(1937-10-17) Memories
Details for Memories
Summary: Wolfgang makes a tempting offer to Audrey and Ranjali. But at what cost?
Date: October 17, 1937
Location: Flat Above the Natrix
Related: A Vengeful Dame, The Dance

After sending an invitation Owl to both Ranjali and Audrey on lovely silver embossed stationary with emerald green ink, Wolfgang is waiting for them at the door swinging it open before they knock and leaning over to greet Audrey with a kiss to the cheek. He then offers his hand to Ranjali and if allowed will give her knuckles a light kiss. "Ladies, you shine like the stars. Please come in, there is something I would like to offer the both of you." He gestures them towards the living room where there is a fire roaring, the blaze making the faceted crystal frames of pictures from his properties all over the world are lined up on the display shelves flanking the fire. "Whiskey single-malt for Miss Taylor. I'm afraid I've not had the pleasure of learning your preferred beverage Miss Winterthorne."

Audrey smiles brightly at the sight of the handsome wizard, and returns the kiss to his cheek. Naturally, quite some time was spent preparing for this visit. Tonight sees her adorned in a form-hugging black dress with a gold floral print, over which she wear's a long, soft leather coat with a thick collar of fox fur. Her hair is done in heavy, highly styled curls. She is wearing the necklace that Wolfgang gave her on the opening night of the Natrix. "Wolfie, I don't know if you two have really formally met. Ranji, Wolfgang Montague. Wolfie, Ranjali Winterthorne."

Ranjali is dressed, for the first time in days, in clothing that was made in Britain. Her own dress is a deep shade of blue, with scattered glittering stars sewn up one side, the white coat worn over it a bright constrast both to the goan and her dark hair. She smiles shyly, blushing at the kiss to her hand. "Oh, I don't, um… tea?" She glances nervously at Audrey, relief showing plainly on her face when introductions are officially made. "Mr. Montague, its a pleasure. I hear you are a great friend to Audrey. I am glad to finally meet you."

Wolfgang smiles to Ranjali, "I hear the same about you. I agree it's high time that we've finally met more officially. I remember you from the opening. You were a stunning presence. Tea, of course. If you'll excuse me just a moment, Audrey can give you the grand tour while I get that tea going."

Audrey links her hand with Ranjali's and coaxes her further inside, pointing out where the water closet is (always good to know), along with the kitchen, his grand piano, and so on. Finally they end up back in the living room, where she finds a seat they can take together. Not since arriving has she been more than a few inches from Ranjali, always touching her. There is a warmth about Audrey right now that is rather undeniable.

Ranjali offers Wolfgang a warmer smile, "Thank you. I'd like that." She follows Audrey through the flat with mild curiosity. With one exception, she watches the singer far more than their surroundings, and catches herself far too many times reaching up to stroke the woman's arm or hair. The exception is the piano, which draws both her eyes and fascinating. She can't resist commenting on its beauty, or reaching out a tentative hand to run her fingers along the smooth surface. "Its beautiful here." She murmurs as they sit, "He has an artistic eye. Or a very talented decorator… "

Wolfgang is grinning rather proudly when he returns with a tea tray and sets it down on the coffee table. "Thank you, I did it all myself." He then gestures to the piano, "If you ladies would allow me, I have a new song that I would like to play, if you don't mind being my guinea pigs, that is." He gives them both a charming wide, hopeful smile. "Before we get down to the matter at hand. Allow us to unwind some."

Audrey smiles at Ranjali, leaning into her. "He's quite an enchanting musician. Oh, but you heard him that night we met, so you know." Hopefully Ranjali remembers! "Play for us, Wolfie. Please?" She bats her lashes prettily at him.

Ranjali has to think for a moment to remember, but finally she does, and smiles. "Ah, yes of course." Flushing with embarrassment for having nearly forgotten, she reaches out to pour herself a cup of tea. "Yes, please do. It seems that, while I am no professional performer, we all share a great love of music. It would be an honor."

Wolfgang moves to a record player and starts up the recording he did with his band this morning. It's just the background band music brassy and slow. He sits down at the piano and warms up his fingers over the keys before he gets into the lyrics. He smiles gratefully to Ranjali but looking mostly to Audrey with the puppy dog crooner's eyes he's known for as he starts to sing the beginning of the song just for her. When the words are more a friendly promise they swing to Ranjali, but when things get intimate in the song they swing right back to Audrey.

Audrey listens eagerly, soaking in that delicious croon. But as the lyrics of the song unfold, her smile fades. The song speaks of a man that would do anything for his woman…anything she asked him to. The actress' mask falters, and she looks away from Wolfgang and Ranjali to compose herself. Naturally, when the song comes to a close, she is all smiles again, and claps softly. "Lovely, Wolfgang. It'll have every woman in the joint swooning."

Ranjali listens with a soft smile, which widens as Wolfgang turns his attention on her. Her smile also fades slightly, each time the man sings to Audrey, the intimate words bringing a darker blush to her cheeks. She's also watching the starlet when her expression shifts, a look of concern flashing across her eyes just before the song ends. "Yes, indeed." She agrees, turning back to the man and joining in the clapping, "Your voice is quite lovely, and the song suits it well."

Wolfgang stands and gives a little bow before he comes over with a drink of his own from the tray of crystal decanters on the piano. "Thank you. I'm very glad that you like it. I wrote it just for the two of you actually. But of course added things to make it for the general audience as well. Forgive me if it was too intimate at times. But I don't express myself very well a lot of the time, unless it's in song." He moves to sit on the couch facing the pair. "Now, a I wrote that song for the both of you to express something before I make the offer that I am about to make." He takes a drink of his Disaronno and then looks to them both to gauge if he should even bother continuing.

Audrey looks a bit confused at this point. He wrote it for them? But…he's the man and…yeah, she's confused. "What offer, Wolfie? I don't understand what this is about."

Ranjali blinks, stunned to hear that she was a part of the song's inspiration. Picking up the tea cup, which she had forgotten as Wolfgang was singing, she looks down into it thoughtfully. For a few seconds, as she thinks back on the lyrics, her eyes close, all traces of a smile gone. But as Audrey asks her question she looks up again, frowning in mild confusion. "Is this… not about the offer to send us to India?"

Wolfgang wavers a hand, remaining ever cool and composed even in the face of their confusion. "It does and it doesn't Miss Winterthorne. The offer remains to go to India. Or wherever the hell you want to go." He gestures to the frames of the exotic locations he manages all over the world. "The question is, what state of mind you want to travel in. I have come to understand that things have been very hard for you Miss Winterthorne. I am a man, I am your man, as the song says and I am very willing to do everything that is in my power to help you and my Star go on this vacation without a care in the world." He sets aside the glass and moves so that he's sitting on the coffee table right in front of them. "I would like to offer to you, with all of my heart the option to completely forget the horrible things that have happened. You too Doll." He says to Audrey. "With your permission and only with your permission I would like to have it arranged that the memory be taken away so you can live forever without the ghost of it haunting. I'll forever be around to protect you as well. As long as you'll have me, and allow me to do this for you." He even slides onto one knee on the floor before them and between them and offers one hand to each of them, palm up. The sincerity is in his eyes, as he talks about the 'incident' there is true pain and sorrow that they both have had to suffer so these past several days. He truly just wants to take it all away. "Please."

Audrey blinks in stunned surprise. She isn't the most knowledgeable about magic, being a Squib, but she's had experience with Obliviators. "You mean…erase our memories?" It sounds so much worse when she says it. But the idea sends a chill up her spine. It isn't uncommon for Squibs to be disconcerted at how much they are at the mercy of magic. Muggles, at least, get to live in ignorance.

Wincing at Wolfgang's choice of words, Ranjali gives the paintings only a glance before looking back at the man. Her confused frown, as she listens, becomes a look of wide-eyed shock as she begins to realize exactly what she is being offered. What they are being offered. Glancing at Audrey, she quickly takes the woman's hand. "What exactly is it you mean to take? I-I'm… not certain how much you were told, Mr. Montague. But I already remember very little… "

Wolfgang frown at the wince, "See…not very good at this. Please know that it's only an offer. There is no pressure to do anything. You'll go on the trip no matter what if you still wish to go. I am offering you the chance to forget the despicable deed that was done Miss Winterthorne. The last few days you two have enjoyed together were because of a decision to have a girlish slumber party. Everything you've done since will have the taint of the deed scrubbed from it. But the bonding you two have - this beautiful bond that I can practically see between you… will remain. Mostly it's My Star that will be altered the most." He looks to Audrey and attempts to lift her hand to kiss her knuckles with much more feeling than the knuckle kiss Ranjali received. His eyes looking up at her as he kisses. "To protect you. To free you of the anger. So you can go to India and there will not be a single moment were either of your smiles falters for the memory of 'it'."

This is heavy, and the weight of it shows on Audrey's face. She looks at Ranjali, full of uncertainty. "I…I don't know. Magic is…" She shakes her head. "I'm not a witch. I don't know what this could even do to us." Her eyes remain on Ranjali, searching.

Ranjali has to glance down, though, as she tries to hide the deeper blush inspired by the 'girlish slumber party' comment. She takes a sip of tea to calm herself before looking up again. And when she does, her eyes are full of worry. Something Wolfgang said affected her deeply. "Are… you truly so angry?"

Wolfgang leans forward to place a kiss on Audrey's forehead as he smoothly rises to his feet. "I would never do anything to hurt you Audrey. I swear to you, it'll just take the taint away." He takes a step back, "I'll let you ladies discuss things more privately." He strolls over to the doors that lead out to his balcony and she swings them open and takes a step out to light a cigarette. He can still hear them, but at least he's not up in their faces looking like there's any pressure for them to make a decision.

Audrey looks a bit guilty at Ranjali's question. She nods gratefully to Wolfgang for giving them a bit of privacy, then takes a moment to gather the courage to look Ranji in the eyes. "When I realized what he'd done to you…it burned inside. Even before we…" She blushes a little, "I adored you already. I didn't realize then just how much, but I knew that you were precious to me. So…yes. I am angry with him. I wanted to make sure he could never hurt you again."

Biting her lip, Ranjali turns to offer Wolfgang an apology as he leaves, but Audrey draws her attention back before she can speak. Slowly, she shakes her head, and sets down her tea cup so she can reach for both of the starlet's hands. "I don't want you to be hurt, not because of… of this." Not because of me. "I will do this, if it means you don't need to hurt anymore. I will let him have my memory."

Wolfgang looks over to the ladies, over his shoulder when Audrey mentions her worry about Ranjali ever being hurt again. His head dips in a 'it won't' manner of conveyance in the gesture but more the look in his eyes. But then he goes to just looking out over London. "Ciao bella!" He smiles and waves to some girls that have spotted him from across the street and started calling to him. He blows them a kiss and that seems to be enough to send them giggling and dancing further down the street.

Tears immediately well up in Audrey's eyes, so touched she is by Ranjali's words. Her hand goes up to her lover's face, tenderly touching her cheek. "I don't want to forget. To forget would mean I might forgive him, and I can't risk that. And I don't want to wonder why you came to my apartment. As awful as the reasons were, I don't want to miss a single moment with you." She leans in to place a soft kiss on Ranjali's lips, whispering, "But if you want this, I swear I will never speak of it. He can take away your pain, Ranji, and I can protect you."

Blinking back sudden tears of her own, Ranjali reaches up to hold Audrey's face and leans into the kiss. "I would do it for you." She replies, "But for myself… " She glances at Wolfgang, then back again to watch the blonde's expression. "I work with memory charms at the hospital. Returning lost memories is what I research in my free time. I fear… the temptation would be too great, that I would undo what Mr. Montague offers to me. Unless I had good reason not to."

Wolfgang takes another drag of his cigarette and says, "It's handled. You both…and the other dame." Dammit he keeps forgetting her. He leans against the door frame, "You are protected. I wouldn't be offering you this if there was any danger to either of you in the forgetting." He flicks his cigarette away. "You've changed Doll, since this happened, he's diminished your Star, Doll, it kills me. Let me protect you, let me be the one that keeps all the anger. Let me be your man." The last sentence holds a touch of the melody from the song to it.

Audrey's eyes go to Wolfgang, an adoring pout forming as he shows his concern. "You don't understand. My anger…it's a part of me." She suddenly looks very nervous, as she drifts dangerously close to her own past now. "It kept me going for a long time." She forces a smile, but doesn't try to make it convincing. "An actress needs that. It's what we draw upon." She focuses back on Ranjali. "But you…if you didn't remember, why would you even try to remove it? Would you even know there was a memory to recover?"

Ranjali is frowning curiously at Wolfgang when Audrey asks the question. Sighing, she shakes her head, "Possibly. It would depend on the skill of the caster. What other woman?" Her eyes narrow as a thought occurs to her, and she looks sharply back up at Wolfgang, "Has he done this to someone else?"

Wolfgang quickly shakes his head and moves towards them again waving his hands in a dismissive shake at his hip line, "No. Oh no, Ranjali — I'm sorry, may I call you that? He hasn't I am so sorry to make you think otherwise. Audrey, she just named another woman that's to fall under my protection. It was made very clear that this was to never ever happen again to anyone." He's no where near Ranjali when he lifts his hand to sort of pat the air because he wouldn't dream of touching her. He has a history of his own with this sort of thing. Which is why he's so furiously protective of his Doll and two other women he barely even knows. "And you…" He points a finger at Audrey, "You've got plenty of material. You've been drawing it from somewhere all of these years to be the incredible actress you are. I can't do anything about what happened in the past, besides love you now for the woman who it's made you into. But I can, and will beg you to allow me to take care of you now. Let me take it away."

Audrey pets Ranjali's arm comfortingly. "Genevieve. I asked Wolfgang to make sure she was protected, too. You care about her, and she's a lovely woman, and…it's the only way I could shield her from him." She avoids going into detail about just what she asked Wolfgang to do…and she's fairly certain she doesn't want to know the specifics, herself.

Surprised and relieved as both Wolfgang and Audrey offer explanations, Ranjali nods. "Oh. I… that's very kind of you." She looks from man to actress, wondering not for the first time at their connection and quite nearly forgetting poor Genevieve again herself. And as she takes in her new lover's face, she begins to think about all that Wolfgang has said about her. "Audrey. I don't think I could bear being the reason you… diminish."

Wolfgang looks grateful that they are doing the happy dance around just what his protection entails. He nods along with Ranjali when she pleads with his mistress again. "You would be a liability Doll. A look into your eyes at the wrong time and she'll wonder why you're suddenly haunted when you are having an amazing time. You are an amazing actress, but do you really want the responsibility of acting for her all the time? That wouldn't be fair to Ranjali, would it? It's gotta be both of you, Doll, this was a package deal." He scoops up his drink and takes a quaff from it. He looks to Audrey with regret and sympathy, but more than that there's concern and love for her.

Audrey looks between Wolfgang and Ranjali, open-mouthed and a little desperate. "Ranji, I don't want you to suffer. You deserve to live without this ghost in your past. But…won't we always wonder how we…" She blushes, and cannot help an abashed smile, as this is the first time she has confirmed to anyone else her new love affair with Ranjali. "…how we became lovers? Won't it feel…cloudy?"

Haring it said in front of Wolfgang, a man and someone she barely knows, Ranjali's face flames in an instant. "Ah, that, well… I suppose it, ah… depends." Dropping her eyes to her lap, because if she's not looking at him its far easier to pretend he didn't just hear that, Ranjali takes a breath, then asks, "Wh-who… will be doing it?"

Wolfgang shakes his head to Audrey's question about the memories being cloudy. The way Wolfgang handles the confession that they are lovers is more like they just confessed they like music - casual, unsurprised and given respect. "Only the best for my Doll and her Dame. You two can decide how you wanted to come together this time, be it slumber party, or Audrey got a sprained something and Ranjali came over to take care of her. Everything beyond that will have the taint rubbed clean from it." He looks apologetically to Ranjali and gives a little wince, he was hoping they would be able to do the happy dance around the specifics of who's doing this and that's plain on his face, "I can't tell you. What I can tell you is I trust them with my brain." Wolfgang even doesn't hint towards the gender of the person. Super Secret!

Audrey gets a physical shudder, and she starts shaking her head, frowning. "I can't do this. I can't. No…especially not if I don't know who is doing it. This is our minds we're talking about. If we change our memories about it…what if it changes how we feel? Sometimes all it takes is the slightest look, or the right word at the right time to make someone feel a certain way. I can't. I can't risk it." In her growing panic, she meets Ranjali's eyes, and suddenly stops, softening, breathing again. "But…if it will free you from this awful thing…" A tear rolls down her cheek, "…I'll risk it. I want you to be happy."

Ranjali, recovered enough to look up and face the others again, takes one look at Audrey's face and feels her heart breaking. Forgetting propriety, she reaches out to wrap her arms around the blonde and pull her close. "I don't know what to do." She murmurs, placing a gentle hand on the starlet's hair. "I would not change what has happened with us. Or take away anything from your mind, if you did not wish it. But if what Mr. Montague says is true then I am taking something from you by leaving these memories, making you less than you were before… " With an effort, she keeps her own tears from spilling out. "How long do we have? Before you need a decision?"

Wolfgang moves to slide in behind Audrey when she goes into a bit of a panic. He rubs her shoulder and kisses the back of it. "Doll, Audrey… shh. I'll be alright. You trusted me enough to handle things, trust me enough to see the job through. Nothing is going to change the way you two feel about each other. Look at you two…taking away the pain isn't going to harm that one bit. It's going to be alright Audrey." He leans back to allow the two to embrace and he does offer a very sympathetic expression towards Ranjali. "The longer we wait, the more must be cleaned up, which makes it more difficult. I don't wish to pressure either of you. But the truth is, the sooner the better."

Audrey looks back at Wolfgang from the comfort of Ranjali's embrace, and him nestled up behind her. What a metaphor this is for her life right now. "You're wrong, Wolfie. This doesn't make me less than I was. It's just…fresh, that's all. I can handle pain and anger. I've done it all my life. My only concern is Ranjali." She lifts her head to look the woman in the eyes. "Don't worry about me. I mean it. It's you that has suffered most in this. If you want this, I'll risk it for you."

Though Ranjali is unable to stop the flash of possessiveness that passes through her eyes when she sees someone else touching Audrey, she is able to keep her composure enough to focus on the conversation at hand. "Part of me would like nothing more." She admits, "Than to forget that I… allowed such a thing to happen. What it was like to wake up… " Closing her eyes, she takes in a deep breath, and lets it out slowly. "However, I think… you were right. A-about… cleansing… " And now she's blushing again.

Wolfgang's eyebrows arch up over those puppy dog hazel eyes. He rises up again giving Audrey's back another rub, now is not the time to get into a tug-of-war match over the actress, hell Wolfgang is willing to give the two of them an all expenses paid trip to a mansion in India! "Just so everything is perfectly clear. Please would the both of you look at me and say either 'Yes' or 'No'."

Audrey turns so she is facing forward, able to look at either of them. Her eyes focus on Wolfgang, though her hand seeks Ranjali's. "Wolfie…thank you. I know you meant the best in offering this. I do appreciate it. But…I think we have to decline. No." She looks to Ranjali for confirmation that this is what she really wants.

Ranjali releases Audrey so that she can turn, placing her hands in her lap. She nods as the actress speaks, slowly, and carefully lifts her eyes to Wolfgang's. Gone now are any traces of jealousy, her features are only apologetic, her eyes worried. "I am truly sorry. It cannot have been easy, to arrange such a thing. But I, also, cannot do this. No."

Wolfgang smiles warmly to them, he bows over to kiss Audrey's forehead again and then presses both hands together as if in prayer and bows his head some to Rangali, "Namaste. Don't you worry yourself one bit more. I'm only deeply sorry to have caused the both of you the strife of this decision. I didn't think it would come to this, to tears shed. You have my deepest regret in that. Shall we try to forget it happened the old fashioned way and share some drink, dance and song together?" He offers both of his hands to the ladies to help them rise.

The promise of music and dancing brightens Audrey's spirits, but when she turns her head away from Ranji to smile at Wolfgang, she mouths: No drink. "I think a song would be lovely. Something cheery. Ranji?" Audrey starts to rise, offering a hand to each of them to coax them off of the sofa.

Instantly relieved, and beyond surprised at Wolfgang speaking Indian, Ranjali offers a bemused smile. She accepts Audrey's hand with a nod, eager to move on to something happier. "Yes, that sounds wonderful. Though, I, ah… am less skilled in modern dancing. Perhaps I can be taught a bit?"

Wolfgang leads the ladies down the private stairs to the VIP lounge where he has them protected by having his goons close off the lounge for the night and they eat saltimbocca, along with other delicious Italian treats, dance, sing and nothing but the tastiest mocktails for them all. A ruckus sober good time!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License