(2018-11-03) Saturday Night Reader
Victor drops in on 'A Likely Story'

Today has been a fairly busy day. Saturdays tend to be. People are off work, kids are off school. Families are out doing things together. It sees a lot of foot traffic around town square, which sees a lot of people coming through the shop. It's not been slammed, that will come a little later in the month as the holiday draws nearer. But it's still been busy. Things are slowing down now as the night is drawing towards a close. Devi is checking someone out, ringing up their purchases and talking with the guests. After they leave, she has a younger guy asking about a particular book series, and she points him in the direction he needs to go. Then… the owner of the store in question flops down onto the chair behind the counter with a heavy exhale of breath.

Yazmin started work today! Well…training at least. And it's a wonder she lasted as long as she has. She didn't even punch anyone. Okay, there may have been some snark flying around, but it was very mild. Some of the other customers even laughed at it. Yazmin is on a break…she decided this…sketching Devi as she lounges in a chair near the counter. "Could you stop moving" she states flatly to her boss before rubbing out something and redrawing it.

There’re still more customers to be seen of course. The front door of the store opens, and the latest one enters. An older Caucasian man. He looks like he might be somewhere in his thirties but could be as much as in his forties if he's taken excellent care of himself. Which seems likely, considering the clearly honed nature of the body beneath his bespoke suit. There's something about him that seems to demand one’s attention, as though he were used to being the focus. He considers the modestly sized, rather cramped book store silently for a time. A single brow arching over a dark brown eye. Eventually, he begins to move along the aisles, starting to examine the selection at hand.

"Oh. I'm so sorry that my working at my store is ruining your focus with your drawing." Devi remarks in a dry tone at Yazmin. There's amusement there though, a twitch at the corner of her lips. She is not a very good still sitter though. After a few more moments of lounging back on the chair she pushes up and to her feet and starts to circle the store a little bit, zoning the shelves, fixing and straightening things up, pulling books forwards where copies have been purchased, and any spots that are low on books she takes her phone out and scans the barcode. She's got it linked into the store's inventory so it tells her if there's any in the back room. If there are, she marks it for some to be taken out and moves on. "Good evening!" Devi calls over the bookshelves at the new arrival. The shelves are only five inches shorter than her, so it's really just the top of her head and her eyes that show over them. "Let me know if you need help with anything! Or let the girl behind the counter know. Either one works!"

Yazmin rolls her eyes as Devi gets up and walks around, ruining the sketch once more. "I'll give you huge boobs if you keep doing that" she deadpans…loudly…so everyone in the store can hear it. A faint smile cracks her face as she puts the pad down and moves to the seat directly behind the counter. And there, with a glare that probably frightens customers more than draws them in, she sits. She peers over at the new guy…ancient…then narrows her eyes at a nerd in the corner. "Vallejo isn't porn" she warns the young man reading the art book.

Slipping a book from the shelf, Victor studies the cover. One of the young adult books, his lips twitch slightly at what seems to be a young boy riding a Pegasus on the cover. He puts it back soon enough and continues on, only pausing when he hears Devi's voice. Turning to consider what he can see of the blonde, he smiles her way. The expression is casual and warm. "I'll be sure to do that, madame." His voice is a pleasant baritone, with that certain polish to it of somebody that's been well-educated. "I just saw your store as I was passing by and decided to check it out. I've never done so before." His attention shifts to the young dark-skinned girl behind the counter, meeting her glaring gaze without flinching, his own rather intense. This lasts for just a second or two before he turns back to the blonde. "Are you by chance the owner of this store?"

"I'd have to thank you then." Devi shoots back as she goes about her work, moving around the store. Devi's head turns to glance to the kid reading the art book, a laugh from her at Yazmin's words, though she does wag her finger at the newest employee at least. "Madame? I certainly do not run a brothel. I should though. Good business. Maybe we can get that legalized next. That's good money." She comments off handedly as she works, organizing shelves and keeping an eye on customers a bit. "That's good to hear. We get a lot of foot traffic. It's why I grabbed this spot right near town square. Figured we'd get plenty of exactly that. And we do!" She bounces in place a bit, finishing with the books, then starts towards the counter, only to pause. "I'm the owner yes. Devi." She reaches up to extend a hand over top of the shelf towards Victor. Once there's a shake or no shake she'll resume walking towards the counter. "Why are you glaring at people? The guy who was hitting on you left an hour ago."

Yazmin looks confused. "I'm not glaring, this is my face" she explains with a bit of a pout. "It's the only one I've got" she adds in her deadpan, teasing way. "Fine" she sighs, before there is an attempt to crack a smile. It looks painful. "Better?" she asks through a clenched smile…though it sounds like 'getter'. She nods towards Victor before she asks Devi. "He wants to turn this place into a brothel?"

The older man continues his inspection of the store. "It is a good location. You picked it well." He stops when she offers her hand, reaching out to take it in an awkward sort of shake. He's a full foot taller than her, so it's not quite as high for him. "A pleasure to meet you, Devi. I'm Victor." He glances towards the counter when Yazmin asks her question, raising a brow again her way. "I am certainly not. Unless it was legalized, that would be a poor decision. I doubt it will anytime soon." He continues his inspection, eventually turning down the same aisle as the proprietor. Once he's able to see her better, he takes a few moments to inspect the petite blonde. His lips curl up a bit as he does. He ends up coming closer as he checks out other books. Once she's near enough, she can pick up a hint of some expensive smelling cologne. Not too strong, just a touch.

Devi snorts softly and shakes her head at that statement. "It is not." The blonde owner remarks with a quick laugh and leans against the counter. "Yes. Better. Even if it worked face muscles you've never used before. Better." She winks at Yazmin with a smile on her lips before her head turns as she hears Victor speak again. "Thank you. It took me a bit to find the location I wanted. But I fell in love with this spot when I found it. Glad I didn't settle on my first choice because this place didn't come available for a couple of months." Devi looks a little confused but shrugs her shoulders and just leans back against the counter. Tonight, it's a simple pair of white linen pants and an olive colored loose knit sweater in concession to the regular costs of cold air coming in when the door is opened. "So Mister Victor. What is it that you do when you're not trying to turn bookstores into brothels?"

"Wait…exchanging sex for money is illegal? I better cancel my eight o'clock" Yazmin deadpans, even reaching for her phone…to check social media while waiting for customers. Even with her eyes on the screen, she manages to say to the nerd in the corner, "Frazetta is not porn either." She'll let the adults talk. Yazmin is dressed in sneakers, torn jeans, and a sweater.

Victor puts the latest book back and turns fully towards Devi. "When I'm not looking for locations to start brothels? Well, I mostly look after the Antler Pass Ski Resort. I run it. It's what you might call the family business." A card is produced from somewhere, and he offers it to the younger blonde woman. "Feel free to give it a look sometime." His suit is black, the shirt beneath white and his tie a dark blue. "What made you decide to go into the exciting word of book selling, Devi?" The smart-mouth behind the counter gets a sidelong look.

"Ahh. I have… heard of that? I think? I don't get out much. Spent the last two years getting this place up and running and profitable. Pretty much been confined to here and home so… yeah. Definitely haven't been out there. But I think I've heard of it. Get a lot of tourists in here once the snow gets heavy on the ground. If you have some brochures I could put them near the door for people that are interested." Her head turns, looking over the counter at Yazmin. "Go see if that poor kid you're antagonizing needs any help." Devi remarks with a quick smile, making a face at Yazmin, though her lips quirk and quiver as she struggles to hold back laughter, and fails, though only a little with a bit of soft laughter leaving her.

"The resort where all the pop stars go? You own that? Shit." Yazmin seems as impressed as she ever gets. And then Devi is asking her to serve…which is her job after all. "You just said it was illegal to give him the help he's after" Yazmin protests before there is a slight smirk as she stands, pocketing her phone. "Sure thing, Boss" she winks, heading over to the nerd and picking up her drawing pad on the way. "For ten bucks I'll draw you any nude you want" she offers before reaching him.

The corner of his mouth turning up a little Victor replies, "It's been around for something like sixty years. My great grandfather founded it in the early sixties. I was just fortunate enough to be able to take over running it." He glances towards the counter. "I don't have any brochures with me. But I could send somebody by with some later on. I appreciate the offer. Mmm. If you'd like, I could place some of yours at the resort." The question from Yazmin makes the smile grow a little wider. "Well, we do get the occasional famous guest there yes. Also, a good number of avid skiers. Our black diamond slope is quite challenging. Though we don't have any double or triples."

"That is not…" There's a huff from Devi as the kid grabs a book and says he wants that book, maybe intimidated into buying it by Yazmin's comments? Or maybe he really does want the book, either way he high tails it for the counter and Devi steps behind it to ring him up. "Sorry. She's new. I'll have the comic volumes you ordered in tomorrow if you want to come back. Mail usually gets here around noon so come in about one or so and I'll be able to get them for you." She smiles at the kid before he scuttles out. Devi plants a hand on her hip and just gives Yazmin a flat stare. Though it's not a very convincing stare. Zero poker face. "Sure. I mean… if I had any. I could get some printed up though and bring them by? You'd be amazed how many tourists I get in here. Surprises me. But a lot of them want a book to read on the plane ride home or while waiting at airports for connecting flights and what not." Devi's brow furrows a bit. "Black diamond? IS that a thing? Are there really black diamonds? Or is that just what you call it?"

Yazmin seems surprised at the nerd's reaction, shrugging at Devi's glare as she makes her way back to the counter. "At least he bought a book" she offers. "And I would have given you half if he wanted the drawing." She leans up against the wall behind the counter as the other two talk, though her eyes narrow at talk of 'black diamond'. "Yeah, why is it called that? Is it a race thing?"

Victor follows after Devi as she moves to the counter, watching from a few steps away as she rings up the youth. Then he steps up. "That would be fine. I'll let them know you might be stopping by, if you'll give me your full name." He absently straightens his tie with one hand, studying her face and chuckling at the question. "Ah. Diamond refers to the difficulty level of the slope. Usually determined by the angle, sometimes other things. Generally, anything angled down above about forty percent is considered black diamond, or expert. There's also double and triple black diamond, which are even more challenging." He considers Yazmin and snorts a little. "No, it is not a 'race thing'." He himself looked like he had Italian blood in him, among other things.

Devi isn't glaring. She doesn't glare. She'd be terrible at glaring. She has a very hard time staying mad at people. She flat stares. Not glare. Even then she's terrible at that too. "Why would it be a race thing?" Devi asks Yazmin honestly, looking confused at least for a few seconds. "Oh. I think I get it. Probably not, but I think I get it." She smiles at Yaz before she turns to listen to Victor's explanation. "Oh. So diamond is just cuz? And black is the level of difficulty?" Devi looks confused by the reasoning behind that, but her shoulders shrug just a little. "I've never been skiing. Lived in Colorado all my life, never been skiing. I should give it a try sometime. Go embarrass the crap out of myself on the hills. Hills? Slopes. Slopes? Someone help me what are they called? Wait you said slope, didn't you?" She asks looking to Victor.

"You don't think a lot of evil things are called 'Black' because of race?" Yazmin shrugs to Devi, but she won't pursue it too hard. She has better things to do than interrupt flirting - like sketch the two of them flirting. "Diamond is the hardest then? And they say it's harder by just calling it double or triple? Seems a cop out. If you want to say it is harder than diamond, they should call it Ron Jeremy and John Holmes. Black John Holmes…people would flock there." She is sketching as she talks. "You should totally go skiing, Devi. I'll look after the shop." Yazmin holds up a hand. "Black people don't ski before you ask."

Victor nods his head to Devi, "Yes, it's slopes. And feel free to come by sometime. In fact, I'd be glad to show you around myself." He gives her another smile. Warmer than before. It was no doubt perfectly normal for the owner of the resort to escort around random pretty blonde bookstore owners. Definitely no ulterior motives there at all. "We don't only have expert slopes. There's also ones for both beginners and intermediate. So you can learn without risking hurting yourself as much." He shakes his head at Yazmin. "The color indicates difficulty. Blue diamond is easy, red diamond is intermediate." He raises a brow at the last bit. "Really. Andre Horton would be interested to hear that opinion."

"Evil? Who said anything about evil and black? I mean the color black is often associated with evil, but that color has been associated with evil for a long, long, long time. Not just the last couple hundred years. And they didn't call people from Africa back then. And other cultures have called other people black. In the UK black was the term for anyone who wasn't European. And the African people were Moors and Numidians and others. I wonder when the practice of calling people of African heritage black started…" She pulls her phone from her pocket and starts looking that up on the spot. "Still not sure why the reference of black and evil came up." She is on the phone a few moments before huhing softly. "Looks like it wasn't really used until after the civil rights movement here in the US. Instead of other more insulting names. Not sure why you need to classify an entire race of people with a word. Seems silly when you can just judge them by their character. But I guess we do that as humans don't we? Classify things. Even things that don't need or want to be classified. Heck we even do it to animals and plants. Try to force them to fit our classification system. Like the platypus." She pauses looking up from her phone. "Sorry. I got waaaay off track. Uhhh… pretty sure they do. But isn't declaring that black people don't ski just as bad as the whole black diamond slope thing? I mean… you’re speaking for an entire group of people just because you share a skin color." She may or may not stick her tongue out at Yazmin a little at that. Just a little tongue, not much, teasing her new employee. "Also you should totally still draw some nudes. Maybe he'll want one when he comes back in tomorrow." She pauses, turning her head slowly to face Victor. "Something about slopes and skiing and my horribly clumsy self on skis. That would be bad. I fell over last night trying to get my boots off. It wasn't pretty."

"Umm…I was just meaning I don't ski" Yazmin manages to get out as she absorbs the mental meanderings of her boss. Slowly, her confused look turns into a beaming smile. Where did that come from? "Devi, you're fucking awesome." She gives her a thumbs up before returning to her sketching. Though she now addresses Victor. "Devi will probably break her legs, but you should still take her skiing. She needs to get out and about. Relax. Have fun."

Victor makes his way back to the shelves, inspecting them for a brief time more before finally selecting one of the more expensive rare books. Then he returns to the counter and sets it down. "Well, even if you don't ski you can take a look. There are other things to see and do there." He glances at Yazmin, studying her for a time. Finally, he says, "And even if you don't want to ski, you can feel free to stop by as well." He's probably not saying that for the same reasons he did Devi. Probably. Even if she is cute.

"I can try. Can you lash the skiis together? I guess that would just be a snowboard wouldn't it? Or maybe there's like a seated thing I can steer down the slope? No, I'll tip it over and break it. I can try to ski. It'll be a mess. I'll go rolling down the slope and create a huge snowball like in the cartoons and wipe out everyone in my path. It will be anarchy! Mwahahahahaha." Devi doesn't have a very good villain laugh. It doesn't help that she breaks down giggling as soon as it's out of her mouth. "I am awesome, aren't I? Well I try anyway. Be good to others and they'll usually be good to you. That was my Dad's motto and it worked for him most of his life. Not sure why I'm awesome at this very moment but I do hope it's true." She looks over at Victor, ringing the book up for him. "Well I'd be happy to come by. Maybe I can build a snowman or something. Or just make snow angels everywhere. I'm easy to please. But yes. I do need to get out, socialize some. This shop has been my entire life the last two years." Devi's head turns to regard the artist. "You should come too. Especially if the guy who owns the place is offering. Maybe you could con some booze out of the bartender? There’s a bar at these things, right? Ski resorts?"

"I'm not old enough to drink" Yazmin notes before asking Victor, "Your barman know how to make Manhattans?" She shrugs at Devi. "Who's gonna look after the store and scare all the customers away? Though, I guess you need someone there to get you to the ambulance. I think if you tied your skis together, that would be pretty damn dangerous. You could always make snow angels when you fall off. Combine the two for double the fun." She peers out at the snow falling on the street. "Might be able to practice skiing going to the coffee shop tonight. I'll cut a poster tube in two and you can practice on them. Ta-da!" Yazmin turns her drawing around to show the others a sketch of them getting married. "I see the future sometimes."

Victor inclines his head to Devi, "Yes. There's a bar there." He smiles at her. "And if the resort doesn't work out… I'm sure we could find somewhere to go." Maybe he does have ulterior motives after all. He nods to Yazmin, "I assumed that you would come while the shop is closed, so I'm sure it will be fine. And we do have professional instructors. They can handle a novice. Even a clumsy one." He slips out a second card and offers it to the black girl. He glances at the drawing she did, and a faint frown touches his lips as he absently rubs at the wedding band on one finger.

"Practice on a… poster tube and…" Devi lifts a hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose, then jumps when her pocket starts ringing. She doesn't get it right away. She finishes getting Victor's purchase taken care of first. "Thank you, Victor for your purchase. And I'll have to bring Yazmin along when I come to bring by some brochures. Yaz I need you to design a brochure, so we can go get it printed." She grins at the artist. That should be right up her alley, right? "Well the shop doesn't really close. I mean at night sure. But it's open till ten every night. So It would just have to be a week day when someone else is covering the store and she has no classes. We'll figure it out." Then she fishes her phone out of her pocket and looks down. "Oh. It's my aunt I uhhh gotta take this." And with that she scoots for the door into the backroom.

Yazmin takes the card as her boss takes a call. She looks it over before slipping it into her pocket. Designing a brochure is definitely up her alley, and she almost smiles at the offer by her boss. "I'll get right onto it…after I've finished my shift." An upnod in parting as Devi disappears out the back. "Guess I'm working the register" she grumbles, putting down her pad and looking Victor over. "You be nice to her."

Victor watches the blonde proprietress depart into the back room to take her phone call. "She seems pleasant. If a bit absent-minded. He tucks his purchase under one arm, then turns his focus on the sarcastic girl with the dark hair. "I'll do my best. I don't think I ever caught what your name was though?" He offers her a smile as he says this. Apparently, all of her sass isn't enough to have scared him off. Too bad he's so damn old! A couple decades older than her in fact. Even if he looks like he's in amazing shape under that suit.

"Devi is one of the greatest writers who ever lived…and incredibly nice. Even to me" Yazmin sniffs in disbelief about that last part. "My name is Diana Prince" she says with a straight-face. "It should be Princess but what can you do about surnames? Did I get your name? Or did you just tell Devi?" She peers at the wedding ring on his hand. "You're married?"

Victor raises a brow. "I'll have to see some of her writing, if she's really that good. And my name was Victor. Victor Stone. A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Prince." His head tilts. "Hmm. That name sounds somewhat familiar." Maybe he's not that up on his comic book pop culture. The mention of him being married draws his eyes down to his wring again, and there's another slight frown. "I was. Elizabeth passed away several years ago."

"Ah…sorry to hear about her death" Yazmin offers, though she's not very good at this sympathy stuff. "Your name is Stone? Any relation to the woman who does the breakfast show on Channel One? Katherine? Yeah, Katherine Stone. Though, if you have a family resort, that would make her a co-owner and she's never mentioned it. Not that I watch that show. On too early for me." She nods to the bookshelves behind him. "Her writing is on the shelves."

Victor inclines his head slightly. "Thank you." The rest gets a shake however. "No. There's no relation. It's not that uncommon of a name really." He considers the bookshelves in question and says, "Is there anything in particular of hers you'd recommend I try, Ms. Prince?" Yeah. Apparently, he actually did believe her about the name.

"You can call me Diana" Yazmin allows him with a wave of her hand. "She did this sci-fi trilogy, I guess you can start with book one. It's called 'Dying Star'." She points to the sci-fi section. "I told her she should make them more obvious but she's happy to display them just like any other book. I could probably get you an autographed copy."

Victor nods his head again. "Hmm. I don't read a lot of sci-fi. But I could give it a look. An autograph isn't necessary right now. I'll just take a copy and see what I think." He waits for the sassy cashier to ring him up, pays, then tucks that book as well under his arm. "I suppose I should be going." He nods to the card he placed on the counter for her. "Feel free to call sometime, Diana."

Yazmin takes a little time to admire his exclusive credit card before handing it back and nodding about the card. "Sure, Vic-Baby, I'll give you a call" she smiles sweetly. "Make sure you remember my name for when I do. You have a good night, okay?" A pause. "Hey, don't suppose you want me to draw a nude for you?"

Victor pauses as he's starting to turn away from the counter, eyeing the artist a little as she asks that. "And who would it be a nude of?"

"Whoever you want" Yazmin shrugs before jerking a thumb behind her. "But not Devi. One, I haven't seen her naked and don't want to guess with her. Two, that would be too pervy, even for me."

Victor considers that for a few moments. Then a faint smirk touches his lips, and he leans closer. "Then how about yourself?"

Yazmin snorts once more. "It's gonna cost you more than ten bucks to see me naked" she smirks before a gesture at herself. "You know I don't have any boobs, right? Not sure what you're hoping to see." Her eyes narrow as she studies him. "Should I tell Devi you want to see me naked?" She taps his nose with the end of her pencil. "You're a bad boy, Mister Stone."

Victor raises a brow at that and smiles. "I'm sure I could afford it, Diana. And it's just art, is it not? Nothing wrong with that." He glances her body over. "Large breasts aren't necessary. Quality is more important than quantity, after all."

"That's true" Yazmin nods about the quality over quantity issue. Her lips purse in thought before she shrugs. "Okay…hundred bucks. And I can't swear to how accurate it will be…but I won't draw myself ugly. Give me a week to do it?"

Victor thinks about that for a time, then finally nods. "Very well. I'll pay on receiving the drawing." He slowly winks at the much younger girl. "I'll see you in a week, if not before. Take care, Ms. Prince." He turns and starts out of the store.

"Take care" Yazmin upnods to the ancient guy. And once he's gone, she allows herself another snort of amusement. "Perve."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License