The Witching Hour?

ARtistik Talisman Studios

It's an art studio. A cluttered, bohemian, art studio. One wall is a mess of various artwork and trinkets, mirrors, clocks, a small shelf filled with art books and records, old lamps, fans; pretty much everything the resident artist has ever worked on or treasured. To the right of the studio is a wall filled with neatly organized drawers filled with paints and brushes, several easels with unfinished paintings, a small pottery wheel and kiln, a sculpture stand, and a table filled with implements to create jewelry.

Just shortly after five o'clock in the evening, the slowly fading sunlight is filtering through the windows of ARTS. The space inside the studio is a neat clutter — if such a thing exists. Nothing too messy, but the wall directly across from the door is a hodge-podge of recent work, sentimental pieces, and antiques. None of which are for sale, but just add to the flair and eccentricity of the building. The owner of the studio can easily be found as she's standing right in the middle of the studio, atop a large drop cloth filled with splotches of paint.

Scarlett frowns at the piece in front of her, trying to get the shading just right. It's actually a commission piece, and not one of her spell-woven ones. The face should be easily recognizable to anyone in the city that pays any semblance of attention to local politics — it is a portrait of McNaab.

It was an early day for Carter, surprisingly. With a few hours to spare before the 'date' at Bean Scene, Carter has just finished his errands and is now checking out a studio he's heard much about but has never had the time to stop in. He's dressed fairly casually; a grey cotton t-shirt, dark denim blue jeans, and a pair of red sneakers. When the blond enters and sees Scarlett in the middle of the room, obviously working on a painting, he pauses and looks like a deer in headlights for a few moments. "Oh. I didn't realize this was YOUR studio. …How could I not know that?"

One thing Scarlett is good with is distractions. A wonderful thing to be good with, since it's most difficult to work on a piece of art, and deal with shoptalk all that the same time otherwise. Adding a simple line beside the face, she turns to face her patron. "Park Boy!" The brush is dropped to the cloth, a messy gesture but she can clean up later. "Likely because my brother never talks about me?" Hands wipe down the front of her paint smock and she says, "Well come on in. Don't be shy now that you know the place is mine. Were you looking for something in particular, or just browsing?"

"That could be it, yeah. Fontane doesn't want anyone to know he has sisters. Or that he has a human family. I think he would prefer us to think that he sprung from Zeus's head." Carter grins at Scarlett and moves a little closer into the room, shaking his head. "No, I'd been hearing about this place for a while and thought I would stop in. I'm shocked to see you here. Except I'm hiding it better than I thought." Carter takes a few steps forward and timidly peeks at the canvas that Scarlett's been working on, smiling at her. "Mayor McNaab? He's a lot more attractive when you paint him than he normally is. Because he's normally not at all."

"Well the names fit, technically." Athena, Artemis, Apollo, Diane — the middle names of the Fontane brood. Carter may not know this though. "My little studio is getting a name?" That brings a grin to the woman's face. "Good things, I hope? I don't generally get a steady stream of business, but what I do get is enough to pay the bills." Definitely less power-hungry than her brother. "Oh thank god he's recognizable. He's a commission piece from the city. That was a hard bid to get. They're going to hang it up down at City Hall when it's finished."

Judging from the momentarily baffled look on Carter's face, he certainly doesn't know about the middle name choices. Because if he did, he'd probably tease a certain someone almost relentlessly. "I've heard a few good things about it, yes. I hope that Mayor McNaab is paying you well for this. Has he sat for you, or did you use a photo as the basis? It's good." Carter reaches up to scratch at the back of his neck as he looks around the studio again. "City Hall? Nice." He seems genuinely impressed by this, smiling at Scarlett for a moment before he moves over towards some of her jewelry.

Scarlett points to a small bulletin board not far from the painting. It's chock full of pictures of the mayor, in various poses and stances. "I don't do well with real life portraiture. I prefer still images, as they can capture so many different sides of a person just based on their expressions in a situation." Makes it easier to work without sitter distractions such as fidgeting as well. "Thanks. To be honest, I don't really care about the payout." Someone didn't bother to read the commission contract. Just signed it. Removing the smock, she hangs it carefully on a hook and then moves over to the jewelry as she pulls her hair down from a ponytail. "This is just the mundane stuff. The more intricate work is up there," she mentions, pointing up at the small rack on top of one of the shelves.

"I might have to get something for my baby sister. It's not really so much that she likes jewelry, it's more that she likes shiny things. She has a bit of a… questionable attention span." Carter can't help but laugh at that before shrugging his shoulders, nodding to Scarlett. "Nice set up you've got here. If I…" He starts to slip up and say, 'If I had any friends, I'd be sure to tell them about you'. Instead he flushes a bit and coughs into the palm of his hand. "If I hear of anyone wanting to know where to buy handmade crafts, I'll direct them here. A lot of people are really into that nowaday."

"I definitely know how that is. Helen's pretty much the same." She reaches up to pull down the more intricate and more magical jewelry. "Thanks. It took a lot of part time jobs to save up the cash for this little piece of heaven. It may not be in the best area of town, but it's mine." She laughs a bit at his nowaday, and then settles the rack onto the small table that she puts it on when she's expecting witchy clientele. "Feel free to look it over. I'll give you the friends and family discount, if you don't mind me slipping into the apartment to get ready for later."

Carter grins. "Sometime we should get them together. Though that may be a feat. Marina is still in Colorado. As far as I know." He says the last bit somewhat distractedly, allowing his thoughts about Marina to catch up to him. After a moment or two he snaps back to reality and takes one of the magical bracelets, glancing to it a little bit. He looks at Scarlett thoroughly. "This isn't like other bracelets." He pauses, before he grins. "It's much prettier. You're a good jeweler. And sure, you can slip into the apartment. I promise to keep my kleptomaniac habits in check."

Scarlett laughs and shakes her head at him. "I know how that is as well. I thought Helen was still in Maryland until she appeared on my doorstep." She begins to slip into the apartment, and then smiles. "Thanks. I tend to take more time with those particular items. Let me know if you see anything you like, I'll be right back." Really she's just running back to wash away some errant paint and throw on a bit of makeup. A total of ten minutes max.

Hearing the similiarities between siblings concerns Carter. "Uncanny. And that's a possibility I don't even want to consider, really." Marina at his doorstep? He loves her, but oi vey. "Alright, I'll be down here…" Snooping around and trying to figure out if these are in fact magical or if it's just her that's leaving him with that odd feeling. He waits until she's gone before reaching out for a necklace. His fingers skim each of the pieces, gritting his teeth in contemplation. "I knew it," he mutters.

Upon returning, Scarlett has donned a blouse over her usual working tank-top. Her hair has been brushed out, and she's wearing a little more makeup than before. Leaning against the doorframe, she watches him for a moment. Not saying anything while he goes over the pieces. She's merely awaiting the confrontation that is surely about to come. It's happened with every non-familial witch that's ever come into the shop.

Carter replaces the jewelery quickly, save for the one he initially picked out. When he spots Scarlett, he smiles at her and makes her way over to her. If he's right, it won't be so bad. If he's wrong… he's going to look like an escaped mental patient. "What does this one do?" Carter asks, showing her the bracelet before he takes a beaded black bracelet from his own pocket. "Takes one to know one."

Scarlett already knew, thanks to Ivan and his feelings. Rather, she had an inkling that it could be the case. "I wouldn't have shown you if I didn't want you to know." She takes a look at the piece, and laughs. "That one actually is just a general protection spell. Those are the ones I sell the most of." With more special items made on request. "There are earrings that match it."

"That's a relief. I'll take the earrings too. To be honest, I'm just feeling a little lazy. Usually I make jewelry for Marina myself…" He slips the black bracelet onto his wrist and eyes the rack, then Scarlett once more. "I'm a protectionist myself. If there's a name for this sort of thing… other than the most obvious one." Witch. He's hesitant to say it aloud despite the fact that they're all alone. "My sisters… they're not… you know."

The bracelet is given another look, then Scarlett moves to the rack. She fingers over the earrings, until she pulls a pair down. "Protection from vampires." Glamours, bites, the whole lot of it. "These are one of my favored colors, to be honest." The cubic zirconia in the earrings glinting nicely in the studio light. "She'll love them. Let me get you some boxes." The earrings are shifted to the hand with the cast on it, and she moves to another little table, extracting two silver-toned boxes. One for the bracelet, the other small enough for the earrings. Then he's mentioning his siblings, and Scarlett struggles with the truth for a moment. "It runs in the family." The truth, but not coming outright and accusing Ivan of having abilities.

Gift boxes. Carter didn't even think of them. He may be buying a girl jewelry, but he probably would have just mailed them in a manilla envelope and hoped for the best. The revelation of that causes him to bring his palm to his forehead. He puts the bracelet down where Scarlett can wrap it up, chuckling. "Ivan too? I've always felt a little strange around him. Though considering the fact that I tend to avoid him and all, I just assumed it was indigestion. Runs in our family too. My sisters just weren't 'blessed', I guess."

It actually takes a bit of work to get the bracelet into the box, but only because she's trying to balance everything and take care of it all with her left hand. Once the box is closed, Scarlett offers them both to Park Boy with a smile. "I can get you a little bag as well if you want?" Without waiting for an answer, she's already moving to get one that will hold both boxes. "Mmhm." A sort of non-committal noise, that could be taken as a yes to his question. "I sincerely hope that you don't feel indigestion around me."

"The bag would be nice. Can't have everyone know that a manly man like me is buying jewelry." Not to mention muggers, and the fact that Carter is a little ADD himself. He laughs at Scarlett's suggestion as he pulls his wallet out, not forcing the subject of Ivan's witchdom. "Indigestion? You? I think when you get it around a girl it's called butterflies or something. I'm not really the expert, but. Just my understanding of the situation. So, what is all this about a hamster? And do you want to take my car or yours?" His 'new' car isn't so new. It's pretty awful, really. But it's functional, which is what matters most.

West Dallas is known for its muggers, which is why it's very odd for her to have a shop here, but it was the most cost-effective location. The nondescript bag is produced. It's carefully held open for him to slip the boxes into. "Are you flirting with me, Park Boy?" Scarlett grins at him, and shakes her head. "No, consider it a gift, please. From one older sibling to another." As he brings up the hamster, she makes a face. "It's a long story. To make it short, my brother's girlfriend's hamster had babies and they're trying to give me one. I… have issues with cages and well, I want it to have a good home." She has no issues with the hamster being in the cage, it has more to do with her claustrophobia. "Your car if you don't mind dropping me back here afterward." Otherwise, she can take her own and just meet him there.

Carter seems to consider Scarlett's inquiry quietly for a moment or two as he pulls two twenty dollar bills out of his wallet and leaves them on the counter. "oh, I wouldn't call it flirting. I would call it more… flirty banter. Unless you want it to be flirting. Then it can be flirting." Carter flashes her a wide grin before he hears her words about taking it free of charge. "Jeez… I don't know. Are you sure? A lot of work went into these. At least take a twenty. For some new precious metals or something." He snatches up one of the twenties but seems intent on leaving the other one there. "Poor hamster. Sure, I'll take one. If only Marina were a little closer. She'd make a great hamster mom. And no other kind of mom, I hope. And no, I don't mind. Shall we then?"

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