|Abel Parrish + Fenrir (devourer) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-05-27 23:12:00
|Entry tags:||fenrir, hades|
i know your little secret
Who: Obed & Abel.
What: Abel lets Obed know about the things he found out.
Where: Housing Works,
pretending that it exists in an L.A. form.
When: May 24, after work.
"Thanks for meeting me here," Abel said, as Obed joined him in a small corner of the otherwise subtly-noisy bookstore. He had a hand wrapped around a scotch, ice tinkling in the glass, an open book before him that he'd looked up from as he noticed the other man approaching.
A handful of other patrons were milling about in the bookstore's space, some clutching beer bottles while others were only interested in the spines and covers of the establishment's primary product. "Figured you might want to relax after work... Get away from Pax," he added, lifting his glass as an underline to the word relax.
Obed settled into his chair, scotch to match in his hand -- down to the single cube of ice clinking against the thin-walled glass. He sighed softly, mental exhaustion catching up with his body the moment he was comfortably in his seat. "I could certainly use it." He nodded toward the book in Abel's hands. "Have you found something good, then? I was considering checking out their nonfiction section, but I got here a bit later than expected."
Abel looped fingers around one edge of the book, lifting it to reveal a blue and tan cover for Known and Strange Things.
"Interesting collection of essays," he explained, setting it back down as Obed settled himself. "I've found real life is always more interesting than fiction, since it so often informs the latter. Long day at work?" His brows rose questioningly as he tipped his glass into his mouth.
"These days they all are," Obed answered. "Luckily my right-hand man is back in town. I'm hoping he can take some of the worst burdens off me, but honestly… being busy and preoccupied isn't all bad." He tipped the rim of his glass toward Abel. "And you? I'm sure your workdays have been far more interesting, and probably more taxing, than mine. Maybe a spa day would have been a good idea."
Abel shook his head, setting his glass down carefully. "Not for me, thanks, but the offer's still good for a few more days, if you're thinking about it," he said.
"And speaking of my workdays, I actually did have a very interesting meeting with a prisoner the other day," he added, fingers curling spider-like around the rim of the glass. He let go of it, instead lifting the book and curling the book jacket around the pages as a makeshift bookmark. Arms folded against the table, eyes carefully studying Obed's face. "Are you familiar with a Jerry Gao, by any chance? Recently arrested on drug charges. Distribution, maybe more."
Obed's pale brow arched higher. His voice remained calm, though the line of his jaw seemed to tighten. He smiled softly all the same. Abel noticed the discrepancy, but kept his face carefully blank. "In my experience," he said, "people in that line of work have very little time for B&Bs or boutique hotels. Even my few apartment buildings don't exactly cater to that sort of crowd." He chuckled, and tipped back a minuscule sip of scotch, instinct warning him he needed to be sharp for this discussion. "Haven't you read the papers? That's primarily what makes me such a villain, apparently. The scourge of gentrification, and all that."
The line of Abel's shoulders rose and fell. "People like a story, and nothing's interesting about real estate. I mean, usually. This particular fellow had a little more to talk about than just gentrification, though." He paused, eyes falling to the tabletop, brows drawing together in a show of real concern, as if he was torn about revealing the information.
But he looked up all the same. "He, ah, implied that a certain sort of business might be being run out of said complexes that you run. And that you were very much aware of it. He was wondering if that kind of information might be able to get him off, if he handed over a bigger fish."
Obed sneered. His eyes never wavered from Abel's as he set down his glass, though his hand remained too tight around it, giving the lie to his relatively calm mien. His companion's gaze dipped down again, as if ashamed to have made such a suggestion, but instead merely noted Obed's body language. "I imagine people in his position often reach for anything that might seem like a viable lifeline. Surely you don't actually believe him."
Abel's mouth curled, his head shaking. "Of course not. But I thought, you know, friend to a friend," he shrugged, sipping his drink. "It seemed worth passing along. I'd certainly want to know if the police were about to go rooting around in my personal business. You know they're obligated to look into any possibilities, however unfathomable.
"He did have the exact name of your company, and he sounded fairly certain. At the very least, I'd be worried he might make up enough to cause an issue," he finished, the semi-leveled drink lowered to the table once more.
"Well I do appreciate your concern. One friend to another." Even as Obed spoke the words he sounded subtly doubtful of them. He shifted in his seat. Briefly he considered reaching for his phone, and contacting Carver to begin the work ahead. But he knew how that might look, so he kept himself still.
"I'll look into it. But really, my company name isn't secret. My records aren't, either. The police are welcome to ask whatever they like, whenever they like. This man would hardly be the first to try to drag me down for his own gain. I'm very prepared for this, as is my legal team."
Abel's brows bobbed. "Sounds like something like this has happened before? You seem...very well prepared." It was an honest question, at best, but in truth was a further prod to see if anything else might fall out of the metaphorical vending machine that was Obed Brandt. "You have an extensive number of properties. No one would blame you if something amiss happened outside of your knowledge."
"Of course they would. They're my properties, and I've worked hard to maintain my reputation of being very involved in each one." Obed raised his glass, a deep smirk on his lips as he took a long sip. "That's why," he said, his tongue flicking out across the seam of his mouth, "I do stay ready to deal with these things. It's no different from you coming prepared for a psychotic patient, or a potentially violent one." He shrugged. "Hazards of our jobs."
"Indeed." Abel raised his glass in a small toast to the man sitting across from him. "Well, that puts me at ease. As much as I said I didn't put stock in it, you do have to understand that I was a little worried. Even if it's nothing, it's still a nuisance. Having people poke around in your affairs, getting in the way of what's honestly important. And you're busy enough, with everything going on." His mind started to think of other ways he could add to that ever-growing pile of obligations that seemed to constantlyland on Obed's shoulders. It would be interesting to see what might break the man.
Obed sighed, a knowing, long-suffering sound. "You can say that again," he said. "And I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I do appreciate it." He glanced around the quiet bookstore-slash-bar, looking at it as though for the first time. "And your discretion, as well. I'll let you know if anything comes of this, but certainly don't hold your breath." He smiled softly. "Can I buy your next drink, then? Or that book, which does sound interesting…"
Abel tipped his glass in Obed's direction; ice rattled. "Next drink; the book's already purchased. But you can certainly borrow it, once I'm done." He set the glass down, waving at the rest of the dimly-lit but well-stocked bookstore. A circling staircase rose toward a second story, the bottommost step and any upward direction cut off by an 'Employees Only' sign. Tall, oak bookcases with sliding ladders to afford customers reach to higher shelves. Well-worn wood floors filled the space, with more stairs leading up and down to other floors.
"Have you been to this place before? If you haven't, I should give you the tour..."