Rainy Days and Reporters

Started by Lucian MacLeod at Apr 07, 2020 4:12 PM
February 23, 1924
436 Views
12 Posts

Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
42
?Years Young
28 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


Fortunately, that weekend was one of the few that saw the SS Chanteuse moored sedately alongside her dock in Miami. It would mean having to refund the deposits to those that had made reservations for a cruise weekend, but the weather reports of an impending line of major storms moving in from the Gulf made it too risky to head out to sea. Even if the ship could weather most storms with ease, the same could not be said for all of their passengers. After some discussion and debate, staying in port had just made more sense.  After all, safety first! Despite the advent of bad weather, Club Lorelei had been packed the night before and well up into the morning hours.

After the precipitous hang-up by Vivian Flanders the day before, Lucian had immediately dialed a number he knew by heart. He wanted some information on Miss Flanders before their scheduled meeting. In the end, he had left a message with the switchboard at the Miami Herald and hoped it got to her before he was due to leave for the meeting with Miss Flanders. He had not stated why he wanted to see Victoria Hayes because he did not want it bandied about the Herald that he had a meeting with the Flanders woman or that he was inquiring about her.

It was still raining when Lucian dragged himself from the stateroom he had slept in the night before to the still-closed club. The storms were nowhere near as strong as some of the typhoons he had lived through. Still, he had not wanted to walk home in the rain, and since he was hoping that the reporter would show up earlier rather than later, he had slept on board. Before entering the club, Lucian raked a hand through his thick dark hair. Before leaving his stateroom, he had splashed cold water on his face but had not taken the time to shave, so a dark shadow graced his jawline, fading into the neatly trimmed gray-sprinkled goatee on his chin.

Lucian's first stop was the galley, where he poured himself a mug of coffee and asked that a fresh pot be prepared and brought out to him. Grabbing the morning's newspaper off of the bar, he settled himself at one of the smaller booths, his back to the bar so that he could keep an eye on the entrance.

JulieS


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
64
?Years Young
12 Posts

Victoria thanked the attendant who had taken care of her umbrella before ushering her to the bar room.  She quickly checked her outfit to make sure that it was still relatively neat and clean after the ride in the taxi that bought her.  The fellow had obviously not done a good job of cleaning it out from the night before.  Thankfully her gas blue pleated skirt and dark yellow, collared blouse were in good order despite the taxi ride and the rain.  The need to make a good impression every time she meet Lucian MacLeod would help her stay in his good books.

It was not often that she got an actual invitation from Lucian.  Most of the time, she came here on the hunt for a good story.  As society reporter for the Miami Herald, places like the Club Lorelei were a haven for the rich, the famous and the not-so-famous.  If her sources told her that such and such was going to be at the club on a certain night, she made sure that she was here.  Sometimes she even got the chance to talk Lucian or his brother.  Actually, it it was more Lucian than the brother, who managed to make himself scarce whenever she turned up.  Lucian would usually try and do the same thing but sometimes he would fail and have no choice but to talk to her.

Before entering the room, she briefly wondered if Lucian would tolerate her more if she wasn't a reporter. But she was what she was and if Lucian didn't like it than that was his problem and not hers.

Pushing open the door, she made her way into the room.  It was reasonably lit for this time of day but not as bright as it would be in the evening.  Looking around the room, she saw Lucian in one of the booths nursing a mug of coffee.  Going up to Lucian, she smiled, "Well, Mr. MacLeod, I received your summons.  What is it that you would like to discuss?"

 

Stormwolfe


Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
42
?Years Young
28 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


Victoria Hayes was a lovely young woman. She was charming, independent, and extremely curious. The latter made her a good reporter. He had a tendency to avoid the press as much as possible. Most of them wanted information that Lucian had no intention of sharing with them. Keeping them out of Club Lorelei would blacklist the club with the press, and that was never good. However, Lucian also had to keep any information he had on his clientele confidential unless it involved actual murder or other such atrocities.

"Thank you for agreeing to see me on this dismal day. As usual, you are direct and to the point," Lucian replied as he politely rose to his feet and gestured at the seat opposite him. "Would you care for a cup of coffee or something else?"


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
64
?Years Young
12 Posts

Victoria sat down in the seat opposite Lucian, "Coffee will be fine, thank you."

She waited for Lucian to take his seat before speaking again, "Look, I know you didn't invite me over to talk about the weather or to socialise.  So, what do you want to know?"

Lucian settled back in his seat, reached for the French press coffee pot, and poured a cup for Victoria. He pushed the cup, creamer, and sugar bowl toward Victoria before refilling his own cup.

"You are correct, of course, I do want information. I have a business meeting later today with Vivian Flanders. I know of her, but we have never met. Can you provide any insights on her character before I walk into the lioness's den?"

Taking the offered cup, she added the sugar and creamer before taking a sip, "The lioness's den...that's one way of calling it.  I've heard that she eats those she doesn't like and those she does like, well..."

A smirk appeared on her, "I've got a feeling that she's going to like you, Lucian...a real lot."

"That is not necessarily reassuring, Victoria," Lucian stated wryly, his dark eyes glinting with humor. "You know this place. What should I know before booking a charter with Miss Flanders?"

Victoria took another sip of her coffee, "I'll give you the basics of what you need to know about Vivian Flanders but not much else.  I do have to maintain a relationship with her in order to get invited to her parties.  If weren't the society reporter, then it would be different and one day maybe it will be."

For the next few minutes, she told Lucian what he needed to know in order to deal with Vivian.  It wasn't much but it would do.  When she had finished, she took another sip of her coffee, "Now fair is fair. What do you have for me?"

Stormwolfe


Cat's Meow! 1

Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
42
?Years Young
28 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


Lucian made mental notes of the information that Victoria shared with him. Although Vivian Flanders sounded somewhat eccentric and exotic, there did not seem to be too much in the way of land mines with her. It did sound like her murder mystery cruise would be a feather in Club Lorelei's business cap. As long as it was an unmitigated success, that is. It would be in their best interest to pull out all of the stops and make sure the club was more than ship-shape.

He feigned a heavy sigh in Victoria's direction, "You know that I will not pass on gossip about the club's clientele. They trust us to be discreet. However, I can see that you have a reservation for the upcoming Flanders' event should it come to pass." Lucian paused, "Would you care to join me for a late breakfast while we talk?" He had skipped breakfast to be at the club early, and now his stomach was starting to protest the abuse.


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
64
?Years Young
12 Posts

Victoria smiled, "All right, a late breakfast it is.  Besides I don't really relish the idea of going outside in the rain.  Hopefully, it will have ease a little by the time we have finished."

Even though she had already a light breakfast before she left home this morning, it hadn't been enough.  If she ate too much, she could easily walk it off when she got back to the Herald's office.  Being a society reporter meant sometimes going to and fro from her desk to look at back issues of the paper to collaborate any new information she had received.

"By the way, thank you for reserving me a place.  I usually get an invitation from Vivian, but it's nice to know that just in case I don't, I have a way of being there."


Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
42
?Years Young
28 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


Lucian had skipped breakfast as well as his usual morning run. It was rare that he had an opportunity to relax on a Saturday, and he wanted to take advantage of it. Besides, it was pleasant to share a meal with someone. 

"You are most welcome," Lucian replied easily. He raised a hand to summon over one of the wait staff that was on an early shift. "I hope Eggs Benedict is okay with you. I happen to know that Chef made extra hollandaise sauce this morning."

"Yes, that sounds fine," she answered.  She liked Lucian and so spending extra time with him was never that bad.  It was also good because she had no romantic inclinations towards him and so she could be herself.  Putting on a show to gain the attention of someone you were attracted to could be a lot of hard work especially in this day and age where some women tended to bolder than others.

Wanting to make things a bit light-hearted while they waited for the food, she asked, "So, where's your brother this morning? Is he somewhere grumbling about the state of things like he usually does?"

"I am assuming that Jameson is enjoying the rare opportunity of sleeping-in on a Saturday since normally we are at sea. He does grumble a lot," Lucian responded, lightening his tone as well. He was enjoying the opportunity to just chat with Victoria. She was very genuine and he liked that about her.

One of the waiters came over and took Lucian's request back to the kitchen. After he left, Lucian leaned back, "Tell me, Victoria, what does a society reporter do when not covering the latest social events in Miami?"

"Oh this and that.  Nothing really exciting."  She paused briefly as she thought about what she really wanted to do.  Having no family here in Miami to talk to was at times a little bit depressing.  Even though Lucian was only a friend, he would at least be a willing listener.

"I guess most people would think that what I do would be the bee's knees but it can be very tiring.  There are a lot of phonies in high society.  Sometimes I wish I could deal with people who don't have anything to prove." She smiled, "Like you."

"Everyone has their own motivations for how they live, even the phonies," Lucian replied, interested in seeing where the conversation went. "Some would say that I am motivated by greed," he indicated the club, but did not mention his personal wealth from the coffee business. "What motivates you to keep doing what you do?"

"I don't know," Victoria sighed, "I love being a journalist but I want to do something that has more meat and potatoes.  Not something light and fluffy like who is wearing the latest Lanvin."

Lanvin? Lucian inferred from the context that Victoria had to be referring to a clothing line. However, the name meant nothing to him. That was not surprising. He did not keep up with such things being the type of man that was grateful that he could simply inform his tailor that he needed a certain type of clothes and they were sent to him. For the most part, today being a rare exception, he wore unfashionable Levis and a navy-issue t-shirt. Lucian was not about to set any fashion trends in the near future.

"For all of the advancements in the world, it still is not easy for a woman to break into some fields of employment. Would you prefer the Herald's crime beat? I would think that Miami offered enough criminal activity to keep more than one journalist in business." Lucian offered his thoughts as he picked up his cup to take another sip of coffee just as one of the ship's stewards appeared and set down their meals before quickly withdrawing again.

"How I wish," Victoria answered, "but unfortunately the Herald has more crime reporters than it can poke a stick at.  The only chance I have breaking into that group is if I came across something big.  Unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time soon."

She took a bite of her meal and was pleased with how great it tasted.  One good thing about the Club Lorelei was that it served some of the best food in town.  "You know you should look at expanding in the catering industry.  Some of the elite in town would pay bucket loads for food like this at their parties."

"It would be difficult since we are at sea most weekends and sometimes during the week if we get a charter," Lucian told Victoria. "Not to mention that I already nearly live here as it is. I am pleased you like the food. Perhaps you should shop your work around to other papers or even a magazine. Alafair Corbin, our headliner, might have some contacts."


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
64
?Years Young
12 Posts

"Yes, Miss Corbin...I've talked to her once or twice in an official capacity.  Most headliner acts have some sort of following and she probably isn't that much different.  I would be surprised if she didn't have one or two contacts."

Victoria took a few more bites of her meal before continuing. "The problem with shopping around is that I only have my society columns to show.  Until a day comes when I do stumble upon that big story, it will be hard to find other work.  Besides, I'm not the type to give favours to those who say they want to help me to get where I want to go."

"I understand. Of course, we are both in businesses that require some trade in favors, although some lines should not be crossed," Lucian said, agreeing with her last statement. Unfortunately, too many people would try to take advantage of people in the favors game, especially in the case of attractive young women. "If I hear anything that might help get your foot in that particular door, I will let you know. No return favors required," he added with a slight smile.

"Thanks," Victoria answered with a smile.  She then remembered something one of her fellow society reporters at another paper was cooking up.  "I think I better warn you about something they're working on at the Daily News."

She took another bit of her food.  "We society reporters sometimes get together and trade information we might have.  We also let each know if we are working on a story.  It's sort of like a code of honour we have.  Well, since you are a friend, you should know and if anybody asks, you didn't get if from me."

"That goes without saying, Victoria. I also know how to protect my sources," Lucian assured her, a raised eyebrow indicating his curiosity. He sincerely wished she was on the crime beat. Lucian would be able to ask Victoria about investigations that he could not easily just walk in and ask the police although he had a sincere vested interest.

"That's good to know."  Another smile crept on her face, "Well, the last time got together, someone suggested that there should be a competition of a particular sort.  The next thing I hear is that the Daily News is running with it.  They plan to announce it next week some time."

Leaning forward, her smile grew wider, "It's an eligible bachelor competition and you and Jameson are on the top of the list."

Lucian's normally carefully schooled expression of neutrality showed his surprise as he uttered a low-voiced, "Good God!" He shook his head, "I cannot speak for Jameson, of course. However, the Daily News can run the competition, it does not mean either of us must participate. It would be in their best interests to tread carefully there." He toyed with his cup of coffee for a moment, "I will not divulge that I know or contact the newspaper. I am warned so can afford to let them make the first move." Lucian would warn Jameson but not tell him how he came to learn of the newspaper's plans.

Victoria leaned back in her chair. "You know in a way, I expected to you to react in this way.  I think the Daily News will have their work cut out for them if they expect you to turn up any event they hold for this."

She grinned, "Although I would like to see how Jameson will handle it once all those women start coming by here to see why he made it to the list."

 


Cat's Meow! 1

Lucian MacLeod

Club Owner, Coffee Importer
42
?Years Young
28 Posts

Here among my thoughts of you, I find a gentle longing to be free...


The information was distasteful. There was no chance that either Lucian or Jameson would participate in a most eligible bachelor event. However, he could also see the humorous side of the situation, especially when considering his brother's reaction to it.

Lucian had to grin back at the reporter. "Victoria, I can only imagine my brother's reaction. I would not want to be the Daily News."

"I've got to admit that you have to be real brave to try something like that in this town. I'm glad it's the News and not the Herald. I would hate to see what would happen if they foul it up."

Victoria took a drink from the orange juice that had been served with her meal.  Lucian was friend, so she felt the need to ask him about something she had heard from one of her fellow reporters.  It was sensitive in its nature and she knew he would probably not answer it but he should at least know what it was, if he didn't already. "Do you know that there's a new rumour going around town involving your family?"

"I hear a number of them every evening here," Lucian answered easily, "what is the nature of the newest one?"

"Joe, one of the reporters at the city desk says that there is another MacLeod running around town.  Don't know where he got the information but considering the stir you and Jameson made when you first appeared on the scene, Joe wants to be in on it."

"I don't know if it is true or not but I wanted to warn you just in case.  I would hate to a see friend and his family get dragged into anything that might hurt them."  Victoria paused for a moment, "And if it is true, then I will leave it with you.  You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

Lucian sighed softly and smiled at Victoria, "That is not my story to tell so I will refrain from confirming or denying it right now. I do trust you as a friend so my reticence is not about that."

"Fair enough," Victoria replied.  If the rumours were true, then she would meet the newest MacLeod at some point, especially if he turned up at any of Liam MacLeod's parties or here on the ship.

She finished off her meal and poured herself a glass of juice.  "Now Lucian, is there anything else you would like to tell me?"

 


Jessica MacLeod

Heiress
42
?Years Young
11 Posts

Before Lucian could answer Victoria by asking what she was looking for from him, a shout from the front of the club distracted him. Jessica bounced down the stairs and headed toward their booth, her camera bag slung over her shoulder and her hair tied up with a bright scarf into a high ponytail.

"Miss Hayes! Victoria!" Jessica's light, a lilting voice sang out. She frowned a bit a Lucian, "Mind if I talk to Victoria for a bit?" Jess asked her older brother and tapped her foot impatiently for him to stand up and leave.

Lucian rose to his feet, "If I get any information from Miss Flanders that I can share, I will call you. Thank you for having breakfast with me." 

Jessica immediately took his seat, pushing his plate away and grabbing the coffee pot. "Tell me what you think of these." She slid a large envelope toward the reporter. She had only met Victoria Hayes in passing at the club. However, she read the woman's newspaper articles, and the Miami Herald was a great place to start...if her plan panned out. The photographs inside the envelope were the ones she had taken back in January when she had snuck into the clockmaker's shop. Hopefully, the sight of the dead man wouldn't make the reporter lose her own breakfast.