I can't say i'm exactly sure what that expression on my face was. Some mix of bewilderment and horror at the idea of leaving my shirt in this....place and not coming back for it. What was I supposed to do? Run around the city shirtless? Wouldn't that make us stand out even more? Frankly I was hardly sure Kat was taking this seriously and yet I- oh. She wasn't taking this seriously. The realisation that this was a joke so suddenly seemed to capture my attention, the blue gold of my gaze shifted to her own to afford her that near dubious look and lift of my eyes that gave away the notion I'd finally caught on to her little game. Very funny. Still. I was beginning to believe that this place was hardly the most hygenic in the world as it was. Even if the main purpose of this building was cleaning. Kat's efforts to tease me about my shit having coaxed those other ideas about bacteria to the forefront of my mind. Hell, a lot of thoughts had suddenly managed to find their way into my mind. Like exactly where we were going to live and what we were going to do for the next few...days....months? Christ we'd gotten ourselves into it this time. This was going to be harder then I'd given it credit for and yet I still had no desire to let Kat do this alone.I could be helpful, even if not in the traditional sort of way. We both knew fighting was never going to be my talent. I wasn't that sort of man. My sudden query of just where Kat had been living was met with a tilt of her own head, the woman appearing momentarily confused, as if I should have known, before insisting she'd been sleeping in abandoned buildings and foreclosures.
"Well that sounds.....charming."
I'm not honestly sure why I was trying to be...polite about an abandoned building. The look on my face surely giving away the notion thatI found it anything but pleasant. Was that even safe? Let alone legal? I suppose that's hardly the point here and now and yet her query of whether I could handle that kind of living was overshadowed by that suggestion of managing to pay for a few cheap hotel rooms- provided we paid with cash. I couldn't remember the last time I'd paid for anything in cash. The very thought prompting me to reach into my back pocket and pull out my wallet. I had a few hundred dollar bills but in between hotel rooms and food it was hardly going to last us more than a few days. Yet, if Viktor could somehow track cards there was no real way to get any money out. What good was it being a millionaire if you couldn't get your on money!? My gaze shifted to Kat once more, the woman clearl anticipating an answer as I attempted to be less concerned by this then I really was.
"I'd prefer the hotel option. I have maybe seven hundred in my wallet, how much do you have? What do you consider a cheap hotel?"
Alright, I'd never budgeted for anything in my life before. I suppose now was as good a time as any to start. Maybe this was what being...poor felt like. Personally I found it unsettling. Kat insisted the Council was unlikely to be overly helpful with this and honestly she was probably right. That only left us with the problem of finding a hotel- and getting there. I suppose the walk would hardly kill me and yet the idea of it was, well, hardly pleasing either. Viktor apparently having been biding his time all these years. Frankly, I rather wished he'd given me some advanced warning to at least get money out. Still, I suppose, our priority was getting out of here. The sudden voice of the elderly lady saw my head turn sharply towards her. I'd almost forgotten her. My gaze narrowed slightly in some measure of suspicion on just how much she'd actually overheard before she suddenly asked if we needed a car. That suspicion on my face turning readily into confusion as she pressed the keys into Kat's hand with the insistence she'd never seen a couple more in love and that nothing should come between that.
"Miss, we cannot take your car."
I was hardly above accepting charity exactly, more so I just ...well...it felt somehow wrong to take a car from an elderly lady. How was she going to get home? Her head shook before she insisted once more and turned back to her clothing, the blue gold of my gaze still resting on her with disbelief before Kat held up those keys.
"I suppose we should, I'll meet you outside in a moment."
I waited for Kat to head outside before turning back to the old woman, that hundred dollar bill fished from my wallet and pressed towards her across the table then. Even I knew cars were worth more then that and yet, hell, maybe that would help her somehow too.
I hardly gave her the opportunity to turn it down before turning on my heel to head out the door and meet with Kat once more. There was barely a handful of ars outside, none of which came even close to my own maserati, all of them looking, well, like they had seen better days ot were the sort of thing you took the children to soccer in on the weekends. If these keys opened up a van I was going to die. The keys, as it turned out, opened the smallest blue two door car i'd ever seen. Frankly i almost questioned whether or not I was going to fit in.
"I think you better drive. It...er...suits you more."
Well it did. No man was about to be caught dead driving that. Being a passenger would be bad enough and yet, really, I suppose I could hardly complain about at least having a car to get somewhere. I managed, somehow, to get into that passenger seat. A part of me inclined to wish for hand sanitizer all over again. I was mostly sure I could feel their germs as Kat started up the car and pulled away from the lot to head back out onto the main streets of the city. If we were being watched the last thing anyone would expect was for us to be driving around in this. If anything we might even lose our pursuers for awhile. I moved to fish my phone from my pocket once more, my fingers easily bringing up that Google Maps application.
"I tried to type Budget Hotels into the Maps. My phone wants to know id I made a mistake. It does appear however that if we head more towards the outskirts of the city we have more options. We don't have to go below three star do we? Maybe I can find something with breakfast included. We also don't have any more clothes."
Or soap, or a toothbrush or disinfectant, or any of my ADHD and OCD medication. This...was going to be a very interesting trip. Kat kept on driving. That tiny, sad car carrying us further and further to the city outskirts. Those hotels frankly beginning to get worse and worse until Hotels became Motels and any hope I had that this might be bearable was beginning to die. Kat at last pulling into the parking lot of something I was sure id seen on an episode of CSI as a crime scene.
I slide out of that car a moment later to lead the way toward the reception. A rather large man seated at that counter, a cigarette puffing freely from his lips, half an open beer in his other hand. Well, this was charming. His gaze shifted from Kat to myself and back again. A snort of amusement parting his lips. Cheating on the wife with a pretty little side piece, eh?. I felt one eye lift as I regarded the man in front of us. Frankly that this hotel was used for those ...rendezvous was hardly a surprise and yet really- what sort of man brought a woman here for a romantic night? How lovely dinner must look by the light of a neon Parking sign. Still, I suppose, there was nothing wrong with letting the man think just that.
"We just need a room, thank you."
Do you want it for the whole night or just an hour or two?
An hour or two? Well this was a haven of romance. I glanced briefly towards Kat before requesting that whole night, the man raising his eyes at me before asking after out names.
"Er, Mr Jay Heinekin and Mrs Veronica Newport."
Alright, so id named us after the beer and cigarettes that man was in the middle of enjoying. I hadn't exactly been given much chance to think about it. We'd have to work on hat for tomorrow. The man glanced between us both once more before filling out that paperwork. This, I suspected, hardly the first set of fake names he'd ever been given. I handed over that money and he handed the keys to Kat as I moved to follow her out of the room.
"I have serious doubts they are going to have any hand sanitizer in the room. When you open that door I need you to tell me on a scale of 1 to 10 hoe bad that room is before I look."
k o h l
so you want to play with magic?