Ella Plays Tour Guide

A tall man with blonde hair and icy blue eyes makes his way down the strip. As he makes his way down, he holds a PDA in one hand and taps away at it with a thin black stylus. He is dressed modestly, but also very sharply. He wears a three button, well tailored suit jacket with the bottom button undone. Underneath that he wears a dark blue dress shirt with french cuffs, and a gold tie to finish it off. Over his legs he wears a pair of flat front, black, dress slacks and on his feet a pair of shiny black leather shoes. Slowly, he comes to a stop and tilts his head to the either side and rotations his shoulders slowly.

Another night rolls around, bringing with it the usual herd of party-going up-and-coming stars along with the packs of paparazzi that trail their every step. Most of these professional stalkers seem to just hover outside of certain nightspots all night long, though one in particular is more restless than usual. Buzzing from one trendy nightspot to the next, this diminutive, dark-haired women can't seem to quite decide which one she wants to stake out as she slips seamlessly through the burgeoning crowds with her professional-grade camera clutched tightly in one hand. Against one hip rests a messenger bag, the strap crossing her torso and connecting on the opposite shoulder. Faded khaki cargo pants cover her legs, the fraying edges dangling over a pair of red Chuck Taylor's. Her shirt this evening is a stunningly plain, white v-neck tee and perched on top of her ebon hair is a pair of sunglasses, the red frames in the shape of two hearts.

A soft scowl comes over the young man's face, as he reaches a hand up to run his fingers through his hair slowly, pushing it back. He bites softly on the corner of his bottom lip as he peers at the PDA. Finally, he slips the stylus into the back, and opens up his jacket pocket. He reaches one hand in, and slides the PDA into one of the jacket pockets. Then, opening the other side of his jacket he pulls out a pack of cigarette. Tapping the pack against the heel of his hand, he slips one out and places it between his lips. Then, reaching into his pants pocket, he pulls out a silver zippo lighter "PV 27:18" being inscribed on one side.

The petite woman startles seemingly at nothing, her grey eyes widening for a moment before she settles back into a her easy stride. With a wordless grumble, she reaches into one of her pockets to extract a rather simple cell phone, flipping it open and sighing heavily. "Rick, I told you, when I get the shots -YOU'LL- get the shots. I'm not fucking psychic. I don't know where these glorified crack whores are going to magically show up, especially with papa Spears in town to reign in your cash cow. Look, I'm—" she pauses for a moment as a wicked grin flashes across the broad expanse of her lips. Out of nowhere, she begins yelling, "Christina! Christina! Over here!" while flashing her camera at no one in particular. This does, of course, generate more than a few looks and shouts of the same name as she yells into her phone, "I might have something! Talk to you soon!" The phone closes with a snap of her thumb, her eyes rolling as she goes about her business as if nothing had just occurred.

The wick of the zippo flares up, as Winston strikes the flint. He brings the lighter up to the cigarette hanging between his lips. He however pauses as he hears the shouting and begins to look around. His eyes land on the short woman, and they narrow slightly in thought as he brings the flame to the end of the cigarette and slowly sucks in, causing the cigarette to begin to glow red. Flipping the lighter closed he begins to slowly roll it in his hands. Inhaling deeply, he opens his mouth to allow the smoke to roll. Quickly, he inhales his through his nose causing the smoke to cascade up into his nostrils. Then, blowing out the remainder he cants his head to one side as he begins to approach the short woman, "Excuse me, miss?"

Having strayed near to The Burning Fortune, the small photographer halfway turns with one angular eyebrow arched. Eyes the color of a summer storm dart from side to side as if she were gauging exactly -who- this man was speaking to before realizing it's got to be her. Tipping her head to one side, a ponderous crease forming between her eyebrows, she asks, "What's up? Did I drop something? Lose something? Forget something?" she asks in rapidfire succession, blinking all the while.

One hand languidly makes its way to his mouth as he inhales slowly. Removing the cigarette from his lips, Winston turns his head slightly and blows the smoke away from the young girl. "No, no you did not. I had a question though, from maybe a local or someone who has been in this part of town for a while." He smiles softly, in an almost business like fashion. "I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with the reputation of a few clubs?" His hand, with the cigarette, returns to his mouth, as his lips slip around the orange-brown end of it. Slowly, he inhales again as he watches the short girl almost studiously.

One slender shoulder is rolled in the vague semblance of a shrug as the pale woman smiles thoughtfully up at the businessman. "Oh! Sure, sure, I can at least try, right? I'll tell you only what I know of the clubs and leave out any entertaining falsehoods that might just pop up in my mind, no matter if the conjecture -could- be true or not. That sound fair enough? Which clubs were you curious about? There's a bunch around here. Always having grand openings and then less-grand closings. It's a constant thing, really. Sort of depressing when you think about it," she prattles in an endless tirade, her head tipping from one side to the other during her little dissertation. "I think it's because the young stars these days were probably raised on Sesame Street and with their small segments, segueing into completely different small segments, it encouraged like a fifteen minute attention span. So, these people can't keep focused on one thing too long. Though I have nothing against Snuffie and Big Bird, just for the record."

"I see…" Winston murmurs softly as he listens to the girl. He hmms softly for a second and takes a glance around slowly. Taking another drag off of the cigarette, he brings his hand back up to his mouth to remove it. "I was wondering about…four, specifically. I heard that there was one on Vine that opened up a little while ago, the second one is Club Concept or Contempt or whatever, the third, Club Hades, and finally…" He jerks his thumb towards the pool hall, "That place."

Shifting her gaze to the pool hall at the mention of it, Ella's nose crinkles with distaste. "Well, for starters, if I were you I wouldn't attend any hootenannies there. I have it on good authority that's where Carl, son of Carl, the biker bully likes to hang out a lot. He said as much when he held up the smoke shop behind me," she mentions in an almost casual tone of voice while tipping her head in the direction of The Burning Fortune. "Sometimes I think he stalks me just to like give me a taste of my own medicine or something. I dunno. He's a freak." She pauses in order to gnaw thoughtfully on her lower lip, "I dunno which place you mean on Vine, but if I had a name I think I might be able to help? Club Concept or Contempt or whatever isn't one I'm familiar with. Maybe it goes by another name? Or you might be thinking of something in San Fran? Sounds like something they'd totally do in San Fran or Seattle, but Seattle is far from here," she rambles, lifting a hand to point north in of course the direction of Washington state. "And then there was Hades…" her voice trails off as a shudder seems to grip her meager form for a moment. "Yeah, I totally wouldn't go there again if I was paid handsomely. The place was shot up by a gang turf war when I was there before and the place was a fucking -sty-. Nope, never again," she repeats, shaking her head over and over again, though her eyes are a little too wide.

The hand holding the cigarette brings the aforementioned object up for a close inspection. As Winston sees its near the filter, he simply lets go of the near burning butt of a cigarette. He takes a slight step forward as he places his heel over the burning cigarette, and slowly rotates to snuff it out. "I see…" He begins softly, with a soft hmm. One hand dips back into the pocket where he placed the PDA, and returns with the object held in hand. He taps away at the screen for a few moments and takes a glance back up to Ella, "Just off of Santa Monica, on Vine. Never heard of a club there?" He tilts his head slightly as he watches the girl and brings the opposite hand up to tap his finger against his chin slowly as he listens. "Hades you say, shot up in a gang war…?"

Ever so slowly, Ella begins to rise up on the toes of her shoes, her vivid eyes peering down to try to catch a glimpse of whatever might be hidden on the glowing screen in front of her most recent companion. At the man's quick glance in her direction, a wholly innocent smile plays across her face as she goes instantly back to a normal standing position, blinking up at him guilelessly. "I've heard of lots of clubs, I just need to know which one near Vine and Santa Monica you mean is all. Is it The Gulag? I can't remember. I walk this beat nearly every fucking night, and so everything on the circuit just kinda runs together. It's not the titty bar is it? Next Door's Living Room? Barbie has more realistic boobs than they do, to be quite honest, but hey whatever floats your boat," she chirrups with a slight shrug. "Yeah, I dunno if you've ever heard of him, but Nines Rodriguez waltzed into the joint with some of his goons and started tearing shit up with their uzis or whatever. There was some yelling between him and the people tending the club and more shooting and then Nines left. I dunno much more than that, I was cowering in the ladies room of course," she continues, though near the end she narrows her eyes warily at the businessman.

"I see…" Winston murmurs again as he taps at the PDA screen again, slowly. He takes a glance up to Ella, a soft smile playing on his lips. "Do we all seem to give off this aura of that we would love to spend our free time and hard earned money on some strippers?" He asks the question in such a way as if he already knew the answer, or at least had a very definite one in mind. He shrugged his eyebrows as he glanced back down to the PDA, before his eyes flicked up to her. "I am not wholly sure of the name, as it was passed on by a business associate of my employer." He slightly bites on his bottom lip as he seems to think something over, "Nines Rodriguez? I see…" At this, Winston taps at the PDA screen, and purses his lips. "And, this Nines Rodriguez, is he a well known gangster, or do you know him?"

Ella trades the camera from one hand to the other so she can wipe her sweating palm on her thigh, giving a snort of laughter at the first question. "Most men do when in Los Angeles, yeah. Especially those that have newly arrived. In town on business? Pleasure?" she pauses in her own series of questions to grin, waggling her eyebrows, "Both?" Moving her camera back to her lead hand she begins to shake her head slowly, "I only know of Rodriguez through reputation. If I ever ran across him, I'm sure I'd not be as healthy and living as I am now," she intones with a wry twist of her lips. She seems on the verge of saying something else but apparently decides against it, just shaking her head once more and changing gears. "The Gulag is a decent place and it's colder inside than most of the other clubs around here. It's sort of nice on the balmier nights in LA."

"Purely business for now," Winston replies as he drags his finger across the screen of the PDA. He glances back up to Ella, and looks at her dispassionately for a moment, and then shrugs his eyebrows slightly as he closes his eyes. "Perhaps pleasure later, we shall see. He who tends to a fig tree shall eat its fruit, he who serves his master shall be honored. Not quite the correct context, but the basic gist." He shrugs his shoulders and smiles a little bit. "The Gulag you say? Interesting, I'll keep that in mind. We all need our rest now and then."

At the rather bland expression she gets from this svelte stranger, Ella can't help but to burst into a full-throated peel of laughter. She reaches over and boldly pats him on the arm, the humor still rife in her eyes, "Don't worry, man, I was only playing anyhow." Just as quickly as that, she lets her hand drop back to her side, rocking slightly back and forth on the heels of her tennis shoes. "Not sure about your definition of 'rest', but the Gulag might not be it. They play lots of heavy stuff from Eastern Europe. Stuff like Rammstein and Oomph, though I did catch them playing TaTu once."

"Other than work," Winston says in a tone that implies clarification. He looks down at where he was patted by the girl, and then glances back towards her. He smiles softly, in a business like way once again. "Hmm," he muses softly again, and reaches into his pocket to pull out the pack of cigarettes. He begins to tap the back into the heel of his hand again, watching it as if he were waiting, before glancing back to Ella. "So, let's get this straight. The Gulag is a 'nice' place, Hades was in a gang war, and Joes you'd never go into? Why would you never go into Joes?"

Flashes Winston a look as if he were sprouting three heads, turning her head to one side and peering at him from the corners of her eyes. "Um, well, Carl hangs out there. Carl's definitely bad news. He set part of Vine on fire, for one. That's just his most recent infraction. He's, like, the top of the most wanted list in Los Angeles, but still no one will fuck with him on his own turf," she shifts her gaze quickly towards Joe's to indicate exactly what she's talking about. "When he held up the Burning Fortune, he yelled that he hangs out there and there are always bikes outside of it so I figure he's pretty much telling the truth."

"Pretty ballsy moves…" Winston murmurs to himself. He opens up the pack of cigarettes and pulls a slender white and brown paper one from it. Bringing it to his lips, he retrieves his lighter and flicks it open, sparking the flint so that he can take a drag off of it. Slowly, he inhales and blows the smoke out, away from Ella. "and the burning fortune? What exactly is that?"

A glance is given towards the lighter and pack of cigarettes as Ella responds dutifully, almost cheerfully, to the questions asked of her, letting the full weight of her attention reside with Winston for the moment. "I think you'd probably like it if you like tobacco. It's a smoke shop. They sell -very- shiny lighters, cigars of every shape and size that would make even Monica Lewinsky gasp and the owner sometimes does New Agey stuff in the back." One hand is held out, palm up, as she adds, "Palm reading and tarot cards, but you have to take everything with a grain of salt coming from so-called 'psychics'."

"Hmm, interesting." Winston murmurs and smiles softly at Ella. However, he takes a glance down to his lighter, and turns it over in his hand slowly, "I prefer my lighter though," he says in a soft tone with a hint of humor. He chuckles softly, and takes another glance up at Ella. "I don't put much faith into those sort of things, a fun distraction but that seems to be about it."

Ella brightens up visibly as something comes to her, her lips forming a nearly perfect 'o'. "Ooohh they have this one lighter in there that I think I might get some day. It's all made of lucite and shaped like a stack of dice and when you flick it open, blue and green LCD lights flicker inside the dice! It's just.. pure genius," she murmurs, her gaze going distant for moment with the extolling of the lighter's virtues. "The guy who runs it is nice and cordial and doesn't threaten me with a restraining order. In my business, that's always a plus. He's a strange one though. He makes everything sound -dirty-. Always offering to buy stuff for people he doesn't even really know. That's weird, isn't it? Or is it just me that thinks it's strange?"

"And what is your profession?" Winston inquires with a slight tilt of his head. He watches the young girl for a moment, before bringing the cigarette back to his mouth and taking a slow drag off of it. He once again french inhales the smoke, only to slowly blow it back out his nose. His brow furrows slightly as he watches the girl.

An easy grin slithers across Ella's lips as she lifts her free hand to tap the side of her sunglasses, forcing the heart-shaped frames to fall down in front of her eyes. "I'm Ella Priest, paparazzo at large. I'm not crazy or suicidal enough to zip through the streets of LA following these crazy celebutards in a vehicle, but I still find them and follow them on foot when I can. It's not a glamorous life, but it pays the bills, ya know? That and one overhears the most amusing things loitering around the fringes of the glitteratti."

A soft chuckle is elicited from Winston's lips. He takes the last drag of the cigarette, before dropping it and stamping it out. "Paparazzo, eh?" He says this in an almost rhetorical manner, and smiles softly at her. "Sounds more exciting than me. Winston Beddford, I'm an Executive Assistant." Shrugging his shoulders a little bit he smiles, "If you could excuse me, I need to go catch some sleep."

Ella gives Winston a casual salute by bringing two fingers to her forehead, still keeping her sunglasses perched on her nose, "See ya around, Winston. I need to get back to the whole stalking thing anyhow. I know somewhere there's a hot mess waiting to be photographed and my pocketbook is itching for an increase in funds." Without further ado, the diminutive woman takes a deep breath and nearly lunges into the crowd of people, quickly being swallowed by the fleshy mass.

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