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Brandon had been listening in but not trying to look as if he was letting his eyes dart up towards the dark haired woman and then back to his reading. He had noticed Rorye had picked up and left for him to read. The pile of tomes on the table was growing though he had managed to keep them in neat stacks as he would have at Harvard. He squinted as he looked at an illustration.

 

“He’s on his way….”

 

The words hung in the air long after they were spoken. Now Brandon knew at least it was a male though he wasn’t sure that was a good or bad thing. He sat the book he was reading down and picked the one just opened and sat for him to peruse. 

 

“Thank you Rorye,” he said letting a smile cross his face, “I really appreciate your help.”

 

The man drew in a deep breath as he watched the woman leave then turned back towards his books, “this is either going to be very good or...” Brandon had muttered the words absently and fought himself shaking his head then turned back to his reading.

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Alec's feet pounded the pavement... he'd always thought that was just an expression, but if you ran hard enough, you could actually feel that it was a legitimate description. 

 

The big cat followed suit, barely breaking a trot... even if it drew more than a few weird looks. It would be about another 5 minutes until he was there, but hey, he was coming, and that was all he'd been asked to do. 

 

The magus caught his breath, slowing down his heart rate as he approached the tea house, and walked in, half expecting the typical 'ding ding' of a bell above the door.

 

First things first, find Rorye, then whatever madness could follow. 

 

A surprisingly gentle paw bumped on his leg as if Loke was asking whether or not his decision to come inside was ok.

 

Just don't break anything or kill anyone... please. Alec said to the mountain lion.

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“Thank you Rorye, I really appreciate your help.”

 

Her smile, was soft, "I do what I can."

 

When I can.

 

Her own thoughts were lost to the spiral downward of more vicious things.  She was admittedly out of touch with the going's-on at Arma lately; had basically kept it at an arm's length.  Dark pupils found themselves watching the flickering of the candle on top of the skull behind the cash register.  The flicker was calming sometimes, guilt inducing in others.  It seemed to twinkle, an unreadable message from a presence that was no longer able to communicate other than flickers and sputters.  Long breath was drawn in just as the bell at the door twinkled.

 

Brow cocked slightly at the beast, nothing surprised her anymore.

 

"Have some water I can fetch," quirked smile lit her lips. "For the furry friend... not for you," she quipped in an amiable tease.  "You have to ask nicely..."

 

She was already on her way to get something for both of them, partly out of courtesy- he had come all the way after all. Partly, out of curiosity... what kind of things would the brain drain pick up on before she pointed them out?

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Branden caught the man come in through the corner of his eye and his attention to reading was broken. The feline was huge and that made him more than uncomfortable seeing he had never had any pets and the animals he had seen were often not that friendly to him. For a moment he fought the urge to slip into his dimensional hiding place but he remained where he was when he saw Rorye greeting the pair. The shop was unique enough to Branden that he had no idea what sort of clientele might be coming through the door. 

 

He brought his eyes back towards the books and his brow furrowed into a series of wrinkles. Again, his eyes darted back and he sat the book down picking up another and sliding the wooden box just a little closer. 

 

The book he picked up wasn’t as highly illustrated as those he had been looking at. Every word though seemed to scream its warning in a clear and concise way.

 

“These knots are often considered runes and contain a hidden magic that when activated may prove more powerful than the individual activating it. Caution should be taken to ensure that no harm comes to the user or to others. It is recommended that one seek out expert advice before  attempting to utilize such symbolic and magic containing artifacts.”

 

He shook his head and glanced over again towards the man and his cat and then back towards the tome.

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Alec's eyes narrowed in a combination of amusement and annoyance as Rorye teased him. Still, he smiled back. 

 

Water would be wonderful, Rorye. 

 

He was sure... pretty sure, at least, that he'd mentioned Loke in the year since he'd had the beast at his side. Or had he really been out of touch for that long? It wasn't as though Alec ever actually spent dedicated time with Alistair's friend... girlfriend?

 

He shook his head. Immaterial. He was here to help out with a problem. Man and beast made their way into the other room-- assuming, correctly, that there would be someone buried in books there. There always was. In fact, there were many people busy among the stacks. Most seemed agitated, as though they were searching for the secret to life, liberty, and the continued pursuit of happiness to be found somewhere in a book. 

 

Loke settled down by the doorframe in the teashop, just out of the way, where he could still keep an eye on the goings on, curling inwards, tail wrapped around himself, paws tucked under. 

 

There were glances from the patrons, some talking to each other, wondering about the cat. Some kept to themselves. Alec looked about, trying to read the room without breaking out any magic. People came here from all walks, some for legitimate reasons, others for reasons not so... and it was important that Rorye be allowed to continue her business, that her patrons were not disturbed by ARMA business unless absolutely necessary. 

 

Spooking a random warded patron with a broad mental search was the kind of rookie move Alec might have made some ten years ago. Now, he was a little more thoughtful, less brash. He would observe, still unsure what exactly Rorye needed from him.

 

Hopefully, her return would bring answers, not just water.

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