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An exchange of goods

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6 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm

I hate how slowly I have to move to pick up my dinner and move it somewhere more private before I hear the women on the stairs outside the loft. The mess in the kitchen leaves me feeling self-conscious as I go to invite them in, a string of lies running through my head should the Prime ask why there are so many dirty dishes when I'm supposed to be like her.

"Lady Veretrum," I greet the woman when I open the door, offering her a plastered smile that barely conceals my discomfort as I step back to invite her in. "You'll have to forgive the mess - I've been spread a little thin lately."

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7 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 10:59 pm

Ylva offers the man a polite but forced smile as she steps in past him, her head twisting slightly as she looks around the apartment, taking it in. I can hardly slip through behind her to let the man shut the door behind me. 

"Hopefully our lady here can help with that." She says simply, twisting to face him as she gestures towards me, as though I'm an afterthought. "This is Niamh Clery. Your new help."

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8 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:06 pm

"Ah," I respond, nodding a little uncomfortably as I offer the stranger a smile. "I'm Isaac Rhodes. It's nice to meet you."

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9 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:13 pm

"Pleasure," I nod, unable to continue as Ylva pulls the clutch tucked from under her arm out to open it. 

"Niceties out of the way, I can get on with this." She says as she digs out several slips of paper, what appear to be permits and passes, and hands them to me. "You have a transport pass there, and a meal ticket should you need to eat while out on the streets. And for you," She pulls out another permit, handing it off to Isaac, "This will give proof that you are the sole proprietor of Miss Clery's various tangible goods."

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10 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:18 pm

"Woah, hold on," I say quickly, my eyes widening as I stare at the permit with no small amount of shock. "I wasn't - that's not what - I don't want this. I just needed a little help around the house and maybe the shop... I wasn't looking for... this."

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11 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:24 pm

I can feel my cheeks flush a bit at his shock, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable as Ylva smirks.

"It's for should she be caught on the streets on her way to or from home." She explains simply, "If she can prove that she's owned, she won't be hassled. Should she be picked up, you'll need that to retrieve her without paying any fines. 

"It is not tacit consent to any trade of those goods."

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12 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:27 pm

"Well, people aren't goods so..." I say with the hint of a disapproving frown before I clear my throat and nod. "Thank you."

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13 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:31 pm

"I'm quite aware that Miss Clery isn't something to be put on the shelf with a price tag, Mister Rhodes." Ylva offers a tense smile as she closes her clutch and tucks it back under her arm. "But you know as well as I how she's viewed in the eyes of the city. Consider it nothing more than a formality given the situation."

"I appreciate your help, Lady Veretrum," I speak up, earning a smile as Ylva shakes her head.

"Ylva, please, love." She says, reaching out to cup my cheek fondly. It leaves me tense and uncertain, shows of affection something that are wholly out of the ordinary with this woman. Still, she lets her thumb stroke across my cheekbone before she withdaws her hand. 

"Thank you, Ylva." I smile, holding up the permits and passes as she turns to Isaac with a smile. 

"I've business to attend to, so if I may be excused. Put her to good use, Mister Rhodes." She smiles as she turns for the door.

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14 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:39 pm

"Of course," I nod, feeling a little uncomfortable as I shift my weight to step toward the door so I can close it behind her. "It was a pleasure meeting you, Lady Veretrum."

I sigh in relief once she's gone, the presence of another Prime in my home leaving me tense. Without her presence, it's a little easier to relax as I offer a more friendly smile to Niamh before gesturing toward the living room.

"Can I get you anything to drink?" I ask before hesitating slightly. "Or is that something you're supposed to do..? Sorry, I've never had anyone working as my 'help' before... if I'm being honest, I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with the whole arrangement."

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15 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:50 pm

"I've never done it before, either, Master Rhodes." I confess lightly, stepping back to let him pass without hindrance as I tuck my papers into one of the pockets in the folds of my dress.

"Though, as I understand, I'm simply here to help keep the place tidy and offer you help, should you need it." I add, looking quickly towards the peculiar prosthetic leg before averting my gaze. "And make sure your leg heals properly."

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16 Re: An exchange of goods on Tue May 10, 2016 11:58 pm

"Well, I could definitely use the help," I admit with a sigh as I pick up the mess of empty glasses and blood bottles from the coffee table before glancing back at her. "I'm so far behind on my orders from all of this that I'm losing clients left and right. Between being a verbal punching bag and trying to make amends, I haven't had time to actually work on the orders.

"And then there's this place," I can feel my cheeks flush a bit with embarrassment as I look around at the disaster that is my apartment. Dishes, laundry, and trash are scattered across virtually every surface. Suddenly I regret sitting down to draw out plans for a trash chute rather than simply suffering through the discomfort of taking it all down to bins outside the shop. And that's another thing that's scattered everywhere: blueprints and plans and lists of ways to improve the place and the make-shift prosthetic that I'd managed to fabricate from what scraps of material I had at the time.

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17 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:02 am

"It'll be good as new soon enough." I offer with a smile, coming up behind him to help pick up the dishes and bits of rubbish.

"Tonight was meant to be more of a getting acquainted sort of thing, but really what more do you need to know aside from the fact I've been hired to clean your home?"

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18 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:09 am

"Well, there's no reason we can't get better acquainted," I shrug as I limp toward the kitchen with the dishes. "Particularly if you're going to be around a lot."

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19 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:11 am

I nod as I stop near the coffee table to fill my arms with emptied bottles and dirty dishes.

"Do you have company a lot?" I ask, "Do a lot of entertaining? I'm not sure I have any attire fitting of city gatherings."

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20 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:13 am

"No, not really," I frown a bit as I arrange the dishes into something a little less chaotic next to the sink. "I sort of had a falling out with the friends I had here after the accident."

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21 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:15 am

My eyebrows pinch a bit at the mess of bottles as I head into the kitchen, setting them on whatever empty surface I can find before I move to the sink to start washing.

"So you don't have many Prime happen through?" I ask with a frown, politely shooing him out of my way so I can start sorting the dishes. "Lady Veretrum lead me to believe you were not of Prime blood?"

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22 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:17 am

"What?" I ask a little more sharply than intended. Clearing my throat, I shake my head uncomfortably. "What gave her that idea??"

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23 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:22 am

"I believe it was something Doctor Heely had said?" I respond, keeping my head down as I manage to plug the drain and cut the water on. "Perhaps I misheard."

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24 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:31 am

"God d-," I bite my lip sharply as I shake my head and inhale sharply. "Whatever happened to doctor/patient confidentiality?" I sigh heavily as I move away from the sink to get the food I'd hidden in the fridge. No point hiding it now. "I am a Prime, right now. Though, if you ask them, I may as well be a grotesque bug pretending it's not food for some... I don't know, something analogous of an arrogant sack of shit in a nice dress or suit. A bird or something."

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25 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:36 am

I glance at him in confusion, turning back to the dishes.

"I'm afraid I don't understand, Master Rhodes." I say as I cut the water down and look for the soap. "But, to be entirely honest, whatever you may or may not be is no concern of mine. You're under no obligation to clarify if you don't want to."

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26 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:42 am

"Well, that's good, because I don't," I say lightly as I grab out a bottle of blood to go with my dinner before turning toward the kitchen table. "Let's just suffice it to say that I'm different than the Primes you might be used to."

I'm grateful to finally dig into my dinner, a contented sigh escaping me as I chew happily.

"So where are you from?" I ask curiously. "You smell cleaner than the people in the city, if that makes sense. Sometimes I think there's more fog than people walking around this place."

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27 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:45 am

"South of the city," I answer lightly, "Amongst the farms there.

"And Lady Veretrum is the only one I've ever dealt with. My parents were farmers, I had no cause to enter the city."

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28 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:52 am

I nod at the farmer connection, the smell of earth and water clinging to her skin making perfect sense. "What is Lady Veretrum like?" I ask curiously.

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29 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:53 am

"Peculiar?" I offer lamely, "Out of touch? I'm not really sure. She's quite sharp, but she means well."

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30 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 12:56 am

"Mm," I nod. "Sounds like a Prime, that's for sure." I feel a moment of discomfort as I watch Niamh working at the sink, a bit of guilt knotting in my stomach as she washes the dishes. "You know, you really don't have to do that tonight... I know it's late."

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