Title: The Unbearable Lightness of 'Stuff'
Butterfly - January 21, 2012 04:26 PM (GMT)
The sun. People never think about the sun. For, it rises and sets, leaving the world and it's people relatively the way it found them. They never consider all it does, the thousand errands it accomplishes everyday as it makes it's trek across the sky. It's a beautiful ball blazing in the distance, working thanklessly in solitude.
A pretty girl walked into the offices of X Factor Investigations. It was early. They had not opened yet, but she had a key. She closed the door behind her, careful to balance the tray of hot beverages in her left hand. It was quiet, at least it would be for the next three minutes. More than enough time for her to set up. By the time Jamie Madrox made his way into the lobby, rubbing sleep from his drowsy eyes, the girl was already behind the front desk, shuffling papers around and sticking much needed color coded tabs across the files.
"Good morning Jamie," she said as he entered her line of sight. Such a mundane opening sentence, such an eventless and blase way to meet him, especially considering what was in store for them, but that was the way it was, the way it had to be.
"I took the liberty of implementing a new filing system. I think, no I know, you'll find it works a lot better." She pulled the tray from under the desk and grabbed the cup with the red marked J across it. She smirked a little. This would be fun.
"Coffee. Three sugars, three creams, and a half a cup of caramel. I'm not going to give you the diabetes lecture yet, but just know that I have it in my back pocket."
Layla grinned. This was always the hard part. No. Hard wasn't the right word. Layla rarely thought of things as hard or easy. They just were the way they must be/ Solid, unchangeable. Unless, of course, they did.
She sighed, readying herself for the conversation and deciding to cut the multiple man off at the pass.
"No. I am not a witch. Yes. Your journals are still safe and sound wedged between your matress and box spring. And no, Ashton Kutcher is not hiding behind the desk," she said, handing the coffee to him. "You're not even famous Jamie."
Jamie Madrox - January 21, 2012 06:27 PM (GMT)
It was at an ungodly early hour of the morning when Jamie finally rolled out of the shared and cozy warmth of his bed to face another day. The Santa case was weighing heavily on his mind and he could not seem to sleep very well, particularly in the morning hours. Dressing as quietly as he could, he headed up the stairs, thought about getting a cup of coffee to start the morning off right, decided that he didn’t have the energy to make it and made a bee line directly for his office instead.
There were a few things in particular that had been bothering him about the whole thing. The fact that George was innocent enough was no longer in dispute. They had traced back from the original scene of the crime, with Kyle’s assistance and tracked down the group of homeless people to a specific central source. There was a shelter on the other side of the city. Every one of the rogue Santas stayed there.
As he put his hand on the door of his office, he sniffed the air. Was that? Caramel? Coffee? He shook his head and opened the door.
"Good morning Jamie."
Utterly confused, he checked the door to make sure his name was still on it.
"I took the liberty of implementing a new filing system. I think, no I know, you'll find it works a lot better."
“Filing?” The strange blonde met him suddenly with a tray and a cup of coffee…strangely enough prepared exactly the way he liked it. He started to take it and then looked at her suspiciously. He opened his mouth to speak, but she beat him to the punch.
"No. I am not a witch.”
Another thought occurred to him and he looked around the room.
“Yes. Your journals are still safe and sound wedged between your mattress and box spring.”
Realizing what was going on, and suspecting Alix was behind it, he pointed a finger at her with a sly grin. Before he could say a word she finished his unfinished sentence for him. “Okay, where’s-“
“And no, Ashton Kutcher is not hiding behind the desk," she said, handing the coffee to him. "You're not even famous Jamie."
Completely confused and dumbstruck, Jamie looked at her a little more closely. She was young, but not too much younger than he was. And she looked like she was having a very good time at his expense. She had blonde hair and a very unusual tattoo of an ‘M’ over her right eye. Tentatively he reached up and took the cup, keeping his eyes on her while he brought it up to his lips for a sip. It was perfect.
“Who are you?” Alix must have hired her to help out around the office. He took another sip and kept his eyes somewhat warily on her. She definitely knew how to make a good cup of coffee.
Butterfly - January 21, 2012 09:34 PM (GMT)
"I'm me," she said, in response to Jamie's question. Introductions were always so formal and unnecessary for her. It was like wafting through a narrative of something you've heard a million times before. She knew Jamie. She knew his quirks, his personality. She knew his humor and they way his lips turned slightly downward when he was trying to be serious. She had known all of these details for as long it mattered. Yet he knew nothing of her. Not yet anyway.
"I'm Layla Miller. I work here, or I will in a few hours."
She turned from him and rounded the desk, disappearing as she ducked beneath it. She popped back up with he rest of the beverages in hand, splaying them out on the counter before her.
"I got a chai tea for Alix. It'll help with her headache and a decaff for Guido, for obvious reasons."
She circled back around to him, lifting her hand and pushing his dropped jaw shut. "Don't worry. I have that effect on people. Now I get that you probably have a few questions. I'll start answering them in order of importance. First off, under no circumstances will I ever do windows. It's not my job, so don't ask. I'm a mutant Jamie, like you. Except where you get get thumped or kicked and a whole new person shoots out, I know stuff."
She planted a pointed finger against the center of his chest. "And a lot of that stuff, it turns out, pertains to you."
Box - January 21, 2012 10:19 PM (GMT)
The echoing click-clack of metallic paws in steady rhythm sounded out, as they usually do this time of the morning. Madison Jeffries, designer and "owner" of the mechanical dog Ilsa, had long ago considered padding her paws to muffle the sound of her footsteps, but decided against it. It was better, he felt, for people to know she was coming, to hear her almost like the sound of a rifle being cocked. Because if you were where you weren't supposed to be, he damn well wanted you to be afraid.
But today, the unthinkable happened. Today, Ilsa's perfect streak of not allowing any intruders in when they weren't supposed to be in was broken. The dog stepped into the lobby shortly after Jamie Madrox had met up with the one who managed to put an end to that streak.
Glowing blue eyes shifted in tone to a bright, ominous red, and the dog adopted an attack posture - shoulders dropped, elbows and knees bent, a low, rumbling growl reverberating from her voice box.
Whoever this young woman was, she was not in Ilsa's databanks, had not been programmed to be recognized in her security protocols - and yet, here she was. Inside their building well in advance of anyone having access to it. It was almost as if she had somehow known how to bypass Madison's security network.
Jamie's communicator beeped twice, and upon it, a message displayed on the screen.
Getting an alert from Ilsa - intruder detected in the lobby - do we need to mobilize the team? - M.J.
Julio Richter - January 21, 2012 11:41 PM (GMT)
The morning was a typical morning in the XFI. Things were slowly getting back to normal but things were still a bit rocky with a few people. He’d been trying his best to be getting along, but there were still some things that only time had to work out. He and Alix and Jamie had talked a while and gotten everything straight, but he still felt a bit weird about the situation. Probably another thing that would take time. Like that old Tom Petty song says, the waiting is the hardest part. Good thing he took a case that would keep him busy and get him out of the office.
He thought about what Alix said about their financial situation and scraping by. It probably wouldn’t help much, but he took a simple case of infidelity. Some lady wanted a divorce and was suspecting her husband and the secretary. Simply follow the cheater, take some pictures, and give to the wife. He didn’t particularly like those types of cases, but they were pretty cut and dry and easy money.
After getting dressed he walked down to the lobby. He heard a female, whom he didn’t recognize, talking and Jamie attempting conversation. Turning the corner he saw Jamie looking a bit dumbfounded and a cute blonde sitting behind a desk with coffees placed about. He tried to think if he knew her, but his mind was drawing a blank. She wasn’t here before he left and she wasn’t here when he returned. He wondered if she was on vacation or a new hire. It didn’t matter really, but then he saw Ilsa in defense poised to attack. Rictor looked back to Jamie who looked calm but confused. Then again Jamie always looked calm even when someone was about to punch him in the face. The girl, however, didn’t appear to be a threat. She looked and sounded like she just wanted to talk. “Who’s the new hire?” Rictor asked walking closer to the two eyeing the coffee.
Overkill - January 22, 2012 01:04 AM (GMT)
It was always an interesting event. The international gathering of shipping giants for a flash dinner always happened at the start of the year, and from what his father had told him, Blake knew it always started well. Unfortunately there was a lot of animosity there, from deals in the past, even just from the year before's dinner party. People did deals throughout the night, and by the sounds of things at least three people got majorly shafted somehow each night. All that plus piles of free alcohol was a bad mix. Sure they were mostly middle aged men who'd sat behind a desk for their whole lives, but that just meant the fights were scrappy and vicious. There was hair pulling, eye gouging, nut shots, fish hooks, slaps and scratches. Blake wouldn't miss it for the world.
At around two o'clock in the morning, the young Englishman had left the party, stepping out into the cold night air with a torn neck tie and only one shoe. He laughed as he jogged lightly down the steps toward a waiting car. The driver had been asked to bring an extra pair of shoes and Blake slipped into them and removed his ripped tie as they cruised towards the city center where all the clubs were. The next several hours were the usual whirlwind of a good night out, drinks, women, and dancing, ending when a guy much larger than the English mutant had taken a disliking to him. A black eye and a struggle with the bouncers later, Blake found himself on his way home. He sat into a taxi and noticed the sun was rising. To work then.
There was a rattle in the door as he got it open and stumbled tiredly into the lobby of XFI, noticing some kind of gathering near the desk. He knew exactly where he was headed first. The kitchen, he needed food, and an ice pack. As to what was after that, well he'd cross that bridge when he came to it. The door swung shut behind him and smacked into his funny-bone causing a slight gasp before he started flicking his arm, trying to rid it of the strange sensation.
He muttered. As he made his way across the lobby like a directionally challenged zombie he greeted the group of people standing around the reception desk.
"Mornin' M&M. Mornin' Ric. Mornin' Ilsa. Mornin' fit new girl."
He said in a droning tone.
Crashes bangs and muffled curses could be heard from the kitchen as Blake tried to turn around his day. He soon emerged with a bag of frozen peas over his black eye and a cold bagel in hand, a bite already taken from it. He strolled back into the lobby and came to rest between Ric and Jamie. It seemed to be that Ilsa didn't trust whoever this random person in their building was. Granted he had never seen her before and she seemed to have just completely made herself at home, Blake had to say he agreed with the dog. He was starting to sober up and he knew there was no sensible reason he could come up with that she would be here at this time. Surely if she was a new hire like Ric seemed to think, she would have come sometime during the work day and brought her belongings like the French girl had.
Numerous questions were on the tip of his tongue as he rolled the bag of peas up onto his forehead.
"Firstly, who is she?"
He asked turning to Madrox and then to Ric.
"Who are you?"
He asked then to her.
"Why is she 'ere before the place is open?"
"Why does she 'ave so much coffee?"
They kept coming. Then the single most important question of the lot came to the forefront,
"And why the 'ell are you all up so sodding early?"
Jamie Madrox - January 22, 2012 03:13 AM (GMT)
"Will work here...in a few hours," Jamie parroted in disbelief. He blinked several times very rapidly as he tried to wrap his mind around what exactly was going on here. Dreaming! That's what he was doing. A very weird dream with a self-hired blonde who knew more about him than he did about her and made a wicked good cup of coffee. That's all. That's all it was. At the mention of the tea for Alix and Guido, Jamie's level of discomfort rose a notch. Was this some kind of ploy of the competition to get someone in...to infiltrate the inner mechanisms of their...and immediately he realized that particular theory made absolutely no sense considering the fact that they've had all of one case and it was yet to be solved.
She stepped a little closer, revealing a little about herself. It went about as far in answering questions as it did in the creation of brand new ones. "Know...stuff?" He looked down at the finger on his chest and considered her ominous words that some of what she knew was about him. That knowing little smile of hers made him more than a little fidgety.
Jamie tore his eyes away from Layla and looked down at his communicator, reading the message from Madison. He looked back up at Layla and considered the potential of any sort of threat for a moment before responding. "Seems you might have set off the alarms," he commented with a grin. "Did you know that?" He typed in a quick message to Madison, letting him know that everything was all right.
He was interested though. Nervous and uncomfortable, but curious. What did she know? How did she...was it some sort of precognitive thing? In Mutant Town, you never ruled out that sort of possibility. Trying hard to find the right way to phrase his question, he laughed a little, and resisted the urge to back up a step. "How..what do you know-"
“Who’s the new hire?”
Jamie looked over his shoulder at Rico, then back at Layla. This could have gone a few different ways. He could have turned her in as an intruder, but he hadn't. He could refute that she was a 'new hire'...but he wouldn't. "Layla Miller," he said wondering about the 'M' on her eye again. "She...knows stuff." He smirked a little and took a sip of his coffee.
And then Blake came in...looking like he was on the losing end of a fight, asking some of the same questions in a rapid fire-I've been up all night-kind of way. Jamie squinted at the frozen produce Blake was sporting over one eye. "Let me guess," he said, "you were just looking for a little peas and quiet?" He laughed. "Did you lose an argument with the Jolly Green Giant?" Then he looked back at Layla. "This is Layla Miller. She will be..."
What was she going to be doing again?
Butterfly - January 23, 2012 06:06 AM (GMT)
Jamie's buzzer went off, signifying that Box was aware of her presence. "Tell Madison to call off his dogs," Layla said to Jamie, taking her hand from his chest and gave him a tap across the cheek. "And tell him to get down here. We have to talk about what's going on between you two. I don't want any empty rooms in here."
Next was Rictor, who came stumbling in with a mission of his own. "I'm Layla Miller, Ric." She walked to the other end of the desk, picking a cup from the tray of beverages. "I know you like it black, but aren't things bitter enough?" she said, handing him a cup of milky coffee. She leaned back down, pulling a briefcase from behind and handing it to the man. "You know, not to tell you how to spend your day, but there's a nice matinee showing at three. It'll have you out by six. And, if I'm not mistaken, it'll place you right by the Southfork Inn. Bet you can get some nice pictures there. Oh, and tell Mrs. Moneybags to pay you time and a half, she'll be able to afford it."
Blake was next. The place was crowding quickly. Soon there would barely be standing room. It was no accident that the girl with the M on her face picked this time to make her entrance. Most bang for your buck, as it were.
"That, my friend, is a whole lot of questions. Maybe you should take a seat before you get over exterted. Have a cup of coffee, a pastry, call your mother, something like that."
"I do know stuff," she said in response to Jamie's explanation. "Lots of stuff. Some of it's important. Some of it is earthshatterly big. Some of it is about what you people are going to have for breakfast tomorrow. What can I say, I'm a grab bag of info. Think of me as the Cliff Clavin of X Factor Investigations. And I'm the office manager," she answer Jamie. "...for now."
Box - January 23, 2012 06:43 AM (GMT)
In the basement, Madison couldn't help but be confounded a bit by the response he got. Someone managed to bypass security up to a certain point, letting themselves in to the headquarters well in advance of operational hours and it was nothing to worry about?
"Switch to camera three," he said as he spun his chair away from his workbench and towards the central security system. His eyes pored over the screens intently.
Several of the group were congregated in the lobby - Madrox, Richter, that... um... Madison couldn't remember Overkill's name. Blake something. But Madison was more a last-name basis kinda guy. And of course, Ilsa, standing rapt at attention ready to attack.
All were congregated around a young woman - or a teenage girl, hard to tell - who helped herself to the receptionist's desk with a tray of morning beverages. What the hell was this? What game was this girl playing?
"Directive: Ilsa - stand down. For now," Madison spoke into his headset, and immediately, the dog took a seated position, red eyes returning to blue. But she watched this girl, kept her attention squarely focused on her. That was something Madison couldn't have turned off even if he wanted to. She was programmed to be a watchdog, and as of now, this girl was an anomaly.
Alix - January 23, 2012 06:48 AM (GMT)
It'd only been a day and a half since the occurrences in the motel room and while she didn't particularly remember anything that had gone on, Jamie had remembered. She did, however, remember that look that she'd seen in what had apparently been a dream on his face and so far, it hadn't passed out of her memory. She'd been attempting to put things back to being normal, to regain some level of control. She'd not quite gotten there yet and Because of it, Jamie had been generally left picking up her part of the slack in the research.
She felt bad, but then she knew that Jamie understood and likely didn't even halfway mind that she took the rest. It wasn't that she wasn't even completely off of things, it was just, as a whole, she didn't wake up quite as early as she used to, and went to sleep earlier than she generally did and couldn't quite get her focus on things.
Besides, it had only been a few days.
When Jamie had woken up and left as quietly as possible, she'd almost slept through it. His absence triggered in her half-asleep mind, however, and she quickly stirred awake after him. For a moment, she adjusted, the dim imagery of dreams just barely ebbing at her thoughts before falling out of her memory and leading her to begin whatever new and fantastic things could happen next. She went through the motions fluidly before slowly making her way to the stairs at the sound of an intruder alert. There was no alarm in the thoughts of anyone present, however, so she didn't jump into the defensive.
By the time she was upstairs and where the action was, both Ric and Blake were in the room along with Jamie and... whoever the woman was. She shifted her weight softly, and looked towards Jamie questioningly.
::Good Morning, Ric. Blake- Jamie. and...:: She smiled, pleasantly, and turned to face Layla just after introductions were made.
::Office Manager?:: She questioned pleasantly between the parties and smiled-- albeit tiredly-- towards Layla.
::Nice to meet you. I'm Alix.:: She held out a hand affably. ::A precog? That's good. We've never had a precog on the team before.:: She didn't say it, but she was absolutely curious as to what Layla had meant when she said that a lot of what she knew pertained to Jamie.
::There's something odd about her, Jamie. But she is genuine. Her mind is... different. To say the least.:: The comment went to him alone.
Julio Richter - January 25, 2012 03:04 AM (GMT)
"Layla Miller. She...knows stuff." Jamie answered while a battered and alcohol ridden Blake made his way through to the kitchen.
Blake greeted them holding a bag of frozen peas to award from a night of hard partying. Rictor could relate. He’d had his fair share of nights out and gotten into drunken fights. That’s just what they were; a product of alcohol that started from something trivial, such as talking to someone’s girl, and someone else defending their territory. Asinine retorts exchanged, tempers flared, and fists flew. Rictor could guess how the rest turned out. Thought he’d only known Blake a few days he hoped he got in his share as well.
Layla introduced herself once more and began rummaging around the desk like she’d worked there for ages. "I know you like it black, but aren't things bitter enough?" She said pushing a coffee his way and handing him a briefcase, "You know, not to tell you how to spend your day, but there's a nice matinee showing at three. It'll have you out by six. And, if I'm not mistaken, it'll place you right by the Southfork Inn. Bet you can get some nice pictures there. Oh, and tell Mrs. Moneybags to pay you time and a half, she'll be able to afford it."
Opening the briefcase he saw the case file he’d come to get laying on top in perfect order. “How did-“ Rictor started to ask but caught himself when he remembered Jamie saying ”She knows stuff.”
Layla carried on talking to Blake in the same manner answering all of his questions. Alix greeted everyone with a smile. Julio still felt things a bit awkward between him and Alix, but they were better. He didn’t know if she was being genuinely friendly or trying to hide it in front of everyone else. It was hard to tell right now, but he was too preoccupied with this newcomer at the moment. ::Nice to meet you. I'm Alix. A precog? That's good. We've never had a precog on the team before,:: Alix stated reaching out her hand.
“Well,” Rictor said after taking another look inside the briefcase, “I don’t know about precognition, but she’s sure one hell of an organizer. Damn that’s good coffee,” he said taking a drink of the coffee. “It’s up to you Jamie, but she’d make one hell of a secretary.” Was that sexist?
Overkill - January 25, 2012 11:49 AM (GMT)
As Blake scuffed his feet back into the lobby to check on things he caught Jamie smirking at him, probably the peas on the eye trick. Thank god he hadn't been around the last time Blake broke his nose, the tampon trick would have had him in stitches. He let slip a nice little pun about the peas and Blake laughed quietly, clearly trying to keep a headache out of the equation.
"Nailed it mate."
He added in appreciation. Then his boss asked if he lost an argument with the big green man himself. Blake smiled a knowing smile,
"The argument? Yeah I spose. As for the rest, let's just say there's a big difference between startin' a fight, and winnin' one. 'E gave me a black eye and, by the end of it, one of 'is teeth too. Well technically I guess 'e gave that to whoever does the cleanin' this mornin'."
He smirked. The guy may have been bigger, but Blake was both pretty well trained and plenty experienced.
With the explanations out of the he launched into his series of questions, directed all over the place, leaving him to scan from one face to the next then the next then the next as he waited for a reply. First Jamie piped up, introducing the young woman as Layla Miller. Well that was a start he supposed. Then she spoke up offering for him to sit down, he looked down to find that a seat was already drawn for him, to which he shrugged and sat down. The next things on offer were coffee and a pastry, and by god did he need it. She also mentioned his mother, earning a little groan from the Englishman. He stuffed the rest of his bagel into his mouth and washed it down with a little coffee, milky as anything he noted. Good luck he grabbed that one he supposed. Then snagging a pastry for himself he leaned back and reapplied the peas to his forehead and listened.
She claimed that she knew all sorts, there were allegations of all sorts of things she knew, including something that seemed to be important to Jamie. None the less only one thing struck home with him.
"Ooh ooh! What am I 'aving for breakfast tomorrow?"
He asked excitedly. She also claimed to be the 'office manager', now Blake wasn't exactly an expert in the operations of small time business, but that sounded like a pretty serious position to him. Well she certainly knew what she wanted, that was refreshing he supposed.
It was at this point that Alix strolled down the stairs and greeted everyone, Blake replied with a slight tilt of the head and the mental equivalent of an indiscriminate grunt. Alix took charge as she always did, Blake couldn't help but smirk as Jamie faded slightly back already when Alix began talking to the woman. She had a presence about her that the kinetic controller couldn't quite pin point, but he assumed it had something to do with her abilities. The telepath revealed the other female as a precog and Blake's eyebrows shot up. Well that did explain it actually. It would be an interesting power to have on board for sure.
Then Ric spoke out, point out the fact that she would make an amazing secretary, something Blake couldn't disagree with. One if she could take care of him like this every morning he would be a happy morning, and secondly there was the more important job of a corporate secretary. To sit there looking hot when people walked in. He imagined she could do that one quite nicely... He smirked slightly before wiping the look from his face and wondering if Alix had caught that thought. Then something occurred to him. He saw in his mind's eye Jamie staring into the camera saying 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.' So long as she wasn't his personal secretary Blake really hoped they could avoid that one.
He tipped back his cup and drained the last of his tasty coffee, flicking his head sideways to indicate to Ric as he mentioned that she made good coffee.
"I'm Blake Evans and I approve this message."
He tagged on with a smile.
Jamie Madrox - January 25, 2012 12:37 PM (GMT)
His eyes widened again and then narrowed just slightly as Layla casually mentioned that he needed to smooth things over with Madison. It had been less than a week since he’d had a minor falling out with him. Things were definitely still not completely smooth. Probably not even a little smooth, but so far they were smooth enough to where Madison had not packed up all of his stuff and left the building. The shock faded away again as he realized it was just more evidence that she had the gift of sight.
Or that the place was bugged.
To each of the early bird newcomers she had a response, and a cup of coffee. It definitely did appear that she knew exactly who was going to be there and more than a little something about them. Which was…weird. But precognitive? He still wasn’t sure about that whole thing.
“Cliff Clavin? From Cheers?” He was already shaking his head. “No way.” But he looked at her a little closer. “Well…maybe if you grow a mustache…” She did win points for the reference though. And the coffee. Did he mention how good the coffee was? He took another sip of coffee and then promptly choked on it, sputtering into the cup. “Office…manager?” Looking at her skeptically. “Well that was mighty generous of me.”
Another joined their little party, and Jamie had to admit that he was surprised to see Alix standing there this early. Mainly because he knew how tired she had been. Ever since the whole incident at the motel, she hadn’t been sleeping very well. And neither had he.
::There's something odd about her, Jamie. But she is genuine. Her mind is... different. To say the least.::
::Something odd? If that’s true…she’d pretty much fit right in.:: He smirked at Alix.
He realized something just then. “This is the strangest interview I think I’ve ever had.” Definitely topped the one with that Galford dude who called him a liar in the middle of the interview. “I’ve seen what you can do…though most of it could probably have been reproduced by a street con spy or some sort of bug planted in here.” He thought about it. “Not that those things wouldn’t still be pretty cool.”
Alix thought she was the real deal, and deep down Jamie had to admit that he did too. And somehow he had this feeling, like he knew her from somewhere, and it was fairly influential.
But he had all of these witnesses, and so far he didn’t seem to have a grasp on the situation at all. “Coffee is fine.” He thought about it. “Great actually. And I definitely lack in the…organizational department.” Glancing at the rest of his waking teammates-Julio who seemed already sold on the idea, Blake who probably just wanted another pretty face to look at- and then at Alix, he finished. “But what exactly do you see yourself doing for us on a day by day basis.” He honestly didn’t know what an Office Manager did…other than manage offices. Did he ask her about her experience? He felt really steamrolled right now.
Somehow he knew though, by the look in her eye. He’d already made his decision.