Julian fidgeted with the sleeve of his shirt and looked up at Oliver while he waited to be acknoladged in.
"Stop that," Oliver muttered to Julian. "I told you that makes you look like an anxious child."
"I am sorry," Julian mumbled quietly stuffing his hands on his pockets, before they were allowed in.
"Lord Henry," Julian said bowing his head in greeting to the man he already knew before he looked at the stranger and smiled softly before nodding in greeting as well. "This is Oliver," he said quietly, as it was used for him to talk whilst his master moved within the small office to ´inspect´ this Lord closely.
"Oliver, this is Lord Henry, the man I talked with you about."
Nodding Oliver reached out a hand to shake Lord Henry´s and nodded practically ignoring the stranger. "Julian tells me you want to do some bussniess," He asked straightfoward, not enjoying going around simple topics as it was dealing with his workboys, if someone wanted them, they paid. It was as simple as that... of course, prices changed according clients and events. "He said something about a meeting in this club?"
“Monsieur! Welcome!” Harry bowed a little to his guest but remained seated. Over Oliver’s shoulder, Harry winked at Julian. He heard Hallward groan audibly as he assumed a seat in the corner, admitting defeat under the Lord.
“I am extremely interested, sir, in the services of your enterprise,” Harry said, puffing on a cigarette ostentatiously. “I have found Julian here a most wonderful and adept companion and I would most like to share my little discovery with my friends.”
“Of course,” he smiled, “I am not suggesting that Julian should entertain an entire get-together though I have no doubts in my mind that he could and prove most capable of doing so. Instead, dear Monsieur, I would like to employ the provision of a number of your number. I am assuming, of course, that you have others like the fascinating creature who has accompanied you to my humble club.”
With this, Julian received a brazen smile from Harry as the Lord propped his feet on the table.
Julian smiled back at Lord Henry before he noticed The Lord´s friend sitting on the corner in a chair and he looked at this man briefly, wondering what was going on betwen the two of them, and what that groan had been about. Either way, he smiled when the stranger looked up before he looked back at Lord Henry and Oliver.
Oliver looked at Julian and then at Lord Henry again, he had no need to say that Julian was rather an unique creature and he nodded. "All can be accorded, for the right price." He said blankly, eyes as cold as ice as he studied the two men and noticed the Lord´s smile for Julian.
Yes, Julian could have that effect on many. "How many friends would you have over? And what day would you be planning on holding this... gathering? Most of my boys tend to have schedualed apointments, but I am positive Julian could skip some, and perhaps Victor." He mumbled to himself. "How much are you willing to offer for my boy´s entretainment Lord Henry?"
“My dear, Monsieur,” Harry said, becoming deadly serious and removing his brogues from the desk, “However much your pockets can take. There are limitations to my funds, naturally, but I’d like to see my donation, generous as it will be, more as an investment than a payment.
Time? Would a month be enough advancement for you and your employees? I sure there must be a date where you can squeeze me in.
As for number, I think we’ll be looking at around five gentlemen, including myself. I want numbers small; I don’t want to have to be competing with my friends for the attention of your fine fellows. It is to be a night of leisure, Monsieur Oliver. I will be providing your boys with the finest drugs, drink and conversation this side of the Thames. I will expect their appreciation to my gratification and the indulgence of my gents.”
Hallward suddenly rose from his seat and strode determinedly towards Harry. He crouched down and hissed in his friend’s ear. “Harry, do you really think that your uncle would be very impressed at the use to which you’re putting his club?”
Harry smiled apologetically at Oliver and attempted to bat Hallward away but the painter grasped on to his shirt and petitioned all the harder. “You’d better not be expecting my compliance, Harry! Haven’t I been a good friend? You’re pushing me too far if you expect me to join you in your sordid adventures.”
“God’s sake, Basil! This is for your good too! Why can’t you see that?” Harry demanded through barely moving lips. “Sit down, man. You’re an embarrassment.”
Hallward did not return to his seat but relinquished his grip of Harry’s shirt and passed in front of the fire, chewing a thumb nail resolutely.
“Please do not mind Mr Hallward, dear Monsieur,” Harry said offering a cigarette to Oliver, “He doesn’t make for a very good business colleague I’m afraid. Now, will I be paying per boy or as a job lot?”
"I assume that if you want five or six of my boys for an entire night, then we might be able to make a discount." Oliver said not even bothering with watching the anxious man standing by the fireplace and told LOrd Henry the amount of money he would want. "Within a mont´s time, 5 or 6 of my boys for that ammount, it might seem a bit high, but I have no doubt you have already noticed they are well behaved and tend to know what to do in every occasion." He grinned as he lit the cigarette and took a drag from it.
"If you think you can handle that amount of money, then we might have a deal Lord Henry." He said standing before the other´s desk. Watching at Lord Henry with cold eyes.
Julian looked from Oliver to Lord Henry, the amount of money he had asked was awfully high, not even a night of five of them the entire night would be that high.
He looked to the side where Harry´s friend was standing by the fireplace about to eat his own finger out of anxiety and he wondered if this was a good idea after all.
His eyes focused on the worried man and he wondered why he would be so worried about something he could or not assist to.
Harry smiled roguishly, “Please do not confuse me for some young, inexperienced gentleman just three minutes out of Eton. Understand, Oliver, that I know this business inside out. I’ve studied it with the utmost fascination and dreamed about wicked situations whilst in the deepest opium induced stupor.
I am not going to haggle with you, a most unpleasant thing to do, but I would ask you to reconsider the price that you are asking of me. This meeting of your boys with my fellows will no doubt provide your books with extra clients. See my proposition as a business opportunity to expand your enterprise. I have no hesitation in saying that your house will benefit from being linked with the grand and long standing reputation of the Coronation Arms.
Take a third off your price and I believe we will have a deal…”
Arching an eyebrow, Oliver looked from Julian to Lord Henry. Julian was looking curiously at the man sitting on the corner, though he drew his eyes back to look at Lord Henry.
A third, he considered. He could lower a third of the price if this was going to be an ´investment´ besides this man didn´t look desperate, which in Oliver´s opinion was always good. No one would try charm his merchandise and keep them to themselves telling them they were in love.
"Very well, you have a deal Lord Henry." He said knowing that he would be wondering what Julian did to charm the best clients, if he didn´t know the boy so well.
Julian looked at Lord Henry and smiled softly. Rather thankful Oliver had been on one of his best behaviours. This were the times he felt as if Oliver were his father, as if Oliver would ashame him infront of others... he shouldn´t feel that way about him. What Oliver did was his own bussnies.
"Would you want me to leave Julian behind today? COnsidering you have company he might be good entretainment. And yes, a month time does suit us all well." He nodded.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
OOC: I think I might have found another two persons who might want to play rentboys for this ´party´, so that would make three, in case you wanted to really do this, and ask more people in. Let me know what you had in mind
Harry shook Oliver's hand, confirming the deal. "I look forward to it," he said, grinning. "And as for Julian," Harry stood up and walked around the desk, "I think it would suit for you to leave him, I'd most like to introduce him to my friend, here."
Harry slinked up to Julian as Hallward shook his head and waved his hands, trying to attract Harry's attention. Harry merely smiled at the painter.
"I wouldn't blame you, dear Julian, if you were under the impression that my companion was an overly animated hat stand. He's been so damnably silent," Harry said. "I would like to introduce you to Basil Hallward, esteemed painter and one of my oldest friends."
OOC: Sounds good! I was thinking of putting up a wee notice at Theatrical Fen to attract notice to get Harry some chums - I'm sure people will be interested!
Julian heard Oliver telling him the usual whenever he left him with a client and left agreeying that he looked forward to the money, within a month as well.
Julian chuckled at Lord Henry´s words before shaking his head. "He might have had his reasons to be silent." He said quietly with a smile to the man he ´knew´ as they walked towards the one sitting on the chair, looking reluctantly at them both as they moved forward.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Hallward." Julian said politly reaching out his hand to shake it with the painter´s and nodded his head slightly before he looked into Harry´s best friend´s eyes. Eyes could tell a lot when it came to people. Julian had always known that, not for nothing most the times he read his clients right.
OOC: Sounds good, if you can get other two boys, that would be wonderfull too! With Julian, they are still only three :o(
Harry chuckled inwardly as Hallward took Julian’s hand. He knew the as much as the painter despised Julian’s “type”, Hallward would never let his manners slide. Harry clapped Hallward on the shoulder as he retracted his hand after the briefest of touches. “There now,” he said, “That wasn’t disastrous, was it?” Harry turned his attention to Julian.
“Your master, Oliver, is one tough nut, dear boy, but hopefully not out with my control,” he smiled, wrapping an arm round Julian’s neck and tugging playfully at his ear.
Hallward got up and poured himself a drink from the trolley.
“Lime tonic?” Harry noted jovially from the other side of the room, still tangled around Julian’s lithe form, “A pitiful tipple!”
Hallward did not laugh. Instead he grumpily resumed his seat, facing away from Harry and Julian.
Harry glanced at his friend and then at Julian. He let out a long sigh. “Fine, Basil!” he exclaimed, throwing up his arms and accidentally cuffing Julian on the chin in his exasperation, “You win. I will ask our young Master Julian to depart for now on your most ardent promise that you’ll greet him more warmly at my little party.”
Once again Hallward remained huffily silent.
Harry pulled his jacket from the back of his chair and extracted a couple of coins, passing them to Julian. He touched the boy delicately on the chin where he had unintentionally knocked him. “Take these for yourself just now, Julian. I want to have a word with Mister Hallward, if you’ll allow me.”
"Of course," Julian said looking from Lord Henry to the other´s reluctant friend, Basil he thought Henry had called him and he wondered if he wasn´t of the painter´s liking. Sometimes, some clients rathered more... sturdy looking boys.
"I will be at the house if you need me," Julian said to Lord Henry running his hand along the taught back covered by the shirt before stuffing it into his own pockets.
"It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. Hallward, I am sorry if I made you uncomfortable in any way." He apologized and bowing to both men he headed to the door.
With the soft click of the door as Julian exited, Harry rounded at once on Hallward. “Really, Basil! I have never seen such despicable behaviour, especially not from you! I understand that you are upset about Dorian but you can’t think ill of all pretty creatures.”
Hallward stood up in his seat, his small but bulky form ballooning with rage. “I am not upset about Dorian. And I told you not to tease me about him!”
Harry laughed at his friend. “I wasn’t teasing, Basil, merely observing. You can’t think I haven’t noticed. I am your oldest friend, Basil – well, maybe not your oldest - I know you well enough to –”
“And I don’t think ill of him. Don’t even suggest that.” Hallward pointed threateningly at Harry.
“Fine, dear fellow,” Harry shrugged nonchalantly which seemed to only further anger the painter. “I won’t mention Dorian again.”
“Dorian is as dear to me as much as he was that very day you first met him. He was all my art to me then and he still continues to be. Don’t even suggest that I think ill of him. Don’t dare talk of Dorian in that way.”
“Basil, dear, I had quite dropped the matter completely. Now, would you like to join me in a cigarette?" Harry flipped open his cigarette case and left it invitingly on the desk. He extracted a pair of spectacles and a pile of papers from the desk.
Hallward stood for a moment, his finger still pointed at Harry who was casually seated behind his uncle’s grand desk. He appeared to think of Wotton’s proposal of a cigarette and, finding no apparent harm in the offer, took one.
Harry hooked the spectacles over his ears and penned some brief notes in his hieroglyphic hand whilst his friend calmed himself over his expensive gold tipped French cigarettes. When Basil stubbed the last of the tobacco out, Harry looked up from his note writing and spoke soothingly to Hallward. “Please come, Basil,” he implored one last time.
With a silent nod of the head, the painter consented.
The heat of the office fire continued to crackle as Harry grinned.
OOC: Sorry I've been away for so long! Eeps! I'll get right back on track of everything though!
OOC: No worries :o) I totally understand, we all do have lives asides the ones of our pups *g* Do you want me to bring Julian back? Or would you rather we leave this thread here? Let me know :o)
OOC: We'll leave the thread for there just now, methinks. I'm just going to pop up a wee announcement on theatical_fen, look out for it :)