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Charming is done being passive aggressive.

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Alarmingly Charming's avatar

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        Oh hello there, how can I help you today?



              Sohalia stepped back a few feet to the wall across from Margaret in the small hallway that lead to the bathroom. She leaned back against the wall, propping one foot up on it behind her and crossing her arms over her chest tightly. The girl's composure was fading, Sohalia could see it. There was still no color in her face. When Margaret first walked in the door, Sohalia could sense hesitation but she could also see great strength and now that strength was wavering right in front of her.

              "Margaret, I am your boss. While usually that is a very professional opinion that includes keeping personal business to yourself, you are in a position that requires you to have close contact with yours. Its going to effect your performance, and I'd like to know what's going on so that I may, perhaps, help remedy it." Sohalia tilted her own head up slightly, glancing over toward Dax a moment then back to Margaret. When she opened this shop, she didn't realize she would bring in troubled people. Not that it was a problem, so long as these people were willing to accept help. Sohalia would never turn away a person in need.



Margaret Hilgari's avatar

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Margaret sighed -- whether it was because of exhaustion or relief that someone actually wanted to help, she didn't even know. She takes about ten to fifteen seconds to think about it, and she decides that telling Sohalia would be the best option. Not only would it possibly mean that she would have some help, but she also doesn't want anything to happen to this cafe -- especially not something that was caused because of her.

"...okay...might we go somewhere more private?"
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Ari saw the interaction in the hall and seeing that the cafe wasn't busy poured a small juice and sat behind the counter.
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        Oh hello there, how can I help you today?



              Sohalia nodded and pushed herself away from the wall, motioning for Margaret to follow her. A few long strides took her back to her table with Dax where she stopped a moment.
              "I need to speak with Margaret. We'll be upstairs in my apartment. Save my sandwich, aye?" She winked at him, giving him a pat on his shoulder before picking up her hot cocoa. With a nod to Ari, she then headed to the back of the kitchen and up the stairs to her apartment. Once inside, she motioned to the lovely plush couch in her small living room for Margaret to sit. The apartment was decorated modestly, mostly in Earth tones with lots of room to move around. There were candleabras on the walls with unlit candles, an entertainment center with a decent sized TV, game console, and stacks of DVDs.

              Pictures hung on the walls all over the place of her, friends, and obvious family. There was some artwork done as well, most of it bought by Sohalia first hand from budding artists. Around the room there were also various large stemmed flowers that made the room smell sweet and a little musty, like a forest. The windows had treatments of sheer white and forest green curtains that matched the rest of the decor. There were various other entertainment items like a stereo as well. One photo on the wall stood out in particular to most people. It was a photo of Sohalia wearing what looked like a martial arts gi in a fighting arena. The opponent wasn't shown but it looked like it was taken for a newspaper as Sohalia was in full stance and preparing to attack. It was a great shot.

              "Tell me what's going on now, and what I can do to help," she said, sitting down on the couch and setting her drink on the side table.


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She follows Sohalia up the stairs, her gaze still somewhat glazed over. She has a seat on Sohalia's plush couch after closing her apartment's door behind her. Before she looks at Sohalia, she looks around her apartment. She's a big fan of earth tones, so she probably takes a few minutes just admiring the place.

Once she's done with the admiration, she looks at Sohalia.
"...I'm..in somewhat of a..well, business arrangement..." At this point, it's clear that she wants to tell but, at the same time, she doesn't. She would hate to impose on Sohalia, her cafe, and everyone who lives here. She's always been such a loner type of girl -- she's not quite used to someone caring, or even wanting to help.
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Vyhnanstvi waited a moment for the girls to get completely upstairs before waving to Ari.

"Ari, grab a couple plate covers and put them over these for me, will ya?" Van said quickly as he rose from the table and moved as softly as his leather soles would allow. He eased the door at the bottom open and slid through in a moment of quiet, padding up the stairs. He thankfully remembered to skip the step that squeaked as he got down on all fours the last few steps to stay quiet, straining himself up to the door at the top and pressing two fingers to it.

Dax felt the beginnings of their conversation vibrate through the wood, hearing it ever-so-faintly. He had to focus his senses, his hearing specifically, on those vibrations but he could make out every word, even Margaret's hushed mostly-nervous tone. His irises starting to swirl ever so lightly with the effort it took.


-={Like I could resist getting in on this. :3

FYI - plate covers are like a serving tray cover, the super deep ceramic/metal pot lid looking things you see at some fancy restaurants. I feel the need to explain in case any readers are left scratching their heads.

Also, sorry for kinda rudging you out of this little sequence, mawsibeth >< I'll roll up one of my alternate characters if things get too slow in the cafe below}=-
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        Oh hello there, how can I help you today?



              Sohalia waited patiently for Margaret to sit down. The girl was holding back a bit, she could tell. There was a soft rustling outside the apartment that sounded like someone may have come up the stairs. Inwardly, she grinned, figuring Dax had followed them and was eavesdropping outside the door. By now, Margaret had sat down and only spoke a few short words. Sohalia sighed.
              "What kind of business arrangement? she questioned, now deciding to leave whomever can up the stairs secretly outside the apartment for now. She leaned forward to pick her mug back up and took a deep drink, even though the liquid was still fairly hot.

              [Oh Kai..sneaking up on Sohalia. lol]
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Margaret takes a deep breath, knowing that this will be a long conversation. And, not only that, but she's also feeling worried about what Sohalia and the others here will think of her.

"...well, okay I don't exactly know how to say this so I might as well just say it, right?"

She takes another deep breath.

"I work for a man named Grant. I've been working for him for 3 years now, nearly 4 -- I signed a 10 year contract. He has me search for wealthy men by any means possible." She takes yet another breath, but not as deep as the first two. "I'm required to seduce them, essentially..." She then looks down as if she ashamed, which she is. "When I've...'hooked' them, I take as much of their money, or even anything I can sell for a hefty price, and I take it all to Grant. I get a cut, but Grant gets most of it..."

She's still looking downward. She still hasn't told her the last bit that Grant always takes care of, nor the message that he sent her earlier, but she's hoping that she can leave those details out. Her breathing is shallow, and she doesn't seem to meet Sohalia's gaze at all. Not that she wants to see any potential looks that she's giving her, anyway.
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Vyhnanstvi very nearly resorted to literally biting his tongue to keep from loosing a string of expletives. Several slow, deep breaths to calm himself as he repeated a serenity mantra in his head. 'Knowledge of how to use Strength is Power, Knowledge of -when- to use Power is Wisdom. Strength to use Power when it is Wise is Courage.' His breathing slowed and his conscious mind caught up with the information.

She was essentially being used as bait. This was a dangerous game, as Van had met several men with deep pockets who would play her game at first... these men seldom tolerated being crossed though. He could only imagine the trouble Margaret would be in from both ends if she were ever caught in the act, or if she left any trace. A fire suddenly lit itself in his mind... A loosely connected series of murders over the last few months of well-to-do individuals popping up in the back pages of the printed news. Just high profile enough to make the papers, not high profile enough to warrant even a quarter-page article.

Dax wracked his brain for the exact article he'd read, his mind reaching at connections he could not make sense of before finally he repeated the mantra. 'Knowledge of how to use Strength is Power, Knowledge of -when- to use Power is Wisdom. Strength to use Power when it is Wise is Courage.'. Thusly calmed he leaned in a little closer to the door to hear more before jumping any further to conclusions.
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              Sohalia nodded slightly, leaning forward once again to set down her glass. Deep inside, she prepared herself for some very bad news, judging from the way Margaret was acting.
              "Just let it out.." Quietly, she listened to her story, feeling herself growing angry. Like Dax, a few paragraph articles in the paper suddenly came to mind about wealthy men who had been found dead lately. Her blood began to boil a bit, realizing Margaret was simply a disposable pawn piece and the news she received was not good and tied into this.

              "Dax, please come in." Sohalia was now certain he was outside the door. While undoubtedly he was quieter than a mouse, she knew he was out there for some reason and so he might as well come in instead of looking like a pervert listening at a door.

              "Obviously, you're bait. That much I can tell..now, tell me the details. Obviously something in the bathroom happened that brought this on. What was it?" Sohalia leaned back into the plush of her couch, trying her best to keep her head level and her breathing even.


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Westlyn noticed that Sohalia, Van and a young woman she hadn't met yet had gone up to the apartment, and that another young lady with blond hair was attending a customer who seemed only slightly older than herself. There were many different emotions wafting the air around her, like small puffs of perfume or cologne. The feelings from the apartment were much deeper and darker. There was anger and fear brewing.

I wonder what could be going on up there, she wondered as she decided to try to speak to the blond woman. "Umm, excuse me for interrupting, but my name is Westlyn Modean, and I believe Sohalia wanted me to train you for the waitress position. How are you finding things today?"
Margaret Hilgari's avatar

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"...I don't know if Grants knows that I know this...but some time after I signed my contract, I found out that he goes behind me and kills each man that I..seduce..." She looks down and somewhat away from Sohalia. A tear falls down her cheek, as she feels even more ashamed after hearing herself actually say all of this.

Margaret pulls her phone out of her jean's right pocket. She opens her latest text, which is the message she received from Grant. She hands her cell phone to Sohalia so that she can read the text message to herself.

At this point, Margaret starts feeling anxious. She notices that it's getting darker and darker outside, meaning her time is running out. She hasn't even attempted to find a man in weeks. She stopped actively looking after Grant brutally murdered her last. She had been in love with him...she missed him.


"Am I a horrible person..? At this point she starts crying. She cups her face in her hands and leans over forward into a sitting fetal position.
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Vyhnanstvi was in shock for a moment after Sohalia had extended the offer, so the time it took to stand and straighten his clothes was time enough for him to come in at the exact right moment. He closed the door quietly behind him, pondering her words. The pieces fit together. He took a deep breath and crossed the small sittng room to the couch.

"Then use me." Van said simply. He unclipped his scabbard from his back and it swung down on it's lanyard until the tip touched the floor. He grasped the pommel in is left hand and stood it up straight in front of him, folding his right hand over his left. Van straightened his back and rose to the full six feet of his height, a little more if you count the volume of hair upon his head. "Use me. I've got enough Dust left I can easily whip up a few expensive-looking trinkets for him to pawn off, and when he comes to kill me..."

Dax drew the hilt away from the scabbard, and let it hang there while a brilliant rose-coloured glow filled the room. He pulled the blade slowly from the light at the form, allowing each delicate feature of the mural running down the spine of the four foot katana style blade to form in a flash of crimson above the 'flower'. He whipped the blade straight up as soon as the tip was formed and held it horizontally in front of him in his left hand with the edge facing up, his right hand open behind the point. "I'll be ready."


-={I feel like a tool, but everybody has a hero moment.}=-
Alarmingly Charming's avatar

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              Sohalia let her arms drop from across her chest to her lap, lacing her fingers together tightly. She swallowed, hard and possibly loud enough to be heard. How appropriate that Dax should offer himself as the target. She had been considering asking him, but now there was no need. There was a slight hesitation of course, as she had her own feelings for the man. Dax could hold his own, she was sure, but she was concerned.
              "I'm sure we could whip up a disguise. I think I might have something fancy looking you could wear. You could be the owner of the cafe, or part owner...whatever would catch his eye."
              Sohalia leaned forward, took a quick drink from her hot cocoa again before standing. Her eyes sized Dax up and down a moment, taking in his form. She placed a finger on her chin, thinking.
              "Yeah, I think we could make you look the part.."


Margaret Hilgari's avatar

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Margaret looks up at them both from her fetal position. "...wait, what? No, no no no. I can't let either of you get into this. Grant......He is dangerous, he's a very dangerous man. Neither of you have any idea as to what he can do," she says with a worry-stricken face. The last thing she wanted to do was impose and bring them into her mess.

She stands up quickly, still looking at them both.

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