<Zane Calbeni> is sitting in his booth in the back, feet up as he flips through a book.

~*Ramirez*~ meanders into the biker bar, cigarette hanging in mouth as he strolls up to the bar and orders a beer. He’d give Zane a friendly salute-wave. “Hey Zane.”

<Zane Calbeni> smiles and returns the wave. “Hey, Ramirez. What’s up?”

<Cecilia> makes her way into the bar shortly after Ramirez, wrinkling her nose at the cigarette.

~*Ramirez*~ takes his beer over to the booth and sits down across from Zane. “Not much. I need to go investigate that bell tower to see if we can find out what’s going on with the spirit here. I had to do some runs for the gang that were farther than I like, but I’m back now after proving myself.” He takes a drag on the smoke and then looks at Cecilla who

seems to not like it. He shrugged. Half the population in here was smoking.

<Cecilia> moves to a nonsmoking booth, wondering why she came in here sometimes.

<Cade> enters the Trill more confidently this time, though he still has his hood up. He’d intended to go back to the hotel but, after talking it over with Hecatrix, had changed his mind. He gets a beer from the bar, then spins in the stool and watches the other patrons.

<Zane Calbeni> looks at Cecilia… as if there were a non-smoking booth in a biker bar. he shakes his head and looks back to Ramirez. “That would be great. I have everything ready to move things upstairs once it’s… on its way or at least not throwing shit.”

~*Ramirez*~ nods. “I’ll get to it tomorrow and see what’s going on in that place.” He’d glance over at Cecilia. “Are you really trying to avoid cigarette smoke in a biker bar?”

<Cecilia> looks at Ramirez. “Perhaps?”

~*Ramirez*~ “You could always just try changing the scent and compound that goes up your nose instead.”

<Cade> spots a familiar face and heads of to sit next to Cecilia. “Countess.” He grins at her and bounces on his heels a couple times.

<Cecilia> “I’m not quite sure on how to do that, unfortunately.” She looks over at Cade, arching a brow. “Well, it’s nice to see you too.”

~*Ramirez*~ “You’re supposed to use your imagination.” He sips his beer.

<Zane Calbeni> snickers. “You know what I like about you guys? You actually drink. Which means you buy more than one for the whole nigfht.”

<Cade> looks over at Zane other obvious curiosity. “Who comes to a bar and buys a single drink?”

<Zane Calbeni> looks back over at Cade. “Cheapskates.”

«~Daedalus~» He’d make his way into the bar as well.. pausing once inside to give the place a once-over. While he did take note of Ramirez, Dae also noticed he was sitting with someone he wasn’t personally familiar with… So for the moment, he’d begin to make his way towards an empty table or bar stool.

<Cade> snickers and shakes his head, turning back to Cecilia. “Who’s your friend?” He pulls an unoccupied chair from the table behind him and spins it around to sit in.

<Cecilia> orders herself a glass of high-end scotch, moving over to Cade’s table and sitting down opposite him. “Ramirez is his name.”

~*Ramirez*~ laughs. “i can see how that would be an issue after a while. I’ll keep coming here and giving you my business.”

<Cade> nods and gives the other man a small wave. “Hiya, Ramirez.”

~*Ramirez*~ nods to Cade. “Hello to you.” He’d wave to Daedalus too. “Hey Daedalus.”

«~Daedalus~» Given he was addressed, Dae would turn his attention over to his friend, offering a slight wave in return before speaking, “.. Greetings, Ramirez; I would hope I am not interrupting anything, as it were… but are you well?” As he spoke, he’d begin to walk over, folding his arms behind his back.

~*Ramirez*~ nods. “Yeah, hombre. I’m alright. How are you doing?”

«~Daedalus~» “I’m doing alright.. I would say.. What is the current.. occurance, if I may inquire?”

<Cade> eyes Daedalus and Ramirez with curiosity and looks to Cecilia with questions in his gaze.

<Cecilia> “Yes?”

<Cade> whispers “Are they…ya know…” he wiggles his fingers and makes a quiet explosion noise, just like he had when they first met.

<Cecilia> “One of them is. I’ll let you figure out which one it is, Baron, dear.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Just a spirit that needs some help and I may be able to do more than I can for the hospital wraiths at this point.”

<Cade> scoffs then looks over at the two and mutters his incantation, doing his best to play it off as he pushes buttons only he can see. He stares at Daedalus a moment and his eyes get a little wide. “Not that one. Not gonna get on his bad side either.” He turns his attention to Ramirez and cocks his head. “Weird. I need to practice more.”

«~Daedalus~» “I see.. I know not if I could assist with such things, though if you have need of me, I would do my best to assist.”

<Zane Calbeni> closes his book and sets it aside as he looks over toward the pool tables, he gets up and then speaks to Erik at the bar for a moment.

~*Ramirez*~ looks over at Cade a moment, studying him. He’d then look back at Daedalus. “That’s cool of you to offer. I was wondering, you think you could teach me more how to fight?”

«~Daedalus~» “I can certainly attempt to… I would assume you wish to know the finesse of steel?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, that’d be awesome.”

~*Ramirez*~ lofts a brow at Cade a moment and seems thoughtful, but his gaze goes back to Daedalus.

«~Daedalus~» “Very well then.. We shall of course need training blades… simple sticks are only able to take so much force.”

<Cade> takes a few drinks of his beer and watches them quietly, not wanting to be rude and interrupt.

~*Ramirez*~ “Can you find such things and I’ll pay for it?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Or show me like on Amazon or something.”

«~Daedalus~» “I can at least try to, I would say I know roughly what to look for.”

<Cade> stares at Zane for a moment and shakes his head, chuckling before turning his attention back to Cecilia. “So do you know Alice too, Cecilia?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Cool, you find it and I’ll order em.” * thumbs up. He cushes his cigarette out now that it was overdue for it.

<Cecilia> “Who?”

~*Ramirez*~ turns and looks over at Cade. “So…who are you?”

<Cade> “You know, the pretty goth vampire with the Alice in Wonderland obsession.” He jumps a bit, startled by Ramirez suddenly switching focus to him. “Oh, uh, Cade! Nice to meet you.”

<Cecilia> “Never saw her before.”

{Voice in Cade’s head} Perhaps she was a figment? Like the girl upon the stairs.

<Cade> jerks a bit in his seat and looks around. “Uh…Hecatrix? Please tell me that was you…”

~*Ramirez*~ “There’s a goth vampire chick with an Alice in Wonderland obsession? Sounds fun.”

<Cade> speaks through nervous laughter. “Uh yeah…she was pretty cool. But uh…don’t you know her? She said she knew you. Told me I could find you here.”

<Cecilia> looks at Cade oddly.

{Voice in Cade’s head} Careful, they are starting to stare.

~*Ramirez*~ “I know a lot of people in various states of ..health, shall we say.”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “Speaking of, I might have been especially naughty.”

<Cade> audibly gulps and mutters under his breath. “Yeah well no shi…crap. Some warning might have been nice. Also, ya know…identifying yourself?” He laughs again, even more nervously. “Well…that’s weird. Pretty sure she’d stand out. Whatever, we’re here now and Cecilia tells me you’re like her and I?”

<Cecilia> looks at Cade. “I never said that. You must be mistaken.”

<<Vaclava>> dresses in a black lace ao dai and fuschia satin stage shoes and drives down to the Trill

<<Vaclava>> heads inside, looking for friendly faces

~*Ramirez*~ glances over with semi-squinted eyes at Hollow. “Oh? What’d you do now?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Well, Cade, you already talk to other stuff that no one can see, so I guess we’re kinda alike.”

<Hollow(Spirit)> looks actually fairly proud of herself, her hollowed out eyes staring back at Ramirez unblinking. “I might have been having just a bit of fun at the neighbors’ expense.”

<Cade> sighs with relief as Ramirez speaks but gives Cecilia a bit of a dirty look. “Ok maybe you didn’t su it exactly but it was implied.” He turns back to Ramirez. “At least you can see and seem to know yours. I have no idea what is going on.”

<Cecilia> shrugs off the look. “It wasn’t implied, either.”

~*Ramirez*~ “This stuff can be complex sometimes. You may need some help. Perhaps I can assist and if not, there are others. Where are you from, Cade?” He’d then look over at Hollow side-eyed, waiting for her to explain. xD He smirked with some amusement. “Our neighbors, huh.. so how bad is this going to come back at us?”

<Hollow(Spirit)> looks at Ramirez and waggles her eyebrows. “Wanna see Vaclava over there have a wardrobe malfunction?”

{Voice in Cade’s head} Yes she did. She totally said one of those two people was a *explosion sound* and you saw the other was clearly not.

~*Ramirez*~ “I’m curious as to how bad this could be. I should know better but ah well. Do it to it.”

<Cade> blanches at Ramirez. “I hope so. This is super weird. I’m from all over. Moved around a lot. Most recently Minneapolis.” He frowns and furrows his brow as the voice speaks and turns to Cecilia. “You said one of the other two was like us, and it obviously wasn’t the shifter.”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “Well… the scary teacher vampire lady is kinda mad but the rest of them will get over it and hopefully not harbor crankiness toward you and your family for hundreds of years.”, she chuckles evilly and then goes over to where Vaclava is and a cold wind blows straight up Vaclava’s dress and pulls it up as well, giving everybody just a little bit

<Cecilia> “I never pointed at either of them. And how do you know one was a shifter, exactly?” She arches an eyebrow, looking curious. The ‘wardrobe malfunction’ earns itself a raised brow as well.

~*Ramirez*~ “My family for hundreds of years…” He pondered thoughtfully just how bad this prank on the Tremies could be.

<<Vaclava>> sees ramirez and cecilia and heads over there, gives them kisses on the cheek in greeting “How are you this efvening my darlings, it’s been a vwhile.”

<Cade> sputters and looks at Cecilia in exasperation. “Because, MADAM, I looked at their auras to see if I could tell!”

<Cecilia> “Ah, of course. My apologies, baron, dear.”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “I hardly think that someone would start a blood feud over an Eagles song.”

~*Ramirez*~ “It depends. Was it Hotel California?”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “Nooooo. I save that for special occasions.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Good, because that might be worthy of curses for hundreds of years.”

<Cade> just glares at Cecilia for a second and shakes his head, a bit confused. He looks up to the woman with the accent and cocks his head to the side. “What about her?”

<<Vaclava>> blinks in shock as her ao dai is fluffed up aroound her ears. luckily for her she wore the pants that traditionally go with the ao dai buuuuuuut as they are made of black lace too and underwear was not a real necessity for a vampire…it’s still pretty nsfw

<Cecilia> would’ve totally returned Vaclava’s greeting, and smiles at Cade.

<<Vaclava>> “AH!”

~*Ramirez*~ snickers. “Hey Vaclava. You’re looking spry today.”

<Zane Calbeni> “Very.”

<<Vaclava>> “Zane! Your place is just a bit drafvty tonight, don’t you think?”

<<Vaclava>> does her best to regain her composure, smoothing the front and back of the ao dai down

<Cade> blushes a very deep shade of red and practically stares a hole in the table after getting quite an eyeful from the newcomer.

<Cecilia> looks amused by Cade’s reaction. “My, my.”

<Zane Calbeni> winks at Vaclava. “I could help hold that down for you.”

~*Ramirez*~ laughs. “I wouldn’t mind helping you either.”

<Cade> shakes his head and waits for the voice in his head to make a smart ass remark. “What? Got nothing for that? Good.” He mutters under his breath.

<<Vaclava>> her lips twitch, she affects a look of annoyance and puts hands on hips “Thank you, but I don’t need someone to hold my dress down vwhen it’s so much more vfun vwhen they take it offv.”

<<Vaclava>> “You’re both really no help at all.”

<Cade> snorts and begins coughing, trying not to choke to death on the sip of beer he’d just taken.

<<Vaclava>> “Maybe your new vfriend is better at that sort ofv thing?” gestures to Cade.

<Erik> (who looks like a big viking biker) looks to Cade. “If you are gonna die, please go to the parking lot. Don’t do that shit in here, too much paperwork.”

~*Ramirez*~ laughs. “I’m glad you have such a pleasant sense of humor. It’s not like you could really get Hollow for it anyway.”

<Cade> sputters and holds up his hand, taking a few gasping breaths before he can speak. “I’m good, I’m good.” He looks up at Vaclava. “I think I missed something but I can try to help you with whatever it was if you want.”

<<Vaclava>> shrugs “In perfvormance, you learn to just…I think the American vphrase is, roll vwith the punches. Ifv the audience is entertained, it’s a vwin.”

<<Vaclava>> looks lingeringly over each of the men “And you all do look so…entertained.” she saves a saucy wink for Erik though.

<Cecilia> chuckles, watching.

<<Vaclava>> “So vwho is Hollow and how do I thank her vfor gifving me such a grand entrance?”

<Zane Calbeni> smirks and eyes her apprasingly once more before taking a seat and offering her a chair as well. “A ghost with a reputation for being rather full of mischief.”

<<Vaclava>> offers a hand to cade before sitting next to zane “And vwhat might your name be, since vwe might as vwell be introduced now that you’fve seen so much else kept hidden.”

<Cade> coughs one last time and shakes his head. “Clearly. At least it’s uh…quieter now.” He shakes Vaclava’s offered hand and blushes again. “Cade Anima. I…I didn’t see too much I promise.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Hollow is my naughty Familiar. She does what she wants.”

<<Vaclava>> chuckles and shakes his hand. “Encharme, Cade Anima. I am Vaclava Kapralova.”

<<Vaclava>> to Ramirez “Ah, really, your vfamiliar? So that is a real thing, not made up vfairy tales so you mages can blame your misdeeds on something else?”

<Cade> has a sudden realization as Ramirez speaks and jabs at the air with his finger. “A pleasure, madam.” He opens a window on his view feed and several dozen irritated messages from Hecatrix pop up on his scrawl. “Crap. Sorry Hecatrix I don’t mean to mute you.” The AI sends him an eye roll but only seems mildly annoyed.

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, it’s a real thing and we’d still blame our misdeeds on something else probably, given the opportunity.”

<<Vaclava>> smirks “And your vfamiliar doesn’t mind at all?”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “Well, i don’t cause I usually am the one making trouble.”

<<Vaclava>> player is assuming she doesn’t hear hollow lol

~*Ramirez*~ “Of course not. She’s usually guilty.”

<Cade> smirks. “I can’t really blame mine. She can’t affect the physical world much

<<Vaclava>> “Oh you hafve one too, Monsieur Anima? So you are like Ramirez and Cecilia, then?”

<Cade> nods enthusiastically. “Yes ma’am. Though probably much less practiced.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Do you have somewhere you are staying, Cade?”

{Voice in Cade’s head} It’s like a hiccup, isn’t it? Never know when or if you will hear me again. The anticipation much be just awful.

<Cade> shrugs. “I’ve got a hotel room. Haven’t figured anything out for after that yet though.” He slams his fist on the table. “What the fu…rack!” He blushes and shrinks into his coat. “Sorry.”

<Cecilia> “Language.”

<<Vaclava>> raises an eyebrow at Cecilia “It’s a biker bar…”

<Cade> shrugs innocently. “Aunt Lucinda hated cursing, I still have expect her to appear out of nowhere and smack me upside my head.”

<<Vaclava>> “Is efverything alright, Monsieur Anima?”

<Cade> opens his mouth to reply then closes it and thinks. He repeats this process twice before finally speaking. “I’m not sure. I’m having some…mystic issues it would seem.” He smiles weakly and looks at Ramirez with eyes that seem to plead for help.

<Zane Calbeni> chuckles faintly at Cade, “Well, I am betting they don’t make a cream for that.”

~*Ramirez*~ just is watching Cade, studying him on various aspects to see what is exactly going on with him. “Could you explain these mystic issues?”

<Cade> gives Zane a playful glare. “Oh ha ha very funny.” He turns to Ramirez and sighs in exasperation. “It’s just a voice in my head. And it’s kind of a smart ass. And seems to think this is all very funny.”

<Hollow(Spirit)> “Not me.”

~*Ramirez*~ “When did the voice start?”

<Cade> shakes his head. Just a few minutes ago. Like, right after you started talking to me.”

<Cade> looks at both Cecilia and Vaclava and shakes his head. “I’m not always this weird I promise.”

<Cecilia> “Mm.”

~*Ramirez*~ “So you never heard it before tonight, just a few minutes ago?”

<<Vaclava>> chuckles lightly “How svweet, he is trying to impress us, Cecilia.”

<Cecilia> chuckles. “Well, if he is, he could certainly try harder.”

<Cade> blushed as Vaclava and Cecilia talk but tries to stay focused. “Not that I ever remember, no.”

<Zane Calbeni> tilts his head and looks at Cade. “Did you talk to anyone before coming here? Maybe on the way in, or ate something you shouldn’t?”

<<Vaclava>> “You just vwant him to show ofv vfor you.”

<Cecilia> “Why, because we’re both nobles?”

<<Vaclava>> eyebrows shoot up “Really? You and Monsieur Anima are nobles? How interesting.”

<Cade> shakes his head. “Just Alice. And that Deveraux guy. I had Chinese earlier but I’ve been eating from that same place for a few days now.” He stops and seems distracted for a moment. “Hecatrix isn’t sure either.”

~*Ramirez*~ “You’re both nobles? Are you inbred too?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Oh, you mentioned Alice. Not sure who the Deveraux person is at all. Maybe one of them did something. Is it a male or female voice even?”

<Cade> sputters “what? No! I inherited a title from Aunt Lucinda!”

<Zane Calbeni> snorts and pats Ramirez on the back. “Damn…”

<Cecilia> looks to Vaclava. “Yes, we are.” She then gives Ramirez a flat, unamused stare, lips thinning. “No. We’re not inbred.”

<<Vaclava>> her attention is piqued by the mention of Alice’s name but she says nothing as yet.”

<Zane Calbeni> “Wait… Alice? And now you are hearing voices? That… she could have been the cause. Deveraux… I met him too. Not sure what to make of him yet.”

<Cade> shakes his head. “It is female but it doesn’t sound like Alice.”

~*Ramirez*~ “What is it telling you?”

<Cade> shrugs. “Nothing I don’t already know, and it keeps making smart ass remarks about how weird I look talking to it. Or how much it must suck to think it’s gone but then it comes back.”

<<Vaclava>> points a finger at Cade “Vwell stop listening to it. Vwhatever it says, it can’t be good.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Have you ever thought of talking to it without like making a scene and doing it aloud? Like if i heard voices in my head, I’d talk to them mentally. After all, they obviously can’t be heard by others. Also, try telling it awful jokes. Maybe it will go away.”

<Cade> holds up a finger and then frowns. “I…hadn’t thought of that. What if it tries to mind control me though?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Point. Well, maybe you should come stay with the rest of us mages and we can help you out more.”

<Zane Calbeni> blinks. “Can’t you like, protect yourself from that?”

<Cade> nods to Ramirez and visibly relaxes. “That would be great thanks.” He turns to Zane with a sheepish look on his face. “I haven’t been at this very long.”

~*Ramirez*~ “How long have you been a Mage? There are ways to block stuff. We just need to figure out what it’s using other than some Mind thing.”

<Zane Calbeni> leans over and kisses Vaclava on the cheek before getting up and heading toward the back. “I’ll catch you later about that ghost stuff, Ramirez. As always, Vaclava, a pleasure to see you. Rest of you, have a good night. I need to go get something to eat and then sleep it off somewhere.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Goodnight, Zane.” He’d wave.

<Cade> drums his fingers on the table. “Two years? But we spent most of that on the run from the Union so there wasn’t much time for learning. I was the youngest member of the coven so they sent me here to keep me safe.” Cade’s face drops and his voice takes a sad tone but he shakes it off.

~*Ramirez*~ “They sent you -here- to be safe? Not sure how bright that was, but we are alright here. What are you with, Tradition-wise?”

<<Vaclava>> kisses zane goodnight with a smile “Oh you saw plenty to make up vfor it, Zane!”

<Cecilia> politely nods to Zane.

<Cade> “Order of Hermes, just like Aunt Lucinda. Though I doubt she’d approve of Hecatrix.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Is Hecatrix your familiar?”

<Cade> nods excitedly, peeking up. “Yes! I was working on a program I called ‘Hermetic Casting Aid’. In the third version it suddenly started showing signs of self awareness. I’d done a little AI programming on it but no to that degree. Hecatrix isn’t sure but she thinks she was a minor data spirit that got entangled in my code and they improved each other and became a single program.” He frowns a

bit. “It makes tinkering with her code a challenge because I can’t always predict how my changes will affect the data spirit, but I’m pleased with the overall result.”

<Cade> seems distracted for a moment then nods. “She says hi. Also that she likes Vaclava and Cecilia’s accents.” He focuses on his view feed for another moment. “Oh hush what I said was close enough.”

<<Vaclava>> chuckles “you mean she vfinds us amusing.”

<Cecilia> “Well, tell her thank you.”

~*Ramirez*~ lofts a brow in thought and nods then. “I see. That’s kinda cool. You should talk to Zoelie. She does a lot with computers. So does Dan. They both are pretty good with that stuff.”

<Cade> laughs. “Well her exact words is she enjoys the added challenge that your accents put on her voice recognition software while still being understandable . Which is basically robot for ‘their accents are pretty’. She says you’re welcome.”

~*Ramirez*~ “I’m sure she’ll get used to our outrageous accents. This area has a lot of people with a lot of them.”

<Cade> nods at Ramirez. “Alice mentioned that they were Virtual Adepts. I sometimes get along with them better. Integration of technology into Hermetic practices has faced some…inertial challenges.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, there’s a guy who used to be a hermetic mage, but not sure there are any others around. They are virtual adepts and we have some other traditions about.”

<Cecilia> “Not part of any.”

~*Ramirez*~ “You want to take care around here though. We do have some problems with the crats at times, and they sometimes are really watching this location after what happened with a mage that made his avatar really mad.”

<<Vaclava>> “Ohh yess I remember that. Monsier Nickolas.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Yeah, so we have to kind of watch it. We have a safe place to go to and it’s out of the city so we don’t trip them off.”

<Cade> nods as he listens his eyes wide. “Ok…two questions…” he looks to Cecilia. “Does that mean you’re an Orphan?” then turns to the other two. “What happened to Nickolas?”

<Cecilia> “It does.”

<Cade> holds his hand up. “Third question, how is the wifi at this hideout?”

~*Ramirez*~ “His name is Arthur, but yeah, that’s the guy. He ended up weakening his avatar after it spent a lot of energy destroying a lot of stuff because it was mad at him. She even blew through some of the Union. Was pretty epic of a storm for sure.”

~*Ramirez*~ “And wifi is awesome where we are. We have two virtual adepts.”

<<Vaclava>> “Er, I mean Arthur.”

<Cade> listens to the story with wide eyes. “Damn.” The he nods his approval of the WiFi situation before turning to Cecilia. “I’ve never met an Orphan before. Clearly you don’t hate the Traditions as much as my old coven said you do.”

~*Ramirez*~ “She fits in just fine with us. We are a coven of sorts out there.”

<<Vaclava>> rises “It vwas vwondervful meeting you, Cade, but I must go. Ramirez, alvways a pleasure, darling. Do something risque vwith your Hollow vfor me.” kisses cheeks with both of them and blowns one to erik before leaving.

~*Ramirez*~ “Have a good night.”

<Cade> smiles at Cecilia. “Awesome! More the merrier!”

~*Ramirez*~ “I am going to head out now as I have to get back to work running stuff.. but how about tomorrow you come back here and I’ll take you out to the house, Cade?”

~*Ramirez*~ “Or you can come tonight if you want, but I figure you’d want to get some stuff.”

<Cecilia> “Why thank you, dear. Mind the cat, though.”

<Cade> nods to Ramirez. “Yeah tomorrow is good.”

~*Ramirez*~ “Right on. Meet you here then manana.” He waves and heads out.

<Cade> turns back to Cecilia. “So, Countess, care for another drink?”

<Cecilia> “What are you going to offer, Baron?”

<Cecilia> “What are you going to offer, Baron?” [repost]

<Cade> smiles coyly. “Whatever the Countess wants.”

<Cecilia> chuckles. “Scotch, high-end.”

<Cade> smiles and goes up to the bar and orders a glass of her usual scotch and returns to her with it and another beer for himself. “So, what sort of practices do you follow?”

<Cecilia> takes it and has a sip after murmuring a thanks. “Elaborate a little?”

<Cade> shrugs. “Well…do you consult with spirits, use tarot cards, offer prayers to deities…what makes your magic work?”

<Cecilia> “None of the above.”

<Cade> cocks an eyebrow and takes a drink of his beer. “Oh? Do tell!”

<Cecilia> “Thinking of reality as something I can manipulate the strings of.”

<Cade> nods thoughtfully. “Interesting. I’d like to discuss in depth sometime once I get all settled.” He fidgets with his beer a bit. “So do you and Vaclava know each other well?”

<Cecilia> “We have a passing acquaintance.” She takes a sip of her scotch.

<Cade> smiles “Fair enough. So, if you are a Countess back home, why come here?”

<Cecilia> “Boredom. And because I like a good challenge.”

<Cecilia> “As to what, I’m not saying.”

<Cade> gives her a coy look. “Well, a lady must have her secrets after all.”

<Cecilia> “Indeed.”

<Cecilia> finishes her scotch, rising and paying for it. “In any case, I’ll be heading home. Perhaps I’ll see you around sometime.”

<Cade> takes another drink and stands to walk Cecilia out. “I should go pack.”

<Cecilia> heads out. “Yes, you should.”