The Mean Streets Of La

The loud clopping of heavy boots on asphalt approaches from further down on North Fairfax, almost completely drowned out by the crowds on santa monica blvd, but not quite. The sounds heralds the arrival of a heavy set, completely bald young man, his skin glistening in the streetlights as though still wet from the recent rain. A joyless smirk shows in his expression as he pushes past the crowds, offering the occasional half hearted apology to those he bumps into.

As with most other evenings, a gaggle of paparazzi roam the street just outside of the various clubs dotting the Santa Monica landscape. One such professional stalker lags behind the others, hovering a bit further away than most. The diminutive woman scans the crowd with cool grey eyes as her free hand, the one not clamped tightly to a camera, drags fingers through her short black hair.

Pushing through the crowds, the man finally comes to the gathering of paparazzi, his cool dark eyes surveying them for a moment before he exhales slightly, looking away from the throng and chuckling under his breath while shaking his head from side to side. "It's like seeing vultures hovering around a carcass." he says quietly to himself, his tiny grin becoming slightly more earnest as he finds humor in his own words.

One angular eyebrow lifts as she passes the larger bald man, a giggle falling from her rather large mouth. "Oh I don't know about that. Carcasses can't really call you in advance and tell you they're going to be jetting to the Ivy and to be ready with your lens," she mentions off-hand with a crooked smile. "Though maybe some could be mistaken for corpses. Like, um, Nicky Hilton for instance."

Seth chuckles slightly to himself as he hears the words, pausing for a moment and keeping his eyes fixed on the direction he was traveling for a moment until the voice had finished. At that point, he quietly turns his head towards the source and offers an amused smile, raising an eyebrow. "It's a sad state we're in now isn't it? People so desperate for attention they advertise everything they do so they can count on -SOMEONE- taking a photo." he says, turning away for a moment and crossing his arms over his chest. The expression of faint amusement stays fixed on his features as he shakes his head again. "It's a sad state we live in."

A wild grin flashes across the young woman's lips, threatening to envelop the entirety of her face as she chuckles. "Oh, you have no idea the heckling they get. Mostly it's the Parisite or Miss Firecrotch, but yeah if some part of young Hollywood is going to make it their business to get stupid in public, especially after advertising they are going to be around, then I make it my business to get the most embarrassing crop of pictures possible." The slender woman rolls her shoulders in a vague shrug as she eyes the fellow. "I wouldn't call it sad so much as amusing and profitable."

Stepping lightly down the sidewalk from the southern end of North Fairfax, the milky skinned figure of Macha makes only a slight clicking from her rather severely heeled black pumps that blends with the constant stop and go traffic. Dark hair falls straight to her shoulders, a few shocks and blue and violet running the length of the locks near her right temple. From glitter to impressively mastered fake eyelashes rim both of her green and blue eyes, matching the black of her simple black lace dress that stretches from a strapless top to a flaired bottom about her knees. Over the dress a rather dusty looking, black wool jacket falls to her ankles, and each pocket in the front contains one of her hands.

Seth frowns slightly, crossing his arms over his chest a little tighter, trying to ward out the cold. A pink tongue flickers out and wets his lips slightly, his eyes flickering to the buildings the paparazzi seem to be clustering around before returning to the young lady opposite. "Don't ya think it's a bit… well… I don't like the idea of people benefiting from someone else’s misery." he says, before pausing and looking at all the camera clutching people gathered together nearby. "But I might be alone in that opinion."

Canting her head to one side, the petite paparazzo peers up at the shivering, bald fellow. "You know, I hear that most of the body's heat escapes from the head. Hey! If you want I bet I could fish up some sort of hat or something? Then you wouldn't be so cold!" she responds excitedly, a gleam shining in those blue-grey eyes as she shoves one hand, the nails painted a deep shade of indigo, into the messenger bag slung across her body. She shifts her weight from one red Chuck Taylor-clad foot to the other as she continues her search, biting thoughtfully on her lower lip. "They benefit from it just as much as we do. You know that old adage that no publicity is bad publicity? These stars live by it."

Slowing her pace as though waiting for her perfect moments to step in and out of the crowd, but her large eyes manage each detail around her without a glance down at her precariously thin heels. Set in each ear is a small gold earring that's fashioned to look like a thin snake of gold had slithered through the piercing. She tightens her hands together in front of her, pulling the jacket around herself despite the mild temperature of LA. Her red lips are pursed slightly as she gazes about from person to person with unabashed curiosity, though she works her way up the street with languid steps and doesn't seem to be in any sort of rush.

With a gentle wave of his hand he dismisses the idea that he needs a hat, a faint smirk coming to his lips as he listens to the rest of the young woman's words. "So, what you're saying is you provide a service for people. By catching them in compromisin' situations you're helping them gain more popularity." he says, chuckling slightly at the concept. "I can kind've see what you're sayin', but you can't blame me if I don't agree can you?" With an earnestly pleasant smile, he turns to face his body towards the young woman totally, offering her his complete attention. "I'm not a big fan of celebrity anyway, the idea that they should be exalted because of their fame is… well… I was always of the belief that everyone was created equally. The whole idea kinda reminds me of Orwell's Animal Farm, don'tcha reckon?"

Still rather undeterred from her search, Ella continues to glance from her bag to the man standing beside her and back again. "Yeah, I don't expect lots of people to agree or throw me a parade for it or anything, just saying that's the way I see it. I think I read Animal Farm back in school, but it's all kinda hazy," she replies before suddenly letting out a triumphant whoop, yanking free a white crocheted monstrosity. "I found it! Now, okay, it's not much to look at, but it will keep your poor head nice and warm," she grins while pulling at the edges of the beret she found jammed in her bag. "Are you from around here? Or, like, from someplace warmer?"

Seth backs away gently, holding his hands up in a defensive manner just incase she tries to place it on his head. "Just… put the… thing down." he says quietly, amusement coming through in his voice but his expression not betraying a hint of it. Waiting a few moments with his hands raised, he eventually seems satisfied that she won't try anything and responds to her question. "To be honest, I'm from all over. Lived in France, New York, London, anywhere the wind took me, ya know? Wow, when I say it like that it sounds kinda romantic, but really it was because I just felt like a bit of a change." he says with a slight smile, his stance relaxing.

Managing her way further down the sidewalk, Macha's pace is horridly slow as she seems to wait for each and every person to make a movement before she does, but her simple steps take in graceful steps through the weave of people. Her posture is nearly perfect, her shoulders set back slightly, and continues her way down the sidewalk.

Without breaking her intense stare from Seth's face, she manages to tug on the fuzzy, crocheted, white beret with the corners of her lips curled into a smile. The ends of her ebon hair curl about her neck and cheeks as she listens, a gasp coming quick to her throat. "France! I've never been to France. I've always wanted to go. Did you get to go to a circus of any sort by any chance?" she asks, her head tilting oddly to one side. The very lost woman weaving her way down the sidewalk catches Ella's attention for a moment, forcing the photographer to blink rapidly. "Being lost is so not a good thing in this city…" she murmurs.

Seth shrugs ever so slightly, glancing away as he does so, obviously not completely comfortable talking about it. "Well, not really. It was a bit of an odd experience for me, I spent most of my time there with my Father, I moved to London to get away from it all. It's a long, boring story." he says, forcing a smile at his own discomfort. As the woman speaks again, he turns his attention to the woman she seems to be looking at, raising an eyebrow slightly. "Ya know her?" he asks, turning his attention back to the beret wearing woman.

Ella slowly begins to shake her head as her eyes diligently follow the lost soul. "Nah, I thought it was like Winona Ryder from a distance, but then I didn't see any stolen clothing peeking out from under her coat with the tags still attached and noticed my error," she explains at length before turning the brunt of her attention back to Seth. "When immense amounts of traveling are involved, it's hardly ever a boring story. Long, sure. But not boring. If you ever go back to Frogland, you should check out some of the circus activity. I have it on good authority that there aren't any better trapeze artists."

Seth chuckles slightly to himself and shakes his head, his eyes glazing over faintly as he seems to be hit by a wave of nostalgia. "Naw, I don't think I could go back if I want to. After the stuff I got up to, a visa'd be impossible." he says with amusement, swinging back on his heels as he glances down at his feet. His eyes then quickly dart back up to meet Ella's own, streetlights reflecting heavily in the dark orbs. "…Another reason why I moved to London." he finishes with a chuckle.

"Hhhmm London," Ella muses aloud, her eyes rolling towards the sky. "Nope, never been there myself but I know lots of people who have. They say there's nothing like it, especially seeing it all from above when landing after a long flight," she rambles on, an almost wistful smile clinging to her lips. Shaking her head and redirecting her attention to Seth, she goes on, "What in the hell did you do to get booted out of France forever? I mean, you probably just asked them to take their gazpacho soup back to be warmed up. I hear that's almost considered treasonous."

Seth gives her a blank stare for a moment, before eventually breaking into a chuckle. "Well, nothing THAT bad. I'm not on their most wanted list or nothin', but I made a bit of a rep for myself over there. It's not important though, that stuff's behind me." he says quietly, his expression becoming somewhat guarded as if not wanting to let something slip out. Pausing for a few moments, he shifts his weight from foot to foot before jumping back into the conversation. "What about you? Did you grow up in La or what?"

Ella replies in an almost off-hand fashion, "Or what," as she plucks the beret from her head to shove it back into her bag. "Little towns weren't big enough to contain me so I shipped myself out here for college. Did the whole Berkeley thing, loved the social scene but that whole learning issue was so not for me." Here she pauses, as if lost in a moment of contemplation. "I guess it's more like, the learning thing was more rewarding and -real- outside the classroom than inside."

Nodding understandingly, the smile remains planted on the bald man's features as he tilts his head to one side, stretching his neck muscles quietly as he listens. "I'm on the same page, life experience is the most valuable thing anyone can have. A wealth of knowledge is nothing in comparison to a wealth of wisdom." he says quietly, smile spreading a hint as gentle moves his tongue over his teeth. "So you kinda fell into… photography as a byproduct, yeah? Both a means to get by and also a unique perspective on the world around, I can respect that."

The crackle of static forces Ella to wrinkle her nose, her hand lifting to run her fingers through her hair to try to flatten out the mess she's made of it. "I kinda fell into photography as a kid, and it just kept on getting worse and worse. It's amazing how different something can look to the eye than it does on a page," she replies, her voice growing a bit distant before she catches herself. A half-hearted smile alights across her face as she peeks back up at Seth. "This whole chasing celebutards thing is fun, but I gotta keep telling myself it's just a job. Can't pursue artistic goals without the moolah."

Stepping to the side, the large man leans casually against a large street light near the intersection, peering down at the young woman opposite him with a faint smile. "Oh, so you're an artist huh? I know a few people who wouldn't DREAM of working as a paparazzi for fear that they wouldn't be taken seriously in the artistic community, but you've got the right idea. Tell those pretentious wankers to go fuck 'emselves, eh?" he says with a faintly amused grin. Eyes moving to meet with her's again, he holds her gaze for a few moments before looking aside, absently sucking something from his teeth.

"Ayup!" Ella chirrups happily by way of response. "I try to be at least. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Hell, there are some things I take pictures of that others perceive as art, like the stuff in The Burning Fortune. I still find it rather hilarious that the proprietor wanted to put pictures of his old burned out store inside his new one, which just so happens to be a smoke shop," she giggles, a glint in her slate eyes. "I don't think he saw the joke, not even when I pointed it out, but oh well."

Seth chuckles slightly, raising a hand to gently scratch his fingertips over his cleanly razored scalp, his smile warm and broad. "The good thing about people without senses of humor is they can't tell when you're laughin' at 'em." he says, speaking as if quoting words of wisdom passed down to him by someone much wiser. Uncrossing his arms, he zips up the front of his rocker jacket to ward off the cold before sliding them back into his jean pockets, managing to keep his balance against the pole. "I didn't catch your name by the by, you can call me Seth."

Ella chuckles softly as she shakes her head, "Oh, no, he has a sense of humor, I think it just doesn't run along the same lines as mine." No sooner had her words fallen from her lips than a slightly surprised expression crosses her pale face. She clears her throat, apparently over whatever shocked her a moment ago, "I'm Ella Priest," she adds in with a rather poor mockery of a British accent, "So pleased to meet you."

Seth nods quietly, raising an eyebrow and a corner of his mouth at her attempt. "Priest huh? Any relation to Franklin Priest?" he asks quietly, still leaning against the streetlight as he shifts position, being rewarded with the faint sound of studs scraping across metal.

Ella shakes her head slowly after considering the question for a few moments. "Not that I know of, no. But I probably have lots of family all over the place, most of which I haven't met. But, judging from my last name, I bet there were more than a few clergy in my lineage," she adds the last bit with a salacious waggle of her eyebrows. Glancing up and down the street, Ella frowns a bit. "I should take off. These scenesters will be flooding out of the clubs pretty soon and if I don't join up with the pack of jackals now I'll never get a good seat."

Seth nods gently and rises to his feet, hands sliding from his pockets and folding his arms over his chest. "Yeah, I've got places to go as well, lost track of time with all the talking." he says with a shrug and a grin, tilting his head and meeting Ella's gaze again. "Was nice meetin' you Ma'am, you take it easy. I hope there's lots of young, drunken celebrateenies for you tonight." Stepping back quietly, he raises his hand to his forehead and touches it before waving his hand to her, much like a gentleman would have done holding a top hat years ago.

Without missing a beat, Ella bows at the waist with one arm spread out, mindful of those passing by so as not to smack them on accident. "Tut tut and a good eve to you as well, sir," she responds, once again adopting that horrid British accent before rising to her full height and slipping noiselessly into the sea of people.

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