2010-04-10: Gasp!



Date: April 10, 2010


What do you mean you don't know who I am?!


Enlightenment Books

Mid afternoon on a nice Saturday, much too nice to be cooped up inside. So the children have been sent to some day thing in Westchester that Hallis found out about from her Grandmother which leaves the adults residing in the Van Cortlandt a free afternoon for… Shopping!

The bell jingles to the door, sounding new customers and in waltzes the newly discovered soap starlet with another blonde. "Really Sydney, I have no idea why you're so worried. Grandmother assured me that it's just a little nature walk, she's sending her bodyguard with them. What's the big deal?" Yes, Hallis had them go without their guardian's permission. Bad bad little diva.

"Besides, they were probably going stir crazy in the apartment all the time. Grandmother's estate is perfect for them to run around without anyone ever seeing them. Trust me, I spent loads of time there when I was little and look how I turned out. Perfect!" Her chipper little chirp fills the air of the store, whether it disturbs other customers or not isn't really her concern. She's the most important person in the world.

"The big deal is they almost got themselves killed this week — " Sydney quips, traipsing after Hallis into the show. "And I don't understand why I wasn't asked about all of this. They're my — " responsibility? They certainly aren't her kids. At a loss for words, she just clamps her mouth shut, retreating into a silent pout.

She can't argue with the point about them going stir crazy. Syd is going stir crazy, in fact, this shopping trip isn't wholly a bad idea in and of itself. "And Jamie is… somewhat reckless." Swallowing, she fights the frown on her face.

Her nose wrinkles at the store they find themselves in. "And when you said we were going shopping, I had no idea you'd be looking for… well… books. Especially books on what — the Paranormal?"

Of the few who inhabit the store, one of those stands out. A young woman, dressed in turquoise Sari, though she is of latino descent rather than middle Eastern. She glances up at the sound of the bell. She hums softly, her voice matching the pitch, then returns to the book she's perusing - a biography it seems.

The girl looks rather unconcerned with her surroundings, or with the men gaping at her curves, particularly where they ease through in the space between skirt and top. Belle reaches up to straighten the sashing, but her eyes stay upon the book. As the door opens a second time, she once more matches the pitch and another head bobs up at the sound. A small curve of a smile tilts her lips and when she moves, one can hear the light tinkle of the metal that adorns the edges of her outfit. The book is closed, slid back into place, then another one drawn from the shelf.

"Book, just one," Hallis corrects Sydney as her carefree demeanor refuses to be dredged through whatever sludge Sydney is wallowing in at the moment. "Remember, I'm playing a were-goldfish, I need to know everything about them. This place is creepy enough, they should have something." It's not, really, it just caters to a more adventurous learner. The kinds of people you expect to find yelling about aliens in Grand Central Station with tinfoil hats on.

The young celebutante sweeps past the young woman in the Sari and raises her eyebrows just a touch. Then she turns back to Sydney and opens her mouth to say something but quickly closes it again. Unfortunately for Hallis, Sydney isn't among the people she can talk to about fashion. Not that Geek-Tees aren't cute in their own right… really.

"Jamie will be just fine, I can't think of a better place for her to just let loose. I mean, I don't know what you've been teaching those two but they're so loud. All the time." Are they? Or is Hallis just used to having the entire place to herself without having to worry about little people being underfoot.

The Sari wearing woman is graced with Hallis' most dazzling 'I'm a television star' smile before the dainty doll stops to look up at a shelf. "Hey, Sydney, can you reach that book up there? I can't reach it."

Hallis does draw Belle's attention and at the smile, the 'television star' is rewarded with an echoing smile as dazzling as her own. It brightens the young woman's face and lights her eyes. Her head is inclined in a graceful and almost regal gesture, though no words are spoken. If Hallis is recognised as anyone beyond another patron of the store, Belle gives no indication of it.

Belle slides the book she had been perusing back onto the shelf and then glides in the same direction as the other two, hips swaying with every step of their own accord. A young man who had been hovering nearby watches with keen interest, but Belle takes no notice of him. Belle walks on by the two, heading into the section where they seem to be headed. She pauses, her head turned as if to show off her profile coupled with the braid that trails down her back and stops just below her bottom, but her eyes rest upon another book upon the shelf. A slender hand reaches up and guides it off. She glances at the cover and opens it to leaf through the contents. Whatever interest it held at one point seems to fade away when looking at the inner contents and the book is put back in its place.

With a huff, the young starlet simply shakes her head and reaches up onto her tiptoes. "I don't even know why you have kids, seriously Sydney, I swear you'd pick up every vagrant in the city and let them live with you if you could. This is what… five and six or six and seven now?"

The deb simply frowns as the other blonde wanders off into another area of the store. "Fine! Don't answer! I'll just… I'll just call Chelsea or Olivia." The thought seems to strike a spark in the young woman's head and she rummages through her purse to retrieve her jPhone.

"Chels!" Hallis practically squeals as the other end is picked up by a sleepy voice. "Oh my god, did you see the covers this week? My ring is all over them! Olivia never got this kind of coverage when she got engaged to Ray, I bet she's simply green." Of course the young woman is still perusing the books, apparently were-golfish aren't a topic covered by many supernatural writers.

"This is four. And only four because people needed the help," Sydney sighs quietly. "I couldn't very well leave Trent in Central Park alone. God knows he'd done that for far too long." Her long fingers are run through her blonde tresses.

Her eyes narrow a little at the notion of the ring, but she says nothing as she peeks about the shelves and shelves of books. "Now… what are we looking for?" she murmurs to herself more than Hallis. There's a particular book a former student had told her about and this seems like the kind of place it would be.

Finally her gaze falls upon a particular title by a particular author; Activating Evolution by Chandra Suresh. She plucks it from the shelf.

Not even a glance does the other young woman cast in Hallis' direction. It is difficult to say whether or not Belle is purposefully ignoring Hallis' rather loud chatter or, perhaps, she simply does not care. She reaches out, fingers trailing over the spines as if to feel, touch the wide mountains and narrow valleyes as they traverse over them. The young woman moves slowly, gliding more than walking, curves undulating with every movement. That strange half smile still plays upon her lips.

From time to time, Bell will pause, some book catching her eye to be taken from its place. Her attention never seems to be held for very long, though the girl takes the time to caress every book, as if soothing its loneliness before replacing it.

The phone call is paused for a moment as Hallis quickly turns to Sydney. "Hang on Chels… actually, I'll call you back. I just wanted to know how bad Olivia is dying right now." After pushing the end call, the young woman places her hands on her hips and gives Sydney a rather dubious look. "Seriously? Aren't there like… programs or something for that? Not that he's not… Well I just don't understand how you pick all of them up. Especially the first bunch of vagrant freeloaders. Jamie and Trent, well they're not bad."

"Something on were-goldfish… You'd think that more people would be writing books about them. They're so much prettier than those wolf things." Then Hallis tosses her man of hair behind her shoulder and heaves a deeply pained sigh. "It's just so hard to be me. You'd think that one of these writers would have had the courtesy to make a book about something I'd be interested in." Then Sydney's book gets a suspicious eye, "Hey, what's that?"

"Programs? I'm not exactly in a position to force either of them into a program," Sydney replies wryly with a raised brow — although it's raised skeptically at the book in question rather than Hallis' observation. "And I tried to get him to go to Hope Hearth, but he wouldn't. And then I tried to get him to see Amy, and that didn't work out…" She hmmms quietly.

"Were-goldfish?" An eyebrow is raised once again, this time it is at Hallis. And then fighting the smirk creeping over her lips she manages, "A formidable opponent, I'm sure."

"Oh. This is just a book a former student recommend I read. I ran into her awhile back and she thought — " she glances down at it. " — that I should read it." This isn't exactly the time or place to discuss her lack of ability control or her general lack of knowledge about it.

Belle's eyes dust across the title of the book which Sydney holds. They move away, as if uninterested, then suddenly rush back to the cover. Bell freezes, one long delicate arm poised as if to slide another book from a shelve. Her long slender neck turns and her back curves as if to get her at a better angle to see. The braid dangles behind and sways a few times before coming to a stop. The sashing of the sari slides from shoulder to crook of her arm, but for the moment, Belle ignores the silver trimmed garment. That book has certainly caught the young lady's interest.

A few breaths and the girl straightens. Another and she turns and slowly glides her way back toward Sydney and Hallis. She says nothing, simply draws nearer so she can, perhaps, get a better view.
Largely oblivious to all of this, Randall hangs out in the next aisle, noes buried in a thick hardcover full of symbols and philosophical ramblings. It's one that he's had his eye on for a while now, but passed over for lack of folding money— he was going to finally buy it a couple months ago, but then he was forced to abandon the shop he'd been running. For now, occasional browsing will have to do.

Wandering around the corner, he spots Hallis… and immediately takes a step back, setting the book down a little too loudly on the nearest stretch of empty shelving he can find. She knows him. And while he doubts that she knows why he's been in hiding, she's liable to call attention to his presence, which in turn could tip off someone else. Bad idea, coming here while the heat was still on…

The thump of the book does have the young woman's head turning and then she's smiling widely. It's one of her many fans! Really… "Randy!! How are you?!" She rushes over to the man and grips his by the shoulders, giving him air kisses on each cheek. "It's been since.. what… Christmas? Something like that, right? Oh I have so much to tell you, have you seen me on television? I'm a star!" Her hand slides down to his elbow and she guides him back to where Sydney is perusing the books. "This is my friend, Sydn — Syd Vicious."

Hallis is such a horrible liar in the heat of the moment.

"Just like that punk rock guy, you should have seen her when I found her. She was all goth and in black, complete fashion emergency, seriously, isn't that right Syd?" Then she turns back to Randall with a smile and freezes at Belle's arrival, "Do you need something autographed?"

Sydney steps towards the counter to purchase her pick, but is interrupted by the introduction. She side glances Hallis for a moment silently asking the other woman if this was truly the best she can do, but the therapist goes with it anyways. "Yes. Just Syd though now." She nods a little about the goth gear.

"It's true. I was a fashion mess when Hallis met me." Her cheeks flush. "But that's just… the way it goes sometimes. I'm all about the fishnets. And death metal." Fortunately these are subjects she actually knows something about thanks to her misspent youth.

"Pardon?" Belle's gaze is torn away from the book and lands upon Hallis. Her expression turns into one of puzzlement and her head tilts to the side which causes the braid to glide forward, attempting to slip around her arm and over her shoulder. "No. Why…do I know you?" Belle certainly seems to have no recollection of Hallis whatsoever. In fact, Belle doesn't even wait for an answer before her attention is turned back to Sydney who still carries the book.

"Pardon me." Belle calls out softly, the musical tone in every syllable as the words grace the ears of those around her. "Would you mind terribly if I took a look at that book you've chosen?" A friendly smile glitters to Sydney at the polite request.

Having met a couple of her unique friends - up close and personal, even, in Mitsy's case - the idea of 'Syd' as Hallis presents it comes as little surprise to Randall. It's too late to bolt now - he'd draw more attention to himself if he tried - so he decides to stick around and make the best of it. "I can imagine," he replies, offering a passing handshake to Sydney. "Rocky Horror as re-imagined by Queensryche? They're pretty big on storylines, seems like it'd be up their alley."

Hallis' jaw. just. drops. when she's not recognized. "What, do you live in the stone age or something? Seriously? You don't know who I am?" Shaking her head, she waves a hand in dismissal to the young Sari wearing woman. "Fine, whatever."

Then she's back to Sydney and Randall, smiling as though the young woman never came up. "Randy, you have to come up for supper at least once, I learned how to cook! The kids actually think I'm good, sometimes. I promise I won't invite Mitsy and her new boyfriend, she said you were absolutely devastated when she dumped you. Did you want me to tell her you were?"

Sydney's handshake is firm, unusually so, "Nice to meet you." Her cheeks flush a little again. Syd Vicious — that's a new one. She glances at the book and then hands it over to Belle. "I guess you can take a peek…" It's at this point that Syd's disposable phone rings. With so few people with the number, the blonde's nose wrinkles. "I'm sorry you'll have to excuse me…" her cheeks flush again as she steps away from the group.

Hallis is rewarded with more attention from Belle, though it is a curious sort, not that of an adoring fan. "No, I'm afraid I don't. Should I?" But Hallis has already moved on to other matters and so Belle merely shrugs the brush off off and returns her smile to Sydney.

"I won't keep you long, I promise." The smile brightens as the book is handed to her. She reads the synopsis on the back, then opens it to peruse the inside. True to her word, she does not linger, but hands the book back so Sydney can finish her purchase. "Thank you very much."

Randall smirks, shaking his head. "Tell her whatever you like, I guess— she'll believe whatever she wants to believe." And none of it matters all that much to him, as long as that new boyfriend continues to keep her occupied. "I should actually get going," he adds, "got a shift coming up in less than an hour— my number's changed, I'll drop you a line at the studio, okay? We'll get something set up." Sure they will.

"Yeah, it'll be fun, I promise. Are you still into the party scene? I kind of got out of it when.." And Hallis holds her left hand up and wiggles her fingers, the giant rock attached catches the light fabulously. "But I'd still love to cut loose if you're up for it, just don't tell my bodyguard… He can get so overprotective. Seriously." Then she gives him a little finger wave and moves forward to the counter with Sydney's book.

Belle moves off to the side, taking note of the post cards, book marks, and various sundries that line along the counter to catch the eye of those who wish to check out, beckoning to them and encouraging them to buy more - after all, one shouldn't read books without a way to mark their place should they have to leave in the middle of reading. A quick glance is cast back toward Hallis and Sydney before Belle turns and glides her way toward the door.

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