Announcements: Introducing INK, the Writer's Currency » RPG's New Design Team » Now Open: RPG Staff Applications » 10 Years of RPG: Share Your Story » Can't Send PMs? Need Your 10-Forum Posts NOW? » A (Friendly) Reminder to All Romance RPers. » The Newbie's Guide to RolePlayGateway: Read This First! »

Blue Haze

Dante's Sky Lounge//Sofitel Hotel

a part of Blue Haze, by Gizibae.

5 star hotel on the port.

Gizibae holds sovereignty over Dante's Sky Lounge//Sofitel Hotel, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
418 readers have been here.

Dante's Sky Lounge//Sofitel Hotel is a part of Marseilles, France.

There are no Places in Dante's Sky Lounge//Sofitel Hotel.

Some of the 0 Characters Present

identity required
Create Character »

"In the heart of this charming French city's ancient harbor area, Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port is a luxury 5-star Marseille hotel which blends rich history with contemporary design."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

  1. I'm rusty. >>

    2017-04-15 11:54:25 by Gizibae

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

Image

Seon Jin Lee swore she'd never look back, yet the past was nothing short of tormenting. Sleepless evenings had been marred with dark visions, and every mirror carried a reflection in which had become unrecognizable. Life was quickly becoming unstable even if there was a safe foundation to stand upon. Four years had come and gone in a moments time, and life in Rio was but a distant memory. Xun Yu Zhong was no where to be found, and her friend Shaya Kim had learned a new way to deal. Yet, the former dailo could not shake her own broken past. Where one obstacle had been overcome, another would appear. It would seem that this woman was doomed until death, to make mistakes and rarely ever learn.

She was chasing ghosts in the dark....

The night she had left China to pursue the past, rain was thrumming down against cold pavement. The city was still alive and breathing and the air smelled of fortune incense as it burned bright. She had abandoned hope for a future there and jumped the earliest flight back to France. No words had been shared with Tai. Not even a note left behind to explain such a hasty decision. Things had gone awry between the two a while ago, and the urge to rekindle seemed stifled by pride on both accounts. She hadn't been able to look him in the eyes for months, anyways. So for now, fate was left to decide.

--
Slender digits pulled on the lacy hem of a white cocktail dress, as stilettos clacked against the smooth marble flooring of Dante's immaculate design. The intimate rhapsody of a song bird's voice caressed Seon's ears with grace. Carried to the tune of some beloved and contemporary artist's work. A slight breeze had whisked it's way through the sky lounge, hinting that spring was coming and night was finally starting to blanket the enchanting port. A nameless stranger sat adjacent from her, his tall frame obstructing her view of the city's lights as they glistened off the water below. It was let on that this was supposed to be a date. A merger of crime families, so to speak.

Seon had returned to the Triad underbelly of Marseilles and began work for the French branch of the Sun Yee On. It was one of the most infamously powerful syndicates the world had ever seen. Being a Straw Sandal only carried a few requirements. Be a diplomat, and fight dirty when shit got too real. An easy task for someone who lived and breathed Mafia sentiments for their entire life... One would think.

" I'm interested in more than just this merger between our syndicates. In fact, i'd like to see more of whats under that dress. " The man spoke in a husky, alcohol fueled tone.

Seon had desperately attempted to mask the sneer that spread across porcelain features. Instead, a smile tugged sweetly at the corners of full lips. " After the merger, you may get your wish... "

It was almost impossible to play the game and still have respect for one's self.
---

Lately though, someone else occupied her thoughts and he was once again getting in the way of her work.

Tai was Seon's guilty conscience. He had always balanced her and she had thrown it all away.


Image

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

A waitress in a shorter dress had passed by, offering a complimentary tasting of the newest wine selection.
On the house for anyone Image paying entirely too much for such a short stay. Seon had chosen an old favorite before tossing her attention towards her half sloshed company. " So, Mr. Chen... what are the 14k offering you thats so much better than the Sun Yee On? I can assure you, we can match it or go even higher. " Honey dripped from the woman's exotic lilt before a free hand had come to rest upon his. " After all, Sun Yee On is much bigger than our rivals. We bring in double their revenue. "

Joe Chen, or 'Tiger Chen' as most would call him had found his mafia calling long ago, following a dispute between two rival gangs and a Dailo's dame. Rumor was that he took a machete to the back and still managed to bring down 30 of the opposite's men. No word on what happened to the poor soul who carried love in her heart for him, though. Seon's superior found the legend to be a bit too savory to just let slip away. Better milk it.

Chen's grin had spread like wild fire across thin lips. He'd garnered an 'Asian glow' already as it had given his cheeks a bit of a reddish hue. He wasn't exactly conventionally handsome. The city miles across his face proved that. If anything, he was taller and he was built like a brick wall. " Fifty thousand euros, and an extra five after I run my first protection scheme. " Joe seemed quite pleased with this offer. He took another long swig of cognac before motioning for the waitress to come back again.

It was just as the woman expected. Pretty much next to nothing. Especially for such a high profile position. Even that prick Xun offered his enforcers more. One could tell just by looking at that spoiled prince, Jing Sheng. She'd bristle with anger at the mere thought before swiftly washing it down with a dainty sip of Armand de Brignac Brut.

" How does One Hundred Thousand sound, plus ten extra just for joining us? "

The man about dropped his glass, and his jaw. Seon leaned back into her chair, finding comfort in the smugness that clearly placed itself upon her face. Chen was about to leap off the edge and put himself in danger for extra cash in his pocket. He was a dangerous opponent on the battlefield but not the sharpest knife in the set.

Sometimes it was fun times playing with other's fates.

Little was she to know, it was about to slap her back.

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

The sleek black Cadillac rolled up to a prosperous looking building that glowed in luxury. The brunette had settled comfortably next to Tai, warming up more than just the leather seats. Tai may not have noticed their arrival had the girl not disengaged, murmuring something about reservations and the significance of this meeting. Tai let her climb out first before following, eyes appreciating the view she offered from behind.

Unbeknownst to Seon, Tai was being courted by the Yakuza in the same manner that she was entertaining Joe Chen. Unlike the Tiger, however, Tai was not interested in accepting any offers, but had rather agreed to come to France for its entertainment value. An all expenses paid vacation to a high end destination, first class airfare and service, with pretty faced company? He'd have to be crazy to refuse that.

To be fair, Tai never encouraged the offers or even implied that he wanted to come out of retirement, but when he had left the scene back in China, he'd been in top form and had left a significant reputation behind, and every group wanted the heavyarm weight he would bring to their offense. He gave a firm and resounding 'no' to every offer that came his way, but every syndicate thought they would be the one to win him over, and so he welcomed them to try. If there was one thing all criminal groups had in common, it was that they all loved the challenge. They would lavish him with gifts and ludicrous offers, and Tai would take it all. The ex-Vanguard had seemingly made a post-retirement career out of such proposals.

There was nothing, however, that could tempt him back into that life again, not when he had his son to carry on his legacy. Rong was everything now. He was it. He would pass everything on to his son and sit back to watch him conquer the world.

So until that moment arrived, Tai would enjoy himself. A five star meal made by one of the best chefs in France, and a pretty face to entertain him all evening sounded good enough. The maitre d' was waiting for them just inside the wide doors, eager to show them to their intimate table up on the highly coveted sky lounge. As they went upstairs, Tai reflexively looked around and mentally mapped out all possible exit routes and points of good coverage.

Old habits died hard.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

Joe swooned at the offer, careful not to spill the drink in hand as he held it from the bottom instead. "What's the catch? I've met your type before. I see the hunger in your eyes. " This statement made Seon back track just a bit on thinking he was not terribly bright. Better not to underestimate company before they showed all their colors. As far as what he was referring to was up for Imagediscussion. " Do tell me. What hunger? I'm only trying to bring a friend to the table. " She detracted from his clever observation before reaching into the small, designer purse that sat within her lap. It would seem that Mr. Chen had flinched just a bit when she brought her hands back up and pushed a red envelope towards him. " The Dragon Head of Sun Yee On only wishes that you join our ranks and reap the benefits of our enemies. "

Seon Jin Lee could be convincing. She knew how to build up an opponent and when to tear them down. Fortunately, Tiger Chen didn't need to be psychically persuaded into opposition of the 14k. He remained silent as his eyes tumbled across the envelope. It would seem that he was hesitant before he had picked it up to examine the contents and before he was able to flip-flop over a final decision Seon placed her hand upon his knee under the table. Slightly, her fingers worked up the man's inner thigh. Already feeling tipsy, he became putty in her presence. Melting with the steely gaze she seemed to provide with those luminously hazel orbs. " You know what you want and now you have the world at your fingertips. "

The man had gulped very harshly, nodding in short, quick motions.

Eyes on the prize.

" I accept this offer with honor... and I will not fail the Dailo. " He was leaning forward as he said this. Almost losing balance.

She was yet to explain the initiation process, as theirs was a little different from all the rest. The trap had been set, and Joe had easily slid into the perfect position to be captured. " Big Smile will be happy to know that you have made the right dec..." Seon's voice had halted as she had caught a passing glimpse of the past as it casually sauntered into the present, a stunning piece of candy on his arm. Not wanting to be seen, she pretended to sneeze, grabbing the napkin from under silverware to place over her mouth and nose. Seon tried to look away as she did it, but it was impossible to do so. It was like trying to pry your vision from a train wreck, except in this case... it was no wreck and it was the Mercedes-Benz you sold down the river. Panic settled into the woman's stomach. Goose flesh raised against the supple complexion of porcelain skin. Dark lashes fluttered uneasily.

She recalled the silence they faced after everything and her failure to reconnect and here he was. Well dressed judgement. Still terribly good looking. Still vibrant. Still everything....

Mr. Chen interrupted the woman's reticent mourning. "What's wrong? " I bet I can cheer you up... How about me and you go celebrate in my room? " He'd already polished off an entire bottle of Cognac and was working his way over her bottle of champagne.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

They had been lead to a cozy table with a lavish spread of appetizers, sizzling hot and fresh, and Tai pulled out a chair for his dinner companion first. The view from their seats was breathtaking indeed; the velvety evening had a stroke of purple twilight as the sun faded out of view, silver orbs seemingly suspended in the night sky as the stars came out and twinkled brightly. The maitre d' pointed out a few significant landmarks that could be easily seen from their vantage point, and Tai made note of a few that he would probably visit tomorrow during the tourist portion of his visit.

Wrenching his gaze away from the beautiful city, Tai shrugged his jacket off and turned to hang it from the back of his chair when his eyes landed on a sight that managed to capture his attention in a way that the view of Marseilles never could.

The maitre d' was listing off the recommended dinner specials for the evening and had moved on to the list of complimentary wines, but Tai kept his eyes trained on Seon. It was a testament to how much she had hurt him that he could feel his blood stirring beneath his skin even afteter all this time. Frost began slowly crawling over his heart once more, taking it up in an icy grip that had only barely just thawed over the past three years.

"Excuse me," he interrupted the host in a low voice, "but I'm afraid I don't like heights much. Would it be possible to have that table over there?" He gestured to the table right next to the one where the woman in white was sitting.

The host blinked in surprise but complied. "Right away sir," she said, snapping her fingers at a nearby server to begin moving their appetizers to the new table.

Tai didn't even bother gauging his dinner companion's--what was her name again?--reaction. He strode over to the table, pulled out his chair, and sat down so that he was facing Seon straight across their two tables. The brunette smiled as if everything was okay and smoothly seated herself at his side, legs crossed and a hand on his arm. Not that he noticed. His eyes flashed with barely suppressed anger, and a smirk tugged at his lips as he made himself comfortable. Arms extended, legs stretched out comfortably... oh, he was going to enjoy this.

After all, revenge was a dish best served cold.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

How the hell did he end up there? In this exact place? Seon knew it couldn't have been pure coincidence, or could it? She had clambered just a bit, yanking the bottle from Joe before he could demolish the rest, filling her glass to the rim. She took a quick note of Tai's company again only then recognizing her as someone who's face had been plastered around the underground for a few years. Sure, she was built like a Ming Vase, but the things she had done to get where she was? Well, that woman had been under more than a few infamous bodies. Could have just been baseless rumors spread around by broken men. Still, jealousy was Imagethe storm that brewed within Seon's petite frame, inflaming petty emotions until they could take no more.

Tiger Chen spoke up again, this time feeling irritated about the no attention policy Seon had been following for the passed 20 or so minutes. " Hello?? Come on. Stop trying to play hard to get. We made a deal and now I get to take you to bed. " It was clear that her visit with Jo had been overstayed. But seeing Tai had kept her in the cushy seat. Made her want to deal with the drunkard appropriately, and stand firm on shaky ground.

It was then that the ex vanguard had moved to the table closest. His eyes glaring in reserved fashion. She recognized the heat, had felt in many times before.... Both between the sheets, and amongst shared enemies. Seon felt the urge to squirm under pressure, met his gaze and dropped it not soon after.

Chen reached for Seon's wrist as he attempted to stand up and pull her away, but was met by a hard slap.

" I'm warning you, Mr. Chen. Touch me in that manner again, and I'll have you sucking your next meal up through a straw. Deal or no deal. Now play nice, or get the hell out of my face. " The woman glowered, bristled with typical grit. The soon to be new enforcer slowly backed away and sat back down. Good for him.

It would seem that they would all be sharing the same waitress this evening. Seon casually motioned for her as she had swiftly taken both empty bottles and asked to replace them. " Please do and please send a bottle of Krug 1928 to the table over there. " Finally, she had gathered her bearings and waved at Tai on purpose. A honey smile graced the curves of full lips. That was the most expensive on the list. Though, twenty one grand seemed to hardly be a thing these days.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

Tai watched Seon deal with her drunkard client with an impassive face. The brunette leaned towards him and murmured a suggestion for their post dinner activities, squeezing his forearm to get his attention. Tai cocked his head her way and nodded, not particularly interested in the small details. "Whatever you say, ace," he replied in distraction before returning to his blatant observation. He made no effort to hide his stare, and in face hoped it would make his former partner uncomfortable--or at least a little self conscious.

It seemed as if the warrior princess had managed to get her little pet under control after all--and had evidently done more than just that, because a moment later a fine looking bottle with a hefty price tag was smoothly added to the lavish table before them. "Your neighbor sends her regards, sir," the waiter said smoothly, his hands poised to pour some of the liquid gold into their sparkling crystal ware. Tai lowered his head in permission, fluidly taking up the wineglass and raising it in Seon's direction in acknowledgement.

The waiter moved on to pour some for the pretty face next to him, and she gasped in delight. "My, my!" She was obviously pleased at this turn of events; the drink alone was the equivalent of the budget given to her for this night's sortie. While she was expected to put on a good show for Tai--both in and out of the bedroom, although her speciality was definitely 'in'--it seemed as if someone else was beating her to it. "Who is that? She's got Tiger Chen wrapped around her finger..." She commented curiously.

"Just an old acquaintance," Tai said dismissively, leaning forward to grab a hors d'oeuvre from the splendor before him. The fact that she did not recognize her competition spoke volumes about her status in the Yakuza; she was merely a sugar covered coating for the terrible faces within, like a trophy wife armed with her husband's credit card to distract her from his convenient 'business trips'. Perfect.

When the maitre d' stepped forward to refill their glasses, Tai spoke in her ear for a quick minute, easygoing posture and charming tilt to his head. Some keywords were mentioned, a few names dropped, and the next thing anyone knew, a pocket of waiters descended on his table and the adjacent one, muttering polite excuses as they maneuvered the tables together, hurriedly replaced untouched dishes with larger platters of steaming food, adjusted silverware and kept the wine flowing. His dinner companion was too well trained to protest; instead, she let Tai do what he wanted, as he was her client and keeping him happy and content was her top priority. She was, however, observing closely and filing away little comments to report to her superiors tomorrow.

Through it all, Tai watched Seon challengingly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

While the tiger stewed in what could have been, Seon had noticed the fleet of attendants as they promptly took hold of her table. " The hell? " Was all that could be muttered out, as her chair had also been procured. Two and two had been placed together, once all the pieces had fallen into place. One waiter had left the space open in which she was supposed to take. Tai had made his move. Like ocean waves against jagged rocks , she would coalesce and seat herself. Joe had wandered off somewhere, probably on his way to a club. Seon couldn't be bothered about that, knowing that she would eventually see him again. Image

Well, this was awkward. A splash of passing scenery, images of rain pouring down onto the windshield of a fast moving car, and flashing neon were but small pieces of what recollection Seon had of the night she had vanished. She really hadn't said a word since then. But what was there to say? There was guilt and then there was indifference. Three years and he hadn't let go of such an unfortunate mishap. One could suppose that it was easier said than done.

Tai's dinner piece was all over him, an accessory to merely distract one from reality. " Hm. Nice to see you again, Tai. I didn't think you were interested in the business anymore." That was the truth. "The taste of a Dailo's fine leather boots must have stayed with you... " Her tone was playful and that was a throwback to when they first began a flirtatious tryst. Didn't matter if his new plaything understood. It only mattered that the ex vanguard knew that she hadn't forgotten.

Lithe digits had entwined with the long neck of a champagne flute. Liquid bubbled as lips partook of what had been purchased only a moment ago. Seon made sure to use the hand that Xun had sunk his six inch blade into. A large, raised scar was still present, sprawled across what used to be smooth skin. A constant reminder of where they had come from. That was something that could not be broken.

Her attention had then turned to the other woman. " I've forgotten my manners. Seon Jin Lee, by the way. Tai's ex. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

" Yes, I suppose I would... " In fact, she knew exactly what he was getting at. It would seem that Tai had changed with the coming tides but Seon could see there was a bit of a facade hiding his real features. However, she couldn't tell if he'd ever let her mishap go. And really, could she blame him? Image

History had outweighed what ever special bond they shared over the course of months and Sven had been the ultimate crutch in which to lean. Maybe Tai would never understand. Seon's relationship with the ex spetsnaz had been cultivated in the fires of judgement and death. By being disloyal to Tai in such a way had brought her the greatest dishonor of all.

Slender digits had flipped a few strands of hair from her face, as she gingerly pawed at the glass in which had been filled. Unable to stomach anything more than the few sips already taken. If it was one thing the woman had learned, it was that Tai could make her boil under pressure. He could make her lose complete composure and expose the soft underbelly of what really lay beneath. Now, that was something.

A wistful smile had graced the curve of painted lips, as Seon's gaze fell upon his. Calculating, cold, and still absolutely intriguing. She desired to illicit his next move. Curiously accepting any consequences he would indefinitely deal out.

Blow by blow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

The brunette bristled, watching the two hold a conversation above her head. She was pretty, but she wasn't dumb. Tai's familiarity with a rival gang's member, especially here in France, was bound to bring up some complications in the future. But then again, a man with an illustrious career such as Tai was bound to carry some extra baggage, wasn't he? She made a mental note and stored it away to report to her superiors.

"They say it takes 21 days to either made or break a habit," the trophy girl offered. She knew the conversation had some subtle undertones that she wasn't aware of, but she tried to join in anyways.

Tai smiled politely at her attempt to get involved--almost fondly, like you would humor a child. "For some people, even 21 years wouldn't be about to break a habit, sweetheart," he said patiently. He didn't look at Seon.

Instead, he slid his phone out of his pocket and pulled up a picture of a bright eyed boy smiling slightly at the phone, a soccer ball under his arm. "You were asking about him earlier," he recalled, smoothly changing the subject to something he knew would be even more painful for the woman sitting across from them. "This is my son, Rong. He's an avid soccer player, shot the winning goal last weekend. Here, take a look--" and like any proud father would do, he swiped across his screen to the next item in his gallery, a short 20 second video clip of Rong weaving through a series of defenders and then faking the goalie right before shooting left in a brilliant display of athleticism. The brunette cooed and smiled appropriately, like any doting girlfriend would.

Tai's smile turned into a smirk as he faced Seon. "Would you like to see?" He offered, eyes glinting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Seon Jin Lee Character Portrait: Tai
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

Image

Seon was tempted as the mere mention of Rong had flung a sordid history of memories and emotions over a dark cliff. Tai was clearly toying with her, enjoying the sheer torment that splayed across china doll features as he offered the short video of a boy she used to know and love. The woman motioned quickly with a slender hand, as if to say no thanks. " I'm sure Rong is still cute as a button and I doubt i'd be surprised by his talents. After all, he surely takes after his father. " Image

" They also say it takes three people to keep a secret if two of them are dead. " Seon's tone sounded airy, as she smiled at the woman in front of her. It was a known fact in the underground. " What brings you into the murder business? " It was likely that the ex dailo had already been doing intel on the arm candy. A few short texts had been sent off into the ether regarding the woman who had somehow captured a bit of attention from Tai. Perhaps there were a few short pangs of inevitable jealousy, but Seon's poker face wouldn't dare give that up and allow Tai the pleasure. In fact, she wanted to see what else he had in his arsenal as she knew he could do much much better.

She almost asked if he was still wearing boxer briefs but decided to leave it in lieu of giving Ms. bimbo a fighting chance, though Seon doubted very much she was good at anything aside from doing what she was told.

Digits carefully smoothed out a few wrinkles that had formed within the fabric of her expensive looking outfit, as she awaited a rebuttal, choosing to drag attention away from the ex-vanguard. It was a would-be attempt, but an attempt nonetheless as these were only tactics that ex lovers often played.

Seon questioned whether he would admit in front of his friend, that they had once been something not long ago. Somehow, Seon felt she knew the answer, but he had surprised her before.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shaya Kim
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

The best way to transport money was in the form of expensive accessories; a vintage Cartier watch was far more inconspicuous than carrying around a thick wad of cash, for example. Shaya unbuckled the pretty little timepiece from her wrist and tossed it in the middle of the table, a subtle lift and drop of her shoulders easily excusing the lack of chips everyone else was pitching in. The men at the table exchanged amused glances and gestured for the dealer to keep going. "My wife will definitely appreciate the fact that I went shopping for her today," one of them joked.

"Yeah, she'll probably let you touch her tonight for being so thoughtful, eh?" Another jeered, leaning forward to nudge the man.

"Only if her latest surgery for implants has healed enough," the first man scoffed. "What's the point of paying for all those 'improvements' on her if I can never enjoy them?"

"This watch will definitely speed up the 'healing' process though!" The table burst into raucous laughter as the men slapped each other's backs in a fit of drunken hilarity. Shaya smiled politely and took another sip of her (virgin) drink. This was going to be too easy.

Setting

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

The brunette smiled brightly, tilting her head to the side. "Why, you just said it yourself," she exclaimed. "I had a secret and needed the other two dead. The murder business seemed like the best fit!" She batted her eyelashes at Tai, inviting him to share a joke.

"If only looks could kill, you'd be home free," he said under his breath, smiling all the same. Turning back to Seon, he raised his brow and gestured towards her with a wine glass. "So how much did they buy you out for this time?" He asked almost nonlachantly, figuring the most effective way to hide the flashes of hot anger was under a cold, dismissive exterior. "I hope they pay better than Sven's group did. You are quite talented, after all." A pause. "You still have a mean right hook, I trust," he added quickly, eyes glittering.