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Black Knight to White King

Eliot was scowling as he stared at the board, re-examining the pieces he had left, and the disproportionate amount of white pieces that Olivia had left on the board.  Her bishop was poised to take his queen, and he couldn't find a way out of it.  It was not their first game, and Eliot hadn't won a single match.  The clock was ticking maddeningly away as he scowled at the captured black pieces that sat casually by her small hands as she looked at him with a cool, even gaze with that spark of amusement that made him think of Sterling.

Playing chess actually had nothing to do with his intentions when he'd come here.  Nate hadn't given him Sterling, but Eliot was quite capable of tracking the man down all on his own.  He'd intended to track him down and then beat that perpetually-smirking face of his into the carpeting, but it wasn't Sterling that he'd found at all.  Instead, it was his teenage daughter, who not only knew who he was, but instead of calling the police, or throwing him out, or doing any of the things that he would have expected from a normal girl, she'd challenged him to a game of chess.

Eliot was good enough at the game -- not to where he'd have wanted to switch with Nate in the tournament, but usually good enough to use it as a conversational topic, an idle hobby when he ran into women that liked to play.  Olivia, on the other hand, had beaten him quite thoroughly in every game so far.  There was also the dangerous factor that she was actually a likeable girl, and that Eliot was finding that initial red-hot rage, desire to beat Sterling to a broken bloody mess slipping out of focus, and into a much more tolerable sort of frustration.

He moved his queen.  She took his last knight.  Between moving pieces and the slap of the time clocks, he didn't hear the door at first.  Though, he did hear those footsteps.  His initial plan had involved greeting him with a fist to the face, as it was he sighed and dropped his king before turning to eye the man.  Murdering him had been quietly moved off the table, but Eliot was at least going to hit him a few times.

A Mark, A Demon, and the National Gallery

They were working a job.  The mark was Steven Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, hedge fund focusing primarily on equity market strategies.  He was one of the richest man in America, and an art collector.  Tonight, he was at a private party at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, which was displaying a painting from his private collection. He'd purchased it for more than 120 million, making it the second most expensive painting ever sold.

Eliot's job in all of this was rather simple: keep the Mark distracted.  He was supposed to sip champagne, talk to the man and keep him in the main hall, while Sophie, Parker and Hardison worked the rest of the con, so that the couple on the brink of losing everything by virtue of Mr. Cohen's racketeering scheme, could get the justice they'd come to Nate for.  They'd uncovered

Eliot was dressed impeccably, clean-shaven, his hair pulled back in a ponytail, a very expensive -- and tailored -- tuxedo accenting the attractive lines of his body.  He was smiling, taking a sip off his glass of champagne, he could see the tension in the man's body, the way his eyes kept slipping off of Eliot and scanning the crowd.  And then his eyes seemed to still, fix on something, and Eliot whispered into his comm, that he thought the Contact was here.  Which was earlier than they'd anticipated.  Nate's voice telling him to stay on the Mark, which Eliot made a noise of assent to.  He flashed a bright smile at the man as his attention seemed to return to their conversation.

"Ah, Mister Harrison, this is a business partner of mine, Mister Crowley."

Eliot turned to face the man, expecting just another man in an expensive suit.  Which was not exactly what he was confronted with. He recognized that face very well, after all.  He was struck speechless.

In Which Insurance Agents are Demons

Eliot was leaning back against the kitchen counter, laughing with an arched brow as he eyed Bobby, tipping the beer in his hand back to meet his lips, and drinking heavily from the amber-gold liquid.  They'd become fast friends after stumbling across each other in the middle of a job.  Turns out the bad guys that Nate and the rest of their crew had been in the midst of screwing were demons.  Needless to say that Eliot's punching match with one of them had not been going as well as expected.  Eliot was better, but the freak kept getting back up.  And then there'd been a slightly balding man in flannel with a shotgun and sixty words of Latin.

After that job, they'd expanded their scope a bit; Eliot had gotten a crash-course on demons from Bobby, and they'd started going after the ones that most Hunters couldn't touch -- the ones positioned as CEOs and politicians, with private armies and millions in bribes to all the right people.  They took the jobs that required specialized skills, a knowledge of more than just the world's most intuitive point-and-click interface and The Lord's Prayer in Latin.  They were also the jobs that came with... monetary compensation. 

Leverage Associates was quite possibly the first hunter group to actually make money saving people.  Bobby, of course, gave them endless shit for it.  It didn't bother Eliot any -- but despite his pretty face, he was still a beer and flannel country boy.  He had his hair pulled back into a ponytail, wearing a flannel shirt (that didn't match Bobby's) and black military grade boots.  Eliot might have only recently been exposed to the supernatural, but with the laundry list of shit he'd been through, it had hardly taken him by surprise.


Eliot Spencer

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January 2012


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