Business Dinner
by kbk

Lilah would normally assign this sort of thing to one of her more junior members of staff, but there's the Angel connection and the fact that werewolves can smell fear. And the fact that, well, it's been too damn long since she's been out on one of these - they remind her what a corporate whore she really is.

She parks half a block away from the restaurant and waits until five minutes after the scheduled time before she gets out of the car. Give the boy time to stew. She sees him as she approaches, a compact figure leaning against the wall, a curl of smoke above his head catching the light of the setting sun.

"Mr Osbourne?" she asks courteously, posing herself at forty-five degrees to the direction he's facing.

He looks straight at her, and nods. "Ms Morgan," he says.

"Please," she says, proffering a hand, "call me Lilah."

He drops the white stub of his joint and grinds it out beneath the toe of his boot before taking her hand. "Lilah. Then I'm Oz."

He holds the door for her as they walk inside, and seems utterly unconscious of the way he stands out among the smart suits and sober attitudes of the clientele. They are seated immediately - of course - and make small talk about the menu until their orders have been taken by an attentive waiter. Lilah chooses the wine, thinking gratefully of her expense account.

"So," Oz drawls once the waiter has been assured they are perfectly content, "care to tell me more about this proposition you have for me?"

"Wolfram and Hart," Lilah subtly emphasizes the company name, "could benefit enormously from your skills. The degree of control you have is quite remarkable."

Oz arches an eyebrow at her, and sits back quietly as their starters are brought to the table.

"You would mostly be working with Research and Development, in the mystical section of course, though you would be assigned elsewhere as needed."

"I've been a lab subject before, Ms Morgan."

"You wouldn't be one with us, Mr Osbourne, and I certainly didn't intend to imply that."

Their empty plates are swept away as soon as they both sit back. Lilah excuses herself to the bathroom, and Oz occupies himself by watching their fellow diners. It's not often he gets the chance to patronize such an establishment, and the only reason he can appear so comfortable is the fact that nothing ruffles him.

By the time Lilah returns, Oz has caught seven disapproving glances sent in his direction, and stared down each and every one of them. He hasn't heard any of the accompanying conversations, though - eavesdropping is impolite.

The waiter is only a few steps behind Lilah, and they discuss music over the artfully arranged main courses. Oz is quite impressed with Lilah's range of knowledge, especially for a lawyer.

He almost chokes on his wine when he feels Lilah's foot slide up his calf, and he knows from the smirk on her face that she noticed. Any loss of control in this situation could be very bad indeed. He sips his wine again, then goes on the offensive.

"Am I to understand that you are the signing bonus?" he asks.

"That would be prostitution, Mr Osbourne. However, if we were to make a... personal arrangement, which would in no way depend on your contracting with the company... Of course, if I'm not to your taste, I have a colleague I'm sure would love to meet you."

"And what if that colleague is... not to my taste?"

"I have several colleagues."

Oz curses himself mentally for his habitual legs-spread posture - there's a warm pressure on the inside of his thigh, and moving at this point would be a concession of defeat.

Of course, there's the fact that even his legendary control can't outweigh ten months of his own right hand the only contact he gets, and his twenty-something hormones jacked-up even further by the wolf. He's definitely getting hard.

Lilah curls her toes into his groin, and carefully doesn't smile. She takes a bite of her pasta - definitely worth the paperwork she'll have to fill out - then starts a light discussion of the latest celebrity gossip.

If Oz could concentrate on what she's saying, he would pick up a few tidbits that won't be in the papers for another week at least. But he can't. His hips rock up ever-so-slightly into her foot, and he sets down his cutlery to pull his chair a little closer to the table.

Now, Lilah smiles. She withdraws her foot, slipping it back into her shoe before looking Oz in the eye.

"Should we take this elsewhere?" she asks, leaning subtly forward to show off her assets.

Oz gazes back at her, breathes deeply, and shakes his head.

"Thank you for dinner, Ms Morgan," he says calmly, "but I won't be joining you." He stands and walks casually out, visibly hard.

Lilah swings her foot under the table, and motions for the cheque. At least the food was good.


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