2009-11-28: Welcome Back



Date: November 28, 2009


A little meeting over coffee has Hallis getting acquainted with George's old flame.

"Welcome Back"


It's late afternoon and the Starbucks has started to fill up with a fair sized crowd. People are starting to mill in after a good day spending time around the city, finally ready to relax. One of these people is Sierra LeBlanc, just recently returned from Canada after a bit of a complication with her work visa. Luckily, everything was fixed and she could move back. So today she sits at one of the quickly dwindling free tables and sips on her latte while taking down some notes. While she already is wearing quite a nice dress and necklace, she has bags full of clothing on either side of her, evidence that she went shopping prior to coming here.

The door opens and in breezes Hallis Van Cortlandt, a very well known face in the tabloids and the Times' gossip column. Unlike most of the other patrons in the establishment, she is free of any shopping bags and wearing a pair of sunglasses to hide her bleary eyes. With the absence of the man who precipitated the turn in her leaf, she's reverted to a few of her old habits. Namely, she was out until the wee hours of the morning at a party and is now suffering the after effects.

Coming up to the counter, she adjusts the purse on her shoulder and pulls out her wallet. "I'll have a cappuccino, non-fat, no foam." Her order is fairly simple, a jolt of caffeine to get her morning started… even though it's well into the afternoon.

Having not yet noticed the well known tabloid friendly young woman, Sierra leans back, bringing up her note pad. "Mon dieu. Too much to know, too little time to write about all of it!" She shakes her head, moving to take a sip of her latte. Working for a paper has it's ups and downs. Like not being able to set your own deadlines. And she's one who isn't averse to having a little fun or going to a couple of parties as well, if the mood so moves her. There's a sigh as she rubs her eyes. "They say ordinateur screens are hard to look at for long times."

After collecting her cup, Hallis leaves the barrista with a generous tip. Her selfish nature curbed for the moment. She drifts just past the other woman's table, choosing a seat that allows a good view of the sidewalk outside and just happens to be facing Sierra at her table. After resting her cup on the table, she pulls out a tabloid magazine and begins to peruse the pages, looking at the pictures. There are a few of her, a few of some of the people she is frequently seen with, but she flips past those easily enough resigning to a spread about the latest gossip surrounding Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Sierra drops her note pad back on to the table. While she enjoys her job, sometimes she just needs to take a break…again. She lets her gaze drift throughout the Starbucks, allowing herself to people watch for a moment. When her eyes pass over Hallis, however, they do a double take. She looks familiar…very familiar. But from where? Work? No. Not from work. Did she interview her at any point? Nope. Didn't do that. Suddenly her eyes widen as recognition floods over her face. She is quick to get out of her seat and scoot over to the nearby table. "Hallis Van Cotlandt?" There's an obvious French accent to her voice.

Pulling off her sunglasses, Hallis turns her slightly reddened eyes up to the woman standing next to her. "Yes, I'm Hallis… Do I know you?" The question isn't unfriendly, more wary than anything. She closes the magazine and there she is on the cover. The title spouting rumors about the young blonde and her significant other splitting up. If the other woman pays attention to the magazines at all, they flip stories every other week, all receiving no comment from the Van Cortlandt camp.

Sierra smiles and shakes her head. "Non. I just…well, it is tres difficile to not know who you are. I am Sierra LeBlanc." She smiles widely, glancing down at the tabloid. "I…believe we also know someone in common, hmm?" She says, tapping the photo where George is. "But, I wanted to tell you, you are very magnifique and beautiful." She smiles. "And just because I work for a news paper does not mean I believe everything out there that is written about you."

Hallis' eyes follow Sierra's finger taps against George's face. "You know George?" she asks, quite curious. It shouldn't come as a surprise to her though, it seems the congressman knows absolutely everyone in the city. Or at least most of them. The compliment receives a little smile and the young socialite gestures to the second seat at her table. "Well this story isn't at all true. We did have a little fight that night, but it was over almost before it started." Licking her lips, the smile widens and she plucks the paper cup from the table, taking a drink of the coffee. "What newspaper do you work for? The Times? The Post?" Those are really the only two she knows about. She doesn't follow the news.

Sierra grins. "Oh, I do know George at that. Quite the man he is, eh?" She giggles. Grabbing her bags of clothes and her notepad, she moves them over to the table and sits across from Hallis, smiling widely. "Well, couples will have fights, won't they? It is an malheureux circumstance that sometimes infiltre relationships." And if you're wondering, she doesn't even notice that she's speaking French words. It's what she does. "Ah, I work for a small paper. The Queens Gazette. Perhaps one day I'll make my way up to the New York Times or the Post. But I'm not there yet."

Blushing just a little, Hallis nods at Sierra's assessment of her boyfriend. "Yeah, he really is." It is said in a little bit of a breathless fashion, the young woman seems truly in awe of the man on the cover and she touches the picture lightly, smiling down at it. Oddly enough, Hallis doesn't seem to notice the French words that creep into the other woman's sentences. She's been tutored in the language for so long and the fact that her grandmother insists that it be the only language spoken in her house it's become a bit of a second nature to hear it. "The Queens Gazette? I don't think I've ever heard of that paper. Is it from .. uhm.." She's a little bit dim on that point though. "Queens?"

Sierra tilts her head slightly to the left, brushing some hair out of her eyes. "You like him a lot, oui?" She says happily. "Well, be sure to tell him that I say hello. And that I am back in town." She gazes down at her pad of paper, closing it up. No need for anyone to see that she wanted to write a piece on celebrities. "Ah, oui. Oui, le Queens Gazette is located in Queens. It is a nice newspaper to work for. Bigger than the one I worked for back home as well. That is certainly good thing as it means une identification plus large." Translation for the populace? Wider identification, in short. Her works might be seen by a wider group of people.

Hallis nods quickly at the first question. "I do. He's the best thing that's ever happened to me." She picks her coffee up again and takes another few gulps of the hot liquid, setting it down directly afterward. With the direction and message for him, she nods twice and looks down at the page a little forlornly. "He's back in Texas until the end of the weekend… Then he'll be in Washington. So, unless I see him between stops, it might be a little while before I get your message to him." Though her head is still lowered, Hallis' eyes drift up to meet Sierra's and she gives the woman a small smile, "But I'll be sure to tell him that you're back and that you said hello."

The young woman listens intently as the brunette explains about the size of the newspaper and its readership. "Does it have a gossip column? I have to admit that I don't read the news, or watch it. It's all too depressing, you know? If something is really important, there will be warning sirens or something." The poor young woman really is clueless when it comes to current affairs, unless they have something to do with pop culture, in which case she's practically an expert.

"I know, that schedule programme of his keeps him busy." Sierra knows all too well, one might say. Or she used to anyway, not too long ago. "It is not pressant that he is told immediately. Just when you can." She say in understanding. "His job demands a fair bit of him, doesn't it?" She takes a long sip of her drink, listening to Hallis. "Well, we have a small gossip column. But do not souci ou frette, I am not the one who writes it. I just read it." She winks playfully. "I do not always like reading the news either. Unfortunately, it is hard not to when I work for a newspaper."

"Yes, he's always busy, always, but it's alright. It's not hard to make time together." The young woman smiles a little and gives a smitten gaze toward the picture again. It's a horrible one of her though, not one of the ones she publicly displays, but it's the first one of the two of them together. Aside from the ones on her cell phone. "Well not very hard. I visit him in Washington every once in a while, but I just got a new job, so I won't be able to do that too much anymore." When the reporter admits to her dislike of the news, Hallis gives her a look of complete disbelief. "Seriously? I thought it was your job to know all the news stuff. Is that where you know George from? You interviewed him and things?"

Sierra nods a little. "Well, when amore is there, it is not hard to make time, oui?" She stretches her arms out a little bit. "A new job? That must be very exciting. I remember when J'ai obtenu ce travail. I was tres heureux. New York is a great place to have a job, non?" She certainly is happy about it. She grins, giggling softly. "Well, it may be my job to know about the news an to write it, but I don't have to like reading it or watching it on TV." She says with a small smirk. "Well, I first met George before he was a congressman. He was working for Nathan Petrelli at the time." She explains, leaving it there.

Hallis' mouth forms a small 'o' at the length of time the other woman has known the newest face of the tabloids. "He hasn't always been a congressman? Oh…" This small tidbit is news to her. She didn't realize that he'd actually worked for someone else before. Then again, she's never voted either, so it's yet another thing she's never had to pay attention to. But! When the conversation steers toward her new career, Hallis beams proudly. "I'm a retrieval specialist. It's kind of like a personal shopper. My boss calls me and wants something, I get it for him." The job she just described is that of a gopher, but she's still proud to have it.

It is then she spies the time on her watch and winces. "Oh dear, speaking of which, I need to check in with my boss and make my appearance. Just so I earn my money for the day… Otherwise he'll be asking what I did and I'll have to admit coffee and sleeping. It's apparently a bad thing to be sleeping while you're on the clock." With that, she gathers her magazine and coffee and gives the other woman a wave. "It was nice talking to you, if you ever move to the gossip column I'll definitely give you something to write about."

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