(2018-12-22) Not from around here
During a cab drive two out of towners get to know one another.

It's after sunset and the day temperatures of around a (nearly balmy) 46 degrees have plummeted to the low 20s, sure to dip into the high teens in the coldest portion of this, one of the longest nights of the year. The dead of December is cold in Calaveras, and so it's with a bouncing foot that one Royal Kelly stands outside Totally Baked holding a box from inside, probably with at least eight cupcakes therein.

Though she's dressed in a thermal North Face (red) and some jeans, probably with thermals under, she looks a touch chilly in her green and white striped Christmas scarf, with a shopping bag tucked under her arm. She wears a black beanie on her head, which is totally at odds with the rest of her outfit, pulled down low over her ears to keep them warm, blonde hair a riot of curls underneath it. Her breath puffs out and she checks her phone after calling for a cab to ride her sweet self back out to the boonies. Because on days this cold, her truck almost never starts. She could wait inside, but what's the fun in that?

Unfortunately Felix was on the other side of town, so it takes longer than he wishes. However he is still going to be the first on to reach Royal. The sound coming before the actual car. Coming around the corner is a bit of a drift before spotting where he is supposed to pick up the client. Slowing down a bit and does a great job as he pulls up. Other than driving fast for a bit, he didn't seem to do too much wrong. Hopefully. The window is rolled down as he turns to her. "Hey hey. Royal?" He asks. In a chipper tone. "Sorry for the wait."

"Yeah, hey," Royal replies as her cab zips around the corner and finds her standing on the steet. Yeah, so Felix looks pretty normal, in this day and age of anyone can drive for whomever, so she nods to the door. "You mind if I sit in the front? I get kinda motion sick in the back." There's a moment before she shoves her phone into her pocket, and jostles the cupcakery box to her left hand. She heads for the front door unless he says no, then she'll probably veer off. "Wait wasn't too bad." She does look a little frosty from the weather, though.

Felix nods. "Of course, no worries." He assures her. "Want to put the cupcakes in the trunk?" He asks, ready to open it if she wants. Noticing her seeming a bit cold though, turning up the heat a bit as he rolls down his window again. If she wants to put the cupcakes in the back he will pop it open and let her close it. Otherwise he will just wait for her to take a seat. "So, I think I know where to. But feel free to point if I'm going the wrong way. I haven't been here too long."

"Thanks," Royal replies with a toothy grin, flashing a set of lovely teeth genetics or modern dentistry gave her. "I can hold the cupcakes on my lap. It's not that big of a box." Famous last words, depending on how Felix drives. Roy has no idea. None. She pulls open the door and hops in, resting the box on her knees while she hooks a seatbelt across her body. "I've only been here a little while, so this should be fun. Do you know Route 10? We're looking for Ash out by the Alibi Bar and Grill. You know, the one with the mechanical bull you can ride." Her accent is definitely giving off some not-from-around-heres. Southern, for sure. "Thanks," she says again, as he turns up the heater.

Felix nodding. "Ah, yeah. Alibi. I've picked up people there a few times." He offers. His own might be hard to tell right away, but it seems to be a Cali accent. "No worries, comfort is key." He offers. Pulling off and while he drives relatively fast he is making it a smooth ride so far. "Hope I'm not going too fast?" He asks, just making sure that she isn't against the speed. Where there are lights or traffic he does turn normally, but in curves he occasionally goes into a faux drift, not quite drifting but taking out the curves to not lose speed. "Feel free to change radio station, or talk, or be quiet. All up to you." He assures her and flashes a smile in return. While her smile is cute he does try to be professional when working. "And if you think I talk too much, tell me." He adds and grins.

"The city's not all that complicated," Royal murmurs, crossing her legs and adjusting the seatbelt before she settles back all the way, one hand on the cupcake box to keep it from sliding around. "So, new to town, huh?" She grins again, this time it's a quirkly little closed-mouth smile. "What brings you out here to this mountain wonderland of snow and ice and butt-freezing temperatures?" After the surprise of the first couple of maneuvers, and a little side-eye, Royal's lips part into a real grin. "I'm a talker. Hope that's not a problem. So, tell me about yourself, my friendly neighborhood cabbie."

Felix ahs, "Well, I have been trying to track down part of my family, going back some generations. While there is a lot from Japan and the Polynesian islands, and hawaii, so on, and so forth, there has apparantly also been those from the mainland. I guess you could call it. So it led me to Calaveras." He explains, not seeming to mind the bit of backstory. "No worries, I like talkers." He assures her. "Your friendly human delivery service, and stuntman." He explains. Perhaps why he drives like he does. "How about you? You don't really sound like you're from around here either." Seeing a straight path ahead has him speeding up just a bit before slowing down just a bit as he takes the corner. "Sorry, got carried away." Glancing to make sure she is fine.

"Oh?" That's the oh of an interested party. A party who can smell a story. Royal turns slightly in her seat to face Felix a bit better, so she can watch him drive. "Polynesia? How very cool. Well, warm compared to here, let's be honest. I would love to see Hawaii. I've seen pictures, because Mama went without me, but …" She hmmms and visibly alters her line of thought. "No sense crying over milk that's been spilled and cleaned up twice." Oh good, some weird Southernisms for you, Felix! Or, really, Royalisms. She's kinda quirky. "Stuntman too?" She huhs. "Explains some things about your drivin'."

Royal doesn't really seem to have reacted to the increase in speed. She's distracted by all the potential stories Felix is hiding in his brainpan. "What? Oh, no, you're good, honey. I've done 60 in a 20 on a foggy night by a high creek after a storm." Don't listen to her, she's a bad influence. "Long as we don't find us any ice…"

Felix does smile and glance over at the joke. "That's witty." He admits. "It's great. Only been a few times though. Born and raised in L.A." He admits. "Damn, that saying is. Special." He offers as his smile grows with amusement. "Well, I like it fast." He offers and continues on. About to apologize about going fast, but then she seem totally fine with it. "Oh no worries." He assures her. "Before starting I did some drifting on icy streets. I think I can get us back and running without crashing." He offers. Going decently fast where possible. "It's left here and then a right, right?"He asks. Letting her be a bad influence for now. "So, tell me about yourself then. Where are you from? And what do you do?" He asks in return.

The blonde shifts the cupcake box over a little as it moves. "Sometimes I like fast too, but around here it's dicey. This snow hides ice like you would not believe." Royal doesn't seem too terribly worried about Fe's driving, though. Yet, anyway. "I'd really prefer if you didn't crash, hon. I have a lot of clients this week and I need all my limbs in working order." Still she's pretty light about that. "I think so. Left and right. I'll probably know it when we get to it. If you hit a Christmas Tree Farm on the outskirts, we went too far."

"Oh, okay. Well. I'm Royal Kelly. Mama says she named me for greatness, and not after my Daddy's favorite liquor, but between you and me, I think they were both drunk on champagne when I was born. I'm from Kentucky, just outside of Louisville originally. My people are in the business of hospitality and emergency services, these days. I run a small business, well, workin' on getting it going. A do massage therapy, therapeutic massage and deep tissue, acupuncture, acupressure, little Reiki." Oh, a hippie, then. "Mainly for relaxation, but also for injury and recovery. I work with a lot of vets."

Felix smirks at the joke. "Good to know." Slowing down some as it is a bit more traffic here. Going left and going for a bit further. "Ah, well. At least not after the cigarettes?" He suggests. Nodding as he listens, trying to take not of all she offers. "Ooh, neat. I've gotten some massage, and some chiropractors that helped me out. It helps out to keep the body loose." He suggests. Not minding her being a hippie. Glancing over to her. "Perhaps I'll drop by then." He says with a confirming nod. "Unless it's creepy to offer massage to your cab driver." A joke offered as he grins her way, turning to the right and into the main street. Seeing where she need to go, hopefully.

Royal tips back a little more, affecting a little slouch over there in her seat. She seems to just be getting more comfortable. The cellophane top on her box crinkles a bit now and then, but the cupcakes are in a little tray with oles, perfectly stable. "Did you just make a little dirty joke out of my exceptionally clean practice? Lord, cannot go anywhere without somebody thinking my hands roll up under those sheets like a hallelujah choir."

"You want a deep tissue massage, I got you. You fuck your shoulder crashing into a tree, I got you." She laughs a little, and shakes her head. "No, it's not creepy at all. Unless you make it creepy." She nods up to the right and points. "You wanna turn here." Then she adds, "You make it creepy, I charge double. Just sayin'."

Felix raises his brows. "Wait, what? I'm not trying to. Or your mind is just in the gutter." He teases. Not minding either way. Nodding as he turns and goes to where he need to. "Oh? You just increase the price. Seems like I'd get off easy." He continues the teasing before shaking his head. "Sorry. But you keep putting out those easy jokes for me. I'll try and not seem like a pervert." He says and grins. "Here, or where should I stop?" He asks as they are getting closer. Maybe not quite there yet. He hasn't been to her practice after all. So now driving kind of slow to not go too far.

Royal barks a laugh. "I'm sorry. My life took a little unexpected turn recently, and apparently that's now where I live. Helps bein' across the street from a bar that apparently had some kind rough reputation. Every once in a while I gotta turn the hose on people doing ill-advised things on my front lawn." It's probably safer for everyone if Felix doesn't ask just what she means by that.

"That's triple," Roy murmurs, laughing again. "Everybody's a pervert. Some of us just hide it better." She glances over after a couple beats. "I'm kidding. Do not listen to me. I have had three cupcakes." Three. Cupcakes. She's pretty petite, so this surely means there's a raging sugar high on board. "When we come around the bend and cross over the river, you'll see a slightly creepy looking little house across from the bar? With the stalled out blue and white Ford. That one. Just pull up in the drive."

Felix nods slowly. "Well then." Yeah, not asking. Though he does glance over to her at that. Fair. And still, only an increase of price. Respectable." Amusement clear, yet still no actual laugh. "No worries. That's why you called me, right?" He points out. Nodding as he continues towards the river to head over. "I am sure that it's fine." Not having seen the place yet though.

Royal glances over at the road to check their progress toward Royal Wellness, her little business out here over the bridge. The house looks like it's seen better days, and really looks better suited to a potential haunted house set than a parlor or spa. She's working on it, though. A new wooden sign is set out front, hand-carved, with ROYAL WELLNESS done in big, flourished letters. It's lit by a pair of lights from below. "In this market, you have to stay competitive." She smirks a bit, and adds, "Seriously, though. I know where all the pressure points and weak spots in the joints are if somebody doesn't behave themselves." That might be a tiny bit creepy but for her smile. Or more creepy but for her smile. Then she laughs. "It'll be great one day, but the winter is slowing down my remodel a little." She glances over. "You found any of your family yet? Gather they're somewhere around these parts."

Felix does look to the haunted house. Or massage parlor. Or whatever it is supposed to be. Pulling up and into the driveway. "Renovating? Or going for that haunted look?" He asks a bit playfully. Nodding as she explain though. "Great. Then I will behave, and am sure that I am in good hands." He says. As for himself, he shakes his head. "Not yet. I am sure that I will though." Parking and letting her pay and so forth. A smile but not being creepy. "You've been great, thank you."

Royal grins. "Shut your mouth." She shakes her head and unbuckles her seatbelt, leaning forward to reach into her back pocket. "My realtor is a shady as shit. But I shall overcome." That should probably go on her business cards at this point. The blonde tucks the seatbelt away neatly, rather than flinging it off like some people do. She hands over a card with folded cash. "You want an appointment, you can check my bookin' website for my whens and wherefors." Her card has her name, business name, phone number, and a url.

"Everybody who comes to me is in good hands. I promise you, you'll leave feeling better than when you arrived. "Thanks for the ride, sugar. Be safe out there. I heard it's gonna snow." She pops her door and steps out, then turns and opens her box of goodies. "You want a cupcake? The oreo one's real good, I heard." Inside is a selection of 8 cupcakes, two of each of four flavors.

Felix takes the money and the card, smiiling. "Thanks. And sneaky." He teases again. As for her telling him to shut his mouth, he just grins at her. "Well, I do hope that you get it all nice once you get the time, and weather permitting." Nodding and smiling. "Thanks sweetie." Nodding a bit as he looks at the cupcakes. "Feels a bit rude to take one, but also rude to refuse." He offers and grins. "Then again, you're not my client anymore. So. Sure." Taking one and bowing his head. "Thanks." Studying her for a moment. "Will you be up for a bit still? I have a few more customers before it start to slow down, then I could perhaps drop by and get pricked by your needles." He suggests.

"Please tell me how your familial search is going." Royal says. Oh, and yes, there's a tip in that cash she handed over. "Thank you so very much for your well wishes and speedy delivery." She grins as he verbally debates taking a cupcake or not taking a cupcake, and when he finally decides to, she says, "Good choice." And winks. "Now, be safe, hear?" Mmm she glances back at the house. "Let me check my bookings, and text me, and I'll let you know. I haven't been online all day, and had till about…" she glances at her phone, sliding it out of her pocket. "Twenty from now blocked out for important cupcake business." She takes the small shopping bag out of the footwell. "I'll look forward to it."

Felix smiles and nods. "Perfect. Well, I've give you a call. Thanks." He offers. "I might need to park here more often." He teases. Or flirting, depending on if it is because of the tip, company, or other reasons. "I will, and take care." Making sure that she makes it in before speeding off. Just extra service, making sure she is safe.

Royal gives him a thumbs up as she closes her cupcake box, leaning out to reach up and take hold of the door. "You go right on ahead." She laughs and shoves the door closed, finger-waving. And then she turns and heads up to the port, hopping over the second step like maybe it's not super sturdy, and creaks her way to the front door. One, two, three deadbolts later, and the blonde disappears inside.

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