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message 1: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod

message 2: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments The bookshop was filled with shelves that stood from floor to ceiling, not allowing for much natural light, but Tabbris didn't mind. The only natural light in the store came from the store from windows, and it shone down like spotlights due to the dust particles that floated slowly through the air. Tabbris dusted often, but when people brought in their old books to sell, they brought their dust with them. They sold new books, as well, but it was limited to a few shelves in the front of the store.

The real treasures were the old ones, though, and Tabbris currently had one balanced in her lap as she sat on a stool behind the cash register. Her mousy brown hair was pulled to one side, forming a wall on one side of her face as she poured over the pages.

message 3: by Paige (last edited Jan 03, 2018 06:41PM) (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
The door swung open lightly, and in stepped Alexander Greenwood. A poet in more ways than one, he was wearing the same pair of jeans he always wore, the same white cotton shirt, and the same brown waistcoat. There was a pretentious laziness to it that conflicted with the money sat in his bank account, but Lex was a free spirit, and he was driven by one thing, and one thing alone - words.

So it was, that the poet had flown to England. Had taken a bus out to this little town, to come to this exact bookshop, to acquire a very particular treasure. Cerulean blue eyes peered out from tousled dark hair, and he cleared his throat slightly as they fell on the girl behind the cash register. "Hello," he greeted with a smile, setting a crumpled piece of paper on the counter with his request, "I'd like to buy your Byron transcripts. All of them."

message 4: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments Tabbris looks up when she heard the bell on the door ring and someone clearing their throat. She marked the page of the book she was reading and set it down on the stool when she stood up. She picked up the piece of paper and read it over, her eyes widening slightly. It was an unusual and rather expensive request. She glanced up at him from the paper, unsure of whether or not this man looked as though he could afford this, but she supposed that she shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

"Of course," She replied, her voice loud enough that it could be heard in the otherwise silence of the bookstore, but soft enough that it would be drowned out as soon as she stepped outside. "Just a moment."

She grabbed a ring of keys from a hook hanging on the wall and made her way over to a wooden cabinet with glass panels that allowed customers to look in, but not touch. She unlocked and opened it, not sure when the last time anyone had bought anything that had been considered valuable enough to be stored here. It was organized alphabetically, so Byron's works were located at the top, out of her reach. She cursed silently, but pulled a nearby ladder over to the cabinet, ascending it three rungs to it's peak. She pulled the seven transcripts that they owned, all seeming very fragile and bound in leather, balancing them into a careful stack.

No longer able to hold onto the ladder with her hands as they were clutching the transcripts, Tabbris began to descend the ladder. On the second rung, her foot slipped, causing her to lose her balance, sending her falling backward, transcripts still in hand.

message 5: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
Lex nodded as the girl milled off towards the back, and in her absence, he began sifting through some of the books, his attention finding a rather lovely old copy of Ginsberg's Howl. He had just put it down when he heard the sudden noise, and he ran instantly to the back, bright eyes widening at the sight of her falling, the transcripts in hand.

Lithe and quick, he was watching one moment, and under her the next, catching her securely, and one arm wrapped around further to press the transcripts safely against her chest as they steadied. His heart thundered at the possibility of what might have happened if such fragile treasures had hit the ground, and his anxiety over it showed in his voice. "You shouldn't have tried to carry so many at once," he told her angrily, "You could have destroyed them all. They're one of a kind; they're a man's legacy." He rose to his proper height again, and set her properly on her feet, his eyes still reproachful. "And you only have one body, too. You should take better care of it." This was slightly hypocritical, of course, as he did anything but take care of his own, but he had a self-righteousness about him when he was pissed off.

He clicked his tongue. "... Are you alright?"

message 6: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments Tabbris's heart was pounding in her chest. She had been bracing for impact with the floor when she was met with the warmth of another person. The feeling shocked her just as much, though. Her face burned hot with embarrassment as he scolded her, and her eyes were trained on the transcripts in her hands, not wanting to meet his eyes. She looked up whenever she asked how she was doing, surprised that he cared.

"I'm fine," She replied, although her voice shook slightly, betraying her words. In truth, she hadn't let anyone of the opposite sex so much as shake her hand since the incident nearly a year ago, so being so close to someone nearly paralyzed her. "You're right," She added, "I'm so sorry for causing you so much trouble."

message 7: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
His brow furrowed, and piercing eyes bored into her even though she would not raise her own to meet his. He was intuitive, exceptionally so; it was part of what made him a good writer. Empathy. She was clearly terrified, and whilst he thought that it was a slight overreaction, he was aware not everyone was always brave. "You're fine," he confirmed, it sounding almost like a promise, and composed hands leave her frame, settling on the books instead, and he freed her from them, taking them into his own embrace.

As his anger mellowed out, he felt a faint pang of guilt, but guilt was never a thing he was particularly ruled by, and so he pushed it aside. "Causing trouble is a silly thing to apologise for," he told her bluntly.

message 8: by Spades (last edited Jan 04, 2018 06:17PM) (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments Tabbris felt like she could breathe again after the man removed his hands. She found herself nodding at his words, convincing herself that they were true, although she stopped herself at his last sentence.

"And why wouldn't it be something to apologize for?" She inquired curiously, looking up at him, "I could have hurt you or damaged the transcripts that you wanted to buy." After she spoke, she wondered if perhaps she had been out of line. She rarely spoke more than a few words to people anymore, but perhaps the adrenaline from her near fall was fueling her words.

message 9: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
At this, he suddenly smiled, his lips tilting up puckishly. If he hadn't been absorbed in the point he was making, he might have thought she was pretty, but as it was, she was speaking words, his favourite thing, and they were logical to the point that he wanted to pick them apart. "If you're going to do something wrong, whether it's by accident or on purpose," he told her, "You're better off owning it. People are going to shout at you whether you're sorry or not, so better not to be... cuts a significant amount of misery off your life. I know this because I get in trouble every five minutes." He winked, the habit entirely natural for him, before sauntering back towards the front of the shop again, having said everything he'd had to say on the matter. "Come on," he called.

message 10: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments Tabbris stood stunned for a moment at his words, watching him walk a few steps before realizing that she should follow him. "R-right," She replied, quickly making her way back to the front of the store and to the cash register. She began typing in numbers to calculate the cost, glancing up at the books and the man purchasing them before quickly returning to her work.

"Do you collect old transcripts?" She inquired absentmindedly as she typed in prices. She was curious to know what kind of person he was to make such a purchase.

message 11: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
He hummed in thought at this. "I suppose so," he said decidedly, "But only that of those I genuinely like. I'm a sentimental sort of collector. And as I owe my fortune to men like Lord Byron, looking after their work is the least I can do..." He laughed then, taking out his leather wallet in one smooth flick of his fingers. "Not that I need to. That's the beauty of poetry; once the words are out, they're here forever. You can never take them back again."

message 12: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments "You have a way with words," Tabbris said with a small smile, ringing up the final price and pointing to it on the display so that he could see. "You're a poet, I assume?" She asked, her head tilting ever so slightly as she did so. That would explain his demeanor. She had met a few poets before, but none of them were as interesting to her as he was. Most of them came here to try and get the store to stock their works.

message 13: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
He smirked slightly. "I'm that obvious, huh?" he laughed, "... Walking cliche, I suppose... I am. I wouldn't say I was a particularly good one, but then there's no such thing - anyone can write poetry, after all. Some choose to write it, and then some, like yourself, choose to do other things. Like sell it to pretentious poets who flew a ridiculous amount of miles to pick up something that could have just been shipped over."

message 14: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments "I suppose poetry tends to be subjective," Tabbris replied, although she got the feeling that she would enjoy reading his. He intrigued her, and she liked the way that she spoke. Something about him made her want to continue talking to him, although she knew that once he left this shop, they would probably never meet again. "Where are you from?" She inquired, curious to know just how far he had traveled to get his hands on these books.

message 15: by Paige (new)

Paige Cockbain  (strikelightning) | 127 comments Mod
"Originally?" he asked, drumming his fingers on the counter idly, "... Couldn't tell you. But the first place I planted roots was Wolf Trap, Virginia. A long way to come, I know, but..." He shrugged. "Writers always have too much time on their hands." A lie; he was notorious for missing his deadlines, and his agent was borderline losing her hair from having to deal with him, but it wasn't his fault, he decided. Until someone grew the balls to punish him for his laziness, he would continue it. The industry tended to treat authors like princes, and so they only had themselves to blame if he acted like one.

message 16: by Spades (new)

Spades (thequeenofspades) | 21 comments "That is far," She said, sliding the books into a bag before pulling a business card from a stack piled haphazardly next to the cash register and writing her name on the back. "For the next time you want to buy old books," She said, sliding it to him. She thought that it would be too bold to give him her personal phone number, but it didn't really matter because she was here most days, anyway.

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