Conan The Librarian

Preston Forest Shopping Center

The Preston Forest Shopping Center is large and classy. The entrance is open and spacious, a rectangular fountain surrounded by potted trees leading up the middle of the mall, with pathways on either side for shoppers. One can easily see both floors from here and the lighting is amazing - beside the typical electric bulbs, the roof is comprised of glass allowing the sunlight to filter in.
Shops and businesses spread out here both east and west as well as to the back of the mall. Hidden away in the back corner one can find the escalator to the second story, as well as washrooms and a bank of payphones.

Cool, overcast skies cause the Tuesday afternoon to look quite gloomy. The gloom doesn't seem to carry over into the Preston Forest Shopping Center though! In the center of the mall is a platform, one that looks as though it's being set up as a pageant. Red, pink, and white streamers are bunched together to make faux streamer flowers, which decorate the platform. A deep red curtain has been hung behind the platform to give it a shade of privacy from behind. Chairs have been set up in a semi-circle in front of the platform, and names have been set on some of the chairs.

Hailee is sitting at the edge of the platform, leaning back on her hands. She's having a wonderful day. Absolutely wonderful thanks to the hit of V she took this morning. She looks chipper, happy almost. Even as she says into her phone, "Don't know how you talked me into it. Judging, I could see, but this?"

The odd dissonance between the weather and the interior of the mall is something that doesn't escape Mischa for too long. He looks up towards the sky somewhat regretfully — his only day off in a week and it's total crap outside. When he gets inside the mall, he can't help but take immediate notice of the platform and decorative streamers. The man quirks a brow and moves a little closer, examining the set up. The names on the chairs get a look. Mischa is dressed a little more casually today — brown leather jacket, baby blue sweater, blue jeans, and substantial black boots. He hasn't bothered to shave either, giving him more than a slight five o'clock shadow. When he notices the blonde talking on her phone, he lifts a hand in semi-friendly greeting to her, though he's clearly curious as to what's going on.

Hailee waves back. Why not be friendly? She's definitely feeling friendly. Plus the wave makes neat colors - no really, it does. It's the V. "Yeah, I know. Get my face back out there. But a bachelorette auction? You'd have done better putting your little teen scene up there instead of me." Rolling her eyes in an exaggerated manner, she winks at the man.

..Bachelorette auction? This brings a definite blush to Mischa's cheeks. He watches the blonde with curiosity before he starts to realize that he's possibly being a bit of a creeper, wink or no. Rather than linger any longer around the young woman without a specific purpose, he turns his back and starts to head off into a book store to the left of where the platform is set up. As he walks, Mischa digs his wallet out of his back pocket and starts to rifle through it, eventually pulling out the 'club membership' card to the book store he's entering. Once he's inside, his eyes still flicker back towards the blonde. Doesn't he know her from somewhere, maybe?

From somewhere, maybe. Magazines, advertisements, a stray music video or two perhaps. When the call concludes, Hailee slips off of the stage. She stretches, then looks around the mall. Book stores aren't really her thing, but she may as well go and invite the poor eavesdropper. He's not horrible on the eyes, though he'd likely throw a fit if he found out what's really got her in such a good mood. "So," she starts out upon entering the store, "skulk around here often?" Quite the obvious little tease, based upon tone of voice and cutesy facial expression. "Or were you just trying to figure out who I am?"

There's a bit of hesitation and disbelief when Mischa realizes that the blonde is in fact talking to him. HIs cheeks redden just a bit, but he puts down the cookbook he was holding and flashes a smile at her. "A little bit of both, actually. You seem terribly familiar, but I think I would remember you if you went to one of my language clubs or if you came to the library often…" He trails off there and turns towards Hailee a little more, smiling at her. "Sorry, I just can't place you." Then he tilts his head and regards her again, the proverbial lightbulb going off above his head. "Oh! Of course! Magazines. I've cataloged them — you were on a few covers, weren't you?"

"More than a few," she says, highly amused that she wasn't immediately recognized - blame the V for her lack of divaness. Hailee holds out her hand, just to be friendly, "Hailee Rose, if you needed a name to go with the face." Winking at him again, she reaches over for the cookbook that he's put down, and then flips through it idly. "Planning something big for Valentine's day for your girlfriend? If so, you won't want this one. You'll want something like the Kama Sutra of Cooking."

"Ah." Mischa takes the offered hand and gives Hailee's a firm shake, nodding to her. "Mischa Alexandrov. Librarian. Not as glamorous as your job, I fear." He shrugs his shoulders afterward in a 'what can you do?' motion. He flushes somewhat as Hailee picks the cookbook up and begins to leaf through it, darting his eyes around the book store. "Oh, I'm single. Cooking is a hobby of mine. As for Valentine's Day… I don't have anything special planned. I've heard about some part down at that bar, Bloody Mary's. I was thinking I'd go there…" Suddenly Mischa cuts himself off as he realizes that he's rambling — and that a very attractive woman has mentioned the Kama Sutra to him. Despite the fact that it was in cookbook references, he still blushes crimson red and coughs into his hand.

"Washed up model is glamorous? News to me," Hailee says, letting it go with a small laugh. At the mention of Bloody Mary's, she pauses in her flip through the book. "Ah, the vampire bar? Never been myself. Heard they were having some big bash." Setting the cookbook back on the shelf, she leans up against it all nonchalant like. "Tell you what, Mischa Alexandrov, Librarian. Why don't you come to the auction tomorrow night, bring a friend if you want. At least that way, you won't wind up going to the bar alone on Valentine's day. It's for a good cause, they're raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation."

There's another pause as Mischa reddens. "A vampire bar? Oh." Yep, clearly he had no idea it was a vampire bar. Nevertheless, he seems to take it in stride, smiling at the blonde. When she invites him to the bachelorette auction, his eyes widen considerably. "I'm afraid I wouldn't do anyone any justice with the meager amount I have to bid, but it might be interesting. And I didn't have any other plans, so…" Evidently no one has ever told Mischa it's a good idea to exaggerate one's social plans or make it at least seem like they have a life. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair. "I wouldn't say you're washed up. You look quite, uh, not unwashed, but you know. Lively."

His reactions get another laugh from the model (ex!), and she shakes her head. "Career wise, I've been put out to pasture. Happens once you hit the twenty-five mark or so. Sometimes earlier." Sometimes, because you've got a wee bit of an issue with substance abuse. Hailee taps her fingers against the shelf, offering her prettiest smile to the man. "I'll front you the cash. I figure if they're going to market me off like a piece of meat, there may at least be one friendly face in the crowd." Wink. "Besides, it is Valentine's Day, and spending it alone at a vampire bar is just asking for trouble."

The man seems to consider her words for a long moment before he nods to her. "Alright then, you have yourself a deal, Miss Hailee. Of course I can supply some of the money myself. It hardly seems right to make a girl bid on herself…" The entire set up doesn't seem right to him on some level, but he's not going to say that. It's not often that Mischa gets a very lovely ex-model offering to go on some kind of date with him. To a vampire bar, nonetheless. "So this is tomorrow night, here? Same time, same place? Is it formal or should I come just looking a little more presentable?"

"Hah! You don't have to bid on me, but I know it won't be any fun to just sit and watch without doing any bidding yourself." Hailee has been to a few of these, reversed of course. "There will be plenty of women up for auction, in fact," she teases in a slightly sing-songy voice, "there may even be one who knows the Kama Sutra of Cooking inside and out." Winking, she gives him a quick once over. "Same Bat Time, Same Bat Place, Same Bat Channel… and no super formalities. If there were, we wouldn't be hosting it in a shopping mall, I don't think." Glancing through the shop window, she looks at the stage, focusing on it for a second. "I'll just add your name to the seats we have left available in the first two rows."

Mischa continues to flush at Hailee's words, smiling at her. "It really wouldn't be fair if I didn't bid, and it's for a good cause. So, if I win you, does that mean that you're… oh, how should I put this so that it doesn't sound nefarious… mine for the night? That still sounds incredibly wrong. I apologize." He does seem genuinely apologetic about it. Then he laughs quietly. "Yes, I guess you're right. If it were more formal it wouldn't be in a shopping center." He reaches up to rub the back of his reddened neck for a moment, nodding to Hailee. "Thank you, that would be appreciated."

"Me, or whoever else you might win," Hailee replies, winking at him in a horribly flirtatious manner. Something about his mild-mannered shyness is just making her want to tease him all the more. "'course, leaving that task up to me might just put you front-row-center, and then you'd be red enough to match the stage…" A sly smile begins to form upon her lips, and she leans in a little closely, to whisper, "By the way, it's being sponsored by Victoria's Secret…" Then she leans back to enjoy watching the blush creep up into his cheeks again.

If full-scale blushing is what Hailee wants, it's what she gets. "My. That's… really quite interesting. I didn't know that Victoria's Secret ran such charities. Good for them!" He says in a genuinely appreciative tone. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair — evidently something of a nervous habit with him. Mischa smiles at Hailee while chewing his lip. "Uh, the seating doesn't really matter." He turns to look down at his wristwatch, clearing his throat quietly. "So, this time tomorrow then. I don't think I'll bid on anyone else, I mean… I'm a one man kind of woman." Pause. "No, no. I mean one woman kind of man. Rest assured, I'm totally male." Mischa gets that look on his face. One that says he might die of mortification.

The poor man. Hailee is not generally this awful with people, but he's just adorable when he gets all flustered. "Ah, well, it's not so much that they're running the charity, I don't think, as much as it's free advertisement for them due to a generous donation of clothing and money to help set the event up." No one is that altruistic in this day and age, at least not in so far as the model (ex!) has seen. "This time tomorrow, and best of luck on your bidding, Librarian."

Mischa nods to Hailee. It'd be a wonder if he was hearing anything she was saying at this point, such is the pounding of his heartbeat in his ears. "Absolutely. I should go now and…" What did he even come into the mall for in the first damned place? He doesn't seem to know. "Right, I need to pick something up down there." There's a long moment where he does nothing, save for pointing at the far end of the mall. "So… thank you for the invitation! I'll be here." With that, he's beating a hasty retreat out of the store. It takes him a few moments of walking towards a clothing store before he stops and mumbles to himself, "Mischa, what did you just agree to?"

She cannot hear the heartbeat pounding, or feel it, but she knows well enough when someone is uncomfortable. Hailee bites playfully on the right corner of her lip, and nods. "Tomorrow, you're welcome, enjoy your shopping." Hmm. Maybe being paraded about in the new line up for this bachelorette thing won't be as awful as she first thought. At least she can potentially make someone's Valentine's Day a little brighter. She'll just have to be on her guard at the vampire bar is all.

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