Matter of taste

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.

It's another horrible day if you're a sunny, palm loving kinda person, as it is snowing outside and freezing cold. The floor in the mall is a little wet with all the melting snow people walked inside, but at least it's warmer. It being after sunset, the center doesn't host the masses of the day, but still it's far from empty. Take the young woman for example, dressed in casual business attire, navy blue and beige, despite the impossible heels. She's wearing a rather smug little smile as she comes around a corner, adjusting a small bag around her right shoulder. Or the fifty-something man now walking around the same corner, his mildly confused feet not sure where they're going, glazed expression only slowly clearing.

Young has spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing - at least, he has yet to do something worthwhile. Instead, there was paperwork at the department to be looked over much to his chagrin, lackluster patrol, and then there was the time spent at his home, uneventful. This has led him to flock about the local shopping center, walking rather aimlessly and for the time being merely window-shopping, one kiosk and look at a time. In spite of the snow and cold, he's dressed relatively lightly. The heaviest adornment over his body is a leather jacket, atypical, but he's no human to begin with.

It's this one particular corner that has him pause around. It's not that the fifty-something or the twenty-something year olds cause alarm with his senses; but, he stops. Right then and there, the man inclines his head and then lifts a hand. "Excuse me," he starts, to the gentleman, "Got the time?"

The gentleman (for he really is, burberry shawl and woolen coat and all) needs a moment longer to register he's being spoken to than you'd expect someone to react, but when he does at last, he does so with a bemused little smile. "Of course, it's…" And he checks, the expensive watch all rich leather and gold, "A little to seven." The woman stopped at the window opposite them, a little boutique selling expensive, chique clothing for women. She hesitates, and of all things looks left and right, but not a person is watching her.

"Ah," it's just a brief exhale on the part of Mister Young, but he commits to waiting for the gentleman to respond and saddles a brief sidelong glance to their immediate surroundings in the process. There's a light inhale, deepened only enough to mask his catching of scents, before he focuses back on the gentleman. "I see now, thanks. These watches of mine - can never hold the time quite well," and though James doesn't have a watch quite as fine and luxuriant, the werewolf does correct his own wristwatch with a swift winding, polished metal and black. Out of idle curiosity, he nods to the rich watch. "If it's not of too much bother, where'd you fetch that one?"

"Oh, Paris," the man smiles willingly, though condescendingly. "You wouldn't know it." Checking briefly to see if that's all, he goes about his way, though again he frowns a little, not quite sure why he was leaving the center again, but vaguely aware there's probably a good reason somewhere. The woman meanwhile, and there's no mistaking for some people who or what she is, is checking the contents of her bag, her eyes dark with lust over a sweet little number in the window.

"I, okay," James leaves it at that - it would not be his place to be a disrespectful young whippersnapper and go about correcting the gentleman, leading Young to merely smile appreciatively and nod. With that done and taken care of, his watch and the inquiry into the other man's watch, the off-duty officer corrects the length of his sleeve and covers it back up while turning his attention to the woman. He jabs his right hand's thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the casually fleeing man. "Friend of yours, Miss?"

The motion catches her attention from the corner of her eye and Susan turns, her eyes meeting his, down to his toes and back again. Only then she passes a fleeting glance at the departing man. "No," she smiles, her voice melodic and light, "Little old for my taste." She inhales, amusement dawning in a corner of her mouth. "Why would you ask."

James lowers his hand and alongside the disappearing gesture, as crude as it was to begin with, he lowers his chin as well at the passing over of gazes, his narrowing just briefly and questioningly. Then, he relaxes the movement and lifts his chin a bit while shifting his hands into being buried into the side pockets of his jacket. "I enjoy the thought of calling it a detective's intuition," comments the man in return, royally so, with the faintest marks of an overseas accent, British, which holds his tones aloft, "Among other things."

"No doubt," the woman drawls, tilting her head just so. Well, looking up mostly, height never was hers. "Pretty trustful, that intuition of yours?" she grins wider, "After all, a little cub needs to hold on to something…" There's a trace of an East End accent filtering through the cracks. She re-shoulders her bag and folds her arms, but not sternly. "Was there something you needed?"

James debates smiling or not when labeled a cub and it leads him to look briefly crossed before returning to his slight dubious look; then again, he looks at the woman more closely once again before glancing aside at a wandering figure in the distance. "I like what I hold onto, so yeah," that was a silly response, but at a lack of retort he is left with that. It still makes him feel suddenly stupid. He pauses. "No, not particularly, just a passing thought. I could ask for your autograph, if you want, but this -cub- is a little wary of your -tastes-."

Her chuckle sounds only too human, only too teasing, "What do you know…" The amusement filters easily into her eyes and looking rosy and animated like this, there's little of the stiff emotionless vampiry appearance to her. "You read the magazines now, don't you love." Definitely East End. "Then why do you seem so worried about my tastes, mmh?"

James eases his shoulders into a lightened shrug and shifts his weight from one boot to the other, leaning forward so that the conversation may continue at a more candid pacing. Still, with the visible height difference between the two of them, that is not at all impossible. "I would like to think because of human volunteers, so to speak," he pauses and then holds out his right hand, casually, "Forgive my manners, at least - Officer Young, though, I prefer James when off-duty."

"Oh, but… James," she acknowledges, not accepting his hand though, "Do you really think that I, AVL spokesperson, am gonna say anything, anything at all about drinking straight from the vessel to… Anyone?" She shakes her head, bemused, "The answer's in the bottle and you know that. Now, if there's anything else I can help you with?" And no, she doesn't give her name, perhaps figuring he already knows.

James stiffens his expression just long and just hard enough to make it visible, but at least it is nothing of contempt or hatred, more bemused and lightly taken aback by the lack of relatively formal greeting. "I had hoped for something deliciously racy," readily responds the man before withdrawing his hand and placing it back into his jacket's pocket. He shakes himself a bit, just enough to allow the somewhat thin material to settle back down against his torso; amazing, how such little clothing keeps him warm. He just may be a superman, thus states his ego nonchalantly. He briefly counters, "Beyond a casual question and idle curiosity?"

"Not at all, I believe," Young blinks once and then once more, shaking his head casually alongside the answer. He steps aside in order to allow the woman a proper departure. "I aim to be reassured the answer stays within the bottle, for the most part."

But she doesn't just yet, her study of him a little more intrigued. "…Racy? You… Expected me to jump you? James, really…" She moves a little closer -she has to round him to enter the shop in the first place- and lowers her voice, the sentiment still so sweet and teasing, "Have you ever heard of a vampire jumping a were? Black /or/ white."

"Well, bad phrasing on my part - damn - no, more along the lines of…" His gaze and expression trails off as he tries to come up with a proper word, but Young then straightens out and directs his attention back down towards Susan. Now he's back and focused, offering a stiff shake of his head in response. His tones drop just as well and they leave him thickly speaking up in return. "I'm sure worst things have happened over time, ma'am."

Susan drops her voice to a whisper, before she brushes past him, "Maybe you'd do well to remember that…" There's no blur of movement, however. Maybe it's the heels. She just walks by, aiming for the front door to that exclusive boutique. Or not, if he moves to stop her.

Susan is watched after by Young for a passing, lingering moment before he scoffs at the half-threat. He moves his arms into being folded over his chest with a slow shake of his head. "Have a lovely evenin'," is wryly twisted past his lips, upholding the decency of before and returning to his conversationally respectful tones. There's a brief clench of his jaw, glance, and then he moves to leave: now he can't say his night was uneventful.

"Oh, likewise," he can hear her answer cheerfully, the smile she gives him from the doorpost wide and brilliant. The girl next door wiggling her fingers in adieu. Really, she does. Either there's issues, she has some serious personality fluctuations, or she's a pretty decent actress.

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