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August 15th, 2020 9AM The Book of Kells Occult Shoppe and Tea House Graceful fingers lifted the match to her lips and she blew out the tiny flame. Attention watched the curl of smoke waft from the newly lit candles in the window and incense, scent of Nag Champa always one of her favorites to calm the room. Not that it was in need of calming, the tea house through the bi-level stairs bustling in it’s quiet murmur as usual- that was always moving but relaxed. This time of morning, the shop half was almost always empty and she could stock shelves and tidy books from the archival room in mostly solitary thought. Stick safely in its burner, she started to rearrange the glinting trinkets on the driftwood displays hanging in the front windows to either side of the door, pausing to wrap her hair around a fist and stick it up into a messy bun. The shopkeeper went through a full range of appearances lately it seemed. Hanging on more fondly to the semi-bohemian comfort than the ARMA needed tailored leather sheaths and clothing, her sandals, worn jeans and white linen shirt with red embroidery around the neck and sleeves made for a nicely lazy morning. Nina and Jesse were tending the tea house, and she… was on her own to enjoy what she did best, turning the sign in the front door to “OPEN” while sipping her coffee.
The Book of Kells; Tea, Reads and Occult Shoppe November 11th, 2019 4:30pm Gloved hands dusted themselves, well… more of a mucked crumble of somber and soggy dirt as it plinked to the ground. Breath curled mist into the twilight air, the sun lost in her protected small courtyard. Glow of the city had already started to light up the sky in its nightly throb. Quiet. She was surrounded by brick so old it had faded to orange, the garden completely shut off from the world. Her old Victorian perched comfortably within towering monstrosities, a reminder of bygone eras that held nostalgia for the opulent. Downstairs, a shop and teahouse. Upstairs, renovated to a thing of beauty she appreciated on a daily basis. Michael had purchased the building next to it, demolished the thing to give her the oasis she wanted, then built the teahouse as an extension to close it off. It was the only place she could go to be with her thoughts, and even that anymore was questionable. ++ “It’s an old bank,” her brow cocked at him, the helmet clicking off the zipper on her coat’s wrist. “It’s yours,” tall stature seemed fucking proud of himself, hands in his pockets, the Scottish drawl lost as he grinned at her and rocked back once on his Harley heels. She blinked, “it’s an old bank.” “C’mon… Bee? Imagination, we can make this work.” ++ Sigh was long, surveying the summer wares that were now covered for the winter. Back of her glove wiped a smear of dirt from her cheek. The large stone in the corner of the garden was always there. Overseeing her survival after the world died and her refusal of Hells to die with it; a fire had torn through, rebuilding again, renewed happiness and trust, dealing with her own change. Only recently had she the peace of mind to clear the grass away and make it a part of the garden proper; decoration the world thought it was, its Celtic Tree of Life engraved over the stone. Beneath, a grave and secrets. Secrets only she knew, and would ever know. Something she could not share. Not with anyone. ++ “You don’t have to follow your parents’ path anymore. You are NOT a factory worker… sewing fucking hoodies for every sports team on the planet?” Her glare was tight, “so you think you’re going to save me? I can’t accept this.” His fingers rifled red curls backward, then forward, sigh defeated… “stained glass… a café, you love to cook… books, beautiful things… a place where our friends can be. Not in a factory.” She didn’t know where her bubbling anger was coming from. The fact he thought she needed saving? How disappointed her parents were going to be? That she couldn’t afford a dream herself? “I don’t need a knight in shining armor, I'm not a child. I hope you got a good return policy. C’mon, I gotta go to work.” ++ Gloves slid off, banged together to get the rest of the mud off. It was rare anymore that Michael invaded her thoughts. She preferred it that way, there was a point when life moved on, the train of thought shutting the trickle of memories away as she stuffed the gloves in the back pockets of her low slung Levi’s. Arms fell to her sides, standing still a moment to take in the sky. The world was suddenly so quiet, thick haze pressing in from all sides. Full moon soon, the monthly gathering of the oddities of Hells most likely already in full swing inside. Darkness was only a bit off. ++ “I know you don’t… just…” his brows furled. “I just wanted to do something for you… you never let me do anything for you. Plus, we could live upstairs… it’s been renovated.” “Why would we live upstairs?” “Because I want you to marry me.” Her lips pursed curiously, and he captured them in one fell swoop. It stole her breath, reeling in fluttering thought. “Yes?” he smiled against her lips, the grin always a boyish charm. Laugh was soft as she nodded slowly at first, then definitively as her dark eyes glanced back at the building… “My dad is going to be so pissed… he’ll probably kill you.” ++ *npc* Rorye! She blinked, casting a glance over her shoulder, realizing Nina was trying to get her attention for half a minute. The older woman had come out the side door, apron still on. Her palms slid the chestnut curls that had escaped their loose plait off her cheeks. *npc* Your candle. Eyes questioned a moment, well-worn brown leather knee high riding boots clicking on the self-laid cobbles as she trotted toward the back door. She was moving quicker than news of a candle would seem logical. Poncho of thin, fine mulberry colored wool snapped when she pulled the door suddenly open and made her way with long strides through her workshop and into the store proper. Incense. Beautiful things… antiquery and twinkling crystals. The murmuring sound of customers chatting over eclectic and delicate teacups. None the wiser. Lit up like a beacon, the antique sconce was perched on top of a skull behind her counter. A skull with fangs. A parlor trick to everyone but Nina and herself. It always merely twinkled, the flame never going out; flickering to get her attention when she was troubled, or by herself stocking new items in the shop. Now? It was a blaze, lighting the room in an unusual glow. Eyes flicked to the teahouse up the stairs and through the archway, then back to the compact brass chamberstick. “Get ready to close the shutters, don’t alarm anyone yet,” voice was under her breath, already moving toward the twisting stairs that led upward to her living space in the turrets of the house. She made a beeline for her closet, poncho whipped off and tossed on her bed, snap of sheaths, buckles and leather sharp as she armed her blades, flicker out the window catching her attention. Braid flung at the turn on her heel. There were people on the roof across the street next door. There were never people on the roof next door. What the fuck were they doing? She owned the derelict building. It was locked up, ready for demolition. Door thrown open to her patio to take care of this bullshit, she stepped out, breath caught, a Celt raging to the surface like boiling water. Hairtriggered, sensitive… Jesus, the sky. Full moon, usually not for another hour. Trespassers on the roof forgotten, she was already on her way back to the shop. Kells had become the “place to be” for a full moon. They closed the shutters, people read in the shelter of the recently refurbished and barricaded building. This was not a normal full moon. She had no idea what the fuck this was. She’d never stopped moving, back through her living room, foot off the railing to leap downward to the landing, then kick off the wall to again bypass the stairs and hit the landing with a feline grace. “Nina, now!”
Alistair killed the Jeep's engine and let his head fall forward a bit, bumping into the steering wheel before he sat for a minute or two. Part thinking, partly just groaning and considering all the messes on his plate. For once, the Order might not be the biggest threat on the horizon, and here he was even thinking of working WITH the piles of shit, lest whatever was out there killing magi start killing more of his people as well. The hell of it was, after checking into all of it, he didn't think Dacia was screwing with him. A big part of him was hoping that she had been, because that would have restored the regular order of the universe. The Order lied, he fought them, they were the bad guys, things were simple. But then, he'd always known they weren't all bad, at least not down to the very last... but there had been good people in every evil regime, thinking they were doing the least bad thing. He wasn't comparing anyone to the Third Reich, mind (no sense invoking Godwin's Law on himself), but there were lots of other that he could apply to the situation. And most of them didn't have magic, as far as he knew. Shit, maybe some of them, HAD, and... Okay, this was all besides the point. The point was, there was a group of... cultists, for lack of a better term, who were using some sort of ritual and or blood magic to build up enough power to produce substantial and deeply dangerous effects. Enough that, according to Dacia, they were even starting to go after Order magi. And Alistair had no illusions about who might be next. Which meant that this visit wasn't 100% social... but it wasn't as though he spent much time <i>skipping</i> excuses to stop by. So he hit the door release and stepped out, walking up to Kells, his damn-near-trademarked-by-now coat hanging a bit too warmly on him in the heat of the summer, and the magus stepped in, glancing around for a moment to see who was working the desk that day. Though he didn't see anyone, at least not right away... [alistair]Hello? Candygram for Rorye![/alistair] he DID, as it turned out, have a box in one hand. You know. It rarely hurt to come bearing gifts. Bribes. Whatever you called them.