Sunlight greets you in a manner that can only be described as coarse. It's sudden, entirely too bright and not at old welcome. Your legs that must have been propped on top of the mess heap that could only be described as tenses abruptly, sending important documents and a mixture of items that could be filed under the title 'miscellaneous' scattering unceremoniously to the ground with a varying amount of loud sounds that bring you to awaken even further. Unfortunately so, it is unfortunate that you cannot just sleep the day away, that is your lone thought as your weary eyes peer to the ground with an utter look of apathetic disinterest.
"Is it time already?" You ask out-loud, casting a glance to the shabby establishment that was your office/place of residence. Where you conducted cases that kept you fed, while also being a place in which you rest your head and lounge around as you please. But it seemed this day wasn't going to be much for resting or lounging as your eyes reached their destination to where the greatest source of infernal light was.
Immediately it became much harder to work up an ounce of anger as your cerulean eyes met a mischievous duo that was the color of bright emerald. Lavender strands of hair moved slightly in tandem with the blowing wind that came from an open window in the room and a small fan that sat on a nearby table which was usually reserved for guests to sit, reveal the source of their problems, and maybe this fledging little private agency would take accept with much gusto, and of course a fee. Things weren't cheap, even this office was something that was constantly being an expense.
"The afternoon! It is the afternoon, Isabell! And you're still sleeping at the desk of yours!" A tall bespectacled woman with a surprisingly youthful air exclaimed, bounding her way over to where you currently sat. In all honesty, she was dressed as the image of the perfect secretary, a black buttoned up blouse and a beige pencil skirt, shoes with a heel even and stockings. The odd looking apron adorned with a hooded man sitting on a throne of sorts did clash, albeit slightly. Even that was something you found cute, however, As if sensing your straying thoughts, the woman whose features looked more and more young as she approached, pouted and placed both of her fists on either side of here hips, staring down at you.
What could you do? The young woman in question was someone who you grew up with in the same environment with your other, quote, unquote, 'siblings.' Things had gotten quite complicated, they always were. After certain events in which you both were torn apart, and then reunited some odd years later. A relationship you didn't think you could possibly ever have the passion to pursue blossomed, and then, well, a ring has found its way on both of your fingers, and now your lives could begin. Helena, that was the name of the most important woman in your life, and though you struggled with showing your emotions outwardly, the traces of a mirth smirk begins to make its way on the pale skin of your face. It really didn't take much at all to wake you up at all when you think about it.
"I'm up, but what is with the apron?" You feel compelled to ask the woman, who simply brightens immediately, puffing up her generously sized chest in pride. You're classy enough to not let your eyes play any indecent tricks.
Helena smiles, rubbing the tip of her nose. "I baked. Muffins to be exact, which I wanted you to tr--"
"Cooking? Are you sure you're up for such a task?" You cut her off, feeling a sudden chill run through your spine. It takes plenty to make you feel nervous, time and time lets you think such a thing with confidence. Dodging bullets, taking a bullet, getting stabbed, burned, suffering enough force and blunt trauma to kill a person several times over and standing up to rise up with the knowledge that you'll only suffer even more before you can eventually reach your goal, that is nothing. Helena, she is rather creative, expressive, imaginative, and that spills out in the kitchen in the worst of ways.
But, dammit, your betrothed was trying her hardest.
"It actually came out good this time, Isabell! Please just try it. Here, here, here, here--" Her voice drowns out as she continues to shove a tray of breakfast muffins you briefly wonder where she pulled out from. Your eyes furrow as you take in the detail of said muffins, in which wisps of smoke still drifted off from. The color of the baked food is a rather appetizing brown with a slight tinge of orange to it, and it leaves you wondering if it really came from the woman that was standing right before your eyes. Perhaps that is too mean, and maybe there is a merit to not teasing Helena too much. That is the thought process you decided to shift towards to as you hesitatingly raise a hand to grab a muffin, Helena however pulls it away as she inspects you carefully, her eyes turning to expressions of disapproval.
Curiosity gets the better of you and you're forced to ask, "What?" You follow her gaze with a measured one of your own, outreached hand still frozen in place.
"Bullet holes, Isabella, why?" She moves the tray even further away from your grasp.
"The last job was slightly eventful," you answer without missing a beat.
Now her eyes narrow, and you're left wondering just what your punishment will be this time at this rate. "You promised me that you would be more careful, right? You have a client that wants to meet you today, but you're sleeping in a shirt riddled with bullet holes and blood even, now that I look closer at you. So how'd it get eventful?"
"These things I usually keep to mysel--" She frowns, "But seeing as how it is you that is requesting, I'm obliged." You kick yourself off of the desk, adopting a more professional seating arrangement as you lean forward with hands folded. "It's the usual case where drugs and great amounts of money are involved. The last client wanted to know what her husband was up to, the threats on their voice mail, the stranger making rounds near their house."
Helena looks quite interested, eating a muffin all the while.
"So wharth happeun, Isabelfth, difdth juu find himm?" She talks with a mouth full, nearly choking on her own creation as you quickly pour her a glass of the nearest available liquid that happened to be on your desk. Helena quickly takes it and gulps it down, but her expression is one of great confusion and surprise, prompting another cough and two and then two hiccups as she cups her mouth with her palm. Her usual healthy tanned skin is flushed, but she eventually gets control of herself and beckons with her hand for you to continue your account.
Suppressing the urge to snicker at the sight of her, you only nod your head.
"Simple, I found him tied up. Apparently he tried to get out of the life, but of course they didn't like that, or my presence. Thus they shot at the both of us several times, I of course kept the man virtually free from harm. I told him to get back home and be a honest family man for once, and he should be able to. All of the people who were after him are either dead or currently sitting in a cell, treated by now by the local medical facilities by now, I believe."
Helena breathes a short sigh, taking a seat on her desk and holding a fresh muffin in the air, closing an eye and looking as if she is appraising it for it's value to be sold.
"Why didn't you ask him to turn himself in? He's a criminal too, isn't he?" She asks you with genuine curiosity sparkling in her eyes once she turns them from to the muffin to stare at you directly. You stare back at her once again, digging in the back of your mind for something suitable before you could only offer her a shrug, leaning back in your chair.
"He had a family, I suppose. And his story, it was one I could find pitiful. Being born into such a life essentially, it's almost like us. Killing, I used to think nothing of it, but the weight of our sins isn't something that can be weighed and judged so easily, so it's best to try and make as much good as you can, while it is still possible."
Helena only giggles, nodding along as she takes more sips from her glass.
"You're almost like some hero, Isabella," it is odd for her to use your full name with the extra a at the end, but you think nothing of it, even as she pops a muffin in her mouth, leans forward and brings it forward as it collides against your lips. Only a nonplused reaction to the turn of events can be given, because with your reaction time, you saw this coming like a businessman waiting for the next train, and you're not put off it in the slightest.
Marmalade, it is bitter, and it has another taste. Yes, while you did give her water, it must have been of the Russian variety.
Well, you suppose it is the afternoon. Helena is a lightweight when it comes to anything alcoholic and she also becomes entirely too 'friendly' and you're not exactly up for neglecting work when you can do something to not do so. While sleeping in after the night you had was appealing, you couldn't exactly take that appealing offer. As tempting as it was, and despite how pleasant this current situation you were in was, two of your hands find their way on Helena's shoulders and gently push her further back, ending that marmalade and vodka tasting kiss.
"Work, remember that? The client, Helena?" You remind her.
As if coming to grips of her senses, she quickly stumbles back, dropping the trap of muffins on the way and letting a surprised mortified shriek come from out of her mouth as she hurriedly bends down to attend to her mess and move to the exit of your office with quick hastened steps, stopping and lingering to stare at you, as if awaiting an answer.
Like a dam, a chortle spills from you as you lean backwards in your seat. Already working on zipping down your tattered jacket as you search for the words that eventually find themselves on the tip of your tongue.
"For onc-- No, simply put; delicious. The muffins, they were a success," you tell her, missing the triumphant dance of victory that she does as she exits the room, popping her head out soon after as you toss your jacket over a rack, unloosening your tie as you get ready for yet another eventful day. Perhaps one with less bullets and attempts on your life to worry about, but then again, you don't wholly mind that thrill.
Helena smiles, holding her finger up.
"I'll let the next client know that you're now available," and with those words, the sound of her retreating steps is all you hear as you once again place a finger on your lips in bemusement.
Marmalade and vodka, who would have thought it would make such a wonderful combination?
Okay, this is terrible, and I'm through here.
Now how about marmite and vodka? An even better combination!
I'm not sure, but I won't doubt that.