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(M)ust Love Cats

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Offline Misamia

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Why was her head pounding? Sharp teeth on her ankle had her jerking in her spot, which resulted in what would have been a comical situation if not for the fact the action had her seat rolling back and her falling to the ground in a heap due to her legs being dead to the world. “Christ” she hissed rolling onto her back rubbing her head. The tingling in her legs was far from pleasant especially with the fall. Cracking one eye open to assess any damage she sighed in relief when she saw the chair had fallen away from the desk when she fell out of it. Nothing had followed her to the floor either which was all for the better.

Grunting she slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position staring her legs down and slowly moving her toes to help wake her legs up. Glancing towards the culprit of the faint teeth marks on her ankle sat a feline who seemed rather proud of herself. “Luci” her tone was sweet but the expression was far from it, a simple half-hearted hiss was her reply before the cat sauntered from the room and towards the source of the pounding, oh… it was the front door. Who could that be? Frowning she pushed herself up once feeling returned to her legs and wandered from the room, habit had her closing the door behind her. Luci never went in there if she wasn’t in there and the cat had never once bothered her work much to her relief.

Walking to the front door she barely managed to see the time through her blurred vision from looking at the work for so long. 20:00…. Who was here so late at night? Rubbing her eyes, she jerked the door open to come face to face with someone’s hand. Squinting from the brightness of the hall she glanced up towards the face in the hall. “What” she snapped, the irritation only growing when she had to look up so much. Who the hell was this tall person and why were they in her doorway! “Can I-“ the snarl was on her lips when she heard a shout down the hallway.

“HOLD IT!”  A scowl touched her features hearing the voice, however if you knew her or were watching close enough you could see that bottom lip jut out just a bit more showing it was truly a pout more than a scowl. From down the hall came running a rather lean man in jeans and a t-shirt juggling a bag over one shoulder and a drink caddy in the other. Stumbling to a stop next to the other tall individual in her doorway she starred down the most annoying man on earth. “Don’t you dare… finish that sentence” he said panting looking at Rae.

“….. “ Rae only looked at him with a bland expression at this point. “Josh… I still have time before the deadline. What are you doing here”

“… what are you talking about it’s 8 in the morning. The deadline is in an hour” Joseph said frowning and slightly concerned.

“…. “ Rae’s head whipped around to the clock before quickly looking at another one that indeed said 8:00. “Stop fucking with my clocks” she snarled pointing a slender finger at Joseph’s face, but that finger had him wheeling back eyes wide as the little spit fire whirled around and ran back into the house.

“Be careful with that!” he shouted after her, those fingers were expensive! “Uhm… Hello, terribly sorry about all that” Joseph said offering a nervous laugh to the individual next to him. “Please, do come in” he mussed ushering them in and closing the door behind them. “I am Joseph, we spoke over the phone” he said holding his hand out to shake the others. “As I stated on the phone it is a somewhat unique situation. An I greatly appreciate you being willing to work with it” for the pay you couldn’t really say no, an it’s not like the situation was a horrible situation just unique. “Rae is the individual who lives here. However, her work takes up a lot of her time even if she had free time, I doubt she would spend it cleaning” he said slowly looking around at the apartment with resignation.

Dust was obvious, along with cobwebs up along the edges of almost everything save for where the cat obviously moved about. Truthfully the cat did more dusting then anyone had willingly done in awhile it seemed like. The couch seemed to have some sense of order, one belonged to what was probably the dirty clothes and the other held clean judging from the laundry basket that was still turned over with clothes spilling out of it. What was probably the kitchen table was piled high with magazines of various sources, the chairs had a collection of books. The kitchen had a cute enough open layout if not for the boxes of pizza stacked next to the stack of to go boxes. An a equally tall leaning tower of to go cups that were stacked. The sink had it’s own collection of dishes in one side hap hazard stacked in while the other had all the utensils, probably the only reason it wasn’t stacked full was it had the garbage disposal at its base. Oddly there was a… small very small system to the mass clutter even if no one in their right mind would admit to it.

“I replace the air freshener pieces regularly so it doesn’t smell too stale in here… and Luci usually goes outside but there is a little box in the bathroom” he said. A soft meow came from the pile of magazines, the oddly colored feline jumping up to settle onto a magazine stack watching the pair. Joseph openly flinched at the meow shuffling away from the cat. “Yes this… is Luci… Lucifer is the full name” he grumbled. Luci really was a uniquely colored cat with the caramel like colored coat and black patterns. However, its personality was every bit a Lucifer. “Luci was originally feral until Rae took her in. They’re a match if you ever did see a set” he said shaking his head. With that he went about showing the newly hired housekeeper where everything was at. Cat food, laundry room, bedroom, bathroom with it’s hardly touched litter box. All of it was as haphazard as the next room with no order.

“Now that you’ve seen the place hopefully you are still willing to take on the job?” Joseph was hopeful. Sure, the initial clean up would be a chore but after it was more upkeep then anything. They hadn’t set an honest schedule yet but he had expressed a hope for every other day since part of the job would be preparing some meals, his small hope for Rae to start eating a little healthier than instant or delivery so much. If not then three days a week with at least one day between each day was the minimal requested. An it wasn’t Rae that would be paying them so Rae couldn’t actually fire them, nor could she actually kick them out since technically the apartment wasn’t in her name. A unique situation but one obviously needed for someone so work obsessed they didn’t care of anything.

The sound of a door opening had all eyes turning towards the one room they hadn’t went into. From it Rae came out holding out a thumb drive for Joseph. “It was already done before I fell asleep” she grumbled rubbing the bridge of her nose.

“You fell asleep at your desk again? Rae-“

“I got the job done didn’t I? Next time tell them not to give me a fuck up fix with such a short deadline” she snipped turning away from the pair and off to the bathroom. Luci on her heels and darting inside before the door closed behind the pair. “Fuck sake it’s done ain’t it what more he want Luci” she grumbled rubbing her face in frustration before peering at herself in the mirror. “Ew” yea that was about all she could be described as. Her hair was haphazardly thrown up into a crows nest of a bun with the loose strands twisted back on itself and tucked back in she wasn’t sure where the hair tie was even at! The dark circles under her eyes spoke of the long hours she’d spent on the project but then again so did the redness of her eyes not that either of them could have probably noticed with her squinting at everything. “Shower” she mumbled and made quick work to accomplish that task stripping away sweat pants and the baggy shirt she’d been in for… don’t think about it.

“…. As you can see Rae doesn’t even take care of herself when deadlines get closer” Joseph said with a sigh shaking his head. “Her workroom is well I’d like it if you could get in there but honestly it’s even off limits to me so I don’t even remember what it looks like in there” a helpless shrug was all he could offer. “If you’re up for the challenge then I’d love to hire you, you had great recommendations” he said. All they had to do was deal with a 4'9" angry cat... and a small demon.

L. Rae Finch
Lucifer aka Luci
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 10:59:43 AM by Misamia »


Offline heartstringss

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Adrian had been at home, relaxing in her bed on her computer watching old clips of Courage the Cowardly Dog and picking through a bag of chips when she had first received the call. It was a Sunday, one of the few days she was usually guaranteed off a week, late afternoon. She wasn't used to receiving calls on Sundays, so she was a little confused when she picked up her phone and saw a number she didn't recognize from the metropolitan area. Any other person in this situation might have ignored the call, but Adrian knew better than to do that.

With little pausing in between, Adrian sat up, shut off the clip and audio for her computer, and set aside the bag of chips that had taken up residence in her lap for the last hour and a half. As was habit when answering phone calls, she gave a little shake of her arms, a mental refresher of sorts that helped her better prepare for the professional-tone taking over that was necessary for answering the phone when you were in the hospitality line of work. She gave a small sigh, then pressed the “Answer” button on her smartphone and placed the device to her ear.

“Hello?”

A soft, steady hum cut through the silence of her bedroom and echoed thinly on the other end of the line, a clear indicator that whoever was calling her likely had her on speaker phone at the moment. She felt a tensing of her shoulders, but overall kept a fairly neutral expression, curious more than anything else.

“Hello, is this Ms. Adrian Ammar that I am speaking with?” A man's voice, as equally unfamiliar as the number he was calling from. The fact that he knew her name was a little more telling about the nature of the phone call, likely ruling out the telemarketer or wrong number option. She sat up a little straighter, unsure what type of situation to prepare herself for, and could already feel her brow furrowing in confusion before the words had even left her mouth.

“Yes, this is she. How may I help you?”

The person on the other end of the line sounded professional, but also a bit distracted. From the tone of his voice Adrian was able to discern he was likely in his 30s or somewhere around there, and that this was a propositional type of phone call. Over the next couple minutes she was given the usual spiel, 'My name is blank, I work for such and such company, and would like to acquire your services', a droning type of conversation that was at its very core incredibly boring, but also paramount to the situation at hand.

It was something she had grown used to over the years, a symptom of her contract working for an agency that held a copy of her resume and helped set her up with potential clients in her area. The company the man worked for was unfamiliar, but a quick Google search on her computer revealed it was some sort of marketing or design front – odd, but okay. Through the distracted clacking at her keyboard, she nearly missed a question the man was asking, and rushed to refocus her attention back on the phone call, just in time to catch the last few sentences. “...I found your resume on Lockwood Staffing, but also received a recommendation through professional resources listing your name. You have a spectacular resume, and I've heard wonderful things – basically, I was wondering if you might be interested in a job I'd like to offer you. It's a bit of special circumstances, but I was hoping you might hear me out?”

A pause in the man's voice hinted it was her turn to talk, and she gave a soft clearing of her throat now as she leaned into the phone a little closer, intrigued at the offer and what kind of 'special circumstances' he might be referring to. “Yes, go on, I am listening.”

The next 45 minutes proceeded through a steady back-and-forth, information exchanged on the client and type job offer at hand, which was followed by a short phone interview. Over time she came to understand the man's name was Joseph, and that the client he was looking to hire her to work with was a shut-in/recluse type that he managed through the company he worked for. The unique situation, which she had taken bets with herself trying to figure out the circumstances, was actually pretty simple: the client, clearly a recluse, also had a bit of a bad attitude. Her responsibility would be to care for the woman, clean her house and cook her meals, but if she were to take the job she was to remember that she was technically not employed by her, therefore could not be fired by her.

It was a detail he reiterated time and time again, as if to make sure Adrian would understand if that type of situation were to arise, she would know how to handle it. It was odd, but she'd done odd countless times before, so she figured she could handle it.

“Well then, good to hear.” The man started with a heavy intake of breath, as if incredibly relieved at her undeterred interest. “The address for the client is 315 Westchester Avenue, unit 21B. If you would like to meet me there tomorrow around 8, I'll show you around and introduce you to the client?”

“Sounds good,” Adrian said, her tone taking on a more comfortable edge now, her shoulders finally relaxing knowing the phone call was coming to an end. She hated talking to clients on the phone, it always made her feel so stiff. She shook her shoulders out once more, which in turn helped her to loosen up, a smile creeping back into her voice. Joseph issued his sign-off with a quick thank you and she returned the gesture before finally hanging up the phone.

In the next instant, she switched over to a note-taking app she kept on her home screen, typed in the client's address, Joseph's first and last name and the company he worked for, and the time they were supposed to meet up tomorrow. After that she switched to the clock function on her phone and set a number of alarms to wake her up between 6:30 and 7:15 AM the next morning. When she was done with that, she retrieved her laptop and turned Courage the Cowardly Dog back on.

///

If she weren't so used to picking clients up over the phone with such little face-to-face interaction beforehand, she might have requested more time to prepare. As it was, her range of domestic clientele these days was limited, and she had mostly worked for the same 1 or 2 families the past couple years. It was a schedule which kept her fairly busy considering that both families had children, but not so busy  that she couldn't afford to take on another client if she wished.

She went to bed early that night, knowing she had to get up early the next morning. When her alarms started going off at 6:45 at varying 5 or 10 minute intervals, she responded groggily at first, a slow, lazy tangle of limbs beneath a heavy green and white comforter reaching out to slap the snooze button before burrowing back into sleep. Slowly, over the next 20 minutes, she drifted more and more into the present, til at last she arose from her mass of blankets, slowly sitting up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. By that time, it was 7:01 AM, still with 14 more minutes to save before she would have risked running late.

She pulled herself from her bed and rose shakily to her feet, a narrow, gangly figure standing at a towering 5'11”, bare-legged with only a long grey t-shirt and thin underwear to cover her torso. Atop her head and obscuring a third of her face lay a tangled wave of sleep-mussed dark brown hair, shoulder-length at its finest. She reached up now with a thin hand and pushed her bangs from her face, revealing a small nose, heavy eyebrows, and wide dark brown eyes. It was a simple face with simple features, if not for the small details that gave off a hint of culture, the even light brown skin tone that implied a mixed-race heritage.

Adrian kept an eye on the clock as she worked her way around the room. It wasn't long before she had picking her way through to the radio on her dress, flipping on a familiar oldies rock station thinking that a little music might help her wake up a bit faster. She tugged a drawer open, rifling through an assortment of clean underwear, socks, t-shirts For a moment she was unsure whether she should dress casually or prepared to work, and in the end she went for the latter option. She grabbed a simple white t-shirt and a clean pair of underwear and socks before moving over to her closet, tugging a plain grey scrub set off a hanger. It was the easiest outfit for her line of work, the most neutral, and the easiest to clean.

She made quick work of showering, brushing her teeth, her hair. She never bothered to put on makeup, so it didn't take long to ready - just 15 or 20 minutes, maybe 10 on a good day. Once dressed, she grabbed her phone and wallet, making sure she had her driver's license and social security card on hand in case they were needed, and shut off the radio in her bedroom. She snagged a cinnamon brown sugar Pop-tart and a juice for the road, and was out the door by 7:20. The ride into town to reach the address she had been given didn't take too long, which was always a plus having clients live fairly close-by. Unlike in the past, when she'd had to drive an hour or more for a job - which could be a real pain in the ass, especially if you weren't getting paid well enough to make up for all the gas there and back. She'd stopped taking those jobs after a while, and so over time a 30 to 45-minute drive had become her standard. This client, living only about 20-25 minutes away, was especially appealing.

She listened to music all along the way, radio blaring the same oldies rock station that had been playing back at home. Her hands tapped at the steering wheel, a stuttering beat that echoed behind a clear and steady upbeat voice, singing along to each song on the radio, words she knew by heart after years and years of listening to the same music.

When she reached the residence, Adrian was unsurprised to see a single-level hotel building, fairly upscale in appearance but otherwise pretty standard. She'd expected some kind of apartment building or hotel arrangement, judging by the unit number she'd been given to refer back to. She worked her way through the lot, keeping an eye out for an empty parking spot. It was all one long building, starting at one end with a sort of office building, unit numbers in sections spread out against two walls straddling a long hallway.

The most inconvenient thing was that the entrance to the grounds started towards the far end, so Adrian had to work her way all the way back up towards the front before she found a spot. This put her right around the far west side of the building, leaving her to guess at where exactly unit 21 might fall inside the building. She was starting to grow more nervous now, and shutting off the music only amplified that in turn, forcing her to return back to the circumstances of the situation at hand. She didn't know much about the client, except that it was a woman, a shut-in who the girl's boss felt was struggling to take care of herself on her own. The woman's age, name, job - any other more identifying details were unknown as of yet. She knew the circumstances and that was it. Needless to say, she was still a bit in the dark.

She was a little early, only 7:46 reading on her dashboard, but she figured 15 minutes was an appropriate enough window that she could still go ahead in already. Especially since this was technically still an extension of her initial job offer, and being early never hurt. She gathered up her phone, wallet, keys and tucked them all into different pockets of her pants – another perk of scrubs: they had a lot pockets. With that, she locked her car and headed inside.

It was only a short trek down the hallway before she reached unit 21. No one was outside the door or nearby waiting for her – in fact, the whole hallway was empty – and so assuming that Joseph might have already gone inside or been waiting for her there, she settled to simply knock.

And knock...

And knock...

Why was no one answering the door?

It was a few minutes before anyone finally came and answered, and by then she had already started to doubt herself and grow a bit worried. Had she possibly gotten the address wrong? Maybe the unit number?

Her hand was halfway through the air to knock another time when the door jerked open, an incredibly short, heavily disheveled young woman standing on the other side, looking very irritated - and rightly so, as Adrian had apparently just woken her up. Before she could even lower her hand, before she could even issue an apology or a greeting or anything the woman was snapping at her. She recoiled visibly, stepping back a beat or two, the confusion clear on her face. Not that she'd never had a client snap at her or take a rude attitude, but this was a bit unexpected. If she weren't mistaken, she would have guessed the girl had no idea why she was here. But then, where was Joseph?

She could already see the girl preparing to snarl something else at her when a thunder of footsteps and a shout came traveling down the hallway a second later. Judging by the smaller woman's scowl and the words the man was shouting, she could only guess at his identity. Saved by the boss. Good, that was getting intense...

Adrian breathed a thready sigh through her nose, a thin sound which was barely noticeable in the din of the conversation that had erupted between the two in the next moment. She stood awkwardly beside the taller male, looking between him and the girl before her, as the two talked business for a moment. Normally she would have dismissed herself in these types of situations, never one to pry, but she didn't have that opportunity in this situation – the client clearly didn't know who she was, or what she was there for, and she hadn't even started the job yet in the first place. Needless to say, this made the thin brunette feel even more awkward, but fortunately the conversation between the two was brief, if nothing else.

The girl was animated, fiery, but also incredibly disoriented. She looked like she hadn't slept well in days, let alone brushed her hair, showered or eaten a proper meal. From the little she could see of the residence from the entryway, Adrian could tell she was about to have her work cut out for her, but it wasn't a line of thought she was able to dwell on for too long. Even if she had been able to, she wouldn't have turned away anyway. The pay that Joseph was offering her, for the care of one household and one woman, no children, was more than she received even for her nannying work. This was a real opportunity, and she intended to jump on it.

“It's alright,” Adrian said as she followed the man into the household, her hands resting calmly at her sides, voice unsure at first, though it was clear on her face she was slowly starting to relax. When the young man extended his hand towards her to shake, she took it eagerly, glad to finally have some area of this situation she felt more confident in. If nothing else, she was good at first impressions. She listened silently, nodding at different points as he recounted everything he had told her on the phone, while also adding in a few new details, including the girl's name.

When Joseph paused to look around the apartment, Adrian followed suit, taking in the massive amount of clutter between the two rooms - the dirty dishes, old food containers, clothes all over the couch. It was so dusty in here she could already feel her nose tingling, or maybe that was from the cat. It was pretty bad, the level of disarray, the height of trash piled on the counters. She'd seen worse, cleaned worse, but this was still pretty high up the list.

When a black and caramel-colored cat trotted across the room working its way towards the cluttered kitchen table and leaping up onto a stack of magazines to sit and watch them, Adrian's eyes lit up. She'd known there was a cat judging by the smell of kitty litter and all the hair all over the place. While Joseph seemed a bit more apprehensive – and almost scared – of the cat, Adrian was more enamored. Her hand had already reached out wanting to stroke the feline's fur before Joseph had even issued a full and proper introduction.

To her surprise, judging by the tone of his introduction for the cat when he continued on a second later, she was a bit surprised to find her hand so easily welcomed. The cat tolerated her, but judging by the lack of purr she could tell it was just barely - even though according to Joseph, she was previously a feral cat, a real Devil in the flesh true to her name. When Joseph shot her a look of surprise to see her petting the cat, Adrian merely shrugged her shoulders, a crooked smile pulling at her face, revealing bright teeth and vaguely mischievous eyes. “I guess you could say I'm a cat whisper,” she returned nonchalantly, though quick to pull her hand back as well, knowing cats could turn on you in an instant if you weren't careful.

What followed was a brief tour, which revealed that the same clutter she had seen in the kitchen and living room areas was spread out all across the entire house. There was only one room they didn't go into, but as per usual, she didn't pry too much, assuming that room was likely off-limits. Once they finished, they settled back into the living room, Joseph expressing his desire that she was hopefully still interested in the job. Brown eyes took another quick sweep of the rooms, before slowly drifting back to the man before her. She offered a smile, bubbly and sweet. “Yeah, I'm still interested.”

Before she could say anything more, a door opened just down the hall, that same mystery door, and Rae stepped out holding something in her hand as she made her way back over to the pair. Her voice was a tired grumble beneath her breath, still just as disheveled as the first moment Adrian had seen her.

The exchange between the two was similar to familial bickering, less boss-and-employee than more father-and-daughter or sibling-like. If it weren't for the annoyed edginess of Rae's tone, Adrian might have even smiled. As it was, she mostly kept her eyes averted, especially following the F-bomb that slipped out so casually a second later.

She wasn't a prude about swearing, though she rarely did it herself – however, in her line of work, it usually implied dissatisfaction, and therefore was something she tended to avoid if she could in the professional setting. Besides, working with kids as well as adults, she was trained by their parents to discourage swearing, so... well. Not that it was directed at her in the first place, and Joseph didn't seem all that phased either, really. When the smaller girl turned heel and walked off to the bathroom ending the conversation just like that, she settled again, eyes drifting back to Joseph, that small hint of a smile returning at the casual friendliness of his statement a moment later. A second later she could hear the water turning on behind the door of the bathroom a few feet away.

She duly noted the comment on the workroom, Joseph's desire for her to get in there and clean if she could, though it was off-limits even to him and would likely be an impossible feat. She was up for the challenge, there was no task she couldn't handle. However, that room was clearly where Rae spent most of her day, and getting in there, especially if she wasn't supposed to be, wasn't going to be easy. If it was anything like the rest of the house, though... “Well, hopefully I can make an improvement in her routine, and if not, then at least the house.” She gave a small shrug, and offered a hopeful smile, nothing if not upbeat and optimistic. “I love challenges,” she said simply, and this time it was Adrian who extended her hand, sealing the deal for her employment.


Offline Misamia

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Joseph was relieved happily returning the hand shake. Thank god, he really didn’t want to have to keep trying to find people willing to work with the unique situation. The next option if this hadn’t worked out was just to find a individual who would come daily, regardless that this was only the first reach out for the job. The higher ups didn’t want to deal with looking all over kingdom come and back so it was a one shot try or he was told to basically higher a nanny that would come every day. He could just hear Rae’s excitement now over someone being in her space on a daily bases, he bit back the groan very well if he was to be honest.

“Here is the paperwork” he said fishing out a manila envelope from his bag. “Fill these out when you have the chance, you can just drop it off with the front desk here they will get it to me. Ah can I get a picture of your drivers license and social security? In the paperwork there will be a form you’ll sign accepting a background check but this way I can knock it out ahead of time for us. Since you’ll have a key to the home, safety and all” he said chuckling as he fished out his phone to take the necessary front and back pictures. “So when you drop the paperwork off you will be given a key by the front desk that will allow you in here. Actual hours you choose to do the job are up to you since she is here all the time and doesn’t have a normal sleeping schedule. As for purchasing the food the front desk will give you a card when they give you the key. Whenever you purchase the groceries be sure to drop the receipt off with the front desk so that they can send it off.” He said ticking off things n his mind. The villa was used for visitors of the company as well as some who choose to live their full time. Thus, the front desk was use to working with keys, accounting receipts and other random bits of work. Hearing the bathroom door open again he turned his head down the hall and instantly sighed. “Rae… you have guest” he scolded. “I… apologize this is… normal for her too” Joseph said rubbing the bridge of his nose.

Rae obviously had no care in the world as she walked down the hallway wrapped in a towel, hair dripping wet and leaving a trail behind her as she zeroed in on the laundry on the couch. Luci was already perched on the back of one of the couches looking rather pleased. “Clean?” Rae asked around the toothbrush haphazardly hanging from her mouth. A meow was her reply and that’s all she needed to start fishing for a new set of sweats and t-shirt. Slipping the sweats on under the towel with a little wiggle of the hips and hop, her next conquest was getting a too large shirt over her wet hair. This time she didn’t much care if the towel staid up, and it didn’t. As soon as her arms went up to pull the rest of the shirt over her head the towel fell but the motion was one done thousands of times as the shirt came down at the same time. The towel never hit the floor as her leg caught it and the next motion had the towel being used to wrap her wet hair atop her head.

Turning around she finally looked at the person standing next to Josh. Both of them were disgustingly tall. “So this is the housekeeper” every bit a statement more then a question.

“Yes, we talked about it awhile ago.” Joseph said. Thankful her memory came more back to her now that she’d had a shower.

“…. Stay out of my studio and I don’t like mushrooms. Luci has free reign of the house, don’t block her door” the last part said with a pointed finger to a doggy door placed in the sliding glass door. Obviously, there was no dog in the home, it was put there for the cat’s convenience to go in and out as they wished. “Josh… I’m going to bed.” She said finally moving past the pair.

“Wait… here’s the next job” he said quickly fishing out another envelope from his bag, this one was a dark green compared to the cream one he had given Adrian.

Rae stared at the envelope like it was cursed. “I’ll look at it when I wake up” she said snatching it from his hands. As she walked by her studio door, she dropped the envelope on the floor and kicked it under the door. With that she finished her journey to her bedroom, a half-hearted shove of the door to close it as she eagerly crawled onto the bed with its ridiculously fluffy comforter and countless pillows. Luci as always hot on her heels through doors so she wasn’t left behind.

“They’re an interesting pair” Joseph muttered shaking his head slightly. “On deadline days if you could avoid a lot of noise” he said sheepishly. “She’s very good at her work, and because of it companies like to pile things on” he said shaking his head. “I’m just her publicist though so all I can do is play run between on all the different companies she works for” he said sighing. That’s right companies, Rae worked for multiple different companies. The different advertising firms all realized that Rae didn’t really care about working for one or the other just whatever sparked her interest. So they had managed to make a deal amongst themselves to basically share her. An he had been hired by Rae to manage everything on her behalf… he supposed he had no complaints but god grief his blood pressure could sure go through the roof sometimes. “Shall we?” he said offering up a smile and motioning to the front door.

With that he showed her around the building. Introduced her to the individual at the front desk, where the side doors were that lead to the dumpster, and the cleaning room that had different cleaning supplies. The building had someone who took care of general cleaning as needed and even when guest would leave after their business trips but it wasn’t a hotel so it’s not something that was stocked for repeat cleanings just general cleaning. Hearing his phone go off he fished out his ear piece and quickly slid it into place “Joseph for Rae Finch, how can I help you” his tone every bit down to business instead of the cheerful tone he’d kept during his time with Adrian. Offering a quick smile and slight wave he mouthed a good bye before skittering back down the hall towards the entrance.


Offline heartstringss

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Adrian was a sponge, soaking up all the information Joseph was throwing at her. She took the manila folder easily, and before he had even asked for her social and driver’s license she had already reached into her pocket ready to pull them out. She nodded her head all the way, glad to find that she was more or less in charge of making her own hours, but also remembering how he had expressed hope in an every-other-day kind of schedule. When the creak of a door opened down the hall, she turned her head noting the other woman coming out of the bathroom, but then just as quickly averted her eyes, the flash of bare skin hard to ignore even with the towel covering most of the smaller woman’s body. At Joseph’s scolding, she could only offer a tight-lipped smile in return, a slight shrug of her shoulders. “Well, it is her home,” she said plainly, though she could understand what he was getting at as well. There were guests, after all.

Their interactions were short and tense, but from the few words exchanged Adrian felt like she was getting a pretty good read on what type of person her new client was going to be. Joseph had initially described Rae as a ‘grumpkin’, which Adrian had thought strange at first, but the more time she spent around the woman the more truth she could see to his words. Adrian, on the other hand, had often been described by her friends and co-workers as bubbly, upbeat, sometimes even annoyingly optimistic. She had a knack for seeing the silver lining in every situation, and even at a time like this, she couldn’t help feeling excited about a new challenge, a chance to possibly help turn this woman’s life around. She didn’t know much about the type of work she did, but she could see that she had a bad habit of wrapping herself all up in it and letting her health suffer as a result of such. Clearly, because that was the whole reason Joseph had sought to hire her in the first place. Her social skills, her eating habits, the state of her house, and especially her sleep schedule – all were suffering.

When Rae stopped in front of her and promptly looked her over, it was all Adrian could do to keep from smiling too amusedly at the towel ridiculously tied atop her head. She noted the smaller woman’s stance, the expression on her face, her clear disdain for the need of a housekeeper, but Adrian said nothing at all. She’d learned over time that the worst thing you could do in a position of hospitality was arguing with a client, and no matter how rude or standoffish Rae seemed to be, she simply bit her tongue and nodded to each statement. She filed each thing the girl said into the back of her brain, a mental checklist she would have to make sure she never forgot, as these were clearly some of Rae’s most pertinent requests.

She had a feeling Rae didn’t even know her name, and that she probably wouldn’t bother to ask – if the two even saw each other that often – for at least the first week, if not longer. The vibe she was giving off spoke volumes of her social skills, and Adrian was pretty good at reading vibes if nothing else.

“She’s quite a character,” Adrian said quietly, after the other woman and her cat had disappeared back to her room and behind closed doors. “The cat too, obviously,” she added a moment later with a chuckle. As Joseph went on, she nodded once more. Within the next few minutes, they were out the door and heading down the hallway on a brief tour around the building. All this information Adrian continued to tuck away, the location of the dumpster and the utility closet, which she would likely add a few of her own supplies to as well so that she wouldn’t have to haul anything extra back and forth. It was a decent set-up, everything she could possibly need right here in the same building, right down to the office where she would need to drop off all her paperwork once she was finished.

It wasn’t long before the two were saying goodbye, and Adrian was quick to head back out to her car. With a 20 minute drive between her place and the client’s residence, she wasn’t too worried about the distance but also didn’t want to make more than one trip back and forth if she didn’t have to. She checked her wallet, pleased to see she still had a bit of cash and decided she’d head into town to get breakfast and fill out this paperwork so that she could bring it back the same day before finally heading home.

She made her way to the nearest McDonald’s, more than averagely familiar with the layout of town after having lived and worked here for the past 5 or more years. After she had received her food, she tucked into a back corner booth of the large chain restaurant and leaned over the small stack of paperwork Joseph had given her, filling out each form with care, until at last she finished and began the trip back to Rae’s residence to turn everything in. She was given a key to the apartment and debit card for groceries, just as Joseph had said. Once she was finished with everything there, she headed back home, and just as Rae had earlier that day, went straight back to bed. 

///

It was two days later around 9:30 in the morning – the first free gap she had in her schedule – when Adrian finally headed in for her first day of work at Rae’s house. She was wearing the same dark grey scrubs, a pair of headphones looped around her neck with only one bud inserted, her phone shoved into her back pocket set up with a Spotify oldies station already playing. The key was in her hand unlocking the front door to the girl’s apartment before she had even thought much about how odd it was to be letting herself into a client’s home while they were likely still occupying the residence. Most of her jobs placed her at the residence while the owners were out of town or away on vacation, or with just the kids or pets at home while their parents were still at work. Very rarely did she work in-home while the family was there as well -- which she had always felt rather lucky about, as it likely afforded her a lot less awkwardness in her work than the alternative would have.

She wasn’t surprised to find the girl’s apartment eerily quiet, a vague mustiness permeating the air from the stack of dirty dishes and old to-go containers packed atop the counters in the kitchen. Adrian reminded herself of Joseph’s comment about Rae’s odd sleep schedule and was careful to abide by every bit of courtesy she could muster. Though she knew that with the massive amount of work she had ahead of her, it would likely be very difficult to remain totally quiet. She all but tiptoed around the apartment, promptly opening the back door to the patio to let a bit of fresh air in, hopeful that she might be able to clear out some of the smell. She started doing dishes right away, the water on low strength, so hot it was practically steaming… Soapsuds filled one side of the two-compartment sink already packed with dishes, the other remaining empty for rinsing.

Just the dishes alone took nearly 45 minutes, and then sorting through and bagging up all the trash took another 30. It took countless trips back and forth between the apartment and the exit for the dumpster down the hall to clear out the ridiculous amount of old food containers that lined the countertops. From there, then she had to clean the counters, and after that she focused on the floors, organizing the fridge, the kitchen table, the laundry pile on the couch. She would save the vacuuming and washing laundry for another day. All the while she listened to music, unaware of her own mindless humming. Music had always gotten her through her work; no matter how big her to-do list was, as long as she had music to listen to she could get through it easily.

She spent most of the morning in solitude, noting the closed doors down the hall, the continued silence through her one free ear. She was elbow-deep in folding laundry, completely lost in her own world when she felt a brush of soft fur against her pants leg. Looking down she saw the cat, now standing a few feet away at the other end of the couch just staring at her, its tail flicking menacingly back and forth.

Adrian knelt down, one tanned hand reaching out before her, her tongue clicking softly against the roof of her mouth. “Hi Luci,” she cooed gently, hoping the same friendliness the cat had afforded her on their first meeting might continue again today. Before she could think better of it, her hand was reaching out further, and just as quick as the blink of an eye, the cat’s own arm shot out, claws swiping furiously. There was a sharp stinging through her fingertips, blood welling up through the new cuts immediately. A short cry of pain left her mouth and she quickly withdrew her hand, promptly standing. A pout was already on her lips, though she knew she should have known better.

“Lucifer,” she said quietly, as if reminding herself of the cat's nature, something she had so easily forgotten til now. Through the volume of rock music playing in her left ear, she almost thought she heard a laugh.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 02:35:06 AM by heartstringss »


Offline Misamia

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Rae could feel the warm of a small body curled against her neck, a tail lazily draped over her chest twitching from sleep. More sleep she wanted more sleep, but she had that project she still needed to do. Right now it was still in research phase, gathering all the necessary material to make the project a success. Which meant going outside and grabbing the mail… a low groan escaped her lips at the thought of having to venture out to collect the mail. While the items coming were necessary for the current job it didn’t mean she was anymore willing to get them. The current job was… well it didn’t give her any inspiration at all. It was a type she’d done numerous times before and so the repetition made it dull and boring. She hated boring jobs absolutely hated them, it offered nothing to her creative mind and made it all the harder to accomplish the job.

Two days she’d been working on gathering material and now it was just a matter of putting everything together for a rough draft. Get the approval for layout and then finish the rest of the work. If she was lucky this job would be done within a week. Otherwise it would be a lot of back and forth with the company on their nitpicking with how they wanted the layout or certain elements to be involved that probably wouldn’t look good with anything anyways. This particular company was the worst about it, they always had simple projects but had the need for things to include weird elements. They were all about pushing boundaries, fuck boundaries she was the one that had to make their crazy ideas work!

Luci could feel her agitation growing and decided enough was enough. A flick of the tail had the tip bouncing off her humans nose before stretching her body out, paws pushing against her human to flex everything out. The grumble she received said she probably pushed against tender points. Humans really were rather weak beings, how pitiful. Ears twitched hearing the door unlock and she quickly leapt from the bed and rushed to the door. As always the doors in the house were always kept cracked open so she could get in and out, save for that room. Slipping through the crack she slowly made her way through the home until she spotted the source. It was that human from the other day…. Her human hadn’t been fond of her so neither was she, anymore at least. She watched her with a sharp gaze from the floor peering around the edge as she did something in the kitchen. Hearing the bedroom door open she quickly scampered back to Rae’s side and into the restroom.

“sounds like the housekeepers her” Rae muttered as she brushed her teeth and washed her face. While she may be the type to stay holed up in her room she was always diligent about brushing her teeth twice a day and washing her face at least once. A habit she’d formed after the stress of work upon first starting broke her face out, never again. While she would admit she wasn’t one to take care of herself past necessity to stay alive those were two things she always did. Shaking her head she peered down at Luci curiously, the cat normally would have taken a spot to doze today she was more intent on watching the door. Shaking her head she plucked Luci up into her arms to snuggle into her soft fur. Her response was a displeased meow but silence followed. “Time to get to work” she said letting Luci maneuver from her arms to her shoulder. Hair long since thrown up into a messy bun of the haphazard sort, while she liked it in a braid sometimes there just wasn’t enough energy to do it.

Stepping from the bathroom she peered around the living room for the housekeeper but by the decreasing size of garbage everywhere she must be making trash trips. Snagging the keys from the tray on the counter she slipped out of her apartment an headed down the the receptionist. Thankfully the receptionist was use to her and already had her items laid out for her to pick up, all she had to do was walk up to grab them and walk right back to her room. Josh always seemed amazed how someone so short could walk so quickly. That was easy, a desire for as little human contact as possible made the skill of walking quickly a necessity.

She disappeared into her office as soon as she returned. She wasn’t sure how long she was in there going over everything, quick notes, a rough rough draft, a few color swatches to debate over ideas. However long it was it was enough for her stomach to growl demanding food, or water. Glancing over her shoulder towards the food desk she scowled seeing everything was empty that could offer a drink or snack. Damnit. Snatching a garbage bag she shoveled everything into the black abyss before lugging it out of the room leaving a clean food desk, for now. In her other hand she was already putting in a order to amazon for a new selection of snacks. Maybe something for Luci, she was grumbling as much about the new intruder as she was after all. Glancing around she spotted Luci and just realized she’d been gone from the office the entire time. Most likely she’d been perched on top of one of the many bookshelves in her home keeping watch. Part dog if you asked her, not that she’d every day that to the cats face.

Right now Luci was maneuvering past the housekeeper. Watching her like a hawk and judging just as much. She knew the tail motion meant she would get bloodied, she had a fair share of those moments when she first found Luci until the cat warmed up to her. She should have warned the girl honestly but she knew Josh would have already warned her. Honestly Luci didn’t hate Josh it was just too much fun giving him grief and so the cat continued to do so. Probably saw him as some dead weight kitten that needed to be out into line and toughened up. The small cry of pain had her glancing from her spot by the kitchen counter to the source. Sure enough she’d gotten tagged by those sharp little claws. Reaching over to the drawer she slipped it open enough to pluck a bandaid out, she always kept a healthy stack due to Josh inability to leave without at least one scratch. Hearing the name Lucifer leave the housekeepers lips though had a snort of laughter leaving her before she could stop it. Indeed that had been what they were calling Luci when they first found her.

With bandaid in hand she moved over to the couch and held out the bandaid for the other girl. A quick glance around had her impressed by how much cleaning had been done, even as she was racking her brain in a small panic wondering if any of those magazines that had been stacked on the table were something she still needed. She’d find out eventually…. She needed more bookshelves. A quick glance around the apartment said there was plenty of wall space for more bookshelves! Her hand was already flipping her phone around in her hand to quickly place an order for more bookshelves. A meow however caught her attention causing her to glance up and realize she’d just been standing there looking around at everything with her hand holding the bandaid out for the girl.

“… here” she finally said quickly shoving her pocket into her shorts. Her appearance as usual was a bit haphazard, shorts and overly large shirt with a equally haphazard top bun. “I was going to order food, did you want anything?” She asked turning back towards the kitchen after handing off the bandaid and filtering through a drawer that had an almost ungodly amount of takeout and delivery menus. No wonder there was so many takeout boxes.


Offline heartstringss

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A flash of movement in the corner of her eye had Adrian looking up from her receding pile of dishes, though just as soon as she glanced down the hall, Rae was already slipping away. She noted the light switch on in the bathroom nearest to the living room and the door swing shut, but just as quickly as she had looked up she was turning back to her dishes once more. The silence continued, save for the sweet, sweet melody of Hotel California playing in her ear. She continued on about her to-do list without interruption, going from the dishes to the trash and so on in quick succession, hardly noticing Rae slip in and out of the apartment to grab her mail, and then right back into her office after that.

Years of experience in her field resulted in a keen sense of mindfulness building up over time; so even if she never once caught Rae in the act, Adrian could more or less feel her energy moving about the house. The only reason she hadn’t noticed Rae right away when the shorter woman finally left her office hours later is because she was so enamored with the cat at that moment. Maybe that’s why, whenever a short laugh broke out through the silence at her cursing the cat in vain, she had been so startled.

She couldn’t help cursing underneath her breath at the sharp, stinging pain shooting through her fingertips. Normally Adrian wasn’t one to curse, especially not in the presence of a client; but until Rae approached her a second later, she hadn’t quite realized said client was even in the same room at that time. Perhaps she should have known, considering the cat’s presence and all, and the fact the two rarely seemed to be apart for long.

For a moment longer, Adrian remained crouched at the far end of the couch. Through the din of Bon Jovi now playing in her left ear, she barely heard the snort of laughter and felt her shoulders tense at once. When she looked up a second later as a small pair of bare feet crept into her peripherals, Adrian could already feel warmth creeping into her cheeks. Regardless, she couldn’t help but smile, a knee-jerk reaction acquired after years of working in the hospitality field forcing her to stifle any sign of her true emotions.

Dark eyes drifted from the smaller girl’s face to the bandaid being extended out before her. Pale lips drew back and were quickly caught between her teeth, a worried gaze drifting back and forth between her left hand clenching the bloodied right one and the proffered bandaid she wasn’t sure how to take without dripping said blood on the carpet. It wasn’t that bad of a cut to begin with, but it would certainly need washed before she covered it, and she’d hate to stain the carpet on her first day being too careless with a new injury.

Silence lapsed between the two, lengthy and cold. Adrian remained on the floor for only a second longer, til at long last she drew herself up from her knees and back onto her feet, her tall, lanky form now towering over Rae’s own short stature. Until that moment, she hadn’t quite realized the severity of Rae’s total and complete lack in height, and she couldn’t help feeling a little amazed and dumb-founded over how much she towered over the smaller woman. Her mind wandered, and if it weren’t for Rae’s own distracted mind, she might have been more embarrassed at the awkwardness of the whole situation when the cat finally cut in breaking their silence.

“Oh, sorry,” the words left her mouth in a flurry, her uninjured hand at long last releasing its vice-grip on her cut fingertip. She took the bandaid gingerly between her fingers, still overly cautious about the pretense of dripping blood, though a quick glance into her palm revealed there was hardly any blood to drip in the first place. With that, Adrian worked her way from the living room back into the kitchen, her skill in multitasking showing through as she lifted her elbow to switch on the water, turning the temperature to cold before she promptly stuck her hands underneath the spray.

She let the blood rinse off her hands, the cold water working to stop any new signs of blood flow, and then drizzled soap into her palms and worked up a lather. She was aware of Rae speaking in the other room, dark eyes flicking up when she realized the other woman had asked her a question. With a soft hum, she switched the faucet off and tugged the earbud from her right ear, the cord dangling over her shoulder. In the next motion, she grabbed a paper towel and set to drying her hands, then wrapped her cut finger up in the new bandaid.

“No, I’m okay,” she said after a moment, once she could fully devote her attention back to the other woman. Adrian tossed the balled paper towel and scraps of bandaid wrapper into the waste basket, arms crossing over her chest as she turned facing the other woman and leaned back against the counter top. In all honesty, she was starting to feel a bit hungry and fatigued, but taking Rae up on the offer of food would mean breaking one of her own rules. She never ate on the clock, unless she was bringing her own snacks.

Adrian watched the woman filter through a crazy, disheveled stack of take-out and delivery menus packed into a single drawer and felt a twinge of guilt. She’d noticed the mostly bare fridge and cabinets, and of course how could she have missed all the delivery boxes scattered about the kitchen? She could only assume the woman hardly went grocery shopping on her own, and rarely ate an actual home-cooked meal, if ever. Joseph had implied he wanted her to start doing a bit of meal prep once she started working, but she hadn’t gotten the chance to go out grocery shopping just yet.

“Sorry you’re still having to order take-out for now… I was planning on going to the store tomorrow.” She gave a little shrug, head lolling lazily against her shoulder as she did so. She was tired, and had been considering before Luci had appeared packing up and heading home within the next hour, but now that Rae had joined her she decided to wait just a little longer. She offered a small smile, ever the optimist. “So, barring all take-out, is there anything you’d like me to cook this week? I’m a quick study, so I can make just about anything you’d like.”