Strictly Business (stay focused)

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The Stafford London hotel was one of the more storied properties in the city, having held a place of distinction for over one hundred years.  Its famed courtyard had been the scene of many a government, cultural, and celebrity gathering over that timeframe, but a meeting being held in its wine cellar this evening hosted a different level of clientele.

An interesting mix of power brokers, nefarious, honest, and somewhere in-between gathered under the vaulted ceiling of the famed Wine Cellar at Stafford room--built in the 17th century as a WWII air-raid shelter. The lighting tonight was dim, with an amber glow filling the space where some forty men and women stood around in pairs and small groups, deftly moving from conversations around immigration, tourism, business, and America.

Diam opted to play the role of a proxy for a recent Italian heiress that served as the fifth most powerful person in a multinational conglomerate, specializing in engineering, healthcare, and energy.

He picked Vedetta Ajello as his cover, due to his being the reason she was a recent heiress. He also knew the woman was far more interested in spending money than being a part of actual business dealings.

Those outside of her home base were not privy to this knowledge, however.

Dressed in a classic two-button, blue squared, Aragona wool suit with a gold pocket square--the Black Frenchman raised in Italy no doubt looked the part. He kept his conversation surface level while making mental notes of the conversation partners of two people in attendance.

Arnold Stephenson, a famous American movie producer recently embroiled in scandal. And Harry Sylvester, a founding partner of one of the UK's most powerful criminal defense firms.

"So what brings you to our soiree this evening Mr.?"

"Bruno. Giovanni Bruno," I replied, pulling a glass of chardonnay from my lips to a woman who had appeared in front of me.

I had noticed her sizing me up from the moment she walked in earlier. Her mannerisms were pedestrian, however, so I paid it no mind.

"Not much of the talking type are you?"

"My apologies," I slid in her direction with a grin. "I was attempting to remember which of the people here my boss wanted me to make sure I spoke with. Don't want to muck up the job you know?"

"I completely understand. Listen, you should not leave tonight without meeting my husband, Albert Patel. He is in IT acquisitions. Homegrown, but expanding quickly across Europe and into Asia. They cleared £2.68 billion last year," the woman said confidently. "He also travels a lot."

I gave her a look of greed when she mentioned her husband's expanding business. The sprinkled in look of thinly disguised lust, at the traveling line, accomplished what I needed it to.

The woman clinked her glass against mine and walked over to join who I assumed was Albert Patel.

Grabbing a member of the waitstaff's attention, I swapped the subpar chardonnay for a glass of Grappa, an Italian brandy, and moved to a hi-top table against the wall in the middle of the room.

From my new location, I could better observe the entrance to the long space as well as both Stephenson and Sylvester. Following my impromptu meeting with Frederick Spooner, the owner of the contract on Sylvester, I accelerated the expiration date on the agreement. When I found out that both targets would both be present at tonight's event it was settled. 

They both die tonight.

"Ere, what's your business here lad? I haven't seen you before."

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