“Oh my god Conor I’m not even cute yet!”
“Sorry Danielle for not callin’ first… an’ you know that’s not true anyway.”
It was nine in the morning at Conor’s apartment complex. He was standing in the doorway of Ms. Danielle Miller, a “professional student” at SMU. She had started out as a business major, then computer science major, and was now just spending her daddy’s money taking classes. Officially she was now a Music Major with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Eventually (according to her) she’d earn enough credits that SMU would just give her a degree or two. Conor had no idea himself, and didn’t particularly care. He knew only a few things about her…
First, Danielle was extremely attractive and rich. Second, she knew it. Third, she knew a lot about computers. Though Conor was more than familiar with the first two bullet points, it was the third that brought him to her door this morning. Danielle also happened to be the one that helped him set up his iTunes “revenue stream” (her term) and administer it, a service for which she took 4 cents from Conor’s 11 cents per song “profit.”
“Do you need to upload some more music?” Danielle was wearing a grey scoop necked t-Shirt that had slipped from one shoulder, black satin shorts, and nothing else save a pair of thin-frame glasses that magnified her electric hazel-green eyes. She looked as if she’d only just woke up, her disheveled blue-black hair providing a textbook definition of “bed head.” Trace bits of makeup suggested that she’d been out the previous evening enjoying herself.
“No, but I am needin’ your computer expertise this fine day, may I come in?” Conor was in the typical… blue jeans, snug t-shirt, sturdy well worn boots, and flat cap. He’d been awake for a couple of hours already and was holding two cups of the absurdly expensive barista-brewed coffee that Danielle preferred from the nearby indie coffeehouse.
Danielle grabbed one of the two coffees and said “Only because you payed the toll.” Conor stepped in, unsure if the unspoken but implied yes would be sufficient or not. He didn’t feel much of a threshold in either case, but was pretty sure he still had all his power… her apartment wasn’t really a normal residence anyway.
She had already gone back further into her apartment with the coffee, “Gimme a minute to put on my face.”
“Oh come now, we both know you’ll need more’an a minute.” Conor sat down to drink his coffee… it cost as much as a meal so he wasn’t about to let it go to waste. He looked around Danielle’s apartment. It was pretty much like he remembered from the last time he was here; messy, but not filthy. Things were cluttered about but there was no leftover food or anything of the sort. However, there were lots of technological gadgets. Web cameras, at least two computers (one was a server… a term only academically understood by Conor), plus various other Apple Corporation products. Cables and cords peeked from behind furniture and ran along the floor at various points (covered by plastic cord/carpet protectors).
One area of the apartment was actually quite clean; the area setup with Danielle’s other “revenue stream”… her own “softcore” adult website. A crude but apparently effective photography/webcam area was tucked into the corner, piles of lingerie just off to the side. Conor couldn’t remember her actual online persona, not that he particularly cared in any case. Ms Miller had used her father’s wealth as “capital” to start up several of her own businesses: her adult website, her services for indie musicians like Conor, building websites for small companies, hosting those websites (whatever that meant), helping some of her other girlfriends with their own “adult” websites, and so forth. Apparently the Millers were of old capitalist stock, though Conor wasn’t so sure if “daddy” would approve of how his little girl was making her fortune. Conor had known Danielle since she was a freshman at SMU six years ago… she was very different now.
Half an hour later, she came out of her room. Though it was not even 10am, she looked like she was ready for a day out on the town. The glasses were gone (contacts), the hair and makeup were now “perfect,” and she was wearing a sleeveless calf length sheath dress split up to just above her knees. The dress was probably absurdly expensive because it looked simple and understated. The neutral cream color combined with the lightweight fabric allowed Danielle’s natural curves and coloring to take center stage. Stunning would be an understatement.
“There. That’s the reaction I was going for.” She smirked smugly at Conor who; while not slack jawed (after all, he’d seen White Court Vampires and Faerie Nobles in all their glory), was most certainly appreciative of the work she put into her “presentation.”
“Always a joy to see you walk into a room Danielle, you do it well.” Conor stood and took off his cap.
She sat on the couch next to him and, after he sat back down, finished his coffee. This was an old tradition between the two. Conor never had gotten a taste for coffee like most Americans, still infinitely preferring tea… or as he’d come to appreciate it… iced tea. “So, what do you need help with on the computer and what do I get out of it?” Her intense eyes looked up and down Conor’s physique, conveying quite clearly her lascivious intent.
He chuckled, returning the gaze, “Well we can discuss terms after I suppose. But first, if you’re of a mind, I need you to look up a word on the internet.”
Danielle sighed, pulling over her Macbook; then after typing a few things, “Sure. What’s the word?”
“Yeah gonna need a spelling on that one.”
“Eefada, ah, d, ah, o, i, n.” Conor snapped off the letters, using the Gaelic pronunciations of each.
“… what’s eefada?”
Conor stopped and blushed. “Sorry. E with an accent mark over it.”
“Fun! Special characters. Ok wait a moment.” She started clicking various things and then…
"Ok, here we go. Got some hits. yadda yadda ‘figure of irish mythology’ yada ‘heroine of tok-mark ee-tayne the Wooing of ee-tayn’ yada ‘figures in the Middle Irish ’toe-gayle brood-nee da der-ga’… T. F. O’Rahilly whoever that is ‘identified her as a sun goddess.’ " She grinned up at Conor who was wincing at each of her mispronounced Irish terms. “This who you’re looking for?”
Conor nodded, “I think so. Mind if read that page for a moment?”
She handed over the laptop and got up to go do something in her kitchen while he read.
Conor read over the entry. This was what was known in the mortal world about his mother. Nuada of the Silver Hand had let slip his mother’s name in a dream. At last, Conor had something to go on. He had only needed a place to start. Irish monks had done a good job of preserving many of the old legends, perhaps he’d be able to distill a kernel of what was True, from what was recorded in mortal history.
The next half hour was spent following links (with Danielle’s help) and gathering clues. While mortal legends would only go so far, it was a starting point, which was more than he’d ever had before.
“So, I think I’m sorted. Shall we go out for brunch then? Of course, I’m buyin’” Conor set the Macbook down on her coffee table on top of a stack of textbooks and papers.
“That sounds nice. Aft-”
Danielle was interrupted by Conor’s phone. It started to play Santana’s “Evil Ways” … Conor’s ringtone for Elena. “Sorry love, I’ve got to get this one.”
She shook her head in disbelief as he took the call. When he returned to the couch, he looked chagrined, “So… Where’s Keller?”
“Conor I’m going to kill you. Are you seriously leaving me for another girl?” She had emphasized the word “me” by gesturing in the general vicinity of her ample chest. There was some color in her cheeks; mild annoyance was a phase that had been passed several moments back.
“Nothing like that my dear; strictly work related. You and she are as different as Roses are to Belladonna.”
“Well since I’m going to be killing you that must make me the Belladonna.”
Conor held her glare for a moment, using something similar to an expression he’d seen in a recent movie … ‘the smoulder’ … “No me darlin’ I assure you, you’re the rose. If you’re not too mad, I’ll be back whenever this task is done. Then you’ll have me for the rest of the day to take your vengeance.”
“I cannot believe this. You’re darn right I’ll take my vengeance….oooh you’re soooo going to pay. I’m not going anywhere today, just have a few accounts to check up on, so you better come right back here mister.” Though her words were harsh, her expression had softened. Smoulder… successful!
“And another thing… I think I’d rather be the Belladonna! You’re making a tactical error buddy… giving me all day to think up proper punishments.”
Conor nodded sagely, “This is likely true. So… I was actually serious… where’s Keller again?”
Just playing around, giving GMs material to hang me with while progressing Conor’s individual story…