I Bet She Is Cold In That

Hungry Howie's Pizza (Avg NPCs: 10)
The neon beer signs in the large front window and black and white linoleum gives
this restaurant a retro feel. Sports posters decorate the plain beige walls and
two fans spin lazily from the ceiling. A few large booths line both sides, many
of the red vinyl benches just beginning to fray at the edges and showing a few
cracks in the seats. In the center of the room are several square tables set
for four. The cushions of the chairs are made from the same vinyl as the
booths. Each tables is draped with red and white checkered tablecloth. A
pinball machines and a few video games are in one corner, while a television has
been mounted to the wall in the other. A phone and a cash register rest on a
small counter in the back, several feet from the door leading into the kitchen.

* Exits *
west - North Highland Avenue

Talbain stands over near the videogames, playing one in particular with rapt attention. The man seems to be focused on the game known as 'Darkstalkers', and from the appearances seems to be rather good at it. His hands move across the controls smoothly and quickly as he attempts to beat the game, his large frame nearly blocking the screen from behing him.

Waltzing into Howie's wearing her customary lipstick-red heart-shaped sunglasses comes a rather diminutive woman, pale of skin and dark of hair. She wears a simple pair of black cargo pants and an unadorned white v-neck t-shirt, with some black and blue rubber bracelets linked together on one wrist. One angular, black eyebrow lifts as she scans the room, finally settling her gaze on the guy enraptured by the video games. She grins widely at the personnel as she saunters past the counter, taking up a position behind Talbain. "Holy jesus! Is that blue-haired woman seriously wearing furry gauze as clothing? Criminy! I bet she's cold," the small woman exclaims, leaning forward over Talbain's shoulder to get a better look at the screen. "Nevermind. It doesn't -look- like she's cold in that, and with those thin pieces of material it'd be so fucking easy to see."

Talbain glances at the woman beside him for a brief second, the werewolf on screen seeming to be under his control for the moment. "Never thought about it, personally" Block, jump, counter…the two seem to go back and forth for quite a bit before eventually the werewolf was triumphant. He looks at the girl for a second, now giving her a closer once over and furrowing his brow. "You ever eat anything?"

A few moments after Ella enters into the main dining room, the door swings open again with a breeze drifting about the room from the warm night air. A boy, no more than ten or eleven years old, paces casually towards the front counter. His light brown hair borders on blonde and is trimmed very close to his skull. He's wearing a pair of dark blue-jeans and a baggy white t-shirt. His eyes pass around the room, pausing on Ella and Talbain for just a second before his attention is dragged away to making his order for dinner. "Just a… slice of plain, and a Sprite," the boy echos loud enough for those in the immediate area to hear him, and afterwards pays for his meal and steps to the side to await it.

"Oh god I eat all the time. I'm a regular garbage disposal, kiddo," Ella replies with an almost proud inclination of her chin as she takes a half-step back from Talbain so as not to crowd him, her head turning to peer over her shoulder at the newest entrant. A wide, welcoming grin washes across Ella's features as she spots the boy at the counter, lifting her hand in a vague military salute. Bringing her attention back to Talbain, she moves her head up and down as if assessing him. "So lemme get this straight.. you're an American boy that plays video games and you never thought to look real close at those pixelated ladies on your screen to see if they were cold or not? This is something I thoroughly disbelieve," she rambles, albeit in a teasing tone of voice.

Talbain glances over his shoulder at the newcomer, then does a slight double take at the boy that enters before putting his attention back on the screen in front of him. The next opponent, a vampire, from the looks of it, engages the werewolf. He does manage to answer a reply. "Oh, I've gotten a good close look at 'em, but I'm not worried about if they're cold or not" He smirks, his eyes not leaving the screen as he talks.

The young boy dips his hands into his pockets while standing towards one end of the service counter, clearly not planning to eat his selected pizza and soda within the diner. He seems rather casual here for such a young boy in the middle of LA, but stranger things have been seen as far as children in the streets goes. When Ella's attention focuses on him, the boy turns and offers her a cheerful grin, also returning a lift of two fingers to his temple and a drop away that would pass for a clean salute, even among most military adults. The look from Talbain invokes a more polite, and less wild smile from the child, who seems to be put off his guard with the attention from the man. When Ella's voice chimes back to Talbain, however, the boy quickly loses interest, averts his gaze back to the movement behind the counter, and pulls both hands out of his pockets to clasp them behind his back.

One hand lifts, the fingernails painted a dark shade of blue, to push Ella's flashy sunglasses up on top of her head to allow her greyish eyes an unobstructed view of Talbain. "You know, you look like a cousin of mine. But you can't be him. He's all angry all the time, always looking to punch stuff and fight, and you look pretty mellow to me," she intones thoughtfully, a small smile coming to her lips. "But I must say he's really good with the dogs. Always treating them right, better than most people. I guess he just respects them more. But I swear to god if any of those puppies come out with human faces, I'll drag him into the police station myself," she winks at the silver-haired kid, grinning like a loon the whole time.

Talbain looks at the girl odd for a second. "What's sad is that sounds about how I used to be, actually" He glances back at her for a second. "Generally pissed off, and what not. Kinda…lost it during that whole plant shit…" He furrows his brow, making a rather obvious mistake on the screen with his character. He closes his eyes and shakes his head for a second. The kid wasn't spared a second glance after he initially saw him, as it was apparent that he wasn't staying around.

The boy at the counter is handed his togo box for his pizza, and a soda, and slinks away from the counter towards the door. A short pause is taken where the chime of a cellphone echoes from his pocket, and he pushes the soda cup between his arm and his stomach to free a hand long enough to answer it and press the phone between his ear and shoulder. "Hello?" he questions into the phone, and a visible sigh is given with whatever answer's come from the other end. "'Course. I'll be right there. I just got lunch, though. Should I eat it in the cab or bring it?" There's another pause as his steps carry him to the door now, and he finishes, "Fine. I'll eat in the cab," looking rather annoyed before hanging the phone up, sliding it into his pocket, and using the now free hand to swing the door open so he can step out.

The sound of the cell phone ringing is like a clarion call for Ella, her head turning around as she visually scans the area for a conversation to eavesdrop. Zeroing in on the boy, she grants him an apologetic smile and a waggling wave of her fingers, noticing his lackluster response to whoever was on the other line. A sigh leaves her mouth as she turns back around, blinking up at the much taller boy beside her. "You were here for that?" she blurts out, her eyes bugging a bit. "Oh, man, I'll have to sit you down and get a detailed recounting of that. I'm sorta sorry I missed all the hubbub around it. But anyway," the girl goes on, waving one hand in front of her as if sweeping away the previous subject. "I'm Ella Priest, paparazzo at large. I think I saw you at the park one night.."

Talbain looks at the boy again as he answers his phone, his attention being once more mainly riveted on the screen. Final boss, and what not, so he had to pay attention. "Yea. Makes me laugh what they said happened" He shrugs, not looking at her. "Probably did. I've been there a lot lately" He breathes a small sigh out through his nose, his face a mask of concentration.

The boy doesn't seem to be aware of anything, or anyone, as he makes his way to the door. He holds the door open with the toe of his shoe for just a second while balancing his order almost impossibly to snatch the slice of pizza from the box and shamelessly push half of it into his mouth. The door closes behind him with an unmuffled bang, and his image can be seen through the smokey glass windows in the front of the shop hailing a taxi and crawling into the back of it, still trying to inhale his meal as fast as possible.

Clasping her hands behind her back, Ella rocks forward to peer at the screen, intoning in a thoughtful manner, "You know, I bet that puppy you're guiding around really tears the shit out of Lilith and her brood." One bony shoulder hitches up in a half-shrug, "Though that's just a guess," she adds with a wink at Talbain. "I think the park is the perfect place for you. Lots of greenery, lots of places to run, to chase squirrels, you know, the usual." As she speaks, she reaches into her back pocket and pulls out a frayed business card that reads 'Rosewood Muay Thai' on it with a series of phone numbers. Holding it between her index and middle fingers, Ella waits until the boss is defeated before presenting it to Talbain in front of the screen. "I think you'd fit right in with them."

Talbain continues on, but nonetheless something managed to catch his attention. "If you're talking about the game, yea…Lilith's in it, but she's Morrigan's little sister or something…if you're NOT talking about the game, I don't have a puppy" He stares at the woman for just a moment, looking at the card and taking it for a moment. "Muay Tai, huh?" He shrugs and eyes it for a moment, nodding. "Not like I have much better to do…sure" He pockets the card, then looks around.

"It'd help ya work on those aggression issues, big guy," Ella chirrups in a cheerful voice, slapping the palm of one hand against his back with a wild grin. "I wrote my number on the back of it, in case you might need me for something, anything." She pauses as a wince crinkles her nose, "Okay, maybe not -anything- because fuck meeting Chris Hansen on national TV. So -almost- anything. Even if you just want to talk. Matter of fact, -especially- if you just want to talk. It's something I've become really adept at."

Talbain looks at the girl for a second, shrugging. "Meh…why not. What kinda pizza you want?" He heads over to a table, taking a seat and motioning towards the other one for her. "Unless you're busy, of course" A smirk crosses his face as he says this. "In which case, I'll talk to you later…maybe call or something"

With a bounce in her step, the lively pixie follows Talbain to a table and chooses a chair just across from him. She grabs ahold of the back of it, spinning it around with a twist of her wrist, before plunking herself down on it with her arms crossed over the back. She rests her chin on her arms, blinking her wide, black-rimmed charcoal eyes at him. "Sooooo," she says at length, blinking once, "what did you want to talk about?"

Talbain looks at the woman for a second. "First, I just want pizza. Second, you're one of the few people that's ever taken an interest in me, and I want to know why" He leans back slightly in the chair, despite his muscular frame. He looks very relaxed, but nonetheless slightly defensive as he looks towards the girl with guarded interest.

Rolling her head from side to side on her crossed arms, Ella lets out a thoughtful hum. Miraculously enough, her sunglasses stay put on top of her head through all of this, though one knee begins to bounce with pent up energy. "So are you trying to say that you don't think you're an interesting individual?" she finally asks, her piercing sights never once leaving his face.

Talbain shrugs and looks at her still. "Kid in an orphanage his entire life, shit happens all the time. I mean, yea, the plant thing might be different, but past that I can't see what's all so special about me" He glances towards the counter, idly wondering if they were taking their time on his pizza…like normal.

Both of Ella's dark eyebrows lift as she leans forward, her lips parting with a mysterious, "Ah," which is quickly followed by a rather gentle smile. "Everyone's special, kiddo. I mean, not completely short bus special, but the other kind of special. Some people can paint really well, some people can sing really well, some people are fucking awesome at slacking," she rolls her shoulders as her voice fades off, picking her head up off of her arms. "Maybe I just like staring a lot and making strangers feel uncomfortable. You know, practicing for my day job."

Talbain smiles softly, looking at the woman still. As she speaks, he listens carefully, the smile not leaving his face. When she finishes, he laughs at her last answer. "Nah, you're fine. I'm feeling pretty good right now" The pizza arrives, and he picks up a slice. "Help yourself" A glass of water came with it this time, instead of the normal Mountain Dew.

"Alright! A delicious pie with an interesting guy, what more could I possibly want right now?" Ella asks rhetorically, her rump lifting off of the chair just enough so that she can reach the pizza. She folds her slice length-wise and opens her gaping maw, which really is quite wide, and devours half of it in two bites. The diminutive girl is polite enough to finish chewing and swallowing before speaking again, a mischievous smile displayed across her face. "Has anything interesting been going on around you, besides the jungle taking over?"

Talbain blinks as he watches her half devour her slice. "Damn, you CAN eat…" He shrugs, looking over at him. "Sides fallin in love? Dunno" He looks JUST a bit embarrassed about admitting to falling in love, but covers it by taking another bite…or tries to. "So what about you, anyways? Since I'm talkin, what about you?"

Ella is mid-bite when her eyes widen remarkably, staring with almost a panicked expression gripping her pale face. She pulls the remainder of the pizza from her mouth without taking that bite at all, her free hand lifting to wipe her mouth with a nearby napkin. "Oh? In love? Congratulations! It's a rare enough thing to find, especially in a city as phony as Los Angeles. So who's the lucky girl? Wait! Let me guess! It was that cutie you were squirreling around in the tree with, am I right?" Her head tips oddly to one side as she again reserves her undivided attention for Talbain, the pizza slice all but completely forgotten in her hand. "Me? Love's a fickle bitch. I've decided to kick her in the snatch and go on with my life."

Talbain blinks and looks at the woman. He recognized the look of panic across her face, though he wasn't sure why. Maybe he was just that hot…either way, he blinks a few times as she finishes speaking the first time about him and Yasmira. "Yea…her…is…something wrong?" However, she manages to finish off another sentence and smirks. "I heard that actually hurts pretty damn bad. Not as bad as getting kicked in the nuts, but still"

"If you're anything like my dog-loving cousin, you could have some serious impulse control problems. He did when he was a teenager, until his mom and dad showed him how to harness his aggression," Ella explains, a furrow appearing on her forehead. "I guess that side of my family has always been sorta loony with hormones," she giggles, though her eyes still register a distinct wariness. Still holding the pizza slice, Ella stands and lets out a long sigh. "Look, I really have to go, but I think maybe you should try to go to that place on the card, or call them, as soon as you can. They can help you better than I can to work out any issues you might have."

Talbain shrugs. "I'm fine" Nonetheless, he nods to her as she starts to stand up. "I'll do that…" He could at least tell she was on edge, though why he wasn't entirely sure. "Anyways…hey, wait, I didn't even get your name" He looks at her quizically.

Finally taking a moment to shove the rest of the pizza in her mouth, Ella stares at Talbain with wide eyes. Again, she proves she really wasn't born in a barn by politely chewing and swallowing her food before speaking, "Sure you did! But I think you were distracted by fuzzy kitty breasts on your screen," the small woman replies with a teasing grin. "It's Ella, and my number's on the back of that business card. But seriously, go there or call Rosewood as soon as you have the time." That last sentence is spoken with uncharacteristic gravity, her lips pressing together into a stubborn line at the end. "I'll keep my eye out," she adds cryptically while turning and heading for the door, one finger tapping the heart-shaped frames on her head to push them back down over her eyes. As she reaches the door, she turns around and pushes it open with her back while pointing at her eyes with two fingers and then at Talbain, repeating the gesture three times before scurrying out the door.

Talbain looks at the girl for a moment, shrugging. "Ella, huh? I'm Talbain" He nods towards her as she speaks again. "Rosewood…right. I'll drop by there at some point, hopefully soon" He watches her leave, but is surprised to see that she seems to be doing something. He glances around for a moment, seriously wondering if someone would tell Yasmira that some girl was randomly hitting on him or something.

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