Date: December 27, 2009
A shady character makes the socialite some heart shaped waffles.
"The Gift Of Giving"
Hallis and Andra's Apartment
A few days after her awful scare, Hallis actually had an urge to eat again. It's really too bad the Eggos are all gone, but she's got ingredients in the kitchen and a cookbook. Armed with a bowl and a hand mixer, she attempts to create the fluffy delicacies herself. With peanuts and chocolate chips. Unfortunately, it works about as well as the first time and maybe, just maybe, there's a little bit of soap in the batter from when she had the bowl in the sink and the bottle of dishsoap fell over. It's really no surprise when she digs out a small card from her wallet and chews on her lip just before dialing her phone.
"Mister Enigma? I need help…"
A half an hour after she hangs up, the small woman is sitting in her living room nursing a mimosa and watching a little bit of television. More cartoons. She's actually getting to like these Smurf characters, they're her favorite color. Blue.
"…" She actually called. It takes Emery a few moments to process this before he's getting dressed and snatching up the keys, calling a sitter then moseying out to the car that is smaller than the hummer.
He does arrive in 30-40 minutes or so, pulling up, exiting the car with a small gift bag and his sunglasses worn as usual, black jeans, fitted black sweater/turtleneck and a black leather jacket, fedora perched at a jaunty angle.
Knock Knock Knock. "Oi! Pixie stick!"
It only takes a moment or two before the young woman has the three deadbolts turned and the chain off and the door open (she doesn't take her personal safety for granted). Emery is greeted with a large smile and she steps aside to allow him entry. The house is relatively spotless, it has to be since everything in it is white or a pale dusty pink and green. Dirt would just be too visible in this house.
"Thanks for coming. You said you could teach me…" Her voice drifts off as she leads him to the mess that is her kitchen. There's batter everywhere because she lifted the mixer while the blades were still spinning. There's whipped cream exploded all over the ceiling because she opened the top of the pressurized container to make sure she actually put the sugar in. The microwave has an odd red splatter across the glass because she exploded an entire container of frozen strawberries in it. Yes, she forgot to take the metal lid off the top so who knows if it's even working.
Emery stares at Hallis for a few moments before slipping into the house, looking over his shoulder to make sure the door is shut behind him and following on to the kitchen. "…" He can really only stare, turning in a circle and looking around warily before carefully setting his gift bag down and then his nose wrinkles. "Bloody hell."
Chewing on her lower lip, the young blonde takes up a perch on one of the tall stools near the island counter. "I made a little mess, I know. But I'll clean it up, I promise." Why is she making promises to the man? Well he'd promised to teach her how to make the evil things that she's got a hankering for. Looking around the kitchen though, she may need a few more mimosas before really in the mood to put a dent in the numerous splatters.
Speaking of which, her flute is almost empty, so she places the glass on the counter and gives him a smile. "Can I get you something to drink? I have practically everything. We just can't do shots, last time I never got to cook anything because we got too drunk."
"Tis a bit frightening, aye." Emery sighs and rubs his forehead as he clears his throat. "C'mon now pixie luv, lets get tings straightened up a bit so we can begin work on…I'm guessin' waffles?" He makes a face and cringes a bit before resting a hand on his hip. "You couldn't have called me before totally destroyed your kitchen?"
Slipping off her stool, Hallis shrugs somewhat and then shakes her head quickly. "Well I didn't want to be a bother. I've already made so many people angry, I didn't need you mad at me too. You have a gun." She slides past him to the sink and begins to run the hot water and pulls out a few paper towels. Slowly, she begins smearing the batter with the paper towels in an attempt to clean them up. It's an admirable attempt, that's for sure, ending with a thin spread of waffle batter all over the counters.
"…I also 'ave other tings too ya know." Then he pinches the bridge of his nose, shrugging out of his jacket and draping it over a stool and moving to the sink to work on making dish water with a small smirk. "Hallis wasn't it? Yes yes, go ahead and find a seat and I'll get everything cleaned up, hm? Then make the waffles and such." Emery does know his way around the kitchen at least.
Hallis pulls the stool out and places it on the other side of the counter so that she can supervise and chat while he cleans. "Well yes, you have a daughter… but past that I really don't know much about you. Do I?" She rests her elbows on the marble slab and cups her face with her hands as she looks up at him. "How was your Christmas? Mine would have been fabulous, except my Grandmother is very mad at me." Her eyes then shoot toward the gift bag and she looks between it and the dark haired man. "Is that a present for Kennis? I have something for her too, it's under the tree… and something for you too. It's also under the tree." Apparently the young woman has bought presents for everyone in the city, because there's still a very large pile under the tree.
"Nope, it is for you." Emery checks under counters and what not until he finds the appropriate cleaner for cleaning up batter and making dish water and the like. "Our holidays were very nice actually. We just stayed up and relaxed and stayed calm and happy…ate sweets and drank milk." A faint smile as he works on cleaning. In the bag is a simple holiday card and a book about different types of waffles.
Hallis slides toward the bag and looks up at Emery, "Can I open it now?" She doesn't wait for the answer though, peeking into it carefully (just in case he says no). Unable to contain herself she pulls the book out and gives a small squeal of delight at the sight of it. "Oh we have to try this kind!" she says, pointing at a picture of a plate of waffles with piles of fruit and ice cream. "That looks good but we'll have to skip the waffle part, and the ice cream, and the fruit… too many carbs…" She just stares at the picture as a small rumble from her stomach is audible. "I'm on a diet," she explains a bit further.
"Just pick out a waffle and we'll make 'em." Emery agrees softly as he scrubs a counter and pauses to just stare again at Hallis. "…you are on a diet?! What the hell are you trying to lose, bone mass?" It still boggles his mind, it really does. "Fruit has been good for people for years, now I get doing fruit and ice cream OR waffles or just waffles and fruit, but dunnae keep being silly."
"I don't want to get fat." The young blonde says with a little whine in her voice, "I had a nervous breakdown the other day because I thought I'd gained 50lbs. You don't know how traumatizing it is." She flips a few more pages before pointing to a recipe involving almonds and apples. "This one, I'll even eat more than a bite or two." She mmm's as she stares at the picture and gives him a large smile. "But! I think I'm going to buy a set of breasts… not very big ones, but maybe a small B cup. Not those huge things that I thought I had… they were horrible. You wouldn't believe how fat I was."
Emery's eyebrow raises as he watches the woman from behind the safety of his shades. "…fruit, ice cream and carbs aren't going to make you fat." He blinks and peers at the page of waffles in question and he gives a tiny nod. "Lovely choice - the waffles, not the tittie desires. That's…a tad silly really. I mean what if every man who felt he didn't have big enough danglies could just go off places to buy more?"
Giving Emery an incredulous look, Hallis opens her mouth to refute his point. "Well… they would, wouldn't they? I mean, I get emails all the time for… and there's commercials for… natural enhancement.." Her cheeks tinge with a bit of a blush as she speaks and she averts her eyes to the picture in the book. "But yeah, I think I have apples and almonds. I think." Her cupboards are very well stocked, she just doesn't know what's in them.
"The medical complications would take all the fun out of the very reason why you'd want the larger bits anyhow." Emery starts taking down ingredients as he moves along, nodding slowly. "Almonds and Apples are indeed good for you ya know." He has to point out as he scans the recipe in the book to get an idea of what to do. "You 'ave a waffle iron, yeah?"
Nodding emphatically, Hallis jumps from her stool and bends down to a lower cupboard to extract an electric waffle iron. "I got this one, see?" She lifts the lid to show him the unusual design of the grid. "It makes heart shaped waffles, I thought that would be so cute." As many Japanese and Fusion restaurants know, cute food is the only way to get the young Van Cortlandt to actually take a bite of something. "What do we do first?" Uh oh. She's already trying to help.
Emery holds up a one moment figure as he reaches out to take the grid if allowed and then resting it on the counter with a small smile. "Oh yes sweetling, completely dahling." He drawls and then freezes up. "You…sit down on the stool and cheer me on. I'll work on making the batter and then make the waffles. Don't worry."
Her face falls as she looks up at him. "But… you said you were going to teach me. I can't get you to come over every morning to make me waffles." Sighing, she retakes her position on the stoll and slumps her shoulders as she watches the dark haired man. Her hand finds its way into her hair and she begins to play with a few strands, twirling them between her fingertips. Her other hand is idly flipping through the pages, forgetting that he might need the one they were on to follow the recipe.
"Exactly why you have to watch first." Emery explains as he eyes Hallis quietly. "Watch! Not the book, me." He snaps his fingers and reaches for that book, so he can re-find the recipe with a shake of his head. "I will show you how to make the waffles, you will learn and be able to do it for yourself." A firm nod and he begins work on the batter, humming softly.
An attention span isn't something that Hallis is very known for. She does try though. For the first few minutes, she's watching him intently, paying careful attention on how to crack an egg without getting shell all over the place. Then her eyes slowly drift toward the television in the living room as something extremely exciting happens in the cartoon. Then they flit back to Emery quickly as he dumps the flour in. Then they slowly drift back to the television, where they stay, fixated on the colorful little creatures.
"Do you know that most men appreciate a girlie that can make them breakfast or at least have somebody around who can make breakfast." Emery is quiet as he stirs the batter as he adds different ingredients and frowns. "What the hell are ye watchin?" His head tilts to the side as he plugs in the waffle iron to get it heated up.
"Huh?" The young woman says, her attention diverting once again to the man making her meal. "Oh, cartoons, my boss watches them all the time. I thought I would start watching some so I had something to talk to him about." Hallis says quietly, her eyes slowly drifting back to the television set. Then she smiles up at Emery and watches him plug the iron in. "I think I should settle for someone to be around to make me breakfast. George is usually too busy to stay that long."
"You boss watches those cartoons?" Emery arches an eyebrow slowly as the man in sunglasses just bustles around the kitchen, cleaning and cooking like a pro. "You should call an agency then, Pixie stick. Get a personal assistant or something like that. I'm sure you'd do well with somebody to help care for you after all."
Hallis watches him silently for a few minutes before chewing her lip and cupping her cheek with her palm. "What about you? I don't exactly need a personal assistant as much as someone to keep me safe when I'm walking on the streets… or make me breakfast." She gives him a winning smile and then jumps off her stool to head toward the living room. She makes an indent in the plush carpet as she crawls under the tree, searching for the two gifts designated for Mister Sunglasses and his daughter. "Come into the living room! You don't need to watch them when they're cooking, do you?"
"What about me?" Emery gets the first waffle set before following after Hallis with a squint and roll of his eyes, wiping hands on a dish towel. "Safe? On the streets? What in the 'ell are you involved in where you'd need to be kept safe." His left eye twitches a bit. "Alright, alright, I'm comin', I"m comin'."
"I almost got kidnapped a few weeks ago. I was walking a friend to the subway and these men decided that I'd make a good ransom." Hallis murmurs quietly as she retrieves the two gifts and presents them to the man. "Now I don't walk anywhere, which is probably how I got so fat that I had a nervous breakdown." There's a smaller package for him and a much larger one labeled for his daughter. "I hope Kennis likes it, of course I hope you like yours too." She draws her knees up and hugs them tightly to her chest as she watches the man open the gift. The smell of the waffles makes her stomach growl lightly, again.
Emery listens before frowning and reaching out to take the gift, slipping a knife out of his sleeve to work on opening the gift with meticulous care. He sighs softly. "You can't get that fat and then lose all the weight that quickly, it doesn't make any sense, I hope you realize that." Then he pauses. "What time do you go to work every morning?"
"Around nine or ten…My boss is busy in the mornings, so I don't have to be there until later." Hallis says with a smile on her face. Inside the box is a pair of boxer shorts with mistletoe printed all over them, obviously meant as a joke. "Of course I know that I can't gain and lose weight that fast… I mean it was all in one day. But I think that someone was either in my head or I've got anorexia… I don't think I have anorexia because I do eat a little bit every day."
Emery mmhms and holds up the boxer shorts with a snort and soft chuckle. "…awwww, thanks Pixie luv, now I have somethin' to sleep in." He looks vaguely amused as he folds the shorts back up and places them back in the box, hmming thoughtfully. "Anorexia? Then you need to be tinkin' about record when and what you eat on a daily basis to make sure you're getting enough." He pauses and turns to head back for the kitchen to check on the waffles.
As the boxers are lifted there is a clunk in the bottom of the box, apparently it's the real gift. But the man is up and walking toward the kitchen already. "If you want to sleep in them, you can. I just thought they were funny." Hallis gets up and follows after him, reclaiming her seat at the island. "Hey, those smell really good!" Once again, her stomach rumbles to which she glares downward and grimaces, "Quiet you… You had some food yesterday."
Emery double-takes at the sound of the clunk, frowning in that direction before plating the first waffle on a plate and working on cutting up an apple…he's pretty good with a knife, twirling it idly as he tilts his head to the side, watching Hallis. "They are funny and far more comfortable than a thong as we both know." A wry smile. "Keep yelling pixie tummy, maybe you can talk some sense into your owner."
"I knew you wore thongs!" Hallis cackles, almost falling off the stool in her mirth. After composing herself again, she rests her elbows on the counter and cups her face in her hands as she watches the peeling of the apples progress. "Pixie tummy's owner has a lot of sense. I got a job all by myself.. and other things…" She couldn't name what any of those other things are at the moment, but she's certain she's a little smarter than the body organ she was arguing with.
Emery peels the first apple in one continuous strip of skin. "I have worn many tings luv, but I don't make of habit of flossing me ass crack when I dun 'ave to." He arranges apple slices in the shape of a flower on top of the waffle. "Some sense, but iffen you don't properly feed yourself then you end up…eh…frail and helpless."
"So what you're saying is… You had to wear a thong?" Hallis chirps as she grabs the peel and slips off the stool. She's giggling at her own joke as she prances all the way to the garbage can to deposit the thing. "And I do properly feed myself, most of the time. Did you know that if you don't eat your body grows all this gross white hair all over? Yeah, I don't want a white beard, so I eat as much as I have to to stop that from happening."
"I've had to wear one before, aye." Emery doesn't seem embarrassed at all really. He pushes the plate down the counter and folds a napkin all fancy like, resting a fork on it and smiling a bit. "…where oh earth do you read all this garbage? If you don't eat you die luv, maybe you mold afterwards but the threat of dying is far higher than sprouting lil' onion hairs all over your body."
A pair of thin eyebrows loft toward the ceiling as the small woman stares at the man in the sunglasses. "Uhm… No, hair is worse than death. Because if I don't grow the hair I'll still be a good looking corpse. If I have hair… eugh…" And she shudders violently at the mere thought of it. "Hair is almost as bad as those huge fat bags that were hanging off my chest on Christmas eve. And my butt!! You should have seen it! I swear it wouldn't have been able to fit in a chair. I was at least a size four. Thank god I'm perfect again."
Emery double takes at Hallis with wide eyes, left eye twitching a bit before he sighs and closes his eyes for a few moments, hands on his hip and head bowed. "Pixie. All the work women went through to accept themselves as beautiful no matter what they look like…" He trails off and waves a hand vaguely. "Bah, doesn't matter what I say does it? You're always gonna tink that no body mass and a healthy bit of adjustments for your diet to make sure if you have to run for hours, you can."
"No one would have thought I was beautiful like this, trust me. I was grotesque, disgusting even." Hallis counters, there's no changing her mind on that one. "It had to all be in my head though, because my dress still fit comfortably." Stalking into the kitchen, she opens a few cupboards looking for some dishes and utensils. She doesn't know where they are either. Finally after looking through every door and drawer, she manages to come up with two of each set. "Do you want to eat here or at the table?" The island is built as a small breakfast counter with two stools, one of which already claimed. The table is pristine with its large floral centerpiece and also looks quite inviting.
"You can't speak for anybody but yourself." Emery moves off, folding another napkin all fancy like as he nods towards the kitchen counter. "The breakfast island tink will be fine, that way it is easier to clean up." He explains with a small shake of his head. "Anyhow, do you want something to drink with your waffle luv?"
Nodding, Hallis makes an 'Mmm' noise and puts the plates and silverware down on the island. "I'll make us mimosas! I've been drinking those all day." It's off to the minibar where she pulls out two champagne flutes and takes them to the kitchen. "You want one, right? They'll be so good with waffles…" She doesn't wait for his answer, just assuming that yes, he does want some. To the fridge and back again, one hand holding a bottle of champagne, the other a flask of orange juice. After the drinks are prepared, she sets one of the glasses down in front of his plate and the other in front of hers.
"Mimos-oh…well, ah-" Okay…Emery can just snort and shake his head as he eyes the mimosas with a thoughtful sigh, nodding politely and eying his own plate of waffles before eying Hallis's. He's quiet as he reaches out to pick up that glass, taking a sip of the drink, nose wrinkling. "Thank you kindly for the…Mimosa."
Raising her glass to his, Hallis gives the man a dazzling smile and quips, "To the day you decide to take off your sunglasses!" Then she clinks her glass to his and takes a sip. Once the glass is placed back on the counter, she lifts up her fork and knife and just stares at the waffle. Almost as though she's expecting that a simple look will give her the nourishment she needs. Ever so slowly, she spikes it with her fork and begins to slowly cut it with her knife. "So, are you going to take the job?"
Emery stares for a few moments, eyebrows shooting up as he looks thoughtful at that statement, smirking gently. "The day I take off my sunglasses is the day you stop tinkin' a size 4 is fat." He tips his hat before cutting his waffles into smaller bits and he chokes on a sip of mimosa to stare at Hallis for a few moments. "…job? What job? What job is it I'm takin' exactly?"
Hallis narrows her eyes a little as she stares at him and puckers her lips slightly in thought, "So what you're saying is… you'll take your sunglasses off if I don't think size 4 is fat? At all or just on me?" She qualifying, apparently she really wants to see him without the glasses. The young blonde cuts away a half does or so squares from her heart shaped waffled and slides one of them around on her plate. "Well the bodyguard one, you said you were a trained butler and personal assistant, right? Are you bondable?"
"The fork is for putting the bits of waffle in your mouth by the way." Emery points out, just in case Hallis didn't know that. "And aye, on you, on other people…a size 14, okay…maybe that's a bit large but a 4? That's just silly." Then he chuckles and takes another sip of his mimosa, making a face. "I ammmm trained, yes. Officially trained that is. But what exactly are you asking? You want to hire me, is that it?"
"Isn't that what I said?" Hallis argues, still pushing the bit of waffle around the plate. At his instruction, she finally concedes and takes a half bite of one of the small squares she had cut. It's going to be difficult to chew it thirty times before swallowing, but somewhere there was a diet that said if you chewed thirty times your food digests faster… or something. "I need someone that can protect me from being kidnapped on the street, or even just to make sure I'm okay." She glances off toward one of the closed doors in the hallway, presumably a bedroom.
Emery ahhs softly and chuckles as he works on eating and drinking, chewing slowly he has time to think on how to reply. "…right then. If you need me, you know you can call luv, but as for havin' a permanent fixture…I'd tink your boss would hire some for ye." He sighs. "Iffen you need it though, I'll see what I can do."
Hallis puts her fork and knife down and looks from the closed door to his sunglasses. "I don't want my boss to think I'm helpless, or hopeless. He shouldn't have to hire someone to protect me when I'm not at work… and while I'm at work there's building security." She shrugs and points toward the closed door, "Andra left for the holidays somewhere and she took Zorro with her… so I'm all alone all the time." She wrinkles her nose slightly and sighs heavily, as though the weight of the world is all on her shoulders. "It's not like I'd be asking for forty hours a week… just when I'm out or meeting friends, things like that."
Emery mmhms softly, glancing towards the door and then looking back to Hallis. "Here's the dealio luv. I like you, you amuse me and remind me of what me children would be like had I been born to a richer class." He taps his fork against his lips. "I 'ave no idea what the 'ell 'Andra' is and Zorro's over rated anyways, so I'll have to work with you when I can to keep your stick thin lil' ass alive and well."
"Andra's my roommate, Zorro's her dog… he's a pit bull or something." The young woman says as she picks up her fork again and pops a bite of waffle into her mouth. She chews it thoughtfully as she stares at Emery eating. "Of course it wouldn't be for free… I mean I'd pay. Maybe I could get some kind of low jack in my head or something. So you can track me down by computer if I ever get into any trouble." The idea has merit, in more ways than one… not just for her.
Emery laughs softly. "All you really need is a cellphone or one of those medical alert bracelets or summat. No need to get all sci fi and fancy now." He drains the rest of his mimosa, sighing and tugging his flask from under his shirt to fill the glass back up before tucking it away once more, shrugging a shoulder. "I'll do it, no payment just yet." Then he rolls his shoulders. "And I'll make you low fat waffles."
"I have a cellphone, but so far I've gotten into too many situations where I haven't been able to use it." Another bite of waffle muffles any sort of talking Hallis would be able to manage. Then a bite of apple. Then another bite of waffle. She's got perhaps a quarter of her plate finished before she drops her fork and lets loose a groan and places a hand over her stomach. "Ugh… this is why I don't eat. It just hurts too much."
Emery rests his elbow against the table, sipping from his drink and nose wrinkling as he listens and watches Hallis with a hint of concern. "This should be real interesting indeed." He lilts thoughtfully, wiping his mouth on his napkin and tossing the napkin on his plate and waves a hand vaguely. "You call, I come. You set a schedule, I try to show up."
"Seriously? You'll do it?! Oh my god! Thank you!!" The young woman jumps out of her seat and wraps her arms around him in a tight hug. The hug is quick and ends about as fast as it started. Hallis can't stop smiling as she picks up her plate and dumps the remainder of the waffle into the garbage. Without the dog here, she hasn't been able to feed it all the leftovers, which means all the food she doesn't eat is right there to haunt her until the garbage gets changed. "Is there something I need to do? Like give you a list of all the people I know or something? I don't know how this works."
"Wagh! Touching, touching." Emery returns the hugs rather quickly, squeezing and patting Hallis's back before stepping back and cleaning off the counter with a squint and shake of his head. "A list would help…as well as an idea of your schedule so I can get used to how and what you live." He nods slowly, reaching out to take the plate from Hallis as well. "I have to take my daughter to her ballet class soon, so you better get on that."