This forum uses cookies
This forum makes use of cookies to store your login information if you are registered, and your last visit if you are not. Cookies are small text documents stored on your computer; the cookies set by this forum can only be used on this website and pose no security risk. Cookies on this forum also track the specific topics you have read and when you last read them. Please confirm whether you accept or reject these cookies being set.

A cookie will be stored in your browser regardless of choice to prevent you being asked this question again. You will be able to change your cookie settings at any time using the link in the footer.

Old things
Seven entered a shop at random. Well, if he was to be honest, he was walking random streets in the neighborhood he chose for himself to habituate for the foreseeable future. Upon one such block, artwork displayed in a window caught his eye. 

The jingle of a bell tolled his entrance. A young man arranging some pieces on a shelf peered his direction. He wore a collared shirt and slacks of someone who might work there, or else he was OCD enough of a customer to straighten pens into orderly fashioned while he shopped. Seven nodded, tucked his hands behind his back, and strolled about. However, it was to the window that he soon found himself studying.

The painting was a landscape, but it was unlike any terrain he had ever seen in person. The style was distinct, too. There was a name along the side. The artist was unknown to him.

Movement caught the reflection of himself in the window pane, but the motion originated from behind his shoulder. Seven didn't turn, though he was prepared for someone to come closer. Perhaps in attempt to sell the piece. His new living arrangements was disturbingly plain.  He was currently dressed in a trendy white jacket and expensive leather shoes. Acid-wash jeans cut a flattering angle to his hips. He wore a delicate timepiece at the wrist worth more than most cars. He enjoyed such things, but there was nothing haughty about presence. He was who he was, but he definitely looked like he had money.
After speaking with the gallery assistant, and some dramatic tapping of his lips, Seven finally nodded. “I will purchase it. Can it be delivered?” They made arrangements for the piece’s arrival, although he requested that the canvas be reframed into something more his tastes, which would delay the process a few days. Upon offering payment, the assistant blinked a few times at the computer. 
“Your name is Seven? That’s it. Like the number?”

Always amused by the query, Seven nodded in agreement. “Like the number. So tell me, does the artist attend gallery nights?” The subject abruptly changed, the assistant thought for a moment. 

“Not really. I’ve not met her, although I believe she takes commissions on order.”

Seven murmured his interest with acceptance of the contact information.
"Let me know if she does. I'd like to meet her."

The gallery would miss out on sales when commissions were directly appropriated, although there were typically referral fees in such contracts, assuming the artist had a residence-contract with the business.

Purchase concluded, Seven thanked the assistant generously, which left the young man in a state of embarrassed deference. After which, Seven continued his casual exploration of the street known for Enlightenment.
Asha and Elias were off on a grand adventure without him. He was slightly disappointed, but Elias was a downer, how Asha put up with his moodiness made him wonder. But it didn't really matter, they were off and now Xander could look for his next mark. Though Moscow had not turned out like he had hoped. Maybe it was time to move on too. Though Xander sat dressed in casual enough close. He was neither Tobias nor Alexis -- closer to himself than any one else. But he was never Xander Mitchel, there was always a tale -- a back story.

But sitting at the out door diner table watching the crowd, Xander could pretend he was a normal person -- doing normal things. There were people walking by, other customers sitting and chatting. Xander's world was larger than theirs. He sat watching the images as people passed. Reading their auras . It was a favorite past time.

One woman walked by with a gold aura she held a set of purple rosary beads in her hand as she walked nervously through the street. She was praying for what Xander didn't know, but he didn't care -- it was potentially profitable. He snapped a picture with his wallet that sat descretely on the table as if he were watching something on the screen.

A man strolled passed too close to the table, his aura a dark gray. His steps dragged as he walked down the street. It wasn't a stroll so much as a means to an need. Unahppiness and depression followed in his wake. If Xander were a better man he'd stop the man and make him an offer he couldn't refuse -- having money had it's perks but saving men was not Xander's job.

But at the moment, nothing caught his eye enough to remove him from his spot sipping his coffee and watching the crowd.
"The greatest friend to a con artist is lack of knowledge." ~ Jane King

Seven checked his wallet as he walked. It was that time of day that gave him pause. It only lasted a minute, but he separated himself from the midst of the crowd and flicked through some private-projection screens. After viewing the information, he took a deep breath and looked around. There was a café nearby, and he would partake fika with his memories. The ritual was common around the world. The Mediterranean coast called it siesta. The Italians came to a grinding halt in the afternoon to the tune of riposo. The Americans called it happy hour, and while happy, the hour was far from relaxing. To Seven, the reprieve was fika, and to all, it was meant to be shared with friends or loved ones.

He approached the hostess, smiling when she looked up. She had a pleasant face rimmed with auburn hair. She blinked a few times when she looked at him, and Seven dipped his head slightly, flattered.
“One please,” he asked. Her expression softened.

“I’m so sorry, sir. There are no more unattended tables. There is another gentleman seated alone. If you don’t mind?”

He peered around her shoulder, finding couples or triads all seated close together. Indeed, there was a gentleman with dark hair and quiet countenance taking coffee. Seven was accustomed to the outcome, and did not mind sharing a table so long as…

He thanked the hostess and made his way over.
“Would you mind?” he asked the gentleman, gesturing to the empty seat.
Xander looked up and saw a masculine face with nice eyes asking to join him. He looked around and smile with a shrug. "I don't you think have much choice." Xander nodded towards an empty seat.

Xander put away the wallet and sipped at his coffee. He didn't need to look like he was casing the joint. He wasn't casing it exactly, he was people watching but sometimes people thought his activities a little suspicious.

A cute blonde walked passed and he smirked. She was out hunting too, a muddy pink aura with a spiral of gold through out. She was looking for her next mark too -- a gold digger. "I wouldn't want to be on the end of her next seduction." He chucked to himself.

Xander turned to look at the man joining him and out of habit pushed away his sight so that he could actually look at the man without images distracting him. Xander didn't like giving away his secrets. "As long as you don't order fish or anything with honey. I don't get with in three feet of honey."
"The greatest friend to a con artist is lack of knowledge." ~ Jane King

Seven graciously accepted the offer, flicking the button of the white jacket open as he sat. He ordered a coffee with steamed oat milk, then leaned comfortably into the chair.

The gentleman’s attention to a random lady passing piqued Seven’s curiosity. Maybe they were acquaintances, although the comment felt like distant perception more than familiar intuition. While waiting for the coffee, Seven crossed his legs and quizzically inquired after the puzzling final request.

“A small request for the favor of sharing a table. I will be sure to avoid fish and honey. Is this an allergy or a preference of the palate?”  
Xander laughed. "A little of both actually. Fish is a general dislike, but Honey is an allergy." It was the one thing all his persona's shared because he was deathly allergic to it. Pollen wasn't best on his list, but it was at least manageable.

"I don't think I'd want to combine the two." It was a slight bit of humor though Xander was sure some chef had combined the two somewhere. Xander wasn't that worldly when it came to food. Even Alexis didn't have an exotic palate.

Xander looked around at the crowd. "I guess I've been here a while, I don't remember it being so crowded. Must have chosen a good place." Xander wasn't new to the area, he'd been here a few years, but still he hadn't really thought this place got that busy all the time. He wondered what the occasion was.
"The greatest friend to a con artist is lack of knowledge." ~ Jane King

Seven guffawed. “Fish? I can do without the nectar of the gods, but oh my friend I can’t fathom going a day without fish,” he said. He smiled generously, implying that no such order was pending. In fact, about that time, the waitress returned with his order, to which he flashed a smile and nod of the head. Her lips pursed embarrassed by Seven’s attention, and she inquired if either of them would like anything else. Seven gave the gentleman a chance to respond. If he had been there a while, perhaps he could use a second serving of his present beverage.

“I like a crowded place. It makes for ample opportunity to converse with those one may not have the chance to encounter elsewhere.” He stretched out a hand in greeting. Seven’s grip was firm, his eye-contact direct. God morgan. I’m Seven.”
Xander ordered refill for his coffee -- cream with two sugars. He was going to have to agree with Seven's assessment of crowded places. But then it didn't take much to strike up a conversation either, so it didn't matter much.

Xander reached across and shook the other man's hand. "Now this is going to sound contrived, but you can call me Z." He chuckled. He could imagine all sorts of reasons why a man might choose to go by a number. Seven people he killed. Seventh son of the seventh son. It was a good reason to let his shields down and look at the aura of the man who had joined him. Black with the tinge of gold -- a man atoning for something. Xander was going to go with the idea that this was a dangerous man. And the images floated around him like the special people and Xander clamped down the moment he saw the fire that sprang to his vision when he thought of why Seven was called seven. The fire likely the cause of the reason. Something Xander would not inquire about.

This was probably the most authentic Xander had come to being himself in a long time. He was clearly American -- his voice, his clothes, but still Z was a persona he played. Close but not quite Xander Mitchel.

"What brings you to this quaint little cafe in Moscow?"
"The greatest friend to a con artist is lack of knowledge." ~ Jane King

Seven encountered many manners of responses to the sharing of his name. The most common reaction was confusion followed by a query about numbers. He completely understood the instinct. Who or why would someone name their child after a number? It was enigmatic. Although the reason was far from the pull toward the eccentric.  Therefore, the introduction that was returned was more interesting than what was typical. They shook hands, and Seven brushed aside the admission of an engineered name. Sometimes people thought that Seven was untrustworthy, obviously offering a false name like soldiers hiding behind a shield. That the same was mirrored in his fika companion did not bother him. If anything, it was flattering.

“A pleasure, Z,” he nodded, sipping the steaming cup of coffee as he did. “I am here for work, and today settling into my new neighborhood. I found a gallery nearby with some art I fancied. Have you been there? The pieces were quite extraordinary. What about you?

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)