A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #36596  by Catherine Everly
Location: Vaska • Date: Thursday, 26 February 2004

Catherine started the lighter on the first try. She'd hoped so; a callous was starting to form on her thumb where she had been performing the same task for the same person 3 nights a week for nearly a month. Vaska's basement recreational room was abuzz with excitement and raucous laughter. Most were people in business attire and the finest clothing brands Catherine had ever been near. Didn't these people have jobs? Most clients stayed until 2 AM or even later.

She couldn't complain, however. Every night had been the same since they opened: busy, smokey, and with Catherine's pockets heavy with tips. If business kept up like this for the next few months, she could probably rent one of those fancy flats in London.

Especially if she continued to serve clientele like the woman whose cigarette she was lighting. Once the flame caught, Catherine released her grip on the lighter and the flame extinguished.

"Can I get you anything else for now, Miss La Fratta?" she asked.
 #36921  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle inhaled as her cigarette was lit. It was her usual Sobranie brand — a bright pink cigarette hung from her lips once the server pulled away. It reminded her of days when she plotted the downfall of puppet ministries like a fool. Everything had been put in retrospect now that her anchor had gone. Michelle, whom had been doing well with self-control for once in her life, had fallen off the wagon in all senses of the word.

"A bottle of champagne, darling," she said to Catherine once she was done musing.
 #37051  by Catherine Everly
"Of course," she said before walking away. And in 15 minutes, she would ask for caviar. It was like clockwork when Miss La Fratta came. Catherine wondered why she was here so often. From what other people said, she didn't live in the UK despite her accent. Then again, Catherine's job didn't entail knowing why any of the patrons here did anything.

That's not what she was getting paid for.
 #37052  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle turned back to the dancers she was watching. She decided to take up Astrid on her offer at her father's funeral. With everything that had been going on during that day, Michelle had been annoyed by the suggestion even if she'd been thinking about it beforehand. Astrid had been very aggressive that day. But she wasn't wrong. Michelle made a habit of coming to Vaska as much as she could because it was all she could do to keep things off her mind. Work wasn't helping her; now no longer part of the seamstress' floor, Michelle couldn't keep her hands busy to distract herself. She holed herself up with her fabrics in the library and only spoke when spoken to.
 #37091  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle turned her head when she heard her name. "Oh, shit," she muttered to herself when she saw whom it was. "Gaia, what are you doing here?" But Michelle knew why she was here. The most religious out of their group, Gaia had been harping on Michelle for what she was doing in her time of mourning. It was growing tiresome and Michelle wasn't about to have this conversation here.

"Just leave, you don't belong here."
 #37092  by Gaia Cafaro
"And neither do you," she said. "You need to get home."

Gaia knew she and Michelle were very different people. They had different interests aside from the few that made them very good friends. However, there had been a shift in her friend over the past month. Yes, her adoptive father passed away and from what Gaia heard from Gaetano, they were very close. But her behavior wasn't normal.
 #37095  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle was becoming agitated. She wasn't receptive to a lecture. She wanted to come to Vaska, have a good time, and then go home feeling better or drunk, whichever came first. Her server interrupted the tense moment.

"No, just the one," she said. "Thank you." Michelle watched as Catherine placed down the glass and poured champagne in it. "And an order of oysters." The young woman nodded and left them again. Michelle turned her attention back to her friend.

"Gaia, I really don't need this right now. Please."
 #37362  by Michelle La Fratta
Michelle looked at Gaia's hand on her shoulder before slowly looking up at the blonde woman. "Please don't touch me," she said coldly. "And you say 'all of this'..." Michelle repeated Gaia's sweep of her hand. "Yet let's talk about the amount of marble in your family home." She was annoyed with what Gaia was implying.

"I don't want to go home and pray, or whatever the hell you think is going to help. My dad died, give me some Goddamn space."
 #37363  by Catherine Everly
Catherine caught the last of what Ms. La Fratta was saying. 'My dad died...'. It was a strange way to find out just why she'd been frequenting Vaska regularly, but in that moment Catherine understood to some degree. The news humanized her.

"Do I need to get security, Miss La Fratta?" Catherine asked as she stood with the plate of oysters. She stared up at the blonde woman.
 #37364  by Gaia Cafaro
Gaia quickly took her hand away. She turned her head quickly to the server.

"No," Gaia said in English. "Everything is okay. I am leaving." She turned back briefly to Michelle. Gaia kissed the top of her head before leaving the area. She was hurt that her friend was rejecting her, but Gaia didn't want her friend to get hurt in the process of her grieving.