Repeat Encounter

Manhattan Mall

Located in the heart of Midtown, the Manhattan Mall is a high-traffic shopping venue. The large, classy building is thirteen levels high, though the majority of the upper floors are now office space. All of the floors above the main level are accessed via stairs, escalators, or elevators, and all are lined with balconies, allowing views down to the main floor.

The entrance is open and spacious, a large circular fountain built in tiers being one of the main focal points.

The anchor tenant JCPenney takes up 150,000 square feet on the lower level, and the main and upper floors are home to dozens of individual retailers to satisfy every shopper's needs.


bd01.jpg gg01.jpg Julian_Cam.jpg
Cooper Montgomery Preston Van de Mark Julian Griffin

The mall is not a place where one would normally find Cooper. He's a big fan of not milling through crowds of people, trying to get shopping done. There are boutique shops for that which are a little quieter and more to his taste.
The mall just happens to be where a large Victoria's Secret is. One which it's not unusual for men to be shopping in.
He has found something there that he likes — not for himself, but as a gift for someone else.
He's grateful that the sales clerk didn't saddle him with a small pink bag, and instead gave him a blue one.


Knowing his boyfriend's dislike of malls, Preston is amused that Cooper opted to go here. He did choose early evening, and the store clerk gave him that smile that said she thinks he's shopping later due to embarrassment and that she wishes he wasn't shopping for someone.
Preston is impressed by what's in the bag. It's subtle and understated, flattering and down right cute. Which means it won't make its way to the back of an underwear drawer and stay there. It's not what he expected Cooper to buy at all, but it shows that Cooper really is paying attention. And trying.
"I like it," Preston remarks as they exit the store. "She'll like it."
"She'll wear it." Which is more important.


The mall is totally a place where Julian fits in wonderfully. He's clearly a big fan of shopping seeing as he's carrying two bags in each hand already. The bags are of various clothing brands founds within the mall. Looks like someone's renewing his wardrobe!
He's wearing a pair of khaki pants, a plain white t-shirt with a navy blue button-up overshirt over it. Of course the overshirt is unbuttoned and flapping in the slight breeze of the man walking. Who seriously buttons those overshirts, right?!
Julian looks around slowly, seeming a bit lost, even though he has been here nearly a thousand times over the years. But clearly it's been a while for the man as he is attempting to solidify his surroundings in his memory.
That's when the other man seem to exit the store and Julian's expression shifts to delight at seeing what he clearly knows to be a familiar face. Who could forget Cooper?! He begins to slowly approach, but seems intent on scanning the man accompanying Cooper. "Hey there, don't I know you from somewhere?"

"If not, that's why she's also getting the gift card." Cooper doesn't buy gifts like this, not normally. He frowns a little when he thinks about it. He's honestly not embarrassed to be shopping, but his preference is always for clothing to be off.
"You're just happy I didn't take the clerk's number when she tried to slip it to me." They both know he could've, and likely would've if he weren't picking up a gift.
"Huh? Oh, maybe. I know quite a few people." He gives Julian a once over, trying to place him. His hope is that it's not an angry one-night-stand.


Baby steps. Preston likes that Cooper is taking them.
Preston shrugs, "Would you have called her, if you did? Led the poor thing on?" It was Cooper who said that he'd limit himself while in the city, that wasn't Preston's decision or suggestion at all.
Preston curiously eyes the man who's approached them, wondering if he's a patron of the arts. Or like Cooper, if he's a scorned one nighter.

Julian chuckles as he catches the random conversation about gift cards along with actual gifts. It's such a male thing to say, clearly also quite amusing for the Upper East Sider to hear at the mall like this.
He only tilts his head slightly when the subject of the clerk slipping his number is mentioned. It's only then that Julian scans Cooper as though not sure he actually has seen the other man before. "Pardon my interruption, I just vague remember your face from somewhere. Though being that I've been out of the city for a while I could be imagining things."
He then looks over at Preston with a growing grin as the man suggests Cooper might have been leading the clerk on. Very promising phrasing if ever there was one. It's then clearly dawns on Julian's face as he pin-points Cooper. "Wait! You're the man I had a drink with near last November. I couldn't forget your impression. He were the light of the season last winter."
Julian then slows his excitement before looking between the other man, "Sorry, where are my manners. I'm Julian, Julian Griffin."

"Never hurts to have another dance partner at Purgatory. There's no law that says I've got to fuck her just because I call her," Cooper points out.
Giving another look at the stranger, the dancer starts to rub the back of his neck. Scanning the man more thoroughly, he blinks as he hears the name. "Christ, you've got a good memory, along with good genes, don't you?"
"I have drinks with a lot of —" It takes a moment, but it clicks. "Shiv and I met him last winter," he tells Preston.
"Coop. This is Pres."


Preston reaches down and tweaks Cooper's backside. There could be paps around somewhere, but Preston doesn't care. Besides, the more interesting picture was him coming out of Victoria's Secret with his boyfriend. "I never said you were going to fuck her." He trusts his boyfriend. He wasn't implying that he didn't.
Preston gives the man a once over, for the first time feeling the slightest tingle of jealousy. It's the most ridiculous thing ever. He got more than his fair share of hearing about Coop's exploits when he was on tour with the man, and didn't bat an eye. A random stranger who shared drinks? Shouldn't even ping his radar.
Preston, however, is the epitome of politeness as he extends his hand, "Pleasure." He's UES born and bred, he's not about to show bad manners in public. And he certainly isn't going to turn jealous and catty for no good reason.

Julian begins to nervously laugh when Cooper is so blunt about the difference between calling the clerk and sleeping with her. Clearly this man doesn't get out much as this shouldn't be funny. Though maybe he can pass it off cool if he just could stop laughing like an idiot.
He then flushes at the cheeks when Cooper flatters him with his compliment. "Oh Goddess above help me, thank you for the compliment." Nope, clearly Julian couldn't be so lucky as to not social faulter at least once. He then sighs falling back into an awkward silence before nodding in Preston's direction before setting one hand of his bags down to shake Preston's hand. "Nice to meet you both. I trust I'm not presuming too much that you're both not in a rush. I honestly just wanted to greet —" He then pauses taking a better look at Preston now that he's not distracted by Cooper. "You wouldn't happen to be a Van de Mark of the Upper East Side, perhaps? I would feel quite silly not recognizing another Upper East Side resident." Yes, if it wasn't obvious before, it will be now. Julian is trying to show his general manners and also clearly trying to defuse what could turn to be a rough encounter.

"True, you never did say that. She was hot enough to fuck though, at least she would've been if she wasn't a bottle blonde." Cooper likes pretty much anyone who's attractive, and the clerk definitely was. He just didn't want to get into that mess.
"You're welcome," the dancer tells the man with a waggle of his brows. Yes, he's flirting, but that's just his nature.
"You're not a reporter, are you?"

"You know hotter," is the last thing Preston is able to point out before they're engaging in conversation with the newcomer. It's not an idle comment. Even if Ariel and Sera were taken out of the equation, in his dance Company alone there are hotter women than the clerk. No, Preston still isn't looking beyond Ariel, but he still has eyes enough to recognize a beautiful and/or hot woman by definition.
While Preston doubts that Julian recognizes every UES resident, he isn't surprised that the man recognizes him. His name does appear in one gossip column or paparrazzi photo grab from one week to another. Nothing that bothers Preston enough that he even pays attention: the usual speculations of whether or not he's still dating his latest beau (sometimes they even recognize him as Cooper), if he's auditioning for this role or that role. Nothing juicy, and nothing that would either make his mother rejoice or give her palpitations.
"I'm Preston Van de Mark III," Preston admits easily enough with a shrug and then a chuckle. "No, Coop, he's not paps. He'd already have a camera in my face or be trying to find out what we were shopping for, and stealing a copy of the register receipt from your hot bottle blonde clerk." The last is said lightly, with a bit of teasing.
Preston shakes his head in apology. "I'm sorry I don't recognize you. I end up in the society pages, but I don't spend a lot of time reading them."

Julian retracts his hand as he nods his head at Cooper's comment about the clerk. "Truer words haven't been spoken in ages…" Clearly he agrees with Cooper's assessment of bottle blonds. There are just some faces that aren't naturally meant for blond hair.
Julian than smiles as Cooper does his now too familiar eyebrow waggle. It almost sends Julian into a flutter, but he quickly looks back to Preston in attempts to keep what is left of his composure.
Julian shakes his head confidently as Cooper's question seems to fly out of nowhere. "Oh heavens no, me?! I'm a programmer and clearly have no real skill of writing such things as articles for even the most liberal papers."
Julian nods confidently as Preston announces his name. "Ah yes, then I am not mistaken. You did set-off some sparks of memory from what little tabloids I've seen in the last year."
Julian nods as Preston speaks of how 'the paps'. "Yeah, I just hate when drawing attention. Thankfully my direct line of Griffin rarely if ever get enough notice to end up followed. Though I do agree, being heavily into the society does have quite the negative downfalls."

"First world problems, huh?" Cooper, for one, is lucky that he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Even if he does get mentioned in the society pages, it's usually just a name that's mixed in with quite a few others, and no one pays much attention.
He's not at risk for losing an inheritance if the papers come up with some nonsense about him — which they likely could; easily.
"Programmer," he repeats. "Right."
Glancing over at Preston, he nods. "You think so? I bet she wouldn't give up the receipt for just anyone. Especially since you weren't doing the buying."

Preston almost has to laugh and wants to kiss his boyfriend for that reaction. That's always been one of the additional things he loves about Cooper. The man never put on airs, and he's never cared who Preston is. He settles for reaching out to press fingers gently to the back of his elbow as his hand is released. "We've gotten boring, lately. I don't really think that they care about what I'm doing or who I'm doing it with anymore."
"Don't get any ideas." No need to fuel any fodder that might started to form in Cooper's mind.
"True," Preston agrees. "And no one plastered last week's receipt in the tabloids." Preston smirks knowingly at his boyfriend, giving him a lopsided grin and a wink.
Turning back to Julian, he smiles charmingly. "Count yourself lucky. Though as I've said, I'm old, boring news now. I'd likely have to streak through the mall or have the next royal baby to get any attention at all."
"I'd say that I'm surprised you remembered Coop after all this time, but I'm not. He's quite memorable. He and Siobhan together would be hard to forget, I'm sure."

"Yeah, first world problems indeed." Julian says with a polite node. "Though I have a feeling that my family wants me to be a bit more pronounced in the community now that I'm back in the city for what only can be described as a while." Judging by Julian's tone it's not quite clear if he's happy about such events or if he's dreading each passing moment.
"Yeah, computers are my thing. Give me some time away from proper society and you might not recognize my more than proper upbringing." Julian says, though his tone speaks of sarcasm as though being complete unproper is not something he'd often consider.
Julian shakes his head as though the sheer suggestion that the clerk wouldn't hand-over the receipt as a bit nieve. "You'd be surprises out convincing some people are about those things. I mean either lying about being a store inspector or even just bold-faced bribing clerks. Mosts of the paps can get their hands on a lot of things."
"Surely becoming a bit boring could be a God send if you want to get out of the papers for a while. Can't say I wouldn't purposefully do such a thing if I were you." Julian says with what seems to be an attempt at a charming air.
"Oh you're quite right on that one. The girl is a fireball if ever I met one. I'm actually quite excited at the prospect of bumping into her once more. Maybe she could help be get back into the fun side of this otherwise stuffy city of ours."

Cooper snorts. "As though you could stop me from getting ideas? Executing them, maybe, but getting them? Not a chance." Waggling his brows at Preston, he grins. He's got quite a few, one involving the fountain near the entrance.
"The hell you say. I'm never boring. There are just more interesting things in the world than my shopping experience at a lingerie store," he points out.
"Again, I point out, that the one they care about didn't buy anything, so it'd be moot anyhow." Though he's pretty sure the clerk wouldn't do it, because then she'd have to explain who the dark-haired guy she was flirting with was.
"She's married," Cooper tells the man easily enough.

"Fine, then, get all the ideas you want. I get to censor which ones you carry out," Preston teases with another wink. "I do plan on trying to land a reputable role here very soon."
Preston considers. "Maybe next time I'll buy something. Keep them on their toes." Given the number of times he's gone into various lingerie shops with his best female friends, it probably won't even cause a flutter. It's just something Preston does.
"It's really only fun to be in them when my name is attached to Broadway reviews. Preferably the good reviews. That's always a good reason to be in the papers."
Preston glances curiosly at Coop when he announces Siobhan's marital status. He says it casually, but it's something that Preston would be more likely to say, and to say in a protective fashion.

"You two are too cute." Julian says looking between the two men, clearly and finally catching on to their connection to each other. "Though I can imagine Coop must keep your hands full if he's anything remotely as crazy as back in November."
Julian laughs as Cooper outbursts with his protest to being boring. "I'd think you'd learned by now, being boring to upper society is a blessing. Though I guess some attention is never fully unwanted at times." He then nods at Preston's suggestions on reviews and good writings.
He then nods taking an ever small step back not wanting to be thought of as threatening. "Oh, well I'm sorry to have presumed. I surely don't expect to be doing anything inapproprate toward a married woman. If that's what it seemed like, I apologize immensely."

There's a small part of Cooper that still balks at his relationship status, especially when they're outside of the inner circle of friends. Rubbing the back of his neck, he turns toward Preston and grins. "Really? You're going to let me pick out a few to have fun with? You are brave, because I'm sure you can just guess where my mind is going at the moment."
There's another snort, and a chuckle. "Sweetie, I'm rarely ever boring with upper society. The matrons all adore me, and most can't keep their hands off of me." He loves that attention, and it does wonders for the Company when it comes time to the Gala.
"Just casual conversation, really. You'd have found out soon enough, since I'm sure the vow renewal will be making the papers in the fall."

Preston isn't stopping Cooper from flirting, or from being himself. His boyfriend is welcome to indulge in any of that. He never applies any pressure or expectation, especially not since his little revelation back at the beginning of summer. He gets that Cooper has to move at his own pace, and take things in his own stride.
"Only if you're good," Preston says with a promising smile.
"He keeps me on my toes, but I love a challenge," Preston says. He shakes his head to Cooper's comments about not being boring, "See what I mean?"

Julian doesn't speak up until being address once more about upper society interest. "Oh, well surely that's because of your raw talent."
"Yes, casual conversation is good. I'd hate to make a fool of myself next I bump into the lovely lady." Julian says with a smile plastered on his face. He then looks at Preston and nods, "Yeah, he's a regular riot." It's then that his cellphone ring with a reminder. "Oh gosh, I better be off. My father is expecting me for late evening tea before bed."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License