Fifteen minutes before leaving, Ariadne went and changed into another new dress. It was two layers, both solid red. The first layer was a tight tube dress, and above it was a coating of lace. The lace went over Ariadnes shoulders. After combing her hair and putting on a little makeup, she stepped out and went to her duffle.
Arthur watched her as she dug around all her clothes to find a certain pair of shoes. Once she saw a pair of black pumps, she threw them out. It really bothered Arthur that she didn't take good care of her clothes. He tried not to stare as she slipped her feet into angles to put the shoes on.
"Do I look ok?"
Her dress was in no way provocative and her makeup wasn't heavy. Arthur slipped his arm around her. "You look great."
They were picked up by one of Grangers workers and directed to the bayou where Duke and Yusuf were waiting. In the river, there was a small white steamboat. It reminded Duke of the boat from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He wondered if they were going to go through a disturbing tunnel. When Arthur and Ariadne stepped out of the car, they were making no contact.
She heard him whistle again and walked towards him, trying to keep her blush down.
"Every time I see you, you get prettier." He complemented. "Where did you get your clothes?"
Where did you get your clothes? What kind of man asked that question? Her sisters might have asked her that right away but Duke?
"There was this vintage store in Paris and all the clothes in the window were cute so I went in and bought some stuff."
"Well you have great taste." He praised. "I never saw a red lacy dress that looked good but this is gorgeous."
As their car left, another one pulled in. The group looked over, waiting for Eames to come out any second. The driver got out and reached for the door instead. When he opened it, Eames was in the seat looking into a mirror. He was still working on his hair, though he had the whole trip.
"C'mon buddy, Mr. Granger won't wait z'all day." The Cajun driver snapped impatiently.
"You're my driver, not my boss." He said.
"Eames!" Arthur yelled out. "The boats getting ready to leave!"
Ariadne, Duke and Yusuf hopped on, the architect getting a spot on the middle. Arthur walked onto the surface and sat next to Duke.
"City traffic it's hell, no?" the steamboat captain said. "If it not Mardi Gras, z'en Halloween."
"I've never been here before." Said Ariadne. "But I love it so far."
"Well little lady, if you like to party, you've come to ze right city!" he chuckled and took out his rifle.
"Are there people following us?" she whispered to Duke a little fearful.
"Ze rifle is for ze gators." Said the captain. "Ze've taken over ze bayou."
"So they can climb on here when the boat is moving, is that what your saying?"
"It's alright." Yusuf assured. "There won't be any alligators."
"Or walking sea monsters." Eames teased. "Walking gillmen who come onto boats and take the pretty woman as a bride!" He leapt forward and grabbed her shoulders, almost making her jump out her seat.
"I swear Eames you do that again I'll push you in!" She threatened. Duke slipped an arm around her to comfort her. Eames looked over at the way they were sitting.
It was a fifteen-minute ride to the house. Ariadne observed the building as she always did to see it looked like the houses in her hometown, except dirty.
"It looks sloppy from the front. But it's really nice." The captain insisted. The steamboat came to a slow stop. Arthur stepped off first and assisted Ariadne. The team then went inside the house.
They were greeted with a nice dinner redwood table with low lighting. In the center of the table were sliced varities of peppers for decoration. Granger was sitting at the end with a Cajun cocktail already in his hand. He looked like a French version of the Godfather.
"Evening." He opened his arms to emphasize his excitement for their arrival. "I hope New Orleans is doin' you well."
"Very well Mr. Granger." Duke shook his open hand. "We trust you're doing fine as well."
"I'm fantastic." Granger brought out a cigar and lit it. "Chef!" Granger yelled at the top of his lungs for the cook. "Bring out the hush puppies now!"
"Hush puppies?" Ariadne questioned after sitting down.
"That's one of ze appetizer. I'm sure you'll like 'em." The movie director blew out some expensive smoke.
"Allow me to introduce the team." Duke turned his head over to the members. "Yusuf is our chemist, his job is to formulate the correct sedative. Arthur is our point."
"It's my job to research the mark thoroughly and protect everyone." Arthur explained.
"And Eames over there is our forger." Duke craned his arm over to Eames.
"I'm basically impersonating Jaynes sidekicks."
Granger had a chuckle after Eames mentioned sidekicks. "So you're goin' in as a teenage girl? Tell me how that goes."
"You know what I do." Said Duke. "Ariadne here is the architect. She's one of the best in the business."
"This is only my second project." She mentioned after hearing that complement. She was a little tired of all the praise.
Mr. Granger nodded, releasing the heavy smoke he had been holding for too long. "So…" he leaned toward Ariadne. "This iz only your second time?"
"It's only my second time." She confirmed.
"So how you like New Orleans?"
"It's amazing. So lively and colorful." Ariadne described.
"Then you'll love ze food." A couple of waiters walked out with trays of what most of the people identified as chicken strips. "Now zese are some of ze best appatizers."
"They look like McDonalds." Eames commented.
"Try em. Ze're different." Eames picked up a strip and popped the first half in his mouth. Mr. Grangers attention was back on Ariadne. "Now would ze lady like a drink?"
"Do you have Canadian beer by any chance?" Ariadne questioned shyly.
"Absolutely." Granger looked back at the kitchen door. "Chef! Bring ze lady a Bud Light and get those hush puppies!"
"This is very good." Eames commented. "What are they called?"
"Jalapeño poppers." Granger smirked as Eames froze. His eyes widened as his face turned pink. Ariadne had to clamp her hand on her mouth to prevent laughing. Duke was already there as with Yusuf.
"Oh fuck…" Eames spit the popper out on his napkin and snatched his water glass. Gulping down the whole beverage, it wasn't enough. His tongue still sizzled after he used Dukes water and then Yusufs glasses.
"The kitchen Eames!" Arthur snapped. He felt like the only professional in the room. Eames turned around and raced into the kitchen as the chef was coming out with the platter of hush puppies.
"Some people just can't take ze heat." He sighed.