Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hawke & Johnson, C.N.M (1.9)

   After darting a glance back at the young woman Em pushed the door of his office mostly closed. "What are you doing?" he whispered urgently.
   "What do you mean?" Hawke asked. He looked around to see that Em's office was already beginning to gather clutter, including a stack of soothsayer cards on his desk and a collection of skulls on the floor. Em gained his attention again by stepping closer.
   "Are you trying to drive our first customer away?" Em asked.
   Hawke shook his head. "No, I want to make sure that she is our first customer. If it is not likely to be a haunting she doesn't need to hire us."
   "You..that…" Em waved his hands and walked off for a moment. "You idiot," he hissed. "She hires us to find out if it is a haunting. Then we get paid. It doesn't have to be a legitimate haunting in order for us to be paid."
   Hawke gave his partner a dour look and crossed his arms. "I would prefer that our clients trust us because we don't bilk them for money when there is no tangible case to investigate."
   Em pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. "All right. We'll play it your way this time. But if we don't earn enough for rent by the end of the month you are going to lower your standards a bit."
   "We have three months of expenses set aside," Theo said.
   Em glared at him. "This could be the only likely prospect we see in three months. You're supposed to be the practical one. Be practical!"
   Hawke sighed and looked up at the ceiling. The quite dirty, unseemly ceiling. He looked at Em again. "Alright, fine. If we can't make enough for rent this month I lower my standards. Now can we get back to the case at hand?"
   The two mages walked back into Hawke's office to find the young woman sipping her tea and attempting to peer out the same window Johnson had stood at earlier.
   "Sorry to keep you waiting, m'lady," Theo said with a brief bow. "Would you care to continue?"
   She looked over her shoulder with a sad, contemplative smile and then looked down at her tea. "No. No, I don't think I would. I made a mistake coming here." She set the tea cup on Hawke's desk. "My compliments, Mr. Johnson, that is indeed a fine brew."
   Theo looked nonplussed. "But Miss… I'm sorry I didn't catch your name earlier."
   "I didn't give it."
   There was a span of silence as they considered each other. Theo bowed again, "I did not mean to cause offense with my questioning, m'lady. I only hoped to ascertain whether you truly needed our assistance because we would not want to charge you a fee for something better investigated in another way."
   Her gaze narrowed, but then she seemed to come to decision. "You want my name? I am Lady Thiereliel."

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