A Word of Warning

PFSC - Cerebral Deli

A rather unique book shop, the Cerebral Deli prides itself on being able to feed both mind and body. Several deli-style tables have been set up near the entrance, the linoleum flooring shining beneath them. An old deli counter acts as the checkout, behind which is a large chalkboard sign denoting all the new and upcoming book releases, as well as pricing for coffee, tea, the odd sandwich and other small items.

Upon climbing three stairs, one enters a carpeted area filled with shelves and stacks of books. These books are fitting to every genre that one could possibly hope to find, including a smaller section for rare or now-out-of-print books. A couch and two chairs can be found at the back of the shop, near the window. A comfortable place to ensure the potential purchase is the right book, or catch up on a spot of homework.

It's not long past sunset and the deli is pretty well empty at the moment, the dark sky outside the window sparkling with stars. As much as the Dallas sky ever sparkles, anyway. The smell of fresh brewed coffee fills the store, evidence of just what one of the few customers still hanging out this late has just ordered. The store is pretty quiet at the moment, not long remaining until closing, but a few die hard book lovers still wander about.

One such book lover, or maybe just coffee lover, is seated at one of the tables with a text book and notepad on the table before her, a cup of coffee at her elbow. Ian puts her pen down for a moment and reaches for her coffee, grimacing to find that it's cold. Black coffee is never good cold. Not even during a sultry Texas night.

Plus, the air conditioning leaves the artificial warmth of hot coffee welcome. It's just the slightest bit chilly in here tonight!

Michael's been a long time fan of the Bean Scene, it's open all night for one thing, but it does require that one bring their own books, which is why Michael's come to the Cerebral Deli. His own intentions were to study the less common books, as such a small pile of non-English and older books have been gathered, a note pad in hand Michael seeks out a table to place them all.

The sight of another customer has Ian pushing the headphones she's wearing back so that they circle the back of her neck with the two black ear pieces resting just below her jaw. The faint sound of some obscure, independent band can be heard playing through the tiny speakers; the sound almost metallic, though whether this is due to the music itself or the headphones is questionable. For the moment, the dark skinned girl has had enough of studying and gets up to go get her coffee warmed, offering the older gentleman a polite smile as she walks past him.

Her book are left unattended on the table. Either she's a trusting soul, or she just doesn't realize that someone could easily walk up and take them.

As sensitive as Michael's hearing is he's able to to pick up the music well enough, he offers a very slight incline of his head to Ian in greeting as he sets his books down on the table before him. The only English language book before him is a rare 19th century edition of legends and stories from the early medieval period. Michael begins to flick through the books scanning the pages with surprising speed as he begins to study them in no particular order, he jots down notes. It wouldn't take one who's observant long to notice that other than his hand and occasionally his head nothing moves, there's no sign of his chest moving as he breaths even, which of course is because he doesn't.

Ian has the faintly musky scent of animal that Michael would likely recognize as that of one of the two-natured if he's aware of their existence. Either she's got a hidden animal side, or she spends a lot of time around animals one. The college student tucks a lock of golden brown hair behind one ear and lightly taps the toe of one boot clad foot while she waits for her coffee to be refreshed before returning to her recently abandoned table and getting back to work, though the headphones are left sitting around her neck instead of returned to her ears.

She can't help but cast a few glances in Michael's direction, trying to be unobtrusive in her studying of the apparent scholar. Still she doesn't speak, though a small frown draws her brows together when she notices his near perfect stillness and the fact that he's not breathing. Who in the world doesn't breathe? Who in the world other than a vampire?

That thought has the girl sitting up a little straighter and her eyes widening slightly. A vampire? She's never actually met one face to face that she knows of… She gives the man a speculative look, almost as though wondering if it would be impolite to ask him about his nature. She wouldn't exactly want someone to confront her about her other life, after all. She was taught that her abilities are something to be kept secret from those that don't share them.

Michael continues his work, for a time he seems unconcerned or unaware of the attention he's drawn, his features give away nothing in terms of his feelings, he switches between books of different languages with the practiced ease of one who's spent centuries speak each of them, his attention hardly seems to drift from them, then slowly as he jots down a final note he smiles in an almost satisfied fashion, closing the books he rises from his seat stacking each of them carefully he heads in Ian's general direction his eyes meeting the young woman, his words coming with an amused edge. "Yes I am. But I haven't bitten anyone since synthetic blood came out." There's a faintly more sinister edge to his smile as he continues. "At least not unless they've asked me to." He waves that comment away. "And then not one of your kind, I've never much enjoyed your kind." With that he begins for the cash register intending to buy all the books he's gathered.

Ian quickly turns her attention back to the book on the table before her as the man stands and heads in her direction, pretending that she never once took notice of him. At least she tries to until he speaks. When he admits to being a vampire, the girl sits back in her chair and looks up at him with eyes wide, "Oh…" She opens her mouth to apologize for staring when he continues, first with the comment about those that ask him to bite them, which makes her go faintly gray, and then with the comment about 'her kind'. That makes her darken with indignation and she stands, "And just what do you mean by that?" Her voice has the accent of someone that spent much of their formative years in South Africa, "Black people aren't good enough for you?" Yes, she's pretending that she's nothing more than an irate African American college student.

There's a pause as Michael places his books down. He turns he studies Ian, there's absolutely no expression on his features, they're not cold, or detached they're that of a dead man, his eyes are the same, made even more disturbing by the fact that as they meet Ian's they've not got the distinctive milky film, they're just empty. He grins very faintly, although this does nothing to add emotion to his features, his body not moving at all, his tone however is very faintly amused. "Do you really think we should discuss this here? Where people can hear, I'd have thought you'd want to be more discreet, but since you ask no. I didn't mean that at all. Although you're welcome to pretend that's what I meant." He shrugs a shoulder. "I really don't care. I do suggest that you be more careful next time you stare, not all of my kind have such refined tastes."

A faint shudder sends a tremor through Ian's frame at the sight of a 'living' dead man staring at her and her eyes widen when she realizes that he's not talking about her visible race. For a moment she forgets how to breathe, but she finally gasps softly and slowly sinks back into her chair, shaking her head, "No, sorry. I meant no offense." Quickly she gathers up her books and stuffs them into a book bag on the floor at her side, making a hasty retreat, "I'll keep that in mind. My apologies, sir." With her study materials packed away, she quickly takes one last gulp of her coffee and stands again, casting one more worried glance at the vampire before she makes a quick run for the door.

She's one canine that knows when to let the larger predator have the day. Not without backup, anyway.

Michael nods, and suddenly he's just a man again, his smile almost warm as he looks at Ian. "No need to apologize to me, I took no offense. You should however be more careful." He shrugs a shoulder. "I meant what I said, some of my kind are less concerned about such things. For me it's purely a matter of…. flavor, I try to avoid a negatives as well…. although I can't smell that." He gathers his books nodding to Ian. "But if you will excuse me, the nights are shorter than I'd like this time of year, it makes getting things done difficult." And with that he's heading for the door, his mood once again neutral as he disappears to whatever work he's got planned ahead of him.

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