|Percy I. Chapman | Ἑρμης (polytropus) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-22 20:55:00
|Entry tags:||hades, hermes|
hey old friend, tell me what's on your mind
Who: Percy & Obed (+ Hanni)
What: Business acquaintances, re-acquainted
Where: Outside Pax
When: Feb. 17th, 7 a.m.
Obed was off to a relatively late start, and the little ball of black fluff at his side was busily making plain his distaste for this. Hanni nipped lightly at the hem of Obed's trousers, retreating only after a withering look and a brusque word from his master. The thin black lead went slack as Hanni trotted up closer to Obed's side. Little nails clicked on the cement sidewalk; they went silent as the tiny beast went off into the grass, there to do his morning business. In the meantime, Obed pulled his cell phone from his pocket, checking work emails while he allowed his small companion a bit of privacy.
He didn’t mind taking the stairs--a benefit of living only three floors above ground level--but there was an innocent delight to be found in taking the elevator instead. Percy was looking forward to his routine morning jog, the cheerful ding as the elevator reached its ground floor destination was a prelude to the ample dose of endorphins that would soon brighten his day in a similar fashion.
It was the little things in life, really.
Percy strolled through the lobby and out the front doors of Pax Letale, ready to hit the ground running once he reached the beachfront.
...until he spotted a particularly cute dog mulling about in the grassy yard, nothing more than an ounce of pure fluff. Its owner stood not too far away, and with little to no hesitation, Percy made his way over to the man. Now was as good a time as any to meet another neighbor.
“Morning!” Percy all but chirped. “That’s a pretty cute dog you have there. What’s her name?”
Still holding his phone, his thumb paused over one key, Obed turned around to face the newcomer. Hanni began a steady stream of sharp, high-pitched barks in greeting. "Percy Chapman. Don't tell me you live here, too." Hanni pawed at Obed's leg. His business done, he had new matters to attend: namely, the proper inspection of this new human. He closed the distance between them, Hanni's claws tapping out a quiet rhythm on the cement. "This is Hanni. And the vet tells me that under all that fluff, he is indeed a boy."
Percy blinked, taking in the sight of the otherwise assumed stranger. “Mister Brandt,” he finally said, his tone almost questioning. After the initial surprise wore off, there was a moment’s pause as he wracked his brain for the necessary recollection--in the meantime, Percy busied himself by crouching down to pat the tiny Hanni on the head, scratching behind the dog’s fuzzy ears. “Hey there, little guy,” he cooed. “Sorry I don’t have any treats on me.” A final pat for Hanni before Percy stood again, having placed the other man firmly within his memory.
He’d once written an editorial about a slew of specialized buildings in Northern California that had been wracked with vandalism and other more sordid, darker crimes. Unexpectedly, Percy was contacted by the newfound owner of said buildings, and asked to take a different perspective on the situation, to write a new, more informed article. One which, admittedly, did more than enough to better the public image of said buildings, and therefore their owner’s image as well. What had Obed Brandt wanted him to write, again? Oh, about the magical prowess of modern gentrification, the bettering of society. He’d received a few angry emails about the story once it was published, but that was simply the nature of the business. Percy had shrugged off the negative implications and went along his way, turning to the next story which caught his eye.
“I do, believe it or not; I thought I should move to a new town, and so I did. A change of scenery hasn’t hurt.” He rubbed the back of his neck with one hand, pondering this strange coincidence. “You seem to be doing well,” Percy nodded towards Hanni, smiling at the petite pooch. Hanni barked again, a sharp burst of a thing that seemed to lift him, momentarily, off his feet. “Am I right to assume you’re in the same business?”
"I am," Obed said, punctuating the affirmation with a little nod. "Scaling back a bit these days." He tugged lightly at Hanni's leash; the clasp jingled like bells as small as their wearer. "This little guy and his real master keep my personal life a bit busier than it once was. Not that that's a bad thing, by any means, but it's certainly a change."
He gestured to Percy, one brow arching curiously. "How is your work going? Is Southern California keeping you properly busy?"
“Nothing wrong with keeping busy,” Percy said amicably, though he couldn’t help but wonder the identity of Hanni’s actual caretaker. Not that it was any of his business, of course--though it was clear they had a soft spot for dogs, and that immediately made them more likeable in Percy’s book.
When he had written the requested piece for Obed, the man had kept his cards close at hand, unwilling to divulge much, if anything, about the circumstances outside of his oddly specific business matters. Percy had therefore not attempted to discover too much more about his reticent employer, at least not to his face. But now that they were apparently neighbors, well. He’d already decided privately that he wanted to pet Hanni in the future, and that settled it. Even if the black fuzzball kept barking at him.
“I like it enough,” he replied, “but it’s no Oregon. I traded mountain trails for the sunny beach, and it’s almost as if everyone here is more focused on legalizing plants than actually committing crimes.” Percy shrugged, and attempted to appear wistful, as if he hadn’t managed to get leads on not one, but two headlining stories within his first month of moving to California.
Obed laughed. "Oh, I'm sure you'll find plenty in time," he said. "You know you can scratch any surface a little too hard and find all kinds of grime. You'll have some impressive bylines in no time. And there are mountain trails and snow here, too. Surfing, hiking… you just have a bit of a drive getting to some of them."
Hanni inched closer to Percy, sniffing curiously at his feet. "You can pet him if you like. If you don't, he might try to crawl up your leg." Obed could not suppress a chuckle at Hanni's continued pawing. "I'd say Isobel is spoiling him, but I'm as much to blame as she is..."
Percy was more than aware that Obed was telling the truth, and not necessarily simply making small talk. Hadn’t he uncovered a slew of hidden ‘grime’ problems with the set of buildings that Obed had paid him to cover up? Percy felt that he’d done a decent job--and clearly he had in Obed’s eyes as well, given the amount Obed had paid him. But Percy was no magician; were anyone to look closer into Obed’s Northern California dealings, they’d discover that beneath a layer of pristine floors and countertops rested a level of grime that no amount of 409 would remove.
Not that any of that was Percy’s problem, however.
Right now, his only issue was that of how to maximize the time he had to pet Hanni, and it looked like the wind was blowing in his favor. “Oh, I’m not giving up yet,” he said with a smile, crouching down once more to lavish attention on his new furry friend. “And thank you for the tip, I ought to schedule a road trip before too long.” Percy scratched under Hanni’s chin, delighted at the small dog’s friendliness. “Isobel, huh?” He looked up at the other man, brows raised in curiosity. “I guess I have her excellent taste in dogs to thank for this coincidental meeting,” Percy admitted, lightly booping Hanni on the nose with one finger. “I might have otherwise ran by without recognizing you.”
"What a shame that would've been," Obed said. A small, teasing smile tugged at one corner of his mouth. It might not have been there had he known the direction of Percy's thoughts; but he was blissfully ignorant, and pleased to have run into such a useful and typically pleasant former acquaintance. If he found his own mind wandering toward how Percy's connections and skill might be leveraged for his current business ventures, he at least had the decency to curb these thoughts before they swallowed him entirely.
"You should come up some time and meet Isobel," he said. "She's much more social than I, and she's actually been fairly effective in getting me to meet more of our neighbors. I'm sure she'd love to have you stop by." He nodded down toward Hanni, who was nuzzling firmly into Percy's hand. "And clearly he would, too."
“I’ll have to take you up on that offer,” Percy grinned, giving Hanni another good scratch behind his tiny ears. He couldn’t remember a time in his life when he hadn’t adored dogs; there was something inherently good about them, unlike cats. It was an added bonus that dogs were unwaveringly loyal. Although Percy was reluctant to stop smothering Hanni with attention, he did, standing in order to speak to Obed without having to look up at the other man--at least, not too much.
“I’m on the third floor if you ever need anything,” Percy found himself offering, the suggestion more than a matter of making polite conversation; it was one step shy of a direct business invitation. He’d helped Obed before, hadn’t he? It was only natural, then, to offer his services a second time. Especially when Obed paid handsomely. “My number hasn’t changed. I’ll be around.”
Obed nodded, pleased with the invitation and its quite useful connotations. Things were going smoothly now, but that might not always be the case. He tugged lightly at Hanni's leash; the dog moved to heel, though its tail wagged again when it looked back to Percy.
"I'm sure I'll see you soon," Obed said. "Have a good day, Percy." With a small wave he set off down the sidewalk toward the empty Pax lobby, leaving his acquaintance to his own morning ritual.
“You too,” he replied, wondering not for the first time this month at the interesting amount of coincidental meetings which kept happening, slowly but surely; if he wasn’t running into someone he distinctly felt like he already knew, he was running into someone he actually did know. Or had worked with, at any rate.
Percy watched Obed and small Hanni leave for a moment, then turned his attention to the beachfront, and the morning jog, that was waiting for him. There would be time later to think about other matters; the day was just beginning, and he didn’t want to miss it.