An Unexpected Visitor

Ravello - Bosch Apartment

At the top floor of the Ravello, this loft apartment is everything an artist could ask for. Spacious, open, with high ceilings and numerous windows and skylights which not only fill the room with natural light, but give it an open and airy feeling, the sky within easy reach. With the exception of the bathroom, the entire space is open with no walls. To the left of the entrance is a large kitchen done in silver-shot black marble with stainless steel appliances and a large floating counter dividing it from the rest of the apartment with stools along the far side for casual dining. Just past that is a dining table, large enough for six to sit comfortably, made out of warm chestnut wood with copper inset details. To the right of center is a raised platform 'room', the bedroom, with pillars at the two corners that jut out from the wall, heavy yet translucent curtains separating the sleeping area from the rest of the apartment. The bed dominates the space, with dressers flanking it and the bathroom leading off to one side. The rest of the apartment is free to be whatever one wants. At the moment there are a few comfortable couches and chairs by the bedroom area with an entertainment center for music and viewing pleasures. The rest has been blanketed in canvas drop cloths, a myriad of rolling carts and tables covered with paint tubes and pots, brushes, jars of mineral spirits, and a variety of other artist tools and utensils. Canvases are stacked up against a wall and a work in progress dominates the interior wall that is free of windows.

The phone call came earlier today, a message left on Josephine's answering machine. ~Hey you, it's me. Soooo, I was thinking dinner at my place. I'll cook. And you can come and bitch at me and tell me what it was that you came by for yesterday in style. Oh, and if you're going to bring cheap wine, don't bother. Unless of course you really like that stuff. Ugh. Kay, see ya later. Like 8-ish? *click*~ Not the most charming of invitations, but hey, she's his sister, Hugo doesn't have to be charming. And clearly he's expecting her, because the door of the apartment is cracked open, some sort of low-key jazz music wafting out the door along with the smell of something cooking. No, wait, check that … smells like something's burning. Hmmmm. Maybe it will be take out after all?

"Huug?" Called out quietly, not wanting to alarm the entire floor. When there's no answer, Josephine pushes open the door and steps through, an enormous bouquet of not-so-very-expensive flowers in hand. "Yoohoo?" Sniff. "Huug!"

As Josephine pushes the door open, the scent of burning food grows stronger, the music louder. The air around the kitchen is actually starting to get a little smoky from whatever it is that has been left on the burner to crisp into blackened nothingness. At first glance, it doesn't look like anyone is even in here. Second glance reveals a broken bowl in front of the stove, a toppled chair over by the dining room set. Third glance reveals two figures nearly hidden behind the forest of table and remaining chair legs, limbs tangled in what looks like a struggle, or possibly the end of one. Hard to say who is winning though.

"Shit!" The flowers land in a heap on the floor as Josephine dashes to the stove to turn off the heat. Always with the practical. She dumps the pan in the sink and starts the water, causing sharp hisses and steam to join the arid smoke. Next order of business? Legs. First check? Pantsless, or pants-on. "Huug!" Bellowed now.

From the kitchen Jo can just barely see the two figures by the disrupted table, which has clearly been, knocked askew, the angle off from it's usual parallel position to the edge of the black marble counter. That said, what is seen seems to be fully clothed. There are muffled, rough sounds of protest, a chair leg scraping across the floor as it is abruptly pushed, more and louder sounds of struggling before Hugo's voice calls out in a harsh gasp, "Jo! Run!"

And when did she ever take his advice. "Shit-shit-shit…" There's a long second of silence from her side, then a more deliberate, "Shit-shit-shit!" Defenses that became a habit in Sudan snap back in place years and years later, the woman reaching out mentally to get a picture of the person Hugo's fighting, while she grabs a chair on her side of the table by the back and lifts it over her shoulder - before she rounds the table, ready to smash in the brains of the person who dares to hurt her little brother. "Leave him alone!"

All that is in the front of Hugo's brain is a desperate urge to yell, the words circling around and around like birds trapped in a house, desperate to get out, dashing themselves against the walls and windows of his mind frantically, screaming ~GETOUTGETOUTGETOUTGETOUT~. But these words are not directed so much at Josephine as they are at his attacker it would seem, but something is stopping them from becoming actual words. And what that is becomes painfully clear when she calls out in defense of her brother. The man over him raises his head and snarls at her, fangs bared, mouth covered in what must be Hugo's blood.

"Ohfuck…" Nothing could have prepared her for this sight had she not been a psychic, the negative space the vampire's mind occupies finally registering. And the useless chair crashes to the floor, drowning her horrified gasp. Eyes as wide as saucers narrow once the situation really sinks in and fingers dart to her throat, ripping that thin silver necklace from her own throat, whipping it at her brother's attacker.

As the chain slashes across his face, the vampire screams and jerks back, snarling, incensed, a long thin line burnt into his flesh from his left temple, across one eye, the bridge of his nose, to the corner of his mouth. "Oh Jesus, no," rasps Hugo, his eyes wide and terrified, his throat bloodied, as he rolls toward the vampire, grabbing onto the creature and screaming now to Josephine, "Run! Run! Jo, just GET OUT!" And then, of all things, he rasps at the vampire, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, please don't hurt her, I'll never do it again, I PROMISE, just please don't hurt her!" This, possibly more than anything else, seems to cause the vampire to pause, rather than just ripping Josephine's throat out. Dark of skin and hair, his fangs seem all the more terrifying in contrast to his mahogany brown skin, standing out sharply white. He speaks, to Hugo, all the while staring at Josephine as he growls, "Who is she to you?"

Josephine stares right back, mostly at the vampire who she just doesn't dare to let out of her sight. She quickly takes a better, strategic hold on the chain and is just too flabbergasted to even speak. Instead, she risks a look at her brother, accusing. When she finally finds her voice again, it's to /growl/ at the dark-skinned being, "You leave my brother /alone/. Get out!" And without pause to Hugo, she orders, "Huug, revoke his invitation, /now."

Even though she's answered the question for him, Hugo replies softly, "My sister, she's my sister. Don't hurt her, just /don't/ hurt her…" The vampire in question hisses at Josephine's demands and commands, snapping back, "He is /mine/. His life is /mine/!" Lifting blue eyes to Jo's face, Hugo shakes his head back and forth, thinking as hard as he can, ~I can't… he glamoured me so I can't say the words…. just go, Jo, I'll be alright. He won't kill me…. Jesus, I'm sorry, I didn't realize…~

"He's /not/ yours," Josephine forces out, feeling her hands start to shake with her anger, though the danger of the situation, the danger of the vampire is keeping her temper rigidly in check. She takes a step to the side. "No man belongs to another, human or vampire. You'd do /very/ well to learn that. You leave my brother alone, or," and she's thinking at lightning speed now, "I will see to it that William Grant personally interferes." Her alto is reduced to the quietest threat. She nods to Hugo. "Anything will work Huug, not welcome. Get out. Revoked. In Dutch…"

Scowling, the vampire corrects in a voice thick with pride and anger, "I saved his life. It belongs to be until he can repay the debt of it." Taking a step over Hugo, as if to attack Josephine, the vampire pauses at her words, barely even noticing Hugo as he clings to the vampire's legs as if to stop him from advancing. But Jo's words shake her brother, the words inside his head shifting back to Dutch instead of English, speaking clearly in his mind and from his lips, "Je bent niet meer welkom." The vampire stiffens, staring down at Hugo in horror and anger, but his feet move against his will, pulling him away from the pair of humans, to the door, and out of it. He stands, impotently on the other side of it, glaring at them both before his eyes drop to Hugo's and he growls, "I'll see you later then to remind you of your debt…" And with that, he is suddenly gone. Hugo groans, rolling onto his side and then very cautiously sitting up, his frame trembling subtly with residual shock and fear. What is there to say, except, "… fuck…."

The chain she raised the moment the vampire stepped towards her now falls to the floor with a light tinkle, Josephine's fingers powerless. She sinks to the floor beside him, shaking visible as she feels her legs are about to give and maybe needing it more then Hugo himself, she reaches out and grabs him to hug him close. Tightly. That's when he can hear her start to cry, so softly since she's trying so hard not to, to be strong for him. "Oh Hugo…"

The two of them shudder into each other as Hugo's arms wrap around Josephine's body, holding her just as tight, burying his face into the crook of her neck. He doesn't cry, but he does tremble and cling to her for a long while, the blood on his neck staining into her clothes, though likely neither of them gives a damn about that at the moment. He rubs her back as she cries, murmuring over and over again, "It's okay, it's over, I'm so sorry, zusje, so so sorry…"

It takes her a good while to get a semblance of self control back, certainly when he starts to comfort her and the tears really flow. But in the end it's her anger that helps her out. Sharply she sits back on her heels and takes his face between her hands. First to get a look at the damage, glaring at the ugly sight of his skin damaged like that. The to stare him in the eye from up close, "You need to tell me Huug. I can fix this, but you need to tell me everything. What's his name. What does he mean he saved your life. What's the debt Hugo."

He looks a mess as she pulls him back to examine the damage done. His hair and clothes are mussed and rumpled, his face and neck smeared with his own blood, the fang marks still livid and stark, though he's no longer bleeding. His blue eyes meet hers, tired and defeated as he simply nods and murmurs, "Let me clean up, and I'll tell you everything… though I don't think it's something you can 'fix', precisely. Pushing his way back, Hugo staggers up to his feet, leaning on the back of one chair for a moment as he waits for a brief moment to regain his equilibrium before heading toward the bathroom, gesturing that Jo should follow. As he walks, he talks. "His name is Tareq. I don't even know if he has a last name. He's Egyptian. Or he's from Egypt. Not sure how relevant or not that might be." Walking into the bathroom, Hugo stares at himself in the mirror for awhile before his eyes flicker to Jo's reflection, holding her gaze there for a moment before he turns the faucet on and starts to remove his bloodstained shirt, dropping it to the floor. He turns his head, fingering the left side of his cheek, which is starting to show a bruise as he continues. "He really did save my life. In NY. Years ago now. I got mugged, stabbed. It was… bad. I don't know why, but he showed up. Killed my two attackers and… gave me some of his blood." He starts to shake his head before he thinks better of the idea, reaching back till he finds the bump that allowed Tareq to get as far as he did. "I don't think he was very clear on the whole 'debt' thing till just now. He's never done this before … he's never been like that before. He almost never feeds on me. Something about me being a man, not culturally appropriate or something. Too 'intimate'… maybe too gay? I dunno. But apparently he didn't like the fact that I left NY without telling him, that I was gone for so long. Said he was here to remind me that I belonged to him, that since he saved my life, I owed him my allegiance until I had repaid the debt." Wincing as he pressing lightly on the bump, Hugo notes wryly, "I made the poor choice of arguing that point with him. That's when he got nasty."

He can talk all he wants, but she's going to see to cleaning his wounds whether he wants to or not. Sometimes big sisters can be that commanding. Her ministrations are gentle however, first washing away the blood with a damp cloth, then applying anything she can find to prevent infection, imaginary or not. "Oh Huug, this is… It's bullshit sweetie. He's a lying son of a bitch who thinks he can con someone into a meal. But I'll tell you something. You listening? /Nobody/ does that to my brother. Nobody. I know vampires are big on the 'I owe you' but this is so far fetched not even Chloe would buy it." She turns his face gently to the side to figure if she did the best she could. "Simply put, you've been had bro." Her alto is quiet, rueful.

Turning, Hugo sits on the edge of the sink and allows Josephine the comfort of tending to him. If nothing else, it gives her something to focus on, right? Frowning Hugo replies, "Ummm, duh, I /argued/ with him, remember? But I don't think this is a vampire thing and it's /definitely/ not a feeding thing. Like I said, he doesn't like to feed on men, except when he's being violent it seems. Then it's … acceptable. Punishment. He was punishing me for leaving… I didn't even realize that he thought he 'owned' me till just now. He never said anything, never made a big deal of it. It was more like he just expected that I would know that, agree with that. I think it's more … cultural." He winces a little as she continues to clean him up, but doesn't make a sound. "I had the door open, in case you arrived and I didn't hear you. He rang the bell and thinking it was you I just said to come on in. Even then, I didn't think he was going to attack me. He never had before. But then he was clearly angry and we started to argue. That's when he backhanded me. Never even saw him move. One moment I was setting the table, the next moment my head was hitting it. I hit the floor .. I was dazed. He grabbed me, glamoured me, telling me that I couldn't revoke my 'invitation' and then he said he was going to mark me, remind me just who I belonged to." When she finishes, he takes the cold washcloth and holds it to his bruising cheek murmuring, "I think mentioning that name did something though. I don't think he's supposed to be here, or that he's allowed to be here. Kept insisting that I had to come back to NY now."

"It ought to," his sister nods slowly, but doesn't make a move to elaborate. "Right." Straightening, nudging him aside so she can wash her hands -doesn't even bother to check the ruinedness of her clothes but she never was a fashionista in the first place-, she asks simply, "Who do you know that can protect you." Beat. "/Really/ protect you."

"Protect me?" Clearly the idea seems bemusing to Hugo. "No one. I don't need protection. I know it looked bad, Jo, but he wasn't going to kill me. He just was showing his dominance. I made the mistake of not showing throat, so to speak, so he took it. Things will be a bit tricky while I try to figure out how to work this out, but I'll be alright. I'll be careful. I know some people who know some people. They can probably pull some strings back in NY, get the King of the city to pull on Tareq's reins." Hugo leans back against the mirror, tired in the aftermath of the attack, his adrenaline levels fizzling down to nothing once more. "It'll be okay Jo. Now that I know what I'm dealing with, I'll handle it. That's what I do. I'm a survivor, trust me." ~I've been through worse…~ is the unspoken thought that passes through his mind fleetingly on the tail end of those words, but no details follow. Slowly easing off the counter, Hugo suggests, "Take out? Don't feel much like cooking any more … what do you like? Chinese? Pizza? Indian? Thai?"

"Oh, bullshit Huug?!" Briskly she shakes her hands dryer and grabs him by the shoulders to have him look at her. "How can you even talk about food - And while we're at it, how the fuck do you know about kings, mmh?" She shakes him briefly. "This isn't going to be over like that. Now I may not know him as long as you have, but I know a murdering asshole when I see one. And I'm not going to let you blundering into your death. Now. Answer me. Kings? What do you know Hugo. And HOW."

Bright blue eyes lift to stare up into Jo's face, gazing though his bangs as he notes practically, "Jo, I just lost a fair amount of blood. Naturally the best thing to do is to eat. And since dinner is burned, delivery seems like the next best option." His mouth opens and closes a few times at her question, blinking as he murmurs, "Like I said … I know people who know people. NY is like that. Apparently the King of NY likes my art. Not that I've ever met him, or know his name, but I hear stuff. I don't know any details, I just … hear stuff. I pay attention." He frowns a little, straightening up as he notes, "I'll remind you that I managed to survive living in NY for /years/ on my own, on the streets even. I'm not /blundering/ anywhere, let alone my own death." Slipping off the counter, Hugo head toward the door noting as he passes, "I'm ordering Chinese. I could kill for a decent dumpling right now…."

Josephine watches him walk away, but she doesn't comment, and if he looks back, the worry marking her face speaks volumes. Quietly still she allows herself to sit back on the floor, fingers out of habit reaching for the little anchor, but, of course, finds it missing.

Turning, Hugo's expression changes from weariness to worry, crossing back and crouching down next to his sister, hands resting on her shoulders as he looks into her eyes. Leaning in, he hugs her again and just holds her close, resting his uninjured cheek against hers quietly. Pulling back he murmurs, "Come on … lets eat, do something normal okay. I could use a little normal right now," he confesses, some of that tamped down fear and uncertainty reflecting within his eyes. Who says sisters have the corner market on protective urges. Hugo talks big, but that doesn't mean he feels big. His eyes flicker down to her throat before he tugs and says, "Come on … I think you dropped it by the table…"

Then his concern might be fueled what he can see in her eyes, a determination dawning when she notices her little brother so scared, so insecure. She allows herself to be helped up, tell him so so quietly, "Not you Hugo, I won't let him. You're the one with the talent, you deserve so much more. I promise you that."

Stopping, the momentary gleam of fear and uncertainty fades away, his lips quirking into a self-deprecating smile as he corrects, "I don't deserve anything more than anyone else … and you have talent too. You're a writer. That takes talent." He kisses her cheek, resting his brow against hers as he rumbles, "Zusje, don't get involved. He's already angry enough with you. I can handle this. I'll figure it out." There's fear and worry again, but now it is directed at Josephine and her well-being. As they reach the table, Hugo bends down carefully, snagging her necklace on his fingers and handing it back to Jo as he murmurs, "I think it's time I buy some nice silver jewelry. Maybe a silver Rolex as well…"

"I have fr-" Jo bites on her lip, unable to get the lie out. "I know people too, you know." Nope didn't sound sulking at all. Ahem. She sighs deeply and pulls back a chair to heavily sit on as she checks the broken lock of her necklace. And the missing anchor. Tiredly she lets her eyes do the searching. "And don't you dare buy a Rolex, that's so…" Making a face, she mutters, "Cheap." So there's only one solution. "I'll show you a few shops I kinda know." From the outside only most likely.

Taking a seat as well, Hugo grins at Josephine and muses, "I'm sure you have far more interesting contacts than I do." But when he realizes that the anchor is missing, he drops down to the floor again. At least there is no carpeting for the small charm to get lost in. Blue eyes flicker and dart till he murmurs, "Ahhhh, gotcha…." crawling under the table for a moment before emerging again at Josephine's side, offering her the tiny trinket. "Rolex's are not /cheap/, but they are kinda tacky." His brow lifts quizzically at her offer, but he smiles and nods. "That would be nice. We can go shopping. I can get you a 'Your My Hero' present." He rises up carefully, holding onto the table just to be safe before padding off to pick up a menu and his cellphone. Handing the folded piece of paper, he starts dialing, asking, "What do you want to eat?"

"'Kinda'," his sister smirks, making it the understatement of the day. Gladly she slides the anchor back on the chain and pockets it, blood and all. Rubbing tired hands over her forehead, smearing a drop at her temples without realizing. "And no pres-" Well, maybe she'll decide differently at the time. When she looks up, she simply shrugs, "Call me funny, but I'm really not that hungry anymore, so… Whatever? Just… Nothing expensive. Please."

He nods and steps toward the kitchen, talking softly into the phone to place the order before returning with a damp washcloth. "Hold still," he rumbles, catching her chin lightly in one hand as he returns the favor and cleans Jo up with the other, wiping away the traces of his blood. He studies her face closely before letting her go and sitting down, his expression sober and thoughtful. "Zusje … I need a favor. Will you stay here tonight?" His lips quirk into a quick wry grin as he reaches up and crosses his heart. "I promise there are clean sheets on the bed. I just … I don't want to take the risk that he might be lurking around, waiting for you to leave."

Looking up with big green eyes, his big sister smiles up, almost gladly, a corner of her lips rising in a half-smirk. "I'll watch over you," she nods, maybe intentionally misinterpreting his request. "And the couch is good enough, don't worry. I can sleep /anywhere/." She rubs her fingers over cleaned skin, showing her appreciation. "Maybe that's what you need, mmh. Someone to take care of things for you?" Coming out entirely too innocent.

Snerking, Hugo rolls his eyes and snipes back playfully, "The world will rest easy, knowing that you're on the case." He pushes off from the table and heads toward his bedroom, the sound of drawers opening and closing audible beneath his voice. "The couch is very large and comfortable, but the bed is more so on both counts. Comfortably fits four," he notes with a lascivious tone to his voice. But when he returns, he's changed into a waffle shirt and sweats that have seen better days. Comfortable. Comforting. He offers her a soft pile of clothes, noting, "You might want to get changed. You can sleep in these and I'll wash your clothes so you can wear them tomorrow." He smiles almost sweetly at her comment, shrugging. "I do pretty good, taking care of myself. I suppose we could always look after each other, though…"

"Yes, of course," she nods hastily, "Didn't mean nothing by it. Was just a thing to say, right." /Shrug/. Fingers pluck at her shirt as if noticing the bloody stain now for the first time and she eyes the clothes he brings with a little suspicion. "And… The couch will be /just/ fine." She gives him a stern glare telling him there's no way in hell she'll sleep in that bed of his. No way. Nuh-uh. Never. Nope. When hell freezes over. Just to make sure he gets the point, she adds, "Who knows what I'll catch in there…"

He gives her a complete whipped puppy dog look at her cruel words, gazing down at her through artfully tousled locks of his brown hair, which only intensify his boyish looks at the moment. Pouting he notes, "I'm very clean and careful. No cooties. But /fine/ you want to sleep on the couch, you can sleep on the couch. So what if I have nightmares and wake up all by myself in the middle of the night…. don't worry about me." In truth? Hugo is feeling pretty shaken by the night's events and the idea of having another person close by to sleep with is more than a little appealing at the moment. It seems that Hugo has utterly misinterpreted what Jo was hinting out with her whole 'taking care of' commentary. At her suspicious look, he notes, "They're /my/ clothes, so they might be a little big, but perfectly comfortable for sleeping in. Contrary to reports, I don't actually keep a wardrobe here for all my females guests, not a treasure chest of all the articles of clothing that they accidentally leave behind…"

Josephine ohs softly. And bites the inside of her cheek as she always does when pondering over a problem. "I…" Sigh. "Oh what the hell. But the moment you start sleepwalking and thinking I'm Amelie, you're /dead/." Just to get that underlined. She rises, scraping the chair back and shrugs out of the bloody vest. Her shirt follows, leaving her with just a bra for the moment. One that looks like it was bought on sale at Wibra. Cheap and practical. The embarrassment of it is soon hidden by a shirt of his. It's wide, but she doesn't need to roll up the sleeves much, even though she does. "Real dead."

Hugo makes a little 'ewww' face at the very idea of accidentally making out with his sister and notes, "I don't sleepwalk and I won't think you're someone else. Like I said, we can be miles apart in that bed. Not a problem." He turns away as she changes, the ringing of the doorbell good timing. He's careful to open the door and check and even then he doesn't invite the delivery guy in, just pays him and takes the bag. By the time he's returned, Jo is changed and decent and nodding he sits down and just pulls things out of the bag. It's all finger food - dumplings, crab wontons, beef skewers, and so on, so there's no need for plates or utensils. He opens the various boxes and dipping sauces and starts eating. Between the throbbing of his head and the unexpected blood donation, Hugo really needed this. He pushes a few containers toward Jo, noting, "You should eat something…"

Opening her mouth to comment on the food, Josephine snaps it shut again, for once letting him do his thing and she picks up a bit of something she doesn't recognize. Carefully bites it, but she'll give it the benefit of the doubt if he does. So, no, in the end she has to complain, "I told you nothing expensive. Really, can you listen to me for once? I know you got money, but do you really need to wave it in my face all the time?"

He stops in mid-bite, blinking in surprise before putting it down and looking down. "This wasn't expensive … but sorry. I didn't mean to upset you or embarrass you, Jo. It doesn't mean anything to me. I mean, I know what it's like to have nothing, to be living on the streets. And I know how fast this can all just disappear. So I figure, enjoy it while you can, right?" He picks up the dumpling and pops it into his mouth, chewing it down and swallowing before rising up, his chair scraping the floor. "I … I think I'll go to bed. Feel free to eat, or not. Your choice." And with that he turns and starts to head over to the kitchen to get something to drink and turn off the lights.

"Damnit, it's not as if I'm not grateful, but fo-" She swallows whatever she plucked from a box and maybe that's for the best. Disgusted, she looks at all the food on the table and starts refolding all the boxes, stacking them, bringing them to the fridge. Stating in a voice that doesn't leave room for denials, "I'm taking these with me tomorrow. I told you it was a mistake to order food."

Glancing over from where he stands at the sink, filling up a glass of water, Hugo smiles slightly and leans over to give Jo a peck on the cheek while he steals the box of crab rangoons from her hands. "Okay … all except these. We fight to the death over these." Opening the box back up, he sets it on the counter and dips one in some sauce before popping it into his mouth and crunching on it contentedly. "Zusje," he murmurs after he's finished chewing. "I don't want you to feel like you don't compare or something. This," he notes, gesturing about him, "is most likely fleeting success at best. It's only a question of time before I piss off the wrong person and become persona non-gratis. But what you do … that's meaningful. And important. And it's not like I haven't been where you are now. Even worse. I spent several years in NY living on the street, in shelters, or squatting illegally in abandoned buildings. I would never look down on you. But I know what it's like to be where you are, so I want to be generous. It makes me happy to give you things, even if it's just little things like a good meal once in awhile, y'know?" His head cocks to one side as he rumbles, "If you don't want me to, just say so and I'll stop. Promise."

First order of business, with raised brows, "Who's we." She goes about setting all the boxes in the fridge, not waiting for the contents to cool first. She didn't have a clue what she was eating now, won't have one tomorrow, ergo, food is food and you can heat it again and you can eat it again. Life can be really simple when you want it to be. "See, the thing is," Josephine murmurs when she finally closes the door, "It's not meaningful, not important. And it has gotten me nowhere but almost getting killed time and again. I think I'll pass. I think I'm done with it, you know. I don't need all this," a hand waves around, "But you've seen my place. Seriously. And it's not even mine. What's mine fits into a suitcase Huug. There's gotta be more?"

"The best things in life aren't things, zusje. It may be a stupid cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason … they're true. This?" he notes, waving his arms about all the excesses of the apartment. "Nice, but not necessary. The only thing I need is that," he sighs, pointing toward his paintings. "And people. Not /all/ people, mind you. Some aren't worth wasting ones time with, but some make it all worth while, y'know?" Hopping lithely up onto the counter, Hugo stares down at his sister and dips another crab rangoon, this time offering to her as he asks, "What will you do then, if you don't write? What do you want to do?"

Josephine looks at it, a little suspicious. Plucks it from his fingers the same way and breaks it in two, inspecting the inside of it before eating it. And she shrugs in the end. Food's food. "Sweetie," she murmurs around it, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, "With you it's different. You love what you do and you get paid god money for it. I only do what I can do and sometimes that pays some. And don't get me started on people…"

Laughing as she stares at his offering like it might contain poison, Hugo explains, "Crab meat, cream cheese, deep fried. In other words, the food of the Gods, you savage heretic." Shoulders shrug as he notes, "I didn't always get paid for it, and there well may come a time when I don't get paid for it again. If you don't like writing, then what do you like?" Reaching out he captures her hands, squeezing them lightly as he tugs her closer. His heels drum against the sides of the counter, like a little boy as he studies her face earnestly.

"Weeelll…" His sister raises her chin and puts on her best innocent smile, blinking up even, "A… Friend of mine is opening a strip club. Might give dancing a go? Said he's help me to a permanent green card if I could come up with a job." She squeezes his hands in return.

One brow rises, Hugo's smile both amused and dubious as he croons, "Stripping? Re-ally? Well, you have the body for it, I'm sure. And who wouldn't want to have men drooling over them and stuffing bills in your g-string? Ooooh, la la, that is the life." Winking he squeezes her hands again before pushing her back a little to that he can slip down from the counter. "Soooo, is it a sexy strip club or a sleazy strip club?" Picking up his glass of water, Hugo flips off the lights of the kitchen and starts moseying toward the bedroom, which softly glows in the darkness from behind the heavy curtains that surround it.

Chuckling, Josephine looses the innocent and shakes her head, "Not sure what Oliver's choice would be, whichever makes the most money I think? You'd love him, he's got /the/ most amazing weed." Stuffing her hands in her pockets, she smirks, "But nah, I doubt that'd make me very happy. And i- Oh my god… Hugo, that's fuckin' cheesy!" Which would be the bedroom and the glow.

"Oh my yes, you should definitely introduce me. I've been looking for a contact for some recreational goodness." He stops, peering over his shoulder and then back at the bedroom before laughing. "Jesus, Jo, this isn't my apartment. Cut me some slack, willya?" Laughing some more, he pushes back the curtains and notes, "I'll have to tell Jethro that his interior decorating is 'cheesy'. Considering that comes from a straight woman, I'm sure he'll think it's a compliment."

"It's…" She inspects the sleeping arrangements when he pushes back the curtains and finds that indeed, "Damn, that's huge. Must really be compensating for something? What an ass." Not that she's ever met dear Jethro, but that's never stopped her from having a preliminary opinion before. "Right. You take that side, and I'll take that. And give me a call tomorrow morning so we know where to see each other again, right. In case we get lost. Hm, what about a bread crumb trail…"

Rolling his eyes, Hugo returns, "He's gay. It's all about the bed and the sex. Not that I can argue really with that. Wait till you lie down on it. You'll never want to wake up again." He chuckles softly at her joke as he takes the side she has designated for him and settles in. "Bathroom is over there," he notes with a point of his finger. "Try not to get lost between the jacuzzi and the shower. It's a jungle in there." He's just settling himself in beneath the covers after shedding his top, but leaving his bottoms on when he blinks and rolls over. "Oh yeah, hey, wasn't there something that you wanted to talk to me about yesterday?" That was, after all, the reason he invited her over tonight.

"No," she decides quietly after a few second's pause. Not turning in just yet, but after she initially aims for the bathroom, she returns to the bed and asks softly, "Hugo, you sure you okay."

He reaches up, lightly finger the puncture wound on his throat and staring at the ceiling, his voice soft and distracted as he replies, "Yeah… I'm okay." His head turns studying Josephine sideways as he asks, "How about you? Are you okay?" He's quiet for a moment before he notes, "You know that I would do anything for you, right? You have only to ask."

"Then… You better call Vincent hon, cause I think that'd the a first of you and me sharing the same feel?" She gives up on the sarcastic pretense to add, "I'm cool. I'll be here all night broertje. And the next if you need me. Might have to bribe me, but I'll be here." And with that she turns and takes herself out of the equation for however long it takes her to clean up a little. And maybe even to find him asleep when she returns? That would make things so much easier.

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