Belmont Hotel - Suite 103B

The third suite on the first floor is devided in two rooms, seperated by a door with flaky paint. Right by the main entrance is a small rack on the wall to hang coats and hats, after which the living room extends. There's a couch in a corner barely wide enough to host two people, a single leather chair, a low side table and against the opposite wall a tiny desk with a single hardbacked chair. One square table with another two chairs forms all there is by way of dining area, right beside the open plan kitchen with a couple of cupboards, a sink, stove, microwave and fridge. Through the door, the bedroom is just wide enough to hold a double bed, a double closet and a shower unit shielded by a thin plastic wall and ditto curtain. Everything about the suite has seen better days, but is clean.

It's late afternoon, and after focusing on work for some time Oliver has grown bored, or at least he's lost interest in the work for a while. As such he's decided to surprise Jo, having left her with plenty of space since their last visit, he arrives dressed in his usual casual t-shirt and jeans, his usual innocent and what's intended to be charming smile in place; he balances a large pizza held in front of him, a large bottle of very good whiskey balanced on top of that. He shifts a little so he can tap the door a few times with his elbow before straightening up.

As usual, the aroma of nicotine wafts underneath the door long before the woman answers it, questioning brow in place. Still hasn't learned to use the peephole. But when recognition dawns, there's a ready smile, pleasantly surprised and Josephine takes the cigarette from her lips while throwing the door wide open. "Look what the cat dragged in…" she cheers, leaning in to plant a big smooch on his cheek. "Come in, come in!" Turning, she kicks a few bags to the side, the suite the usual mess of paper and ashtrays.

Oliver steps in as soon as he's invited, his smile becoming even wider as he spots Jo, he takes a quick look around the room, not surprised by the mess, he does however find somewhere to put the pizza. "I found myself with some of the best weed I've ever had, a bottle of the finest whiskey and absolutely nothing to do with my afternoon, so I went through the list of people I knew, and decided that I don't know anyone who would appreciate them as much as you." He shrugs a shoulder. "And since it's been a while, I thought I'd grab a pizza to top it off and see if you were interested in a visit."

See, now that just begs for a big sloppy kiss and when she breaks away, she's grinning wide, "I can highly appreciate your reasoning. How've you been!" There's not a trace of resentment over not having seen him for so long. Neither is there melodramatic clinginess. "Though," she has to warn," I'm afraid I'll be out in a blink. I've been clean and sober and very not high for over two weeks now…"

Oliver grins as the kiss, putting down the pizza on the nearest empty surface, he looks at Jo somewhat surprised. "Really? I never thought you the type to fast… Any specific reason or just a dry spell?" He lets his defenses down just enough to brush against Jo's, there's no effort to hide the fact that he's curious enough to try peeking. He removes the pack of weed from his pocket and places it next to the whiskey and then frowns. "If you've quit I'll be quite happy to get it all out of the way, and we can just share the pizza." He's giving off nothing but pure innocence.

"Like hell you will," she snickers, making a grab for the bag. He can peek, though he'll find her barriers firmer then before. Practicing? Still, he gets glimpses, of crossroads, of a past filled with struggling and a longing for an easy future. Maybe doing something completely different. Maybe doing it here. She drops down on the couch and sets the bag before her on the table. On second thought, rises again to fetch two glasses from the kitchen. "It's always how I do things," she explains meanwhile, "Sometimes I deal with stuff, sometimes I don't." And she's not above searching herself, but he knows that's her usual modus.

Oli's shields are as firm as ever, little gets out, his own efforts focused on expansion, his club's foremost in his mind as is making stronger business connections out of state. He nods with just a hint of his curiosity slipping through to his tone. "I'll tell you my plans if you' tell me yours… I might not get much from you, but I got enough to know you're thinking about it. And if you ever need someone to take your mind off your problems, I'm always just a phone call away."

Returning with two glasses dangling from her fingers, Jo is all lopsided smiles, hipbumping him when she passes, "That an invitation?" And flops down on the couch all over again, with plenty of room left for him to join. "Were you snooping around?" Not like she wasn't.

With a wide grin Oliver joins Jo on the couch with an arch of his eyebrow. "I suppose it is at that." He opens the bottle of whiskey with a chuckle, his own grin becoming a little more amused. "And you weren't? Like I say, we might as well share freely rather than spending the rest of the evening giving each other headaches while we bounce off each other's shields right?"

Josephine takes the bottle from him and starts pouring the drinks with a wide shrug, "Mmmh, might have a point hot stuff. But the thing is, I actually don't know. About anything anymore. So… You start?" She leans back, handing him his glass.

With a wide grin Oliver sips his drink. "Oh, nothing exciting for me, I'm opening a club, looking to expand into a few new fields maybe even buy out my current partners and go independent, but at the minute, it's all about getting the club set up, can't beat real estate after all." He looks at Jo again, he's surprised. "You never struck me as the type prone to doubts… Something must have shaken you up?" He leans back himself shifting in his seat so he can face Jo better.

There's a long pause while she drinks, considers words and reconsiders them again. "I was in a bit of a bad shape a couple weeks back," she murmurs in the end, the thoughtfulness in her eyes a little pained. "Did some stupid things. Drank too much. Smoked too much. Made a few deals I shouldn't have. And then found out that my one wish is but a fantasy." She glances up at him, "Did you know that we can't be glamoured?"

Oliver frowns a little at the statement, he seems to give it far too much thought before slowly nodding. "Yeah… I knew I couldn't but I never knew why, or that it had to do with 'us', guess it makes sense though." He studies Jo as he continues to think his expression thoughtful. "You do anything that still needs mending? I'll help if I can." Once again there's nothing but inoccent sincerity to his tone. "I don't know what I can do, but I'm there if you need anything."

"Mending?" Moving on to things she does get, she mentions around her glass, "Didn't know either, someone else confirmed it to me. Which… Still leaves me with one vampire I need to convince that by Jove, he glamoured me!" She finishes her glass with a wry smirk and leans over, picks up the bag and drops it in his lap. "Your turn."

Shrugging Oliver sips his drink, his tone mock surprised. "Well if you've still got any problems, that I can help with… I don't know what good I can do about helping with the glamouring, but I might be able to help you find some direction… If you're willing to talk." He shrugs as he reaches once more into his pocket and removes some papers rolling with a deft hand he continues to speak. "I know you're as secretive as I am, but honestly, even I know that sometimes decisions are easier to make when you speak them through with someone."

Tapping fingers on her knee, Josephine snorts audibly, "Nuh-uh, we moved on. Your plans, share hon." Like he's sharing the rest. Like the pizza, which she now pulls over to lift the lid and take a slice, biting. Silencing her right and good. And it's good, she groans her appreciation.

With a shrug Oliver sighs. "My plans… Well like I say, I'm opening a club… A strip club to be exact; I'm getting the judgement from everyone by the way." He grins as though he couldn't care less, which is the truth. "And through a combination of natural charm, good business and a few favours bought, I've managed to convince most of my partners to allow me to buy them out over then next… Well true, it's years, but still in three years… I should be free of any obligations to anyone." He smiles as he too grabs a slice of pizza. "Honestly, it's not exactly the most exciting my life's ever been."

"Not the most?" Laughing loud at that, mouth still full with pizza. She quickly pours two fresh glasses and holds hers up for a toast. "Oliver, my good friend, you're about to surround yourself with naked women 365 days of the year. What are you complaining about. Damn, you're about as bad as Hugo. Naked women making you money. Hello?"

Shrugging Oliver shakes his head. "It's not as exciting as you might think, anyone you'd be surprised how little time you spend out on the floor when you run a strip club… Strangely enough this isn't my first." He runs a hand through his hair. "It'll be fun don't get me wrong, and I'm more than happy with where my life's going, it just doesn't make for an exciting telling."

Slender fingers take his chin between them and she squeezes teasingly, "How 'blase'. Been there, done that. At least it's a plan, no? And I'm sure the men of this here fair city," she tries with her best faux Texas accent, "Will thank you on their knees for it."

Oliver shrugs, taking another bite of his pizza. "Honestly, I'll be as excited as any warm-blooded male, just as soon as the place is open, right now; well it's all dealing with construction workers, union reps and accountants." He gently takes the hand in his, holding it for just a moment before letting it go. "I can say with out a single doubt that this is the most interesting conversation I've had all week." He offers a smile to Jo. "So, speaking of plans… What's on /your/ list, you've got to have some ideas what you'd like to do?"

"Nope." Recurling her fingers around her glass. "Nothing." Beat. "Well, nothing that is any good anyway. I just don't know. I just know that this assignment isn't working. I don't know why, it never happened before. But it's like…" She purses her lips and snuggles against him for comfort, "It's like all this? The vampires, the shifters, the shit happening, it's… Ever poured salt into an open wound?"

Despite his general lack of empathy Oliver's actually quite good at comforting people, it's all about tone of voice and in this case simply offering the right amount of pressure in the hug, all cold and clinical from his point of view, but the effect is one of caring warmth. "Poured whiskey in a knife wound once…" He waves that away. "Mugging attempt, the first time anyone's ever actually tagged me in a fight." Again he waves that away. "And I do know what you mean." He lights the spliff that's been sitting rolled on his lap for some time now, taking a deep drag he offers it to Jo. "I've been in jobs where suddenly it feels like you're standing up to your armpits in quick sand and there's a pack of hungry dogs wondering if the rest of you wouldn't make a good snack." He sighs. "The question is, what other options can you make?"

Josephine takes whatever hug she can get, snuggling tighter, radiating gratitude that she at least has someone she can snuggle against, once every two months. "Exactly," she murmurs around a deep, deep drag. Savours the smoke, slowly expells. "Exactly…"

Oliver nods his expression thoughtful as he finishes his whiskey, he squeezes Jo's shoulder just a little tighter for a moment. "You need to work out who you know, what you can do and how that can make you money." He turns the glass in his hands as he looks at it. "And next time you're feeling down don't forget I'm generally good for some free weed, a pizza and some…. Well not so cheap booze, not to mention I like to think I'm at least a good sounding board for you."

"And there's the sex," she adds to his list of redeeming qualities with a shrug. Another drag and she returns it to him. "You know, past weeks there've been so many times I just wanted to do nothing else anymore ever but drink, lose myself in that," nodding at the joint, "Or whatever it takes to happy buzz me and not deal with the complete waste of time that is my life."

Nodding Oliver grins, his tone becoming just a little too casual to be serious. "Well of course there's the sex, that goes without saying." He takes another drag on the joint himself. "So, lets list what your options are… You're not happy with the assignment find something else. What do you know, or what skills do you have that can be used to benefit you?" He takes another drag before passing the joint back to Jo.

"Good," she laughs her approval softly, accepting the smoke, flipping the ashes off. "Cause I'm not letting you out of here without." And he can take that serious or not serious as he wants. "Lessee…" Leaning a little away from him, but much more comfortable, "I can write. Do interviews. Oh, wait. I can read people's thoughts."

"So, look for another story. Get yourself something other than your assignment and offer it to highest local bidder… There's got to be a thousand stories out there for somemone who can pick brains." His smile becomes much wider and more mischievous as he turns to look at Jo. "Sounds like it's a good job I don't have any plans this evening then… In fact I'm free right through to tomorrow evening."

Josephine leans in for a kiss, murmuring seductively, "Maybe I should ask you for a job though I doubt that will extend my green card…"

Oliver pulls Jo to him, he kisses her for a couple of seconds and then breaks it off, still holding Jo somewhat close. "You want a green card? Hell I can get you citizenship within a week if you want it." There's no sign that he's anything but serious about this, but he doesn't give her long to reply before he's kissing her again.

This time it's her breaking the kiss, leaning her head back, pushing with her hands. "Say what?" Her mind is a whirl and not just because of the prospect of one hot night, shards of thoughts slipping, about the breathing room that will give her, but what about money, how will she make ends meet when the paper stops paying for the hotel and then what…

"I know people who can get the green card citizenship issue sorted. You find a job over here and I'll take care of the rest for you." Oliver flashes a grin. "I'm not giving you anything on a silver platter, but it should help if you can find one good story; there's got to be something even if it's just celebrity news for the Dallas Dispatch." He takes on an almost evil grin. "Or just find an editor with a deep dark secret and blackmail them." He doesn't seem to resist any effort to break the kiss. "I used to have a friend who had close ties to the media, but I can't be sure that we're on as good terms as we used to be."

"But that's just it. I don't know if I want to do this anymore." Not the kissing part which she briefly proves. "It's always just petty people with petty problems -unless they have a machete and try to kill you- and I'm done with that. I just want to do something normal for a change. Something real."

Sighing Oliver nods. "Well I can't help with normal." He shrugs. "I've never had a 'normal' job in my life. Personally, I think you need either a dream or a niche." He shrugs giving her one quick kiss before continuing. "I mean what is it you dream of?"

Josephine sits up higher, taking a drag and passing on the joint, then drinking heavily. "I don't think I ever had one," she shrugs. "It was always about survival or about getting by or about using what I already had. But look at my brother, you know. It comes so easy to him, mister big painter with the luxurious apartment and the money and the talent…"

Shrugging Oliver takes a drag of his own. "You've got talent… Your article was popular I mean they've had it translated." He shrugs. "We've just got to find a way to turn that talent into something you want" He sighs. "Never had an interest in any fields? I mean you could turn your ability to research onto other matters, and write about them?"

"Well…" she murmurs, rising higher so she can swing a leg across his lap, grinning down now, allowing her teeth to graze his ear before she drawls into it, "There's one thing I want and have an interest in…"

Taking one last drag of the joint Oliver places it in the ashtray as Jo swings her leg across him, he leans forward nuzzling her neck. "Really? Maybe we should focus on that for now? I mean, we'll have plenty of time to discuss the rest later right?" He reaches up slowly undoing the zipper of the vest, while his other hand pulls her to him. "So, same game plan as before? We let those feelings bounce back and forth?"

Josephine groans her approval under her breath, chuckling with delight, "I'll apologize to the neighbours tomorrow…" He'll find her not hindering his unzipping, the woman wiggling her intentions to him before she seeks his mouth again. "Much. Later."

~ FIN ~

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