I Know What I Like

Galerie Montage

The Galerie Montage is located on the main level of the Eclairant building. Double doors off the shared foyer lead into the spacious, private art gallery. The walls are clean white, and the hard wood floors are kept polished. The Galerie is composed of three large open rooms, two in the front, one in the back, all interconnected with open or arching doorways. Running lights race along the ceilings to illuminate the paintings or photographs that line the walls or the alcoves, or the art works that have their places on white tables, blocks or art stools.

While The Galerie is often eclectic in its offerings, providing an outlet for both old and new talent, there are times when a specific theme will run. Such as when an artist or two team up to do a showing. The Galerie has also been known to host art auctions and charity exhibits.


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Serafine Roche Bryn Blackwell

The Galerie is quieter tonight than has been typical, but with the change in the weather, it's not so surprising. Adding in that this is the last week for the art works that have been here since spring first peaked, it's perfectly normal and Serafine isn't at all worried. Monday will be all about the change over, showcasing new artwork by new talent and old talent, rotating some of the more familiar but unsold pieces into new locations to better complement the changes, and of course, packaging up the sold pieces for their patient buyers.

She walks along, taking inventory with a clip board tucked in one arm. The vampire is dressed professionally in a chic Oscar de la Renta print dress in a tasteful pattern of red and brown and beige, her hair pulled back and piled up, with a few curls expertly arranged to 'escape.' Her heels click on the floor as she stops and circles an artwork, and makes a note on one of the notecards on her clipboard.


The weather is chill, but hardly as damp as it is back home in London at this time of year. Though, he really should stop thinking that way as he is taking the position in New York, and it will serve as his new base of operations and home. Bryn knows full well who the owner of the Galerie Montage is, thanks to Callum's research, and the dossier on the woman that the Priory has. The Colonel said he should call her, but he knows that the best way to handle a vampire on a personal level is to catch them off-guard.

Watching her through the window as he walks by, he stops at the front door of the building. Tousling his hair a little, he smirks. Fingers flick toward the door and he casts a quiet spell that will allow him to slip in without making a sound. She'll scent him soon enough, there's really no bypassing that unless he bothers with a full cloak, and there's no point in wasting stronger magic when he's not here to spy on her.

Taking a gander at the artwork presented in the gallery, he cocks his head to the side a little, trying to determine if he likes it or not.


"Lucky Mrs. Mahoning," Serafine murmurs beneath her breath as she flips to another card, and then reaches out to readjust the elegant, and simple plaquard that pronounces the abstract painting as sold. It doesn't jump out at the room, and complements the artwork and the decor. That particular artist has been nothing but a pain and Sera will be glad to have the last of his artwork gone from the gallery.

It's clear that she does not hear the door opening, as she moves onto her next piece, a sculpture of glass and iron rods. Partway there, she pauses, catching a scent on the air that hadn't been present before. Vaguely familiar, though unplaceable. Serafine is certain she's caught it before and recently, however.

She straightens, a gracious and welcoming smile on her face, radiating unfaked enthusiasm for the new patron, and turns her attention in that direction. "Welcome to -"

Truly, she can't help it. She stops, a flash of surprise sweeping over her features before she's schooled them back to normal, continuing as though she hadn't stumbled for just a moment. "Galerie Montage … Mr. Blackwell."

Her walk is smooth and confident, far too graceful and lithe to be natural to a normal human, but it's not something your average human would detect. "To what do I owe the honor?"

Green eyes make a quick appreciative sweep over the sorcerer, but don't linger. Didn't I tell Kieran that he's yummy?


Bryn can hear her moving through the gallery, her steps taking her from piece to piece as she does paperwork in the solitude the evening seems to be bringing her. He glances over his shoulder as she comes toward him, enthusiastically inviting him to the gallery, and he flashes a grin at her surprise. It is unusual for a vampire to stumble, even when surprised and the fact that he's caused her to do so is not lost on him.

"Miss Roque."

Tipping his head in her direction, he turns back toward the picture. "I had been considering some artwork for my penthouse, and figured it would behoove me to come to your gallery to see if you sold anything I was interested in, or could acquire something to my tastes."


This time, the surprise is masked even as Serafine catches the use of her born, given surname, not the one she's currently using. "Someone's been doing their research." She tips a wink in his direction, but seems wholly unbothered by the fact that he has that knowledge. She knows that the Colonel has a file on her.

"I have to say that I'm flattered." Serafine's isn't the only gallery in the city, and there's that tickling knowledge that this is more than just a foray to peruse art. She still doesn't know what the handsome Brit is doing in the City, or his purpose with The Priory, but purchasing artwork suggests he'll be staying for a while.

Serafine steps up beside the man, but outside of his personal space, and takes a moment to look at the piece he's studying. "You don't strike me as the modern abstract, 'I need a glass of wine to make sense of this piece' type."


"I dare say that I like all sorts of art." Bryn takes a slight step back to examine the piece again, and nods his head. "Poet's walk in Central Park. It is a little on the smaller side, but I do believe I shall take it." He has no idea where he could put it in the penthouse suite, but it could fit in the entrance beside the door, or perhaps in the kitchen above the sink.

"That I chose your gallery?" Lifting his brow slightly, he chuckles and then shakes his head. "Perhaps I simply wanted to see why one so close to… shall we say… certain important people… would care to be so public."


"I do think that you've been my easiest sell all month." The edges of New Orleans roll a bit more strongly at her words as Serafine flashes the man a wholly open and amused smile that makes her appear somewhat younger and more girlish.

She glances back at the picture, "I'd put it in a sitting room, if the colors are right. Barring that, it could go well in a foyer space and it's certainly sunny enough for a kitchen." Beat. "If you were looking for suggestions on where to place it."

"Yes, exactly that." Serafine catches his gaze, and her smile dims but doesn't fade. She makes a delicate shift of her shoulders, almost a shrug. "I like being in the light, so to speak. It's a bit of challenge, too, hiding in plain sight." Going about her life with those around her never knowing what she is, but also keeping her close to that tide of humanity that her bloodline craves and needs.


"I happen to know what I like," Bryn says with a subtle wink. He does note that when the vampiress is smiling, she seems more human. He has known those who attempt to hide in humanity in the past, but none seem to do it so well, or carry it in the same manner. Which goes far to make him even more curious about the woman.

"I was considering the kitchen. With the proper lighting, it could certainly brighten the room."

The dimming of the smile is also noted. "Do you not find that it puts you in the line of danger?"


"Are you sure about that?" Serafine challenges, with a slight lift of her brows and a faint hint of a lilt that could be a tease, or a flirtation, or both, to her voice. "Or do you only like what you think you should like?"

The smile returns full force and Serafine laughs, "I haven't run into Buffy yet, so I feel safe so far." There's a quirk to the side of her mouth, her lips pursing, though the smile still lurks, and one corner tilts upward. "Not yet. The danger, I mean. People see what they want to see. I'm just a gallery owner, or a silly romance writer, depending on who you ask."


"Positive. I have yet to like something based on what I think I should like. I have very particular tastes." Ruffling his hand through his hair, he eyes her curiously, and then laughs.

"I do think that you should be careful, Miss Roque. You may not have run into Buffy, so to speak, but that hardly means that your Maker's employer is without enemies, and you could be caught in the crossfire." Bryn realizes how ridiculous it is to give such a warning to a vampire, and gives his head a bit of a shake.

He has a few other theories about what could be happening with the incidents in Central Park, but has yet to broach them to anyone as of yet.


"Don't we all, Mr. Blackwell?" Serafine's smile shifts to something less girlish and more coquettish, and she flicks the tip of her tongue to her upper lip. Her gaze follows the ruffling motion, and then length of his form again before returning to hold his gaze again.

"I promise you, I'm not reckless. I just don't like being underground." She doesn't mean that in the literal sense, though there is that fact as well.

"I like… living." Yes, she knows how that sounds, but there's no other way to explain it. Serafine likes being out, among people and living. She feeds and thrives on it.

Serafine is quiet then, if only for a moment, wondering why she's just told him that. Giving a soft shake of her head, she taps her lacquered nails on her clipboard. "We should write up that bill of sale if you'd like the painting. Maybe look around to see if there's anything else you would like?"


"I suppose we do." Vampires, he's aware, have very particular tastes at that. Bryn doesn't move much as she slides another once-over his way, he simply grins boyishly at her, and then nods.

"Good. I should think that we would be losing a rather brilliant liaison if you were to be reckless." Bringing it back toward business is best, because he can tell he's accidentally touched on something she doesn't talk about often.

"This painting will suffice for now, though I shall definitely keep Galerie Montage in mind when I get seriously into decorating the penthouse."


"I'm sure that there's another one of my kind around who could serve in the same capacity," Serafine says lightly, her mouth quirking in a bit of teasing smile.

"Come with me, please," Serafine turns, and heads toward the back of the gallery where the office is, and where she performs the transactions. The vampire gives a glance over her shoulder to be certain that the man is following. "You'll be staying in the City for a while then?"


"Fishing for information does not suit you, Miss Roque." Bryn has no trouble following her to the back of the gallery to pay for his purchase. He trusts that she won't harm him for two reasons — the first being that this is her place of business, and it would be messy, the second being that she has no idea if he is here on his own without informing the Priory, or if they've sent him.

"For the time being," he replies, being absolutely vague about the length of time he will be staying within the city.

"As for there being another of your kind who could serve in the capacity that you do, I am quite certain there is. Though I doubt that they would quite have your poise, and good nature."


Serafine laughs lightly. "That was hardly fishing, sugar. I came right out and asked exactly what I wanted to know. You're suggesting purchasing art work to decorate your penthouse, which implies that you aren't just in the city for a weekend visit."

Over her shoulder, she gives him another glance, lifting her brows. The vampire is unsure of how to take the man, so she simply accepts the words with a light smile. "Thank you. I'm glad you think so."

Reaching the office, Serafine opens the door and motions the sorcerer inside. The office is as brightly lit and airy as the rest of the gallery. It's also simple and not overdone, with small pieces of art dotting the bookshelves. The desk is designer, a golden brown polished wood, with a leather rolling chair behind it. Two chairs on the opposite side of the desk and a small divan in the corner with a reading table in front of it.

"Please, have a seat." She indicates the chairs with a wave of her arm and turns to the desk, seating herself behind it. Serafine is quite at home in the office, conducting business and she looks the part. Sliding out her keyboard tray, she types in her computer password and smiles over at Bryn. "Would you like to arrange to have the piece delivered, or would you be arranging your own pick up?"


"Yet it could imply numerous other things as well." Bryn could just be setting up a penthouse to stay in when he flies back and forth, or for a mistress, or for a Priory safehouse. It doesn't necessarily indicate that he'd be staying for any period of time.

Taking the chair on the left, he settles himself into it and raises his brow. It's amusing how swiftly she goes from being flirtatious to being business-like.

"If we could have it delivered to the Gramercy Park Hotel, I shall pick it up from the front desk."


"Unless you would prefer to set up other arrangements?"


"It could," Serafine admits. She looks up from the computer monitor and studies the Brit for a moment, taking in the details in a more professional and observant fashion than flirtatious one. "Even so, there's still an indication that you're not here just for a day or two."

Though she doesn't really care how long the man is in the city. Does she?

"I'll arrange the delivery." Serafine spends a few moments typing in the computer. "You'll be contacted twenty fours in advance, the morning of the delivery and four hours prior. We want to be certain that the piece is expected and received, and there are no problems."

The rest of the sale is routine. Name and address information, billing and payment, and a sales slip, invoice and receipt slid across the desk for the man to sign.


"Do you honestly care how long I am in the city for?" Bryn's eyes twinkle with amusement at the thought, and it does cause him to laugh. "You are a vastly intriguing vampire, Miss Roque. Had I not known you were the liaison, I would likely have thought you entirely human."


"I will set it up with the concierge then. The delivery will be expected, and if access is needed to the suite, just let me know. I will allow the man to show the delivery upstairs."

He fills out the paperwork, and cuts the cheque right there.


"Idle curiosity, Mr. Blackwell. You're with The Priory. I would be foolish to not take some interest in why you're here and how long you'll be around." Shifting in her seat, Serafine gives another one of those oh-so-slight shrugs. "Beyond that, it's really none of my business."

His words bring a smile to her lips. It's not quite the open flirtatious one of earlier, but it's not completely cool and professional either. "I have heard that before. Thank you." There's a fifty-fifty chance that a vampire would be flattered for being considered human, but considering that it's how they stay safe and blend in, Serafine thinks it's high praise indeed.

With the sale concluded, she rises slowly, extending her hand to the man. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you. I do hope that if you do find yourself looking to more decorative purchases that you really will give me a call."


"How much interest do you have, Miss Roque?" Bryn raises one eyebrow, and watches her as she stands. He rises to his feet as well and takes her hand. After giving it a firm shake he lifts and turns the back of it toward him before raising it to his lips. A ghost of a kiss is placed upon it, and when he looks at her his eyes are twinkling once again.

"That is to say, are you interested in joining me for a cup of coffee this weekend, barring any more incidents that draw our attention to the park?"


Serafine manages to contain her surprise and keep any sign of it from her face at the request. It doesn't mean that she isn't of half a mind simply to tell him 'no' on the principle of the thing. Did he come here just to suss her out, to find her weaknesses? Is he playing some sort of game? Still, if she says no, simply because her pride is wounded - and yes, because she likes having the upper hand - she'll never have any answers and she will have to deal with him when she deals with The Priory.

"It'd be my pleasure to have a cup of coffee with you, barring any other business matters."


"Shall I have a car pick you up, say, at around nine then? That would give you plenty of time to get… dinner… out of the way first." Bryn watches her curiously, trying to figure out what's going on in her head. At this point, it's difficult to tell.

"Though if you would prefer, we can choose a location to meet at."


"I don't mind if you send a car." Serafine's smile softens, relaxing more towards the open end of things. It doesn't quite touch her eyes as she is still reeling and trying hard to figure out the man's angle. She's usually quite good at reading people, and doesn't like it when she can't.

She will trust the car he sends because he's with The Priory, and whatever is going on in the man's head, Serafine is certain that it has little to do with harming her. It doesn't negate her being careful, and certainly she'll make certain that Kieran knows of her plans. She's half-tempted to call up Ashcroft and grill him, but on the off chance that Blackwell is acting on his own and the invitation is more than professional, she doesn't want to stir up that part.

"Thank you for the invitation. I'm quite interested in sitting down and talking to you a bit more, Bryn." Giving a soft tilt of her head, Serafine asks, "May I call you Bryn?"


"Then I shall send a car here for nine on Saturday. Should you have need to call it off, please contact the number I have left on the forms." It will only ring to the concierge, but the man will know how to get a message to Bryn before he goes to a coffee shop and waits for her to arrive.

"And I you, Miss Roque." Getting to know her off the paper will be beneficial in the long run, and it will be necessary that they trust one another if she is to remain the liaison for the Priory.

Chuckling, he dips his head in a polite nod. "If that is what you prefer to call me, then you may."


"You don't have to call me Miss Roque." Serafine glides around the desk and moves toward the doorway. It's not a move designed to rush Bryn out, but she does need to get back to the gallery. "I haven't used that name in … almost a hundred years. Maybe more."

Locking her gaze to his, she's quiet for a heartbeat. "I'd much prefer it if you would call me by my first name."


"I do not have to, but at the moment I prefer to." Bryn flashes her a boyish smile once more, gathering the receipts and slips he will need to give to the concierge in regards to the artwork.

"Nine on Saturday, Miss Roque."

He folds the papers neatly, and tucks them into an inner pocket in his suit jacket.

"I will determine then if we are familiar enough with each other to use your given name."


Bryn Blackwell has to be one of the most frustrating men that Sera has had the pleasure of knowing in a good few decades. Maybe a good century. She can have any man in the city that she wants; Sera can wrap them around her finger and have them falling at her feet. She knows men, she knows their desires and how to push their buttons. If it weren't for the fact that she knows doing something over the top right now would only make things uncomfortable and difficult in the future, unless she glamoured it away from the man.

Damn the Priory.

"Nine o' clock, then, Mr. Blackwell." Two can play that game.


"I do need to get back to the gallery. Feel free to stay and have a look around. Perhaps you'll see something else that you find appealing." She flashes Bryn a smile that one parts friendliness and two parts sultry, despite her frustration, before turning and walking away with an extra sway to her steps.


Really, he can't help but laugh when she emphasizes his name. It amuses him to no end that she wants to be overly familiar with him when she barely knows him. He watches with amusement as she 'storms' out of her office with a flirty smile, and a sway to her hips.

That is how he can tell that he's gotten under her skin.

Bryn gives her a few moments before he silently makes his way to the door, then turns around, hand resting on the handle.

"I have seen plenty that I find appealing, Miss Roque. Do have a pleasant evening now."

With that, he steps out into the night, disappearing into a dark towncar.

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