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[center [size12 After a tired 12 hours of work, Imogen was finally free to go home around 3 P.M., which meant she would have time to take care of a few things that had been itching at her for a week now. A couple of crooked cops, drug dealers, and finally, her quick meeting with Alisha, her own personal drug dealer. It was kind of ironic, as well as hypocritical that Imogen was the main reason why most of the crooked people in their city were put in jail, but she was over here shooting up morphine, laying on the couch next to her best friend. Hypocritical more than anything.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "You know, Alisha.. I think my boss is a crooked asshole. You know how our parents died? By the bad medication that apparently the company I worked for sold? They aren't even a pharmaceutical company! It's like this company can't make up its mind on what it wants to sell,"]] Imogen grumbled, looking up at her friend, who was half conscious and Imogen just sighed. She pulled herself up into the sitting position. She grabbed Alisha's face in her hands and pouted. [i [#778899 "Girl, Charlie is coming over. You know, the annoying twat I had breakfast with? You gotta go, booboo,"]] Imogen huffed quietly and Alisha just chuckled.]]
[center [size12 [i [#FF0000 "That means I can't tell him about the time you walked out of the bathroom with your skirt tucked into your panties,"]] Alisha laughed for much longer than a normal person would. [i [#778899 "My knickers are none of that boy's business. Come on, mate. You gotta get up,"]] Imogen was definitely a lot more sober than her best friend, but thankfully, Alisha lived one floor above her, so it wasn't like she had to drive.]]
[center [size12 Imogen was even kind enough to see her friend home before returning back to her own apartment where she just plopped back down on the couch with a heavy huff. She glanced at the clock. It was nearing the time that Charlie was supposed to be here. She was growing a bit nervous, understandably so. She didn't know how he would react to what news she was going to tell him.]]
[center [size12 Imogen then picked herself up, looking around her small apartment, cleaning things up, and making sure it looked about as nice as she could get it. Imogen's apartment was any hacker's wet dream. High tech equipment, especially stuff to work on her metal arm to make sure it stays up to date, as well as a four monitor computer. Her apartment was pretty dark, as well. She only had the ceiling lights, no lamps.]]
[center [size12 After making sure her minimalist apartment was about as clean as she could get it, Imogen decided to change her clothes. Simple pair of athletic shorts, with a big hoodie. Seemed legit enough, as well as those slippers she was wearing earlier.]]
[center [size12 Finally walking back into the living room, Imogen heard her phone go off, which meant Charlie must be here. She glanced at it before rolling her eyes. [i Never could take things serious,] Imogen then walked to her front door. She opened the door with half lidded, under the influence eyes and gave him a mildly tired smile. [i [#778899 "I should have known you could never take anything serious,"]] she held up her phone, showing off the emojis that he had sent her. Imogen then side stepped, allowing Charlie to enter her apartment before shutting the door behind him.]]
[size12 It seemed Imogen took some time to think, and Charles took it as a cue to keep his eyes on her while they walked. One could say he was brimming with curiosity for what she was thinking about, although that lasted only a short while before he got side tracked by studying her appearance. Then she spoke, and it had nothing to do with the weather around them, nor the food they had eaten, but the company that they worked for. About the broadness of their contracts and how odd that fact was.
Charles had never taken the time to think specifically about what they were doing, mostly just sticking to his day to day duties of meetings and paperwork. Though now that Imogen mentioned it, it did seem weird. The staff was big though, but it was true, they didn't really have departments like one would assume. He let out a small chuckle in agreement. [#b55715 "That's pretty weird, yeah. I never thought about that."]
It seemed Imogen wasn't done there, though, and a slight nag of worry rooted itself inside Charles as she handed him a paper note. Which he hastily folded in half and shoved in his back pocket without looking what it was, returning her wave with a smile and a short [#b55715 "Will do!"] before following after her inside to get back to work.
Although unlike Imogen, he allowed himself to be caught by Nadine to get some of the fire off of her back. It wasn't as though he openly disliked Nadine, he wasn't really one to dislike anyone, but he wasn't so sure how much she liked him. He supposed he and Imogen had reached the same level of intolerable children in her eyes, though, by the way she gave him the same look he used to get from his mother when he put dirt in the oven to make a cake for his sister when he was five.
[#b55715 "Sorry, Nadie. I promise I'll work [i really] hard, and skip lunch? How about that?"] he gave as a peace offering, before moving towards the elevator and the safety of his office. Where he was going to try and find out more about what Imogen had talked about, after he was done with the morning paperwork.
Yet, even after a day of filling out paper work and researching a little deeper than necessary for any client that had been theirs for longer than a month, he had found nothing by the time he was heading to the chief's office for a daily chat and review. This wasn't anything official they had, and should probably have been called 'Charles's is too tired of working and takes a break to loiter in his boss's office to talk shit about clients and whatever sport team lost the last match', but saying daily chat is easier—at least according to Charles.
Today's chat was about handball, and how one of their newer clients still called him 'Charles' instead of 'Charlie' despite him telling him such in every email (7) they had sent back and forth so far. As well about when the next meeting with another client would take place, and how Imogen was settling in. Because it seemed Charles had become the source of 'Imogen News' rather than Imogen herself—not that he minded, because it gave him an excuse to drop if Imogen ever got too tired of him.
However, after half an hour of chatting, Charles was kindly kicked out of the office and told to go home.
As he had predicted, the snow made it difficult to manoeuvre the long board, and he was left walking home with the board under his arm. Not that he minded too much, it was nice out, and with his cap back on his head he didn't have to fear coming home with wet hair.
It was only when he arrived home that he remembered the note Imogen had given him, and quickly fished it out of his back pocket after stepping out of his shoes. It was a simple note with an address, number, and a time. Which made sense given that she had told him to come by her apartment. He got his phone out and typed in the number in his contacts, as he made for the kitchen to get something to eat.
There was still time before he had to get going, and he treated himself to some easy mac and cheese while searching up the address to make sure he knew where it was.
With five minutes left on the clock, Charles made his way towards the door to Imogen's apartment complex, hoping she didn't take too badly to him showing up early. Yet despite this he still waited until it was ten o'clock on the dot, before sending her a text message to tell her he arrived, coupled with a few emoji's sticking their tongue out to show her that he wasn't being rude.
[center [font "Helvetica" [#b55715 hey imogen charlie here at your door can you open its cold out here? »]]]
[center [size12 Imogen pushed her hands into her pockets and sighed softly, glancing up to the sky. She was a big fan of the snow, ever since she was a child. She didn't even grow up in New York, but she moved here when she was old enough to leave her home. Her family was a strange group of people, nomads almost, never stayed in the same place for too long. Though, her family originated from the United Kingdom, Wales to be exact. But when Imogen was born, they decided to move to America to settle down. But as the type of people the Winters were, they didn't settle down for too long. Once Imogen was old enough to walk and talk, they began moving around again.]]
[center [size12 Imogen had been all over the world, but found herself coming back to New York, every chance she could get before finally settling down here. She had gotten into some pretty gnarly things before figuring out that it was her calling. Hacking into people's lives only to either turn around and ruin them or black mailing them into doing her bidding. A pretty horrible life to live, but it was a big money maker. Not only did she had ties into the police station in the city, but she even was using her own job to find out secrets that could shut half the city down. In the grand scheme of things, people didn't realize just how powerful Imogen was. And she liked it that way.]]
[center [size12 Imogen then glanced at Charlie out of the corner of her eyes and chuckled, [i [#778899 "I think its funny how the company that we work for does a multitude of things, not just one specific product is sold by us. Do you find that weird?"]] This was her way of possibly telling him something. Now, Charlie is a goofball and kind of idiot sometimes, but he was a good person and Imogen held a bit of trust and faith in the weirdest person she knew. She felt like even though he liked his job, he wouldn't tell the Boss or anyone about what she was going to tell him.]]
[center [size12 As they approached the front doors of their work place, Imogen scribbled something down on a piece of paper that she pulled from her jacket pocket. [i [#778899 "We have to discuss some important matters tonight. Come by my apartment,"]] she held out a piece of paper with her address, as well as her phone number and what time she wanted him to be there. 10 P.M. She then waved at him before walking right past Nadine, who tried stopping her to confront them on their extended breakfast break, but Imogen did not care too much about that and went back to her [i office] to finish up what work she had to do for the rest of her shift.]]
[center [size15 ~~~~~]]
[center [size12 After a visit with Alisha, Imogen was laid across her pull out couch with a bored look on her face as she swiped through the large, purple glowing screens that were hovering in front of her. She sighed softly, before checking the time. It was getting close for Charlie to get here, hoping that he would actually show up.]]
[center [size12 A small part in Imogen wanted Charlie to not show up. He made her mad, frustrated, and annoyed, but at the same time, there was something about him that pulled at her and made her want to confess that she may or may not have a thing for him. But, she would never give him that satisfaction of having someone like him. He was a cheeky son of a bitch and she would make him confess to her before she would ever think about doing it. But, would that ever happen? Imogen doubted it.]]
[size12 The waitress seemed to have no qualms about spilling the tea on Imogen, and Charles was thankful for the reassurance she offered up. He could tell she was a good friend to have, and probably had a way of irritating Imogen with the motherly behaviour. As evident by the way Imogen cut in as soon as she was out of sight.
[#b55715 "Yeah, 'course not, just colleagues having food, nothing more."] It was almost funny how defensive she got, but he held up his hands in peace anyway. He liked to think that the waitress was right on some account, though. It was Imogen's favourite restaurant, and she had let him be with her here. Even if it wasn't anything seemingly special it was still a place that meant a lot to her, and even if she didn't care for him she respected him—and that was something. Though he'd like to think that she cared on some level, even if it was only as lowly as she'd only half-shrug if he died.
She clearly wanted to say something else, but the food came before she had the chance, and it definitely seemed to calm her down. Which was understandable, food held magical powers like that after all. Though even the food couldn't stop her from scolding the waitress, and Charles almost felt bad for the woman, and sent her what he hoped was an apologetic smile. Then the conversation swayed away from the topic of him, and he turned his attention to his bagels, trying to not eavesdrop. Not that it was all that hard, the bagels looked delicious, and chewing made it hard to hear things anyway. They were delicious too, and before long his plate was empty and Imogen was speaking again.
Of course she was right, too, they probably had been gone for a little too long—and Nadine definitely grassed them. Not that there was much that would happen, neither of them were people that you'd let go just like that over something like schedules. Though there would probably be a lecture, and a scolding, and extra paper work, but it was worth it.
[#b55715 "Yeah, you're right. We better get back to work, wouldn't want Nadine to give us a lecture."] he said, as he too rose from his seat and dug his wallet out of his pocket to add onto Imogen's bills for his own food. Imogen pulled on his arm with a soft 'come on', and Charles moved to match her pace as they headed on back towards work.
The snow was still falling outside, and it seemed to have no plans of stopping either. Not that it was a lot of snow, but it was still enough that Charles would have to consider walking home instead of taking his board. Which was always the worst part of winter, though the snow was pretty, at least he'd give it that. He commented as much to Imogen, opening the way for more conversation, but leaving it vague enough that they could walk in silence without it being awkward.
[center [size12 Alisha chuckled softly, [i [#FF0000 "Imogen is one of the hardest people to get along with. Her brain is wired completely different than ours, so she doesn't quite understand what friends are."]] She explained and Imogen looked over at her friend, rolling her eyes. [i [#FF0000 "But don't take it personal, if she's here with you then she must at least somewhat like you. This place is her quiet place, she likes being alone here, so keep in mind what that means if you're here with her,"]] Alisha tapped her temple before getting up, winking at the boy. [i [#FF0000 "And maybe we can exchange embarrassing stories about Imogen at a later date,"]] with that Alisha walked into the back of the restaurant and Imogen snapped her attention to Charlie.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "Please don't go thinking that I care about you or some shit because we're eating together,"]] Imogen was going to kill Alisha later for even mentioning that to Charlie. This was bound to get his head bigger than the state of Texas. Imogen was about to say something else when the food was placed down in front of them both. A couple of bagels for Charlie and Imogen's waffles. All of Imogen's frustration seemed to melt away at the mere smell and look of her favorite food, but she pointed her fork at Alisha.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "One, don't get Charlie's hopes up that I actually like him and two, come by my apartment tonight. We have that exchange, remember?"]] Alisha just chuckled before nodding. [i [#FF0000 "See you tonight then,"]] Alisha waved her head in Imogen's general direction before walking off once more.]]
[center [size12 Imogen then relaxed back into her chair, popping large squares that she had cut from her waffle, into her mouth before glancing over at Charlie. [i [#778899 "You know we've been gone for a little too long from work, right? Miss. Nadine has most likely contacted the Boss Man about,"]] Imogen commented before shrugging a bit. She had finished up her waffles, as well as her coffee as she began digging through her coat pockets. [i [#778899 "Plus, I got some more work to do before I can even think about going home,"]] Imogen was exhausted, but the outing with Charlie was a good idea, because it did lessen the burden of being constantly told what to do all the time. Finally, she pulled out her wallet and tossed a few tens on the table and stood up. [i [#778899 "I will see you later, Alisha. I don't know what time I'm getting off work,"]] she hollered towards the back of the building, towards the kitchen before pulling on Charlie's arm. [i [#778899 "Come on,"]] she murmured softly.]]
[size12 The thought of Imogen attending something as average as a high school felt almost comically out of place, and Charles couldn't help but imagine her as the grumpy kid who would skip class to sit behind the school and smoke while complaining about the home room teacher. Not that he'd tell her that, as the more interesting fact was the part where her and the waitress were long-time friends.
[#b55715 "High school friends, huh?"] he mused. That was easier to picture—mostly because the waitress seemed the type to pull people in and be able to make friends with just about anyone. He also wouldn't tell her that he felt an odd sense of relief at knowing she actually had friends, and didn't spend all her time cooped up working. He however couldn't stop the grin that was once again occupying his face, as thought it never went away. [#b55715 "Good thing she didn't end up working at a place that sold awful coffee."]
No, the coffee was far from awful. As Charles would come to find out when the waitress returned with the coffee and a pad to take their orders. Again, Imogen didn't need to tell her what she wanted, and Charles took a moment to think of what he wanted once the two women looked at him. he didn't dare risking taking the same order again, it could be anything, so he offered a simple; [#b55715 "You got any bagels?"] for he wasn't particular about his food most of the time; outside of his morning green juice and his love for bagels.
Their waitress left again, and Charles took a sip of the coffee. Though it wasn't long before she returned again, and the look on her face spelled 'Friendly Interrogation'. He was quick to follow her example to get on eye level with her, raising his hand to mock whisper at her. [#b55715 "I'm trying to be her friend but I don't think she likes me very much."] he gave Imogen a look that spelled fake innocence and said a quick [#b55715 "Sorry."] before sticking his hand out to properly greet the waitress. Because truth be told she looked rather intimidating, and he wouldn't be surprised if she was honest about breaking him in half.
[#b55715 "I'm Charlie, and Imogen and I work for the same company. Just friends though, I think, but I'll do my best not to hurt her—promise."] he gave Imogen another glance, considering what the woman had said—Not that he had to think too much on it, of course he did. [#b55715 "What about you? I heard you were high school friends, so I bet you have some embarrassing stories to share?"]
[center [size12 Imogen just cocked a single eyebrow at Charlie before rolling her eyes in a disgusted manner at his drawn out [i okay] towards what she had tried to shut down. Of course, he would still try to frustrate her even though he never said a single word. The looks were just as annoying as the words that would leave his annoying, little pie hole. But at the same time, what would be more fun, a coworker that constantly annoyed the fuck out of her in a good way or a bland work environment without any kind of entertainment. She would take Charlie over boring any day.]]
[center [size12 Imogen blinked a couple of times at the question before shrugging. [i [#778899 "Well, I've known Alisha for a few years now. We went to high school together and she got a job here, so I just started coming in to visit and eventually became a regular customer,"]] Imogen was never a people person, so it must look odd that she would even come out in public for food, let alone actually have friends of any sorts. Really, Alisha played a big part in Imogen's life. She was the supplier of Imogen's habit and addiction, which were most narcotics, so Imogen could actually relax since she was constantly on high alert for obvious reasons. Imogen knew a lot about most everyone in their city. Imogen lived a very dangerous life, even though the outside looked very docile and chill.]]
[center [size12 Alisha came back with two, fresh cups of coffee and placed them down in front of both Charlie and Imogen before pulling out her tiny pad and pen. She turned to Imogen and smiled, [i [#FF0000 "so, what can I get for you? The usual?"]] The usual was Imogen's favorite breakfast food. Waffles. Imogen could eat her weight in waffles and still be hungry. Imogen nodded towards Alisha before they both looked into Charlie's direction. [i [#FF0000 "And for you?"]] Alisha asked politely.]]
[center [size12 Once the orders were taken, Alisha left their table once more. Only to return with her own cup of coffee and took a seat next to Imogen with a cheeky grin on her face. She leaned into Charlie's direction, raising an eyebrow at him. [i [#FF0000 "So, may I ask why you're hear with Imogen? Do you have a crush on her?"]] Alisha was obviously the noisy friend, as well as the protective friend. She was more or so playing around with Charlie than anything. [i [#FF0000 "Just know, if you hurt her in any way, I will break you in half,"]] Alisha is not only a gorgeous red head, but she is also almost a foot taller than Imogen and was built. She was the definition of a [i strong woman]. She was a bit intimidating, as well.]]
[size12 It didn't surprise Charles that Imogen was bold enough to let Nadine know what she'd seen, but seeing it first hand along with the chuckle emitted from the woman made laughter bubble up once more. She truly was a wildcard the company desperately needed in order to lighten up the place.
[#b55715 "You're unbelievable,"] he said, smiling, as he followed Imogen's lead to the Bluebird Cafe.
When they reached the cafe, snow had begun to fall, and Charles was more than happy to get into the warmth since he hadn't worn his jacket. Once inside he proceeded to shake out some droplets of snow from his hair, before Imogen grabbed him by the hand and pulled him along towards the back. He took the time to look around the cafe, before sitting down.
It was a nice place, and the seats were cosy, so he could see why Imogen would like it. He tugged the sleeves of his shirt up to his elbow, before crossing his arms over the table. A server was already on her way towards the table, and by her way of addressing Imogen made it clear that she went there often, even more so by the way she assumed Charles and her were on a [i date]. Charles gave Imogen a look, raising an eyebrow, a a small quirk to his lips.
[#b55715 "I'll have the same,"] he said, flashing the woman a winning smile, [#b55715 "thanks."]
As soon as the woman left, Charles immediately turned his attention to Imogen, and leaned most of his upper body forward to really look at her—eyebrows raised and a cheeky smile on his lips. It wasn't unusual that people assumed that he was dating any woman he walked around with, but that never stopped him from wanting to tease. He could definitely tell it had ruffled her feathers, even before she spoke, and before he even got a word out she cut him off with a grumble.
The words had him snort a laughter, and shake his head with a drawn out [#b55715 "Oookay."] before he moved back to rest his chin in the palm of his hand, giving her a side glance in hopes of teasing her without a word, or possibly just irritate her. This lasted only a few seconds, before he thought better of it.
[#b55715 "So, how did you find this place?"] he asked, genuinely curious. Given what he knew of Imogen's lifestyle, she didn't really seem the type to just wander around town until she found an interesting restaurant. Then again, he'd gladly stand corrected.
[center [size12 Imogen glanced down at her feet before looking at Charlie. She gave him a roll of her eyes, [i [#778899 "if you really want a pair, I can buy you a pair. I'm sure they have your size."]] Imogen played along, rarely, with Charlie's jokes, but this time she did. She grabbed her coat off the rack by the door and shrugged it on. She jacketed her pockets before leaving. [i Phone. Wallet. Keys.] She always made mental check lists, just in case. She exited the office with Charlie, locking the door behind her. She followed him closely behind with a plain look on her face as she passed by fellow co-workers that didn't seem very excited to see the vampire emerge from her den.]]
[center [size12 As Nadine caught glimpse of Imogen, they both locked eyes and they didn't look too pleased to see one another. Imogen didn't like Nadine because of the fact that Nadine hated the tatted up, British girl that had an attitude from hell. [i [#778899 "Nadine, you might want to try push ups or something along those lines,"]] it was a common thing among women that push ups were a very natural away to lift your breasts. Nadine just took a long, hard look at Imogen before realizing what had happened and Imogen was already out of the door.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "The best thing about this, boss man won't fire me. I know A LOT of things about this company,"]] she chuckled, pushing her hands into her jacket pockets. The jacket she was wearing swallowed her whole with a fur lining around the hood. It was nearing around 30 degrees outside, which means it was winter time. Imogen's favorite season. [i [#778899 "It's called Bluebird Cafe. They make damn good breakfast and their coffee is to die for,"]] Imogen was basically drooling over the idea of coffee.]]
[center [size15 [b[u -Inside the cafe-]]]]
[center [size12 Imogen opened the door, allowing herself as well as Charlie into the building. It had begun snowing outside. Imogen shook her head, letting drops of half melted snow fall from her short, black hair before glancing around. It was free seating, so without word, Imogen grabbed Charlie's hand and pulled him along to a back corner booth. Her normal spot. It was away from everyone. A very peaceful spot. Imogen sat down, motioning for Charlie to sit down as well. She was actually kind of excited to show someone else her favorite restaurant.]]
[center [size12 A server approached and gave both Imogen and Charlie their best, award winning smile. It was Imogen's normal server, Alisha Taylor. A gorgeous, little red head. [i [#FF0000 "Coffee, black?"]] Imogen nodded at Alisha, who always knew what Imogen wanted. She then turned her attention to Charlie. [i [#FF0000 "Oh, Imogen. Are you actually on a date? What can I get for you?"]] Alisha asked. She was picking at Imogen, knowing that Imogen hadn't had a boyfriend, nor girlfriend in a very long time. Her job kept her from doing that.]]
[center [size12 Once drinks were taking, Alisha winked at Imogen before walking away. Imogen turned her attention on Charlie and narrowed her eyes. She had a deep feeling he was about to comment on the whole [i date] thing. [i [#778899 "Don't get your hopes up, buddy. This isn't a date. I've just been up for over 36 hours now and I'm starving and in need of coffee injected in me,"]] she grumbled before leaning against the back of her chair.]]
[size12 Charles was glad to note that he had enough friendliness points that Imogen moved her legs out of the way in order to let him sit, and as such plopped gratefully into the seat to get comfortable before her legs returned like the safety bars of a roller coaster. It felt reminiscent of summers back at home; his sister's legs in his lap as she complained about the current boss she couldn't beat in her handheld game.
His interest peaked at Imogen's chuckle, as she described having been at the facility all night to deal with something—Curiosity having him leaning forward to try and make out what was on the holographic screen before Imogen told him what it was. Only to snicker as Imogen said the words [i 'booby pictures']. Which turned into stomach-cramping silent laughter as she continued, and he did his best to contain himself as he turned away from her to face the wall, elbow on the arm of the couch and mouth pressed hard into the palm of his hand. He would not laugh at Nadine. Nadine was a good woman. She and the chief could do what ever they wanted. He wasn't judging, nope, not at all. [i He definitely was, and he also knew that he would probably never be able to look at Nadine the same way again— Thanks Imogen for that.]
Imogen soon retracted her legs, and Charles turned his head towards her curiously. The suggestion of breakfast sounded great, and Charles was quick to agree with a [#b55715 "Hell yeah."] Returning her smile. She had a very cute smile, he noted, and felt his own widen into a toothy grin. [#b55715 "Let's get out of here."]
He rose from the couch and brushed down his trousers before following Imogen out the door, taking note of her peculiar shoes, and of course couldn't help but comment on it. [#b55715 "Cute shoes, where'd you get them?"] before bumping her shoulder softly and lowering his voice, [#b55715 "You think they've got them in my size?"]
It was only when they reached the front that he realised that they would come face to face with Nadine in just a few seconds, and he quickly coughed to rid his mind of the new information he had on the woman.
Though, thankfully, he wasn't the right hand of the CEO for nothing, and flashed the woman a bright smile and a quick salute informing her that they were leaving with a [#b55715 "'Ey, Nadie, we're heading out!"] right before he walked backwards out of the sliding doors. Gaze quickly returning to Imogen to see how she was handling the situation.
[#b55715 "So... Where to?"]]
[center [size12 Imogen listened to Charlie and actually scoffed when he stated that he would bring a trombone with him next time. She did appreciate him not completely shitting himself when she pulled the gun though. A little bit of respect was earned for the poor, long haired idiot. She placed the gun back into its original hiding space. Underneath the couch, right where she could easily grab it without any kind of issue. Imogen had been fooled before when she thought she could trust someone, so now, she didn't mess around or trust anyone. She kept herself guarded with walls higher than the synthetic atmosphere that covered the Earth.]]
[center [size12 Imogen felt the tap on her legs. Debating for a moment if his comfort was worth it, until she finally did move them and then placed them back into their original place, but this time, they were in his lap. Imogen was generally dressed in rather comfortable clothes, rarely wearing shoes when she was in her [i office]. Leggings, a t-shirt, and bright purple socks was her outfit of the day. Her shoes were by the door. She turned her attention back to the screens, a metal finger swiping in different directions before pausing when Charlie began speaking once more.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "I've actually been her since last night. The boss man called me because of a cyber attack on his computer. Probably trying to get valuable information or some sort. Or maybe,"]] Imogen chuckled at herself when she found the boss's personal porn collection. She inspected it a bit further and took note at the familiar face. It was good ol' Nadine. [i [#778899 "Nadine's booby pictures. How classy,"]] she commented, cringing a bit. [i Delete. Delete. Delete.] She wiped the woman's unsightly body off of the computer.]]
[center [size12 [i [#778899 "Let me tell you this, Nadine has some horrible tits. I can only imagine what that vag looks like,"]] Imogen was as vulgar as vulgar can get. She shook her head, getting her mind to focus back on the task at hand. Find the source of the hack and get rid of the codes that tied them to the man's computer.]]
[center [size12 Though, that could wait. Imogen sat up, retracting her legs from Charlie's legs and sat criss-cross in the middle of the couch. [i [#778899 "I'm starving and in need of some caffeine. Wanna go get breakfast?"]] She knew that Charlie had only just clocked in, but what was the boss man going to do? Tell her no when she has his computer and all the contents in the palm of her hand, literally. She gave Charlie a rather cracked, side ways smile, like she wasn't used to smiling.]]
[center [size12 Imogen even knew exactly where she wanted to go. There was a small cafe of sorts a couple of blocks away from where her and Charlie worked. They shouldn't be gone too long, but it was Imogen and Charlie. Two of the most odd people that worked in this building. They could be gone for hours, if they really wanted to and they would never get in trouble for it. Imogen was already half to the door, her bag slung over her shoulder and her foot pushed into a pair of what looked to be cat slippers.]]
[size12 [i [#b55715 That's a gun.]] it was, indeed, a gun. Pointed at him, at his face, point blank, by Imogen. Mistakes had been made, and Charles duly noted: do not walk into the room until Imogen says 'hi' or you can say 'bye' to your life. Thankfully Imogen didn't actually shoot him, instead she just insulted him, and Charles knew how to handle insults—With jokes.
[#b55715 "You're still happy to see me, though, right?"] he replied, face spelling carefree despite the undeniable fear in his eyes; he was used to pavement and bad WiFi being his worst enemies, guns however, they could kill him. WiFi never tried to kill him. He did however grapple his bearings quickly as soon as the gun was out of sight, and his tone turned into a sarcastic lilt as he continued. [#b55715 "And don't worry, I'll bring a trombone next time so you'll hear me."]
After saying this, he moved to actually sit on the couch proper, doing so by first putting his feet on the couch, and then reaching down towards Imogen's legs to give them a gentle tap in hopes of her moving them in order for him to sit down.
[#b55715 "So, what are you working on that's got you so engrossed?"] he asked, curiously, after tapping her leg. [#b55715 "Did someone finally try hacking into the coffee machine?"] He knew that there were more important things that hackers would want to get into, but that wasn't a fun topic—unlike the idea of someone hacking the coffee machine to only make tea, which to Charles seemed pretty funny. Then again, it would only be funny from a distance, as he was sure at least ten workers would be ready for murder if anyone got in the way of their daily caffeine fix.]
[center [size12 Imogen and the boss man had a very simple relationship. She keeps people from wiggling their way into his system and in exchange, she got to have her home away from home. Which was technically the basement. No one really bothered her down her, other than the normal Charlie that would pop in and pester her for an hour or so. Odd relationship that the two had in the office. Not quite the cliche office romance, more like awkward, office flirting. Imogen didn't quite like to dwell on it. Flirting with him wasn't her proudest moment, now she couldn't get rid of him.]]
[center [size12 Imogen plopped herself right onto the couch and reclined all the way back to where she was laying across the whole couch. With a hand tucked underneath her head, she used her metal hand to show several different screens. All were monitoring every sector of the building, from the boss's computer to the lady's computer at the front door. Nadine was her name and she hated Imogen for some reason. Imogen never understood why.]]
[center [size12 Imogen looked at her metal arm and sighed heavily. Imogen used to make money by hacking into police computers, and other things of the sort, but one day, she declined a job and that resulted in the loss of her arm. She was left, bleeding and unconscious at the hospital and didn't remember a thing until about 6 months after it. Let's just say, those gang members are no longer alive right now. Imogen has been known to carry guns, knives, and any other weapon around with her. Wait, maybe that was why Nadine didn't like her. Imogen shook her head, [i fuck that Nadine bitch.] She thought to herself.]]
[center [size12 Imogen hadn't even heard the little pester speak. She was lost in watching the screens before feeling a slight weight on the couch. She quickly pulled a gun from underneath the couch and pointed it right at Charlie before groaning heavily. [i [#778899 "Maybe instead of stalking around like a creep, Charlie. You could make a bit more noise, you fuckin' weird-o,"]] the accent was what made all this sound a bit too serious. Imogen had that thick, annoying British accent. She sounded even more condescending than normal when she was mad.]]
[size12 The drone of wheels on bitumen was accompanied by the distant bass line from open-eared headphones, as Charles Gallagher came cruising down the footpath on his trusted drop-through long board. It wasn't the fastest way of getting to work --especially not with the wide curves and shuvits-- but Charles much preferred the vibrations in his feet to the unsteadiness of a hover board, even if it meant waking up earlier.
Having to wake up early, however, did have it's perks. It usually meant that he was privileged with the view of the soft pink morning sky, and it's orange light shining through the skyscrapers. On those days it felt almost rude to listen to obnoxiously loud music, but he knew that if he wanted to listen to soft music he'd have to get up even earlier to truly take it in—and five o'clock already felt like a stretch.
Early mornings also brought few pedestrians on the footpath, which meant there were no precautions to him raising his phone in order to grab a quick picture of the sun lighting up the entire side of one building while leaving the others in the dark, as well as a quick video from his hip that captured both the board and most of the street as he rounded a corner.
As the camera closed, and the phone was safely back in his pocket, the song started playing again only to fade into a new one mere seconds later. The next one was faster, as it was the last song on the playlist. Charles pushed off to gain enough momentum to match the tempo of it easily. By now it was almost a ritual that he'd be cross stepping down this particular street—and if it was because he passed a café that sometimes had good looking people in it, then who could blame him, it would be a wasted opportunity not to show off. Plus it allowed him to slow down enough to foot break when he neared the building.
[#fff ❖][google-font https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=VT323]
Three greetings, and five floors later, Charles made a pit stop at the cafeteria to get a green breakfast smoothie and an apple. Both of which were quickly consumed in the elevator on the way to the tenth floor, where his office lay. Once there; he hung both cap, headphones, and jacket on the clothes hook, and left his long board in the corner. He then made his way to the computer to turn it on, as well as press the on button on the AI assistance to announce his arrival and check for any messages.
[VT323 [size16 "You are (5) minutes late."]] came from the speaker, and Charles groaned.
[#b55715 "And you're last years model, but you don't see me complaining."] he muttered, and pressed his thumb against the sensor at the side of the computer screen, allowing him to log in.
[VT323 [size16 "You have (1) new message, should I play it?"]]
[#b55715 "Nah, who's it from?"] he asked absentmindedly as he watched the start screen load up one program after the other.
[VT323 [size16 "The message is from your boss."]]
[#b55715 "I'll talk to him in person, thanks."]
[VT323 [size16 "You're welcome."]] The device made a small clicking noise as it turned itself off, and Charles simply hummed in reply as he skimmed over the daily plan that had loaded up on the screen. As a close right hand to the CEO he was usually doing the things the CEO didn't have time to do, like greet people or check up on employees, as the CEO already had multiple secretaries forwarding emails and whatnot. For fun he liked to say that he was the CEO's handsome stuntman, even if that was far from the truth.
After a brief talk with the chief, Charles was making his way to check on Imogen—one of their best cyber security workers. She was certainly a character, and Charles was more than pleased with hanging around her more. It wasn't that the chief was particularity worried about her, but it was always a good thing to keep yourself on good terms with your security workers, as they knew where it hurt. Same thing had happened when they got a new lab guard, whom Charles had pestered for weeks trying to see how he ticked. That hadn't been as fun as Imogen, though, as the lab guard had a stick so far up his ass he didn't know anything other than guarding. Good employee, though, just not a fun one.
Imogen, on the other hand, she was fun.
[#b55715 "Hey, Imogen—you sure all these lights aren't blinding you?"] was Charles' attempt at a fun greeting, as he peaked into Imogen's office, if one could really call it that; the way it was all the way down in the basement, dimly-lit, and didn't even have a desk. It did, however, have a couch—A couch which arm Charles was set on sitting on, even if it possibly got him killed, he hadn't tried it yet.
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