Logs:The First CHIME Gala and Auction

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The First CHIME Gala and Auction
Dramatis Personae

Olivia, Thorian, Eleri, Ryan, Kyrie, Lena, Faruq, Lance, Tock, Rebecca, Francis, Lance, Sistersmith, Odie, Mark, Lillian, Edith, Kouri, Avery, Elmo, Isa, Dottie, Nyx

5 September 2015


The first CHIME Gala and Auction is held on behalf of its upcoming ocean conservation exhibit and local charities.

Location

Museum and Exhibits - CHIME - Fallcoast


The grand foyer of the Contemporary and Historical Interactive Museum and Exhibits (CHIME) is thirty feet tall, two full stories in height. It stretches out to the left and right of the entrance for a good hundred yards, allowing ample space for those that are here to see the museum. The entry is meant to be a place for conversation and rest, with benches and tables scattered about away from the walking paths, and ticket off to one side. A gift shop and small restaurant are opposite the ticketing booth, providing a distraction for those with children or who are hungry.

On either side of the foyer extend sweeping staircases that ascend to a wide balcony with marble railings, which provides picturesque views from above; an elevator is discreetly tucked into a corner for those who prefer not to brave the stairways. Alcoves set off the balcony house a variety of ever-changing artwork, themed off whatever the current display within the halls may be. The museum proper consists of three exhibit halls leading off from the foyer, banners giving clear details on what the current showings involve. The floors are tiled in variegated granite in shades of cream, sand, and pale tan, and the walls are white marble. Large windows extending at least half the height of the foyer allow ample light to come in during the day.


The Director of the CHIME museum can be found overlooking the main hall, where the stairs curve up to a balcony on the second floor. Tonight, Thorian is dressed to the nines, and while it isn't a formal tuxedo, it certain competes with such attire. The dark red three piece suit is matched with a white, high collar shirt, and in his hand is held a black and silver cane, helping to support a left leg that looks a bit lame. The man seems at ease for the moment, offering a wave to familiar and new faces alike as each comes into the main hall. For those of us that like pictures, the outfit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/516295544758690858/

Rebecca arrives from the Historical District.

Leave it to the Cavanaughs to buck the trend without any real fear of consequence, Faruq steps through the main entrance dressed impeccably in a white tuxedo with a black formal shirt and a black bow tie. It is entirely possible that his tuxedo will not meet certain standards, but his name is not unknown among certain circles, and his immense height makes him easy to recognize, even if one has not personally met him. He also wears a black and white beaded cap on his otherwise bald head and has a beautiful woman in a blue formal gown in the form of Kyrie Falkman on his arm as he steps inside. His expression is severe as he surveys the gallery, perhaps looking for familiar faces, or perhaps only looking for the art to be bid on tonight.

Olivia is doing the thing. And by doing the thing, that is, holding a glass of champagne which she has yet to actually sip from and circulating through the crowd. There's a demure little ear piece in one of her ears, no doubt squawking information from the kitchens, security, et cetera. She welcomes people with smiles and the traditional air-kisses to cheeks, playing at hostess while Thorian looms from above.

Francis has shown up to the event in a freshly fitted tux. He gone all out in blending tonight. He breathes, blinks, and even has color in his cheek. He picks from the offered plates and has even snagged a glass of wine. While he eats and drink he doesn't seem to pay too much attention to what he is actually eating. Currently he is working his way through the items on display for auction. He picks his way slowly from piece to piece and seems to be giving each one a thorough inspection.

Yes, Kyrie /can/ wear a dress, and doesn't even look like it's itchy to be wearing one instead of pants. Or not very, in any case. She walks alongside Faruq, glancing around, pausing to nod or give faint smiles to the people she knows. "Do you want to look at what's up for auction first, or say hello to people?" she murmurs to her companion, hand brushing lightly over the dress, smoothing a nonexistant wrinkle.

The attentive gaze of the Director falls upon the pair that arrives through, and a flicker of a smile blossoms to life brightly until it pushes dimples into his cheeks. "Faruq! Kyrie!" Thorian has no qualms about letting his voice drift to those below. "So good of you to make it." It is upon that left leg that he shifts his weight off of as he watches others filter in, a glimmer of interest to see the newer faces that aren't recognized.

Lance isn't that new to such functions, but he has a small hold in such circles. That means he must also be in his best, which is a formal tux that has been fitted to his form, while he has on black gloves. His polished black leather shoes move across the floor when he enters, though he does take the time to turn in his weapon which he is never without. He doesn't like to, but it is a sacrifice he must make. He seems fond of his black clothes, at least. He dresses with an impeccable smoothness.

For once, Tock's too-formal mode of dress is quite at home in its surroundings, even when granted free rein in evening wear design. The ensemble is decidedly /Belle Epoque/ vintage, a full length ball gown in shimmering sea green taffeta with a heavily embellished and carefully draped overdress in fine, sheer deep blue netting. Her sleeves are a cap style and the skirts slightly flared. The overlay consists of five diagonal edged layers of increasing length, each individually and meticulously embroidered in whorls with metallic and crystal elements that catch the light and scintillate with movement. The effect is a shifting gradient of dark to light within each layer and within the dress overall, the illusion of waves crashing toward shore or water cascading down a fall quite strong. A glimpse of white petticoat visible only with particular movements adds to the suggestion of turbulent waters. Her arms are mostly obscured, wrapped in opera length gloves of pearlescent white satin. A simple pearl and crystal necklace of princess length embellishes without detracting from the dress. Her swept-up hair is adorned with a fascinator of pearls and little seashells attached to a small flounce of veil netting. Drink in hand, the young woman lingers in the auction hall in relatively close proximity to her donated piece. There is a certain social aspect to displaying and selling artwork, after all.

Olivia will make a point to try and greet everyone, either as part of an arrival wave or as individuals. But on occasion someone stands out and she has to take moment. For example..."Oh, Tock." Olivia breathes. "You look amazing!" She'll even do a little circle around the other woman so she can see the whole gown. "I knew you wouldn't disappoint my expectations."

"Our choice has been made for us," Faruq rumbles quietly for Kyrie as he diverts their gait to meet Thorian. He reaches out and offers the slimmer man his hand. "Good evening, Mr. Eriksen--and of course. I have been looking forward to it for some time now. I assume that you are familiar with the pieces on display tonight?" Faruq's deep, rumbling tones carry despite the bass. His height, girth, white tuxedo and beaded cap--which is not usually part of the accepted dress code at black tie events--also make him stick out like a sore thumb.

The Sistersmith - Grace Smith to the unenchanted - makes her way in as well. Electing for a less traditional evening gown, she's wearing one of her more elaborate outfits today; Heeled ankle-boots in a pale red worn with white lace stockings and a garter belt in rose, along with a layered skirt that rises in the front, with crinoline and cotton underskirts, making her appear not entirely unlike one of the can-can girls of some sort of Parisian Burlesque. The corset - matching white-and-pinks to the skirt - doesn't help either, cupping her breasts and patterned with floral symbolism, leaving her shoulders and neck bare save for a lace collar with a rose adornment. Her hair is set back into a fall of curls, and her make-up is a bit more striking than usual. A small clutch purse to match her outfit carried in gloved hands, covering her arms up to just above the elbow in white satin with silk-thread embroideries. Her jewellery is less jewels and more crafted ceramics along the same floral pattern; painted discs adorning her ears, and crafted, hand-glazed pendants and bracelets adorning her chest and wrist. She keeps close to the walls, however, not entirely comfortable mingling - though once she spots Olivia and Tock, she beelines for the pair.

Kyrie glances to Thorian, nodding. "It does seem so, yes," she says, smiling up at their host. "Hello, Thorian," she calls, lifting her free hand in greeting, before she once again fusses with the unfamiliar dress. "It all looks lovely. But I'm assuming Olivia helped some?" she teases lightly.

Francis idly taps his fingers against his wineglass as he examines the art on display. His ring creating a soft clinking sound against the glass. When he reaches the metal wall sculpture, Tock's piece, he stops and seems to linger on it. He brings his wineglass to his lips as his eyes take in the expression sculpted onto the figures face.

Ryan Butler is here, dressed-up for the event in a traditional black tuxedo. His normally unruly hair has been tamed into a neat side-part on the right, and he is even clean-shaven tonight. He is currently prowling around and keeping an eye on the serving-staff and the bartenders, though there isn't really anything that needs to be done at the moment. His presence is not exactly conspicuous, and given his manner Ryan could easily be mistaken for one of the help.

And from the kitchen comes an awkward little dude, dressed in starched black pants, a white tuxedo shirt covering his slim chest, a little black bowtie, and, unlike most of the rest of the serving staff, a pair of gloves covering his hands. As soon as he comes out of the kitchen and into the area where people are mingling, he freezes, pale blue eyes going wide. "... so... many people.", he mumbles under his breath, and then shudders a little. Taking a slow breath, he forces himself to start walking, carefully and slowly, out among the crowd, carrying a tray of delicious looking bacon-wrapped scallops on a silver tray, which is held slightly further away from his body than most of the other servers do. "... don't drop it... don't drop it..", he murmurs under his breath.

"I am, and we are fortunate enough to have some of the artists with us tonight, I believe," Thorian's hand extends out as the pair arrives upon the balcony, his own hand gripping Faruq's offered one readily. It is to Kyrie he looks next, that brilliant smile flashed her way, "And you look marvelous, oh maiden. Truly. And Olivia? Well, she did more than her fair share, as I'm sure you well know." A hand lifts to motion down towards Tock, "That lovely woman, who I know you know, made one of the pieces. Denali did two of the others. Lillian... well. Lillian will hopefully be here, tonight. She did the lionfish sculpture."

Eleri is already present, and dressed at a level of formality likely never have been witnessed before; the auburn-haired woman is currently wearing a floor-length, black, sequined dress and a pair of stilettos (see desc). Rather than a glass of champagne, she carries a thin, professional-looking, leather-bound notebook, and she seems to be drifting the halls, smiling at the guests as they arrive and intermittently checking on the silent auction bids as they begin to be placed. Approaching Tock and her piece, she gives the other woman a cheerful grin and a hello. "Are you excited?"

Faruq joins at Balcony (#5).

Kyrie joins at Balcony (#5).

Rebecca wanders in, wearing an evening gown as the event calls for. It's a strapless, floor-length dress in delicate peach lace, which lends it an somewhat romantic, vintage flair. For the more acidic, it might be reminiscent of an old lady's doilies. Still, she wears it well, and the rose gold and pearl jewelry and the not-quite-perfect updo all go with the vague, conservative romanticism of the ensemble. She is all amiable polite smiles for those she may know from similar functions, exchanging a word here and there, as she moves to take an interest in the artwork.

Glancing around as she enters the hall, much more timidly than usual, Lillian walks into the museum wearing a beautiful evening gown, far different from the clothing she usually wearing. Made of black silk, with red accents, it has a rather low-cut top, and fits her figure flatteringly, while some rather expensive-looking red leather boots adorn her feet. Though such an outfit is certainly more fancy than she's used to, she looks comfortable wearing such shoes. Her neck is unadorned, and her hair falls straight down her back, not done up at all. As she enters, she moves to the side of the room, staying out of the way as she glances around the party.

Kyrie flushes a little when her appearance is complimented on. "Thanks. I don't look too weird?" she asks, before glancing up at Faruq, apparently seeking his opinion as well. When she spots Tock the woman gets a wave as well, and a warm smile, before turning back to her companions.

[faepose] Lillian's skin glows a bit more brightly than usual this evening, and more of her hair lights up with flame, as her nervousness is reflected in her body.

Olivia looks up briefly at the balcony, sees Thorian and the newly arrived couple and gives all three a smile. And then there's Grace, and Eleri too - everyone she knows looks amazing, and the people she doesn't know, she's eager to meet. She notes aside to Eleri, "Tock's piece is one of the higher end items. I'm eager for it to do well in auction. Looking around, she notes to the others, "I hope you'll forgive me if I don't loiter, there are so many people to greet."

Tock's smile warms and broadens as Olivia approaches. "Thank you, Liv. You are looking fabulous, as well. I do so hate to be a disappointment. And with as many comments as I get on being out of place on my typical mode of dress... I might give myself a little excess leeway in making things for formal events." The smile tips more into the realm of a grin, so-faintly self deprecating. "Hello, Eleri! Your dress is lovely." A light chuckle rolls past her lips. "I am always a little excited. But, yes. I am not used to having quite so much of a crowd to be showing my work to..." She catches Kyrie's wave from the corner of her eye, returning it in kind. "Not at all, Olivia."

Mark is dressed in a basic tux. Just fancy enough to fit in, but not overly complicated. He travels a lot between the kitchen and the main room, keeping an eye on the food and what seems to be popular. It seems that Mark went heavy on the classics hor d'ouevres, though he has managed to find a way to make them feel weighty, and not delicate things. He has also arranged to make most of them seafood, save the few for the vegetarians.

Odie wanders about the crowd. "... uhm.. please try a scallop. They're totally safe to eat.", he assures the crowd of mostly strangers as he passes by, thus ensuring his tray is probably going to stay full all night. He keeps dodging people, keeping to open areas, and generally making sure he'll be fired by the end of the night, most likely. But at least he looks cute in his waiter suit!

"You do not look weird. That is not the word you want to be using," Faruq says quietly to Kyrie, although certainly Thorian will hear him as well. His voice is not well-hidden. He looks back to Thorian and nods in the direction of the art, "What are the chances that I can convince you to give me a personal curator's tour of the pieces on auction. I would love to meet the artists as well--those I do not know--but I put stock in your opinion on these sorts of things."

Lance's hands move up to adjust his tie, while he takes a moment and looks at the people which have come. He might recognize a few which have been in Fallcoast for most their lives, but besides that he tries to find a wine from which he can drink. Once he has one, he skips socialization unless approached, as he insteads moves to find a quiet place from which he can observe. A wallflower in definition, but also a hint of brooding behind his smile he wears with him.

With a brief glance to those at the balcony with him that speaks of, 'just one moment', the man turns and up that cane lifts, giving a hard, echoing to attention through the main hall.

"If I could have everyones attention tonight. Welcome to the CHIME, both familiar faces and new. I hope you join us in dancing, drinking and eating... and liberally spending your money on the marvelous donations we've received for tonights event. As you know, a portion of the proceeds will go to the artist or donor, and the remaining ones go to charities that support tonights cause: the conservation of our Oceans as we celebrating the new opening of the Present Hall exhibit. Olivia," Up a hand lifts, motioning towards the woman, "has been fundamental in helping raise this awareness, and I'd like to give a special thanks to her for the passion she's shown in furthering this cause."

When Lena arrives she looks at home in the gorgeous evening gown that she's wearing. It helps when the dress is made to measure, so looks like it's at home because it is. The dress is a trumpet-style evening gown; form-fitting all the way down to the knees, where it flares, with an elaborate, multi-layered chiffon fall in ever-lightening hues of blue the further down it goes, until white fabric cascades outwards and sweeping the floor as she moves. The dress proper is made of shimmering silk that shifts from pale-blue to sea-green as she moves and as it catches the light from different angles, with a dropped waist and decorated with splashes of aquamarine sequins as well as a rising lace trim crossing upwards along the skirt and bodice, before forming a blossom across the left shoulder - the only shoulder-covering worn, as the bodice leaves them bare. Her blonde hair is worn up intricately, so that it (much like her dress) gives an impression of waves, and there are a few pearls worked in. The bracelet she's wearing is made of a series of pearlescent shells, all small but beautiful. Upon entering she looks around, smiling brightly and seeming to be searching for someone in the crowd, though not immediately spotting whoever she was trying to find (there are a lot of people, after all) means that she starts wandering in without a particular direction in mind.

This is Liv's (okay, well, Thorian's too) and she'll be damned if there will be wallflowers. She'll be coming for Lillian (mwahaha) but first, Lance is on her radar. "I hope you don't plan to support the wall all night." she says to him as she starts to move by, and then holds out her hand to the detective. "Olivia Cranston. One of the gala chairs."

Kyrie returns Olivia's smile, before giving one to Faruq as well. "Thanks. It's just been a very long time since I last wore a dress," she explains before inclining her head slightly to Thorian as he excuses himself.

Mark sidles up to Odie in a free spot and he smiles warmly at the other man, "Odie, please - stop saying that? It makes us look bad, if we constantly have to reassure people that the food is safe." He seems so apologetic, having to say this, "I tell you what, how about you trade me that tray, and for now, you just carry the champagne, hmm?"

The Sistersmith offers polite applause as Thorian asks for a hand for Liv, and beams a smile at the woman. Though with Liv diving after the (other?) wallflowers, she makes her way back towards Tock instead. "You're looking lovely tonight."

Eleri nods, giving Olivia a smile before she looks back to Tock. "It should be interesting, and it is really quite lovely," she says, gaze shifting to the piece hanging from the wall for a moment, although she must have seen it before at some point. Glancing towards the gathering, familiar faces get a cheerful nod, then she turns her attention to the announcements. Mark's comment to Odie is met with a smothered grin, however; apparently notebooks are useful for something other than writing in.

Odie blinks at Mark, and ducks his head, looking both embarrassed and relieved. "... ohgodsyesplease.", he says, and then chews on his lower lip. "Uhm. Sorry." And then he hands Mark the tray and skitters to the kitchen to find a champagne tray. "... don't tell people it's safe to drink... don't tell people it's safe to drink..", he murmurs under his breath, to remind himself. Hopefully this doesn't mean he'll start telling people it *isn't* safe to drink. He's cute, not smart.

Lillian glances around a bit as she walks through the hall, looking around for the art, before setting her sights on one of the servers and brightening considerably. Approaching him, she picks out a few particularly-tasty looking treats from his tray, before making an order for a sweet cocktail, breathing a sigh of relief as he goes on his way. Spying Thorian upstairs, looking over the hall, she smiles to herself for a moment before amusing herself with delectable food she's obtained, sating her appetite as she munches on the treats.

Rebecca gives Odie a warm smile in passing, below a slightly raised eyebrow, "Oh, that's good to know! I'll have to try one, if they're safe." she politely replies, but once she's actually faced with the scallops, a few steps further, she has to pause and give them a long thoughtful look before risking it. Her eyes wander, and she turns Thorian as he speaks, listening with interest to the announcements, gaze traveling to Olivia, then to the others nearby as she poisons herself, undoubtedly, with a nibble.

Eleri looks at you.

Lance's eyes move towards Olivia once she has approached, which manages to catch him off-guard from the quiet contemplation. With his wine in one hand, he holds out the other, which is gloved in that sleek black fabric and light leather. Custom make, "Oh. Pleasure, I'm Detective Black. Lance Black, I don't plan to support the wall, it looks like it does well enough without me," he grins. His cheeks dimple at that.

Francis has finished making his rounds through the pieces. He'll looks back towards the assembled artworks with just the faintest hint of a frown. He wander back into the main crowd as he hands his now empty wineglass off and picks a few scallops off of Odie's tray as he passes the man. As Thorian makes his announcement Francis will join in with polite applause in honor of their host. He moves to one of the bars and puts in an order for another glass of wine.

Tock's gloved hands do not provide much by way of volume for applause at Thorian's announcement and credits given, but it is the thought that counts. Again, that bright smile makes an appearance as Sistersmith approaches. "As are you, Sister Grace. You always come up with the most unique ensembles." It is with a casual eye that she observes others drawing close to inspect the sculpture, making it a simple thing for any of them to draw her attention with but a moment's eye contact. "Thank you, Eleri. I am hoping it has the draw that Oliva and Thorian were anticipating."

It isn't the stairs that Thorian leads Kyrie and Faruq to, but the elevator. With the push of a button, they appear down a few moments later they step out onto the main hall. His gait is slow, a bit hampered tonight by the lame leg. "Let us start with Denali's work first, shall we? They say an artist expresses what they have experienced, and you must wonder what she's had to endure. But that fear comes through so clearly in her paintings, yes? I have one myself, up in my apartment, so moved was I by that piece, and I find myself jealous now of these two." Lillian and Tock both catch the man's attention, a hand lifted to offer a wriggle of fingers to the both of them.

Mark gives Odie a reassuring smile as he disappears, then an encouraging one upon his return. Meanwhile, he has been pressed into temporary service as a waiter. And so he starts to go through the crowd, murmuring, "Scallops? Scallops? Scallops?" like one of those birds out of Nemo, instead of "Mine".

Olivia sort of belatedly noticed that's being saluted, and pauses her conversation with Lance to offer an abashed little cutsey. She doesn't feel right applauding a toast made to well, herself, but she does beam and lift her glass in toast before returning her attention to Lance. "It's lovely to meet you, Detective. I hope you'll consider the auction and the donation boxes, and save time for a space on my dance card, if you're feeling brave." She dimples right back at the man, and doesn't even seem to question if a cop could afford such luxuries. He got in the door, after all.

Odie at least managed to hand out a few scallops before the tray was taken, giving Rebecca an apologetic smile when she speaks to him. He's *pretty* sure he didn't poison them, but the apology is in his smile anyway, a wordless little 'sorry if you die, you seem nice' kind of look. He's a sweetheart. But then his scallops are gone, and a few minutes later he's back carrying champagne flutes on a different tray. "... uhm.. champagne?", he asks a random passerby.

Although Thorian's wave is directly in front of him, Faruq is much more concerned with his touring of the art for auction. He reaches up with his free hand to stroke his moustache as he looks over the paintings, silent while the other man speaks. Finally, after several moments, he asks, "How jealous? Are you going to be able to restrain from participating in the auction? Or is that not against the rules tonight?" His elbow tightens to his side just slightly, pulling Kyrie a little closer. He tilts his head down and rumbles quietly, "What do you think?"

Ryan finds himself over by Mark as the man passes, and the dark-haired young man flashes a slightly nervous smile to the ersatz-waiter. "Hello Mark! It looks like you have everything well in hand?" This question is accompanied by arched brows and a quick glance towards Odie. And since he's approached Mark already, Ryan takes the opportunity to snag a scallop appetizer off the tray he carries.

Kyrie's attention is drawn, briefly to another familiar face, lifting a hand in greeting to Ryan before she looks to Denali's paintings. The first one has her brow furrowing a little, head tilting. "No, I don't need to wonder much with this one," she murmurs, hand tightening slightly on Faruq's arm, before she sips at her drink.

Eleri nods to Tock, then smiles at Sistersmith, giving the woman's ensemble an impressed sort of look. "That looks very elaborate," she says. Obvious lady is obvious, apparently, but the emotion seems genuine. Odie's escape to retrieve a tray of champagne is met with a briefly sympathetic look, then she turns her attention back to those nearby.

At Thorian's wave, Tock raises her champagne flute in his direction in a small salute. There is a certain change in the curl of her smile, perhaps given that the man has chosen red for the majority of his outfit. After sipping from the glass, she offers more waves, smiles, and nods of greeting to those she knows moving near her little space. As Thorian begins to announce the artwork, she turns to watch and listen more intently.

As she flows through the crowds Lena is bound to eventually encounter at least one of the people that she knows. Tonight, the first of those seems to be Tock, followed immediately by Sistersmith since the two of them *are* right next to each other. She changes direction slightly to head toward them, her smile brightening, and when she reaches them she says, "Grace, you didn't tell me that you were planning to attend yourself. If I'm surprised, though, it's most pleasantly. It's good to see you." She immediately turns her smile to Tock and says, "and I'm so glad to see you again too. You both look wonderful."

"Oh, I do plan to participate. It'd be remiss of me not to donate, now wouldn't it? But, I do hope others get to take them home. Mostly. What I love about her work? Is the smidge of vagueness she always adds in... things that are not quite fully defined, leaving it to you to fill in." The man offers a long enough pause for them to review the artwork, and while they do, Thorian takes his time to explain another of the offerings. "We also have a lovely donation from one of the most romantic locations you can find in these parts, at The Dunes. A getaway perfect for two," It is there that the man looks to Faruq, then to Kyrie, and back again with a flutter of innocence.

Lance lifts up his wineglass towards Olivia as well in just one smooth motion, then he takes a sip from it before he replies to what she says. "Well, I'm sure one will be considered before the night is out. It depends on my mood," he voices, his tones smooth and soft while places his hand back to his side when it had been there for an appropriate amount of time. "Oh dear, I've been on the force for almost a decade, but I'll need to see how courageous I can be to save that time. It is a pleasure," he murmurs. He does have an air to his manners which speaks to sophistication. It'd be hard to mask the bedraggled look beneath his eyes though. More weary than his age would let on.

Lillian beams a grateful smile at Thorian as he gives her a wave, but maintains her distance for now, not wanting to get between him and his companions as she turns her gaze across the hall, observing rather than sticking out at this point. Then, the server is back with her drink, a toxic-looking blue concoction, which she quickly raises to her lips and begins to drink down. She seems to perk up visibly as she listens to Thorian explain an art piece from a distance, then grins as she spies Tock, more to herself than anybody else.

The Sistersmith raises her gloved hand in a little wave to Eleri. "Hi, I believe we met at tea? Grace Smith, at any rate. Good to see you." Dipping into a curtsey. "And thank you - I made it myself." Then lena's there, and she beams brightly. "Hi, Lena. Oh... Well. You know, I got an invite. And I helped provide one of the auction items, so..." A small shrug. "I figured I'd come, see what the hubbub was about. You do look good in the dress," She concludes. "Though I will give most of the credit to you for that."

"Champagne? Champagne?", Odie asks, as he passes by this group or that, careful always to never let himself get too close to anyone, holding out the tray rather than stepping towards them. Reducing his vocabulary to a single word does wonders for his skill as a waiter.

Innocent? Hah! It's clear Kyrie doesn't believe that. And...she blushes. She's wearing a dress /and/ blushing a little. Will wonders never cease? "Thorian? I'll kick you and only feel a little bad about it," she warns him, but she's at least partially joking. Probably. "Did I hear Tock has something for auction?"

While he waits for his drink to arrive Francis allows his gaze to scan over the crowd. He turns back to the bar when his drink arrives and takes it from the man with a small nod. He seems to mull over a though for a few moments before heading back over to the artwork. While before his attention was to the metalwork this time he seems drawn to the painting of the storm. One of the hands rub against the skin of his neck as he studies the painting. His eyes being pulled down to the beast in the water.

Rebecca fearlessly eats the rest of her scallop-based delicacy so she can quietly applaud the announcement once it is done. Then she continues wandering, loosely weaving the crowd, taking a first distant look over the artwork on display, which brings her path to cross Odie's again, "These are safe too, I hope?" she asks him with a warmly playful smile before picking up a flute. Now, glass in hand, she is ready to stroll closer to the auction pieces.

Is that blonde woman in the dress waving at him? Ryan takes a second before he realizes that is Kyrie, and then he's suddenly all beaming, slightly embarrassed smiles. He lifts a hand to wave in return, watching as she and Faruq, and company disappear into the crowded exhibit area.

"I do, thank you, Ryan," Mark follows Odie's path, before looking back to Ryan, "I know he'll be much more comfortable with the champagne." Mark says these words with utter confidence. Worse, he may actually believe them.

"No, no. I am only interested in the art tonight," Faruq says quite immediately. "But Ms. Grey's pieces are stunning and whether or not I manage to take one home tonight, I will have to make sure to compliment her." There is something in the way he speaks that seems to imply said compliment might be monetory in nature. "Yes, I would like to see Ms. Tock's work. She always impresses me." And she might be standing very nearby but Faruq does not seem to have taken notice--he also does an excellent job of ignoring trays of champagne. Even when Odie walks by, although the younger man gets a second look.

"Hello, Lena!" Tock replies with another warm greeting smile. "I am so glad you made it. Was it Sister Grace who crafted this lovely dress of yours? You wear it very well." Lillian's grin, though small, is noted. She responds to it with a nod that is likewise small...not drawing more attention than was asked for.

"Uhm. I'm not allowed to disclose that information, miss, sorry.", Odie replies to Rebecca in an apologetic tone, his pale cheeks darkening in the mildest of blushes, and immediately dashing all of Mark's hopes and dreams. Dammit, Odie, you were so close. Well, maybe he's just being playful- yes, let's say that was it. He's making witty conversation with the guests! Award for Best Waiter Ever: Odie.

Up Thorian's hand lifts, curling in a 'come hither' motion towards Lillian as he slowly moves on, heading towards the red haired artists piece, a flutter of lashes coming at Kyrie's comment, leaving that part alone and focusing on the more serious aspect. "She does. But all in good time. Her's is at the end, and you will not be disappointed. But next? Is Lillian's piece. A marvelous sculpture so carefully put together, and I do love what she did with the presentation of the lionfish. But hopefully the artist will come speak to it."

The current band on stage, the jazzy six piece, play some slow swing. But it might not be Olivia's cup of tea at just this moment. "Likewise." she says to Lance with a smile. "I'll be keeping my eye on you, Detective. But don't let my absence prevent you from introducing yourself to others. There are some lovely men and ladies here tonight." Hey, she's making no assumptiond. With a grin, she gives him an incline of her head and glides off. She passes by Ryan, murmuring, "You're on my dance card, too." so casually he may miss it, and does a little turn about as she plucks a scallop off Mark's plate, popping it into her mouth with a little sound of satisfaction.

When Odie passes by, Sister Grace -does- help herself to a glass of champagne, raising it in thanks to the roaming waiter. Offering a small smile to Tock, Lena, and Eleri as she listens, and leaving the modeling - and talking - to the Siren in her garb.

"It's an interesting piece," Kyrie replies to Thorian, nodding, though her gaze flicks up to Faruq for a moment before returning to Lillian's piece. "I don't think I've met Lillian yet."

Ryan looks a little disappointed at Mark's assurance, however much he tries to hide it. Which is not all that much. But he musters up an encouraging smile. "I see. Won't keep you, then. Good luck!" And then he retreats a few steps to eat the scallop, crowd watching as he nibbles.

"Of course," Lance tells Olivia, and once she is on her merry way, he takes a moment to move into the small crowd which has come into the place. "Well," he muses, while he exhales a small breath. He hasn't been to such a function in months, but all the same he tries to either catch someone's attention in a passive manner, or observe who isn't too busy he might mingle with.

"Yes, we have, although I don't remember if we exchanged names, yes," Eleri says to Sistersmith. "Eleri, and it is very nice to see you as well." Lena gets a smile of greeting as well. "Everyone is so fancy," she says, almost absently, although she isn't so distracted as to not steal an hors d'oeuvre as a tray goes by.

"I suppose that if there are people here tonight wearing your dresses *and* you provided one of the auction items, it's only reasonable that someone invited you," Lena agrees with Sistersmith, along with a laugh. Her voice is startlingly beautiful, with some quality to it that makes it hard to ignore. She doesn't speak loudly, just enough to be heard over all the other conversations, but it's none the less difficult not to get caught up in the hypnotic quality of her voice. "It is a bespoke Grace Smith dress," she confirms for Tock, turning slowly around to show it off. "I find myself a little spoiled recently. I have to admit, I feel a little showed up by the beauty of my dress." Though it has the sound of a joke, not a serious remark, and she smiles back at Eleri. "I remember you from tea," she says warmly. "Eleri, right? I met so many people, I hope I remembered their names straight."

Lillian blinks in surprise and stiffens as she sees Thorian beckoning her over, then crosses the room to him and his gathered guests, nodding slowly as she walks up. "Thank you for having me here tonight, Mr. Thorian. I'm...not used to events such as this, actually, but I'm really glad to be here. This sculpture, its sort of a strange thing. I was yelling things at my computer to try and learn more about the ocean, and I ended up with one of these, I immediately fell in love with their look, and their danger. They're an invasive species, and wherever they move to, they tend to harm local populations. Still, I can respect their survival instinct. I wanted to put them up against a predator on the land that might make a good match, and a lion seemed proper." She shrugs her shoulders quickly, blushing slightly as she looks down, and is clearly not used to talking about her art on this level, as she takes a step closer to Thorian while looking bashful.

There's a momentary pause, bite of food half-way to his mouth, when Ryan catches Olivia's quiet words. He flashes the woman a quick smile and an agreeable nod, but doesn't delay her from her current busiess. "As you wish."

Rebecca covers her mouth with her fingers as she holds down a laugh, listening to Odie's reply with widening eyes. "Oh I see." she strains to sound casually amiable, the corners of her mouth twitching, "Very strict about that sort of thing, are they? I'll just assume it's fine, then." and she lifts the flute to take a sip, waits for a couple of seconds. "It seems fine so far. Thank you!" and she wanders off, looking curiously back at Odie over one shoulder.

"Thank you," Mark beams at Ryan. Confidence is the key here. And if it looks like Mark might be trailing through the place, well, that's just a coincidence. Besides, this way, Mark can work on his tracking and following skills.

Edith arrives from the Historical District.

Odie nods seriously at Rebecca, then looks visibly relieved as she doesn't immediately keel over, clutching at her throat, when she takes her sip of the wine. He even ventures a shy smile back at the beautiful woman as she thanks him. "You're welcome, miss." He takes a slow breath to steady himself, then nods politely at Grace as she takes one of the champagne flutes. He eyes his tray, making sure it's balanced- he can at least do that well, the slim young man fairly nimble, and then continues making his way through the crowd, route carefully plotted so as to avoid being trapped between too many people. Keep your eyes on the prize, Odie. You can do this. "Champagne?"

Francis seems to snap himself out of whatever the painting brought up in him. He turns away from it and nibbles on appetizer he picked up from a waiter without paying much attention to. As he looks around the room he notices one that seems to be a bit separated from the rest of the herd. Putting on a smile he makes his way over to Lance. "I don't think I've seen you over by the pieces yet tonight. Not much of an art fan?"

"Mark, thank you for the millionth time for catering. I'd kiss you, but your sisters may sock me." Olivia swipes another scallop, and her gaze drifts over to Thorian briefly, along with the bashful young lady in front of him. Her grin turns slightly sly, and then she's on to her next victim.

The jazz band has switched into an oldie but a goody: Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade.

Faruq turns as Lillian is introduced and listens to her take on the piece. He is quiet for some few moments before he reaches out with one rather large hand. "Faruq Cavanaugh. It is more than a pleasure to meet the brilliant mind behind this. I am in love with it, and I think it deserves a home befitting the work you put into it. Can you tell me about your process? How was it made?" Faruq's lips, despite his kind words, never twist into anything remotely approaching a smile.

"Of course, Olivia, and thank you for asking us," Mark beams at her. "Things seem to be going very well." Then he lets her go hostess, while he's off to offer up more scallops.

"Oh, never that, Lena. Remember it is the lady who wears the dress and not the other way around. As much glitter and sparkle as one might add to such a garment, it can never come with that same inner light." Tock's grin briefly shows off both rows of teeth. "A good dressmaker knows that the clothing is a complement to the wearer's beauty." The implication in her tone is clearly that Sistersmith qualifies as a good dressmaker, at the very least.

Lance's attention is caught when Francis approaches him, and he takes a moment to chuckle at the question, "Oh. Not at all that, I've just had to think about it," he voices. He then holds his smoothly gloved hand towards the other man, "Detective Black, Lance Black. I don't suppose that I could seek your opinion on the pieces?" he asks.

Edith slips in, somewhat late, but present nonetheless. The artist has garbed herself in a cocktail dress of stunningly vivid red with a sweetheart neckline, one that falls to her ankles, albeit with a slit up the left leg. Strapless, her shoulders and upper arms are bare, lower arms covered in elbow length gloves. For those able to see her mien, the red of the dress reflects in her facets, making her to seem to shimmer as if ablaze. Once inside, she looks about with slightly glassy eyes.

Sister Grace beams to Tock, and raises her champagne flute in thanks to her, as well, taking another sip and basking in the glow of deserved praise, as a good Wizened should. "She was very easy to work with," The dressmaker tells Tock. "And an excellent model to show off one's craft."

Kyrie seems to remember her manners after threatening to kick the host. She smiles and nods to Lillian. "Lovely to meet you," she says, and really, can that sound any better with her British accent? "I'm Kyrie Falkman. Thorian's had some good things to say about you."

Eleri nods brightly at Lena. "Yes, that is it. And...Lena, yes? It is hard to keep so many names straight," she agrees. The auburn-haired woman gives the room a quick once-over, noting who is where, those grey-blue eyes pausing at the various pieces of artwork and silent auction points throughout the hall before she turns her attention back to those nearby and smiling at Sistersmith's gesture.

When Lillian approaches, she earns a kiss upon her cheek from Thorian, the Director's words warm and encouraging, "Oh, we are honored to have you here, truly. I will leave you in her good hands, and your last stop? Will be to Tock, who can do a far more eloquent job than I ever could on her piece. I should go mingle a bit, yes? If you have any other questions, feel free to ask." And then the man takes a couple of steps off, freely mingling with those nearby as he seeks out any new faces.

Isa arrives from the Historical District.

Lillian moves further behind Thorian as Faruq speaks to her, his massive size clearly intimidating to the short woman, but she breathes in deeply, and steps back out from behind him, smiling shyly. "H-Hello, Mr. Faruq. You have a wonderful name. I would hardly say I'm brilliant...its more that sculpture is what I know. The glass molds itself to what I wish for it to be. My process is...rather complicated to explain, I work on the glass while it is very hot, usually...it doesn't bother me. That allows me to get some rather interesting shaping done with it." She turns a smile towards Kyrie, and grins happily at the woman. "Its a pleasure to meet both of you, truly."

"Francis Lasalle." He takes the man's hand into a firm handshake before releasing it. "Well, I was actually a bit surprised at most of the offering tonight. Francis will take a sip of his wine and lean in a bit towards Lance. "There sort of darkness running through all these pieces that I was not expecting. Look at the storm or the netted woman." He voice is hushed so as not to be overheard. "I was hoping to pick something up for the office. A nice piece to put patients at ease. The all art here is all masterfully made and I hope to take at least one thing home, but it wouldn't work at my practice. The feels just all wrong. They seem to be fit more for private enjoyment."

Isa arrives with her uncle all decked out in a stunning red dress that hangs from a collar around around her neck, the front covering just enough to be decent but leaving her back and side bare to show off the elaborate owl tattooed on her side and the strange script that is tattooed along her spine. The long skirt trails right down to the floor (https://latimesphoto.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/1340049_et_0210_grammys_kdm-82.jpg). She looks around the place and despite her rougher edges the Abernathy seems comfortable in these heels and with her hair up and her lipstick on. She curls a hand around Elmo's elbow. "Anything catch your eye Uncle?"

Rebecca drifts through the hall, clutch in one hand, flute in the other, showing no ill-effects from her occasional sips at the champagne. She has an easy smile for anyone who crosses gazes with her, familiar or not, but her eyes tend to wander to the decoration and the artwork. As she comes to the painting of the storm by Denali, she stops and stands there, staring, the faintest of furrows carved into her brow, head subtly inclining to one side.

"Lena, yes. I've never had the best memory for names myself, I'm afraid to admit," Lena says in a low, conspiratorial tone, as she leans toward Eleri and curls the back of a hand around one side of her mouth. Even speaking quietly, her voice is all but impossible to ignore. "You have a lovely, unusual one, so it stood out." She smiles at Eleri and then at Tock. "I suppose that you're right, but it *is* a beautiful dress. I don't think I've ever worn its equal." After a brief, brilliant smile at Sistersmith she looks around. "Of course, everyone looks great tonight, don't they?"

Edith skirts around the crowd, heels making a surprisingly musical sound... or they would if anyone got close enough to hear such over the music and the conversations. She does survey all the work being displayed, but it's the marble sculpture of the Kelpie that she heads towards, focusing in on it and circling around, as though she felt the need to make sure that it was being displayed to its best.

Odie smiles politely to a passerby as they take the last champagne flute from him. He's done it! Handed out all his champagne, and not killed anyone! Gold star for Odie! He tucks the tray under his arm and skitters back to the kitchen to grab another.

Elmo on the other hand, is entirely out of his element here, like a cheetah in a preschool, he just does not fit. It's not an appearance thing, he is in fact dressed rather impeccably in a suit (http://i.imgur.com/bAAkVF3.jpg), but something just off.. unable to really blend well. His niece on his arm in her stunning dress, far more comfortable than he. He glances sidelong to her, before letting his gaze drift across the crowded room. "What do I need art for?" considering his near homeless state.

The Director makes his way back towards the paintings by Denali, and it puts him nearly shoulder to shoulder with Rebecca, the man offering a warm smile that outright dazzles. "So glad you could join us. I don't believe we've met, have we? I'm Thorian, the one in charge here, so to speak. These are quite lovely pieces, aren't they?" There is a brief glance about, and up his hand lifts, fingers wriggling in a warm if quiet welcome towards Elmo and the woman at his side as he enters.

"See, Lena? Lovely as you could be." Tock is briefly distracted by Edith's entrance, the brilliance of her dress and its play across the glass facets an eye-catching thing. If noticed, she offers the woman a nod and smile. She nods quite firm agreement with Lena, as well. "Indeed. So many beautiful people and things to drink in this evening." Speaking of drink, she remembers then to take another sip from that glass in her hand that has received inadequate attention.

"Indeed, it is beautiful artwork but built for the more private collection," Lance mentions to Francis. "Oh, and it is a pleasure," he adds, as he places his palm to his breast and inclines a bit, "Shall we take a walk and peruse their beauty then?" he asks, as he takes a small sip from the wine he has.

"It is brilliant, and so is the creator," Faruq says firmly in a tone that invites no question or argument. He nods once to Lillian then and says, "I wish you well in the auction--I know that you will impress." And with Kyrie still on his arm, Faruq turns to make his way toward Tock in order to have her summarize and discuss her submission. A few beads of sweat form on his temples but he pays them no mind.

Kyrie offers one more smile to Thorian and Lillian, inclining her head to them before letting Faruq lead her away. She smiles brightly when they near Tock. "Hi Tock. I should've known you'd be here. You look lovely, as always."

"Oh, Edith!" Olivia calls out to the lady in greeting, "It's so lovely to see you. And the Kelpie is so beautiful." She looks at it a bit wistfully. "I kind of want it, but it's meant for deeper pockets than mine. And I don't have any room on the boat for it! But I'm betting it will go to a deserving home."

Edith does, incidentally, take note of Tock's silent greeting, and one gloved hand lifts so that gloved fingers do an errant sort of waggle, her smile just a tinge off, somehow.

Isa leans over to whisper to Elmo before she looks around again, her eyes a bit wide, taking in each of the people, each of the art peices. "They're nice to look at. Though I don't really see anything that would suit my place either." Two glasses of wine are plucked off a passing tray and she offers one to Elmo.

Is that relief on Mark's face when he sees Odie rid himself of the last champagne? No, surely not. Rather conveniently, he heads back to the kitchen, so other trays can go out, such as something involving prawns. He does a quick check on how the kitchen is running, checking with the expediter.

Lillian bows slightly towards Faruq, smiling slightly as she gives him a thankful look, then waves to both him and Kyrie. "Thank you very much for your kind words. Please, enjoy the evening." And with that, she takes another long sip from her glass, retreating to the side of the hall and keeping to herself for a bit. "Mmmmngh...so many people here."

Rebecca turns her head to look at Thorian, and returns his smile amiably. "Oh. No, I don't believe we have talked. I do know who you are, though." her smile brightens up, playful for a moment, before touching the clutch to her front, "Rebecca Royse. And yes - well, I don't know if lovely is the adjective I would choose, but I guess one could fall in love with them. Love isn't always... easy and nice." she muses, glancing back to the storm.

Odie almost runs into Mark over in the kitchen. "... they wanted me to carry this one.", he says, pointing at a tray of lightly breaded prawn with some kind of delicate sauce drizzled on them. "... can I? Or, uhm, champagne?", he asks uncertainly.

Eleri smiles brightly at the compliment from Lena, the expression illuminating her face. "You are very kind to say so," she replies, then again turns her attention to those circulating before offering Tock, Lena, and Sistersmith a polite nod and a murmured excusing of herself before she starts to circulate the hall again, moving slowly but gracefully as she makes her way towards another one of the pieces of art to check the bids there.

Edith turns next towards Olivia, her smile brightening, and growing a little more in the here and now. Artists... strange people. Or perhaps she's on something, it's hard to be certain. Still, whatever fog she was in is clearing now, for the most part. "It is good to see you again, Olivia," she calls out, then glances about. Kyrie is spotted, and waved at, as well.

Tock's facial muscles are getting quite the workout this evening, another bright-broad smile flashed at Kyrie and Faruq as they approach. "Good evening, Kyrie, Faruq. It is so good to see you! And thank you... I have to say, that colour suits you wonderfully," she observes as her eyes wander to take in Kyrie's uncharacteristic dress. "Please let me know if there are any questions you have regarding the piece. I do not presume to tell others what artwork should evoke from them, naturally, but questions are welcome." Eleri moving off brings her free hand up in a small wave at her departing form.

"I do so love it when my reputation has proceeded me. Sometimes? It is even favorably so." A twinkle of mischief comes from Thorian as he casts Rebecca a look, and up his shoulders lift in a hapless shrug as he murmurs, "Love is never easy and nice. If it were, we'd never have problems, now would we? It is a pleasure to meet you, Rebecca Royse, and you look quite stunning yourself. If you have any questions, do feel free to ask, won't you?"

"Champagne is best," Mark beams at Odie, even as he claps the man on the shoulder, "You're doing such a good job." Then he says, "Charlie," the expediter, "From now on, Odie here, he's going to do champagne, ok?" Charlie gives a grunt and nod, "Gotcha boss." Back to Odie, "There you go. Go on now, I think we have some thirsty guests out there. And keep up the good work."

"I believe I've already made my choices for the night." Francis says with a smile. "But I wouldn't mind looking through them one more time. "Is this your first time at an evening for particular organization? I'll admit I'm a bit that boat. My time is spent mostly with university and medical charities. I haven't really done much with environmental causes before." He takes another drink from his glass as he walks towards the displayed art. "Only so much to go around. It's terrible having to play favorites with charities, but that's reality of it."

"And you. I'm not sure if Erik is coming tonight; it's not really his scene. But he may, to be supportive." There's a slight pause as Liv considers; where are her motley-mates? Denali's likely around somewhere, but Brand's definitely supposed to be here. " Something perks her ears, her gaze sliding briefly to Francis as she makes a mental note of her next hotessing destination. Operation: Francis' Wallet.

"Kyrie," the Sistersmith offers, with a small curtsey. "Brother," She offers to Faruq, with a broad smile. "Are the two of you enjoying the gala so far? I must admit, the talent put on display makes me slightly envious."

Odie stiffens a bit at the clap on the shoulder, unused to being touched. He mentally reassures himself that he probably can't poison anyone through the stiffly starched shirt he's wearing, then gives Mark a shy smile at the praise. "Thanks, sir.", he says, then goes for one of the champagne trays, hefting it nimbly and steeling himself mentally before daring to go out into the crowd once more. "Champagne?", he murmurs, as he once more starts making his rounds. Good Odie, keep it simple.

Kyrie flushes once more as her dress is commented on. "Thanks. I don't have any questions about the piece, but it is wonderful, Tock. But I didn't expect anything else," she tells the woman, smiling. Sistersmith gets a smile as well. "Hello, Grace. And so far it's just a little...crowded," she admits.

Lance lowers his wine while he takes a moment and walks towards the exhibits to view them while he speaks with Francis, "Well. I've been to charity events in the past, auction and non, but not often for such a cause as this. But, it seems a common theme with Fallcoast," he mentions, as he motions towards the various artwork. "It amazes me how much work people put into these, although to each person a special place is held for some facet of life."

Elmo smiles at whatever Isa whispers to him, his gaze however never quite stays still, darting through the crowd, locking on faces here and there, but never lingering for long. Then he spots Thorian, taking the offered wine from Isa and tilting his head back, draining it all in one go. "Come, someone you should meet." as he moves through the guests, leading Isa in Thorian's direction, he comes across Odie and champagne, exchanging his empty wine glass for a fresh glass of bubbly, meeting Odie's gaze and giving him a simple nod.

"You're very kind," Lena says to Tock in that distractingly beautiful voice, tugging at the attention of everyone who can hear it. When Kyrie and Faruq approach she smiles at them, as warmly as she has at everyone else. "Kyrie," she says, sounding pleased. "It's good to see you again." She looks up at Faruq. Way up. Then she extends a slender hand and introduces herself. "I don't think we've met. I'm Lena Engel."

Ryan dispenses with the last of his hors d'oeuvre, leaving his napkin on the passing waiter's tray. Then drawn by the music, the young man drifts over towards the stage. It doesn't take long before he's lost in thought, foot tapping absently to the beat as he watches the musicians play. And it's not until they finish the current tune that he blinks and looks around, remembering where he is -- and what he is supposed to be doing apparently, as he starts to scan the crowd, looking for anyone who might not be suitably entertained. The first thing that catches his eyes is Odie, and the tray of champagne. Ryan snags a glass for himself and offers the waiter a quick, "Thank you."

Isa resists the urge to shake her head at Elmo's guzzling. She sips her own drink daintily and follows after him towards Thorian. Her red lips curl into a bit broader of a smile and her head tilts towards Elmo's ear, muttering something between the two of them.

Rebecca turns back to Thorian, an eyebrow arching sharply as she smiles behind her champagne flute, taking a tiny little sip. "Sometimes it's easier than others, anyhow. It's a pleasure to meet you too. And thank you!" she smiles, then shakes her head, briefly putting on a thoughtful look, "Oh. No questions yet! I'm sure I'll have some. I'm often found stalking around museums and bothering curators."

"You do not need to tell me what I am supposed to feel--but I want to know what you were feeling when you created it. And I want to know about your process," these questions are familiar now, "How was it made?" Faruq reaches up to stroke his moustache, lifting his chin. When Lena introduces herself he takes her hand as well, giving it a firm shake. "We have not, Ms. Engel. I am Faruq Cavanaugh. It appears we share some common friends--if you are a friend of these two, then you are a friend of mine." His attention shifts again as Sistersmith greets him in her way and he turns to her, hesitating a moment before offering her his hand as well. "Sister. We have not met. I am less envious than inspired. I have never been an artist."

Kyrie smiles at Lena. "And you as well. I'm sorry we haven't gotten to talk, but we'll do that soon, I promise. But how are you doing?" She asks, apparently getting better at this socializing thing as she does it. Remembering how, most likely. She nods to Faruq, saying, "She's good people."

With a tap of his cane against the floor Thorian pivots a bit, careful with that left leg as always. It is the approach of Isa and Elmo that has that brilliant smile curling to the corners of his mouth, his head dipping into a nod of welcoming. "Elmo! So good to see you, as always. And you've brought a friend... all the better, I must say." Isa gets a coy look from the man, brief as it is, and then his attention shifts back towards Rebecca. "Is that so? You are always welcome here, of course. We try to rotate our exhibits frequently to tell all of those stories of the past, present and future that need be told."

Odie nods at Ryan, smiling sheepishly. "Yo're welcome, sir.", then blinks pale blue eyes at Elmo, nodding politely as the champagne is taken. "Champagne?", he asks someone else nearby, the shy young man doing his best to not look *too* uncomfortable in the crowd. He ends up not far from Rebecca, and eyes her dwindling drink, then decides to take a chance. Be brave, Odie. You can do this. I believe in you. "... uhm.. Refill, miss?", he offers. Now he's got a *two* word vocabulary! Don't get cocky, Odie. Leave it at two.

Olivia catches sight of Lena, her expression suddenly beaming with delight. There's an emphatic nod in the other woman's direction - she definitely gets the seal of approval - and then with a brief murmur of excuse to Edith, Olivia starts heading for Francis, and by extension, Lance once more. "Gentlemen," she greets. "I must have burning ears, because it sounds like you were talking about a cause that's near and dear to my heart. Are there any questions I can answer for you concerning the exhibit and charity being supported tonight?"

"I believe I've already made my choices for the night." Francis says with a smile. "But I wouldn't mind looking through them one more time. "Is this your first time at an evening for particular organization? I'll admit I'm a bit that boat. My time is spent mostly with university and medical charities. I haven't really done much with environmental causes before." He takes another drink from his glass as he walks towards the displayed art. "Only so much to go around. It's terrible having to play favorites with charities, but that's reality of it."

"It is. People do tend to find their pet causes and stick with them." Francis nods at Lance's statement as he looks over the artwork once more. "Yes. Each one is intensely personal for the artist. It's a bit of a shame that more of them couldn't be here tonight. I find understanding the creation and thought process that goes into a piece just as interesting as the work itself. Though of course each viewer's reaction is also personal and separate from the artist's intent."

The Sistersmith happily takes Faruq's hand, giving it a shake. "Perhaps you should try. It's exciting. And I'm sorry we haven't gotten the chance to meet properly before now, but I've heard of you - good things." She assures him, pleased.

Edith more or less haunts the display of her own work for the time being, the scarlet of her dress vivid as a splash of blood against the paleness of the marble from which she's created her art. She does, however, reach out a gloved hand towards Odie as he passes within reach to snag a flute of champagne. "...nice bow tie," she tells him.

Elmo's smile turns sharp, almost vicious as Isa whispers into his ear, tongue dragging over his upper row of teeth as the distance closes between he and his companion, and Thorian. "Mr. Erikson, I would like to introduce you to Isa Abernathy, my... cousin." yes, lets go with cousin for now. "Isa, Thorian Erikson, The Museum's director, among other things." there's a short glance to the woman Thorian is already talking to, glancing over her for a spare moment, before returning his attention to the man with the cane.

Lance's hand is held up while he maneuvers it like he wished to take a picture from between his digits. "I on occassion like to paint, but it is little more than a hobby with me," he tells Francis with some amusement. "What is it that you do?" he asks.

Lena's slender hand is completely dwarfed by Faruq's, but she gives his hand a friendly shake without any evident reaction... except for a brief, significant glance at Kyrie. Then a smile for Faruq and she asks, "Cavanaugh? Any relation to Hannah? But yes, I would consider these two both to be friends. Grace actually made my dress." Which, it probably goes without saying, is stunning. Not that it's easy to think about it while she's talking. Or pretty much anything else but her voice. "It's alright, Kyrie. I've been a little busy myself, and haven't had a chance to come looking for you. Don't put the responsibility for that on your own shoulders. You seem to put enough burdens there without adding extra without need."

Rebecca turns as Thorian does, offering Elmo and Isa a friendly smile as they draw nearer. "Yes, I've noticed. I do like dusty old collections, but then there are always so many things no one ever gets to see. Rotating exhibits and varying themes does make for more repeat visits." she then notices Odie and gives him a wide smile. "Oh, thank you. Please." she has one tiny last sip from her flute, then reaches out for a replacement.

Being called 'sir' causes Ryan to look over his shoulder to find out who Odie is talking to, and only then realizing. There's a self-conscious chuckle from the young man in the tux, and he takes a quick sip from his glass. And then Ryan rises on his toes to cast his gaze over the crowd. Who is lingering by the wall? After a moment his searching eyes settle on Lillian, and Ryan takes a deep breath, gathering himself before he starts towards her. Stopping at a conversational distance, he offers the woman a cheery smile. "Hello. Ryan Butler." One hand gestures towards the sculpture of the two fish. "Is this your piece, Miss?"

Eleri steals another hors d'oeuvre as she passes a tray, then continues on her circuit around the hall to check all of the silent auction bids, smiling pleasantly at the guests in between bites of her snack. When she passes Lillian, she gives her a cheerful look. "Are you enjoying yourself?" she asks brightly. "It is quite the piece that you have made, I think."

Isa dips her chin to Thorian and uncurls her hand from Elmo's elbow to extend it to the man, "My cousin has told me I absolutely must make your aquaintance Mr Erikson. He didn't mention you were a Museum director though until now." To Rebecca she also offers a smile. "Good evening to you as well."

Kyrie grins at Lena's question to Faruq. "His daughter. And my roommate," she confirms. "But the burdens on my shoulders are, mostly, there by my own choosing," she says, smiling. "But I won't take this one, I promise. Not entirely."

Tock waits while people make introductions around her before replying to Faruq's question. "The entire sculpture is made of steel. The application of heat and use of patinas is what provides for any shift in colour, such as the coppery quality of the hair there, you see?" She shifts a bit closer to the sculpture to better indicate what parts she is speaking of. "I typically start all of my work with a sketch, but oftentimes the conversation with the working materials brings about something different from the original intention." Her head tilts that few degrees of centre that it is so wont to find as she speaks. "I have had comments on this one, that it was an unexpected thing. The 'dark' qualities, some have termed it. Pain, entrapment, despair. But there is no greater desire than that for freedom, from binds physical or otherwise, is there?" She pauses, head righting once more. "There is a companion piece to this one...not originally intended, or precisely connected, exactly. But the feeling of them, being made in succession, I have a sense of them being related. The other is a bit...lighter in its emotional baggage, perhaps. I might show some images of that on my tablet at another time if there is interest."

Thorian offers a quirk of a knowing smile towards Elmo, his head dipping into an agreeable nod, "Among other things. I do so like to have my hobbies, but don't we all?" There is a flash of appreciation upon his features as odie takes care of Rebecca and the others, the man garnering a nod of approval before his attention turns squarely upon Isa. "Your cousin is a very wise man, for you truly /must/ meet me. I am a rather remarkable person, I do agree, but in this case? The pleasure is all mine, Isa. And please, Thorian does just fine."

"I'm a psychiatrist. I run a small private practice and sometimes teach a few classes at the university on the side." He chuckles at the man's statement. "Then I am envious of you. I've always wanted to pick something like that up, but I've never had the skill or the time." He looks like he might have more to say, but at the next moment he is distracted by Olivia's question. "Sure. I guess I'm not too familiar with the organization that is benefiting from tonight's festivities. Is a relatively new one?"

Odie offers Rebecca the tray so she can switch out her empty glass for a full one, ducking his head in a quick, polite nod. His continued walking brings him past Edith, and he pauses as she reaches for a glass. His pale eyes widen a little, gaping a bit at the woman before he manages to recover himself. ".. c-champagne?", he blurts out, then realizes she already took some, and winces. "I mean. Erm. Thanks." He tries to look down at his bowtie. He fails, because it is hard to look at a bowtie you are wearing. "It came with the uniform.", he assures her, in case she was wondering. "Uhm." He pauses awkwardly, searching for words. "Enjoy your evening, miss.", he finally says, looking rather relieved to have remembered that phrase from the five minutes of 'training' he had before getting to the floor. And then he starts to turn to try and offer champagne to anyone else nearby. Thorian's nod of approval gets another shy, uncertain smile from the young man. He hasn't killed anyone, *and* people are nodding in approval at him! He may survive this yet!

Kouri arrives fashionably late, dressed to the nines...there is little ambiguity in his appearance tonight, presenting as a crisply clad young dandy. A black dress jacket with tails, neat short white lapels and a white linen bowtie, set off by the bright crimson cummerbund wrapped around his waist. On his arm, he leads Avery, looking proud as can be to be the radiant beauty's date to the event.

Lillian stiffens slightly as Ryan's words pull her out of her reverie, and as he approaches, she quickly raises her glass to her lips, gulping down the blue alcohol filling it, before lowering it and giving him a broad smile, cocking her head curiously. "Hello, Ryan. I'm Lillian Wu, and yes, I made this. Although, I suppose it will not be my piece any longer, soon enough, but somebody else's. Do you like it? I suppose it isn't for everyone, but...I like the lionfish, despite its nature."

"I'd be interested in that," The Sistersmith chimes in, with a small smile. "Your art fascinates me."

"Well. I'm often quite occupied, but I find time," Lance voices, while he takes a moment to finish his wine, and adjust his tie a bit. "Psychiatrist. We outsource those sometimes on the force. Don't suppose you've worked with us before, have you?" he asks. He glances to see what Olivia is doing.

Isa's hand draws back to her chest in mock distress. "And now that I have met you Thorian what ever shall I aspire to? All my goals and desires are clearly met." She laughs lightly and takes a sip from her wine. She pauses her head turning briefly her gaze skirting across the crowd before it returns to the men she's standing with. "More seriously, it is a pleasure. I would love to ask you about your work," beat, "For the museum some day when we're are in less crowded surroundings. Perhaps coffee?"

Kyrie offers to Faruq, "That torq I've been wearing lately, with the ravens on it? Tock made that." And she seems quite pleased with the work. "Maybe next I'll see if I can sweet-talk her out of an arm band," she says, giving Tock a sidelong look and grin.

Rebecca picks up a new champagne flute from Odie's tray and takes a sip from it. It doesn't immediately kill her eye, so after a second she gives Odie a smile and a subtle and almost conspiratorial wink. Then she looks back to the others around her. "Good evening. Rebecca Royse. It's a pleasure to meet you." she offers Elmo and Isa, with a slight arching of an eyebrow as she picks up the latter's name, studying the woman for a moment from behind a friendly smile.

Edith smiles faintly at Odie, a closed-lipped sort of expression, taking in his general reaction to her. Perhaps she's used to it. "It suits you." She lifts her glass to him in apparent toast, drains it, and hands it back, then lets him go about his thing.

"Of course. Having not tried it does not mean I will never. I always have a long list of improvements to make," Faruq says to Sistersmith. He opens his mouth to continue, but then Tock speaks, and he lifts a finger to Sistersmith in a sort 'pause' fashion and turns toward Tock. Lena is given the 'pause' finger as well. He is rapt while the artist speaks, leaning in close to listen carefully to what she says. He reaches up and strokes his moustache thoughtfully and opens his mouth to say something, but then hesitats, adjusting his lapels instead. Finally, he says, "There is no greater desire, or necessity," Faruq says, echoing and adding to Tock's words. It seems as if he might have more to say, but he opts for silence instead, and studies the piece with tight lips.

Olivia offers an easy smile to Francis. "The current marine display the museum offers is just a part of the full exhibit it would like to sponsor. The proceeds are being split between the funding for the full exhibit and one of the local conservation and rescue societies that focuses on both education and activism, particularly for the latter with marine animal rescue services. I do flights pro bono for them. It's very personal and important for me, but for anyone with a cause, of course it is. I hope one of you finds something that you're interested in bidding on, or if not...well, donations are happily and gratefully accepted. We need the oceans, after all. They're the source of life, still very much an undiscovered frontier, and has significant impact on the local economy especially."

"I forgot to mention his Ego." Elmo says sidelong to Isa, as if Elmo himself were truly a humble man. "However he is correct, at least a bit, he is a valuable contact to have." he brings his champagne to his lips, taking a sip while his other hand taps his pocket, wishing for a cigarette about now, rolling his shoulders as he glances around through the press of people.

Smiling on Kouri's arm, Avery looks around with interest at the Gala before inclining her head to murmur softly to Kouri. She does beam at the few faces she recognizes resisting the urge to shout out to them.

"Ah, how wonderful," Lena says when the relationship between Faruq and Hannah is explained to her, and she nods. She doesn't pursue that line of thought any further because people are interested in Tock's art, and since she is too it's a good time to be quiet. Rather than, you know, talking and distracting everyone.

Lillian glances at Eleri as she greets the young Asian woman, then smiles broadly and gives a quick nod. "I don't generally come to these sorts of things. I don't like crowds, they freak me out a little bit. But its good to see a familiar face. How about you? You're enjoying yourself as well?

Odie blushes faintly, both at Rebecca's wink and Edith's continued compliments, not quite knowing how to react other than with a shy smile and a duck of his head. The awkward young man then continues making his rounds, offering the tray of champagne flutes to any and all. "Champagne? Champagne?", he calls softly, watching his steps carefully. At least he's good at not bumping into anyone.

Ryan looks over as Eleri approaches as well, and he gives her a warm, encouraging sort of smile followed by a quick wink. Then he turns back to Lillian. "Nice to meet you, Lillian." He tips his head towards Eleri. "I take it you two have been intrdoduced?" And then turning his attention to her art work again, he considers briefly. "I do like it. But I'm not sure what I think about it yet. Sometimes it takes me a while?" This is followed by a slightly nervous sounding chuckle. "Good lord there are a lot of people here, aren't there?"

"I'm fairly certain there is a group for that, don't you worry. Similar to AA, you know, but for those going through Thorian withdrawal." A far too innocent expression crosses the man's features, "And Elmo is correct, except for that whole at least a bit bit. I'm always right. And coffee would be lovely some time. I'll introduce you to Edith's lovely little spot nearby. Here," It takes all of a moment for Thorian to reach into the depths of a vest pocket and pull out a card, the bit of hard paper held out towards Isa. "The easiest way to contact me."

Kouri scans the lovely and elegant crowd, not suring who to glide towards next...Odie and his distress is noted with an eager grin, nearly a leer, and he guides Avery towards him, waiting for dear Olivia to be less put upon, queen bee that she is.

Isa's red smile turns to Rebecca, "It is a pleasure to meet you as well. You look a little familiar to me to be honest Miss Royce." She nods to Thorian and takes the card. "Thank you. I'll be in touch." And it's slipped into her clutch.

Kyrie's comment is met with another broad grin, both rows of teeth displayed briefly. "For you, Kyrie? You have but to detail what you are looking for and I will get started with a swiftness." Tock gestures with an open palm to Sistersmith at the expression of interest. "Of course. We will have to find a time and place not so crowded as this, where all of our attentions are necessarily split." Faruq's words, though few, have her nodding. "Need is, perhaps, one of the best words to be applied."

Eleri grins, eyes twinkling with humor as Ryan approaches Lillian simultaneously and the petite woman focuses on him first. She tilts her head, listening to the response, then gives her a sympathetic look. "I can understand that. You are managing well. And I am; Mark has planned the food very well." She smiles at Ryan and nods. "We have met before. I find the glass she works with fascinating."

"No. My focus is more on the private sector. I've never had any contracts with the city like that before. I deal with a lot of burnout, imposter syndrome, and folks who don't properly balance life and work. I imagine those sorts of issues aren't uncommon on the force." Francis shifts his attention to Olivia as the woman begins to speak. "And where do you fit with all this? Are you with the museum or one of the conservation groups? I do agree with sentiment. There is still a lot out there we don't not know. How did you get started with all this?"

Odie looks up as Kouri and Avery approach him, a bit too dumb to realize that the leer on Kouri's face likely spells trouble. He blinks once, then tries out a shy, but polite, smile towards the pair. "Champagne?", he offers, holding out the tray.

Edith drifts away from the sculpture of the rearing, raging Kelpie long enough to move off and place a bid on one of the non-artistic items, but all too soon, she's drawn back, whereupon she returns to her hovering attendance, and her usual glittering and throwing about of prismatic sprays of refracted light.

Kyrie beams at Tock. "Just let me know if there's ever anything I can make for you. Besides radios," she tells the woman, smiling warmly. "The same goes for you, Lena. I know you can make your own, Grace."

Lance nods a bit to Francis, but he then speaks to both him and Olivia, "I shall leave you to conversation, it's a pleasure," he says. The detective moves to whisper to someone about the auction bids, or such. Then he takes his time to wait.

"Elmo Abernathy." he replies to Rebecca after a bit awkwardly too long, distracted by the crowd, the strange taste in the air, the lack of trees and silence. He looks her over again, a little more closely, and then as if spurred by Isa's politeness he adds "A pleasure, yes, indeed." Yeah, he's a pro at this socializing shit.

Lillian laughs happily and places her empty glass down on a passing server's tray before clapping her hands together with excitement. "Yes, Eleri and I have met before! She's going to teach me to dance. I will be terrible at it, but still likely better than if I were trying to pole dance. So, what brings you to an event like this, Ryan? An appreciation for the art, or just trying to help out with the donations? Or perhaps, more a social type? This is too many people for me, crowd's make me nervouse."

"Yes, Hannah is my daughter, and my world. I am glad that she is keeping good company," Faruq says to Lena with a slow nod. Warm words do not come with a smile for him. Instead, since the question was cleared, he turns to Sistersmith instead. One of his eyebrows rises ever so slightly. "We should correct our lack of knowing each other well, Sister. We should do so sooner rather than later, though obviously tonight may be inappropriate."

Avery is gliding on Kouri's arm and looks from him to Oddie curiously. "Champagne sounds lovely." She agrees readily and glances back up to her date to confirm.

The Sistersmith gives a pleased nod to Tock, and she laughs at Kyrie's comment. "I dabble," She admits. "I briefly considered making something a bit more futuristic to wear tonight, but, well, classics are classics for a reason." She muses, as she finishes her glass of champagne. Giving Faruq a nod. "I would be delighted - I can give you my card, if you'd like? I'm usually fairly reachable through the means of contact listed there." She's already opening her purse.

Kouri nods to Avery, and plucks up a flute of champagne with a fluid motion, an athletic one, as if carousing were a sport he happened to be practiced in. It's handed to his lady first, of course, before he takes up a second one from Odie's tray, tilting it to his dark lips as his eyes sparkle. "It's lovely to see you here, Odie. We had so little time to meet before. Are you without a date? I thought perhaps your companion would accompany you."

Rebecca gives Isa a smile, eyebrows raised curiously, then gestures vaugely with her clutch, "Oh, when you attend enough of these things, sooner or later someone will end up taking your picture next to a mover or a shaker, so it's entirely possible." she replies playfully, with only a light, casually self-deprecating touch. And while there's some recognition in her own expression, looking at Isa, she is apparently choosing not to bring it up.

Mark finds himself in a spot near Odie as he keeps an eye out for the man, even as he tries to track the flow of the waitstaff. Otherwise, he's quiet and smiling warmly at pretty much anyone.

"I grew up with the water being part of my family's livelihood." Olivia explains. "And I've always felt a connection to the sea. If you sit still enough and you smell right, the harbor seals will surround you on the shore, and that's one of the most peaceful things I've ever experienced."

Isa shakes her head a little to Rebecca as she closes her clutch. "Oh that's certainly it, I must have seen you in the society pages." She leaves it thuslly at that.

Odie blinks at Kouri. "... uhm... companion?", he asks, looking confused. "No, I'm.. uhm.. I'm working. Because. Y'know. Work. Uhm. Bills. All that." He hefts the champagne tray a little, as if demonstrating that he is, indeed, here as part of the help, and not one of the high society types. Because maybe Kouri is confused. Odie does look good in a tuxedo shirt and bowtie, after all. Oh, and gloves. Let's not forget the gloves. "I should, uhm, probably get back to work, actually, sorry.."

"You know I will," Tock assures Kyrie, just a hint of amusement in her tone. That head tilt emerges again, her expression pensive. "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting Hannah yet."

"Come by the boat sometime," Kyrie offers to Tock. "She's living there, too, now," she explains. "She's...going to take me /shopping/ soon. For clothes," she says, sounding, and looking, a touch horrified.

"I've only met her once, but I did feel like I was in good company myself," Lena says to Faruq about his daughter, along with a bright smile. She'll do enough of that for both ends of their conversation. With a turn to Kyrie she nods and says, "I'm not sure what I would ask for right now, but I'll definitely keep it in mind."

"Well, it was nice to meet you." Avery offers to Odie and looks back to Kouri raising her brows curiously. "A friend of yours?" She wonders and takes a sip of champagne wrinkling her nose a little. "Should we say hi to Olivia?"

A warm smile is cast towards Isa, Elmo and Rebecca, his head dipping towards them as he murmurs, "It was a pleasure. Do feel free to see as much of the museum as you wish, it is open for the evening to you all." Thorian's head dips to them all, and then the man is off, a slow, measured pace taking him over towards a passing server to pluck up a glass before he meanders on towards Tock and those about the artist. "Thank you so much for your donation. It is truly marvelous. Above and beyond, Tock."

Eleri grins at Lillian's statement, then she seems to recall her purpose, and quietly excuses herself before making the rounds of all of the pieces of artwork, carefully notating in the leather-bound notebook she's holding, expression pensive as she completes her task. It speaks to a certain amount of practice that she manages to navigate the crowd with effectively having her nose in a book, but she eventually makes her way through the room to Olivia, finally looking up properly and smiling. She arranges herself off to one side so as to not interrupt.

Kouri beams warmly at Odie. "Oh, of course you are. But it's simply wonderful to see you even as help. And you have been ever so helpful! Man of the hour, indeed. I doubt any of high society's members here will provide me with champagne," he says with a little wink, and a nudge of his nose against Avery's chin. "Do you see anyone you know here, dear? Olivia may be free now."

Isa watches as Thorian heads off and leans her head closer to Elmo's, speaking to him quietly once more.

Francis nods. "A father in the fishing industry?" He smiles at the woman. "Well, I can't say I've ever had that happen to me. Most of the time the seals always seemed skittish around people." He'll simply give a small shrug. "As I believe you overheard, I haven't been involved much in environmental conservation. What projects specifically does your group have on the horizon besides the exhibit here at the museum?"

"Oh, Eleri is an amazing dancer, and not a bad teacher," Ryan assures Lillian with a very earnest expression. "I'm sure you're in good hands there." And the he is distracted briefly by someone he sees in the crowd. Kouri, of call people. There's a confused sort of frown for this person, and Ryan only belatedly realizes he's been asked a question. But recovery is swift, and he offers Lillian an apologetic smile. "Me? I'm a friend of Thorian's. I do like art, but mostly I'm doing my bit to support the cause." He tips his glass to illustrate this point, only then noticing that Eleri excused herself while he was distracted. "Oh. Eleri left? Busy making the rounds, I suppose. What about you? Are you tied to your post here? Anyone you'd like to meet?"

"I'd love to," Tock replies to the invitation. Kyrie earns an outright laugh at the rest of her commentary, something just a little metallic in the richer sound. "You /say/ 'shopping', but I'm /hearing/ something akin to being tied to a vehicle and dragged. Is it all that bad?" Thorian's arrival blooms another smile on her features. "Good evening, Thorian. You are more than welcome. It is a pleasure to give to a worthy cause, of course. And thank you." The smile only brightens a bit more with the praise. "You must have been busy as a bee lately. You and Olivia both, getting all of this together."

Rebecca glances after Thorian, "A pleasure." she replies with a nod, then returns her attention to Isa. "We may have crossed paths elsewhere, of course. Mutual interests, maybe?" she wonders out loud with a smile and a vaguest, slight shrug of her shoulders before a delicate sip from her flute. She is standing in front of Denali's storm painting, still, or slightly off to the side anyhow, so as not to block the view of others. And her gaze is drawn again to it, lips pursing slightly.

Faruq removes a thin leather case from his own pocket and exchanges cards with Sistersmith. His own reads 'Dr. Faruq A. Cavanaugh, PhD. -- St. John's University.' "Take mine as well. I am, admittedly, embarrassed that we have not made the time sooner. I am certain that somewhere our campaigns overlap." When he takes her card, he reads it, checks both sides, and then slips it into the leather case that finds its way back into his pocket. His attention falls back toward the conversation at hand, although it seems to have moved past him somewhat. When Thorian approaches again, he nods once to the man.

"Ummm, I know Olivia, oooh, Tock is here too!" Avery grins and squeezes Kouri's arm lightly. "She wears the most amazing clothes! Have you met her yet?" She asks Kouri taking another sip.

Kyrie nods emphatically to Tock. "I'm afraid she'll try to stick me in pastels or something," she says, wrinkling her nose. She glances over to Thorian, giving him a mild, curious look, but saying nothing.

Isa looks back to Rebecca and nods, "Perhaps it was at a bookstore. I do signing sometimes." She winks a little and sips more of her drink. "Perhaps you'll come to my next one?"

Edith turns, vanishing into the crowd, and perhaps she gets distracted and wnaders off. Perhaps she gets lost somewhere else in the museum. It's hard to be sure, but the glittering figure is soon nowhere to be seen.

Odie blinks a little at Kouri's words, once more looking confused. "Well, they're not getting paid for it, so..", he says, then trails off, looking around. Stick to the script, Odie. Stick to the script. "I mean. Uhm. Champagne?" There we go. Back on track. He continues making his rounds, carefully avoiding direct contact with anyone.

Edith departs through the front doors of the museum.

Olivia looks over at Eleri, offering her an eager smile. "All bids are in?" she asks, noting to Francis apologetically, "There's a full projection available in the current marine exhibit regarding expansion, and Thorian Erikson, the curator, would likely be able to give you a much better idea of the museum's projections. The most expensive element of the conservation group is actually the rescue activities - transportation and medical aid for the animals is vastly expensive. We'd also like to increase our educational budget to include program development for elementary and younger...and I'm so sorry, will you excuse me? I think I'm being herded for hostess duties. But it was lovely to talk to you."

"I truly don't know how Olivia managed to do it all with everything else. My piece was quite small, truly." Thorian leans in to offer a kiss to Tock's cheek, the woman earning a warm smilefrom the fellow. "I'm only sad I won't be the one taking it home. You owe me a piece, I believe. On commission, of course." A coy look is cast towards her, but there is nothing more offered up as Thorian leans against his cane, the brunt of his attention turning to Olivia as she prepares to announce the winners.

Lillian taps her chin thoughtfully at that, then follows Ryan's gaze to Kouri, before shrugging her shoulders. "Heehee, strangely, I didn't come here to meet people...I'm not a very social person. I ought fix that, but my personality doesn't fit it particularly well. That said, its certainly a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Ryan! Do you have any other friends here? If you'd be willing to introduce me to anybody, I would certainly enjoy it. I suppose Thorian is why I came as well, he pushed me to submit this piece of art. He's been good to me, despite my inane lack of manners."

Kouri watches Olivia, letting himself be spied...he and Avery do stick out in a crowd, even one as elegant as this. An ungloved hand in Avery's, he tugs her slightly against himself to wind an arm around her waist. "I have indeed met Tock, she seemed lovely, though we haven't gotten to chat much..." He trails off as he sees Ryan staring at him across the distance, tilting his head and turning those cupid bow lips into a curious smile, eyes lidded inquisitively.

Rebecca drags her eyes away from the painting, fingers tapping her clutch, and looks to Isa, "I do lurk in bookstores, so that's also a possibility. And I might very well do that!" she smiles, then inclines her head, lifting an eyebrow inquisitively, "Is there a new book on the horizon?"

"You know, you do have a say in such things. If there is something that suits your taste better, I am sure that speaking up will only give Hannah more direction in helping you," Tock informs Kyrie with a glint of amusement in her eye. Her chin tilts to the little cheek-kiss from Thorian. "Yes, I do keep busy, too," serves as her equally-amused retort to the man's reminder. "We should discuss those details further, when things are not so crowded." Olivia moving forward tugs her attention that direction, as well.

Elmo nods to Thorian as he leaves, tilting his head towards Isa as she leans in and listens, and then blinks, going still. He stares rather fixedly at some point in space before he says in low tones. "That /is/ valuable information, yes." his tone neutral, deadpan.

"Let's say hello to them! Olivia first, this is her event you know?" Avery suggests to Kouri with a grin and looks about the crowd for the dark haired woman again. "That's what one should do yes? Greet the host."

"Absolutely," Sister Grace tells Brother Faruq, as she accepts his card and offers her own in return. The centerpiece is a logo with a trio of cogwheels interlocking, dark ink on creamy paper. And "Lovelace" written in cursive letters, outlined, and partially overwriting the block-lettered "Couture". The back has "Grace Smith, Proprietor" along with Business, Cell Phone, and e-mail, as well as the physical address of the store. Glancing briefly over to Thorian and Kyrie, then back to Faruq. "I'm certain I'd love to spend time with you, and learning from you."

With all eyes on the front, Nyx slips in the back without much fanfare. The sylph has adorned herself in subdued tones, monochromatic shifting gray displaying the entirety of the simplistic spectrum in the empire-waisted gown that falls to her feet in a silken sheath. Her dark curls are meticulously held back, not a single one out of place. With her hands clasped behind her back she begins to skirt the fringe of the group, glacial eyes certain to bore into the back of skulls as she studies others.

A nod greets Olivia's question, and Eleri gives Francis an apologetic look for effectively stealing his conversation-mate. Opening the notebook, she reverses it, offering it to Olivia for the other woman's inspection, although in such a way as to avoid showing it to the entire room. "I have checked it three times," she says. "Just to be certain of the tallies."

Isa nods to Rebecca, "I hope so, if my Editors have mercy on me. The next one is about the undead. Zombies actually. I think it's got a new flavor to it that my previous work hasn't. In some ways I think it's a cruder work but it fits the subject matter."

Olivia snags a bit of the fabric of her dress and proceeds to the balcony, lifting her hands to call a halt to the band and get everyone's attention. "I feel like Evita Peron," she jokes with a laugh, and then settles her hands on the rail. "First, let me say thank you very much, each and everyone of you for attendig tonight. While we have not checked the donation lockboxes, I can let you know that our funds for tonight's auction have exceeded two hundred and fifty thousand dollars! So please give yourselves a round of applause for that."

"I'm sure, but...pastels?" Kyrie wrinkles her nose and shakes her head before she glances at Sistersmith. And holds that gaze for a moment before she looks up to Faruq, then over to Olivia, listening.

Lance watches as he smiles a bit and applauses at what is said lightly.

Odie is walking by Isa and Rebecca as he hears the theme of Isa's upcoming book. He nearly stumbles, but catches himself, thankfuly not spilling any of the Champagne. ".. oops. Erm. Champagne?"

Isa looks over Odie a smiles warmly, reaching for a fresh glass. "I think I will. Thank you."

"It is hard to avoid people when you come to something like that," Ryan says after a cheerful laugh for her comment. Then he scans the nearby crowd again, considering who he knows. "I could introduce you to a few people, if you like? But if you would really rather not, I understand." And upon further thought, he lowers his voice and leans in a little closer. "Or we could go sit down at one of the tables and talk, if you'd like an excuse to be less visible?" But before that suggestion plays out, he turns to see Olivia calling for attention, and turns to hear her out. Polite applause is offered for the total funds raised, and then he gives Lillian a sidelong look.

Tock chuckles again at Kyrie's nose-crinkle, though she doesn't speak in response with Olivia taking the stage. Again, those gloved hands provide a muted sound with their applause at the appropriate time.

"We will learn from each other," Faruq says, but then Olivia speaks and he stops, turning his attention upward to her to listen.

Rebecca nods to Isa, "Zombies? Oh. A cruder approach might make sense for that." she comments, then turns to Olivia as she calls for the crowd's attention, and joins lightly in the applause. As Odie comes over and offers Isa champagne, she can't help herself, but lean in slightly to note in a neutral tone, "It's quite safe to drink."

Elmo clears his throat and nods to Isa. "Sounds..." he pauses to drain his champagne flute "...good, yes. Sounds perfect in fact." oddly, when Isa speaks of her books, he has little interest, or seems to anyhow. He glances to Odie again and lifts his empty flute. "Yes, me as well, thank you young sir... forgive me, I do not know your name." Asking servants their name? Why not! Elmo is so not high class.

Kouri turns attention politely and quietly to Olivia, applauding loudly at her declaration, wearing a smile. Glancing at Ryan now and then.

"The first auctioned item for the evening was a scene piece by Miss Denali Gray," Olivia reports, and the winner of the piece is Doctor Francis Lasalle." A bit of applause, "Our second piece, also by Miss Gray, was secured by anonymous bid on behalf of Miss Rebecca Royse."

When Olivia turns to make her way up to the balcony, making it clear that Eleri is to remain the bearer of the list, the auburn-haired woman gives a quiet sigh and slips after her; it speaks to some unfamiliarity with heels that she's not rushing, but she settles behind her and off to one side as the other woman begins making announcements. Information in easy reach, it seems.

Odie nods very seriously at Isa when Rebecca adds those words. "But you didn't hear that from me.", he adds. And then announcements are being made, and he hushes up, giving the two women an apologetic smile, as he returns to making his rounds, making sure everyone's liquored up for the announcements.

As each item is listed off, Thorian lifts his hands to give a round of applause, offering a nod first to Francis, and then to Rebecca. Each gains a warm smile from the Director, before his attenion shifts back to Olivia to listen to the next round of winners.

Faruq applauds at the announcement, looking around for Denali and not finding her--maybe she is not here at all--before his attention returns to Olivia.

Isa looks to the front when she hears the auction start and smiles to Rebecca, "If you'll excuse me I have something to attend to. Please though don't be a stranger, I would be happy to sign one of your books." She reaches for Elmo's elbow lightly, mischief in her gaze. "Shall we cousin?"

Lena's definitely quiet while Olivia is speaking, giving her undivided attention while also keeping her mouth shut to avoid the distraction that her voice tends to provide. It would be rude, and she likes Olivia. "When news of the total of the donations comes she gives some applause of her own, and then does so again at the right time as winners of the auctions are announced.

Lance applauds a bit while he continues to listen, and smiles a bit while he watches.

Mark applauds when he hears how much was raised, and there after, when each item is announced as being sold.

The Sistersmith, too, offers applause muted by her satin gloves, at the declaration. And of course, a few smatterings of clapping her hands together for each auction winner.

Lillian smiles slightly at Ryan, giving him a curious look, before leaning in closely. "Thank you, for your kind offer, Mr. Ryan, but I will likely be heading out after this, down to the boardwalk. Some fresh night air would do me some good. Still, I hope I will have the opportunity to see you again some time. I would like that." She claps at each announcement, a pleased smile on her face for her fellow artist.

Nyx grabs a napkin from a table in passing and approaches Kyrie. She waits patiently for conversation to reach a lull before she holds it out to the other woman, a pointed look given to streak on her face.

Leaning towards Kouri, Avery murmurs softly again and keeps her eyes on Olivia as she speaks with a proud smile. It's so nice to see her on the stage and speaking.

Kyrie glances to Nyx, the napkin, before her lips twitch and she shakes her head. "Won't do any good," she murmurs to the woman, though she's amused.

"Hmm?" Elmo blinks to Isa and then nods "Yes, let us." he offers up his arm to Isa like the gentleman he pretends to be and then starts to weave his way back to the door, his pace a little quicker than it was when he arrived. Freedom is imminent!

"Our third item was a luxury get-away for two at the Dunes from Maria Scaccia has been anonymously won - goodness, quite a few of you are very generous and mysterious! - on behalf of Mr. Ryan Butler." Olivia didn't do it? But she's grinning like she's guilty. She's bummed she didn't think of it, to tell the truth. "Item number four, a beautiful piece by Miss Lillian Wu...by Professor Faruq Cavanaugh." She beams at the man in question.

That glove-softened applause from Tock is repeated as each winner is announced. Again, that inquisitive head-tilt comes along with a glance between Nyx and Kyrie.

As Olivia begins to speak of the bids Francis listens intensely as the woman speaks. He gives polite applause at the total amount raised, but seems to be distracted at the moment. As he hears his name called he smiles at news. As Thorian gives him a nods he holds the man's gaze and returns it. He crosses his arms over his chest as he waits for the rest of the bids to be announced.


Kyrie looks up to Faruq when his name is announced and she smiles up at him. "Congratulations, Faruq. No wonder you spoke to her like she did."

"You're welcome," Ryan assures Lillian, with an small smile. "And I understand the need for some fresh air. Have a nice evening, and hopefully we'll meet again sometime soon?" He joins in the general applause for each winning bidder, and the artist who's item they've purchased.

"We are supposed to be cheering." Nyx observes oh so astutely, late to the party as always. She discards of the napkin and fixates her stare on Tock, tilting her head to the side. "She has an ongoing plight, Sir."

Thorian blinks a few times at that last announcement, but then his glass is lifted up in a silent salute of congratulations to Ryan. Faruq too gets a warm smile from the man, quite pleased at the selection the fellow had finally decided upon it seems.

Halfway through applause for item number three, Ryan realizes that was his name just called. "Ummm ..." is his sum response, after which he wills himself to become a little shorter, and so sink down out of sight. That and blush furiously. At least not /everyone/ here knows who he is. "How did that happen?" he wonders aloud, to know one in particular.

"Do not congratulate me, congratulate her," Faruq says with a nod in Lillian's direction. He lowers his voice to a quiet rumble. "I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It is exquisite work." He tilts his head down, the words meant for Kyrie, but he is not an expert whisperer.

Rebecca listens attentively to the announcements. She hangs her head slightly, as if disappointed at the first, though she's smiling, and dutifully claps for the winner of the piece. The second announcement, however, makes her blink and stare wide-eyed at Olivia. She puts her bafflement on hold to nod in Isa's direction, "Of course. It was a pleasure..." she says in a distracted tone, then looks around, pleased but obviously confused as she continues to applaud the following announcements.

"Our fifth piece offered, by Miss Tock...is the highest bid for item of the action and involved a fierce bidding war." Olivia tells the crowd, noting, "But victory was won by Miss Kyrie Falkman, who shall be enjoying it from now on as part of her permanent collection!" Beaming, "Item six - the sky party champagne flight service, was won by Miss Edith Cavanaugh."

Lillian blinks in surprise, then glances over towards Faruq, and blushes slightly as she stands on her tiptoes, waving towards the man. Making her way across the crowded room, she bows deeply before him, then turns her eyes upwards towards his as she gives him a wide smile. "Mr. Faruq...I'm flattered. Thank you very much for your bid, I sincerely hope you enjoy the piece. Your kind words are more than I deserve." The short Asian woman bows again, then takes a step back, looking away for a moment, almost as if thoughtful.

Kyrie's lips twitch at Faruq's words, then she brightens as she hears her name called. "And that? Is also yours now," she tells him with a smile. Yes, she just dumped lots of money on a present.

A newcomer creeps in the door, slowly, better late than never. Sneaking in Dottie Skinner has been dressed in a lovely dress of an orange that doesn't clash horribly. Her hair 'done' as it really can be, jewelry to compliment the outfit (in desc), even her makeup has been done nicely. However she's not aiming for the middle of the room, she steps in and aside smiling at people but her pale blue eyes search for something.

Odie blinks as he hears about champagne being served at a party. In the sky? He looks panicked for a moment. Is *he* supposed to be serving champagne in the sky? Should he be flying right *now*? No one told him about this. He looks around helplessly a moment. "... champagne?", he says, in a small voice.

The Sistersmith's face sours for a moment at that announcement - shooting a narrow-eyed look at Kyrie. "Well, congratulations are in order."

[faepose] Lillian's hair lights up as several strands burn with flame with the calling of her name, at her art piece being won by someone, and as she bows to Faruq, her ears flop above her head, looking somewhat strange as she repeats the motion.

"Indeed," Tock agrees with Nyx's observation regarding cheering, that clapping continuing appropriately enough. The second thought earns a small dawning-understanding type of nod. "It is part of her charm." That last announcement draws a petal-pink blush to her cheeks with a swiftness. "Only the expected outcome of entering into a war against Kyrie, I must say." The words are traced through with a fond laughter.

Lance applauds a bit but he has a defeated look while he does so. Still he stands and watches, while he awaits the close of the auction in full and who else has won.

"Congratulations indeed, to sellers and buyers alike," Lena says, her voice tugging -- briefly -- at people's attention. "Some wonderful pieces."

Kyrie glances to Sistersmith, her head tilting. "I'm sorry there weren't two." Then Tock's words reach her and she grins at the woman, an expression too fierce for the fancy dress she's wearing, despite being more her.

At the next one, Olivia can't help herself, she lets out a little noise of delight. "I hope you all can forgive my pleasure, but I've won the Lovelace Couture dress voucher." Olivia informs the crowd, unable to hide how pleased as punch she is, adding, "I'll be seeing you soon, Miss Grace." A playful lift of her brow as she adds, "And last but not least, Edith Cavanaugh's sculpture, 'The Kelpie'...by way of an anonymous bidder, to Mr. Elmo Abernathy."

Mark gives Odie a slight shake of his head, then a bright smile. It's supposed to be encouraging.

Olivia's pleasure puts a smile right back on the Sistersmith's face, and she gives the Seal of Approval a small, happy wave - and turns it into polite, hand-raised applause at the declaration of Elmo's win.

It's she soft voice, familiar, that draws Dottie's attention and she drifts over towards Odie while everyone's distracted smiling at him. She looks to th rest of the crowd attempting to weave through unnoticed. It may be easier than usual since she doesn't appear anything like the normally does. Dottie catches Mark's smile to her brother and smiles back at him as she reaches out to touch fingers lightly against Odie's shoulder so not to startle or appear to invasive since he's at work.

"In all seriousness, thank you, Kyrie," Tock adds with a slight bow of her head in the other woman's direction, once announcements and applause are through.

From her vantage behind Olivia, Eleri peers down curiously at the various reactions amid those gathered, although she's smiling in a way that suggests that she finds the entire thing rather exciting, applauding at intervals. The announcement of Ryan's name is met with a wry smile and a small shake of her head at the gentleman in question's response, but then she returns her attention to the announcements. When Olivia has finished, she steps forward to claim the notebook from her again before moving out of the way.

Odie looks relieved as he catches Mark's look. No one's ushering him onto a plane right now. When he feels a hand on his shoulder, he tenses, but manages to keep himself from flinching away- see? A true professional. He looks to see who it is, already instinctively moving to offer the champagne tray. "-champag... ne?", he says, trailing off as he blinks at Dottie, once, then twice, as if he doesn't quite recognize. "... Dottie? I didn't know you were coming, sis.", he says, smiling and suddenly completely relaxed despite all the people. "Uhm. I'm working, but.. hi.", he says. "You should try the scallops. They're totally safe to-", he begins to say, but then catches himself. "I mean, they're delicious."

"Will teach me to be stingy, I guess." The Sistersmith muses, and gives a nod. "I should know better than to fight ms Falkman. Still, all for a good cause, etcetera. And if you are interested in selling the companion piece, Tock..." Grace spreads her hands, apologetically. "Well. I'd be interested in buying."

There is another moment of disappointment at the announcement of item six, but Rebecca continues her polite applause, only interrupted to take another small sip at her champagne flute, before leaving it on a tray by one of the bars nearby. She is still altogether befuddled, attention turning back to the piece she's apparently won, fingers lightly touching her chin, head tilting to scan the crowd around her.

"Thank you, Eleri." Liv murmurs gratefully, and addresses the crowd one more time. "Ladies and gentlemen, those are our only items up for bid tonight, but if you didn't succeed in obtaining one of these wonderful items, please still be generous and put something in one of our donation boxes. The ocean is a precious resource, a boon to our economy, and most importantly, essential for life. Education and action are essential to keep it healthy, which in turn keeps us healthy. And now, the entire museum, including the planeterium and the dance floor, are yours for the evening! I hope you make the most of it...I know I will."

Faruq lifts his brow slowly as he looks down at Kyrie. He studies her quietly for several moments and then nods once to her. "Thank you, Ms. Falkman--and of course Ms. Tock for the work you put into it--but thank you," he says again to Kyrie, who is still on his arm and has not left his side all night. He watches her for several moments after the thanks, but says nothing, perhaps estimated the gift, or her motivation. It is only Sistersmith who draws him out of it. "Did you bid on Ms. Tock's piece as well, then? You will be in luck--I will make certain it is displayed somewhere prominent when we have a chance to sit down and talk."

Once more Thorian's flute lifts up to offer a salute at Olivia's words, and his head turns to offer a warm flash of a smile to Tock, Faruq, and Kyrie. "Thank you all, so much... both for the donations and the bids. It truly means the world." His head dips into a nod towards the trio, before the Director continues to move on. His pace is slow but steady, taking him once more to the elevator and then up to the balcony where he can people watch for the time being.

Kyrie smiles at Tock. "it was worth it. A lovely piece, Tock." She shifts that smile up to Faruq, arching a brow at his words. "For now though, should we go? I think I've been in a dress long enough." She seems ignorant to the unintended inuendo, even after it passes her lips.

Thorian joins at Balcony (#5).

Nyx steps back as Kyrie steps forward, her one conversational companion now gone the Snowskin starts sinking into the back of the social landscape, per usual.

Kouri applauds, and raises to go find Olivia once she descends, trailing Avery on his arm as he does so with a big smile.

Lillian joins at Balcony (#5).

Olivia and Thorian seem to be two ships in the night passing, for as he goes up the elevator, she goes down the staircase. And immediately finds Kouri and Avery, giving both of them a beaming smile. "You two look amazing!" she greets both with enthusiasm.

Francis goes home.

Tock's blush hasn't quite faded with the ongoing discussion of bids and purchases surrounding her work. "I have a funny feeling the other might suit your taste even a bit more," she informs Sistersmith with a curl of knowing smile. It is a guess, but certainly an educated one given the common thread often in the woman's style. She catches what might have turned into a giggle at Kyrie's comment, fingertips sweeping up to cover her lips. It is for this reason that Thorian's thanks earns a nod rather than words just then.

Eleri joins at Balcony (#5).

Kouri takes Olivia's hand to graze his lips against it, eyes dancing with the imagination of less appropriate greetings, his smile speaking to his politeness. "Your beauty extends throughout the room. This is simply wonderful. A shame everyone could not make it!"

Lillian makes her way up the stairs as she spies Thorian looking out over the room once again, and approaches him as she reaches the top of the landing. "Thorian...thank you for a lovely evening. I'm glad you encouraged me to get involved in this. It was truly a pleasure to get to work on something I wanted to make, rather than something someone else wanted me to make. I hope I'll get an opportunity to make such pieces more often in the future."

"No--not just yet," Faruq says to Kyrie, his gaze dropping to follow the flow of her dress for a moment before looking back up at her. "You have not done one of the most important things a woman needs to do while wearing a dress like that." Faruq does not explain what that thing is to her. Instead, he takes her hand and leads her out to the dance floor. As he passes the band, he stops for a moment to get the attention of the leader, rumbling something to him before moving on.

Grace nods and smiles to Tock - and then to Kyrie and Faruq as well. "Absolutely. I look forward to it." Her grin only widening as Faruq takes Kyrie out for a dance.

Dottie smiles at Odie and squeezes his shoulder, "I bet they are. But I came to check on you and I guess see all the people. But um, I sorta chicked out until the last minute." She admits letting her hand drop. She's polite as they are in polite company but she does take a glass off Odie's tray and tosses it back. Keepin' it classy.

A quick grin greets Olivia's thanks; Eleri remains a near motionless shadow to the woman as she finishes her announcement, then she smiles as the blue-and-green-clad woman slips off towards the stairs, giving a sigh and pausing for a moment longer. It seems as though she might follow, but as Thorian steps out of the elevator, she turns, flashing him another smile. As Lillian approaches from behind, she expands the expression to include her.

The Director offers a critical eye to Lillian for a long moment at those words, and then his arms open up, encompassing the poor artist in a big bear hug. "Nonsense! You did a marvelous job all on your own, Lillian... and we will be getting you your share of the proceeds soon. It was truly a marvelous bit of art. And now you /must/ bring me some of your others, so I can get one for myself." There is indeed a hint of disappointment apparent in Thorian's voice at not having had a chance at the lionfish. "And you," His head turns, those eyes watching Eleri for a moment, before she earns a brilliant smile, "still look lovely, and did a wonderful job. Thanks for the help."

Olivia's smile grows a bit puzzled. "Yes," she says. "There were some people meant to be here who were unavoidably detained." Of course, to be fair, this isn't the scene for two of her motley-mates, and the third just managed to kill his Fetch. So everyone gets a pass. "You'll be pleased to know I've heard from Brand." she notes to Kouri softly. "His...problem with duplications has been resolved."

Odie seems a little surprised to see Dottie drinking, but he nods and smiles. "No, I'm good, see? And everyone's still alive.", he declares, then winces. "Err. Sorry, I'm supposed to just ask people if they want champagne. I should probably do another round- I think things are wrapping up soon, but, y'know.. Work!", he says, and gives his twin sister a hopeful smile. "Catch you when I get out? We can go get food.", he says, even as he's starting to step away so he can keep making his rounds.

A somewhat flustered Ryan takes a big gulp of champagne, then looks around the crowd with a wary sort of expression. After a moment he seems to come to some conclusion, and he makes his way over to one of the donation boxes. Reaching into his tuxedo jacket, the young man pulls out a pre-written check to slip inside. Then he surveys the room again, this time a little more at ease as he considers the post-auction continuation of the gala.

Kouri toys with his champagne and smiles at Olivia. "Oh, I knew it would. He's in good health, then? And no longer imprisoned? That's wonderful." Beaming bright, he scans the crowd. "So many of us here. Carousing, partying. This is how it should be. You've done a lovely thing here, Olivia. I would love to assist you in the future."

Lillian lets out a muffled squeak of surprise against Thorian's chest as her wraps her in a hug, but her arms go around her back as she returns the hug, her body exceedingly warm to the touch as she squeezes him tightly. Then, stepping back, she beams a smile up at the man. "Well, what kind of sculpture would you like? Maybe not a particular item, but a theme? I enjoyed making something aquatic in nature for my last project. Ummmm...m-my share of the proceeds? So, I get some of it? But, what about the fish? They need money too, right?"

Dottie smiles proudly at Odie, her smil sharp and feral in her lovely features. She touches his back and nods at him. "All right. I'll probably be right here when you get back. You know what crowds do to me." She winks at him and turns her blue eyed gaze back out towards the room. Eyes skipping over Kyrie and Faruq on the dance floor then moving about then over towards Thorian and Lillian with a twitch of a smile. She's not exactly a wall flower, there's far too much bright eyed confidence there. She is, however, content to lean back against a wall pinning her hands back behind her.

Kyrie cocks her head, giving Faruq a confused look. It takes a moment, even after following him, before she figures out what he's doing. Her cheeks flush with color then, but it's more pleasure than embarrassment. Must be, since she gives him a warm, bright smile.

Rebecca stands for a while in front of the piece, studying it at length, taking a step closer for a better look, then two steps backward to take in the whole painting. Then she turns, still baffled and pensive, giving little suspicious but smiling looks at everyone she passes by on her way to a donation box, to place hers.

As Faruq leads Kyrie toward the dance floor, Tock flashes her an unabashedly wide grin, all pearly whites set end to end. This is accompanied by a little shooing gesture in the direction of the dance floor, in case any encouragement was needed.

The thing with crowds? Nyx does not do too well in them. Given her entire lack of communication and literal, physical detachment of lingering near the door, she begins inching towards an exit rather quickly -- surprisingly even, given that sprint that the elemental breaks into in spite of her usual languid pace. There is a wave of farewell to no one in particular and then she is gone.

Lance is still about, but he does take a moment to once again wallflower. He has no drink so he seems to manage satisfaction from just his idle observance.

"This fish get the most of it, yes. But we wanted to reward the artists for their hard work, too. As for me? Something," He pauses a moment, mulling this over, Thorian leaning up against his cane to help ease off of that left leg even further. "Cosmic. Of the stars, the planets. Why, you should feel free to take a trip through the planetarium for inspiration, if you like."

"Do you dance, ms Tock?" The Sistersmith inquires politely of her fellow artist, offering a bright smile as she looks after Kyrie and Faruq.

Not that a six-piece band is necessarily equipped for it, but after Faruq speaks with them, they do their best attempt at his request: Wagner's Magic Fire Music. It certainly takes on an entirely different ring without an orchestra playing it, but even casual fans of Wagner will probably at least recognize the attempt. Faruq does not look like he would be lithe or graceful on the dancefloor--his body was made to tumble mountains, but not necessarily dance flowingly. He does not seem to care about skill as much as just dancing, however: he wraps one arm around Kyrie's waist and he lifts her hand with the other. The song was not even necessarily made for dancing, but it is presumable that it was chosen for a reason.

Eleri grins at the hugging of Lillian, then she tilts her head at Thorian's words to her, expression inquiring at that moment of study. That smile is met with a wry look. "You are welcome," she says. "I suppose I should say that it was not so bad, and it was not." Her eyes twinkle. "And it was certainly interesting." Lillian's questions garner a smile, but she seems to wait for Thorian to respond.

Odie returns to making his rounds with his slowly dwindling tray of champagne. Now that he knows Dottie is here, he seems a bit more confident- still keeping his distance from people, still wathcing his steps, but the slim young waiter doesn't seem quite so shy, going up to those groups that remain and confidently asking, "... champagne?"

Mark makes sure that canapes continue to flow from the kitchen, fresh and not causing food poisoning.

"With appropriate music and venue, yes," Tock replies to Sistersmith with some thought given to the qualifications. "I am afraid that I have not remained terribly...up to date, with music and dances." That's the understatement of the evening, perhaps, but necessary in mixed company.

Kyrie's head tilts again as she listens to the music begin, and she smiles once more. No, not really made for dancing, but it doesn't look like Kyrie gives a damn. She even lets Faruq lead after placing her hand in his, and though she may be better suited to dancing with weapons, she doesn't trip over her feet, or his, so there's that.

Lillian claps her hands together happily, then pats Thorian on the chest, nodding up at him. "I'm glad the fish get most of it, but I'm thankful there's something for me as well. I could use the extra money flow. Something cosmic, yes? I believe I will come stop by your planterium another time, Thorian, will give me an excuse to come see my favorite snooty museum guy. For now, I think I will instead give the stars my own personal inspection, for inspiration. Enjoy the rest of your evening, won't you?" She stands on her tiptoes, then hops up to give Thorian a kiss on the cheek, before heading back downstairs.

"Hm. Do you consider this appropriate? I don't usually lead, but I could give it a go," The Sistersmith muses with a grin, offering Tock her hand. "I mean, we can't leave 'em alone out there."

"Have a good evening, Lillian." The woman earns a wry smile from him, and then he turns to lean back against the bannister, a glance cast to Eleri before his head dips for her to join with him if she wishes. Thorian's eyes trail after Silversmith and then Odie, watching each with interest for a few moments, tidbits filed away for later. It's Dottie who earns a lifting of his hand and a wriggle of fingers in silent greeting.

Dottie looks around and spot a straggler from the herd and so she pushes herself off the wall. She wanders along, setting her empty glass aside nearby where she sees the services at so that Odie can grab it. Thorian's wave gains a smile and a wink up at him the strangely human looking Dot lifting a ring-weighted hand to offer a wiggle of her fingers in return. However she's quick to shark out the wallflower sidling up to Lance and smiling. "Hi." She chirps brightly.

Tock chuckles at that proposal. "Close enough. Orchestral music and galas, I am used to." Her grin returns at the mention of leading. "Goodness, you'll have to. I think if I tried to lead you might end up with me stomping your poor feet." She does take Sistersmith's hand to move toward the dance floor.

Alone or not, Faruq pays no mind. Most young dancers have to watch their feet as they dance--but Faruq's are rather large and difficult for him to miss, so he is able to keep his gaze focused on Kyrie as they round the dance floor slowly. Although he was not built necessarily for dancing, he does not appear as if he has never danced in his life before. He knows some basic moves, although maybe not much more than someone who learned to dance for their wedding.

Lillian departs through the front doors of the museum.

Lillian departs Balcony (#5).

Lillian's term for Thorian is met with a laugh that Eleri doesn't bother smothering, grey-blue eyes twinkling as she watches the other woman's particular brand of thanks. Reaching behind her, one hand still holding that notebook, she stretches her back before sidling over to lean against the banister herself. A sigh greets being partially off her feet as she looks over at Thorian, mumuring something, then follows his gaze to the people below.

Sister Grace does beam brightly - and glances over to Faruq to ensure she'll get the -general- tone right, at the very least. If nothing else, she has Wizened agility to fall back on, to make her motions look at least somewhat graceful. Putting one hand against Tock's side, and raising the other, beaming brightly as she starts moving them along to the tune of the melody.

Lance doesn't seem to notice that Dottie approaches in his direction, but when she does he looks aside with a small tilt of his head. "Hello," he voices. He is dressed in what he came in, the black formal tux which has a fitted tie. Smooth polished leather boots in black, and he has on two formal black gloves. He then tips his head towards the others in the room, "And what brings you all the way over here?" he asks.

Kyrie's gaze is likewise fixed on Faruq, and not on the handful of people paying attention to them. She does speak quietly to her partner, however, all without losing her smile or the rhythm of the music.

Dottie gestures between him and the crowd, "You made yourself stand out." She shoves out a clean hand for a handshake rather than anything formal, "I'm Dottie, would you like to dance? I'm just positive Mister Eriksen would want people to enjoy his party." Dot's smile is wide, friendly if a little off somehow. 'More-than-happy' is an apt description.

Ryan offers a supportive smile to those moving towards the dance, and then he excuses his way through the crowd towards the balcony stairs. He ascends gradually, making his way over towards where Thorian and Eleri are speaking. "Congratulations on successful fund raising," he offers to the Director and his assistant, along with a tip of his glass and a cheerful smile. Still he seems to be keeping a very watchful eye on both of them, though Thorian more so than Eleri.

There is one thing to be said for Tock's dancing, and it is that she has impeccable rhythm and timing. Though a little less than smooth-and-natural in her movements, she follows Sistersmith's lead easily enough, one hand clasping the other woman's loosely, the other resting lightly on her shoulder.


Odie catches Dottie off in a corner terrorizing someone, and he grins, pleased, before continuing along his rounds. Spotting his best customer of the night so far, Rebecca, he makes his way towards her. Noticing the somewhat confused look on her face, he tilts his head, then nods to himself. He knows what to do here. "... champagne?" Well done, Odie.

Whatever is whispered has a nod coming from Thorian in agreement to Eleri, though there is a twinkle of mischief in his gaze at part of it. Ryan's approach has a broad smile reappearing once more, "Thank you. Olivia deserves credit as well. As do our artists and donors. And you! Coming out on top, my good man. You must have made an impression upon someone." His gaze shifts, watching those on the dance floor, and a content smile creases his features.

Above the music, it is probably difficult, though not impossible, to hear Faruq rumble to Kyrie. "Then don't say anything." His eyes are heavily lidded, and his lashes thick and long--for a man--but he watches her through them, carefully not to crush her significantly smaller feet with his own.

Lance reaches with his hand to take Dottie's, which he shakes with firmness in it. The detective releases his palm from the woman's, then he nods a bit, "Detective Black. Lance Black, and I'd appreciate that," he voices.

Returning from the powder room, Avery looks about, phone in hand. She wanders a little seeking out her date or Olivia, who ever she finds first.

"I don't know if this song was meant for dancing," The Sistersmith murmurs to Tock. "But I am having fun - I hope you are, as well?"

Kyrie laughs softly at Faruq's response and nods. No more talking is done for a while, at least not from her. But she happily continues dancing, without fear for her feet. She's relatively light on them, in any case, which, since she seems highly distracted, is a good thing.

Eleri looks over and smiles at Ryan as he makes his way onto the balcony, although she seems more than content to remain in her current leaning position to keep some of her weight off of her feet. "I think things went well," she says, brightly. "Although it is certainly not my area of expertise." Thorian's words are met with a grin and an amused look.

Having deposited her donation, Rebecca steps back from the box, and for a moment stands there looking around. She's playing the wallflower, not mingling, but she looks entirely at ease in this role, watching others dance, and only her thoughtful expression might come across as faintly antisocial. She looks to Odie as he comes closer, "I shouldn't. I suspect this one might not be entirely safe to drink." she comments with a smile, but picks up another flute.

"It is an operatic piece, and I think...perhaps meant more for the reference of the opera it was taken from than for dancing, specifically," Tock agrees with a bright smile. Find old enough music, and she'll get a reference, finally! "You are doing a fine job with it, though. And yes, I am, too."

Kouri sidles up to Avery and gently murmurs in her ear.

Odie looks a little surprised at Rebecca's words. "... really? But I've kept my gloves on all night-", he begins to say, then it starts to dawn on him that she might be teasing him, and his pale blue eyes widen a bit. "Oh, right. Sorry.", he says, smiling sheepishly. He then looks around, and, satisfied Mark isn't close enough to overhear, he murmurs, "It's perfectly safe. You have my, uhm, utmost assurance." A pause. "It might get you somewhat drunk, though. Feel it's only fair to warn." You know. In case she doesn't know about the magical powers of alcohol.

Looking up at Kouri, Avery beams at him and nods slipping an arm through one of his as he moves to her side.

The song, remarkably short for Wagner at just over seven minutes, does come to an end, and the six-piece ensemble breaks back into something more jazzy and Faruq stops to dip Kyrie once at the very end. When he brings her back upright he is already leading her off the dance floor--just one dance--he does pause long enough to nod once to Sistersmith and Tock, but the pause does not stop him from leading Kyrie straight to the front doors in her beautiful blue gown.

"Probably someone's idea of a joke," Ryan says, sounding quite good-natured about it even so. "And an expensive one at that." Then he sighs and smiles in discomfort. "It would be a shame for it to go to waste. I suppose I'll have to try and find someone who wants it." Then he shakes his head swiftly at Eleri's comment. "You didn't seem to be in any great difficulty." He leans a little closer to the other two, voice lowering for a further bit of conversation.

Kouri slips out arm in arm with Avery discreetly.

Kyrie lifts a hand, waving to Tock as she lets Faruq lead her out of the museum, with a smile on her face. And the dip? She looked absolutely delighted.

"Now, Ryan." There is a disapproving look that comes from Thorian at the man's words, his chin tucking down to shoot in a /look/. "You don't give away an expensive gift someone clearly wanted you to have. You find someone to enjoy it with. If you are having problems with whom to take? I will happily help arrange something for you."

Rebecca leans slightly in Odie's direction, lowering her voice as she nods, "That's precisely why it might not be entirely safe. It -might- get me somewhat drunk, I'm sure it's not poisoned." she tells Odie in a reassuring tone, and raises the flute for a small sip, though her eyes wander curiously to Odie's gloved hands for a fleeting moment. Any longer and it would be rude.

Avery departs through the front doors of the museum.

Eleri sighs at Ryan's response, looking at Thorian with a 'it's your turn' sort of expression. When he proves more than willing to chide the darker haired man, she nods, giving Ryan a solemn look. "I think you should enjoy it," she adds, shifting her weight against the edge of the balcony before she murmurs something else.

Kouri departs through the front doors of the museum.

As the song draws to an end, Tock dips a curtsey to Sistersmith. "Thank you for the dance." Kyrie and Faruq heading out distracts her somewhat, earning another almost silly grin combined with a wave.

"Thank you for the dance," Sistersmith curtsies in turn. And she, too, waves after Kyrie and Faruq. "I should considering getting home as well. I don't know what kind of troubles Dorothy and Arash can get into together..."

Faruq departs through the front doors of the museum.

Kyrie departs through the front doors of the museum.

Odie does have sharp eyes sometimes, and he notes Rebecca's look to his gloved hands. "It's. Uhm. Regulations. Y'know, to keep the, ah.. food. Clean.", he explains, because he is a terrible liar. Distract, Odie, distract! "I mean.. err.. did... you win anything, miss?"

Dottie smiles at Lance and she returns the shake, her own hands thin, cool and calloused. "Good!" Instead of letting him take his hand back after the shake she nods, "Let's dance then!" She bubbles, all enthusiasm. "I'm not entirely sure how to dance to this music but I think I can manage. So, you like um, you like art right?" Her accent is thickly NorthEastern, high and sometimes girlish and with an oddly vapid undertone. A quick glance to her twin before she looks back towards Lance.

"I usually have some mobile computing devices on me when I am out and about. I will have to show you some photographs of that other sculpture piece when we run into each other again," Tock reiterates, partially to remind herself. "It was lovely seeing you. Have a good night and be safe on your way home."

Ryan laughs at the Thorian's offer, but it's an uncertain sound. "Uhhh ... that's kind of you to offer. But I don't think I'm ready for a blind date at a couples spa, thank you." Which turns quickly into a counter offer to the other man. "Would you like it?" Then he gives Eleri a small smile, followed by a vague wave of his hand. "Well someone should enjoy it." There are a few more quiet words exchanged with both of them, though Ryan looks ready to depart.

Lance's eyes follow with the direction in which Dottie looks, but it is soon back to the woman. The detective chuckles a bit and nods, "I can dance, not that I think this music is the best for it," he voices. He then motions with his free hand towards the dance floor. He has a sophisticated air with a brooding emotional gaze beneath the smile he wears. "Yes, I do like art. But I'd hoped a chance to fly, to be honest."

Olivia had meandered off to do things, and when she comes back, she has her smartphone with her. She's eyeing it with concern, thumbing out a message and then tucking it away with a sigh.

The Sistersmith nods, and grins. "Stop by the shop, I'll let you into my workshop and we can see if you feel inspired." She assures the other artist, giving a small wave before heading towards the exit.

"No. It is yours. And I already know whom I'll have you go with, if you don't use it." There is a pointed look Thorian casts to Ryan, before a deep breath is drawn in as the man prepares to depart. Tonight, it would seem, the Director isn't going to let him off the hook so easily. There is a glance cast towards Eleri, but finally the man offers a hint of a nod. "I'll be upstairs after things die down here."

"Of course! Regulations are very important." Rebecca concurs. She's so helpful, going along with his explanations without batting an eye, "I imagine they're very stringent on the matter of preparing and serving food." she continues, then blinks at the question, looking altogether amused by the conversation, "In a way, yes. I didn't win the ones I bid for, but someone bid for me... on this one." she inclines her head, and walks a short distance off to gesture subtly towards one of the paintings nearby.

Sistersmith departs through the front doors of the museum.

Dottie smiles, "Well if you were willing to bid, Mister Black, you could probably save up a bit to afford some flying." She bobs her head, "What was so appealin' about the flight, if you don't mind me askin' and all. Should I call you Mister Black? Or is there some other thing I should be calling you?" Dottie chatters with unflappable cheer as they make their way to the dance floor. "I'm here to support my brother and see Mister Eriksen's big thing."

Eleri sighs as Ryan offers the spa to Thorian, then she tilts her head at those quieter words, expression thoughtful, then she nods. Looking back to Thorian, she nods again before pushing herself back into a standing position. "Eventually," she says, sighing a bit and glancing down to those gathered below for a moment before she smiles at him.

Odie follows alongside Rebecca, looking relieved that she accepted his explanation so readily. Damn, Odie. You are *smooth*. Secret agent Odie. She doesn't suspect a thing. As the crowd is thinning, and everyone who wants a drink seems to already have one, he decides it's ok to pay a little more attention to this one guest. After all, they told him to make the guests feel welcome! All of Rebecca's subtlety in motioning towards the painting is lost as Odie just straight up turns to look at it. He spends a few moments just looking at it with the mildly vacant stare of someone who has zero understanding of art. "It's.. pretty.", he finally decides, with a nod. Maybe if this whole 'waiter' thing doesn't work out, he can work as an art critic. He looks back to Rebecca, curious now. "Someone bid for you? Who?"

"Oh, call me Lance," the detective tells Dottie, while he tilts his head and looks towards the direction in which Olivia is at, if she is still about, "Just felt it would be well enough a place to mingle was all," he adds. He then is on the dance floor after a moment, "I came with noone, I'm often too busy for these events to begin with."

"Back shortly," Ryan assures Thorian and Eleri. And then he descends the stairs from the balcony and heads towards the door, a young man on a mission, to judge by his stride. He moves quickly out the front doors and heads for the parking lot.

A final wave is given to Sistersmith as she heads out into the night. Tock spots Olivia returning and that less-than-pleased look, concern dipping her brows downward before she moves toward her. "The night seems to have been a smashing success so far," she lead with the positive. "Is everything okay?"

Olivia lets out a little sigh, looks like she's about to call out to Ryan, mouth quirking. But then Lance catches her eye, and she starts to head over - but is stopped by Tock. "Brand," she says quietly. "But this isn't the place. He's alright, but he lost a lot of his stuff tonight. No seeing double anymore, though." A peculiar, carefully coded message.

Dot's eyes flicker from Lance, following his gaze to Liv before twitching back to him. "Mm.." Her brows draw down and then she looks up at Lance smiling wide. "Well, all good things in time, right Lance." She bobs her head, "But now is the time to dance with me. Can you lead, if I step on your toes I'm sorry ahead of time."

Tock's eyebrows move easily from dipped to raised. "Oh, goodness. I hope everyone is all right. Please let him know that we are all here for him, if he needs help." She catches Olivia's glance toward Lance. "You are right, though, it is a difficult thing to discuss here... Please, don't let me keep you."

As the director settles in to keep an eye on things from the balcony, Eleri makes her way down the steps, rejoining those below. Taking advantage of one of the bidding tables as a location to leave her notebook, she now has two hands with which to acquire food and drink, which she sets about doing. Chewing idly on a canape, she makes her way over to Tock and Olivia, waving a bit with the tidbit.

Lance's senses seem to be on alert back at some thought, but he shakes that while he moves his attention towards Dot and starts to lead. It seems like he has practice, but also is distracted in his mind, "I suppose so," he says. The detective chuckles a bit.

Rebecca, on the other hand, at least does a good impression of someone who knows about art. She considers the painting, then nods, carrying on the conversation with Odie, "I guess it's pretty. I like it too. It is a beautiful piece." she smiles, then laughs softly, and lifts her shoulders in a small shrug, "That's a mystery. It was an anonymous bidder, so I'm not sure..."

Odie blinks those pale blue eyes in apparent surprise at Rebecca's last words. "Ooh. Maybe you have a secret admirer, miss?", he ventures, then looks around, as if he could spot who it might have been. Detective Odie, on the case.

Dottie's lips twitch, "I'd ask but I've been told it's rude to talk about people who aren't about and I like Miss Livvie." The strange petite blonde is surprisingly easy to lead even though she's never danced before; that isn't to say her attention is on her partner. She's keeping an eye on the whole room; fast movement often drawing her attention. "So, what do you detect?"

Accepting a second flute of champagne from a passing waiter, Tock lifts it in a small salute when Eleri draws nearer. "Hello, again. How is Ryan handling that anonymous gift announcement?" She might have noticed that the fellow in question had retreated to the balcony shortly after the announcement was made.

"Hmm?" Lance muses with Dottie's words, but he shakes his head a bit and chuckles, while he moves his foot to the side and shifts the woman, then he's back to where he was. "General affairs. Take everything from a petty theft to murder. That aside, I don't do /too/ much." His gaze watches the whole place on occassion, but he does seem focused to Dot, "What are your plans after the gala?"

"He's fine." Olivia assures Tock, and adds, "I told him to go to my boat. I think he'll stay with DaisyLu and John for a bit, and then head over there. I'm not sure I'll make it home tonight or not, but either way, he'll feel safer." She seems sure of that.

The auburn-haired woman swallows the bite of canape, then sighs. "He is trying to give it away because it is Ryan," Eleri says wryly. "I do not think Thorian is going to let him get away with it so easily, but I suppose we shall see." She finishes off the canape she's eating, then retrieves another from a passing tray, tilting her head a bit at Olivia's words.

Rebecca touches her clutch-wielding hand to her chest. "Why, maybe I do!" she admits, voice lowered so it sounds rather more cryptic than it needs to be. She looks around as well, and confides in Odie between two tiny sips of Champagne, "I have my suspicions. I could try to find out, but... maybe it's more fun as a mystery."

Odie glances back at Rebecca, pale eyes wide. "Oh no, miss. See, if *I'd* bought that painting for you, I'd want you to know it was me.", he assures her, and looks at the painting. "I mean, that must have cost, like.. a hundred dollars? Maybe even more?" Oh, Odie. Why are you even talking to the rich girl?

"Good, good. There is something...soothing, perhaps. Or reassuring?" Tock's eyes drift ceiling-ward as if searching for the appropriate words there. "About staying on a ship. That sounds like a good plan. And if there's ever a reassuring presence to have about, it's those two." She chuckles at the descriptions of Ryan and Thorian regarding the gift. "I'm not sure how you can force someone to use a 'get-away' gift short of being the one to go with them, kidnapper style."

Dot's eyes flicker back up to Lance and she beams. "Oh? You work a lot then. That's sad." She thrusts out her lip. "I mean, good for you for being super focused, but doesn't it wear ya down. All that stuff?" When he asks about her plants Dottie grins. "Well, I was considering petty theft but you know, I could probably rethink that."

"Shall I make a joke that you've committed theft on my heart?" Lance asks, while he quirks a small grin. It seems to be in jest, as he doesn't know the woman much. Afterwards he relaxes his shoulders and twirls Dot should she allow and he be able, "Hmm. I imagine it does. But someone has to do such hard work." He smiles sadly.

Mark keeps doing catering type supervising things, for the rest of the night.

Rebecca looks back to the painting, purses her lips and narrows her eyes. "That's a mystery too. But it was probably a bit more than a hundred dollars." she continues with a warm smile, and a friendly, vaguely bemused glance in Odie's direction. "Well, I should probably stop." and she sets down her champagne flute, unfinished.

Mark goes home.

Olivia winces faintly. "I'd be surprised if he didn't try to hock it on eBay or something." Liv admits as Eleri nears. "Ryan was supposed to dance with me tonight too, before he slipped out." To Tock, "I think he wants some alone time. And then he'll feel ready for people."

Dottie blinks wide eyed, "Why would I ever do that?" She manages to looks, somehow, like she'd been caught red handed. She laughs after a moment. "What would one have to serve for such a thing anyway?" She lifts a brow and reaches up with a hand and pokes the detective in the nose, "Now now, none of that. If you love your work don't regret it, right?"

Eleri gives Tock a rather speculative look. "I suppose we could knock him over the head," she says, consideringly. "But it would be a bit silly to have to tie him up to get him to enjoy a thing." She takes a sip from the champagne flute she acquired, then shakes her head at Olivia. "He wouldn't do that, I don't think, but it will still be difficult to get him to do anything with it." A pause at that mention of a dance. "That isn't like him. I can remind him, I suppose." More canapes!

Odie steps back, and nods at Rebecca. "Of course, miss, I'm sorry to have taken up so much of your time.", he says, and then takes a breath. "I hope you enjoyed your evening, and that you will return to see our many other exhibits.", he adds, clearly reciting that from memory as something he was supposed to say to the guests. And then he smiles, still shy, but warm. "Have a good night, miss." And then the odd young man, gloves and all, returns to his rounds, having managed to go another night without poisoning anyone to death. He'll flip the 'IT HAS BEEN ___ DAYS SINCE I MURDERED SOMEONE ACCIDENTALLY' counter up by one when he gets home.

Lance maneuvers into a position, while he chuckles a bit at what Dottie says. The detective takes a moment to look at Odie, and tilts his head a bit from afar, then it is back to the others. Afterwards, back to Dot, as he wiggles his nose with the poke, "I suppose so. I don't regret it, just that it takes up so much time."

"Good. Whatever he needs, just let him know. There are people at the ready if and when he wants," Tock replies earnestly to Olivia's update. "Oh, too bad. Did Ryan leave for the night already? Perhaps he is only out for a moment and you can get that dance when he returns." Well, there goes the sombreness, lost in a grin at Eleri's comment. "Well, we can't judge people for what it takes to give them enjoyment."

Dottie says, "Sacrifice is important for the things you want. Eat too much cotton candy, get a tummy ache, that's how things work." She bobs her head solemnly though she's grinning. Her eyes flock after Odie then around to the others. She beams back up at Lance, "So are you from here? I mean, the city. Not the america." Yes, 'the' America. "Or did you come here for your work?"