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The car shifted and Enzo swayed accidentally into lady standing next to him. She lifted a brow and glared, and Enzo nodded apologetically. The underground was full today, so there wasn't much room to stand apart. Her perfume reminded him of Mireille's.

With a sigh, Enzo stuck a hand in one coat pocket and retrieved the crumpled card given to him by M. White. In this day and age, business cards of this kind were obsolete. That the store still used them bespoke to an era gone past. A web search said the store was around since the mid 1990's, which meant it was a product of the fall of the USSR.

'They say we will all soon be Soviets....',
he heard his mother sneer from the recesses of memory. Enzo had been one of the many accepting of the CCD's offer all those years ago. His mother had begrudgingly agreed, but she never liked it. Her grandparents remembered fighting the Russians in the Great Wars. How times changed.

The car rolled to a stop and many individuals filed off. Thankfully, the woman with the perfume was not one of them. "Bonne journée,"
he bid her farewell and left her behind.

Under the grand chandeliers of the metro station, he felt a tug on one sleeve. A graying man in a long trench coat stopped him. He spoke with a french accent. "You're in the Central Kremlin District of the Central Dominance. You could get a ticket, or worse, for that."

Enzo blinked. "For telling a woman to have a good day?"
The man nodded.
"Stay with English here. You'll attract attention to yourself otherwise. Attention you want to avoid,"
and with that, the man left by a different set of escalators than where Enzo was heading.

Enzo scratched his head sadly, but when he emerged on the surface, the looming presence of the G.U.M. department stores and the red walls of the kremlin fortress greeted him like a stoic reminder of his presence. How he yearned for the peaceful life on the beautiful Blue Coasts of the Riviera.

The store suggested by M. White was somewhere inside the monstrosity mall before him. In a working man's coat, hoodie, jeans and knit gloves, he already stood out. He pulled his knit winter hat from his head, stuffed it in a pocket, and scruffed the black hair beneath into some semblance of a style. He wondered for the tenth time if there was any other way, and went in, allowing himself to be swallowed by opulence.

It was a normal day for Emily. Given the changes that might be occuring within Shale Industries, she wanted to buy a new dress to wear for the announcement or a possible opening gala. She decided to spend the day at the G.U.M.

It was cold and Emily pulled her coat close. She could see her breath in the Moscow air as she approached the entrance. She had been here once before with Asha and Ayden. It was a great memory of friends and she smiled at the memory.

The shopping mall was always well populated and Emily moved throught the throng of people, removing her hat and gloves. She looked around wondering where to start. As she did her eyes came across a man. She noticed him remove his hat and scruff up his hair. He seemed to being trying to fit in. He looked like he felt out of place or at least lost.

Emily moved toward the man. She had to help. It was just who she was. She smiled as she approached. "Hi there. You look lost. Can I help you find anything?"
Emily's smile was friendly and accepting. Helping someone, even something as small as this, would bring her more joy than buying a dress.
It'd been awhile since that night with Nox and Aurora and Pyotr. While he liked having a new crew to hang out with- especially one with whom he got to practice all kinds of awesome ways to use the power- he was first and foremost a Mordvinov. They were his family and he was loyal them.

Just a few days ago, he and Roman paid a little visit to the newly elected Long Haulers' union leader who needed to understand how things worked. It had taken a little while since the guy seemed to have an unrealistic view of how the world worked. Roman had had to explain it to him. He threw around words like entrepre...something and...and...objectism? Maybe? or something like that.

Most of it went over Bas' head, but that was ok. He didn't need to get the details. He trusted Roman. He'd just do his job and look out for his own. It had been like that since he'd been a kid. But it had worked for him, that was for sure.

That was why he could be walking up the steps of the G.U.M. with extra money in his account. A nice gift for all the work he'd been doing lately to help consolidate Mordvinov takeover of a lot of Vlad's old territory. That meeting with Mik had been a big step. He shuddered, remembering the rest of the night. Or not remembering, actually. All that he really could recall was stepping outside into the cool air. That was about it.

Anyway, that was old news. And he'd gotten a friend out if it. Aurora was a cool chick. And the warehouse had turned out to be a genius move. He was gonna be there a lot.

He walked into the warm building and could feel the money in the air. Lotta upscale stores in here. He had been thinking about a few new suits. He'd heard of the Imperial Tailors. Be nice to have something you couldn't just get anywhere.

Plus, there were some fine lookin women here. Course most had their noses in the air and sticks up their asses. He shrugged. didn't really matter, though. Might be fun to see what he could see, here. He noticed a high class lingerie store and marked that in his mind. After the Tailors, though. Head in there, do a little talking to the help. Flirt with a group of girls shopping for a bridal shower. Maybe talk to a cougar. Who knew with rich chicks. Not that it mattered really. High, low. It was all a game anyway. And it'd be interesting to see the way they responded to his neck tats. And his holstered gun that sometimes peeked out of his jacket. You just didn't know. And that was what made it all so fun.

As he headed toward the Tailors he noticed a blonde that looked familiar. He wasn't the greatest with names. He ended up using 'girlie' a lot. But he did know faces. And they'd met. She was with some guy who definitely seemed out of place.

He put on his biggest grin and sauntered up to her. It wouldn't do to let her know he couldn't remember all that much. He touched her arm. "Hey you, how ya doing?"
Enzo was looking for a map portal to sync with his Wallet when a feminine voice distracted him. Her accent was distinctly American, and something about her made him smile briefly. "Do you work here, mademoiselle?"
He didn't want to bother another shopper, especially when sync-ports could provide a map by which he could search his way.

Before she could answer, someone else approached. He seemed to know the young lady, but Enzo immediately recognized him. The last he saw this man, strange things happened. He'd been violently sick on the street where, perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, violence had erupted.

He was unsure if the man, what was his name? recognized him. He had been in the throes of hallucination and illness last they encountered one another. Instinct forced Enzo to take a wary step backward, but only to open up space between them. It wasn't obvious, but gave him the arm-space to react if necessary. He'd never been the kind of man to jump to cynical conclusions, but he was changed. Corrado made sure of it.

Emily smile brightly at the man with the French accent. His question wasnt unwarrented. She had taken French in high school and college but rarely got to practice it. She opened her mouth to respond, but before she did, a hand toucjed her shoulder and she jumped. Turning around she saw the familiar face of Sebastian - Ayden's friend. Thankfully her jumped had knocked the man's hand away.

"Sebastian...hi! I'm well and how are you?
she greeted him warmly. She remembered Ayden's warning, but it still didn't mean she didn't have to be kind and polite. If the man didn't make a move on her, all would be well.

She turned back to the frenchman. "Non monsieur. I do not work here. I'm just a person who likes to help lost people find their way. Je suis Emily. This is Sebastian."

She wondered what brought the man here and looked him over.He looked to be a normal person, but her eyes lingered on hair that looked like he had attempted to style it, butit hadn't come out right. It was driving her nuts and she had to do something about it.

"Excuse me for a bit.
She reached up and started fixing his hair. She had an idea of what style he seemed to be going for, so she kept with it. "There! That's better."
She nodded and smiled at him in satisfaction. It honestly wasn't a bad look on him.

Edited by Emily Shale, Dec 24 2014, 08:45 PM.
Enzo's eyes fluttered a series of surprised blinks. He'd never encountered a stranger so forthcoming before. Américaine he surmised. She knew the man from the street, Sebastian.

Enzo greeted although he kept his distance. "You're looking more healthy. Do you remember?"
His tone was polite since he was raised by good people. Yet he kept his hands free and clear.

Her name was Emily, and the touch of French was a sweet gesture. Although he was mindful of the previous warning. "Enchanté Émilie,"
Enzo replied, "but we should be careful. I hear you can get a ticket for using French in public around here."
As though on cue, one of the Kremlin Red Devils passed by on patrol. Cold eyes met Enzo's, who nodded in return. "Sir,"
he said, but his greeting went unacknowledged.

Girlie jumped at his touch and startled him in turn. Well, well. She was really wound tight. He knew what that meant. Probably not down. Which was fine. Course, she covered it well, greeting him by name. Damn! He was in trouble now, what with not remembering her name and all. In his experience, chicks didn't care for that all that much. Idly he wondered how long he'd be able to get away with calling her cute names before she caught on. He smiled at the thought of getting in trouble with her.

But like a light of mercy from above, she turned to the other guy and started talking, some in English and some in....French? Was that French? He had no clue what she was saying but he heard 'Emily' and seized on that.

If it wasn't her name, well....hey, what was a day when you didn't have a woman gunning for you for something?

He was startled at the man and his question, driving everything else out of his mind. He tilted his head and furrowed his brows. "Have we met?"
He was suddenly more alert. He doubted one of the other families would try something in so public a place as the GUM. Still, you could never be too careful.

The man expressed the need for caution to Emily and it was underscored by the random appearance of some police-types. He wondered what they were doing in a high class mall this close to the Kremlin. He didn't imagine it was exactly comforting to upper class people who liked to assume the world they lived in was safe.

His eyes surreptitiously followed them as they walked away, then flicked at the crowds of people streaming around. He thought he saw a face he recognized. He shifted as he stood, feeling the weight of his gun against his side. He was temped to pray for the power, but decided it could wait. Might just be nothing.

His attention never really left frenchy though. He really was going to have to get better at names. "Looks like you got the advantage. I don't remember when we met. You are...?"
There wasn't any animosity in it. He was just an unknown. Until you could peg a person, you had to be careful. Course, even then, you still had to be careful.
Emily nodded at the man's warning. It seemed like a really weird thing to be given a ticket for and he wondered who had told the man this. There was no way that could be true, but if it eased the man's mind she would refrain from speaking French.

The man's eyes followed a couple of Kremlin Reds passed by and Emily noticed that Sebastian's did the same. She remembered Ayden telling her that Sebastian was a thug, so had probably done some illegal things. She wondered if he had done anything recently to attract that kind of attention.

She also wondered about this stranger. He had watched the guards stride by too. She almost laughed to herself thinking about it. The man didn't fit the description of someone who was a thug - seeming as shy and lost as he was. The difference between the two men was evident.

As she came back to reality, she realized that the two had met before, although Sebastian didn't seem to remember. Emily's eyes moved back and forth between the two men, wondering what had gone on between them.

Sebastian asked his name, and Emily realized she had never asked his name either. She blinked. "I never did catch your name."
She took a moment to relax. She would be ready if the man wanted to shake hands.
Enzo glanced at the girl. She was closer to his daughter's age than his wife's, he guessed. Yet here she was unaccompanied in Moscow. Perhaps her parents were somewhere in the mall. Her question elicited little emotional response other than a flat look torn between disapproval and hesitancy. "You did not catch it because I did not say it,"
but eventually his tone softened. She was an innocent girl, like Soraphine was innocent. Perhaps she was as naïve, too. "It is Enzo Dolan,"
he explained, pronunciation melodious, and as well, shared it with Sebastian as well.

"We did not really meet, sir. Not in the true sense of the meaning. I saw you on the street some days past. You were ill."
Memory dawned and Enzo almost chuckled at the similarity of the situation. "You asked if I was lost. I must have a certain look about me for everyone to ask so often."
It was his way of softening the mood, like an apology, for having judged Emily so abruptly moments before.

"Indeed I was not lost then, nor am I now. I came here on a recommendation... Seeking a certain clothier. My attire does not meet high Moscow standards apparently."

The man had a pretty thick French accent but Bas could understand him despite it. On the street some days past? He was good with faces. He woulda remembered was that night when he'd been dosed with whatever. The night Aurora had come to him like an angel.

Strange coincidence, that. The guy was there, evidently, when he was skunked. And now here? And he'd thought he'd seen Viktor's face. Briefly. If it was him. Still, his guard was now up. The guy seemed genuine, but that could be an act. "Ahh. Ok. Yeah, that night was something. Someone gave me something that night. Don't remember much of anything, really."

He looked the guy up and down. Lean, hard. Someone to underestimate. He had a bit of the lost tourist look down though. Either he was what he said he was or he was a great actor. He decided to play along either way. He smiled. "Clothes? Yeah, I'm here for the same thing. Heading over to the Imperial Clothiers."
He plucked at the indigo collars of his suit. It was a nice one, silk, well made and expensive. But it wasn't the same. "Off the rack is one thing. Tailored is another. Especially if you get the metallics. And Imperials is the best."

He looked the guy's clothes over. "All depends on where you are headed and what you want to say."
Seemingly offhanded, he added, "Pretty steep too. But you get what you pay for."

He prayed and seized the power. Suddenly his senses were enhanced and he could feel the GUM press in around him, the sounds of people, of steps echoing, of laughter and conversation. The scents of bodies and perfumes and soaps came to him- the clean feminine smell of Emily, the masculine aftershave of Enzo. And he could see details in their faces, every movement and twitch. Nothing seemed out of place or phony. Still, he decided to prod a bit of a reaction. "You were with your buddy, right? Victor was it?"

He watched carefully.

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