Tony stands and bows slightly as Jaiyana steps into the room, “Welcome Miss Kumar-Singh. Don Giovanni will be very pleased you were able to join him.”
The former actress smiles brightly and takes the mafia lieutenant’s arm, her heels clicking gently on the polished wood floor as she keeps keeps pace with the taller black man.
“My dear Anthony, I could hardly turn down an invitation for a return flight and dinner at one of South Africa’s finest establishments. Should I assume your employer is interested in the data my associates acquired?”
The middle-aged man clears his throat and detaches himself from the elven woman’s grasp, holding the next door open for her.
“I will leave it to Don Giovanni to speak to that matter, Miss Kumar-Singh.”
Jax laughs quietly as she passes through the door into a large, beautiful courtyard. Exotic flowers and shrubs mingle with small fountains and pools, meant to provide the illusion of quiet privacy in the usually busy dining atmosphere. Tonight, the smattering of small settings has been replaced by a single table adorned with candles and elegant place settings for two.
Guido rises from his seat as Jaiyana steps through the door, his smile both predatory and full of pleasure. He steps quickly around the table and pulls out the other chair, his usual practical business suit replaced by a tailored tuxedo that easily costs more than a local worker’s annual salary.
Jax smiles brightly and briefly touches the man’s upper arm before sitting in the luxurious seat. The mafia don returns to his chair and signals as a waiter appears from behind the flowers to pour wine for each of them.
“I trust you had a pleasant flight”, Guido says, after giving the actress a chance to sample the wine.
“Very comfortable, thank you”, replies Jaiyana as she nods in appreciation of the fine vintage. “Although I must say this all seems a bit unnecessary in order to negotiate the mere sale of some work-related data.”
Guido waves dismissively, “Sciocchezze, mio caro signora. What is the purpose in working hard for a living and then not living well?"
Jax raises her glass in toast to the sentiment as the waiter brings the first course of the couple’s meal…
“…could not consider more than sixteen thousand, my dear. After all, the information is mostly of use to someone operating in Nigeria.” Guido pauses to have a drink of his dessert wine. His predatory smile returns as he sets down the fluted glass. “But perhaps if you were to agree to another evening with me… One with spent discussing only pleasant topics without any business… I would consider offering your associates a bonus to their finder’s fee.”
Jax expression shifts from the pleasant bemusement of negotiation to the angered shock of outrage before she regains control and gives Guido a hard look. “Don Giovanni. I’m not a veshya to be bought and sold for your pleasure!” She stands quickly, knocking her half finished glass to the floor. The sound of shattering glass lingers in tense silence.
Guido rises slowly, his hands half raised in surrender. “Ti prego, la mia stella, I did not mean to give offense. I would never presume to buy your company. I just wished to express my desire to see you again. Please forgive my stupidity and allow me to offer your friends the full twenty thousand without any other expectations of you at all."
Jaiyana’s countenance softens somewhat but her words remain hard. “Fine. I will arrange with Mr. Wontumba for the data transfer and payment. Thank you for the dinner.” She turns, steps carefully around the glass shards on the stone floor, and strides purposefully toward the exit.
“Aspettare, il mio piccolo fiore. Will you forgive me and accept another invitation?"
Jax suppresses her smile of triumph before turning around and giving Guido a passively dismissive stare.
“Perhaps. But forgiving such a thing will take more than merely living well…”