|Isobel Brandt \\ Persephone (praxidike) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-10 08:41:00
|Entry tags:||aphrodite, persephone|
he don't cost me nothin' when he wants to go out
Who: Isobel & Aurora.
What: The two ladies bake a little doggie birthday cake.
When: Early evening.
Isobel shifted the few bowls and things she'd decided to bring over to Aurora's apartment, along with a recipe she'd printed out from online, into the crook of her left arm as she rapped on the woman's apartment door. A lead trailing from her wrist to the floor was tied to the very dog for whom they were baking, and Hanni stared up at his mistress with an attentive look. She glanced down, smiling at the little thing.
"Are you excited to meet our neighbor? Yeah? You have to behave, though, all right? I know you will." She bent down to give him a quick scritch on the head, for which Hanni closed his eyes in happiness.
Aurora’s home, like her office, reflected her. No matter where she moved or how long she planned to stay there she was never one to delay unpacking like some who kept boxes stacked to and fro for months upon months. She had considered interior design at one point, because she loved figuring out how to splash life and personality across every room, but had ended up setting her sights a bit higher.
It’s a good thing she did, as her inner diva craved the sort of attention and even skill that her current path had given her.
So when she opened the door wide to welcome her visitors, looking much more casual than last time they had met, Isobel was gently pulled into an apartment that while in it’s barebones form was very similar to her own but still altogether something quite different without a doubt. Aurora knew how to utilize space while keeping the feeling of open and airy; a opulent deep wine colored sofa that could easily seat four which curved into a loveseat at the end. Voluminous cushions, the sort that you sat down and sunk into and seemed to cradle you. There was an espresso colored wooden coffee table in front of it with claw feet that seemed to have been modeled off of clawfoot bathtubs, resembling an eagle's talons, and under Aurora’s bare feet was the carpet she had paid to have put in. Cream colored, freshly vacuumed and tall enough to dig her toes into but not quite as garish as shag carpet.
The curtains--which were tied back to let in light--were a lighter, rustier red but had golden vines and heraldic flowers to contrast the color, and across the ceiling were small stained glass bluebirds high enough so that no one would bump into them, and positioned in such a way to reflext the sunlight. One of her walls was taken up entirely by a tapestry hung carefully on the wall. The rest of the space is taken up by a few unusual paintings and prints spaced and put at unusual levels to draw the eye in the desired rhythm around the room. In front of the large window was a crushed red velvet wing back chair with a small table beside it that had a stack of books, and on the back of a chair was what was an obviously older but well loved multi patterned quilt. It was the thing in the room that least matched the rest, but it was also more personal.
The apartment had an underlying smell of bergamot and clove, though there was no visible burner or oil.
“Come in! Let me help!” Without waiting for acceptance she gently took the bowls and paper from her guest’s hand so she could more easily handle the dog, “Oh, and hello little one.” The dog was a bit unexpected, though not unwelcome, clean and well behaved by the looks of him, “How are you then?” The question could have been aimed at either of them as she set the items down on the counter and bent down so the dog could sniff her hand.
Isobel barely had time to say she could handle what she'd brought; after all, she was the guest, she didn't want to overstep her bounds. But then her arms were empty, and she was left only holding Hanni's leash.
"We're good," she replied, her eyes roving over the interior of Aurora's apartment. It was a stark contrast to the cool tones she'd carefully placed in the home she shared with Obed; it wasn't that she disliked it, because she didn't, not at all, but it was so very different that for a moment it felt like culture shock. It reminded her a little of her Koreatown apartment, the one that had come with multicolored walls from a past tenant that the landlord hadn't seen fit to paint over and Isobel had run with, creating spaces according to the shade on the wall behind it. A timid smile started to work over her lips.
"Your apartment is gorgeous," she finally settled on, the words clunking around in her head for a moment. Isobel turned back to Aurora, Hanni starting out from his mistress to allow his little paws to sink nearly up to the knee into the carpet. "Oh, should I take my shoes off? I'm so sorry, I don't want to track anything on your floors." Isobel kicked off the black keds she was wearing, leaving herself in jeans and a black polka-dotted top, her black hair twisted up in a bun. "Thanks so much for letting us come over. I hope Hanni isn't an imposition; I didn't have anywhere else to take him on such short notice." Hanni seemed unperturbed by his barging in on this event, his tiny black nose buried in the carpet as he seemed to hunt out the source of the bergamot and clove.
True to form Aurora glowed at the compliment, smiling and looking pleased with herself even as she shut the door behind them. It was nice to have your effort recognized, even if it wasn’t just done for other people, and she hadn’t been living in Pax long enough to have many visitors yet to test her new scheme on just yet. It wasn’t that she held many business meetings here, believe it or not she had a proper office for that, but there were a fair amount of dinners and cocktail parties held here that held more of a purpose than just socializing.
“Oh no you’re fine, I just like to be barefoot as a general rule.” A habit she hadn’t been able to shake growing up, but she spoiled her feet rotten at least to help balance it out with patches, soaks and the like. There were a few matching barstools hidden under the lip of the kitchen island, and she brought out one for her guest, “It’s okay! I’m sure he behaves fine, and we’ll probably be done before he gets too antsy. I’m just so pleased you came by.” There was a sincerity in her words and her smile that showed no hints of her putting on airs about her real intentions and thoughts, because she truly did come more alive in company of others and had always delighted in coaxing out the spirit of quiet people like Isobel, “What an uncommon name for a dog, did you name him?”
The smile that twisted Isobel's lips as she looked down at the small dog was born of true affection; giving his lead a gentle tug, she started to bring him toward Aurora's kitchen area.
"Oh, no, hah," she replied, as Hanni darted in the direction his mistress bid. He stopped at the edge of the line directly between kitchen and dining area, sitting, his head tilted up to look at the two giants he sat amid. If he was at all disconcerted, he didn't show it as his tongue flopped free of his mouth. "It's short for his full name, actually. Obed jokingly called him Tiny Hannibal Lechter when we got him, and it just kind of stuck. Teething puppies are not a fate I'd wish on my worst enemy." She took the lead and hooked it under one leg of the stool Aurora had selected, keeping Hanni pinned in a specific area.
"Oh, also, he's very good with other animals, I'm sorry, I should've asked if you had a pet," she added, silently and innerly wincing at the apology she'd made a point of trying to not do. Her eyes glanced at the bowls and printout of the recipe, then back to Aurora. "And I know he looks like he sheds a lot, but we take him to the groomer often, so I promise he won't make a mess."
On a normal basis Aurora was very good at not encroaching on people’s bubbles if it would make them uncomfortable, asking verbally or otherwise if touch was okay and a honed instinct on if people enjoyed physical contact or not.
Unless, of course, she was trying to make someone uncomfortable, though that was of course not her intention with Isobel. This time she did not ask before she reached out to the other woman, though she suspected that with strangers the girl was not the touch prone sort. Instead she reached out to lay a gentle hand on Isobel’s arm, “Isobel, it’s fine, if it wasn’t I would tell you. Please believe me. My schedule doesn’t really allow for pets, so it’s kind of nice to have one visit.” Her smile held no pity, only reassurance, “Besides, I’m a good judge of character, and you’re not the type to risk causing extra work or anything else negative to someone else intentionally.” After that she pulled her hand away, hoping addressing her concerns and need to apologize so much wouldn’t cause her to withdraw. Isobel nodded, feeling reassured by Aurora's words. She took a deep breath, and settled, glancing down at Hanni once more.
With that Aurora turned away to turn on the oven before reaching into her spice cabinet for the honey, baking soda, and vanilla setting them on the counter before digging around for the potato slicer so they could easily and quickly shred the carrots, “I will say though,” She remarked as she dug around for her creamy peanut butter, “That is a cute story, but the picture of you introducing him to as ‘this is my puffball dog Hannibal’ is pretty great as well.” Finally! There it was, why did she have three different jars of organic peanut butter? Maybe there was a sale, she was still a sucker for those even now, but the Organic Creamy one would be best, of course, and last were the cold things which were quickly stacked nearly by the bowls, “Alright let’s get this party started! Oh, do you mind if I put music on?”
"Oh, not at all," Isobel replied. "It's your apartment. Just maybe not too loud? Our apartment is usually pretty quiet, and Hanni..." She stopped herself, shaking her head. "I... OK, trying not to apologize again, but yes, music would be lovely. What sort of genre do you listen to?" She moved around the divider that separated the kitchen from the dining area, taking apart the bowls and spoons she'd brought over to make the little doggie cake for Hanni's first birthday. "Oh my goodness, that's a lot of peanut butter."
“Oh a bit of everything.” That was one of her most common response to that question, easier than her mini over enthusiastic tangent that she went on with BB that poorly explained she loved passion in just about any form and music had some of the best displays of it, “I’m feeling very Caro Emerald like today though.” She plugged in her phone to a small non intrusive speaker she kept on the kitchen counter, “Don’t worry I don’t like to be forced to yell at my guests.” Aurora was tactful enough to commend the girl for not apologizing but she still look pleased at the progress for it as she started measuring out ingredients, “Ugh. I’m as surprised as you are, I think there was a sale at whole foods? They always get me with those.”
Isobel helped where she could, completely at Aurora's beck and call as the other woman took charge of the event. She was strangely comfortable with the roles they were falling into, and she added a wooden spoon to the bowl that Aurora was adding things to.
"They do tend to have a great selection," she agreed. "I do most of my shopping there, though there's a lot of great farmer's markets in this area. A little cheaper, and I like knowing where my food is coming from, you know?" She stirred the mixture, making sure things were adding in evenly. A glance over her shoulder told her that Hanni had settled on the floor, tongue panting, as he watched Aurora and Isobel bake. Isobel turned back to the woman. "I'm so glad you and Kate are coming over tonight. Finally feel more settled here. I feel like I've moved too much in the last couple of years."
See, Aurora worked well with others, no matter what that terrible director said about her that one(several) time(s), it just helped when they went along with her is all. Isobel and her obviously were going to be great friends.
“Oh! He’s probably thirsty, I’m sorry!” Shit, she did not interact with animals enough. She quickly left Isobel to the stirring so she could retrieve a small bowl and fill it with filtered water from the fridge and set it in front of the dog, the kitchen was tiled so even if he did drip it on the floor it was easily cleaned up. As the songs changed she grabbed them each a bottle of sangrino, “I am as well, it was kind of you and your husband to invite us,” Normally that is something she would do but Isobel was definitely on the ball, it was a little admirable, “Oh? For work I assume?” Inquisitive (nosy) by nature indeed, but at least she tried to be tactful about it.
Hanni sniffed the bowl offered to him, and then dove into the cool liquid. Isobel smiled at Aurora's gracious nature, pleased to see her being so attentive to the little dog. The question, however, was met with less excitement, and Isobel did what she could to work around it.
"Uh, sort of. A little to be closer, and then just. Moving in with Obed." There, that was convincing enough, wasn't it? She looked back to the oven, seeing that it was close to being preheated. Isobel glanced back to Aurora. "I'm sorry, I should've brought a brownie pan. Do you have one?"
Well, that was one minor slip up as hostess averted at least. It was hard not to notice the changes in Isobel’s expression and mood, though it didn’t linger as she attempted to move the conversation forward. Aurora was good at reading people instinctively, and then she studied then in college and consequently made two careers that had analyzing facial expressions and tone was vital. It was something she was proud of, and didn’t hesitate to use on her friends much to their dismay.
“Of course I do.” The baking pan was retrieved quickly from one of her cabinets with a mostly quiet clatter, “I know you and I don’t know each other well yet Isobel, though I do hope that will change, but I am here if you need someone to listen.” Perhaps she should not make too many assumptions about the quiet, insecure girl who obviously tried hard to please people, moved often and smoothly dodged the question like she made a habit of it--but it was done before she could stop it, and Aurora was conceited enough to still bet on it being a good choice.
Isobel smoothed the doggie cake mixture into the brownie pan with careful, efficient motions. She realized almost instantly that Aurora's words were heartfelt, and she nearly opened her mouth to give a fuller explanation -- but then a voice reminded her that she was focusing on moving forward, away from Bryan. Besides, he was gone, she was here, and there was nothing more to worry about. She was making friends and now was not the time to drudge up the past.
"Thanks," she offered, looking up from the baking pan as she finished filling it. "I'll definitely keep that in mind, but really, things are fine." Those words were said with far more confidence, and she actually felt it. "Let's get this in the oven. Do you think it's weird if I throw a party for his birthday? I know Kate would probably love it, and then you could see how Hanni likes our hard work." The little dog perked up at his name, rising from his laying position to a sitting one, looking from Isobel to Aurora and back again with a little doggie grin.
Aurora watched her finish up with the cake, trying to build a better picture of Isobel as she did so. It was interesting what the other was confident in and what she wasn’t, introverts were always fascinating to her for the sheer fact of how opposite they tended to be from herself.
She opened up the oven so the pan could be loaded up before shutting it quietly and setting an old fox timer she had on the back of her oven. After she walked around the kitchen island to sit down on the floor, stretching out her jean clad legs out in front of her, “I’m glad, life can be good if we make it that way.” Aurora was a big proponent of making life give her what she wanted, and she wanted a great deal out of it, “I don’t think it’s weird, I have a friend whose shih-tzu has a place at their table, and I heard dogs are like practice children for couples so maybe it’s normal?” Somehow she doubted the dog was very picky, but one to take advantage of an opportunity she patted the carpet in front of her, “Hanni, can I pet you?” Diva. Spoiled and high maintenance yes, but still not above sitting on the floor with a poofy dog in her lap.
Hanni did not hesitate where attention was offered. He leapt to his feet, moving quickly to the spot Aurora had dictated; with his little fanny waving his poofy tail in the air, he panted in her direction, ducking his head up and down for scritches.
"I don't know what Obed would say about that," Isobel was busy replying, the mere mention of children making her uncomfortable again. She pulled the oven door open, sliding the brownie pan inside; when she closed the door, she made sure the oven light was on so she could keep tabs on the baking cake. "Then again, it was his idea to even get Hanni, so maybe there's some ulterior motive I don't know about." That last bit was said half jokingly, though there was a trace of worry beneath the words. Isobel mentally shook her head at herself, dispelling any thoughts that Obed would do anything manipulative. She crossed the kitchen, leaning on the bar to watch Hanni and Aurora interact. Pushing forward so as not to linger over the previous topic of discussion, she smiled at Hanni's response.
"You know, if you got a dog, the deluxe floor could be the dog floor instead."
Aurora took note of Isobel’s tone and minute changes in her expression, but elected not to say anything this time, tact being the better part of valour in this instance. She was building a picture of this Obed though, always wary of partners of people who had Isobel’s personality type, but she tried not to jump to too many conclusions before hand.
“Oh, I don’t think that would be a good idea. I have trouble maintaining anything alive with my schedule.” A streak of self deprecating humor that only popped up every so often, perhaps it was her first love living in her building now that brought it out again.