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Early lunch - Last Resort
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: Eben Rook
#18911
June 26th 10:32

Holy shit he was tired. He’d arrived in England this morning and was trying to settle into a routine, but the jet-lag was killer. Eben would have reported the time being somewhere in the mid afternoon, but instead it was ten in the morning. That meant it was time for a run, then a shower, then sleep. Why? He was working off of a nocturnal schedule. The middle of the afternoon was tantamount to the middle of night. Three pm felt like three am. Such were the hours of the vampire hunter. He needed sleep, but he’d sleep most deeply if his muscles were worked to their limit and then pampered.

The city was alive with sounds at ten in the morning. The honk of cars, the staccato of city life, and the pulse of living thrummed through the city as he ran through it. This was not just a morning run for him. This was the first view of his hunting grounds. Rook’s arrival into Heathrow two hours ago marked the change in atmosphere that would culminate in someone’s death. The plan was for Moira’s teeth to become the new SAM trophy. There were, supposedly, certain Magic’s that could be performed with vampire fangs ground into a powder. Whether or not that was true would be for the textbooks. Eben was more pragmatic than most.

The steady pace of his breathing provided he backdrop of his thoughts. What would the new environment bring? London had its high class touch. The accents flying around him on the morning mists were straight outta Shakespeare. Even the blue collar Joes heading to factory work could have been literary characters of some sort. Dickens? Whatever. It was what it was. This wouldn’t be nothing permanent.

He was half a mile in. How far would today’s run go? Probably only three miles through the down town area. He needed sleep. Tomorrow, he’d be seeing the real estate agent and getting a base of operations. Until then, his hotel stay was going to be just fine as far as accommodations went. The slim warrior slipped into his usual blank minded state as he limbered up. The run was perfect for dining out and shaking off he stupor of travel. The natural process of exercise also teased out his thought processes. He’d need to make contact with the magical side of London. That meant locating the Three Broomsticks and getting a visa approved for transit in country.

From what he understood, the current government was strict on imports like himself. He’d need to keep his head down and nose clean. He’d need to file for the right permits to hunt down the murderess and bring her to justice. Thankfully, he had the New York City Auror’s reports of Saul’s death and the signed affidavits for the destruction of that vampire deemed responsible. MACUSA approved of Moira Darking’s death. All he needed was the Ministry of Magic of London to give him a blessing before he went a -hunting. It shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

Rook continued his run, finishing at the pub not far away from his hotel. The Abbey seemed like an interesting spot to have a bite to eat before heading back to the hotel for a shower and rest. A bite to eat in a local spot could help him get assimilated to the culture more quickly. Hopefully, they wouldn’t mind someone in shorts and a tank top. It was summer, in his defense, and a rather muggy 85 degrees. He had his wallet and his bank card, so they had no reason to protest. He pushed his way inside in search of a sandwich and some water.
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by: Eben Rook
#18915
The place wasn't empty, but the lunch crowd in the London eatery just seemed sparse. Then again, maybe it was the casual atmosphere, the slower pace, the lack of business suits...or the lack of business all together. This was a casual place, maybe a touch more upscale than his shorts and tank top, but not so much that people would be looking down their nose at him. Eben met the hostesses' eyes steadily and smiled slightly when she looked flustered. The smile only seemed to egg on her blush, so Eben bounced his gaze off of her and onto the stonework walls, the wooden booths, and the tables. This place was more at ease in its nightly role as a bar and meeting place for relaxation, but it was nice enough with the rare summer sun filtering in through the windows. The aroma of fried foods and beer permeated the air like ghosts of good times. Overall, the atmosphere was something he'd like to enjoy again.

Rook went through the motions of social politeness, letting himself be led to an empty table for four. A menu waited for him, so he sat obligingly and scanned over the drinks quickly.

"'Preciate it, sweetheart. Can I get a glass of water, please?"

The startled look he received made Eben think on his words quickly. Had he said something wrong? Or was it the 'sweetheart' maybe? Too familiar? Oh, the accent. She'd not anticipated the flat, broad Brooklyn tones when London favored the rounder, more polished sounds. Kinaye gedda glass a' waddah probably barely made sense to her. Eben smiled politely and waited for her to parse his request. She was smart enough. The edge of startlement left her quickly and she returned his smile. The hostess had only spent a millisecond on the switching to hearing his American clearly, but was her smile a little more brittle? Were her eyes a bit more icy? She definitely wasn't as warm as she had been. Ah well.

Eben retreated into the menu. As much as everything, especially the fry up, looked nice, he craved a salad. Maybe it was having just traveled and eaten nothing fresh, but a good salad would be a damned delight. And...sure, why the hell not, sirloin steak over it? Protein, he justified. Needed that to build muscle. And it tasted good. He laid the menu down and glanced up at the door opening and closing again. The man who walked in immediately had Eben's attention.

His peppered grey hair, hazel eyes, and prominent nose weren't immediately identifiable. Still, the set of his shoulders, the economical way the man moved, the caution that he used in looking around the room...this man wasn't just some schmoe off the street. He's known combat, paranoia, and secrecy. He wasn't a prey animal, though. He was as cautious as a lion in his habitat. Sure, there were dangers, but nothing he couldn't handle...but Eben was a migratory predator of his own and-

And what the fuck? He wasn't here for a turf fight or anything that stupid. The American mage dropped his intense gaze and fiddled with his silverware, keeping the stranger (ha ha, he was in a country full of strangers, why was this man any different?) in his peripheral vision as he played at nonchalance. He was just keyed up from his lack of sleep, Eben reasoned with himself. The man was probably an off-duty military puke from nearby, or a police officer. Just because he walked like he knew his business didn't mean he was anything other than the kind of sheepdog that protected the no-maj sheep. It didn't mean he was a wolf or anything that went bump in the night. Not everything was dangerous, here. In fact, most things wouldn't be. Just ca-

He looked up sharply, thoughts interrupted by the water he'd ordered arriving. He murmured a thanks, self-conscious about his accent now. The waitress smiled in reply and headed off to handle her duties. Eben took a drink and used the gesture to surreptitiously glance at Salt-and-Pepper. That stance...he definitely was a player of some sort. No-maj, based off the sheer percentage of no-maj to mage in a city like this. He didn't seem to favor one side or another in his interactions with people, so he wasn't trained to carry a sidearm on the everyday. That pointed more towards hand-to-hand combat experience? Or a veteran. Or both. Probably a veteran cop, Eben decided at last. One who knew better than to favor a side, to expect threats from any direction, or who had gotten lazy running a desk...but no, the trim figure wasn't a desk jockey's build. Veteran. With experience. Interesting.
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by: Eben Rook
#18923
Mister Cop had given him a once over, glancing at the accent. He’d stick out over here like a lily in thorns....or a thorn among lilies. Eben was used to his accent and well groomed countenance marking him as a standout. In fact, he’d counted on it as the face of Sam internationally. It was easy to be the charmer while the strike team skulked in the shadows, not that he hadn’t had his fun in the covert operations side of things as well....

But that wasn’t why he was here. Old habits were dangerous on new operations. Eben wasn’t going to go so extreme and ridiculous as to try and mask his Flatbush nasal tones, but he’d need to underscore to any of the curious that he was a temporary thing, a tourist, a migratory bird of no importance. That was the thing to remember. Here and gone was the plan.

He tented his fingers and stared at the wood grain of the table. Years of polish had eased the dents and scrapes of silverware and table settings. Some would say it was scarred, others would say the surface had character. It was one of those mundane things that caught Eben’s attention when nothing else was on his mind. The swirls and loops of the tight grain were their own meditation.

He could feel someone watching him. That second sense that told him of eyes on him made his skin crawl, so Eben surreptitiously looked up and glanced around.

A child, probably four, was openly staring with her wife blue eyed gaze. Her mother was in the phone and ignoring the kid, so Eben stared back, then smiled. The girl smiled back. Since he had her attention and she was across the table and in a booth, Eben decided to entertain, if for no other reason than being entertaining. He grabbed the salt shaker from the caddy and a napkin. He held it up to show the girl, placed it on the table, then made a show of covering it with the napkin. He lifted the covered shaker and gently tapped it three times on the table, bringing it to his chest each time in a circle. On the last tap and circle, he used his sleight of hand to drop the shaker into his lap, then crushed the napkin flat to the table. The girl shrieked in surprised laughter, making him laugh as well.

The girl’s mom shushed her and made her turn around, ending the game. Eben placed the salt shaker back in the caddy, still smiling to himself about the look of shock on the kiddo’s face. That was real magic, making other react....
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by: Eben Rook
#18928
Eyes again. They weren’t the friendly blues of the child, but the hard hazel of the man who had caught his eye coming in. Eben looked up, catching the calculating gaze with one of his own. He didn’t have anything but himself to defend himself if this man was an operative from a rival group, an investigator from the government(s) in the area. Or out of the area. Europe was a small and densely packed area with ancient hostilities on both sides of the veil.

Maybe the man was a human agent of Moira’s and she was onto him. If that was the case and this was some sort of clumsy stakeout (haha stake), then the best thing to do would be challenge and let the agent know that he’d been spotted. But how to do that and not be an obnoxious and obvious asshole? On top of that, the girl was watching him again, peeking over her shoulder at him.

Well, maybe some real magic was in order...a show of force that he didn’t need his wand, a subtle thing he could explain as his no-maj magic, and a follow up to his sleight of hand earlier. Eben grabbed his silverware and began playing with it, spinning it around idly. He passed it between his fingers and bent the spoon, pretending like it was an accident. The girl was full on watching, so he looked at her and frowned at the spoon, then passed his hand over it, concentrating on the repair spell. He needed to be absolutely focused. The spoon unbent itself, earning the girl’s smile. Eben glanced at the man, but was interrupted from meeting his eyes by the return of the waitress.

”That was amazing! You a magician or something?”

“Or something,” he agreed with a smile, allowing his tone to shift into a flirty style. She set his plate down with a smile. Eben thanked her, letting his gaze linger the way a young man on a business trip should.
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