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An exchange of goods

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56 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 9:16 pm

"They must be difficult on the crops," I comment as I put my drink aside to return to my meal. I've managed to scarf down more than half of it, the drink more than half finished now as well.

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57 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 9:22 pm

I cut the water back on to cover the grotesque sound of his eating - he lacks manners, I think - before I finish drying what's in the drain board.

"I have few crops to tend with," I answer, "A small personal garden, just recently established for this year. And the fogs don't do much harm. I'm far enough out, that the days they're in are so fleeting."

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58 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 9:39 pm

"Well, that's good," I nod faintly before clearing my throat a bit. "Sorry, do you want something to eat? I don't suppose you've had dinner yet, have you?"

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59 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 9:56 pm

"Don't be silly, I have food at home." I smile as I look back at him, cutting the water off as I dry my hands and step away from the sink. 

"I'm going to gather the garbage and some of your laundry, so sort through while the dishes soak. Do you need anything?"

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60 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 9:59 pm

"Another bottle..?" I ask hopefully as I shake the remnants of my drink, smiling at her gratefully as she moves toward the fridge. "Thank you."

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61 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:03 pm

"Of course," I smile as I head for the fridge, pulling it open to peer inside. It's a mess of scattered leftovers and various ingredients, several cases of the bottled blood tucked in the bottom shelf. I pull another bottle from one of the cases, the case coming with my hand as I remove the final bottle. 

Another quick look through, though, and I see something that leaves a frown on my lips. Bottled blood, yes, but beyond that there's only the simplest selection of meats and the occasional vegetable. The leftovers, themselves, consist of various combinations of the aforementioned meat and various veggie sides. The selections are sparse. 

"Would you care to make a list for groceries?" I ask as I shut the fridge and move to hand him the bottle. "I can pick some things up on my way in in the morning."

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62 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:08 pm

"Oh, um," I frown hesitantly as I glance toward my desk uncomfortably. "Yeah... I actually have a list made already. I had someone who used to do the shopping for me, but... well, she hasn't come by since the accident. So yeah, I suppose that would be helpful..."

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63 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:10 pm

"And the list?" I follow his gaze towards the desk, "It's over there?"

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64 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:19 pm

"Yeah, sorry," I nod, pausing to wipe my mouth before I get to my feet. I'm moving even slower now that the day is winding down, my leg throbbing with every uncomfortable step. "There's some money in here, too. Hold on," I frown as I sift through the mountain of papers, blueprints and notes scattering as I dig around for the pad of paper I'd scribbled my grocery list on.

"Ah, here it is," I say at last, pulling the pad out and tearing the list off to hand her.

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65 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:21 pm

"I'll be sure to pick all of this up on my way in," I nod, fold the list and tuck it into one of my pockets, moving past him to start gathering what bits of trash and laundry I can find. 

"You should rest, finish eating. If you'd like, I can fix you something and bring it to wherever you're comfortable?"

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66 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:28 pm

"I'm good, thank you," I smile as I return to the table to gather up my plate and drink. It's difficult hobbling my way into the living room, but a comfortable couch sounds too good to pass up. "I'm just gonna settle in with my book and get this thing off."

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67 Re: An exchange of goods on Wed May 11, 2016 10:29 pm

"Of course," I nod, setting up two piles near the kitchen area of garbage and laundry for me to tend to once I'm done with a second load of dishes. "I'll be out of your hair in no time."

*****

Light conversation drifted between us as I finished the dishes and put them away, turning my attention to the mess of laundry and garbage. It took me nearly another half hour to bag everything up and make several trips down to drop the rubbish in the bins, an awkward silence falling over the apartment as I make my various trips up and down the stairs. I could sense he felt helpless, useless, watching me cart the bags up and down, a thin sheen of sweat on my forehead after each trip. But he could offer no help, not without making my job harder. 

Once the garbage had been dealt with, I called for a cab and spent the time waiting sorting through laundry so it could be easier dealt with once I was home. Master Rhodes had settled into his place on the couch, with food and drink and work surrounding him, and for just a brief moment before I left, the awkward tone of the silence had grown almost comfortable. Almost.

***

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68 Re: An exchange of goods on Sat May 14, 2016 9:38 pm

I'm grateful when Niamh finally leaves me to the privacy of a slightly cleaner house, my leg aching dully with the anticipation of removing the uncomfortable prosthetic so I can go to bed. It's already easier to get around the house without having the various hampers and stray bits of clothing scattered around. But still... not for the first time, I feel myself angry and envious that I'm not as much of a Prime as I could be. If I were, there's no question that this injury would have long since healed.

No. If I were Prime, this never would have happened at all. If I were Prime, I wouldn't be settling in for another restless night as the weight of the Council's scrutiny weighs heavy on my mind. Any day now, I expect them to find some shred of evidence that will condemn me and kick me down off the short little pedestal I had climbed atop when I moved to this city and took up this name and this face, this state of being. I've hardly vied for the wealth and power being a Prime could afford me, yet somehow I'm a threat to their way of life simply for daring to resemble them in my humble little existence.

It's a tiring, vicious little circle I spin myself in as I soak in the tub and eventually move to the bedroom. I don't remember falling asleep, but somehow I do. And I sleep the sleep of the dead, completely oblivious to the world until something startles me awake many hours later. I'm too groggy to register what it is at first until I hear it again: movement. I bolt upright, scrambling backward on the bed as I hunt for the light, my hand going to the gun hidden in the drawer of my nightstand.

"Niamh??" I say when I realize who it is, my heart pounding in my chest as I stop to let out a relieved sigh. "Hell, woman! You scared the daylights out of me! What time is it??"

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69 Re: An exchange of goods on Sun May 15, 2016 1:30 am

"Wha-" I frown as I hear frantic moving just beyond the door to the bedroom, dropping the rag and cleaning solution onto a nearby table so I can step over to look in. 

"I didn't mean to startle you," I say softly, stepping in just enough to cut on a lamp on a nearby desk. "It's nearly eleven, but I've only been here a half hour. I ran into a bit of a hiccup at the market, but it all got sorted."

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70 Re: An exchange of goods on Sun May 15, 2016 11:18 pm

"Oh?" I frown as I shift to settle against the headboard, my sheets bunched around my hips. "What happened?? Are you okay?"

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71 Re: An exchange of goods on Sun May 15, 2016 11:29 pm

"Just a bit of grief trying to buy your bottled beverages," I saw with a polite smile, "They needed verification of my papers - twice - before allowing the sale. It was more time consuming than anything else."

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72 Re: An exchange of goods on Sun May 15, 2016 11:37 pm

"Oh," I frown, shifting uncomfortably as I run a hand through unkempt hair. "Did they have an issue with you buying it or the fact that it was my name on the papers??"

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73 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 12:26 am

"I think it was me," I answer, heading back towards the door so I can return to my cleaning.

"Anyway, I've got a small meal ready to cook if you're hungry. It's a goulash I made this morning and brought in, just needs to be heated. Are you hungry?"

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74 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 7:42 pm

"Starving," I respond as I scoot toward the edge of the bed, the sheet falling from my lap as I take a moment to stretch before grabbing the prosthetic propped up against the nightstand. "What kind of goulash is it?"

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75 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 7:49 pm

"Lamb," I respond from the living room, gathering the bits of cleaning supplies I'd drug out to be put up while lunch is prepared. "One of my neighbor's sent me some lamb last night, so I thought I'd use it up before it turned."

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76 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 7:55 pm

"Mmm," I respond as I fasten the prosthetic to my leg, wincing lightly as I tighten it down. It's a challenge getting to my feet, the prosthetic clunking awkwardly against the floor as I grab my robe and pull it on to head out into the living room.

"Did you have any trouble getting in and out of the city?" I ask around a stifled yawn.

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77 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 8:12 pm

"It was well into regular business hours by the time I came in this morning, so it was no hassle at all." I answer as I start pulling out the casserole dishes of goulash and various cut vegetables from my garden. Carrots, radishes, and arugula color the otherwise blandly green salad in the dish as I mix them before setting aside. 

"And a cab took me right home last night, no issue at all." I add, turning towards him with one of the dishes of cut carrots in offering.

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78 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 8:32 pm

"Thank you," I smile as I take a small handful before moving over to the table to take a seat. "Are you okay with all of this?" I ask after popping one of the carrots into my mouth like a chip. "With having to work for a Prime?"

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79 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 8:54 pm

"To be fair," I start, my back to him as I fiddle with the oven to get it preheating. "Ylva lead me to believe you weren't. It's mostly why I agreed." 

Confident I'd turned the oven on properly, I head back to the fridge to pull out a bottle of his blood-like beverage and bring it towards him, my eyebrows shifting up as I realize how sparsely dressed he is.

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80 Re: An exchange of goods on Mon May 16, 2016 8:56 pm

"Does it bother you that I am, though?" I ask as I take the bottle, nodding my thanks as I pop another carrot in my mouth so my hand is free to open the bottle.

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