CLAW HQ: Chairman's Office - Sears Tower - Jackson Street
A nice office, with a nice view, and decorated in a continuation of the subtle themes from the foyer. A large desk holds the usual equipment for an office - a computer, some notepads, pens, and so on - and behind it, there is a comfortable looking office chair, with arms, covered in leather. In front of the desk there are several chairs for guests, and to the side, a pair of neat sofas rest facing each other over a small coffee table. Once more, the art on the wall is from those of a preternatural nature, displayed beautifully framed in elegant wooden frames. A bookcase holds files, folders and books, its wood matching the rest of the furniture. Next to it is a matching drinks cabinet, with a selection, predominantly whiskey related.
Casey dressed for his first meeting with the Ulfric, treating it a little something like an academic or professional interview. Unfortunately, even with a conservative blazer (with elbow patches no less), slacks and a tie, he still looks like a teenager going to church. The weekend sees the office fairly quiet and he was ushered in by a polite secretary or assistant. When he enters, he gives Robert a curious look, says, "Mr. Moye? I'm Casey Wade. I think you're expecting me?" He hesitates a moment before crossing to the Ulfric, extending his hand for a human-style handshake at the same time he steps close and stretches a bit to brush Robert's cheek and give the Ulfric his throat. Polite, submissive without cringing and a bit reserved and apprehensive until these first critical moments are out of the way.
Robert is sitting at his desk as the man enters, looking up and he rises to greet him, stepping around the desk to accept that greeting. "Casey. Please, call me Robert. I do not stand on ceremony." He makes a gesture towards the seating area of his office, moving to take a seat there. "So, I understand you wish to move here, to study?" His expression gives nothing away, the neutrality of his gaze wolf like this close to the full moon. "Tell me about your history." He gives no clues as to the content of the letter from the man's original Ulfric.
Casey nods and takes a step back before heading to the indicated seat. "Certainly, ah, Robert." He pauses to organize his thoughts and says, "And I'm going for my doctorate in Preternatural Science." He sits, meeting the Ulfric's gaze for a moment and then looking away again. "I was infected early. Very early. My uncle was a Hati in a pack in rural Florida. I came down with leukemia when I was eleven. By thirteen it was terminal. My parents begged him to save me." He shrugs and says, "Obviously, he did. The Ulfric killed him for it, of course. And shipped me out west to a friend of his to raise. From there I went to Santa Cruz for college and joined the local pack there. And from there, here."
Robert listens, his expression serious but impassive, barely reacting to the story the other man tells him. He tilts his head slightly, considering his words thoughtfully before he speaks. "I see. I will accept you into my pack. We meet tomorrow for the Full Moon, Casey." He pauses before he asks bluntly, "How old are you in years?" There is no hint of speaking down, the Ulfric showing his awareness of the problem of ageing differently. "If you were so young to be infected."
Casey grins faintly at somebody actually asking and says, "Twenty-eight." He shrugs, "It's been …challenging…" A bit of an understatement but no hint of self-pity or weakness to it. If anything, the topic seems to give him a faintly pugnacious air, muted of course, given the company. He nods very deeply to Robert again, once again showing his throat and says, "Thank you, sir. I hope I can prove useful. I, ah, am a healer, by the way. A bit non-traditional but I like to think my approach is informed by science."
"I can imagine that is problematic for you." There is no sympathy in the steady rumbling voice, but no pity either. "I will put you in touch with MaryJane. She is both Geri to me and in charge of those who can heal. May I presume that you are willing to be on our schedule for healers? As you can see, the pack cooperates with other groups here to support each other." He tilts his head slightly, a glance towards the offices revealing his meaning. "And please, Robert. Not sir."
Casey says, "Very progressive, s… Robert. Unusual and interesting. Cooperating, that is. And of course I'm willing. Whatever I can do to make myself useful." He shrugs at that. "Ah, if my academic specialty can be be of any use, that's at your disposal as well." He pauses and then says delicately, "My acceptance in the program at Loyola comes with an assistant professorship and research position. I can start tithing pretty much immediately, if you want to have somebody contact me with the details?"
Robert's expression could be considered blank as he gives Casey a steady look in silence. Then he clears his throat, with a shake of his head. "It is unnecessary to tithe. The pack has sufficient funds and I do not live off the back of my people." He shakes his head once more. "Do you have a residence for the moment?"
Casey looks a little surprised but tries to cover that. He says, "Ah, I'm on the waiting list for campus housing. You know how that goes." He rolls his eyes as he says it, perhaps expecting that Robert does know. He's lived his entire adult life in academia and honestly seems to believe that his frame of reference is universal.
"I do not." Robert murmurs softly, a flicker of amusement glimmering in his eyes. "However, I am certain that either my couch or MaryJane's home is open to you, should you require somewhere to wait their reply." He pauses, adding softly, more seriously. "I am publicly a wolf, Casey, and the work I do is in the spotlight, however uncomfortable that is. Being one of my pack does bring with it that danger."
Casey blinks at that and pauses a moment. He says, carefully, "The academic world is pretty conservative in some ways, si… Robert. If it is your will that the members of your pack be public, I can do that. But I'm worried that it will limit some of my future options. Or even derail the process of getting my PhD." He shrugs and asks, "Any advice or thoughts on that would be appreciated."
"No, I am not asking that of you. I merely warn you that my life becomes…" He lifts a hand then, rubbing the back of his neck, before he gives Casey a smile that may be considered bashful. "Observed. That there is a risk of your contact with me being noted. However others of my pack, MaryJane not least, manage to preserve their privacy."
Casey shrugs and says, "Well, another nice thing about academics is that they are remarkably oblivious unless you shove something in their faces. People have been thinking I'm a child prodigy for the last ten years or so." He rolls his eyes again at that and then grins faintly at Robert. "The world's first celebrity Ulfric? Can a reality show be far behind?"
"It will never happen with me." The firmness of that assertion reveals more about the source of the discomfort than anything else. "I have briefly been interviewed but that is, I hope, the limit of this foolishness. There is an illogical focus on my person life when it should be on the issues I raise." The disapproval of this foolishness is obvious.
Casey's expression is a rather obvious 'Ah!' at that tone and then he nods and says, "People can't learn to mind their own business, as a rule. And they are fascinated with the powerful, dangerous, exotic and attractive. Given who and what you are, you're basically a nexus for that prurient interest, I'm afraid."
"I am neither powerful, nor dangerous, nor exotic nor attractive." The words are almost in the tone of a often repeated grumble and he shakes his head quickly. "It is foolish and illogical." And with that, the topic is over. "If you wish a lift to the Lupanar, meet me at my home an hour before sundown." He removes his wallet from his back pocket, offering a card to the other man.
Casey nods and stands, trying to hide a faint smile at the Ulfric's discomfort. He has that clinical detachment that a life-long academic gains. Slightly socially awkward but at least clear and direct. He says, "I'd appreciate that. And, ah, the offer of a couch or guest room with this 'Mary Jane' person would be greatly appreciated as well. Might as well save the pennies where I can." He takes the card and offers Robert his own cell phone and email information. "A pleasure meeting you, si… Robert."