man who had been standing in the wings. Suddenly, Nathalie became aware that the two men were not alone, and several of the observers were also quite clearly part of their party. Scanning the faces of the three or perhaps four other men, the blonde quickly assumed that they provided some sort of protection element to little Mister Vītoliņš. Their eyes now and again studied her face with a clinical precision. Harvey and Nathalie were being scrutinised.

Secondly, Nathalie had absolutely no idea how the game of Baccarat was played. She had no clue exactly what was required to win. And, to make matters worse, it did not involve a small ball that could be happily nudged around a spinning wheel with the simplest of incantations, but rather was a card only game - and changing the values that appeared on the face of a randomly shuffled and professionally dealt playing card was a skill that laid beyond some near-wandless incantation.

However, Harvey appeared not to need her intervention at all, because before she knew exactly what had happened, he had placed a bet, cards were dealt, and the dealer announced that “Monsieur wins.” The Monsieur, judging by the dealer’s nod in his direction, was none other than Harvey Landsdowne himself.

Nathalie’s eyes widened as the croupier stick pushed a rather large pile of chips towards them. Suddenly, as if on cue, Vītoliņš exhaled loudly. Briefly the blonde met his eyes, and he gave her a strange, twisted smile; his small teeth on prominent display. It appeared that their new friend was not too happy at how events were shaping up.

Nathalie had to act. “Same again, please,” she suddenly announced to the table, ignoring Harvey’s burrowing glare, and to make matters worse, Nathalie leaned forward and thrust every single chip they had in their possession towards the dealer, and had to get up out of her seat to do it. The dealer gave a very slight frown, unaccustomed as she was to such an extreme bet. She even gave a quick look towards Vītoliņš, who returned with a slight nod, seemingly permitting such brazenness at his table. Their mountain of chips were dragged over the little rectangle labelled “PLAYER”.

The blonde’s logic was simple. It was quite apparent that Harvey and Nathalie had, somewhat inadvertently, pissed off a very powerful individual, and maybe had even gone so far as to have ruined his night. The gentlemen that Mister Vītoliņš associated with gave off the distinct impression that they broke bones for a living, and only gouged eyes for fun, and therefore the most prudent course of action for anyone with half a brain would be to get the hell away from them, as quickly as possible. Therefore they would go all in. Win everything, or more likely, lose it all; both offered a reasonably quick means of escape - both could end the game sooner rather than later.

As if to spite them, Vītoliņš carefully leaned forward, and, with a rather blatant glance at Nathalie’s cleavage, he pushed a very sizeable stack of his chips upon the area of the table marked “BANKER”. Again, he was going against their bet.

A card a dealt. Another then to the banker. A second to the player, followed by one more to the banker. With an elegant flip of the pallet, the two player cards were overturned. A Queen and a Three. Next, with a suitable pause for drama, the Banker’s hand followed. A Nine and a Four.

Nathalie had no idea what was happening. The following events occurred before her grey eyes, and it was only afterwards that she could put them into correct chronological order: a third card was dealt upon the player side - it was a Three. A third card was dealt upon the bankers side - it was an Ace of Hearts. Mister Vītoliņš gasped. There was an audible cry from the observers. The dealer announced “Monsieur wins. Again”. Vītoliņš’ huge companion got to his feet with his face like thunder. Mister Vītoliņš raised his right hand just a touch; enough to signal to his protector to halt. Or, perhaps more worryingly, that now was not the correct time. An obscenely large mountain of chips was pushed in front of Harvey.

Nathalie exchanged a look with Harvey -  half of horror, half of amazement.

The Floor manager approached, personally congratulated Harvey, and asked if he wished to continue.

“No we are finished, thank you!” came the abrupt shout from Nathalie, perhaps somewhat too enthusiastically.

—————

By the cashier’s desk in the lobby, a woman carefully counted the plastic cards and chips that had been emptied in front of her by the Floor Manager. He turned back to Harvey and gave him a careful smile. “Exceptional luck, I must say, Monsieur Landsdowne. Do you play often? You know, for expert gamblers we do have several tournaments each month, the best players from Europe frequently make an appearance; should you be interested, I would be more than happy to arrange a table for you and your wife . . .”

Nathalie shot the manager a look, but was momentarily distracted when the cashier’s automated money counter sprung into life with a mechanical rattle, gathering notes at lightning speed into fat bundles, each one then taken off the platform by hand and given a paper wrapping. Each wrapping was embossed with the words “50,000 Francs”. Four such bundles were gathered together, and placed carefully in a linen bag; the casino’s name printed upon the front in an understated font.

With a handshake, the Floor Manager gave the little fat sack to Harvey. “Have a lovely evening, sir. Until next time.”

—————

Nathalie nearly ran out of the casino, clattering down the front steps in her heels, all the way convulsing with uncontrolled laughter. At the bottom, she spun around and propped her arse upon the wheel arch of a metallic blue Lamborghini Murciélago.

For a moment she was near doubled over, and it took moments for her to gather herself together enough and put words in the correct order to make a coherent sentence. “Oh . . . Landsdowne . . . you should have seen the look on your face.” Again, giggles took over and she was unable to speak.

Her laugh subsided, and she looked up through her eyelashes at him, as he stood there proud and perfect upon the steps. Fearing he didn’t see the funny side, which, probably was the sensible way to behave seeing how close they had got to some rather unpleasant and threatening muggles, she changed tact. “Look, I’m sorry I helped you; I only wanted to give you a good start. It’s only muggle money, it’s not real or anything. We can get away with anything here; they have no idea, they’re thick as planks.”

She walked back up to him slowly, the pedestrians making a gap for the couple as they streamed past them on their way to their evening appointments. “And you were very good at that Back-ah-row thing, however that worked. You were on your own with that one, unfortunately.” She took his free hand and pulled it up to her chest, playing with his fingertips. “We still haven’t finished this . . . date,” she spoke the offending word with a grimace, and bit her bottom lip as if deep in thought. “And now, seeing as we’re not dead, and you have a sack full of muggle money, perhaps we can make it a little bit more . . . interesting?”

The blonde took him by the hand and began the short walk across the Place du Casino, to the huge gothic building with the bone-white facade that expanded across the whole western side of the Place. Nathalie was attracted to it simply because it had the word “Hotel” in a delicate font above the elaborately welcoming doorway, as the creamy lights from all its windows spilled out onto bustling footpath before it.

Once through the strange spinning door, Nathalie came to an abrupt halt. (She had been doing this rather often since their sojourn in Monaco had begun). The Hotel de Paris was, for all intents and purposes, a palace. There was enough marble in the lobby to keep a regiment of Renaissance sculptors happy for the rest of their lives. A vaulted dome ceiling above them was hung with violently ornamental crystal chandeliers, which in their disgusting precision split and refracted light into countless white flashes that flecked over all the horrendously overdressed old people sitting under them.

Coming momentarily back to earth, Nathalie turned and saw the Reception. She squeezed Harvey’s arm and whispered briefly into his ear. “Let me.” Before he could protest, she kissed him full on the mouth, and when she broke away she gave him one brief command, “Just look woozy please.” With a wink, she marched off in the direction of the reception desk as if about to invade a central European country.

“Good evening Madame,” came the spritely and enthusiastic greeting, heavily accented, from the gentleman behind reception; young and trim with brown hair that looked as if it has been cast from plastic and glued onto his skull; so soaked in pomade it was. “How can I assist you?”

“Good evening,” replied Nathalie, reaching the desk and smiling, yet narrowing her eyes as if about to deliver bad news. “I wonder can you please help us. I really need a room for the night.”

“I am so sorry, Madame, we are totally fully booked. For the rest of the week, in fact. People are enjoying the last of the summer,” and he gave a well polished yet incredibly false laugh. He had probably repeated the same comment seventy times that same day.

“I’m certain they are,” answered Nathalie, “however, I’m in a little bit of a bind, actually.” She leaned forward conspiratorially, arms folded across her chest and upon the desk. The receptionist followed suit.

“I’m from the British Consulate. That young man over there is the ambassadors’ son. From Paris. He was down here, having a little bit too much of a good time, if you know what I mean, and managed to stir up a little bit of mess.” She leaned further even more, all the better to carry her whisper, her face a polite picture of scandal, “I can’t say too much, but let’s just say a significant amount of money was lost, and some upset Oligarchs are left wondering where their girlfriends have spent last night.” The blonde pushed herself backwards, eyes wide in faux horror. The receptionist did the same.

“And, as you can see, he’s is no state to travel back to Paris tonight.” She gestured with a eye roll over her shoulder towards Harvey, who was still standing resolutely behind her, for all the world like a Donatello statue of a Roman God. She frowned momentarily at his lack of faux abandon, and turned back to her confident. “ . . . absolutely legless. And so, if you could do Her Majesty’s Government a huge favour, help us lie low for the evening, it would be most appreciated, I can tell you.”

The receptionist, who seemingly was completely on board with Nathalie’s ridiculous tale, had a pained expression upon his wrinkle-free face. “Oh, Madame, I would love to help, I really would, and I adore your Queen, and the two Princes, however we simply have no capacity tonight. I mean, the only room in the whole hotel that is empty is the Presidential Suite, and I’m . . .”

“Perfect, we shall take it.”

“Madame it is fifty-five-thousand Francs per night.”

“Yes yes, fantastic value, thank you so much. I cannot tell you how much of a help you have been. The British Government will most certainly remember your assistance. Do you take cash?”

- - - - - -

With a sizeable chunk removed from Harvey’s winnings, a Bellhop escorted the couple along the extravagant long corridors, hopping through the floors in vast gold-lined elevators, until, at the end of a particularly long couloir on the hotel’s uppermost level, they reached the double doors of Presidential Suite.

“Any luggage, Madame?” asked the Porter politely. Nathalie was most amused at his adorably cute burgundy uniform and matching hat.

“No. We travel light,” came her reply.

The doors were swung open with a flourish, and the most ridiculous excuse for a room that Nathalie had ever laid her eyes upon was displayed before her disbelieving eyes. Like one of Farren’s baroque chambers, yet condensed into a smaller format. The Porter gave the couple a whistle stop tour - the huge living room with a couch that could sit a dozen people. A dining table that could fit a dozen more. A silver ice bucket with a bottle of Champagne poised at a jaunty angle in the middle. A white carpet as thick as a forest beneath their feet. A chandelier - naturally - glinting sharply above them. A bathroom with a standing bathtub and a sea view. Enough cosmetics to stage chemical warfare. A bedroom; the centrepiece of which was a four-poster six foot wide bed that certainly ran close to the whole size of Nathalie’s cramped apartment in London. For a final flourish, the porter flung open the balcony doors, presenting the shining jewel of the room - its view out over the harbour and the French Riviera beyond. It was genuinely breathtaking - the glistening lights of the boats and the warm glow from the harbour down below, whilst an inky blue sky was fading into black above them.

“Is everything to your satisfaction, Madame?” asked the porter politely.

“. . . it is . . . very good, thank you,” replied Nathalie softly, her face a picture of bewilderment. “I think . . .”

“Fantastic,” came his curt reply. “Have a wonderful evening. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to call for me.”

The door closed with a soft click. Still stunned, Nathalie turned back to Harvey, whom she had momentarily lost track of. She gave a deep breath, and put her hand upon her chest. Her eyes were as wide as saucers.

“Well, I think this will do, yes?”

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 08:36:16 PM »
Monsieur wins. Again.

At that moment, Harvey's heart fall out of his arse. He sat rigidly on his chair, eyes wide and he held onto the table's edge so tightly, his knuckles turned white. He winced at the noise the spectators made and he hastily got to his feet, shielding Nathalie as one of the man's henchmen seemed to want to take a swing at him. He was glad no one at the table was able to read minds because all he could think was a rather colourful string of swear words.

What had she done? She'd bet big, hoping to placate the man but it had backfired. In a big way. In a bit of a daze, he blinked at the floor manager. Automatically,  Harvey extended his hand and offered a rather limp shake. "No thanks," came the rather weak reply as he offered the other man a tepid smile and hastily followed his date out and away, walking rather quickly. Never mind getting out of the casino, he wanted to get out of the damned country. Fast.

"Not at all," Harvey whispered as he answered the other man's question, his eyes impossibly wide as he watched the machine flick out notes. His head was spinning. He squinted at the floor manager, faintly alarmed to see that he looked a little bit blurry. Did he want to play again? No. High rollers? European championships? High stake games? Fuck no. Wife? He gave a snort of laughter which he promptly turned into a hacking cough as he caught the back end of Nathalie's glare. "I think we'll just cut and run," Harvey said politely as the bag of cash threatened to pull his shoulder clean out of his socket. There would be no next time. He returned the handshake eagerly. "Bye!"

Harvey walked swiftly but it wasn't long before he was running like the blonde was. Once outside, the fresh sea air hit him and he suddenly felt ill. His handsome face paled as he wobbled on the spot, his eyes impossibly wide as they watched her park her bum on the bonnet of a frighteningly expensive car. "I think I'm gonna vom," he told Nathalie as he pressed a clammy palm to an equally clammy forehead. "Why are you laughing?" He blurted out incredulously. The adrenaline was wearing off and he suddenly remembered just how angry with her he was. "Did you think that was funny? We could have died!" He howled at her, upsetting some nearby seagulls who took flight with alarm.

"Sorry!" Harvey exclaimed in a shrill falsetto, waving his free arm around manically. "I knew you were trouble, Wilkins, I swear I did," he panted as the shock was trickling away and the realisation that they had a sack full of money sunk in. He watched her with guarded eyes as Nathalie took his hand gently, a scowl creasing his face momentarily. Oh right. Yeah. This was supposed to be a date, he remembered that now. "Yeah?" Harvey asked with trepidation. "Oof," he replied as he slipped after her quickly. "And you've got to stop yanking me around like a rag doll."

Inside of this actual palace, the air was cool and quiet. The tinkering of an unseen piano drifted through as he stood, like a lemon, right in the middle. It smelt clean, like polish and champagne and his initial reaction was to shirk. Harvey knew he couldn't even afford to pee in this place.

He turned his head in time for Nathalie to kiss him. As if on autopilot, a large hand reached up to cup the side of her cheek. Despite the shock, his hormones would always find a way through. He did not like those words. Confused,  he watched Nathalie storm off and he scratched the back of his head. She was too far away to hear what was being discussed and he squinted and strained before giving up and plopping himself down on one of the little chairs on the marble floor.

Harvey suddenly felt tired and emotionally battered. With a groan, he pitched forward, forehead on his knees as he folded his hands over the back of his head like a makeshift cocoon. Around him, the hotel was bustling. He could hear laughter and chatter, snippets of conversations in a number of languages, the chinking of champagne glasses and the tinkle of jewellery.

All he could hear was his blood pounding in his ears. The light sheen of panic-induced sweat was starting to cool and he felt a bit chilly in the fiercely air conditioned dominion. Harvey stood up at the exact moment Nathalie chose to look at him. Confused, he offered a shrug and his face clearly said what's your problem? If anyone saw the bag of cash, they didn't comment. He assumed everyone here was finely trained in the skill of diplomacy and selective hearing.

It felt like a magical mystery ride and not the good type. Harvey didn't say a word as Nathalie forged ahead with her mad plan and he found himself shooting upwards in a lift and then escorted down an eerily quiet corridor by a man in a crushed velvety suit.

For the second time that night, Harvey almost passed out.

He felt like a bit of a tit as he lingered by the door, his mouth gaping open as he looked at the white and pristine surroundings. Monaco was spread out before them, glinting in the evening sun. They had a balcony. The bath was big enough to swim in. There was champagne and flowers and --- a mirrored ceiling?

Unable to speak, he offered the bellhop a weak smile. The door was shut and they were alone. It took a few minutes before he could actually form words. He could hear the cry of seagulls and the lazy lap of the waves against the shoreline. Harvey hadn't realised he'd been shaking. Lifting his hands to his face, he dragged them downwards, mirroring Nathalie's expression of utter bewilderment. He shook his head gently before he gave a snort of laughter. "Insane," he whispered as he spun around in a circle, hands on his head, the tails of his suit jacket flapping in the breeze created.

"No, I mean it," he said swiftly as he addressed Nathalie. "You're absolutely pissing mental, Nat," he replied, sounding awed. Crossing the space to her in three long strides, he threw his arms around her in a bear hug. Squeezing her tightly, he spun her around in a circle as he lifted her off the ground. In that moment, he didn't know whether to strangle her or kiss her. As it was, he went for the latter. Setting her down, Harvey tangled his hands in her hair as he kissed her soundly.

He forced her backwards, pressing her back against the cool glass doors as he ran his hands up the curve of her spine. "Don't tell me how much this costs," he said in reference to the room as he trailed his mouth along her jaw line softly before he stopped. "I'm starving," Harvey announced suddenly as he let Nathalie go and stepped outside on to the balcony. He placed his hands on the wall and leaned over, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply.
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2018, 10:57:57 PM »
“No, I’m just . . .” and she was abruptly silenced as he yanked her off her feet, letting out a slightly unflattering yelp as he spun her three hundred and sixty degrees before they came to a standstill against one of the open doors of the balcony and she couldn’t complain because he was now kissing her rather enthusiastically, and part of her wanted to play a little more with him but he tasted so good and so she simply shut her eyes and moaned as his lips traced across her mouth onto her cheek, his large hands making a mess of her hair and she pulled him towards her body when suddenly he was off again, complaining about his empty stomach and admiring the view from the obscenely large balcony.

Nathalie scowled after his shade, angered by his sudden deference to gastronomy, and skulked over to the bed where she plopped herself down by the bedside table. The firm mattress was practically three feet deep, and it took her a moment to fully process just how ostentatious this excuse for a bed actually was. She hopped up and down slightly, feeling the bed effortlessly absorb her movement with its surreal stability, and, suitably impressed, she began scanning over the tabletop for anything of interest.

The off-white telephone sat alone by the gaudy lamp; that bizarre and torturous muggle communication device, all cables and disembodied voices from beyond. She frowned at it and, as if it was explosive or poisonous, gingerly picked the receiver up with thumb and forefinger. A dull electronic drone poured out from the little holes in the earpiece, and she stared at the contraption with her brows furrowed in irritated befuddlement. “HELLO!” she suddenly bellowed loudly at the receiver, held resolutely at arms length, incase anything untoward should happen. “HELLO!!” The drone continued, blissfully unconcerned for her attempt at communication. “Landsdowne, do you have any idea how this blasted thing works? I know, I know, I should have listened in muggle studies, whatever, shut up. HELLO, WE NEED FOOD THANK YOU, WE’RE BLOODY STARVING. HELLO!”

A knock at the door seemed to answer her. Confused, she got to her feet and walked to the hallway, springing the door open only to find their porter standing in his velvet suit, hat still at that jaunty angle, smiling ever so politely at her. “Good evening again, Madame,” he began, voice silky and polished, no doubt well practiced. “I could not help overhearing your . . . request for some food - from the corridor. Of course, we can assist.” He smiled gently at her, used to the impertinent demands of the obscenely wealthy on a daily basis. To him, this was simply another entitled brat and her stupid lump of an overgrown boyfriend; on her daddy’s American Express, no doubt; except this one was so insulated from the rigours of modern life that she would simply scream for room service; the use of the telephone apparently beneath her. And yet, despite this flash of anger through his mind’s eye, his demure mask never slipped.

“Yes,” answered Nathalie with a little too much forced haughtiness to be truly convincing. “Send us up something . . . interesting. And champagne too, actually.”

“It is on the table, madame, I took the liberty of opening it for you. It is a particularly fine ninety-five Dom Pérignon, which I do hope meets with your approval . . . ”

“ . . . yes, yes, just be quick about the food,” she scowled,  and she closed the door swiftly upon his face, shaking her head in bewilderment, emitting a  “. . . bloody french . . .” under her breath.

Harvey was still upon the balcony, his broad shoulders framed by the doorway, the sky a prussian blue beyond him and the vent of his grey jacket softly rippling in the warm breeze. She considered him for a moment from this distance; simply the smallest instant she could snatch where she could look at him and not be watched in return. And for the first time this evening, since walking out of the Ministry and into his trap, she felt her cavalier confidence become worryingly precarious.

She would never understand him. She had already accepted that much. And this in itself was quite the event for Nathalie, who in general considered people either vastly beneath her, or of such significant importance that she would do anything to be part of their orbit. And he fit neatly into neither of these; she would never be part of Harvey’s reach, for he violated the comfort of her categorisation. All men, carefully arranged into boxes: the idiots to her left and the vulgar to her right, and those that had actually managed to catch her eye had always, without exception, eventually revealed their casual cruelty at some unimportant point in the future, usually at the point where she had been broken and on her knees before them; well they had a special place, covered and locked away because to critically analyse her idiocy in light of them was too much for even her to acknowledge to herself. Nathalie Wilkins was not weakened by men. Or so she would often repeat to herself.
But Harvey; the one she had been all too keen to file away and categorise from that very first moment he had swanned around the classroom with his fighters bearing and haunted teal eyes and that half smile that she threatened to unthinkingly return with interest; he had gone on to prove himself to be something rather unique and difficult. At times he was simply a masculine force of nature; a battering ram; and yet, he would hold the door open for old ladies and speak to his contemporaries with the most perfect diction and dress as if his life depended on it. And, naturally, she loved this; his careful attention and unadulterated elegance, she had never met someone his age with as much innate sprezzatura.

Therefore, he was a threat to her; something that could harm her; that could cause her to no longer trust herself. And thus she tried hard to hate him; in more ways than one. She continually and utterly failed. Perhaps that meant something. Perhaps that meant he was worth her surrender.

And yet why the hesitance? Why her silence? Why treat him as something to entertain her, and then cease talking to him for months on end? Why did she sometimes, to her eternal shame, hope that he would fade away; lose contact with her; find some other woman to annoy? Was it because he was, under all his bluster and swagger, simply good? Simply decent and unspoilt, and had he not that eternal, warm grace? And she, well, wasn’t she simply lacking in that department? Wasn’t she simply not good? Not decent? Had she not done shameful things? Had she not wrought pain and dissonance and detriment? And was there not probably a path for her that would force her to wallow in more of the same? Should she not be ashamed to be in Harvey’s presence, to use him for her own gratification? And, most alarmingly to the blonde, as she stood there avariciously gazing upon her companion, where did this sudden contrition come from? She had never felt it before him; this mirror upon her actions. Damn Harvey Landsdowne and damn his stupid big heart and soul.

And amidst this tumult within her heart, she was always very clear on one thing. Should any being ever attempt to hurt a hair upon his big stupid head, she would end them.

From the oversized glass table, she filled two glasses with champagne and took them to the balcony, handing one to the pensive Harvey. Her eyes scanned over him, looking for an answer to a question she was too nervous to ask herself. “Here drink this. You paid for it,” she said, caustically as ever. His hand was upon the stone balustrade, and she placed her own upon his, whilst she scanned the horizon, where small bobbing stars indicated the yachts of the super rich muggles as they drank and ate and copulated themselves into oblivion. Beneath them, the voices of the guests and casino visitors blended into a continuous hum, with only the odd sharp peal of laughter breaking through to their ears. From this vantage point, and within this ostentatious palace, they were protected from the world, and the night’s events felt a hundred miles away. Nathalie was already halfway through her champagne in the silence, and the alcohol upon her empty stomach was already making her head reel and causing her to think strange and licentious thoughts. She put her glass down upon the railing hard.

“Harvey, I need to tell you something.” The blonde turned to him, her face suddenly serious. “This is all nice and everything, but we will never work. We can never work. I don’t want you to have any . . . ideas.” She stepped towards him quickly and slid her hands under his jacket, her fingers running over the taught oxford twill of his blue shirt until her hands rested upon his ribs. She looked up into his eyes, still frowning and impassive. “It’s just better this way, because no one gets hurt.” And she kissed him, deep and passionate, her neck arching her head against his, and her kiss was so intense that she was sure she was smearing him with her lipstick. She stopped abruptly to continue her little pitch. “I mean, we’re going separate paths. I’m busy every day and night in the bloody ministry . . .” meanwhile she continued to shower him with small kisses along his jawline, whilst at the same time she inelegantly tugged his jacket hard from his shoulders, turning it outside in in the process, trapping his hands momentarily in the knot of fabric;  “ . . . and I am an unashamed careerist, and you’re up to your elbows in sick children or whatever it is you’re doing at St. Mungos, so you no doubt have no time for . . . relationships . . . “ and now she pushed him hard so the both of them toppled over onto the sun lounger behind him. Her hand upon his neck, pushing his jaw up so she could kiss him better whilst she straddled him and she was sure he had dropped his glass for she had heard the trebly crash, but that was unimportant because her long fingers were impatiently working at the mother of pearl buttons upon his shirt front.

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 06:02:03 PM »
Harvey still wasn't over the shock. Maybe it was delayed but it was slowly now sinking in, drip by drip like a leaking tap. They could have died. He shook his head as he looked over the harbour front. He'd said he was hungry but really, he just needed some air. Nathalie had that feeling about her. She wasn't suffocating, she was intoxicating. She took over everything, like Japanese knotweed or a particularly vicious pathogen. She held tight, squeezing and turning and while it hurt, he rather liked it. Whatever perfume she wore was all over him. Maybe he'd imagined it but he could smell it, even hours after she'd left.

He jumped as Nathalie's voice tore through the quiet suite, causing some nearby seagulls to take off in alarm. Harvey gripped the balcony railing tight as he tried to steady himself from toppling over and it was about to turn and run to her aid before he realised that she wasn't in any need at all.

Unable to help himself, he clapped a hand over his mouth and dissolved into a fit of the giggles as he listened in. His broad shoulders were shaking, up and down, as tears of mirth gathered in the corners of his eyes. He was hunched over, his six-feet-two frame quivering as he wheezed, trying in vain to stifle the laughter. When Nathalie called for help, he let out a bark of laughter that sent even more seagulls flapping. "Oh shit, oh no," he mumbled as he straightened up, wiping the tears from his eyes quickly as he snorted. "Use your powers of persuasion!" Harvey called back through the open door unhelpfully. Hilarious. She was so posh, she was practically a martian.

Hearing the door open, he felt a pang of sympathy for the poor bellhop. Goodness knows the amount of crap the poor man had to deal with on a regular basis, everything from spoiled teenagers to wealthy jetsetters with no manners. Harvey could relate, he supposed. He hadn't forgotten his northern upbringing and he was proud of it but living down south for so many years had turned his accent from rough to plummy. But that didn't mean he tried to be anyone else. His parents raised him properly, taught him his manners and things he needed to get ahead in life. He'd also be lying if he said that he hadn't thought Nathalie hung around him to fulfil some sort of upstairs-downstairs fantasy.

Evening was approaching  but London must be dark by now, a contrast to Monte Carlo. The air was still warm and salty-scented, hinting at the long hot summer to come. Harvey was in some sort of trance as he watched the yachts bob gently on the impossibly blue water. This place was a playboy's paradise. Everything about it just screamed it; the food, the casinos, the lifestyle. It wasn't exactly understated but it was sophisticated. It might be nice for a weekend but he already felt drained, despite still having a sizeable amount of money left over from their escapade.

"Oh fantastic," came the deep voiced response as he delicately took the glass from her hand, offering her a lavish wink in response to her acidic comment. Taking a sip, he enjoyed the way the bubbles popped on his tongue. Champagne wasn't his drink of choice, he'd much prefer a glass of real ale but when in Rome~

The warmth of Nathalie's palm made him blink in surprise, almost choking on the drink as he turned his head imperceptibly to check if she was quite alright. Harvey stayed very still as she drank her champagne, unwilling to move but he flinched when she slammed her glass down.

She had something to tell him. "Okay," Harvey said very slowly and cautiously, wondering if this was some sort of secret female trap that they laid. He copied Nathalie's movements, turning his hips in her direction as he placed an elbow on the railing casually. Whatever she was about to say, he was not expecting that. Harvey's pale eyes widened in surprise as his brain scrambled to figure out how Nathalie had connected a handful of kisses to a full blown relationship. "Ideas," Harvey echoed, an eyebrow arched as he stayed still and allowed her hands to slid beneath his jacket. Though Nathalie's fingers were warm and her touch delicate, the shock of the feeling made him inhale sharply. It felt like a lightning bolt.

He was at a loss for words. She'd so brazenly explained her feelings in such a concise and clear manner and Harvey was left trying to play catch up. He hadn't really given any thought to their relationship. Friendship? Of course he fancied her. He liked how aggressive she was. He liked sparring with her and winding her up because she gave as good as she got. She was so smart, so vicious and so beautiful, she often left him in awe. He hadn't met anyone quite like her. She drove him mad. She was manipulative and destructive but she was so blasé about it, he let himself be suckered in. But he'd seen her cry. Just once but it was enough to those confusing feelings to bubble up and blindside him. He remembered the rush of warmth and the strong desire to keep her safe that felt a little too uncomfortable to be labelled as platonic.

"I don't want to date you, either," Harvey found himself telling her. No sooner had the words left his mouth, he realised that maybe that was not the truth. Goose bumps rose in the path that Nathalie's hands made, causing him to frown in confusion. She'd clearly put some thought into this decision. He liked her company. Oh sure, she was completely certifiable and she was an emotional terrorist but he somehow found that oddly…endearing?

Like a punch in the gut, Harvey took an instinctive step backwards. She was under some stress and he didn't want to take advantage of her, but that didn't stop him from grabbing her hips, hard, and shunting her forward. He slid his left hand up Nathalie's spine, instinctively searching for her dress' zipper as he kissed her back and when the kiss ended, he looked dazed. He squinted at her. "I don't deal with sick kids," he told her dumbly. "I'm on the plants and poisoning ward," he offered, looking a bit bewildered.

Harvey was only half listening as his eyes slid to a close, the hairs on his arms standing to attention as Nathalie placed a trail of butterfly kisses along his jaw. Busy? "You have holidays." Separate paths? "So you'd date me if I worked in the Ministry?" Harvey found himself asking as he mentally wrote his resignation letter. "Those aren't decent excuses -- ow!" He gasped as she pulled, finding himself trapped with his arms behind his back. He frowned at her, eyes wild and his chest rising and falling thinly. Harvey grinned slowly, darkly and irreligious as he loomed over her, his handsome face smug. He dipped his face closer to her eye level, leaning in as though to kiss her again but he stopped short, just to whisper, "You're a coward."

Harvey let out a grunt of pain as they both went toppling over, his body taking the brunt of the force as it hit the metal part of the lounger. The glass shattered as it slipped from his hand, sending shards skittering across the terrace and the expensive champagne seeped through the gaps in the balcony rail. Nathalie's weight was comfortable as he kissed her back, straining his neck in response as he fought with the twist of his suit jacket. He was annoyed. Annoyed at her kissing him like that, annoyed that he couldn't move his hands but more so, he was annoyed that she'd put ideas into his head. With one final pull, he heard the fabric of his blazer rip as  he tossed it carelessly aside. With his hands now free, he tangled his fingers in Nathalie's hair, gripping the strands while his right hand cradled the back of her skull in a contrastingly tender gesture.

Harvey deepened the kiss, mirroring Nathalie's querulousness as he felt the cool sea breeze waft across his partially bare chest. "You know," he murmured against her neck, his teeth grazing the sensitive spot just below her ear. "If we were dating," he drawled. "We could do this but seeing as we're not --" here, he paused. Quickly, he lessened his hold and moved to wrap his fingers around Nathalie's slender wrists. He didn't speak for a heartbeat or two but his eyes were dark as he frowned gently. "Don't punish me for your choices, Nathalie."

Realising he was being rude, he gently let go of her wrists. She looked like a nymph. Her blonde hair was wild, teased out by his fingers. Her lipstick was smudged with splodges on her chin and her cheeks and he knew he had matching marks on his own skin. Her alabaster skin was pink and he was out of breath, too. With the sun on her face, she looked like a damned Renaissance painting, all drama and intrigue. Eventually, Harvey gave a short sigh. With one arm wrapped securely around her waist, he leaned forward and kissed her again, this time much softer. "Promise me you'll stop being vexing?" He asked Nathalie gently before he cracked her a lopsided grin. "Or don't. I think that's your entire personality. Where's your zip?" Harvey mumbled distractedly, his fingers brushing across the small bit of metal as he tugged it down.
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 12:36:28 AM »
When he held her by her wrists, she froze. Not in fear, but rather in anticipation. Harvey had this wonderful coiled strength; he was capable of so much damage; a man constructed for violence, if he so chose. And he did not; he was graceful and gentle. And so when he momentarily restrained her by her wrists, she would have surrendered to him completely. This potential for control, whether the control over his own incredible physique, or the control that he could physically exert over her, was like ambrosia to her. No one of her peers dared to control Nathalie. Not until Harvey came along.

And thus she was slightly disappointed when he released her, and instead examined her thoroughly. In return, through narrowed eyes she scanned his chiselled face; lipstick smeared across his cupid’s bow and his cheek, his hair tussled. She was pleased with what she had achieved, and knew there was more to go tonight. His kiss came, gentle and respectable, but the passion was there, and she reciprocated, a hand coming up to his chin, running across the stubble upon his jaw. “I promise to stop being vexing,” and she mocked his accent, which despite his best attempts bled through, “if you promise to stop being such a gentleman, at least, when I’m sitting upon you.” As if in answer, he was sliding the little golden zip down her back and she could feel the warm air upon her exposed skin, and just when his fingertips were exploring what he had discovered, their doorbell rang. “Ignore it, please,” she whispered, kissing him again, leaning into him, wishing him to just hurry up and get the zip to the bottom of its run so he could get the damned thing off her and let him enjoy her underwear (specifically selected for him in mind) when the doorbell screeched again. And again. And again. Nathalie pulled forcefully away from Harvey, her face like thunder. “I’m so sorry, this is our bloody food and I would much rather be with you but that prick of a porter won’t shut up until I pay him so just . . . “ and she kissed him hard, “ . . . wait . . . “ her tongue exploring him, “ . . . right . . .” her hands slipping from his chin along his strong neck to his collar, “ . . . there . . .”

The blonde got to her feet, the doorbell still screaming at them, and she stumbled a little, finding her missing shoe as she went hopping along the carpet to the door. She momentarily caught sight of herself in a long mirror in the hallway, dishevelled and messy, and for an instant thought herself inappropriate for the porter, but made the decision that as their transaction would take literally seconds; she wasn’t going to tidy herself up for him. And thusly, she was marginally surprised upon flinging the door open to find not the amusingly dressed porter with the askew hat, but rather a smiling Mister Vītoliņš and two of his rather austere looking friends.

“Good evening, madame. I do hope we are not disturbing you.”

The large bear-like man sprung forward, grabbing Nathalie quick and hard, and he spun her almost on the spot, twisting her arm around her back just to the very point of pain. His left hand had as quickly covered her mouth, allowing her only to emit a half scream before she was silenced. The three men swiftly strode together into the room, Nathalie being half frog-marched, half dragged along with them. She initially attempted to struggle, but the huge assistant simply pulled her arm tighter against her back and the searing pain through her shoulder was enough incentive to stop her resistance.

“Good evening, Mister . . . Landtzsdowney” announced Vītoliņš, presumably mispronouncing Harvey’s name from what was written in the guest register. “I must apologise for dropping in unannounced, but it seems that we have a little . . . unfinished business to attend to?” The small man smiled that same chilling soulless grin at Harvey.

They made a strange team; little Mister Vītoliņš in his impeccable midnight blue tuxedo, grinning like a cheshire cat; his huge bulking friend in a navy suit filled to bursting with Nathalie tight in his grip; and to the left a third gentleman in a light grey suit, not quite as imposing at the huge man but with a face that advertised his participation in quite a few past skirmishes and a haircut one could set ones watch to.

“You were quite simple to find, Mister Landtzsdowney. In this city, everyone can be bought, you see. And their information flows, naturally, to me. It did not take very much to discover that you and your lady-friend were enjoying yourselves in this rather grand suite, in this rather grand hotel. And, I do salute your fine taste. He has very good taste, does he not?” Vītoliņš was presumably speaking to his compatriots, because the man in the grey suit gave a rather vigorous nod to no one in particular. Vītoliņš turned to Nathalie, who stared wide eyed back at him, and with one outstretched digit he gently pushed her hair away from her face, allowing his fingertip to run down her cheek and to her neck. She wanted to recoil but she had nowhere to go. “Yes, very fine, very enjoyable, I must say.” He spun back to the figure of Harvey in the doorway.

“But Mister Landtzsdowney, you have taken something from me. Something quite important. My money. It is quite simple. Return it to me, and I will promise not to hurt your lady friend. You see, Mister Landtzsdowney, my reputation actually means very much to me. I am a simple man, and tonight you hurt me and did not allow me any chance to repair my poor reputation. I think that is bad sportsmanship. Don’t you agree?” Again, as if on queue, grey suit man sniggered.

“So let us make this quick, and I will leave you with the ability to walk. My money, if you please.” The man in the grey suit moved elegantly, taking something out from within his jacket; Nathalie could see from the corner of her eye that it was black, and when it clicked and snapped she knew in her gut that it was something unpleasant.

“Your lady friend is not having a very nice time at the minute, Mister Landtzsdowney, please make up your mind very quickly how you wish to cooperate,” said Vītoliņš, all the time smiling ever so politely at Harvey.

Despite her physical discomfort, Nathalie locked eyes with Harvey. She was terrified, and yet adrenaline was making her think along practical lines. She could do nothing; her captor could literally rip her to shreds with her bare hands, and he was clever; he delivered just enough pain to make her too frightened to move, but not enough to make her lose control in a panic. He was a professional; he had presumably honed his technique upon other unfortunates. She could not help Harvey. Think Nathalie, think. She had dragged his jacket off of him, shit. It lay upon the balcony. But - her wand. Nathalie’s eyes turned to the bedside table, where, beside that wretched telephone, her wand lay against a thick Baedeker’s “Monte Carlo 2001-2002” guidebook. The muggles wouldn’t even notice it; nothing but a thin stick of wood to them. Again, her eyes met Harvey’s, and this time she implored him through her eyes alone, making a deliberate glance to the bedside table. She wasn’t sure if he understood, so she repeated the gesture - Harvey - bedside table - Harvey - bedside table. She wished she could screech it to him. She hoped to Merlin that he got the message, because otherwise she was sure they were about to have a rather unpleasant end to their evening.

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 05:51:02 PM »
Stay right there? "You needn't tell me twice," Harvey replied as he reluctantly let Nathalie leave his vicinity. He silently cursed her fiddly little zip and her inability to behave. He had no desire to control her but sometimes, her subtle little jibes got under his skin. Like the way she'd mocked his accent. It was nothing he could do about it, just as she couldn't do anything to combat her bad attitude.

Harvey straightened up on the sun lounger, his head spinning as he tried to make sense of the last hour. Catching sight of his reflection, he reached up and wiped the lipstick mark off his mouth as he watched her sashay across the plush carpeted room. He wasn't hungry any more, come to think of it. Naturally, he blamed Nathalie for everything that had transpired that evening. Everything from her cheating in the casino to her smooth talking with the concierge, everything up to the way she looked, like a mythical wood nymph. She'd been gone a long time and he felt oddly bereft in her absence. He turned to look over the balcony to the bay as the seagulls wheeled overhead but that was all cut short when he heard a scream.

Quick as a flash, the former Gryffindor was across the threshold but he stopped dead in his tracks. Almost instantly, Harvey's heart dropped to rest somewhere in his stomach as a fresh wave of nausea hit him. He was acutely aware of how Nathalie was held, tight and close and his blood ran cold. Harvey used to think with his fists but there was nothing he could do. He hadn't realised the arrival of little Mr. Vītoliņš as he'd been too preoccupied with his henchmen.

"I wasn't hiding," Harvey quickly said, cutting Mr. Vītoliņš down swiftly as he blinked in confusion, his eyes sliding to Nathalie as his mouth ran dry. He wasn't in the mood to play games with mafia bosses; he just wanted his almost-girlfriend not to be in the clutches of a burly man in an ill-fitting suit. The air was still and thick, laden with heaviness. It was uncomfortable. Sets of eyes were dating everywhere, from hands to faces and Harvey was losing patience. He was starting to sweat and he could hear the blood pounding in his ears. The man's hands on Nathalie was too much to bear.

"Don't you touch her!" The barked order ripped through the silence of the suite as Harvey lunged at little Mr. Vītoliņš . He didn't come close as the man in the grey blocked him, pushing the heel of his hands into Harvey's chest with such force against his sternum, it knocked the wind right out of him. Stumbling backwards and doubled over, he coughed, his cheeks pink as he struggled for breath. He didn't need to look up to see the glee on the pack leader's face. Now he was angry. With his teeth gritted, he pulled himself up to his full height clumsily, his large hands on the door frame for support.

"I don't have it," he replied honestly, coughing again as he fought to stand upright. Casually, he nodded towards the suite. "It went on the hotel room," he told Mr. Vītoliņš coolly, glaring at the men behind him. "You can have it, if you want. I don't think they do refunds." Oh, he knew the little man was more threatening than his goons but they were the more pressing threat. "There might be a little bit left lying around but most of it went on the mini bar bill. Bad sportsmanship?" Harvey snorted, rolling his eyes heavenward and unable to control himself. "Yeah. Because your lot play fair all the time, don't you? I'm kidding!" He exclaimed as the man in the grey advanced upon him.

"It's my money," Harvey heard himself say, momentarily ignoring Nathalie's squirming because if he didn't, he'd lose control completely. "I won it. It's not my fault that you can't play baccarat in your own casino," came the acidic reply as Harvey's breath came more easily now. "Don't threaten us," he found himself saying, his ire bubbling towards the surface now. "You're an old man. I think it's probably time you learned that you can't run with the young boys any more."

He flicked his eyes over to Nathalie and felt a little surprised to see her staring at him so intently. The look he gave her clearly said what am I supposed to do? Their first date had been torpedoed and there was no way to come back from this. Harvey didn't have the money, except for maybe a couple hundred of Francs in the briefcase but it wouldn't be enough to satisfy the man. He boggled at her as she flicked her head towards the bedside table. Did she have a stash of money in there as well or something?

The setting sun glinted off the wood and he finally saw what Nathalie was motioning to; her wand. Like a eureka or light bulb moment, things snapped into place. "Okay," Harvey replied heavily, his hands up, palms outwards in the universal symbol of surrender. "Let me just go and get it," he told the little man as he moved, aware that his bodyguards were about to reach into their jacket pockets too. "Nat," he told her softly as he made to look like he was reaching down the side of the lovely big bed for an imaginary pile of money. "Get ready to move."

Harvey's hand gripped the handle of her wand and he turned to the aggressor. "Stupefy!" He called, sending a bolt of bright light from the wand, directly to the head of Nathalie's attacker. Usually clumsy with a wand, the spell just managed to skim her shoulder and hit the man directly in the breastbone, causing him to stop, wide-eyed and topple backwards like a felled tree. "Relashio!" came next, a jet of purple sparks hitting the man's body and realising Nathalie from his hold. "Incarcerous!" Harvey said as thick ropes spun themselves around the man in the grey, making him look like a mummy as he squealed and topped over, wriggling helplessly against his restraints. Out of breath and pink cheeked, his attention turned to Mr.Vītoliņš . "I think I'll keep the money, don't you think?"
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 10:06:53 PM »
Harvey had acted quickly and, with a fluency that surprised even Nathalie, he had got to work. He had picked up on her covert indications, and in the blink of an eye he had pulled her wand upon her captor. There followed an audible whoosh, a blast of heat and a flash of purple that she could see even through her closed eyelids, and she had had to take a jittery sidestep to the right to avoid the tumbling flail of her captor as he fell away from her like a collapsing statue. As quickly as it had began it was over, and an uncomfortable silence descended upon the group after that moment of chaos. Two of their three guests were now laying upon the rather lush cream carpeting of the room. She rubbed her aching shoulder whilst her eyes scanned across the two hapless men; the large man laying upon his back, his limbs fixed to his body and his eyes wide open in terror, staring at the ceiling in abject confusion. The smaller man in grey was attempting in vain to escape from his diabolical restraints, and therefore he flopped about comically like a fish that had been violently expelled from its tank. And amidst it all, Mr.Vītoliņš just stood there, manicured hands gently caressing the front of his tuxedo, looking extremely bewildered, and, perhaps more significantly, completely impotent.

Instinctively, Nathalie ran across to Harvey and threw her arms around him, nearly knocking him over in the process. She buried her head into the collar of his shirt. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, a wave of strange uncontrolled emotion washing over her, internally raging at how useless she had been. “ . . . they were so quick . . . you saved me.” She moved her head away from him to examine him better, and she placed a hand upon the centre of his shirtfront where he had been struck by the thug in grey, and she frowned when she met his eyes. Pierced through her very soul she could feel a torrent of desire and something else, something heavy in her stomach that she did not quite have a name for yet. “I’m so sorry,” she said again, softly, only for him; her face fallen with sadness and despite her best attempts to repel it, a gnawing guilt for the whole sorry chain of events was bubbling up through her. She closed her eyes for a moment, as though steadying herself for what was to come, before she turned back towards their guests.

Mr.Vītoliņš was still there, eyes travelling over the fallen figures of his stricken compatriots, and for all the world looking like someone who had lost their very purpose. It seemed that without his hired muscle, he was not quite so quick to be brazen. A sheen of sweat had broken across his taut forehead, and in an attempt to at least do something and not appear entirely feckless, he proceeded to extract a rather expensive looking linen handkerchief from the inside pocket of his jacket and dabbed at his little face with it; as if everything he had just witnessed had been completely par for the course on a standard friday evening, but, my, wasn’t it rather hot in here?

With her back to Harvey, Nathalie’s hand softly met his, and, perhaps without him even realising, she gently took her wand from him. She tried to keep her face impassive but it was so difficult, and the tremble around the edge of her lip and the corner of her eye betrayed the fury that she felt inside her. Those men, those silly little muggles, had tried to maltreat them; had even tried to use her as leverage to threaten Harvey. She could not rid her mind of the look they had had in their eyes; that fervent determination of the brutish; a professional learned hatred that allowed their acts of violence to be so easily committed. And all this, for nothing more than a stupid little money-fuelled vendetta. She was acutely aware how close they had come to harm, and it repelled her. And now it was required that she make amends. Nathalie slowly advanced upon Mr.Vītoliņš, her eyes burrowing a hole into his stupid miniaturised face, and the man who only moments before had been rather too keen to get too close to her now stepped involuntarily backwards, his painted-on eyebrows raised in faux alarm.

“It has . . . it has been a misunderstanding, that is all . . .” mumbled Vītoliņš, his accent growing stronger as his panic rose. Whether he was referring to the failure of his little incursion, or, rather was attempting a post-game rationalisation of the bizarre events that had just occurred before his very eyes, it was unclear. Again, he patted his forehead with his oversized handkerchief. “You can keep the money, Mister Landtzsdowney,” he said to his own hand. His voice was high and nervous, and he looked over Nathalie’s shoulder to Harvey, as if unwilling to meet her glare. “We are even now, no problem! Very well played, very good game, yes. Let us just have a drink, yes? I know a very fine cocktail bar where . . . .”

“No,” interjected Nathalie blankly as she cut him off, and she raised her wand and pointed straight at Vītoliņš chest.

“Crucio.”

It was too simple; particularly when one was full of rage; and the more she could draw upon that well of hatred within her, the better. And unfortunately for poor Mr. Vītoliņš, that well was rather deep. The spell flashed crimson and she exhaled as if someone had slapped her firmly between the shoulder blades, and her victim was on his knees screaming, and now falling backwards and arching his back and reaching pathetically to something only he could see in his pain-seared vision, whilst Nathalie stood above him, face impassive, wand upon him, never leaving him, eagerly encouraging it to continue. And she would have gone further; she would have kept pushing and pushing the curse with all her might, perhaps until his little heart would have fibrillated and stopped or until she herself had gone dizzy from exertion, had Harvey not grabbed her first.

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 09:05:32 PM »
The force of which Nathalie hit him almost sent him spiralling backwards. Without thinking, Harvey locked her in a vice-like grip as he pulled her roughly towards him. One hand was on the small of her back, the other cradling the back of her head as she buried it in his neck. "It's okay," he whispered to her softly, over and over like a mantra. "It's not your fault. None of this is your fault," he told Nathalie gently as he rubbed his warm hand up and down her spine in soft, concentric circles. The overwhelming urge to keep herself had come out of left field and knocked him sideways.

As she took a step back, he felt oddly bereft in her absence. "I'm fine," Harvey reassured her quickly as he ignored the throbbing pain and his laboured breathing. It wouldn't surprise him if Mr. Grey Suit had broken a rib but it wasn't important. He barely paid attention to little Mr. Vītoliņš and he easily blocked out the grunting struggle of the henchmen. How the shit did they get into this mess? Oh he knew Nathalie Wilkins was bad news and he could smell it a mile off but did he heed the warning? Did he shite.

For perhaps the first time, her sorrow seemed genuine. Nathalie had hoodwinked him numerous times. She cried on cue, she lied and she cheated but his machismo couldn't, or wouldn't, let him pull the plug. "It's fine," he told her once last time as he squirmed underneath her apology. To be honest, they'd both screwed this up. They'd lost their heads but even so, being accosted by members of the Russian Mafia wasn't really on his radar. She needed to stop saying she was sorry, whether she meant it or not. This wasn't completely one-sided and he didn't like it one bit.

Despite the fact that Mr. Vītoliņš had ruined his evening, Harvey couldn't help but feel a misplaced stab of pity for the little man; things hadn't gone his way, either. He looked smaller and older and considerably more pale. Nathalie took his hand and he automatically squeezed back as he ran this thumb across the backs of her knuckles. But like smoke, again, she was gone. Harvey took a step after her. He was unwilling to let her get too close and he trailed her keenly. Maybe she had something to say. As he followed, he stepped on the leg of the bound and gagged man in a rather passive-aggressive way.

That flicker of guilt swirled in his stomach and Harvey found himself nodding again. A misunderstanding, he'd called it. He offered Mr. Vītoliņš a tight lipped and brief smile. "Something like that," he added dismissively. All Harvey wanted to do was leave. The man's worry and uncomfortable nervous energy was settling on his shoulders like a wet blanket and it was weighing him down. A drink? "I think I'll pass," Harvey told him as he loomed over Nathalie's shoulder. "We've already paid for the champagne so," he added carelessly with a shrug of his broad shoulder.

But it was all too late.

The noise the man made jolted Harvey. His blood ran cold as he felt dread drip down his spine slowly, drop by drop. In the moment, he thought he might vomit. Little Mr. Vītoliņš had crumpled to the floor like a house of cards and Harvey took a step backwards in shock. He'd never even felt Nathalie retrieve her own wand. The sound echoed, bouncing off the glass and spilling out of the balcony window, causing the seagulls to squawk and take flight in fear.

Nausea set in as he stood there, helpless. He stared at Nathalie like she'd just grown a second head. What was this girl capable of? The agonised screams grew loud, too loud and Harvey couldn't handle it any more.

"Nathalie!" He yelled at her, surging forward and locking his arms around her waist tightly as he dragged her back and away forcefully. The break in the spell let Mr. Vītoliņš collapse on the floor, creased up in receding pain and struggling to catch his breath. Harvey held Nathalie tight, too tight, as he tried to catch his breath. He squeezed her momentarily, letting her know that he was hurting her for a reason as he gave her a rough shake in an attempt to knock her wand from her grip. "Stop." She'd committed a crime. Not just any crime but she'd cast an Unforgivable Curse. One that would land her a life sentence in Azakaban. He didn't know what to do. His entire  brain had shut down. His palms were sweaty and his knees were weak. Below him, the ground began to sway; they needed to go.

Harvey stepped back and grabbed his jacket from the balcony floor before shrugging it on. Directing his wand at the prone men,  he released one from his binds and the other from his paralysis and he made sure to leave Mr. Vītoliņš right where he was, creased up at their feet.

There was no way the screams of anguish had gone unheard. His long legs crossed to the bed where he snatched up the briefcase with their money, the opened bottle of champagne and he closed his fingers around Nathalie's wrist as he pulled her to the door.

Harvey slammed the door shut and placed the ornate ne pas déranger sign on the door. He didn't say a word to Nathalie has he hot-footed it down the beautiful corridor. He didn't take the lift. Instead, he barrelled through the double doors with forced as he nearly knocked them off the hinges and took the staircase down, three steps at a time. The air of the grand reception was cool and he only realised then that he had been sweating. Harvey practically sprinted across the spotlessly clean floor and he didn't wait for the doorman to politely open it for him, leaving the smartly dressed man in black and red flabbergasted.

He didn't stop for the passing cars and he barely acknowledged the angry screech of tires and the blare of horns from the expensive sports cars he left in his wake. Reaching the beach, he finally let go of Nathalie's arm.

As he turned to face her, Harvey's eyes were darker than usual as he looked at her. Anyone could tell that he was mad at her, he needn't have to say it. He took one last hard look at Nathalie before he sighed and took a long drink from the neck of the astronomically priced champagne. With that, he turned his back on her without a word, kicked off his shoes and began to walk down the promenade in the opposite direction as he followed the shoreline ahead.
 

Katherine Travers [ Guest ]
Posts
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2018, 11:40:27 PM »
He had grabbed her about the waist and tugged her backwards so violently that her feet were momentarily off the ground, and for good measure he had given her a short, violent rattle within his tight grip; in her fog she could remember vaguely moaning or crying out. Suddenly she was free from the curse and she stood weakly in the middle of the room; Harvey a quick blur around her as he gathered things. She felt enervated; her brain throbbed dully behind her eyes and she put a hand to her forehead, the room turning sickeningly about its axis. Mr. Vītoliņš was sobbing quietly, providing a macabre soundtrack to Harvey’s actions. But before she could react to what he had done, he already had her by the wrist and was dragging her along with him. Weakened as she was, she did not resist.

Something about his haste alarmed her, she could feel it through his tight and clammy grip upon her skin and it made her run along with him; through the ornate and wide corridor; through the fire escape, her heels clacking upon the unadorned concrete steps as they went down flight after flight of flourescently-illuminated stairwell - SORTIE DE SECOURS UNIQUEMENT ALARME ACTIVE - well, quite, she thought to herself; and Harvey had hit the push bar on the door at the bottom with such violence that it snapped loudly and the door itself banged hard upon the wall as it swung away; both of them spilling and tumbling out into the cool lobby, swerving hard to the right to avoid the main desk, Nathalie skittering slightly like someone who had had one too many and hobbling along back again to Harvey’s pace; straight through the rear exit of the hotel, Harvey pulling away now at speed; Nathalie following behind. They ran down the street, across the road in a diagonal path and slipping like wild animals between the rapidly slowing cars; Harvey momentarily cast in the unnatural white light of a headlight and then back into the sickly orange of sodium vapour, why did muggles insist in colouring the night that dreadful shade of tangerine she thought as she hid all the rest of her emotions deep down, at least momentarily, and now they tore along the footpath, nearly tumbling into an old American couple who were putting the world to rights; barging past more languid tourists on their postprandial strolls, and before she knew it they were running at pace down the wooden length of the promenade and out onto the deserted beachfront. Harvey came to a halt in the sand, and a few moments later the blonde finally arrived, gasping for breath and bent over with her hand upon her chest, unable to speak. He turned to glare at her whilst she looked up to him between the wild strands of her hair that had fallen over her face, and the expression upon his shadowed visage alarmed her. Off he stormed, swigging at the bottle of champagne, all taut anger and coiled elegance in his gait.
 “Harvey, wait . . .” she said, a breathless whisper that was lost to the night before he could even catch it.

She was now aware that she still had her wand within her grip, and her knuckles were tight and sore. She had ran all the way from the hotel with it instinctively clamped there, as if for dear life.

Nathalie didn’t understand him. Why was he annoyed? Was it because she had stood up to that awful man? Because she had seen fit to punish him like that? Had she damaged Harvey’s big yet frail male ego? All because she had wanted to protect him? Her face changed; her eyes narrowed. She had done it for him, all for him, and he had overreacted, like a child. She felt violated; worse - Nathalie felt untrusted.

She tried to sprint after him but came to an abrupt halt after two steps, her shoes not functioning as designed upon the fine grains of sand and she took them off one at a time, tossing them away and then running hard barefoot to catch up with him.

“How dare you,” she hissed when she reached the former Gryffindor. He was ignoring her, so she rounded on him and tore the stupid bottle of champagne from his grip and flung it aside. It landed nearby with a thump and spilled its extravagant fluid into the seashore. Now blocking Harvey’s way, the blonde’s eyes flashed with rage. “How dare you stop me, you . . .you -” she had no word for what she wished to call him and instead she hit him with her palms upon his chest, pushing him back a step, “ -  you coward . . .”

“Do you just want them to get away with it?!” She was shouting at him now, he deserved it; he deserved worse. “Is that it? No harm done?! Everything’s fine? You’re happy to just stand there like a little boy and let them to get away scott free? That’s . . . that’s sick, Harvey. What the hell’s your problem?!”

Harvey Landsdowne [ Healer-in-Training ]
924 Posts  •  19  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [monte carlo] luck be a lady. [tag; nathalie]
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2018, 04:25:25 PM »
Harvey couldn't do this right now. He was a mess and he wasn't too proud to admit it. They were fine, perhaps a little shaken up but they were still in tact. The cool sea breeze was a welcome change and he felt the sweat on the back of his neck and his hands as he strode. He wasn't familiar with Monaco or the surrounding areas really but he just needed to move. He needed to put as much space between Nathalie, this entire debacle and himself as possible.

Harvey stood still in his tracks as Nathalie rounded on him but he resolutely looked over her head and not at her face as she stopped. The bottle was ripped out of his hand and it landed with a dull thunk as he scowled at her. He decided to take her anger. As she shoved, he took a step backwards before he righted himself, finding himself feeling a little annoyed that she'd forgotten that he'd been sucker punched ten minutes ago.

"Me?" Harvey side, his eyes wide in indignation as he boggled at her. "Next time, I'll just leave you to die, shall I?" He hissed at her as he stepped back into her personal space, his broad shoulders set and his chest puffed out as he advanced on her. He was seething. He could actually feel his blood starting to boil as every single fibre of his being was screaming at him to just walk away. He didn't want to fight; he was utterly exhausted and he was still trying to cope with their run in but here she was, screaming at him for doing the right thing?

"You could have killed him!" Harvey roared at her, his back bent so he was at eye level with Nathalie as he gesticulated.  His big dark eyes were wild and his rapid pulse was throbbing in his neck in the setting sun. Insane. She was insane. "I'm sorry for giving a shit about you going to Azakban because that's exactly where you're going if anyone finds out about what you did!" He yelled at her. He took a break and tilted his head back, sliding a hand down his face in exasperation. "Jesus Christ," Harvey laughed, slightly manically as he spun in a quick circle. "It's bad enough you broke the law in the casino, Nathalie. Now you're breaking wizarding law, too? Just chuck your fucking morals right out of the window while you're at it."

He stared at her like she'd just grown a second head. "It wasn't self-defence," he pressed on again. "What you did was cruel and vindictive and if I hadn't have stopped you, what would you have done?" He asked Nathalie seriously as he hands shook and his knees felt weak. Harvey had no doubt in his mind that she would have killed him.  She would have carried on until blood came out of his nose and he begged her to die. He looked at her strangely as his hair blew in the wind. Did those screams of pain not affect her at all? Did she feel nothing as he crumpled to the ground and writhed around in agony? Was she so twisted, that was how she got her kicks? If that was the case, he was tapping out. Now.

Nathalie was attacking his morals and he found it hard to swallow. A little boy, a coward, she'd called him. "I couldn't do it," he told her honestly as his eyes flicked back and forth across her face as disappointment crept in. "Not what you did. It never even crossed my mind," he said softly. How had she made that leap? Harvey had subdued her aggressors and she was safe, she was in his arms and yet, she still decided to crucify that man. He didn't like Mr. Vītoliņš but he'd said sorry. He looked his age, weak and small. Even though what the man had done to them was unforgivable, Harvey felt pity and compassion; he'd never kick someone when they were down. He'd shown Mercy.

What was his problem? "You!" Harvey yelled as the seagulls around them squawked in terror as he threw his hands into the air. "You're my problem!" He howled, his voice snatched by the wind before it could be heard by anyone else. "Do you have any idea what you've done, Nathalie?" He asked her, cheeks pink as he panted. His chest was rising and falling quickly as he thought he was going to have a heart attack.

"Do you?" He asked her again, his eyes blazing as he stepped to her. "You tortured someone, Nathalie," he whispered as his voice cracked. He looked panicked and terrified before he covered his eyes with his hands. In the picturesque setting, he could hear Mr. Vītoliņš' bellow of agony in his head. "And for what?" He insisted. "For your ego? Revenge? Did you feel anything?" He asked her desperately as though he was trying to find any shred of humanity in her body. This woman standing in front of him wasn't the one he knew and liked. The person he knew was soft and funny and witty and intelligent. She'd never exactly been filled with the joys of springs but he didn't like the person standing in front of him now.

He felt nauseous as his stomach turned and it forced him to place a hand over his mouth. He didn't know how he felt. Terrified? Concerned? Crestfallen? "I'm disappointed in you," Harvey told Nathalie honestly. Sadly, he shook his head. "I have no idea who you are or what you're capable of," he replied truthfully as his shoulders sagged. Harvey pinched the bridge of his nose as he took a shaky but fortifying breath. "You scared the living shit out of me," he confessed and in that moment, he was inches away from bursting into tears. "I can't even look at you right now."
 

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