Enlisting Aid

Having just left the glitzy hustle and bustled of the Santa Monica strip, the straying paparazzi veers down a different road to take advantage of her curiosity. Eyeing her surroundings with a wary eye, she shoves her camera back into her messenger bag, though she doesn't remove her hand from it. Her red converse sneakers make barely any noise on the sidewalk as she gives a wide berth to any dark alleyways or suspicious folks loitering in this part of town.

Wandering the streets with no obvious goal, a willowy figure can be seen dodging in and out of the dim light created by the lamps still containing bulbs. Cerulean gaze scanning the area with a keen and practiced eye, there's a hint of caution in the youthful figure's already stoic posture. Long strides move at a slow, almost ambling gate and both of the youth's lithe arms are wrapped about an androgynous torso, one limb looped around a trim waist with the other rests over a slender chest, long fingers gently stroking the porcelain skin covering a prominent collarbone. Golden curls fall about the angelic face, casting ringlet shadows over finely-drawn features.

Instead of keeping her eyes ahead of her, the diminutive photographer tips her head back and begins scanning the eaves and rooftops of the buildings adjacent to her path. Her eyes narrow as she struggles to pick out any details in such poor light, shaking her head with apparent disappointment. It's when she's lowering her head that she spots something on the street that isn't quite meshing with the surroundings. Grey eyes zero in on the androgynous individual, her head canting to one side as a faint smile curls her lips. She lifts one hand in a vague wave and shouts, "Hey!"

Seeming both surprised and unsure upon being recognized, the youthful figure's gaze scans the area once more, an almost neurotic look ghosting over the angelic face. Recognition faintly sparking within the youth's eyes, a polite nod is offered to the petite photographer in silent greeting. Long fingers now pressing slightly harder against the skin over the collarbone, their motion continues. A slight air of pondering seems to surround the willowy figure before several casual strides are taken over towards the woman, not quite closing the distance, but coming close in a short amount of time.

Much more at ease in her olive cargos than she was when fleeing the strip club in a pleated skirt, Ella greets the young person with a bright smile that somehow doesn't entirely reach the depths of her eyes. She marches towards the lovely being, her stride full of relaxed confidence for the most part. "So hey I remember see you at the boobie bar and it looked like you wanted to say something to me..? I was in kind of a hurry and stuff.. engagements to keep that I nearly forgot to keep that could have ended tragically," she rambles on in explanation, rolling her eyes at the end for effect.

As the photographer speaks, the youthful figure nods a few times in seeming sympathy, though no emotion really touches the androgynous form's face. There is, however, a sense of understanding within the brilliant gaze now focused on the petite figure. rosy-pink lips part as though to say something, then close as though thinking better of it. Head tilting to the side slightly, the youth finally offers, "It's alright." The words come out in a quiet voice, just audible over the noise drifting from the strip. Tone soft, verging on gentle, the timber is as androgynous as the figure speaking, though there is a vague hint of velvety smoothness.

Bobbing her head a few times as if trying to encourage more of an answer, Ella manages to keep a hold of her silence just long enough to realize that perhaps there is nothing more. "Ah," she begins, rocking back on her heels, "Well then. Do you mind if I ask you something? It might seem kind of weird, but it would have a seriously good effect on my career if I could find this one certain person. I don't go to many of those clubs, least not the inside, they tend to frown upon letting the paps inside the henhouse. But! If you do, would you maybe remember seeing a really busty chick with white hair and stars in her eyes?"

Brows knitting together slightly, though not enough to furrow greatly, the youth seems to be pondering the question with serious thought. However, after a few moments the expression gradually fades, head shaking in a negative manner. "No, sorry." One broad shoulder shrugs slightly in a somewhat helpless manner. Through the lightweight material of the loose shirt, the thinness of the limb is clearly visible. After another moment of pondering, the willowy forms offers, "I could look for you…", the words hanging idly in the air. Eyes remain focused on the woman, awaiting her response.

An appreciative smile stretches across Ella's face as a quizzical gleam flickers in her vivid eyes. "I wouldn't mind the help. One shot of her could pay my rent for the next few months, but it's up to you. I don't want to put you out or anything or take up your time with this little endeavor of mine. I hear she might have some mean bodyguards, too. Or maybe I misunderstood and I was being told that she was just plain ole mean. That wouldn't surprise me much," this last part she mutters under her breath before shaking her head. "Classy broad like that would probably stick close to other strip joints or cabarets or maybe even a few of the more risque, though fully clothed, clubs."

Seeming to pale slightly at the mention of strip clubs, the youthful form nods slightly, eyes seeming rather unsure. Weight shifting from heel to toe and back again in a gentle rocking motion, the fingers rubbing deftly at the pronounced collarbone continue to add slight pressure, causing a faint hint of red to appear again the porcelain complexion. Throat clearing softly, the youth finally says, "Do you have names..? For the clubs, that is." Pausing for a moment, the question of, "Would one of them be Hades?", is posed next.

Unaccustomed to this level of inactivity, and always finding it so much easier to think while moving, Ella clasps both hands behind her back and begins to pace in a small circuit. "Hades is one I haven't tried yet. I've been to the Gulag, Crank, the place she was formerly employed," she pauses to cast a glance at her companion along with a wicked grin, "That's where I saw you last. I've scouted out a dozen other places here and there around this part of the city and still nada. Though I don't think Hades was one."

"I didn't WANT to go into that club.", is stated almost before the petite woman has finished talking. The words sound somewhat defensive, though the tone is still rather soft even if it's developed an edge. A soft breath is drawn from between barely-parted lips, eyelids lowering in an almost coy manner, long lashes casting spidery shadows over pale and rounded cheeks. "Clubbing is more of a hobby than a lifestyle for me.", is explained. Sudden realization seems to strike the youthful form, though whatever the thought is causes an air of discomfort about the willowy figure. "I've walked past The Empress. Could that be…" The rest of the sentence dies right there, punctuated by a short nail scraping over the already irritated flesh, leaving a blush of red in it's wake.

A wince causes Ella's nose to crinkle and her brow to furrow slightly, "Yeah, you really looked like you didn't want to be there and there's nothing wrong with that at all. I wanted to be there, but not for the same reasons most of those people were there and hey," she gestures with one hand to the collarbone that seems to be in some bit of distress, "if you keep doing that you could really hurt yourself. Chill, chill, I won't tell anyone else I saw you there if that's what you want." Then, picking up on the previous subject as if she had never dropped it, "You've still probably been inside more of those clubs than me, even as a hobbiest and the Empress and Hades are now on the list of places to check out."

Looking down at the hand's placement, there's a hint of surprise that the fingers are even moving at all. Blinking once, the youthful form lets out a simple, "Oh. That." Nodding, as though mentally accepting the motion at this very moment, the subject is elaborated with, "It's a bad habit." The repetitive motion stops after a few more seemingly compulsive passes, arm slowly lowering back down against a curving side. "I don't know much about the Empress, other than the fact that I'm pretty sure you need to dress up to see others undress." Despite the slight humor and obvious irony of the words, the youth's voice remains rather serious in its tone. Glancing around in an almost neurotic manner, elegant neck arching and turning with a certain amount of caution. Upon seeing that they're not being watched or followed, the youth leans in slightly closer, voice lowering even more. "I can get you into Hades, past the line." Staying in the position for a few more moments, the willowy figure leans back once more

"Oh, really?" comes Ella's rather interested response, her entire demeanor perking up as she stops pacing for the meantime. "That would help -tremendously-. I could slip in long enough to steal a look around, then slip back out like ninja," she grins widely, an amused glimmer in her eyes and a chuckle just waiting to be released. "Never been inside that one. What's the dress code? Hopefully it's not as hoity-toity as the Empress. Ye, gods! I think the last time I wore formal attire was fucking -homecoming-. I'm sure I could dig something reasonable up though." She taps a finger against her chin thoughtfully, "And if the Empress is a 'gentleman's' club, I know just the reprobate to drag in."

"Hades is goth, punk and industrial. The theme is 'in hell'." There's a certain spark of amusement within the youth's tone as the last part is explained. Calculating gaze now studying the woman in a rather analytical manner, a slight nod is given, though the meaning of this gesture is vague. This is quickly replaced by a somewhat puzzled look at the mention of the word 'homecoming'. The expression ghosts over the youth's features, though never quite settles fully over the angelic visage. However, no question is posed, just as no words of discomfort are expressed when the subject once more turns to the Empress. Rather, the willowy figure rocks from heel to toe a few times, well-polished leather boots creaking with the motion.

"Good, good! I think I have plenty of stuff that could pass as goth, punk, or industrial. Now that I think more about it, Hades sounds like a rather fitting place for this pole-kitten," she murmurs with a peculiar smirk. Waving one hand as if to brush the subject aside, Ella continues, "When do you think would be the best time to try to get me in? It's getting kinda late," she pauses to glance down at a watch on the underside of her wrist, "or early, depending on how you look at the time and I'd need to get dressed, get my smaller camera, all that sort of thing."

Shrugging in a rather nonchalant manner, the youthful figure replies, "There's no specific time. It's just whenever the sun goes down." Cerulean eyes glance skywards, as though to check the time and enforce the words in a single motion. Gaze once more turning to the girl, he continues, "If tonight is too late, I suppose I could give you my number." The words have a certain discomfort to them, a mixture of reluctance and unfamiliarity. Neither of these prevent the willowy form from bending slightly at the waist, one arm reaching down to allow nimble fingers to unsnap one of the cargo pockets of his jeans.

A satisfied grin washes over Ella's features as she too reaches in her pocket, pulling out her cell phone and flipping it open. "That would be most excellent!" she exclaims while keeping a close eye on the rather quiet and shy individual. "I'm thinking maybe tomorrow night or the night after would be best? I'll have to see if I need to go shopping for clothes once I root around the piles littering my home," she giggles. "I don't really relish the thought of shopping, but, eh, what can ya do, right?"

Fingers visibly fishing around for a moment, the youth soon straightens once more, hand rising from within the pocket at the same time. A small square of white paper is pinched carefully between a thumb and forefinger, a phone number neatly printed on it with the name, 'Devon', spelled out over it. Arm outstretching towards the girl, the paper is offered to her as, "What's your name?", is asked in tandem. The question is posed politely, though there's a certain edge of curiosity to it, a hint of demanding showing with brilliant eyes for a moment before fading.

As her small fingers gently accept the gift of the phone number, the paparazzo smiles widely. "I'm Ella, just one of many," she replies with an odd cadence to her voice as she begins to program the phone number into her cell. "Thanks again and I'll be in touch with you sooner than later!" She closes the phone with a click and drops it back into her pocket, with the piece of paper. "I better split though. This isn't the best of neighborhoods," she peers around warily as if to prove her point. "Probably be best to skedaddle on out of here."

Nodding to the girl in a friendly gesture of farewell, the youth calls out, "Good-bye Ella.", the words coming out both awkward and sincere at the same time. In one quick motion, one arm reaches down to snap the cargo pocket shut once more, before rising up with fingers outstretched to rub the reddened skin over the youth's collarbone once more. The touch is feather-light at first, just as before, and seems subconscious. Eyes studying the girl carefully, the youth's gaze remains trained on her with interest, observation keen and practiced.

Lifting on arm, Ella waves goodbye to the slender form she'd been speaking to, calling back in a cheery voice even as she makes her way back to Santa Monica, "See ya round!" She picks up a jaunty tune to whistle, though coming from the mouth of someone who professes to be tone deaf it's hard to say exactly what song it is. Her hands are shoved in her pocket as she strolls onward, her mood just a bit better than it was when she had entered the street earlier in the evening.

A watchful eye is still trained on the woman as she walks towards the strip, though the youth makes no attempt to follow. Rather, the willowy figure goes back to the seemingly aimless wandering, eyes watchful and posture stiff, finger once more rubbing at porcelain skin seemingly without a care.

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