Logs:TSO-NOLA - Four(ty) Thieves Part 3

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TSO-NOLA - Four(ty) Thieves Part 3

Characters: Jacob, Mingzhu as ST
Date: 2020-06-27
Summary: Jacob receives an unusual job offer.

Even Jacob needs to eat. And he can't always be at home, relying on his five-star chef. So this mid-afternoon, he's sitting at a table on an outside patio of a little cafe, a sandwich and chips in front of him, as well as a tall glass of ice cold lemonade. He's dressed in his usual charcoal suit, although the jacket's draped over the back of his chair, the sleeves of his pale blue shirt rolled up. It's warm out, after all. And a bit muggy, causing the silk of his shirt and the curls of his dark hair to cling to his skin.

He's currently talking on a cellphone, handling a little business. "Mmm. Let's start with two hundred, and go from there. I want to see how well they take before investing more. How soon can you deliver them?" He pauses. "Alright, I'll have everything ready." He continues chatting about a few other details. It sounds as if he's buying... trees? He sips on his lemonade as he conducts his business.

People mill around the little cafe, getting food and drinks in groups and pairs, the odd singleton enjoying a quiet glass of something too. Into the cafe comes just one more visitor; a young woman in maybe her late teens or early twenties, dressed rather more conservatively than most. A high-necked blouse and an ankle-length black skirt, cinched with a wide belt. She doesn't order any food, just a glass of milk, and she finds herself somewhere out of the way to sit.

Settling, she sips her drink and watches the room - though her gaze seems to be coming back to Jacob more frequently than most, observing him as he does business via his phone, studying him openly. There's no attempt to hide her scrutiny either, just a sense of patience.

Jacob can't help but notice the woman in her rather warm looking clothing on this hot, muggy day. If that weren't distinctive enough, there's the fact that she appears to be staring at him, quite openly. He speaks into the phone, "Listen, Rich, I'm going to have to call you back later. Consider everything a go, though. Just send over the bill and I'll get it straightened out." A pause "Sure, sure, see you then."

As he talks, his gaze settles on the young woman, looking right back at her. There's a hint of amusement there, as well as a good dose of curiosity. He tucks his phone aside, picks up his lemonade, and lifts it in her direction, as if in a silent toast. He waits now, to see if she approaches, or chooses to remain an enigma. He enjoys this game.

Allowing a whole minute once Jacob has put his phone away, the young woman then stands, lifting her glass of milk and approaching Jacob's table. She doesn't wait for an invitation, drawing out the chair opposite his and settling, placing her drink down on the tabletop. She offers a small smile his way, murmuring, "I hope you don't mind me joining you. I'm looking for a few people with certain skills, and I think you might be fortunate enough to be one of them," she greets, her accent the very model of the Queen's English.

He watches as he comes over, reaching out with his foot to push the chair opposite out, allowing her to sit. He watches her curiously with... well, pale blue, rather intense eyes if she can't see through the mask. Otherwise, dark, depthless, alien ones. He offers a smile, "Please." He motions towards the chair. It's a good thing he ordered a sandwich and not something hot because it keeps getting ignored.

"Fortunate, mmm? That sounds intriguing, although I'll reserve my judgement on the matter until I hear what you have to say. What skills, exactly, are you referring to? I somehow doubt it has to do with planting lemon trees." Which was his last business. He takes a sip of his lemonade, watching her. His own accent is similar, and if one is able to differentiate different regions, something you might find around the Sussex area.

There is no sense from the young woman that she sees anything other than Jacob's mask, no surprise or any glances towards parts that seem to fade in and out of view. No, she's focused on his face, her small smile remaining as she explains, "Something has been taken from me, and I need to employ a few people to help me get it back." Clearly she isn't of a mind to call the cops to help with this sort of situation.

She doesn't elaborate on that, watching Jacob's expression and body-language as he receives that information and decides on his reply.

He listens to her with an easy smile, though his eyes are sharp, studying her as much as listening to her words, picking up on any little details. He gives a little nod. He doesn't ask why she doesn't call the cops. Instead, he says, "I will need to know more about what it is you're looking to retrieve. And you said a 'few' people. I will need to know who I am working with."

Logical needs, really. He doesn't question her motives or reasons for wanting to retrieve her item. Or why it was taken in the first place. It is, after all, what he did for most of his life - retrieve things, be they tangible or not.

The young woman is blessed genetically; a symmetrical face with perfectly pale skin, adorned with a little pink on her cheeks and red on her lips. Dark brown hair with just a little curl in it, equally dark eyes which gleam with intelligence. She nods to his questions, murmuring, "Of course, all in good time. My intention is to bring a group of talented people together, describe the place that my object is being held, and allow you all to decide who has the skills needed for this. Once consensus has been reached on who will go on this little venture, I will let you know the specifics."

Naturally she's playing this close to her chest; whatever it is, she wants it back with a minimum of fuss, and with the best chance of success for her group. Given she's (presumably) not a thief herself, who better to make those decisions than the skilled professionals she's gathering?

He studies the woman intently as she replies. Is she blessed? Although she seems to him perfectly 'normal', he finds her perfection, along with her attire, to be quite interesting. He gives a nod and smiles, "Of course. You would not want to give out too many details before I agreed. That is fair. And perhaps I am interested..."

He takes a sip of his lemonade, watching her for a moment. "There is another question, though, and I think you should be able to answer it. What's in it for me? What we I, and the others, stand to receive for payment?" He seems largely unconcerned with what the item is, or who it belongs to, or why she's looking for outside help to find it. He's dealt with many such cases, after all. Payment, however, is important.

There's a thoughtful nod from the young woman. "Payment will be commensurate with the risk and the level of skill involved, I assure you," she promises, though she doesn't actually name a figure. It's amazing how many people develop sharp ears when the conversation turns to money, after all. "I'm not looking to hire professionals on a shoestring budget."

She takes a sip of her milk, adding a moment later, "Can I count you amongst the list of interested parties? If not, then thank you for your time at least."

He considers the woman for a moment. Finally, he gives a nod. "You can consider me interested." He removes a small notepad from his pocket, and a pen, and jots down his contact information. Replacing the notepad and pen, he slides the paper over to her. "Contact me when you are ready to proceed, then, and we will go from there."

Taking the slip of paper, the young woman rises to her feet, abandoning the remainder of her drink. She does extend a hand to shake on the agreement if he's so willing, and she murmurs, "I'll be in touch very soon, then. Thank you." The paper is tucked into a pocket in her skirt, and she turns to take her leave.

Jacob stands as well, offering his hand handshake. He watches as the woman departs, his brow furrowing in thought. Well, time will tell what all that was about. He sits back down, picking up his ignored sandwich and taking a bite. He never did ask her name, but he doubts she would have given it to him anyway. Or, if she did, it wouldn't be her actual name. Still, he might ask around a bit, see if any other folks he knows with similar skillsets have seen someone fitting her description.