Once a former abbey, the building now serves as a pub that’s popular for co-eds and football fans alike. Its business is hopping thanks to the atmosphere and the customer service provided by owner-operator Kara Viridian.
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by: Anne Fernsby
16th June 2012
5:30 p.m.

It had been so long since Markus' abduction Anne almost felt tonight's meeting futile. There had been a time or so over the past few months that she had thought they were close only to not find him. She no longer went to bed a sobbing mess. Instead, she was numb and laid awake for hours, staring at the shirt that she now left folded on the pillow that had been his. Anne wasn't sure which was better. Either left her exhausted, and either way she had nightmares which sometimes gave way to joyful, intimate reunions that left her feeling empty as she awoke.

Anne had been called a bitch at work more than once these days, and while that was nothing new, it was new coming from some of the people. Perhaps she should take a week's holiday, but somehow that thought seemed worse. She'd be left sitting around her house doing nothing, and she was quite certain that would drive her absolutely batty. No, it was better she worked, even if she drove co-workers 'round the bend with her weekly lunch visits to the Imperium Guards inquiring about the investigation, which she gathered had practically been abandoned. The larger one had pulled her aside once and had suggested to her she speak with the von Wolfram family as they had been preparing a memorial for their son. Anne had given him a look and gone to the bathroom to be alone. It had been too much. Markus was alive. He had to be. She'd feel it, wouldn't she? If he were truly gone, she'd feel it?

Still, Anne went through the motions and met with Kara here and there, though the meetings had become a bit more infrequent. She wasn't sure if that meant Kara was losing hope too or not. It was hard to gauge someone you barely knew without asking, after all, and Anne was not about to ask. She didn't want to hear any affirmative response. To hear that aloud from Kara, the one person she'd found who seemed to actually care about Markus? No. No. Even Markus' ex-wife had shown little interest in trying to help. Perhaps she had cried in private. Anne had no way of knowing that, yet she still found herself believing Kirsten a heartless bitch. It was easier, somehow.

As soon as Anne entered The Abbey, she'd headed to the booth in the corner she and Kara used, thankful it wasn't occupied. There had been one time it had been, and she'd about had a nervous breakdown over it. That booth was their booth. It was their constant just as much as Kara was her constant in this. Change wasn't something she could handle, even if it was just a bloody booth. She waved off the waitress who came to ask what she wanted, barely even registering the waitress was female. Her eyes were glued to the door, ready for Kara's entrance.
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by: Kara Viridian
What a week.

Kara had been through hell the last few weeks, and it was mentally exhausting. Everything from her marital blowout, to the battle at the Alley, then the chaos at Tutaminis, that led up to the most recent bout with the Devil -- everything was a damn blur. She had spent a good amount of time grieving over Jon but Diana and Jaleth assured her there would be someone on watch all hours of the day, in case he woke up. Aside from that, the last couple of days had wonderful moments spent recovering with her love so there wasn't too much to complain about, but she needed to get out of the manor for a minute and breathe. It wasn't that she hated that place so much that she just needed some time away, not confined to her room or her office--and Diana gave her a couple of potions to help alleviate the pain, so she figured a walk outside of the manor walls would do her some good.

Kara found herself back at the Abbey. After scouting the place and keeping an eye out for Liam (in case he went back on his word and decided to come around and cause trouble), or even the Devil, Kara found a good time to make an entrance, a quiet one at that, and found her two favored employees on watch tonight. She lightly waved at Seamus who was with a customer but still excited as ever to see her.

"Heyyy!" Henrietta's honey-colored eyes lit up with surprise as she came out from around the counter to throw her arms around Kara's neck. The tiny spirals of her curly hair bounced as she swayed side to side with glee. "I called and left a bunch of messages for you, where have you been? Are you okay? What is going on with you?!"

"Easy..." Kara whispered as she chuckled, part-laugh, part-groan when she felt the strain on her leg. She leaned on her good leg and returned the hug. "Sorry...it's...complicated. But I'm here now. Thank you for looking out for this place." This was part of her routine until recently. Prior to the battle, Kara was a regular fixture here, and taking that part out of her daily duties was somewhat hard since she'd been tending the bar for so long. After the spat with Liam, Kara decided to let some time pass before returning, but now that she was back in what she considered her natural habitat, she was relieved.

Henrietta was beaming, but Kara noticed her eyebrow arched when she saw someone accompanying Kara tonight, standing relatively close behind her. "And who is this?" She asked, low and curious. She was examining the older man carefully, from head to toe and back up again before looking at Kara with a suspicious grin.

"Oh! Sorry. Henrietta this is Jace...Jace, Henrietta. She is an angel and takes care of the bar when we're off saving the world." Kara joked, which could be taken as a comment in passing with her muggle company, but she knew her companion would see through that. It was the first time Kara introduced Jace to anyone that wasn't a business meeting, so this was rather new and unusual. Henri was harmless, so at least this was a good place to start. She snaked her arm around him, still careful not to hurt his shoulder and arm even though he was probably healed up fine now, for the most part.

She wasn't sure what to expect out of tonight--maybe a quick drink and play catch up with her friends and employees, but Kara was content being in a familiar place with her new companion.
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by: Jace Bryden
It had been a long couple of days, weeks even if the garou was being honest with himself. For the most part, Jace's injuries had all but healed bar the slight limp he still walked with due to the ankle. Another day though and it would be as if he'd never been in a fight with the devil at all. Kara seemed to be healing just fine if at a slower rate then himself. She'd spent a good deal of time with Jon so he'd been sure he'd given her the space she needed to deal with that. While Kara had been dealing with that he'd made sure to check on the pack. Carver was back to his normalish self, Rafe was in fairly good spirits though he news about the rogue kid of Shepard's was something that would need to be dealt with soon.

Everything seemed to be settling back into its normal rhythm so when Kara had sought him out, Jace had been a little surprised. She'd mentioned something about heading back into town and wanting him to tag along and even though he'd didn't show it, it meant a lot that Kara had asked rather than just took off. Maybe that spat they'd had a few days ago really had helped to give them both a new perspective on things. Honestly it was just the excuse the alpha needed to get away from the compound and stretch his legs, something he'd been wanting to do since he could walk.

The trip to the Abby had been delightfully uneventful and Jace hoped their luck would hold. Still walking into the place was enough to put him on edge. He hated the city on a good day, never mind after he'd been put through the ringer by the Devil and his lacky. And the clustering of people and all their emotions and smells didn't help either. Still, Jace followed close behind Kara as she entered the place, noting the two behind the bar that seemed to radiate excitement, at the site of Kara. It was enough to make the garou want to growl out a warning, especially when the woman wrapped her arms around his girl.

The alpha slammed his fists into his pockets and bit back the protective reaction. Kara was fine. He was fine. Fuccccckkkkk. Jace let his eyes rove over the occupants of the pub in a bid to distract himself. To him, the place was full of a semi-loud buzz and pungent orders. Conversations carried easily to the older man and it was enough to be annoying if he didn't actively try and tune it out. Thankfully, the alpha had been in worse situations and he wasn't about to let the place get to him, especially since Kara had gone out of her way to ask him to come with her.

The alpha was vaguely aware of the conversation happening between Kara and another woman. Jace had never seen her before and assumed, since this was Kara's business, that she was just a worker, but when he felt eyes boring into him, Jace turned his attention back to the pair. The woman was giving him a noticeable one over and the alpha wasn't sure how to take it. He let his gaze settle on her as Kara introduced her. Jace took a beat to familiarize himself with Henrietta's scent before sizing her up. He didn't offer her a hand shake or anything, though once the wolf assessed the woman as a non-threat, he gave a slight grin, feeling himself relax slightly as Kara slipped her arm around him.

"Hey," he offered as a greeting, and it was more for Kara's sake than anyone else. He'd promised to play nice on this one so the garou wasn't about to start shit if it wasn't needed.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara was impressed with his manners. Or maybe this is a sweet side of her rugged boyfriend, a side she rarely got to see because of the terms of their original partnership: A hired merc as her partner in business. She sensed some slight discomfort with him at first but his grin and borderline shy greeting to her co-worker was rather...cute. She would do best not to say that out loud, but she'd silently admire that.

Henri reached out and offered a hand, a greeting customary for muggles and wizards alike. She couldn't help but smile at the older man's grin and from what she could see in Kara's eyes, this was someone who meant more than just a friend. "Pleasure to meet you Jace... friend or...?" she was known for having a mouth on her; Henrietta couldn't help but ask. She needed to know the details.


"There She is!" Seamus had managed to step away from the middle of the busy bar to come join them, and he picked up Kara in a hug and swung her around. His biggest mistake was not paying attention to the man behind his boss, but he oozed the innocence of a young man just happy to see his friend. "And here I thought you were mad at me, ignoring my calls and texts!"

Kara pat her old friend on the back and chuckled as her feet hit the floor once again. "Hi Shay!"

Henri was rather stunned. She cleared her throat and glanced between her new acquaintance and the oblivious bartender. "Jace...this is Seamus. Shay, this is Jace. Kara's new...friend." she emphasized the word for the sake of expressing to the young lad that he might be crossing a line; Henrietta's mischievous gaze went from the older Man to the seemingly stunned bartender who looked pale-- as if he had seen a ghost.

"Oh...uh... hi there." Seamus gulped and he offered to shake the man's hand in a consolation for, maybe, overstepping some bounds.
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by: Jace Bryden
When Henrietta offered her hand Jace contemplated not taking it, but after a long beat he removed his right hand from his jacket pocket and gave her hand a quick shake before returning his own to the pocket. His eyes widened slightly and his brows raised slightly at her unasked question. While the alpha had no issue with flaunting his relationship with Kara to anyone and everyone that would look and listen, Jace wasn't certain how Kara would handle that considering, at least from his limited understanding, her and Winslow were supposed to be a thing. The thought that he'd been able to steal her away from the younger man had his grin widening up until some guy had the fucking balls to grab his girl.

Instinct and a wolfish desire to drive off anyone who thought they could slip in and steal his mate was in for a rough fucking night. Never mind that he had already been on edge what with the recent run ins with the Devil and the were-bastard. Jace felt his lip curl back and a snarl followed up by a low growl that he'd been trying to hold back broke loose. He was moving forward, hands leaving the safety of the jacket pockets with the intent to put a few jagged lines in the younger man when he felt a set of arms slip around him and then a hand slide up his chest and push back with enough force that the garou stopped in his tracks if only because he'd been caught off guard.

It was only then that he'd realized Kara's other friend, the woman had been trying to introduce the new interloper. Shay. Seamus. Didn't fucking matter. Jace glared daggers at the younger man and had to work hard to suppress any rage that wanted to break free. If he'd been with any other person but Kara the alpha was certain Shay's teeth would be littering the ground. The feeling of lips pressing against his cheek did wonders to pull Jace out of a growing murderous spiral and he broke line of sight with Shay, instead his chocolate orbs sought out the calming sea-green of Kara's.
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by: Kara Viridian
When the man didn't give him an offer to shake, and seemed a little put off thanks to his friendly gesture Seamus turned a nice shade of beet red and cleared his throat. "Right...er... guess I should get back to it." He gave a thin, partially embarrassed smile before returning to work.

Kara just chuckled as she let her lips linger for a bit on his cheek. It was clear to her as she saw the ferocity in Jace's eyes he was being a bit territorial and she wanted to spare Seamus from a certain death or at least a beating on her behalf. He was a good kid, hired at 21 and worked with the Abbey for years, and she saw him like a kid brother if anything. When she looked up at Jace, into those gorgeous brown eyes, she smiled and leaned up to his ear. "I'm all yours, love..." she whispered, her voice soft as silk as she made sure he was the only one who could hear that. It was a way to get him to calm down, or so she hoped.

That seemed to be answer enough to Henri's question from before, but instead of saying anything, she just smiled and shook her head. Kara's personal life wasn't any of her business--and as long as she was happy with this new guy, Henri was fine with him. She just earmarked any prying questions for the next time she saw her, or at some point she'd get her alone.

"How about some drinks, hm? Kara, your usual? And how about Jace? What's your poison?" Henrietta walked around the bar and fetched a glass.

"Sure. Thanks luv." Kara didn't break from Jace, but she did lead him over to the bar to stand and wait for their order. She face him a playful smile and stole a kiss if he let her, not embarrassed or shy to show off her affection with him now that they were out in public. They were the best, worst kept secret at the compound, but showcasing this new, budding romance in public was different. Her divorce wasn't dry and her former relationship was a mystery to people like Henri and Shay, so she figured they'd ask questions as soon as they saw an opportunity.

She held him close and even tried to reach for one of his hands tucked in a pocket, to give it a reassuring squeeze. "You're doing fine, darling. I know this is probably the last place you wanted to be, but you're here and I think we're going to have a good night out, for once." No fights, no bickering, no bollocks... she was just excited for some normalcy. Kara snickered, "Oh my...are we... on a date? Are we actually trying to be a normal couple right now?" She teased. If he didn't wanna label the outing, it didn't bother her. If anything, she wanted to see how he'd react to that.

It wasn't until she looked over to her usual table that she noticed it wasn't empty--and the person sitting in it was clearly an unexpected patron.
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by: Jace Bryden
He watched with a growing feral grin as the younger man backed off. The added embarrassed feeling that was being broadcast brought the older man a deep satisfaction. His eyes continued to bore into Shay's back but he was quickly distracted by the lingering kiss and he tilted his head downward to catch Kara's gaze. Her smile was something else all together and when combined with her whispered words Jace felt himself relax slightly and the rage dredged up from earlier died down.

Jace didn't look up until Henrietta's voice rang through the air, asking about drinks. The alpha looked at her and it dawned on him that it was probably weird that he'd come to a bar but didn't drink. Nasty stuff alcohol was in his opinion and it did nothing but dull the senses and taste bad. Still it would probably look worse if he ordered nothing at all. "Water's fine for me beautiful. Lots of ice."

He moved with Kara as she tugged them closer to the bar and when she attempted to steal a kiss he let her, grinning against her lips. Well if she didn't seem to mind the public show of affection Jace figured it would be ok to deepen the kiss into something a little more hot. If anything the pair would enjoy it, and it would show guy with the grabby hands Kara was his.

Eventually he pulled back when breathing became necessary and any rage or unease disappeared and he felt cloaked in the calmness he'd come to associate with being around Kara. When she reached for a hand he'd tucked safely away in his pocket he let her, taking even more comfort in the contact and reassuring squeeze. A soft laugh broke out at her choice of words. "Guess we are, aren't we."

It was so surreal to think they could do something as simple as a date, especially after the last few weeks. Definitely some low key down time was needed. "Don't know about the normal part, but definitely digging this whole date thing. Place isn't even half bad."

When Kara turned her head and seemed to fixate on another woman sitting in a booth by herself Jace turned back to Kara with a curious glint in his eye. "Know her or something sweetheart?"
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by: Kara Viridian
Henrietta grinned at his charming compliment tagged with his request and nodded. She wasn’t going to judge because she had seen many patrons take on the role of the designated driver. She grabbed one of the glasses and filled it with ice, fixing up their order. ”Coming right up.”

Kara was surprised at the amount of affection she was getting in a public setting. In the past she was never given this sort of attention so she appreciated this from her new boyfriend immensely—knowing this would generate questions from her employees as soon as they got the chance. Her husband was out of prison and as he was very much alive, it was a known fact that their divorce hadn’t yet dried. Her former relationship with Casey was all they’d ever known so seeing her with this new gentleman was definitely foreign territory. She returned the kiss with a contented hum and smiled as she pressed her forehead against his. He was so wonderful.

Henri and Seamus exchanged glances; they were both impressed by the rather vigorous display in the bar, but instead of voicing his thoughts about it, the blushing young Irish lad kept his mouth shut and let them be. Henri nodded with a smirk, knowing that was probably a good idea.

Jace's response to the word date was less volatile than she expected. It was actually civil and that in itself was simply wonderful, since she figured he would have grumbled and bitched about being 'among the annoying lot'. She clung to that bit of normalcy for dear life, and was glad things were working out with them enough to bring him into the city. “Well we won’t ever be normal, but this is…this is lovely.” She snuck another quick kiss and held him close. It was a nice thought, knowing that she could be this free with him, even in a public setting. She felt more like a girlfriend than a trophy, and actually being loved on as opposed to being distant. This felt so right, and she was so happy he decided to come out with her because she much preferred his company over venturing out alone. Not to mention, she'd dressed up pretty nice for an impromptu date; black leggings with a burgundy top, brown ankle boots and bronze jewelry to match.

But...Was Anne watching her? Did she see the exchange with Jace and the employees just now? Why was she there? “Yeah, I do.” She felt a bit of dread in the pit of her stomach. If Anne was here, and she was alone, it meant that something bad must have happened. Kara sighed. "Tsk... Well, I hate to work in the middle of our date, darling but I'm afraid this one is live. Now just remember that I’m no Phoenix. And I mean that in the same way you say you’ll end anyone who let’s the wolf out of the bag. She’s a friend of a friend, and that friend might be in danger. Understood?”

It was less on the nose and more in the way of code in case someone was listening. She didn’t have time, space or the means for muffliato, and found Jace might be able to follow better with everything spelled out this way. The fact that Anne worked behind the enemy line, Kara being a resistance fighter couldn’t come to light. A free woman or not, she was always a breath away from being thrown back into Az for one reason or another. She held that secret in the same regard of the Pack's demand for secrecy, and she needed him to do the same. “Come on, love. I know you’re at your quota for meeting new folks, but just one more tonight, it shouldn't take long.” she couldn't make any promises but if things went sideways she had to find some way to make it up to him since he came all the without there with her, after all.

After paying for her drink, Kara offered Jace the water he ordered and reached for his free hand. She squeezed it softly and if he let her, she led him through the crowd toward her usual booth, stopping at the end of the table with a worried smile. "Hey, Anne, it’s been a while, how are you?” it was a stupid question but it was at least a start. She could pick apart the details from here.

Kara didn't want to assume she would be invited into her own booth but she waited to be seated in case she wasn't the person Anne was looking for.
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by: Anne Fernsby
Anne had set eyes on Kara long before Kara actually seemed to notice her, and the presence of her male companion caused Anne's eyes to narrow. Had she forgotten their meeting tonight? Or was she bringing someone in on this without discussing it with her first? She relaxed her expression as a waitress came by and decided to order a wine and some chips. It was better than nothing and certainly better than sitting here doing nothing while waiting for Kara to notice her. After all, she might never. Anne wasn't certain how to feel about all this, and it certainly seemed like she was having far too good a time given the fact Markus was still missing. She got that life went on, but it didn't make it any easier.

Anne was still waiting for her chips but was nursing her wine when Kara noticed her and greeted her. "Peachy," she decided to reply before taking a generous sip of her red wine. She was anything but and her tone showed it, but she tried to force the tone away with her next words. "How about you? And your friend here?" It was wrong to presume things, after all, despite the fact that she was almost certain the two were an item. She'd let Kara correct her rather than deal with awkwardness at this point. The fact they were engaging in small talk was awkward enough, truthfully.
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by: Kara Viridian
Anne looked...

Well, quite honestly Anne looked awful. Miserable. Downtrodden. She wasn't crying like she had been before, but the fact that she was here alone could only mean that Markus was still missing. Shit. She was supposed to come here tonight to meet with her on that with any progress or news regarding his whereabouts, but she'd forgotten! How could she forget the case of her missing brother... No, not that brother. Ugh, what a bloody mess. Kara had long considered Markus to be a brother to her, and the fact that she missed that major detail about reconvening here with Anne made her kick herself on the inside. But she couldn't just waltz up and say "Sorry darling, I've literally been to hell and back and now what can I do ya for?" to the woman. Everything she and Jace went through the last week was a strictly need-to-know sort of tale, and Anne was far from that trust. Markus' mate or not, Anne couldn't know. She was guard. She was, for all intents and purposes, an enemy of Kara's cause. They needed to tread lightly.

"Doing better now. It's been a... long week." Kara gave a nervous laugh as she shifted off of her bad leg. That's all she'd tell her, for now. Even if the woman asked, she wouldn't say too much. The issue with the Devil and the hunt to find Tristan were on the back-burner until they found out more from Jaleth's contact and Jace's connections in town. Markus' ordeal quickly leapt to the forefront once again. Kara stepped back to put her arm around the man in question, and bring him forward for more introductions. She could already tell he wasn't about this life, about the meet and greets, but for now, they would have to play it safe and keep up. "Sorry, yes, Jace this is Anne, Anne, Jace." She didn't correct her when she said 'friend' as she didn't quite know how to explain their current status, and it was probably something Anne didn't need to know or confirm for now anyway. "I take it things have not been straightened out since last we talked?" She kept things vague. Merlin that was long ago, and made her worry even more to know Markus was still gone.

Kara gestured at the booth's empty seats across from her, as a polite way of asking if they would take a seat. "I'm sorry I didn't send for you sooner. None of my leads have come up with anything... Maybe a couple of folks knew him by name and said they spotted him in certain places but when they searched they came up empty. Dead ends..."

It dawned on her that until now, she'd made no mention of Markus to Jace. Not out of secrecy or anything, but because he'd been a separate component from her life while her courtship with Jace began. After their spat from New Years ended just months ago, she still hadn't seen Markus come around much before this happened. He'd either been busy with work, dealing with life or spending time with Anne. If Jace asked, she would explain of course, but if he had sensed her need to hold off on those questions until later, she would give him the whole story once they were free of their guard-company.
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by: Jace Bryden
Jace pulled Kara closer with a wide grin and nipped playfully at the side of her neck before pulling back a bit as he waited for Kara to explain the woman that had made eye contact with them. What he didn't expect was the bit that followed. Work? And live to boot? And then the bit about Phoenix's and Wolves.... Jace looked at Kara with a curious expression openly on his face. He nodded his understanding since his girl had made it fairly obvious, at least in his mind, that this was a job of a sensitive nature.

"A'right," Jace responded when Kara said he had one more person to officially meet. It was interesting how well Kara could read his feelings and body language when it come to interacting with unknown people. She knew the pub bothered him at least on a small scale and that gatherings of this caliber equated to emotional vomit being launched at him 24/7. Still, for Kara, he could put up with it all if that was what she needed right now.

He took the offered glass of water and took a long pull as he let Kara take his free hand and tug him along to their presumable final destination. Out of nothing more than instinctual habit, the alpha immediately sized up the woman sitting in the booth. She was a decently pretty thing, though the despair roiling off her was as off putting as ever. A deep breath through his nose brought a distinct scent that uniquely identified the woman, Anne from Kara's introduction. It was citrusy, with notes of orange and various spices. Jace barely contained an amused snort at the query about his well being and as Kara's "friend", though he adopted a neutral expression at Anne's greeting. It was clear that the woman wasn't in a good place and it set the garou on edge though he did his best not to let it show.

Eventually Kara formally introduced him and it was only then that the older man offered a nod in greeting though he opted to remain quiet for the time being as he listened to the one sided conversation. From what he could tell it seemed like Anne had lost someone, and Kara had been trying to help find it but come up blank. A million questions were on the tip of his tongue but Jace managed to bite them back. If he wasn't totally bat shit insane this sounded like some good old fashioned, nose to the ground tracking, and if there was anything that Jace knew it was that he and the 7 had a distinct advantage in that particular field.
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by: Anne Fernsby
Friend, right. Because friends nipped each other's necks on the regular. She would not have been amiss to have called him a "beau" or a "playmate," though the latter may have come across a tad offensive. At least Kara introduced him, though that didn't make Anne overly happy about the fact he was here for their little meeting. She knew nothing about him. Hell, she knew little about Kara aside from what a quick look at her records from Azkaban had revealed and her records from her days as an auror however damn long ago that had been. Working as head of internal had a few little perks when you needed to research someone. But still, it left much to be wondered about Kara's private life, alliances, etc., and the woman didn't volunteer much--not that Anne could blame her. The only reason Anne was working with Kara, though, was the fact she knew Markus and had seemed to hold him dear in her heart. This man? Who the hell knew? She gave him a once over then returned to her wine as Kara motioned to the booth seat across from her. Seemed this Jace person would be here. Fine. At least for now.

"Well, that's unfortunate," Anne replied guardedly, mainly because she barely trusted her own voice not to betray her emotions on the whole Markus situation right now. She preferred to come across as composed, but guarded was a close second. "Do we even have anything left we can work together? The Guard's practically given up on finding Markus or the Ulrich boy. There's no government resource I could get away with or justify using any of IA's budget for." She barely lifted her eyes from the table. She didn't want to look at the couple. She didn't want to look at anyone. She felt dead, and looking at someone wasn't going to change the inevitable answer of "no." No. There was no point to working together any longer. Perhaps to communicate where they were checking, looking, searching, but what more? What more?
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by: Kara Viridian
When Anne motioned to the open seats in front of her, Kara slid into the booth and hoped Jace would follow suit. She figured it best to take the inside seat; Jace didn't seem like he would want to be trapped into a booth in a setting in which he was already uncomfortable. It would give him an easy out, in case he felt too overwhelmed and wanted to step away for a moment. For now, she placed her hand closest to him on his knee, giving it a gentle and reassuring squeeze that she was there for him, hoping to keep him at ease. She left her hand there if he let her, placing her other hand down at her side.

Kara looked up across the way at Anne when she started to speak, her blue-green eyes settling on the poor woman who seemed to be battling her emotions internally. She felt for her. She truly did. Circumstances might have been very different between them, but she knew what it felt like to mourn the loss and deal with the insanity of not knowing whether or not their significant other was safe. She did that with Liam, and even with Casey at times before. Tortured herself, cried her eyes out, starved herself for some time... She had yet to confirm whether or not Anne truly did this to herself, but the way she looked now? It wasn't well. Her face softened into a shade of pity as Anne spoke. Using terms like Guard, government and IA might have already tipped off Jace on what exactly this woman was capable off--therefore justifying her need for secrecy about her true occupation and involvement with the Order of the Phoenix. She gently tapped on his knee again, and then shifted, folding her hands together on top of the table to keep things visible, and keep from escalating into something seen as inappropriate.

This was business, after all.

What was she supposed to say? No, ma'am, I'm sorry, we're just going to have to give up on Markus? Absolutely not. Markus did everything in his power to help her after Azkaban, she needed to return the favor. He was her brother, after all.

"Hm...well...seeing as you've spoken freely in front of Jace here, I hope you don't mind if I suggest something?" She gave Anne a moment to answer, and then had an idea. Kara turned her head to look at her companion, and hoped he would somehow pick up on what she would bring up, next. "See, Anne is looking for someone--we're looking for someone--who appears to have gone off-grid. Vanished without a trace. Government body, but someone of mutual interest. My old partner--he's just gone missing, and no matter where we've looked, there's no sign of him anywhere. It's rather unlike him to do something like this, and I hate to say it but we're left with a bad feeling about it. Is there any resource of yours we could perhaps utilize to find someone?" The emphasis on the word 'find' was subtle, but the connection between Kara and her Alpha was rather uncanny. She had no doubt he'd pick up on what she'd suggested. He wanted a job outside of the walls, well... this was something, and not to mention, extremely important to her.
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by: Jace Bryden
The despair radiating off the blonde woman was both intoxicating and annoying as hell. Why was it so god damn hard for people to keep it to themselves? It was hard not to let out a discontented sigh but when Kara slid into the booth he knew he was going to be stuck here for at least a little while. It meant a lot though that his girl left him the outside seat, that she was able to read his mood enough, or at least be familiar enough with the workings of his animalistic side, that she'd picked up on the fact that the last thing he'd want in this sort of setting was to be trapped in a tiny booth with no way out. Once Kara had settled in he slipped in beside her and settled in as comfortably as he could. The hand on his knee gave him something to focus on outside of the emotional onslaught he was currently receiving and the alpha dropped his own hand so it could rest on Kara's.

When Anne spoke he listened intently and found his brow furrowing slightly. Guard? IA? Fucking hell... was she government? Jace chanced a sideways glance at Kara, clearly asking for some sort of explanation as to why she'd willing, as the Orders known leader, risk a conversation out in the open with a known government official. Never mind the fact that if she was Guard there was a strong chance he'd be recognized. A low hum of a growl was beginning to form deep in the alpha's chest when he felt a strong tap on his leg. Jace turned his full attention to Kara as she began to fill him in before eventually settling on Anne.

They were both looking for someone. Someone who went off the grid and didn't want to be found... Another government worker.... a mutual friend between the women. His eyes narrowed slightly. If this someone went off the grid willingly then he probably had damn good reason... but the Kara added the bit about it not being normal for whoever the hell it was. Her former partner...?

His mood lightened almost instantaneously at the request for resources that he might have. Particularly in finding someone that didn't want to be found. Jace shook his head and let out a soft laugh before offering a grin to Anne. Hell yeah he had resources and if the alpha wasn't mistaken this sounded like one hell of a good way to occupy the downtime of the 7.

"I'm thinkin' that I know a certain crew with a unique set of talents quite suitable for finding people that don't want to be found. Question is how much is finding this person worth to you and what are you willing to give me to find him?"

Jace hoped Kara would know he'd do it simply because she asked and because it was a good excuse to get out of the compound. Still he had to ask, he was a merc after all and he had a nasty rep to keep up, especially if this woman recognized him.
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