The Checkout

Dallas Public Library

The library is a rather large building that extends two levels. Security gates at the entrance lead past a long rectangular circulation desk where patrons may check out or return books. Across from the circulation desk is large, archaic looking card catalogue beside which is a computer that is set up to locate books. Following the typical Dewey Decimal Classification System, the rows of shelves are laid out systematically, with large signs overhead so that patrons can find precisely what they are looking for. Study carols and tables line the walls, and one corner of the library is set aside for two separate lecture rooms that can booked for meetings.

For once, the library is actually quiet. No patrons, no coworkers, just Chloe and the books. This is why she prefers to take up the later shifts, staying until the library is closed. Cleaning up the shelves, returning books to their appropriate locations, shutting down the computer systems, and leaving notes for the day-time workers.

She does, however, keep the doors unlocked right up until she decides to leave. Some people like to make late-night returns, and of course they do have the occasional vampire patron - or vampire-pain-in-the-tuckus-attempting-to-experiment-on-her. At the moment though, she's just reveling in the complete and utter silence of the library.

Michael is one such Vampire parton, he enters the library and moves towards a particular shelf, he crouches down as he studies the shelf working his way from bottom to top.

Suddenly, the silence is interrupted by a distinct void. Chloe is on guard, expecting that she's about to pay retribution for what she did several nights ago. She quietly as possible follows the void, until she's a shelf away. Eyes peering over some books, she tries to make out whether it's him or not in the dimly lit library, the overnight lights barely casting a glow down toward the floor, making it difficult.

Having found what he was looking for Michael picks up his book and stands once again, he frowns slightly, that sensation of being watched as just hit him, so he takes a quick glance around spotting Chloe the frown begins to fade replaced with a slight nod as Michael starts towards her at a casual pace.

Aww, crap. Not who she was expecting. Chloe takes a subconscious step backward, but plasters a smile to her face. "Just about to close up," she offers cheerfully. "Can I help you check that out?" Since the computerized book-checker-outer has been shutdown for the evening.

Nodding his head Michael smiles very slightly, having the common decency not to mention the fact that she seemed to be watching him. "Thank you. I must say this is only my second visit, but you seem to have a most impressive library. "I've been wondering if you happened to have Belfagor arcidiavolo?" He currently holds The Republic. "In the original Italian for preference."

Eyes shift to the book, then close momentarily. Almost as though she's going through the entire card catalog inside her mind. When the peek open again, Chloe shakes her head. "We have the translation, but if you give me a few days, I can slip the original into the morning's orders and have it here by the end of the week." She's steeled herself so as not to show her nervousness. Sure, she doesn't hate vampires, but they still tend to put her on edge a little, especially as she's not exactly sure how she's supposed to deal with them these days - they skipped that discussion and went right to anger on her last visit.

Bowing his head Michael smiles very slightly as he offers her the book in his hand. "Thank you, that would be most appriciated." He seems mildly impressed. "I must say you have an exceptional grasp of your selection, few librarians now days seem to consider such knowledge important." His tone leaves no doubt that he disagrees.

Chloe genuinely grins at the compliment, or what she perceives as one anyhow. But it's brushed off as something that everyone should know. "It's my job. Everyone else likes to rely on the computers, but I tend to like to have everything at my… er… fingertips in case of a power outage." That, and card catalog memorization.

Taking the book, she motions toward the front desk, then slips behind it. Book in one hand, she grabs a pen with the other. Her current notations seem to be neat and tidy, and she just adds another book to the list of those that need to be ordered or requested from other libraries in the vicinity. With that done, she opens up the stamp pad, flips the book open to the due-date page, and stamps it. It's archaic but it works when everything is shutdown for the evening.

Watching as the books stamped he studys Chloe for a moment. "Computers have made people somewhat complacent I must agree, it's good to see that not everyone is becoming dependent on technology." He laughs at himself. "I am sorry, I must be sounding like an old man." He bows his head "I'm Michael and I'm grateful for your assistance in ordering the book for me, I find it loses much of its flavour in translation."

"You are old," Chloe replies, though it's not meant to be an insult. "I peg at least a hundred years, if not more." Based solely on his preference for reading things in their original language, and the choices of books he's made. Carefully, she closes the book, offering it up at him. "Chloe," she offers, no surname required. "It's nothing really. Just my job. We don't usually have much request for materials in Italian, but I don't see obtaining it being a problem."

Michael seems amused at the comment of his age. "Yes, I'm more than a century old." He bows his head slightly. "It's a pleasure Chloe." He pauses apparently Chloes abruptness has inspired him. "I take it that your recognising me as a vampire is what led to your watching me?"

There is a slight pause as she considers how best to respond. The smile returns, and a slow nod is given. "I thought you were someone else." A shrug, and Chloe flips the stamp pad closed, placing the stamp quietly atop it. "And I had to ensure it wasn't some other intruder, since I hadn't gotten around to locking the doors."

Nodding Michaels' expression's unreadable as he once again studies Chloe. "Really? Well then I am sorry to disappoint." He pauses a moment. "And to have disturbed you while you were closing up. I should make a point of coming in earlier while the…. weather permits."

Handwaft, as though to say it's not a disappointment. "I'm used to the disruptions, at least lately." Chloe slips out from behind the desk once she's satisfied it's all neat and tidy. Leaning against it, she nods. "We /are/ generally open later on Thursdays as well. To allow the university students that need access to the research material more time with them." Since the university libraries don't have the same materials as they do here.

Nodding slightly Michael pauses a moment. "Then I'll be back then, thank you again for your time. And your help."

When he appears to be taking his leave, Chloe can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. It still makes for a quiet night. No drainers attacking anyone, no crazed people shooting at her. Though she does consider something, her head tilting slightly. "Is there a number we can reach you at when your request comes in? That way you don't have to waste your evening stopping by if we're unable to get it for a while."

Michael smiles slightly as he removes a card from his jacket. "I've found in my time that a trip to a good library is never a waste of time." He offers the card to her. "I don't doubt you'll see me regularly, I haven't the book collection I used to, and I do enjoyed to read."

Chloe takes the offered card, chuckling a little at his response. "You would probably be the first that doesn't think that way. I wager in another ten years, places like this will be quite obsolete thanks to the internet." It's sad, and it will mean that she'll be out of a job sooner or later. Something she doesn't really care to dwell on too much. Leaning over the desk, she tucks the card into a rolodex and then glances back at him.

Nodding slightly Michael takes a quick glance around. "Possibly, although I find there are always those that take joy in the…. simple ways." He smiles slightly. "Perhaps one day I'll open a library of my own, a short time ago I had a fairly imprssive private collection."

"That'd sure be interesting to see," Chloe says, grinning. "The first Vampire Library. I bet all the college students would love it, since they'd be able to cram all night for tests." Beat. "You'd just need to find someone to run it during the day."

Michael smiles slightly. "Yes, it would certainly give me an excuse to update my collection, although I will admit I'm still getting used to being able to come out into the open." Michael pauses although in his case there's no beat. "And I suspect that my library would make quite a target for those less friendly towards my kind, after all some of the older volumes burn quite impressively." There's a flicker of a smile. "Still it would be worth considering. And I suppose I would require someone to run things for me."

Chloe makes a tch noise with her tongue against the roof of her mouth. "You'd just have to give it a few years. For people to become more… acclimatized with the fact that creatures of the night actually exist." Jokingly, she says, "Well, hey. If the internet ever renders me unable to work in a place like this, you can always look me up." Walking card catalog that she is. Though the joke seems to give her pause for thought. Why is she being so cordial to this vampire when the other angers her to the point of near-staking him?

Nodding Michael seems to consider that for a moment, he doesn't move his face expressionless, then with a slight chuckle he nods. "I've found people are rarely steady, sometimes they throw themselves into the thing, often to their regret, or sometimes they drag a thing out far longer than they should." He smiles slightly. "And in all my time I've learnt it doesn't matter how long you last you can never quite shake it." He bows his head slightly. "I am sorry, I have been keeping you from locking up." He takes a look at the exit. "Please allow me to escort you to your car."

Something to consider. A theoretical discussion to have with her brother at a later date. Chloe allows her eyes to go over every inch of the library before they settle back upon Michael again. To go with him, or stay in the relative safety of the books? "Actually," she says, hiding the nervousness in her voice with a smile, "Bobby'll be here soon to pick me up, since my car's in the shop."

Bowing again another ghost of a smile flashes across Michaels face. "Of course. I will no doubt see you again soon. Thank you again for ordering my book. It has been a pleasure to speak with you."

Nerves settle a little, and Chloe nods. "You as well. I'll call as soon as the book comes in." As she says that, she realizes how ludicrous that sounds. "At least the evening of the day it comes in. Have a good night!" She seems much more jovial now that she reckons he wasn't trying to lure her out into the parking lot for a quick snack.

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