(2018-11-06) Bodice Ripper Betty
Ginny and Rory make acquaintance, then go on a quest. Bet this summary and the title have you simply wondering.

Old Spanish Fort, Calaveras
Tue Nov 06, 2018

From the entrance, one files a mosaic cobble walkway between buildings to come out in a quaint open-air court. At its center is an old Spanish fountain with chairs and tables about it. This is lowered and accessed by steps from around this courtyard. It appears as a small inner courtyard of a Spanish fort. The buildings around the outside and against the wall are shops ranging from salons and boutiques to art galleries. Included is an old used book store, a music shop and a couple of pricey cafes or bistros.

The overhang of the buildings cover the walkways around the courtyard, each is orange brick lined maintaining that Spanish feel, along with colorful inlaid mosaic images sporadically around the outer edge of the courtyard. Each shop has a small wrought iron sign hanging over its entryway, with open doors and wooden shutters as if in an old Spanish village during the colonial era of Calaveras. It is a cozy, closed space despite seeming open. Desert plants line the inner courtyard, and other small water features keep the calming sound of trickling water alive for visitors.


It started with the intention to pick up something special for one of her 'lovelies'' upcoming birthdays. Genevieve MacKail has no partner and no kids so the residents at Rosewood are the special people in her life. So since her getting on at the home just over half a year ago she has come to know and understand what the residents like. This trip was for Mrs. Tingel and Genevieve did find something for the elderly woman. It's wrapped up in a crisp pale blue paper bag and it's held close to Ginny's heart as she emerges from Fortunate Finds.

No no; the thing in the paper bag came from Trina's Trinkets. Ginny opted to go to the used bookstore and struck gold. She steps out into the main thoroughfare of the shopping center, a heavy fabric bag held at her side with her other arm. On this particular Tuesday, late afternoon and perhaps an hour off from stores beginning to close, Ginny reckons she is just about done here. She looks pleasant and well-put-together in her fitted pale skinny jeans over which a bluish-gray pea coat has been buttoned up. Hazel eyes rove the various storefronts, wondering if she's missed anything. But why is she blushing a bit?

Another person trying to find something interesting is Rory Michaels as he has come to the mall. Having recently stepped out of the hair salon, perhaps needing to keep his appearance the same as to not let it grow long, for his own personal reasons. Moving and looking into the window, causing him to almost run into Ginny. Dodging her though. So while he might not know why she is blushing a bit, he is blushing just a bit because of that near run in. "Sorry!"

The petite woman turns her ash blonde head of hair quickly at the near-miss from a young man's body very nearly bumping into her. Rory dodges lithely and Ginny is broken out of her own reverie of how to get her payload of books (there was a sale) back home. Could the books be why she's blushing? She pivots on a heel and turns to spy Rory as he apologizes and her eyes round themselves in her face as she studies him. "Oh Lord, it's—" She steps back and out of the main walkway proper, back toward the storefront. "It's alright. I'm just there forgetting m'self. It's alright." A bright smile, he looks a touch flustered.

"I'm just glad you dodged. I'd hate to have clouted by accident you with this bag." A touch of laughter in her tone; she has a pleasant accent of some sort to her timbre. Sounds Irish.

Rory chuckles softly as he composes himself. "No worries, I should keep my eyes up." He says and looks to her and her things, a bit of a grin at her words. "I would have felt bad for making you drop them, or you falling." He offers to her and stands in front of her. "I'm Rory." He offers easily enough, with a small salute-esque greeting.

She looks down briefly at her bag to make sure nothing fell out, because despite herself Ginny moved a bit abruptly when she felt someone moving too closeby. All is well. Just as well because she'd be a bit mortified if one of the novels within ended up hitting the floor only to be made privy to this fellow. Ginny continues holding the small paper bag to her chest, far more tenderly than the bag of books at her side, eyes flitting to observe Rory's greeting to her. "It's all good. If anyone is gonna make me fall it'll be on account of my own clumsiness." Said easily enough, not at all in a self-depreciating way but simply in the manner of one who dredges up humor easily in general. Rory's salute gesture quirks the corners of Ginny's lips in brief amusement, "Rory, well met. M'name's Genevieve." A pause, she hadn't seen where he had come from.

"What brings you here this eve? Anything fun?"

Rory does watch her for a moment, seeming a bit curious as she holds the package close. "Got a haircut, and trying to find something fun." He says and shrugs. "You seem to have found things." He says as he nods to the books and the paper bag. "Want to help me out?" He asks, more jokingly than actually asking. Since they just met.

"Oh!" Ginny looks surprised, squints. "A haircut.. well for what it's worth, it looks nice." Said in earnest though she supplies next, "A bit forthright of me, but it's always good manners to compliment someone, even a right stranger, on a good cut." Her lips quirk once more into that amused little smile. She eases back again as a middle aged woman trounces through, on her way to one of the handful of stores. Rory's remark turns her head back in his direction, hair curling gently around her cheekbones. She could use a haircut. c.c

"I have found 'things'. Some needed, some not.. and—" Headtilt. "Help you out? With what? Where to find fun?" Asked with a heightening of her amused look. Rory looks to be within her age range so it's easier, to a degree, to pal around with him so soon after meeting him. "I don't know.. I'm an old maid. My idea of fun is tea and making sure my plants don't die. There's a… er, spa here. A wedding joint…"

Rory does smile a bit awkwardly as he hear her compliment. "Ah, t-thanks." Not used to getting compliments it would seem. She might need a haircut, though as she turns around in that seemingly almost cliche movie way, he blinks and blush a little. "Ah, well. Something fun to buy. Pondering a going away gift to a friend." He says and shrugs. Grinning about wedding joint, "Not sure that is a place for random fun."

Though Ginny is one to fluster by nature, she can easily recognizes when someone else gets there. Or at least when another isn't accustomed to compliments! She turns back to observe Rory briefly before giving the area-at-large one more onceover. She turns BACK to Rory upon hearing his reasoning for being there and her eye twinkle briefly with mirth. "Oh, a going away gift? Well, ah…" She looks down at the little parcel in her arms. "Is this friend a man or woman? I just came from a trinket store, lots of… ah, sentimental pretty things. Not to say a chap wouldn't enjoy but—" Agh, she's rambling!

"Maybe I can help you find something, then! What say you t'that?"

Rory nods as he listens, "Woman, and. perhaps she would like that." He says with a nod. Not minding the rambling. Trying hard not to say stupid things, instead nodding again. "Thank you. I'd enjoy your company. I mean, the company. Doesn't have to be yours, but not that I'd be against it." Yeah, that's a fail. Putting a hand to his face at that. At least it wasn't as bad as sometimes.

"Well, that makes it easier." Ginny says with another smile, shouldering the fabric bag and switching it over to her other arm. It looks moreso awkward as opposed to heavy; there must be multiple books in there! The nurse doesn't even seem bothered by the prospect of Rory 'rambling', if she even sees it as such! Meeting new people is intimidating though Ginny would be hard-pressed to ever call herself such a term. "Well, I can stick around for a bit then." Her plants can wait. It's nice to chat with someone. She finally steps forth and glances off in the direction of Trina's Trinkets. "Would you like to have a look in here? The book store was nice too.. lots of new stuff too. Is she a reader? Got a long trip ahead where a flight of fancy in a book would be helpful?" Asked simply with that kind, open smile.

Rory ponders a bit, glad that she seems to gloss over his rambling. "It might be long." He agrees, pondering if she is a reader though. "I am not sure, mostly been a working buddy." He admits, "Was still getting to know her, but want to help her on her way as she has to leave." He explains. Following her, doing his best to not stare at her.

Poor Ginny isn't used to being stared at. And no it's not even due to anything like low self-confidence or anything of the sort; she's just used to working around old people all day and if they stare at her..? It's either out of pure trust, comfort, or in some sadder cases confusion as their aging minds try to remember who she is, day after day. So Ginny, marking their direction, is a bit surprised to catch Rory's eye if he ends up glancing at her for longer than anticipated. Trina's Trinkets it is! She remarks to the dark-haired man after hearing him out, "Working, eh?" She waits to see if he will follow her and if so, the blonde will match her gait to his so they can chat. "Whereabouts d'you both work, then? Tell me more about what she's like and maybe we can rule out some things here to make looking easier… I think th'place closes in an hour." Ginny asks with earnest curiousity. Rory's fluster intrigues her.

Rory is trying to do as some has suggested and not always look away, so trying to look at her seemed to turn into staring instead. So when he catches himself he shakes his head and tries to act more 'normal', which is easier as she takes control of the conversation. "Erhm." Blushing brightly at her question. "Eternity. Bartender." He offers to her. Trying to ponder what would be a good gift. Which is hard while he is being awkward.

The blonde comes equipped with both an acute ability to read people (or so she'd like to think) and that deeply-rooted intuition which tells her how and when to tread carefully. Ginny glanced here-and-there at Rory and saw him indeed making that marked attempt to look at her as opposed to away. Does he have some esteem issues? Is he naturally shy? When he tells her that he is a bartender this produces a sort of paradox in Ginny's mind! Her golden-green eyes widen as she watches him as they both reach the jewelry and trinket store, and she turns on a heel to face him proper as-opposed to glancing over. Ginny has a rather direct way about her.

"Eternity!" Exclaimed, "Goodness, I'm there once in a blue moon.. else I'd have recognized you," Her 'you' sounds like 'ya'; her words segue together into that mutt-Irish accent, lending a cheeriness to her tone. "Been there long then, Rory? Y'local to Calaveras or a transplant like me?" She's already warmed up to him, asking questions with ease.

Rory blinks at her. Listening and offering a smile. "Pretty new. Two weeks perhaps. Transplant. From New York, originally." However, there is not much of an accent to his words. Just a general american. The way he moves suggests that the self-esteem might be fine, as for shy, it could be. "Hope to see you there." He offers and smiles. "How long have you been here?"

"Two weeks!" Ginny exclaims, nearly dropping her bag. It lurches to the side some and the contents seem to shift. "Huh… been here since April, myself. It's a bit of a.. long story. A bit sob sister'ish if I could call it anything. But I'm here now and I like it." She still seems mystified by this talk of New York. "I'd love to ask what brought y'here but fear it's a bit too personal since we only met, what.. twenty minutes ago." A light chuckle. She pauses at the storefront of Trina's Trinkets and has to step aside as a patron steps out, and this causes her bag to sway again. It's enough to cause not one, but two thick paperback novels of sorts — used — to slide out through the handles and clop noisily onto the ground. "Oh, my—" Ginny startles.

Rory chuckles and nods, "I see, you can tell me some time, if you want." He says with a grin. AS for himself, he shrugs a bit avoiding. "Nothing interesting, met someone here on their deathbed, decided to stay." While others probably would think that is quite interesting though. Grinning about them meeting recently. "You're easy to talk to." He offers a bit playfully. Blinking as the books fall out, moving to help her pick them up.

Poor Ginny is now the one to be left blushing. She was just about to swoop in to snag the two books when Rory, bless him, moves in to help out. She grabbed one but sadly he got the other one and there, in his hands, the source of Ginny's earlier fluster and shadiness with lugging books around. Turn the book around, you'll see an incarnation of Fabio splayed across the cover… it's a bodice ripper. There's even the ragdoll-like heroine hanging off of his arm looking all dewy eyed and stunned. It's as garishly colored and obnoxious as one would expect of a romance novel… and dated. Ginny gawks, shoves the book she caught (not the worst one) into the bag and clears her throat. "Uh… guilty pleasure. Currency of all twenty-something spinsters anywhere." She's trying to cover up her fluster with humor. Yup, a deep dark secret: Ginny likes bodice rippers.

".. I'm.. sorry about your loss. I mean, deathbed and all.. is everything ok?" Asked as she is still glowing with embarrassment.

Rory knows little about these books, but enough that his eyes go wide and he blush as well as he look between her and the book. Trying to break the silence. "Hot. I mean. The book, not you. No, I mean, you are as well. It. was just supposed to be a joke." Yeah, he stops there. Though at her own words, he raises a brow. "Spinster?" Seeming surprised at that. "What? Oh, yes. It is fine, I knew it before coming." He says, still a bit distracted.

She offers to take the ghastly thing away, should Rory hand it over. It's shoved back into the bag with the others…. yes, plural. There's moar. Ginny clears her throat but looks heartened as Rory speaks onwards, calling the 'book' hot. She tosses back her head and unleashes what is an unabashed belly laugh. "Hot? This?" She presses her palm to her mouth, eyes wide. "The book? It's…" A little sigh, and spoken in a small (still amused) voice from behind those fingers. ".. it's pure fluff. Absolute smutty filth. It's like a plate of nachos, full of awful things… trashy food. I couldn't help myself." She has the grace to not say anything further to make Rory uncomfortable, "It's all in good fun and humor. I got your joke, it's okay really."

All-in-all, the young woman seems quite amused at the whole exchange. "Aye, spinster. I was fixing t'settle but things went on their ear. He buggered off, I'm stuck with my plants and Fabio. It's really not awful.." There, the first inklings of a lie. There was a little furrow of her brow as she tiptoed around what is still a sensitive topic. Ginny reaches out to open up the door to Trina's. "Fancy a peek in here?"

Rory chuckles. "Well, I am sure it keeps you company at least." He offers about the book. Moving along with her, nodding a bit at her words. "His loss." He says and studies her some again. "Let's do it." Not wanting to push the topic. "If you want the company I could always offer it." Realizing how that sounds he rephrases. "To hang out I mean, as a friend."

The 'his loss' bit warms her some, though Ginny tries not to let on. She doesn't want to be getting all sentimental while at the same time airing out her bodice ripper smut books.. she'll scare the guy away! Ginny smiles again at the offer of company, not reading too far into anything and accepting it for what it is: a kind gesture. Coming from a place where this sort of thing happens often (people easily making acquaintance and enjoying one anothers' company), it's a comfort. The tiny bit of 'something' that had arisen in her expression softens into honest gratitude, "I'd like that, though I'm a nurse. My schedule is all over the map. Can't say I've had much stock in Eternity before but now there's a friendly face there." Even in a strip club!

"I'd like that, yes. Lord knows it never hurts to make new friends." Ginny says, entering the store proper. The clerk looks up at her, recognizing her from before. "What's your friend's name?" She asks thoughtfully, "The one leaving?"

Rory is also relatively good at reading people, smiling back at her. Though he will leave the whole bodice ripper part for now, but it's good to know for some other time. "Cool, whenever we both have time, or if you want to drop by at Eternity." He says and smiles at her words. Following her inside, snickering a bit at her words to the clerk. Nodding in response but not saying anything. Trying to let her handle it and then show them around. He does study the man for a brief moment before looking away and around the store.

Honestly, Ginny isn't hard to read.. at all. An open, earnest face; a bit anxious in her movements now and then; eager to please. She waltzes right past the displays of jewelry, back toward the section for overall 'whimsy' where one might peruse charms, trinkets, ornaments and windchimes. Ginny, having deigned to leave her sack of books up at the front after greeting the clerk, looks over at Rory contemplatively. Did she just sign up to poke out at a local strip club to say hello to a young bartender whom she had just met in an outdoor mall?! Imagine Ginny at Eternity. Awkward A.F. Least she's not one of the dancers, then it'd really go backwards. Call her Bodice Ripper Betty.

Moving on.

"I.. ah… am not quite sure what to recommend, since I kinda don't know your friend. I ended up buying one of these for one of my old dears," She indicates one of the few pretty, sterling windchimes hung up in a display. "It's worth looking at anyway. Does your departing friend like, ah.. pretty things like this?" Asked of Rory.

Rory does seem to be pondering that whole thing with her visiting. Wanting to ask more but opting not to. "Well… She's a stripper, recently broke up with someone. Very emotional person, and a good dancer. Actual dancing. not just sexy." He tries to explain. Giving her something to go on. Looking at some things, "Perhaps." Looking it over. Tilting his head. "I think she might be on the road for a bit though, so perhaps something smaller. To carry on ones body."

The little blonde listens without judgement… hey, everyone gotta work. Dancing is an art form and a job. It takes coordination and skill to dance, in all forms! Ginny watches Rory levelly as he describes this mystery girl who is departing Calaveras, and Ginny nods her head lightly, her chin dipping into the collar of her coat as she considers. "Fair enough.. but not fair either. I'm really sorry about her trouble." And there, a flicker in her hazel eyes.. it's pure understanding. Breaking up is hard and suddenly Ginny feels badly for this girl whom she doesn't even know. Her nostrils flare once — it's resolve! — and suddenly she's determined to find The Perfect Thing for the stripper!

Oh Ginny.

"So something small.. what about one of these?" Ginny indicates a scalloped bowl of shiny tumbled stones, set in a variety of colors (agate, lapis lazuli, etc.) .. some are smooth and flat, others more rounded. A few bear cleanly embossed 'words' such as 'Strength', 'Resolve', 'Hope' .. etc etc. Ginny looks up from the dish. "Sometimes it's nice to have something like this, like a.. talisman.. to touch and remind yourself of things getting better."

She flushes, thinking to herself that she may sound hokey. "Or there's pinkie rings…"

Rory does follow along, nodding a bit as she seem determined. "Those stones seem awesome." He says and does seem hesitant, but then offers a hug to her. "Sorry. Seemed appropriate." He says and grins as he look through them. "Perhaps a stone that represent art or dance? And word like strength or similar?" He suggests and smiles.

The hug surprises her, though she doesn't shy away from it. She does return that earnest one-armed hug, taking care not to linger overlong with it but still conveying that she appreciates the friendliness of it. Ginny smiles again, also grateful that her idea isn't a bust. "It's okay, really. Thanks for that." Said kindly as she, too, dips deft fingers into the bowl of pretty stones. Her fingertips with their thoroughly chewed-down nails disappear into their midst. "That's a good call—I'm good with sentimental things but I bloody suck at the new age bits.. hey, miss," She calls over to the clerk. "You have much of an idea on what shiny bit coincides with creativity?" Asked as the clerk meanders over and helps the two dig.

An circular, iridescent stone is pulled out, bearing notes of a sort of 'sunset gold' quartz. "Sunset quartz," The clerk supplies with a flourish, "Quartz is all about the healing and this type also pushes creativity and vitality. It doesn't have the word on it, though.." That'd be too perfect.

Ginny takes the stone from the clerk and holds it out to Rory, thoughtfully. "These come with little pouches to keep them in.. maybe put a slip of paper in with it, with the word 'strength' written on it?"

Rory nods at the stone, and hear her words as well, "Awesome, yeah. That and a pouch." He says. As for the hug, he does just smile and nod. Moving to try and get just that, to pay for it. "You're awesome." He offers to Ginny. A bright warm smile offered to her at that.

Aw, tumbled stone FTW! Ginny looks down at the others in the dish, unable to find that type with the requested word. But there's always improvisation. She's just happy to have been able to help out! She is quiet and watchful as Rory takes his pick, gets the little velveteen into which the stone can be placed, and pays for all that he needs. Thought at the end of it all his warm smile causes her to shift some, cheeks pinkening a touch. Sure, Ginny gets smiled at often, but again: usually by elders! This is new. She's not used to cute dudes smiling like that, even in gratitude. Then she's called awesome. Also rare!

"Aw, y'know… it's a pleasure. I'm so used to problem solving and figuring out things for my dears," A pause, "I like helping." Said simply. What more could she say there?

She hefts up her bag of smutty romance novels. "That said, Rory of the nice haircut, I had better get all this home.. but I would call this a day off well spent. Thanks… a lot, truly, for your company." Offered in her kind, lilting way.

Rory smiles in return, not used to all of it either, blushing a little. Getting his pouch and stone. Moving to follow Ginny out. "Oh, ah. Right. Thank you as well. A lot." He says and studies her for a moment, feeling normal for once. "I hope to see you again soon." He says a bit nervously. "Take care."

Still waters, surely; still waters run deep. Ginny can only surmise certain things about Rory as she, too, glances at him and allows herself a few extra seconds of studying him here-and-there. Everyone has a story; she can (and can't) imagine his. All she suspect is that he's a slightly shy dude finding roots in this town.

They depart the tight-quarters of the jewelry store and Ginny turns on a heel to offer one more earnest smile, "Of course. Good luck with everything.. you'll have to let me know how it all went, whenever I see you next. I'm sure it'll be before long." A twinkle of mischief, "Either out and about, or me not knowing what the sam's hell t'do with myself in a place like Eternity."

Another belly laugh, a delicate wave, and Ginny takes her windchimes and sack of dirty novels and ambles off toward the main entrance to the mall.

Rory does meet her gaze, if she allows. Stepping out and smiling. "Good. See you then. And if you do show up, I'd be happy to keep you company, as much as I can." He offers about her being at Eternity. Not quite able to imagine all she has been through either, but at least they can get to learn about one another.

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