“Gilles, the papers hold the wrong numbers.. “ Mattias looked thoughtful at the contracts in front of him. He was helping his domitor prepare for the upcoming meeting with the head of the foundation that held “The Old Court” building. The Frenchman shook his head with a small sigh and looked back at his financial assistant. “they do not. That is the amount we are going to buy that building for.”
He did not look too happy about it, but knew that this was the way they needed to proceed if he still wanted to put his other plans into work. Jim had come through for him wonderfully. Not that the man had any choice anymore. This realization pained the Ventrue. He pulled his hand through his graying hair while looking at all the paperwork in front of him on the table, than at his blond assistant.
He had to get used to the name of the company, though he agreed with Matt that it was a good one. It had taken some calls and paperwork, but the shell company Lilja inc. was born, established in Sweden and now with a branch in the US. He was proud of his assistant for making this all happen. That business degree he got last year was certainly not going to waste. He put his hand on the young man’s for a moment, showing his gratitude for what he had managed to pull off. It made Mattias smile shyly. He would do anything for his “boss”.
They packed up the papers, putting them in neat folders, making sure they had copies. Gilles took the building report Jim had written for him and put it in his briefcase as well. He took a deep breath. He would be glad when this was all over and done with. After the young man quite lovingly straightened Gilles’ tie the two nodded at eachother and left the apartment to go to their meeting.
They did not meet at the courthouse itself. Gilles had asked Ivory if she could arrange a meetingroom at the Palisade Hotel. She had done so gladly.
Derreck drove them there and hung around a little in the lobby after he had parked the car. The duo had been early and had time enough to set up for the meeting with the head of the Foundation. Gilles went over the building report again. When he had told Mister Altrick about it, the man had been shocked. They hadn’t expected to become a victim of a shady building company. The Frenchman was still a little in thought when the old man entered the room. He was nicely dressed, but it was clear he was quite distressed about the whole situation. He was facing one hell of a scandal and probably the fall of his foundation.
The duo got up to greet him, than all of them sat themselves to get down to business. Matt just kept to himself and sat there in silence, being the good assistant that he was. Gilles looked concerned at the old man, than gave him an encouraging smile before he started to speak.
“Mister Altrick, I am sorry you find yourself in this position. I have to admit that I am glad that I let Suarrez and Sons check your building before we signed that lease. “ He watched how the old man almost shrunk in his chair. He was certain that now everything would go to shit. The building, the foundation, everything he had worked for to accomplish in the last few years. The expression on the man’s face made Gilles sigh involuntarily. He tried to keep in mind that this was for the greater good, that not everything would be lost for the old man and that he could still try to help him out in other ways too after this. He forced a caring smile and his voice sounded compassionate when he spoke. “I think it would be a pity to see all that work go to waste, so I have a proposition for you.” He watched the man peek up and with a calm smile on his face he went on. “I will take this building of your hands and take care of the “mistakes” that were made by the last contractor. “
The old man blinked at Gilles, uncertain what to think of this. He realized that he probably wouldn’t have much choice, but he was not yet fully convinced. The Frenchman went on. “Cleaning up the asbestos will of course come at a price, so you understand I cannot pay full price for this piece of heritage. “ He sat back and looked at the man while his words were sinking in. He leafed through some papers before speaking again. “As a side effect, we will not speak of this little problem, so you and your foundation will not lose any face over it and can continue doing it’s good work for.. other buildings.” He pushed the contracts towards Mister Altrick. The man looked defeated and even older than he was. He glanced over the papers and let out a soft sigh.
“Keep in mind Mister Altrick, that I will be supporting your foundation with a generous donation every year, as I understand that such a … debacle can wear on a man.” He smiled compassionately while the old man in front of him just kept staring at the papers. Mattias strategically put a pen near the man but other than that just kept silent. Gilles sits back, giving the man a moment, than speaks again. “I realize it is a lot to take in. Please take your time, take the contracts home. It is allright if I receive them Monday… “ He left in a strategic pause, than goes on. “Or you can get it over with right now, know it is all arranged and the building is in good hands and will be taken care of and finally have a good night of sleep again.”
He had noticed how heavy this weighted on the mans mind. It probably hadn’t been obvious to everybody, but the Frenchman just had a keen eye for it. With another sigh, the old man picked up the pen and turned the page on the contract. He glanced over the page, than signed at the bottom. He pushed the contract towards Gilles, who checked it, than handed it to Matt. Mister Altrick signed the second contract as well after making sure the representative of Lilja inc. had also put his signature down.
When they walked out of the hotel, Gilles looked thoughtful and sighed. This time it was Matt who put his hand on the Ventrue’s back and spoke softly to him. “the greater good Gilles.. “
He took a deep breath and nodded at his assistant. He tried to keep that in mind, but it was quite clear he wasn’t happy about it.
(written for PL vampire the masquerade roleplay)