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Last Linger {continued} Read 1395 times

Ara

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Last Linger {continued}
« on: October 23, 2013, 10:34:59 pm »
She had cleared the cards and set them aside, never too far since they were often of use. She still frowned at the notion of eating from containers rather than plates but he said it was how it was done and she would not want to offend the Thai people by not obliging any customs of the new world- though secretly she wondered if he wasn't just tricking her. It occurred to her to check the internet but that was nothing she could leave the table for which meant that she would have to remember. She would likely forget.

It was something Elsie had noticed, that she was not very good at remembering. Sure, she knew things when asked or when reminded, but when it came to things she intended to do or ask or look at, the thoughts just never quite stuck.

She took a sip of her wine. She suspected that all flavors were somewhat muted to her pallet but that didn't make them any less wonderful. She smiled around the glass and set it down when he mentioned her rock. She had entirely forgotten it. It had been a poor relationship, love and hate but only from her side. In the end, she realized that her rock was very poor company but a very fine jailer.

She averted her eyes when he spoke with food in his mouth. It wasn't good manners to correct a man on how to eat in his own house but it also couldn't be good to stare. She smiled a little because somehow over the time they'd spent together it had become endearing. Elsie looked up when she realized what he was talking about though. "I would love to go to the museum! I think I read about that exhibit." She took a bite of her food, a soupy looking dish of pinkish liquid around bell peppers, onions, chicken and an assortment of vegetables. She chewed and then a curious look struck her and she chewed more carefully. If she could blush she might have when she carefully took a nail length piece from between her lips. She swallowed the rest and then blinked at that piece. "Is this... bamboo?"

Before he could answer or she could continue to speculate, the doorbell rang. Not once but twice and then a third time.

A fist pounded on the door urgently before the bell had even finished resonating. "Ben, open up!" Harmony shouted through the door. In the hall outside the brunette shifted her bag on her shoulder. She looked tall on those heels but it was a trick of shoe architecture. "Come on, you said I could crash here when I was in town!" She laughed with red painted lips, shifting her bag again. "I swear, I'll break down your door if you don't let me in, I can smell the food!"

A three hour flight had not ruffled her any worse than her fashion choices preferred. Her dark hair was cut for a mess and it suited her round cheeks. She groaned dramatically at the weight of her bag. She would swear that it had grown heavier and heavier with every step since the cab.

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 09:02:40 pm »
It was quite endearing to see her eat from the box. She of course seemed methodical about it, though there is no real right way to eat out of a carton, Elsie seemed to be doing it properly. He'd felt a little worried when she stopped her chewing. He was quiet, not really knowing how to act, since asking if she was alright seemed out of place, as her mouth was currently occupied. Eventually Ben smiled and nodded. "Yes it is. But you're okay to eat it. Don't enjoy the taste?"

He raised his glass. "To the museum then." And he drank. The liquid had just flooded his tongue when he heard the doorbell. Eyes that were almost green now, looked over at Elsie. The question in his expression, she couldn't answer of course, and he made to explore by himself, standing up and swallowing, still holding the drink of water. He was not able to wonder much about it might be until more insistence was heard. The would-be visitor employed knuckles, now. It couldn't be Ely. He was not be so abrasive.  Ben put down his cup when he heard the familiar voice.

"I'm sorry." he said to Elsie before he started turning, eyes still on her sky blue. He didn't know why the words had been spoken with such guilt. "I know her." He spent another moment looking at Elsie, body attempting to face the door. "I really would have preferred to eat alone with you." He then turned fully, finally, and cleared his throat as he moved toward the knocking. A smile that was rightfully Harm's took his lips when he undid the lock and let the barrier open. She was her usual expertly thrown-together self, a look he'd favored ever since he'd discovered it. He remembered that hair, matte with sweat.

"Harm." he said and hugged her, sliding the bag off her shoulder. He ushered her in with the arm that wasn't holding the baggage by his side. He rubbed her shoulder when he felt the weight of the bag. It would be odd not to, considering the nature of their acquaintance. And there she was, Elsie, still sitting by the table, holding her bamboo shoot. This was an odd situation. "So, Harmony, my casual friend." he said, explain best he could, voice sturdy and back straight as he put her luggage down by the couch, throwing one glance at his sambo. "What brings you here?"

He strode across the room and stood by the seemingly empty chair. In another reality his shoulder was touching Elsie's. It seemed odd to feel this burdened by another guest. He supposed he knew this was Elsie's home as well, and that in the very least, this was the smallest of invasions. His history and shared affection with Harmony prevented him from throwing her out. He supposed he'd have to see this through, wherever it may lead. Another smile as he leaned closer into the chair.

Ara

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 01:28:36 pm »
She hugged him and followed him into the apartment. It looked pretty much the same as she remembered. Her hand touched the wall when she paused to step out of her heels- it was more of climbing down than anything else. Her face scrunched with a funny smiled when he called her his 'casual friend'.

"Work." She answered with a shrug. She was a photographer and the job had allowed her to be a bit of a wanderer. She gave a big sigh and a stretched for the show of it. "My flight was awful! I got laid over for seven hours in Denver!" Harmony made a gagging sound and then giggled, walking toward him. She had just reached out to touch his arm, eyes for his lips and thoughts a bit warmer than a 'casual friend' might have, when she smelt the food and glanced at the cartons on the table.

Harmony inhaled sharply and her smile grew wide as she turned, craning her neck to look down the hall. "Oh, shit. Do you have company?" She didn't see or hear anyone else and looked back at him, now a head taller than her. "Are you dating someone?" She laughed and grabbed at his hand, checking for a ring. "Tell me you aren't married. I wasn't gone that long..."

Elsie sat stiffly, her jaw clenched the moment the other woman walked in and hugged him. She looked her up and down and was once again grateful that her cheeks could not color. The brunet was wearing black shorts that seemed to have length only for the sake of pockets and a leather jacket. Her legs were long and pale with a little tattoo on her ankle. The leather jacket hung open, all unused straps and gleaming pointless buttons. She wore a blouse beneath that hung low enough to see the top of her bra to the right- stark yellow. Another tattoo on her collarbone, the words 'now or never'.

Elsie remembered the bamboo in her hand and dropped it when the woman neared. Harm. That was what he called her. She thought it was fitting. She crossed her arms in the chair that Benedict now stood beside. It gave her a front row seat to watch those hands with painted black nails take hold of one of his, rubbing at his fingers. She sat even stiffer, her midnight eyes widening as she stared at those interlaced hands before looking up at them. "She lived here before?" Elsie asked too casually, a little bite in her voice.

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2013, 05:41:10 pm »
The hands that took his were familiar. Unafraid though not necessarily brave. He had always been deathly in love with spirits like Harmony's - to see them applied was always a little less impressive, due to his famous ability to over-romanticize, but still enticing enough to make him well aware of his impulse to lean in, when she stood under him. He held her hand in response. "Did you get any good pictures in Denver, at least?" he asked, remembering her line of work. He was clueless as to what she might need for different assignments, but he'd seen enough recordings of travels from people documenting their lives to know there was at least some value to the architecture and metropolitan scene found in airports.

She saw the food. That had been unavoidable. Steam was still rising off the laid out meal, after all. Ben had a thought to wedge himself between Elsie and Harm when she looked around for his would be dinner guest. "The food was for Ely. He just left." he said quickly and nodded as the facts added up in his head. "You know how he is." And she did. They had met exactly twice, this woman and his brother. Ely had been his judgmental self and that had made Ben wrap his arm around her tighter. "So, unless you count the incestuously charged meal, I'm only dating my usual amount of people." An apologetic smile for her, with a mischievous undertone. He would have made a joke about seeing a hint of jealousy in Harm as well, if it weren't for present, unseen company.

Ben couldn't help but snicker at the next question. "I've married, yes." He ran his thumb quickly over her knuckles and let go, letting her hand fall dramatically. "So either you put on your mistress lipstick, or leave." He laughed a little. It had been too easy to notice the chill that came from Elsie, the staleness of her presence that preceded the edges of the question she spoke. They had their rhythm of speaking, she respected his inability to answer her right away. They actually had a very workable system for transferring information in his subtle ways of acknowledging her. Now it seemed she wanted an answer in a more pressing manner.

It was quite a stark difference between the two women. Elsie, having maintained much of the countenance of flown generations, her pretty a kind that coined the word, while Harmony, well, she was intentionally pressed right up against what was contemporary, even if she preferred it not to be squeaky clean. Wasn't that why he'd enjoyed her company so in the past? She was a perfect reflection of Now. Their relationship was also that, contemporary and not squeaky clean. "Remember when you used to spend so much time here, Harm? I used to house you whenever you had jobs in town." It was an odd thing to reminisce over, of course, but it was the only port into conversation that he could think of that would satisfy both Elsie's question while dancing around Harm's suspicions. He was aware of the audience and took his newest guest's hand up again, pulling her along toward the couch.

"Would you like something to eat?" he said and let go, moving on by himself - she could follow if she wished - toward his kitchen. They had collected a few bottles of wine too, him and Elsie. Vintage things were appropriate around his ghost, he thought. Her palled had known those grapes in their youth, and wine was a concept she knew as well as many now living people, so it had been a natural thing of comfort to enjoy over conversation. He pulled out a bottle from the rack and held it up. "Or drink? I have liquor too, if you want." He threw a fast glance at Elsie as he tried to forget what he and Harm usually did in his apartment.

"How bout you?" he asked, suddenly hopeful. "Are you dating anyone?" He supposed that might solve some problems.

Ara

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2013, 04:13:50 am »
Elsie wished she hadn’t looked alarmed when he told this barely dressed woman to put on her mistress lipstick or leave. She wanted to ask what that meant but she could figure it out.

Harmony laughed and it sounded easy. She moved closer to the table rather than continuing on to the couch like he had directed her. Elsie had glared at that hand on the other woman’s back, guiding her the way he had guided Elsie on occasion. The only difference was of course that this woman was alive and he had obviously slept with her before.

“If Ely’s not eating his food, I wouldn’t mind taking it.” Harm said as she came to the table, sitting down in the empty seat.

Elsie inhaled sharply and stood with all her dead elegance before her seat was occupied by another. She continued to glare down at her in offended disbelief but Harmony didn’t notice. She laughed and told Benedict that she was more than happy to help him drink while rolling her shoulders to escape the leather confines of her jacket.

Elsie frowned down at the woman, still standing right beside her. She let her jacket slump over the back of her chair, her shoulders and arms now naked like her collar bones and sternum. Elsie narrowed her midnight eyes. “I can see your bra.” She commented down at the woman that could not hear.

“You know me. No one serious.” She laughed. “Would I be crashing in your bed if I was seeing someone?” Harmony asked with a coy smile, picking up the fork and stabbing a piece of red bell pepper. “Unless you’d like me to take the guest room...” The offer was a joke, Elsie could hear it. Harmony lifted the fork and bent in, painted mouth opening.

Before she could even consider doing differently, Elsie slapped that hand before it reached her mouth. The fork fell onto the table and the piece of pepper bounced onto the floor. Elsie folded her arms across her chest quickly and tilted her head to look at where the food had fallen. “She stained the carpet.” She muttered.

“Shit...” Harmony murmured. “Maybe I don’t need that drink.” She giggled and bent to pick up the pepper, popping it into her mouth all the same.

Elsie gawked.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 09:59:19 pm by Ara »

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 12:51:38 pm »
It had been deceptive that Harmony would follow him as far as to the couch, allowing his touch. He suspected that had been why she'd been so compliant, despite having other plans, his touch. The lifefull woman had always been fond of contact, as he remembered as he put an opener in his pocket. She returned to the table where their colorful meal was, and he set the bottle down harder than he intended when she took a seat, almost in Elsie's lap. The ghost had moved away, Harm none the wiser.

His hopes that this would be a shade less complicated were dampened in her answer. Ben frowned before he could reply to her self-invitation on the sleeping arrangements. Then de all but hissed Elsie's name when she pushed the fork away from the lipstick petals - that may be well be considered the '"mistress color" already - when Harm tried to eat. With discrete speed he made his way toward his intimate friend. She had no problem tasting the morsel, despite it now being served from the floor.

With his hand on the table, he bumped his hip into Elsie where she stood, as she stood marveling at Harm's disregard to hygiene. He even shot his ghost a small glare before smiling almost apologetically at his guest. "And please, go ahead. Ely's not going to miss it." he offered as he took his own seat again. To some surprise, he realized he was still holding the bottle, and set it down softer than before, between them. Did red go with thai? The opener found it's place by thick bottom of the bottle, too. "Up to you, Harm, you're a guest," he emphasized the word when he looked slightly to the side, blinking sternly at Elsie. "and will be treated as such."

He shuffled some soaked rice into his mouth and enjoyed the sweetness of the sauce as he chewed quickly, regretting his harshness. With some finesse, he dropped one hand to his side, under the table, and wiggled his fingers for Elsie to take them, if she wanted. He'd done this before, so he knew she understood the gesture, but of course couldn't know if it would be accepted. For some reason she was not taking very well to Harmony. Black eyes were casted down before they could think of what to say.

"So if you're not dating seriously, what have you been up to?" A flash of that sternum and its scent mingled with their sweat ran over his mind, lifted from his bank of memories marked with her name. "I've made some headway myself, in my field." He had some more to eat, hand still beckoning for Elsie's. "Ely's quite impressed, finally." He washed his mouth with some water and suddenly regretted that Elsie wouldn't get to have more of this meal. "Ah, you know him and me, it's almost a pg-13 Greek tragedy."

Ara

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Re: Last Linger {continued}
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 04:31:47 pm »
Harmony raised an eyebrow at his strange behavior. It was enough to make her smile and wonder if there wasn't a camera in the room. He seemed to be preforming for someone. She laughed and shrugged it off as typical Benedict. She had never liked the company of dull people, after all. She picked up her glass, short black nails looking sinister against glass and deep red. She drank deep and sighed happily when she put it back down on the table and started adding some rice to her newly claimed tai food.

"Headway?" Harm smiled widely and took a large bite, swallowing it down before she continued. "What in the world could you manage to do to impress the statue?" Ely had not exactly been a fan of Harmony's. They hadn't spent much time together, she imagined it was because his face hurt from scowling at her for more than ten minutes at a time.

Elsie stood stiffly beside the table. He was wiggling his fingers at her even after scolding her like that in front of this other woman. Of course, the other woman didn't know she had been scolded at all. She didn't even know that Elsie was there. None of that made the ghost feel any better. She leaned against the counter because she couldn't bring herself to sit with them. She was still on Harmony's side of the table, her arms folded over her chest and her evening eyes looking past her to stare at Benedict. "So, should I be moving my things out of the guest room or will she be sleeping in your bed?" She asked, voice abruptly cold and one eyebrow lifting curiously at the end of it, waiting for his answer as though he could give her one.

Harmony coughed against a new swallow of wine and waved a hand about. She put down her cup and stood. "Oh! You have to see this, I saw a guy at the airport in Italy that looked just like your brother! Same frown and I think it's even one of his suits!" She laughed and walked around to her bags, crouching down on her heels to dig out her camera. "But somehow I don't imagine Ely would wear a gold watch with diamonds in it or have a date with such impressive... endowments." She laughed and stood, eyes on her camera as she returned, thumbing through the screen until she found the right photo.

She held it out across the table for him to look.