THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:28 pm GMT 
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The bitter edge in her voice almost made him feel at home. He was glad for the eye-rolling, the snort, the eerie smile. Truth be told, Max hadn't expected much from the evening, but now that he knew this side of Ella he might remember her after all.

When her gaze turned back on him, he considered what to say. His real secrets were unspeakable, and not only because they were appalling. Rendered in words, they fell apart. That knowledge existed only in the corners of his skull, throbbing in the darkness, something he felt but could never have explained.

"I was committed to an insane asylum once," he said, as if discussing the weather.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:42 am GMT 
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She watched him work through his own process of deciding what secret he was going to tell her. He surely had more than her. He surely lived a far more exciting life that led to more secrets than she could have. But just what did he want to tell her that would compare to hers? Because that was only fair, that they compared. That they were equally as dark and bitter.

And that hadn't been what she expected to hear. It wasn't complete shock, so she hide the slight surprise of it well. She had known a few men to have been admitted, especially after the War. Shell shocked and all. They'd talked about the war earlier and he hadn't offered any hint of service before. But maybe this was why. Because saying he fought might lead to saying he was comitted after and he hadn't been prepared to say that before.

"The war or something else?" she asked, seemingly unbothered by this revaluation of the strange man standing alone in her home. He'd seemed sane enough earlier, after all.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:44 am GMT 
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"However did you know?" The bitter edge of irony was in his voice now. "Yes, the 95th Aero Squadron. Perhaps most famous for being the demise of Quentin Roosevelt, Teddy's little boy. I never knew him personally. I was a bit shy in those days."

He broke eye contact and rose to his feet again, restless, still light-headed from the booze. "You might say our stories are quite alike. We were offered a choice: your life or theirs. Ever since choosing self-preservation, there are times when we've wished--"

He cut himself off. The thought was left unfinished and implied. "Then again, it would be unfair of me to blame it entirely on the War. I could never think like other people. Eventually, I realized you don't have to. You just have to know how they act. I've been an itinerant actor ever since." He glanced over at Ella with a smile which, like most of his expressions, didn't reach his eyes. She had seemed quite unperturbed by the revelation. "There's a stranger in your house who just professed himself insane. Aren't you scared?"

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 am GMT 
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"We're of an age," she replied with a sad little laugh. "Plenty of others who didn't come home themselves. And when I mentioned it earlier, you avoided offering your experiences. Which means you severed and you didn't want to talk about it, or you didn't and you knew no one who did. The latter seemed rather implausible." And it was. Everyone knew someone, even if it hadn't hit too close to home to them. Too men and boys went over there for nothing to have affected people back home. She sipped at her tea, letting him go on about the rest of it, the rest of him in theory.

She shrugged her shoulders some at his question. "Wary, yes, but not scared. I figure if you were the type of person to hurt others unnecessarily, you've had plenty of opportunity to do so. So what's the worst that you could do? Knock my books off the shelf?"

Ella snorted again, pushing her legs back down and leaning forward to pour herself some more tea without looking up at him. "Besides, I've had man hit me before, and the signs where there that he would from the moment we meet. You don't seem to have those signs."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:33 pm GMT 
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"Hm." He picked up his glass from the floor and examined it in the light, like a jeweler with an antique brooch. Then he polished his water off, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. "Your calculations are correct. I'm the only one who will fall victim to this illness."

He called it an illness, because this was what the doctors thought. It was nothing of the sort. At times he felt as though he were living among the blind.

"I shot down three German planes," he said. "You might call me a violent man for that. But no, I wouldn't hit you. I've been slapped around a bit myself."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:32 pm GMT 
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Her brows pulled together for a moment, lips pursed in thought. Perhaps, but as long as he wasn't on a murdering spree it was likely to all work out in the end.

But she had been right, that he wouldn't hurt her. If she thought that he might, she wouldn't have invited him back to her place. He might have tried other things, but he also didn't seem the type for that either. She felt she was a rather good judge of character after all. Even if she hadn't predicted the looney bin part of his character.

"Violent in the right ways, I suppose," she shrugged, watching him closely. "They were the enemy, you did what you had to, right? Nothing wrong with that."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:30 am GMT 
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"That's what they tell us," said Max, wearily.

He turned back to her, eyes clouded with fatigue. The alcohol had left him sleepy, the secrets had left him drained. He only played this game with Ella because he didn't expect to see her again. Now, poised to go home, he was uncertain where they stood.

He gestured around the room as if to signify the evening. "Memorable, eh?"

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:11 pm GMT 
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She snorted a little laugh again and nodded her head at his question. It was indeed. Confessions made it that way, even if she didn't think she was likely to soon forget him anyways. "Yeah, something to that tune," she murmured, bitting at her bottom lip. It wasn’t so much that she was nervous, just unsure of where things were headed that moment. Likely, and in theory what they both wanted, separately.

"You ah..." she started, looking to the clock to gauge how late it really was before continuing, "if you'd like to continue your freedom from your roommate, you're welcome to my couch. I'll take no offense if you'd rather go to your own bed though..."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:42 pm GMT 
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For a moment, he actually considered accepting her offer, just to see what would happen. But part of him revolted at the notion of spending more time in someone else's space. At least in his lair, he was on his own terms. Besides, Max had an unusual relationship with sleep. When he did manage to snatch any, he spent half of the time walking around and talking to himself.

"That's kind of you," he said, inclining his head. "I'm a restless sleeper, however. There's a chance I actually would knock your books off the shelf..."

He set down his water glass beside the teapot, buttoning the jacket of his suit and collecting himself before he braved the rain. At this rate, if they ever met again, it would have to be by chance.

"This has been a very curious evening." The fatigue had disappeared from his voice. He smiled at Ella, meeting her eyes. "Thank you, my dear."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:20 pm GMT 
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She shrugged, truly not offended by his decline. But it was her nature to offer and help others. But she understood wanting to sleep in your own space and in your own bed. "As you wish," she smiled, standing up as he put the glass back down on the tray. "My books thank you."

Ella adjusted her dress some, trying to make herself look a little less rumpled. "It has indeed been a memorable and curious evening," she chuckled, nodding her head slightly. "It has been a pleasure to have met you, even if it wasn't what I expected of my night. Perhaps we'll see one another again. And at any rate, you know where I live if you're ever in need of a good book to borrow. Or an escape from your roommate."

She walked with him to the door, speaking their parting fairwells and what not before she closed the door on him, a little sorry that he hadn't choose to stay in the warmth of her apartment and instead faced the cool rain again. And she did hope that perhaps they'd see each other again. He wad a nice fella and it was enjoyable to talk to him. To talk with someone she wasn't trying to impress and he didn't seem like he was trying to impress her either. Maybe fool her, but not impress. And that was something she was okay with.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:38 pm GMT 
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That night, Max went home and slept for the first time in several days. When he awoke, he found a massive weight had descended upon him, crushing his chest and stranding him in bed. He had managed to hold the same job for a little over eight months, an all-time record. But this time the burden strung around his neck proved impossible to fight. For two weeks he suffered privately, subsisting mostly on cigarettes and the occasional piece of toast. The telephone rang, occasionally for several minutes at a time. Max spoke about as many words to Heinrich as you could count on your fingers.

At the end of the fortnight, he roused himself from his miasma of stale smoke and vodka fumes, ending the slump as suddenly as it began. He was relieved to find he had only lost fifteen pounds and a rather boring position in accounting. That same day he put on a slightly loose three-piece suit and cashed in a favor with an unsavory friend. By early evening, he found himself employed as a breed of financial consultant for one of St. Louis' major gangs, and was feeling much less persecuted by the universe.

So it was that Ella would hear a knock on her door just after nine o'clock. On the other side was the man whose acquaintance she'd made in a bar some weeks before. He was clad in a sharp white tie affair, complete with waistcoat and stiff wing collar, a bouquet of fresh spring daffodils cradled in one arm. He wore a philosophical expression on his face, friendly if not quite smiling. Overall, he looked as natural and expectant as if he had called ahead (which he had not).

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:45 am GMT 
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Ella had not really thought all that much about Max after he was gone. Sure that night she hoped he made it home alright. And the next morning when she went round to her friend Oliva's for tea she told her about him. All expect for secret part. Not that she thought that Oliva couldn't handle both of their secrets, but in the light of day, it was a lot harder to get those words out. And they were secrets after all.

But after that she might have passingly thought of him now and again, but for the most part she doubted very much that she might ever see Max again. Which at first made her a little sad if only because he seemed likely to make her life very interesting if nothing else. It passed though and she went on with her life.

So it wasn't without surprise that she jumped at the knock on her door. She pushed her blanket off her lap, dropping her book down into her vacated seat. She pulled her sweater closer around her and cautiously opened the door to see who was there.

"Max?" Ella asked, eyebrows pulling together, opening the door a bit more once she was sure that it was him. "What are...why...are those...daffodils? "

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:21 pm GMT 
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"Good evening." At the mention of daffodils, Max glanced down at the bouquet in his arms, as if mildly surprised to find it there. "Ah yes. Roses would be more conventional, I know, but for some reason I associate these with you."

Of course, Max was just being coy. He had an excellent memory, even when tipsy. The first time they met, Ella had stated a preference for the yellow flowers. He handed the daffodils over without pomp, peering over her shoulder and into her apartment to check for company. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

Without waiting for an answer, he went on, "If you do happen to be free, you might want to change. You'll probably feel a tad underdressed."

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:21 pm GMT 
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She took a few moments to stop floundering and find her tongue again. "They're my favorite flower..." Had she told him thay? Thinking back she was pretty sure she mentioned it while they were at the speak. He had remarkably good memory if he remembered that little detail of the night. Or he'd thought about her far more than she'd thought about him. That felt too strange to be likely, so it was much more likely to be that he had a good memory.

She took the flowers and stepped back, letting him into her apartment again. "No just me and the Knights of the Round Table." She gestured to her reading chair and the well loved, French copy, book. "Well Percival specifically, but still."

Ella blinked some, shifting the flowers in her arms. "Under dressed for what?" She asked with a little head tilt. "Are you taking me out somewhere?" Because that seemed very unlikely him. But maybe she didn't know him as well. Or there was some reason that she just wasn't grasping yet. "You look like you're headed to Sunday service."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Let Me Take You Down ((Fotecp))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:14 pm GMT 
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"Really?" His eyebrows rose at the confirmation of daffodils as her favorite. "How appropriate then."

He was beginning to feel good about his decision to bring her along. Her surprise was gratifying, and it was easier to look respectable when you arrived with a female in tow. At the mention of the knights of the Round Table, he grinned, stepping in after her. "Goodness, you wouldn't want me to get jealous."

At he suggestion that he looked ready for church, Max just laughed. "Not to alarm you, my dear, but my people don't really go in for Sunday services. No, I was just on my way to a ball. Thought I'd swing by, see if you'd care to break in some glass slippers."

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